So I've been thinking of fan fiction a lot as of late. It's something that I have never been able to get into. Many of my friends read and write fan fic, and I know for a fact that Lyda Moorehouse LOVES slash. It definitely is an interesting fan base and a very unique culture but I just don't know how I feel about it.

I can understand how fan fic came about in a way. Sometimes people just want characters to do the things they SHOULD be doing. Directors have their own agenda and fans have theirs. At times, when the stars are right in the heavens and it's a full moon on the equinox, these agendas line up and everybody is happy. However, there are times when, gosh darnit, Commander Riker should have NEVER gotten it on with Troy. Or maybe Data really needed to have an insestuous affair with his brother. I don't know. But still, fan fic gives fans a way to make their dreams come true.

My main problem with fan fic, however, is when it involves characters from already written stories. Movies and TV shows are one things, but books are another. Once again, it does allow readers to make it so Commander Vimes and Corporal Littlebottom have that way over due torrid love affair, but at the same time...I think it's damaging.

As a growing writer, I know that the things I write are heavily influinced by Terry Pratchet, Neil Gaiman and Connie Willis. THis is because they are people I read A LOT. SO much so that my writing voice starts to sound not like mine, but theirs. This, I feel, is normal. MOst writers were inspired by other writers. It's something that you grow out of as time goes on. Take the first couple of books by Terry Pratchet. It's quite obvious he was inspired by Douglas Adams and it REALLY shows. However, as the discworld series goes on, Pratchett's own style starts to solidify. So much so, in fact, that the styles between "THe COlor of Magic" and "Monsterous Regiment" are almost completely different. While you can see the beginings of Pratchett's own voice in CoM, it is over shadowed by Pratchett trying to be Douglas Adams.

So when people are writing fan fic using characters from books, I feel that it's getting them into bad habbits. They are usually writing from their own favorite authors, using that world and those characters. And while anything that gets people writing is good, I wonder if it is doing more damage.

Now I know that not all fan fic authors want to become published authors someday. I know that some write just because they NEED for something to happen that just won't for a number of reasons. Sometimes it's just commical or a throw-a-way story. But there are some people who are VERY serious about their craft. IT's them that I worry about.

So, overall, I'm not a big fan of fanfic. I don't hate it, though, it's just simply not my thing. I am skeptical about people who use fanfic as a way of broadening their own writing. Now granted, I still have a long way to go until I stop sounding like a bad version of Gaiman, but if I were to continue trying to write like him, I would never get to write like me.