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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.
WHereas the situations and idea presented by various authors can make an excellent basis for fanfic, the main problem that fanfic writers will always run into is the issue of having an audience that was previously attracted to the original author some some reason or another. Fanfic can be fun to read, yes, but seriously...I've always viewed it on the "fluff" side of things. I'm not saying it's not cool to expand on someone's ideas...that's kind how the whole Star Trek thing got started...it's just that when people limit themselves to fanfic and constrict themselves to the world that the original author has created, they are cheating themselves out of a sense of expansion. Fanfic rocks, and it's fun to write (haha, you'll never know *my* fanfic), but I feel that those who spend their actual "production hours" slaving away at fanfic are accomplishing nothing. Fanfic is awesome to read, and can prove very enjoyable, but I pity those who think they can strike it rich quick through some fanfic. I guess the whole point of this unformatted rant is that it is important to choose your own style. Who cares if it's close to the style of your favorite author? If you're creating original works, it's your own material, so be proud of it. Even if you have to look to the great authors for an idea here and there, remember Sir Issac Newton's quote, which I've paraphrased here: "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

I can't add anything to that.
And I stated that it's okay to be influenced by your favorite authors, and it happens all the time.

HOWEVER - it's when you continue to write like that author that you never gain your own voice. By writing characters over and over again you are not developing your own (by the by, I am using "you" in the general sense, and not in the specific). As I said - you can read any author's early work and find their inspiration lurking in the text somewhere.

Newton made the discoveries he did by using methods and discoveries made by previous scientists. He did not stop there, but created his own ideas as well.
Oh - and I totally know your fanfic...

You sick sick Gollum/Smeagol slasher...