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  1. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Fanfiction (I know its been done but not recently)

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Domoviye, Sep 1, 2007.

    I finished reading, and rereading, and rerererereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (There is a severe, yet understandable, lack of affordable English books in China), and I really enjoyed it.
    Unfortunately this has put an idea into my head that hasn't left me alone for a while. What are the ordinary people, specifically the government doing about all the evil magic running around.
    Years ago I had wondered what would happen in a wizard/muggle fight. Now I have a detailed plot and actual scenes in my head, concerning an ultra secret group commissioned by the Prime Minister finding out info about magic, and conducting raids to gain more info. It would involve lots of paranoia, death and paranoia.
    Harry Potter and other main characters don't even appear in the story except in ways that are canonical.
    And no I haven't purposefully put a huge amount of thought into this. My subconcious keeps coming up with more details whenever I'm bored. Which is the way it usually works when I'm thinking up story ideas.

    Now I don't have anything against fanfiction in general. As long as the writer does a good job and doesn't get money from it. But due to my recent obsession I'm curious about what other people think about fancfiction in general.
    Is it worthwhile writing fanfiction down, as long as it doesn't interfere with more original ideas? Is the practice you can get worth the time and effort? Is it simply fan worship that detracts from the original?
    I want to know.
     
  2. Scavenger
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    Scavenger Senior Member

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    I'm actually quite fond of fanfiction. A couple years ago, it was pretty much all I read. Since then, I've become fed up with the sheer number of horrible writers out there who think their stories are amazing, but I still like the idea of fanfiction as a whole.

    I know several authors who got their start writing fanfiction, and now have their original novels published. I think it's an excellent way to start writing, because so many elements are already in place, and that can be helpful for those who have a plot and nowhere to put it. It's also...writing for fun. I can't say I know anyone who has written fanfiction to publish it; most people are just out there to entertain themselves and others. It's also a very good way to satisfy the natural curiosity people feel about unanswered parts of real novels.

    I am, I feel i must admit, a bit of a snob about fanfiction; I don't have patience for it if it murders the characters, or the plot, or simply just runs around killing everything it can possibly find, but well-written fanfiction can be amazing.

    I read almost exclusively Harry Potter stuff, and within the fandom, there are about...three full-length works I particularly enjoy, and several one-shots as well. Other than that, I pretty much ignore the rest.

    Cheers.
     
  3. Weaselword
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    Weaselword Banned

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    Yes, writing practice is very much worthwhile. There's no reason why you shouldn't write fan-fiction -- or indeed share it with your friends; they may be able to make useful comments.

    Be aware that there are important things fan-fiction can't teach you! You're writing about established characters in an established world -- and your reader is already familiar with those characters and that world, so the fan-fiction writer doesn't have to describe them. And doesn't learn to describe them.

    But it teaches you other important disciplines.

    I'd caution you against distributing your fan-fiction on the internet, though.

    First, it's a quick and easy ego-boost. I think most people who've posted samples of their writing on this site would be in the top 10% or so of fan-fic writers; but then it's very easy to look good when you're surrounded by unfinished teen-written Kirk/Spock gay slash fanfic where the author appears as a character. :)

    The rivers of praise and positive feedback you get from doing it make you feel validated and you think, "Hey, my fiction's pretty good actually!"

    But if you're serious about improving, you're better off in the company of your peers. It's a higher, steeper mountain to climb on sites like this, but there's a much better view from the summit. :)

    Secondly, as writers, copyright is our protection and our livelihood. We need other people to respect our intellectual property and refrain from stealing our characters and ideas, so let's do to others as we would like to be done unto us.
     
  4. Scavenger
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    Scavenger Senior Member

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    I completely agree with Weaselword about fanfiction getting to your head. When I wrote a few years ago, I had people singing my praises from all corners of the earth. Now, looking back at what they were praising, it was complete crap.

    That said, posting on the internet isn't always bad; you'll occassionally find reviewers who, like the people here, actually care about what you've written and take the time to give it an honest review. It can be rare, and you have to go to the right sites to get it, but it is out there, and can be just as beneficial as positing original fiction here.
     
  5. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    Fanfiction can be quite fun to read - but it will almost never be published (only under special circumstances). In the plot you mentioned, however, you could write it and it wouldn't have to be fanfiction at all. You could have your own wizarding world without the characters by J.K. Rowling. I have nothing against fan fiction personally.
     
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  6. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Lp, thats a wonderful idea. I even thought of a way to change the beginning to fit into its own universe in the last hour. Thanks

    Scavenger and Weasel your both right. I've posted a lot of work on Fanfictionpress (all original zombie stories there), and Fictionpress.com. I've gotten a few excellent reviews, but a lot was just gushing over things that weren't very good, or could have been a lot better.

    Also Weasel like I said as long as no money is made from fanfiction I have no problem with it. I've heard a few stories about writers who did some fanfiction and got money or gifts for it, they never end well.

    Ok so far the idea is that fanfiction can be alright, as long as its well written, and the writer understands it's limitations. Any other opinions?
     
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