Filipino Readercon 2014 – Filipino Fridays 3: What Do You Think of Fanfiction?

It’s Friday again, the first Friday of November, and it means that this is the day  for the third installment of the Filipino Readercon’s meme, Filipino Fridays.

This week’s question is something I feel strongly about: fan fiction.

Fanfiction is pretty popular, no doubt about it, but it has been received with mixed feelings by many authors and writers. Some don’t mind it, and even welcome readers who give their own spin on their work. Some writers don’t like it at all, to the point that they contact fanfiction authors to take their work down. Others use it as a jump-off point for their own writing.

How about you? What is your take on fanfiction? Do you read fanfiction, and if you do, what kind of fanfiction do you read? Do you write fanfiction, and why? Or are you against fanfiction? Enlighten us.

Yes, I have read fan fiction before during the height of my Harry Potter addiction. In between books, I would sorely miss the HP gang and I would try to curb this longing by reading fan fiction over the internet. However, what I read has left me disdainful of the form and, as I grew as a reader, I began loathing fan fiction in general.

Here is what I believe, fan fiction is borne out of obsession and not the desire to do a homage. There is a clear distinction between homages like Neil Gaiman’s A Study in Emerald and a fan fiction about Draco and Hermione having a romantic relationship. The former is borne out of a desire to honor the original writers (in Gaiman’s case, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and, to an extent, HP Lovecraft) while the latter is borne simply out of the desire for two characters who have no semblance of a romantic relationship in the original work to have one in the fan fiction. So most fan fiction, I believe, is not being written because of the fan’s appreciation for the craft but because of his/her obsession with the characters itself.

Another problem is that fan fiction often deviates from the author’s original intent. In fan fiction, characters often engage in activities that they wouldn’t have otherwise do and events will transpire that couldn’t possibly happen in the original author’s hands. This is the greatest sin of fan fiction: the bastardization of the author’s intent.

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