The Power of Fanfiction

In the class ‘Harry Potter: The Age of Illusion’ at Durham University, I learnt a lot about the ‘potter-verse’ and all of the different aspects which go into creating the fictional universe, for example; the books, the films, interviews with JK Rowling etc. And the main thing that I took away from the class with this; fanction isn’t all that bad. In fact, our first piece of homework was to read one of our lecturers favourite fanfictions (which can be found here if anyone is interested: Hogwarts Houses Divided). We also looked at ‘drapple’ in class, but that’s another story…

There are a lot of arguments against fanfiction which largely really on the legal standpoint of copyright infringement. But on the whole fanfiction is a pretty great phenomenon because it expands the fictional universe. Let’s face it, we don’t really know a lot about the marauders school days because Rowling didn’t write a great deal about then. But through fanfictions, headcanons, fanart etc we all have a shared idea of what the era was like. (The only large disputes over the era which I’ve seen are about the characterisations of teenage Peter and Snape which, given their actions later in life, is understandable).

Fans are able to pick up a universe and expand it as a community, which is something that even Rowling advocates. And this is why I think that it’s a shame when authors expressly ban fanfiction of their work. Fanfiction.net gives a list of all of the authors who have banned fanfiction which includes;
• Anne Rice
• P. N. Elrod
• Archie Comics
• Dennis L. McKiernan
• Irene Radford
• J.R. Ward
• Laurell K. Hamilton
• Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb
• Raymond Feist
• Robin Hobb
• Robin McKinley
• Terry Goodkind

This is always disappointing because fictional worlds such as that created by Anne Rice through the Vampire Chronicles are perfect for fan expansion. I want to see more interview with the vampire head canons. I want more fan castings (we need them after the terrible castings of the movies of both Interview with the Vampire and Queen of the Damned). I want as many au’s as humanely possible. But alas, the restrictions mean that it isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.

Let me know what you think about fanfiction in the comments. Like me, do you get a bit disheartened when the author limits the potential for fan expansion of their universes or do you think that it’s their choice?

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3 thoughts on “The Power of Fanfiction

  1. zampano

    I always loved to read fan fiction and was mildly upset when authors went after people who created it; however, I have come to realize that the author did create the characters, universe, etc. and the ability to limit it does lie with them, even if I wish they wouldn’t.

    It would be nice if authors would allow non profit making fan fiction, or even if a certain fan’s work became exceptionally popular if the author would allow it to be sold, or used it, as long as royalties were arranged.

    Reply
  2. Jeyna Grace

    I think it’s an author’s choice. If they don’t want fans writing fan fictions, then no one can blame them. I personally would not mind fan fictions, it just goes to show how much your readers love your works. I too, write fan fictions, mainly for practice. It’s a great way to train one’s writing skill.

    Reply
  3. Janey

    Despite the fact that authors have forbidden fanfiction, there are fics out there and I think there always will be. I’ve even read some Vampire Cronicles fan fiction. I figure it’s a thing some writers probably don’t want to read, because as a writer I’m not sure how I’d feel if actually read the fanfiction and that’s why some ban it. They just don’t want to deal with it. I would rather just not know too much lest I find it offensive, unjust to my characters, or wrong.

    Reply

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