IS FANFICTION ILLEGAL? ARE CUPCAKES DELICIOUS? CAN WRITING FANFIC BECOME A CAREER? Let’s chat!

Grab a cup of tea, or coffee, pull up and chair; let’s delve into the world of fanfiction (and devour three cupcakes each because, who can chat and NOT have cupcakes?).

Before we get into all the exciting legal-debating-cupcake-devouring-fanfiction-writing fun let’s breakdown what fanfiction is (it’s completely okay not to know; I’m here to tell you AND GIVE YOU CUPCAKES *throws confetti*)

Fanfiction

When a fan of a TV show, book, movie, etc takes the storyline/characters (or both) and writes their own story, based on it. 

 

Excellent, now that we’re not all confused kittens let’s chat: IS FANFICTIONILLEGAL? STEALING? CREATIVE EXPRESSION? ARE CUPCAKES DELICIOUS? (okay; we won’t discuss cupcakes). DO AUTHORS YOU READ WRITE FIC?

 

For those humans who don’t read (or write fic) you may be asking yourself,

WHY DO PEOPLE WRITE FANFICTION?

(I’m going to tell you – in point form, because I LOVE lists)

  • “It’s a good way for new writers to learn how to tell a story,” said Meg Cabot (author of The Princess Diaries) when asked about fic.

 

  • Fans get to write about characters and stories they love (without having to deal with extensive world building and character creation).

 

  • Self-insertion. This usually happens when people say things like, “I WANT TO ATTEND HOGWARTS” or, “I WANT TO TRAVEL TO NARNIA”  or even, “I WANT TO SING HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO PERCY JACKSON AND EAT BLUE CAKE WITH HIM” (because who doesn’t want to eat blue cake with Percy???). Fanfiction lets fans insert themselves into that world/story.

 

  • Telling the story the way they wanted it to be. (If authors kill off your favourite character writing fic gives you the chance to change that; you (the writer) have the choice to decide who lives, dies and falls in love.)

 

There is LOADS of fanfiction online but still people wonder, IS IT actually ILLEAGAL to write fic?

Strictly speaking, although there are SO MANY debates about this, Fanfiction is ‘frowned upon’ (and illegal in some countries because of copywriting laws and plagiarism).

However, many authors don’t mind fanfiction being written about their novels AND *gasp* some authors have even ADMITTED to writing fanfiction themselves! (Isn’t it great to know that authors fangirl and want to live in fictional worlds forever, just like us?)

 

PUBLISHED AUTHORS WRITE FIC?! WHO?

(there are many, but here are a few)

  • Cassandra Clare

Who is known, still today, as being an iconic fic writer (at the time she went under the alias “Cassandra Claire” (the spelling is different)). Cassie used to write loads of Harry Potter fanfiction before she started writing about Shadowhunters.

  • Meg Cabot

Once said, “when I was a tween I used to write fic about Star Wars.”

  • Neil Gaiman

Has published many works of fanfiction based off The Chronicles of Narnia, Sherlock and more.

“But Kat, is it illegal or not?”

Sometimes it can be; if you write fanfic and try to sell it as your own IT IS ILLEGAL (and you can get in trouble so instead of trying to sell fic, eat cupcakes. THAT isn’t illegal).

 

WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO READ FANFICTION?

I did a thingy on Twitter. By ‘thingy’ I mean, a poll, where I said the following:

I NEED ANSWERS (& CUPCAKES):

Tell me, DO YOU READ FANFICTION?

To which, I got the following answers…

graph fanfic

 

Lots of people (60%) who participated said, “I ONLY READ ‘REAL’ BOOKS’. Which I think is completely okay (I mean, I don’t read fic – at all – ever). I DO see the appeal though, because who wouldn’t want to live in their favourite fictional worlds, forever?

I don’t read fanfic but only because I’m a selfish sea turtle.

(What are you saying, Kat? You’re a human. Not a turtle.) What I mean is, I like having authors tell their stories, finish them and leave the rest to the reader. I like that I can choose what happens to the characters once the author leaves them but, because I’m a selfish sea turtle, I don’t like reading other peoples ideas about the characters or storylines.

I’m not sure why I’m like this but I’m a firm believer that authors write their stories the way they do for a reason and, as much as I love the idea of my ships sailing and characters being brought back from the dead, authors do things the way they do for a reason…even if it is to make me cry a million and 63 tears. *sigh*

 

Okay, but have their really been AUTHORS WHO HAVE TURNED THEIR FIC INTO NOVELS?

Yep.

Some writers turn their fanfiction into their own novels and get published. “HOW,” you ask? I’ll tell you.

  • E.L.James (author of Fifty Shades of Grey) started her now bestselling series as a spinoff of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer called, “Master Of The Universe”.  When she was optioned for publishing she changed the names of the characters and took out all the vampric parts to prevent copyright laws and thus, Fifty Shades was born.

 

  • Anna Todd is a well known bestselling author of the After Series. Her novels started off with her incorporating the boys of One Direction into her story. When she was optioned for publishing, after her books on Wattpad reached over a few million people, she changed the names of the boys and then published.

 But tell me,

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT FANFICTION? DO YOU READ ANY or, DO YOU PREFER ‘real’ BOOKS? WHY DO YOU LIKE READING FIC? DO YOU ENJOY EATING CUPCAKES? and HOW ARE YOU DOING? tell me all the things.

Until next time, wear fluffy socks and drink tea.

Yours within the Bookworm Revolution,

Kat Silver

 

Kat Silver

If marrying a fictional character doesn't work out I may have to write myself a world and live in it. Author, reader & cupcake eater. Also, cats. Feel free to email me with questions and ARC or reviewing requests. info@katsilver.com

9 Comments

  1. Woo-hoo! Great to hear that!
    Oh and I know how you feel, Merlin (almost) killed me. I had to eat about 42 cupcakes to get over that, I swear.

    Thank you for reading!
    *gives you cupcakes in appreciation*
    (Also, I’m loving your blog name <3 )

  2. Thanks for your thoughts Cait! *gives you cupcakes* I was wondering what you’d think about fanfic.
    SO MANY AUTHORS were inspired by other authors, as you said, and write fanfic and I think that’s SO GREAT because it kind of makes them…more human to me? The fact that they freak out over books like us is SO COOL.
    Hahaha, “THE AUTHORS WORD AS FINAL LAW” I love that and completely agree. Authors write their books a certain way for a reason and even though I sometimes wish I could change what they do, I’m happy (my happiness is sometimes expressed through tears and flailing) to accept what they do and decide.
    Oh yes! That’s such a good point. I don’t think anything similar to THG or HP could do very well because it’d feel copied (?) but then I look at Carry on by Rainbow Rowell and I’m IN LOVE with that book???

    Ha! I wish I could read your first book.
    Actually, no I don’t because you probably KILLED EVERYONE. *sobs in distance*
    (side note: I don’t know if I even trust reading your blog after reading your book…just kidding, I love it all)

    YOU CAN HAVE FOUR CUPCAKES IF YOU WANT TO.

  3. I totally love fanfiction because they’re great for the imagination and for fixing my PostMerlinDepression! Although there are some stories I don’t read fanfiction of, because I like the way the author wrote or ended the novel.

  4. So I think fanfic is perfectly fine! It’s a creative outlet. If we were going to say “fanfic is illegal and it shouldn’t happen” then we also have to cut out making fanart and discussing theories and stuff. WHICH WOULD BE REALLY SAD.
    (Also Marissa Meyer started writing by doing Sailor Moon fanfic, I believe. And Cinder still has influences from it!)
    (And Rainbow Rowell too I assume?? With HP fanfic?)
    That all saying, I’m like you and I don’t read fanfic. I’m the kind of person who is like “THE AUTHOR SAID IT WILL BE; SO THAT’S IT”. I like to make theories and non-cannon ships and all that….but I still take the author’s word as final law. ;D
    Turning fanfic into original stories is fine by me too! HELLO RETELLINGS, RIGHT?!?!? Obviously you have to do it REALLY well. And I don’t think it’s wise to fanfic anything relating to Harry Potter or, like, The Hunger Games. Too famous now. But using things as influences is just being inspired, I think. My first book ever was evolved from Narnia fanfic. (Although, omg, that was seriously 12yo-me plagiarising, ahhahaha. BUT I GOT BETTER, I SWEAR.)
    Suuuuper interesting discussion, Kat!
    BUT WHAT IF I WANT 4 CUPCAKES??????

  5. Oh, I TOTALLY understand that.
    I’m all for a storie where Peeta and Katniss aren’t constantly surrounded by death and destruction!
    That’s always the one thing that scares me about fic – the bad plot and characters that just aren’t themselves – so I guess that’s why I stay away, even though I KNOW there are good (maybe even great) pieces of fanfiction out there.
    Thank you for telling me about your experience!
    *gives you cupcakes in thanks*

  6. I never bothered to read fanfiction until I came across a THG fic long time ago. I don’t remember what was it, but I’ve come a long way since. And yet, it’s the only story whose fanfiction I want to read. I don’t read the ones about Harry Potter either, although I’m a big fan. I dunno why. I mean, I LOVE The Hunger Games, but I don’t mind reading the alternative stories. The same with HP, it’s just I never have any interest to do so. Perhaps because Katniss and Peeta have such an unfortunate life that I find relief in reading stories where they’re just people who aren’t thrown into an arena of slaughter.
    And yes, there are some fics that have bad plot and characters with dissimilar personalities. But there are great ones too.

  7. Thank you, Melissa!
    I share many of your views about fanfiction because I don’t read any of it either!
    I’m always so worried about what will happen to the characters and storylien when they aren’t in the control of the original author and of course, I despise those pesky grammar errors too.
    Thank you for reading! *gives you cupcake in appreciation* I loved reading your thoughts on the topic.

  8. This is an interesting discussion for me, mainly because I don’t read fan-fiction. It’s not that I hate the idea and turn my nose up at it, but because most of the fan-fic I’ve come across is riddled with grammar mistakes (I’m sure there is a lot without them though). I also tend to stray from it because I’m afraid the writer of it will completely mess up the characters’ personalities and twist the plot a way that will ruin the book’s ending for me.
    As usual, great post! 🙂

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