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Fan fiction

Derek McMillan

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Fan fiction is similar to an activity all English teachers have tried...."continue this chapter in the style of the author" or more simply "what do you think happens next?" It is now very widespread on the internet. One site is: http://www.fanfiction.net/ and it involves fan fiction around films, cartoons, video games and TV as well as books.

Unsurprisingly Harry Potter tops the list and no doubt JK Rowling finds this flattering...because it is.

Anne Rice OTOH is not fond of fan fiction. She has apparently copyrighted her characters and pursued the writers of fan fiction vigorously - the story that she drank their blood is just a rumour AFAIK :) However, she wrote a trilogy (not one I would use in school!) which is a continuation of Sleeping Beauty so presumably she cannot object to that one as an object of fan fiction.

Amusingly the writing team of Buffy the Vampire Slayer whilst welcoming the fan fiction were forbidden to read it in case they inadvertently used ideas from the fan fiction in the series proper.

As you can tell from this I think it is a good thing...the quality is very uneven but using existing stories as a starting point is a time-honoured method. Was Shakespeare writing "fan fiction" for example ... well a less polite person might actually have called it plagiarism....

Do you have any opinions about fan fiction?

Edited by derekmcmillan
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