My good friend Amy Claire Thompson recently wrote a blog post for the Literary Den called In Defense of Fan-Fiction. We all rather liked it; she's started a good conversation, which we used to have all the time on the forum, and she's gotten some attention from the outside world.
Unfortunately, it's not been very good attention. There's a blog that's been discussing Amy's post and regarding it with a certain level of disdain. They don't believe fan-fiction needs defending... they're obviously not looking at it from an outsiders point of view. Now, Amy has written fan-fic in the past, but she's gotten over it, and so she can look at it from both sides of the line. Her readers, however, look at it as writers of fan-fiction. Apparently they don't think she needs to point out that there's actually a good side to fan-fiction, if you know where to look.
See, they're all pretty pissed off that Amy chose to defend it in the first place. Either you get it or you don't, apparently. Now, I don't want to cause a protest, but there are lots of things you get or you don't that generally don't require defending because they're designed to be a certain way - horror doesn't require defending, because generally horror filled with blood and gore or indeed lacking it but still being scary, that's still horror and we expect it to be that way; erotic fiction is written to be a turn on, if you're into that sort of thing, and as such is filled with all the sorts of... nouns that you expect to find in its pages; gay and lesbian fiction is marked as thus to avoid confusion with erotic fiction readers (just saying).
And you know what else? People get or don't get all of these things. Some completely avoid any genres, going for regular old Literary Fiction. Now, a lot aren't afraid to admit to their particular snobbery. Brendan and Sam from the Den have just come out and said they are writer snobs, because anything other than Literary Fiction won't do... Not everyone gets it, because there are people who just love genre.
All of these things do exactly what they say on the cover. Fan-fiction... not so much. It's fiction written by fans, yes, but it can take the form of anything! It's deceptive in that way, and can result in reader disgust when they find that lovely Harry Potter fan-fic turning into something devious and vile. So.. that doesn't need defending? The whole system of fan-fiction doesn't need defending? If it's simple enough to make these accusations (because let's face it, I'm not the most controversial blogger out there, and I certainly don't over think my blogs, and even I can write about how bad fan-fiction can be).
So, did Amy deserve all the stick she got? Certainly not! She's just expressing her opinions and actually standing up for an area of writing that gets far too much stick than she thinks it deserves.
And while I'm on the topic of fan-fiction... you can't publish it, because it's illegal; not just adults read and write it, so it should be strictly divided into adult and children's fan-fiction (two people claimed on the Den to have written Harry Potter fan-fic as 11 year olds - send them to the wrong place and wham! Their childhoods are over!); fan-fiction can be a load of drivel, but it's not alone. There, I've said it - actual fiction, not the regurgitated images of other people's creation (or other people...) can be rubbish. Take Twilight for example - it's Stephenie Meyer's sexual fantasy (she clearly says it was a dream and she clearly describes Bella Swan as being a younger version of herself) and it's what we like to call Thesaurus Rape (I can't quite recall who else is a member of this "We" of which I speak...)
Now, who thinks fan-fiction needs defending?