Why write fanfiction?:
Thou errant flap-dragon!
This seems to be a lot of fun for some people, but I never got into it, for some reason. So, why do you find it enjoyable, personally? Do you feel that it is a good exercise when you can use other people's characters and settings and focus on just making a story? Or is it a just for fun thing?
A little bit of both. More for the lulz, though.
The few fanfics I've worked on never use and barely mention any pre-established characters, so I guess for me it's more for the fun of writing in those settings.
Cry for the moon!
For the porn. That's my reason, anyway.
Runs on Awesomeness
All of the above. First few chapters of my fic were pure smut with little plot besides "Naruto's gone bad," and he was swiftly killed off in favor of a more original villain. Not a good idea in retrospect. I tend to overuse original characters, but I like the mechanics behind certain worlds, so it's fun to play in them.
No one believes me when I say angels can turn their panties into guns.
Writer's Welcome Wagon
I wrote Kira Is Justice because I liked the series, I wanted to use the characters and the setting, and I wanted it to stand out.
My reasons are usually because I like the series, the setting, the characters, or all of the above. More often than not, though, I wanted to create an entirely new situation and see how the canons would act/react in it, because, as you know, canon storylines rarely do what you want them to do. Fanfictions are also very good for finding cut-out scenes in the original story and explore them. Or they are the readers' attempts to make sense of various present fridge logics in the plot. And of course, self-inserts. Luckily there are less of those now. I think.
edited 5th May '11 4:55:30 PM by TurnTable
The local bard
Because it's fun. I use fanfiction to figure out why characters are how they are, how they'd react to certain circumstances, and occasionally to address plot-holes.
Like most young authors, I got into writing through fanfiction. I remember, when I was as young as eight years old, trying to rationalize the more ridiculous aspects of the Pokeverse using an OC who was a classic, unspeakably beautiful teenage Jerk Sue. All of my fanfiction ideas centered around trying to rationalize all of the really weird, handwaved aspects of Pokemon and trying to figure out exactly how Pokemon gijinkas would work. None of my fics ever used canon characters; they used a myriad of realistic OCs who challenged the very framework of Pokemon. Most of them found battling unethical, and my main scientist character found the Pokemon Professors (or the "Tree Professors" as he called them) to be a bunch of idiots. Because that's just what they'd say about those. This was actually my main work until very recently. About a month ago, I realized that I made a fantasy world that was large and varied enough to stand on its own without help from Pokemon. My characters are more suited for my world than Pokemon now. So, in a nutshell, I was compelled to write fanfic to help answer handwaved questions about the story's world that just bothered me and made no sense.
if a node is red, its children will be black
There are a couple different reasons I've written fanfic, and they vary between series. For a number of series, I've written fanfic for the before-mentioned reason that I fell in love with the setting and wanted to play around in it and expand it more. For others, it's because I loved the characters and wanted to play with them and see more of them, or because there were holes I wanted to fill in (not necessarily Plot Hole-type stuff, but characters lacking backstory), or because I wanted to explore the implications of certain parts of the 'verse (that one in particular being a horrifying Monster Rancher Dark Fic that will never see the light of the Internet), and in at least one case, because a dream compelled me to.
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
I am vexed!
Maid of Win
Usually it's that I find the fictional universe extremely immersive, and I get a kick out of exploring areas or concepts that are mentioned but not elaborated on— I usually write Elsewhere Fic with original characters who interact heavily with the world but only occasionally run into canon characters. I'm terrible at creating my own universes, too, so it gives me a chance to outline and write without having to worldbuild. But I'm trying to improve that, so I've decreased my fanfic output considerably.
edited 5th May '11 6:52:30 PM by Ronka87
Thanks for the all fish!
Grin and bear it
Awww, everyone took my reasons. I think that some people (certainly not the majority) do it because they think they can do better than the original creators can/did. It's not a good reason, but I'm sure that's why you see some long-ass diatribes about how the creators have "lost their focus" and "no longer do good work". They make me lol.
I find that my characters tend to be.. not as detailed, not as diverse, not as imaginative as pre-made ones. I can make plots and settings just fine; it's the characters I need.
Let me make you a mean cup of coffee. (Avatar by Rappu!)
I should actually rephrase what I said above. I don't write fanfic in the sense most people people use it as - about shows or books I like. I do, however, write a fair bit of flavor material for the science fiction 4X games I play, consisting of in-character AARs and various bits of background fluff along the lines of what's been written for Sword of the Stars (said game's fluff being the main reason I play it, actually - I'm sort of 'meh' on a lot of the mechanics, but it's incredibly immersive). I've never written any fanfiction in the sense of a story or such, but I would say this counts. As for why I do this... well, partially it's because, even in those games that have campaigns or other continuing stories, it's still in the background enough that I don't feel like I'm stealing other people's work like I would with "normal" fanfiction. And partially, it's because there tends to be just enough Backstory that I have something to work off of, but not enough that I have to disregard some canonical material for my own additions. Basically, though, I find this sort of thing fun to do.
Street Writing Man
I don't, for one very specific reason... I once used Mercedes Lackey's world for an RPG setting, and some very cool characters resulted. I thought "hey, this is why Fan Fic exists, right" and dove into writing up the story. After all, it fleshed out a part of her world that she hadn't done much to and toyed with a lot of themes her (up to that point) works hadn't touched on. Before I could finish my work, a new series of hers came out. Which pretty much mirrored what I was doing with my story. And I realized; the best a Fan Fic author can hope to do is emulate the original creator. Taking that to its logical extreme (as I had happen with my story), the best that can occur is thinking of something before the actual author does. And the only thing that will come of such a mis-timed inspiration is a fucking lawsuit. Yeah, I refuse to write fan fiction. I'll carve my own eyes out with a goddamn melon baller before I'll work in anyone's world other than my own. Why? Because I want my creative efforts to matter, and that won't happen while I'm playing in someone else's sandbox.
If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed. ~Cora M. Strayer~
Although I've never written fan fiction, I often make mini fanfics in my head, mainly to rationalize the setting and/or to have the plot take a direction it could have, but never did. But I never thought of seriously doing one, because I'm too egoistical to write something that can't be called completely mine.
There's no reason a fanfic can't matter to the fans. Heck, I consider the Tangled fanfic "What You Don't Know" to be a legitimate follow-up to the movie, even if it is somewhat... tonally different. But it's very in-character, very heartwarming, and very funny, so even if it's not official, it matters to me.
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
Mostly, to explore the 'what if's, the possibilities that the original work did not or could not explore. Most fans have times when they say to themselves 'Hey, wouldn't it be interesting if...'. Fanficcers, meanwhile, have a go at 'writing'' that, since nobody else is going to do it for them.
What's precedent ever done for us?
I heard that fanfiction is more likely to get you a job as a screenwriter than original fiction, since good fanfiction means you can write in someone else's setting effectively. Personally, I've tried writing fanfiction a few times just to develop my skills, but the story either dies or turns into original fiction every time. I don't seem to have the right kind of talents to write in a setting I didn't create myself.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
Because it's fun! And it's a good way to tell what works and what doesn't, on the broadest level possible! And most authors don't care or are downright flattered. I would certainly allow the half-dozen fans I would have once I get published to play in my sandbox. One, if I didn't then they're going to do it anyway, just secretly. Two, it would be hypocritical if I didn't.
edited 6th May '11 8:52:20 AM by Leradny
Prince of Dorne
Well since only a very small minority of us are professional writers I think, the reason any of us writes something is "for fun". And I do think writing fanfiction is fun. For one, and I fully admit it, it's easier. I think I can do worldbuilding, but I always lose myself in it, making thousands of notes but no story. Having an established world provides a neat framework, which allows me to focus on the story... and that just is a problem for me, normally. Besides, and probably more important is that some 'verses simply are great, and hence writing in them is fun. It's hence kinda like cherry picking, I guess...
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken. Unrelated ME1 Fanfic
My teacher's a panda
At first, I didn't like fanfiction either. It was probably because the first fanfiction I've ever had was just plain awful, and I hardly think it was written by a true fan. A lot of my favorite characters being killed at random and in horrific ways for no logical reason. It just turned my off to fanfiction in general. I couldn't think about reading a fanfiction without cringing. And writing fanfiction just felt intimidating. I would always be concerned about whether I'm portraying the character exactly the way they were written in the show, and writing plots that only fit the nature of the show. Nowadays, I'm more relaxed about fanfiction and actually find them kind of enjoyable. Although I haven't yet written a piece of fanfiction yet, I now find myself wanting to, and already have a few ideas. For me, I think the draw is to take characters and settings you love and play with them in unique ways. I think it would be great to take one set of characters and place them in a different setting, and maybe interacting with other characters from another show and see what happens. Also, I think it'd be interesting to change the physics of the world, or place the characters in another genre and see how they change. One idea I've had is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover in which I take several pairs of characters from several of my favorite shows and have them competing against each other in an Amazing Race style reality show. I've written a small portion of it so far, and the results are amusing.