Is Fanfiction 'Real' Writing?

Discussion in 'Fiction Writing' started by eli414, Aug 1, 2018.


Is fanfiction real fiction?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Sometimes

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. eli414

    eli414 New Member

    Do you think fanfiction is 'real' writing? Maybe there are certain types of fanfiction that you consider legitimate, but others that you don't?
    Personally, I think even 'smut' writing should be classified as real writing. Sure, there are authors out there who don't really try or edit, but the same is true of other fiction genres. I strongly disagree with my friends who say they are against fic writers, and I am in awe of the talented people who produce fanfiction that I enjoy the most. There are fics that I adore that are as long as a chapter book, and that take huge liberties with characters (some even going so far as to create an alternate universe). These people are insanely talented, and I wish more people respected that.
  2. gvr2018

    gvr2018 New Member

    A person creates their own story using material not originating from themselves. Plenty of stories that aren't fanfic are guilty of this, to a degree. As long as the story they make up is done well, I say fanfiction is real fiction.
  3. MariaPZ

    MariaPZ New Member

    Definitely yes. I would say fics are basically adaptations without explicit permission from the author: a fic writer takes their characters and universe and puts them in a different situation with the aim of convincing the reader that 'this is what they would do'. Sure, there are terrible fics, but there are also terrible original stories out there.

    Fanfiction just gets a bad reputation because most writers are amateurs, but I've also read some seriously good stories with amazing characterization. And having more to read about your favorite characters is like a magical experience!

    Also, what would the people against fic writers say about original characters? I used to think they were always bad until I read a fic where they were are charming as the main cast. The moment I thought 'You know, I would read a book about these guys only', I realized fanfics were also 'real' writing.
  4. Sykuna

    Sykuna New Member

    Well, it's most definitely writing as an action. You're arranging words to make some sense, so you're writing. But is it real? Well, it depends what do you want from it. If it's just your little guilty pleasure, then sure: it's real and you're getting out of it everything you need. But you cannot really build a career on the work of others. So if you want writing to become your full-time job, it's only an exercise, something to be forgotten and not a "real" writing.
  5. jack18

    jack18 Member

    Fiction writing is the composition of non-factual prose texts. Fictional writing often is produced as a story meant to entertain or convey an author's point of view. The result of this may be a short story, novel, , screenplay, or drama, which are all types (though not the only types) of fictional writing styles. Different types of authors practice fictional writing, including novelist,, short story writers, and screenwriters.
  6. jack18

    jack18 Member

    “Real” writing
    Fanfic, goes the argument, isn’t “real” writing. It’s cheating. It’s lazy. It’s stealing someone else’s ideas. It’s plagiarism. It’s sordid. It doesn’t involve skill or creativity. It doesn’t take any talent
    “Real writers”, professional writers, create original worlds and characters from scratch. Their works are carefully and fully developed, and they consequently have a depth that’s impossible for a fanwork to achieve.
    There’s no denying there are differences between “professional”, or original, writing and fanfic. They each have their own sets of standards and expectations – something that is acceptable for a fanfic would be frowned on in a traditionally published work; someone writing professionally is bound by a lot more rules and guidelines than someone writing fanfic; the author of an original work has to convince their audience to believe in and follow a brand new fictional world where the fanfic author has to reassure their audience that they can be trusted with already beloved characters and worlds and meet their expectations. They’re important differences…but that doesn’t mean fanfic isn’t real writing, or that it doesn’t involve useful skills and techniques that can be applied to professional (or other!) writing.
    Critics would have it that pro writers are pro writers and fanficcers are fanficcers and never the twain shall meet. But there are plenty of traditionally published works that prove the twain have met and they get along quite well, thanks. There are off-shoot series based on popular films and TV shows such as Star Wars and Stargate that are not called fanfic because they are officially licensed,
    Books like Wide Sargasso Sea, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and the Young Sherlock Holmes are described as derivative, or mash-ups, or parodies; “inspired by” or “set in the world of”… but are equally the kinds of books that could only be written by someone deeply familiar with the source material that inspired them.
    Ignoring the legal and financial sides, what makes these books different to fanfic? Is it simply the fact that the original creators have authorised them? You don’t have to delve too deeply into or AO3 to find works that are equally just “variations on a theme” – stories that continue where canon left off or reset the entire story in a completely different world.
    Like it or loathe it, the suggestion that such writing would involve neither skill nor creativity is patently incorrect.
  7. Tina85

    Tina85 Guest

    I would say yes. Granted the writer did not create the characters, universe, plot, etc. but it still take immense imagination and talent to take a universe that is not theirs and inject and create a new universe linking the two with new situations, plot and trajectory. I've also seem many of those authors use fan fiction as their practice then go on to be real published authors. Regardless of the general opinion may be, I believe fan fiction at the very least does indeed have merit in the writing world.
  8. kehallo

    kehallo New Member

    Writing fanfiction is not as hard as writing original fiction. Creating characters, building worlds and establishing rules for magic/supernatural phenomenon all take a great deal of time and effort. Fanfiction is real writing. But fanfiction doesn't get the same degree of respect as original work because fanfiction typically doesn't require the same level of skill to create.

    CAVEATS: There are fanfics out there which are better than the original works. There are authors who've taken an existing world and created something so original that they were able to publish it after changing a few details. Sometimes fanfiction is ground-breaking, rule-breaking, and world-making.

    But most fanfictions, no matter how well-written or enjoyable, lack originality.
  9. noaha

    noaha New Member

    If anything, I think fanfiction can become more detailed, and often better than the original writing it's based on. When someone writes an original story, say Harry Potter for example: others stemming from that main piece must not only fully understand the origin stories of each individual character from the original, but also create and incorporate new material that doesn't contradict any of the baseline facts.

    I think that's why a lot of fanfiction is developed from open-ended stories with large universes that were never fully developed. Going back to Harry Potter, we are introduced to dozens of pieces of that world which are mentioned or lightly discussed, but never fully developed because they weren't actually integral to the main story arc. What does the overall financial system of their world look like? Who originally planted the Whomping Willow, and why so close to young children? Was the tree there first and the school subsequently planned nearby? Why have so many beings chosen the Forbidden Forest as their home even when it carries such a hostile reputation? Why was Hagrid allowed to take young students in the forest as a punishment?

    There are hundreds of questions you could ask, and many, many different options for fans to write about.
  10. MrsSBeaumont

    MrsSBeaumont New Member

    I think fan-fiction is an excellent method of improving your writing skills. However I don't think that fan-fiction is real fiction. Real fiction involves an original story and characters.
  11. hgnguyen

    hgnguyen New Member

    I feel fanfiction isn't real writing because the characters aren't yours, there are owned by the person who created them. That person had to put in so much time and effort into shaping the universe that exists in their story, claiming fanfiction to be 'real' writing is almost greedy in a sense that you didn't put as much of yourself in it. I feel sometimes fanfiction can be real enough when you're borrowing the universe or very specific ideas, but that's about it.
  12. rosegoldrey

    rosegoldrey New Member

    I think fanfiction is definitely real writing. I hate the stigma that you're "stealing." As long as you're not blatantly plagiarizing and trying to make a profit, it counts. All writing is "real" writing. Fanfiction is a labor of love. Yes, there are some mediocre (to put it kindly) fanfics out there, but the immense effort some writers put into it is incredible. Some even go above and beyond the source work!

    Not to mention, all media is inspired by other media. Fanfiction just takes that to a higher degree. Saying fanfiction isn't legitimate writing is essentially saying that movies/shows based around public domain characters (Sherlock Holmes, Elizabeth Bennett, etc) aren't legitimate. I, personally, think fanfic is the highest compliment a writer can receive. Someone loved your source material so much that they wanted more of it and created it themselves!
  13. allebischoff

    allebischoff New Member

    I 100% believe fanfiction is real writing. Yes, the writers are using an established world, with it's own rules and depending on the source material, mythos and culture, but it's still writing. Someone is taking the time and love to sit down and write something. Are they all great? No, not necessarily, but they're putting the effort out, and many fanfiction writers evolve into writing their own fiction.
  14. zMoog

    zMoog New Member

    Any kind of writing is real writing. What exactly would fake writing be? To me, fan fiction is a lot like cover songs. The basis is already there but ultimately it's up to the interpreter to mold something even better. Or worse, you never know how it's going to go. Fan fiction is just a tribute to the original source, no matter how outlandish the interpretation may be or become. No one tells a band they recorded a fake song if they do a cover.
  15. estrasen

    estrasen New Member

    I would agree with zMoog and it really varies from each different piece and each different author. Just like how Johnny Cash covering Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" is a masterpiece in itself, many authors have made careers out of the analysis of various author's work.
  16. estrasen

    estrasen New Member

    I use fanfiction as a writing tool to help expand and practice my writing. I write quite a bit of my original content and I feel like fanfiction is a good method of helping to get my "creative juices" flowing. Most of it I would never show to another living person, but some of it has become its own stories and transformed into some decent work that is able to stand on its own.
  17. montag

    montag New Member

    Personally, no.
    Is it writing, yes. You are writing something after all, but in the end writing fanfiction takes you away from the very first step if writing. Building. Making a story, developing your own characters, these are all essentials when it comes to being a good writer and fanfiction is just using the content other people have created and sometimes changing it up.
    I think it is usually a crutch for most people rather than any good for writing.
    If you are going to create an alternate universe, why not make your own story and characters instead? It is a waste of time and a major disrespect to the original creator, in my opinion.
  18. watermints

    watermints New Member

    I definetly consider every piece of work real writing, just as every scribble posted on "DeviantArt" is considered art. Of course, not all of the drawings are good, but still, all of it is considered "the expression or application of human skill and imagination".
  19. Lexilia

    Lexilia New Member

    Yes. Fanfictions are real writing. They're actual ideas, words, phrases, plots, and scenarios from writers who use published media as a means of creating literary content. I have been reading fanfics ever since I was around 11 years old and I find it hilarious that some fanfics are a real gem compared to the ones that are actually published, printed, and displayed at bookstores.

    I also believe that Fanfictions are the first step in writing their own, original story. Fanfictions help writers practice their thoughts, ideas, and skills in writing. It has become an avenue for budding writers to fully bloom. One popular example is Fifty Shades of Grey, which was a smut fanfic of Twilight. It became a book on its own, got published and turned into a movie.

    In the end, Fanfictions are still written stories of people. They still come from the ideas, the passion, and the skill of the writer. I, myself, used to write fanfictions when I was a teenager and that has helped me transform into the writer that I am now. It helped me practice incorporating my thoughts into already existing characters and turning them into my very own version and my very own story.
  20. ThatNerdDuck

    ThatNerdDuck New Member

    I myself do not write fanfiction but I do read a rather large amounts.

    Sure they use the construction of storylines and characters but they create an entirely different storyline. I have read some fanfiction that is far better than what it was based off of. And some are just a straight rip from the show/movie/etc and just a few things here and there changed.

    I judge whether or not it is real writing by how it was written. If the characters names were changed could it stand on its own? If yes, I definitely consider it "real writing" because they have written a completely original story.

    If it cannot stand on it's own without the characters or is too similar to the original content I consider it just fanfiction.

    Fanfiction is for the most part something for fun. I've read "fix-it" fanfiction where a favorite character has died so someone wrote the entire storyline over but the favorite character lived. They didn't intend for it to be original but to make an audience feel better.

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