I do not see the harm, especially if fans are not making money off their stories. Fan fiction is written by fans who love the characters and it is a great way to express that love. In addition, isn’t imitation the greatest form of flattery? If I ever wrote a book or television series, I would honestly be amused and flattered by people wanting to spend time in the world I created.
Stephanie Meyers wrote, “People pour out so much energy and talent into them. . . It makes me frustrated. I’m like, go write your own story. Put them out there and get them published. That’s what you should be doing. You should be working on your own book right now.” In contract, Joss Whedon said, “Fan fiction is the way new writers are finding their way. I think it’s a fantastic gateway into writing.”
In addition, what is the difference between taking or rather adapting a novel and basing it on a television series? Little House on the Prairie was loosely based on the popular Laura Ingalls Wilder “Little House” books. If anything, because I enjoyed the television show so much, it encouraged me to read the books. I devoured them all in one summer.
The same argument can be made regarding YouTube fan videos. Fans poor their heart, soul, and time into making a video based on a favorite fandom. How frustrating and disappointing it is when YouTube removes the video because of copy write infringements. Again, it is harmless fun. It is free publicity for the artist. Often after viewing a video I really liked, I will find the song on iTunes and upload it to my iPod—it’s a great way to learn new songs and new artists the viewer has never seen or heard. It’s a win-win.
The reason I write fan fiction is twofold. First, I seek closure. When Scarecrow and Mrs. King ended, fans did not have a chance to say goodbye to their favorite characters. Again, I blame Bruce Boxleitner and Kate Jackson and their chemistry. I wanted to see their story continue. The second reason is there were many unanswered questions. I write to answer those questions. I write to fill in the blanks. I write seeking closure.
Like it or not fan fiction is here to stay. Do you agree or disagree with the authors?