Before reading this, be sure to check out my breakdown about what fanfiction is here! Fanfiction has evolved greatly over time, but there is still a debate about if it’s real writing. Anyone who says it isn’t real writing is wrong, and you can show them this article to explain why! I believe this debate spawned from the weird fanfics (creepy fetishes, ownership, underage authors, etc.) that were written and posted on Wattpad, the shit site of fanfiction. Anyone who posts on there cannot write and their fanfiction is crap. But that doesn’t mean other works of fanfiction aren’t real writing! It just means don’t go on Wattpad.
I’m not going to completely break-down the basic concepts of writing, but I will discuss what aspects of writing make fanfiction real writing and what makes the authors creative individuals.
First, the pre-establishment of a world (whatever fantasy world the author chooses to use) does not diminish the creativity of the author. While they don’t have to build a world from scratch they still have to write within the rules of the world and describe it accurately. In order for the story to be believable, the author has to establish that they understand how that world works and display their knowledge of significant spots within it. This is real writing because they are still describing a world and working within it. Regardless of it not being their world, their creativity is clear!
Second, writing with pre-existing characters presents a unique challenge that only a real writer can achieve. They have to place the character in a situation of their choice while maintaining the characteristics of said individual. There is room for fun of course, and many fandoms have established head-canons that are often used in fanfictions. But the core of the character must remain the same for it to be believable. This is real writing because they are still writing a character and how they would react in certain situations. Using a pre-established character does not mean they can’t add their own traits or habits to the character, something a real writer does with their original characters!
Third, if an author chooses to create their own original character within the world, the character has to be able to function within the established rules of the world. Also, creating a well rounded character is a complex and creative process, and to place them in a pre-existing world presents new challenges for writers! This is obviously real writing because they’re creating their own character from scratch and the character has to realistically exist within the rules of the world. Creating characters in fanfiction is actually more fun because there’s more room for individuality and an author can place themselves in the world of their choice!
In conclusion, writing fanfiction still presents creative challenges and opportunities that only real writers can achieve! To create a plot, work within the existing world, and keep characters true to themselves is a tremendous task and we should be congratulating writers on their skills.
I personally write fanfiction as a way to practice my writing and get my fun ideas out. If you’d like to check out my fanfiction, it can be found here. Please keep in mind when reading someone’s work that they worked really hard on it and shared it of their own accord. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t leave a comment. Use the tags and filters to find what you’re looking for!
This week’s post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a podcast I created that was inspired by this blog. Be sure to go check it out wherever you listen to your podcasts and subscribe!