Part of the change the way I’m thinking might have to do with the fact that I watched four seasons of The Walking Dead in a row. Yep, that’s right. So naturally all I could think of was the plot, the characters, what would happen next? Why did he/she do so? If I were the scriptwriter would I have taken the story on a different direction? If they already knew that, why didn’t they use the knowledge on their advantage… In the middle of the night I couldn’t help my mind from wandering and developing the plot…and that’s how it begun…my first fanfiction short story…
But what is fanfiction? According to Wikipedia fanfiction is fiction about characters or settings from an original work of fiction, created by fans of that work rather than by its creator.
There are a lot of grey areas in fanfiction. Will it infringe the copyright of the original creator? Is it just a poor excuse for not being able to create your own topics of what to write? Some authors and writers have and will be climbing on the barriers to stop people from writing fanfiction, but some have even encouraged fans to do so. Personally I’ll give a green light, if someone wants to write fanfiction stories out of my books, as long as they respect the original story and does not violate the copyright law by copying and pasting parts of my stories (or in any other way!).
That said, I’m not actually sure if my fanfiction story is a ‘real’ fanfiction story. Yes, the idea came from a TV- series, but the story is original. I’ve only spiced it up with some of the elements from The Walking Dead, still giving the credit to whom it belongs… The creators of The Walking Dead! My story will be proofread and edited properly, just like any of my stories, and I will publish it as a short story in a genre where it belongs…science fiction. So what happened it being a fanfiction story? Nothing. I will still put the word ‘fanfiction’ amongst the key words and in the story description.
So why even bother to call it a fanfiction story? Well, if the zombie apocalypse would happen I would definitely want Michonne or Daryl as my partners. Duh! So why not put their knowledge to use in my story. Let them help my characters to survive and have some fun whilst doing so. Original story + elements from a TV series + pushing some of the things seen in the series to the direction I wished they were going in the original series = Fanfiction story. Yeah, I know! Again, grey area!
I bet the debate around fanfiction is and probably will be an on-going thing, which is good. Maybe that one person who is about to publish her/his fanfiction will think twice before pressing that ‘publish’ button. After all, there are a lot of fanfiction sites where you can publish your work without rushing on to Amazon. And even then, please, please, think before publishing.
- Am I violating the copyright law?
- Am I taking credit from something I did not create?
- Am I honoring the original story or is my work actually original and not a traditional fanfiction story at all?
- Is my story really worth publishing or should I hide it in the bottom drawer?
- Is the quality good enough or should I ask my teacher, relative with great grammar skills etc. to look at my work before going public?
And if after all the consideration and pondering you still feel like you have a masterpiece in your hands, go for it. Press the ‘publish’ button and have fun. Yes, that’s the key…FUN!