With the age of information upon us, enjoying a show or movie has become a lot more than just consuming when we’re told to. Viewers movies and TV shows are now involved more than they ever were before! Viewers don’t want to just be consumers any more, that’s not good enough. They want to be a part of the magic, and add on to and evolve it as much as they can!
This is where fan-fiction comes from. Fan-fiction is exactly that; fiction written by fans. It isn’t enough anymore for a person to simply believe what they are told by an author or a creator and that be the end of the story. For many fans, this is where the story begins!
Fan-fiction is the extension of a story or the telling of a completely new story using characters and worlds of an already existing book, movie, TV show. Basically anything you can be a fan of, there’s fan-fiction for.
But where is the line between admiring somebody else’s work and ripping them off?
One argument for fan-fiction is that fact that people don’t make money off it. They simply do it for the pleasure of it, because they enjoy the work and want to be a part of that.
According to Helen Razer (2004), fan-fic accelerated in the mid-90s after the advent of no-cost publishing. This has since taken off with websites like Tumblr come to mind as a place where fan-fic flourishes. There is even a whole website now dedicated to fan-fiction and the people who write it!
Razer states that fan-fiction pre-dates the internet by at least 20 years, with this type of fan interaction being notable in the late 60s around the sci-fi show Star Trek. “The literary form Kirk-Spock depicted the captain and his ensign in romantic or erotic situations”.
This form of fan-fiction is known as ‘slash’ and it is when two male characters are written by fans to be in romantic relationships. I must admit, I do have a small guilty pleasure for a little bit of slash. Razer is vert adamant in saying that slash “is not tatty porn” and has become extremely popular with heterosexual women, with which a majority of Slash is written by. As with most fan-fiction, if you can imagine it, it’s most likely been written. I even found some slash written about Jesus and Hitler!
With most fan-fiction being written and/or created by fans who are simply trying to engage with the story they love so much, and not even making money off of it, I can’t understand why authors and creators wouldn’t love the attention? After all, it is free advertising all from their fan’s imaginations!
Razer, H 2004, ‘Fanfic: Is it Right to Write?’, The Age, 5 January