He did what? No way! — Fanfiction to the rescue

He did what? No way! — Fanfiction to the rescue

frankly-my-dear4"I don't give a damn"? That's it? The end? A thousand pages (and let's be honest here: that 2nd part really d-r-a-g-s) ... just so Rhett can tell Scarlett to take a hike?

Sometimes we don't like an author's choices, but what's a reader do? Well, some take matters into their own hands and turn themselves into writers. Thus the birth of Fanfiction [fæn'-fik-shun].

Fanfiction is just what it sounds like—amateur stories crafted by a fan of a particular work, featuring the same characters but a different plot...or point of view...or ending. Critics may debate its merit, but fanfiction is gaining in popularity—and it looks like it’s here to stay!

Take a look at FanFiction, a site that hosts 100s-of-1,000s of stories created by readers who want something more from a book...or maybe who simply want to pit their own nascent talents against the pros. Here's a smattering of what's offered:

Original Works # of Fanfiction Spinoffs
Harry Potter 685,000
Twilight 216,000
Hunger Games   39,500
Pride and Prejudice    3,400
Gone With the Wind       838
The Fault in Our Stars       494
Kite Runner         57
One Hundred Years of Solitude          3
Room          1

Have some fun reading any of these re-works: Click HERE to see the complete list—1,000s of original works which have led to spinoffs. Then just scan down the list and click . . . wherever.

Though some in the published world support fanfiction (Meg Cabot, author of the Princess Diaries series got her start writing fanfiction), other well-known authors—George R.R. Martin and Anne Rice, to name two—resent budding writers who try to gain exposure by piggy-backing on their works.

On the other hand, where's the line in determining what stories are fanfiction and which aren't? Remember Gregory Maguire's Wicked and Jeany Ryhs' Wide Sargasso Sea? They're only two of a very long list of reimaginings of famous works. Even Gone With the Wind has its spinoffs.

For a better appreciation of just how much literary reworking is done, see our LitBlog post from 2010: Old Wine in New Bottles.

Still, while it can be flattering for authors to have their works emulated by an aspiring writer, it can be equally as frustrating to fight of iterations of a story that aren't what the author imagined.

What do you think? Is fanfiction good writing practice for buddingwriters? Or is it muddying the waters for readers?
—Kristi Spuhler for LitLovers

Site by BOOM Boom Supercreative

LitLovers © 2014