My Two Realizations About Fan Fiction (Along With Some Of My Own)

The panel’s title was Fan Fiction vs. “Real” Writing”, and it was at 10am on Sunday. Who would have expected it to be so well attended – and so fascinating?

First, mad props to the others on the panel – Cedar Sanderson, Stephen Leigh, Jim C. Hines, and Michelle (I’m sorry – I didn’t catch your last name!). They put up with my clumsy attempts at moderation and didn’t tease me too badly when I lost track of what I was saying.

But man, there were two ideas that I hadn’t considered before, that really just kind of fit.

First: Fanfiction is real writing – but it’s not commercial writing. 

That distinction between commercial and noncommercial writing is really the important division – and it’s along that fault line that pretty much every disagreement between the two has occurred.  If we all realize that’s where the distinction lies and the different obligations each type of writing has, maybe that’ll help make everything work out.

Second: There is such a thing as fan-fiction that’s rejected from the fanfic community because it’s not fanfic enough.

So in the spirit of those realizations (and also because I threatened Jim with doing it), here is some of the earliest writing I’ve done – which just happens to be fanfic.  (And yes, I apparently started out wanting to write fanfic of Judy Blume’s Fudge books first.)

All the important bits – Tauntauns, explosions, and me saving the universe. GENIUS.

I still don’t know why George Lucas didn’t call me to help write the prequels.

Mr. Abrams, you know what to do.