Fan fiction has been around for a long time, but it has always been in the background. Now that we are in the digital age, it has become very popular. Thanks to blogs, social media and instant sharing, people can share their stories globally.
Fanfiction.net the world's largest fan fiction site, holds up to 600,000 pieces of Harry Potter fan fiction, and nearly 200,000 pieces of Twilight fanfic.
There are also a lot of writers who first started out in the world of fan fiction before writing their own stories.
Some writers think of fanfic as a hobby, while some say it's a form of stealing.
Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, really hates it, and asks her readers not to do it. She says that fanfic writers are "stealing an audience they're not entitled to".
Really, fan fiction is literature, isn't it? Shouldn't writers be glad that their fan base is increasing through fan fiction?
I don't understand why people would label it as plagiarism or copying when the fan fiction content rightfully belongs to the fan writer. And they are most definitely entitled to the readers they earned through their own writing.
Miuccia Chan, Maryknoll Convent School (Secondary Section)
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Miuccia. I love fanfic, and I always support the idea of anything that gets people to write and create.
But, at the same time, I can see the author's point of view. They have done a lot of work to create their universe and characters for their books.
Writers are so involved in the creative process that their books and characters are like their children. Just as any parent wouldn't want to "give away" their child, writers want to keep their stories true to the original. It's not easy for them to watch their characters being controlled by other people, in the first place.
Also, the writer gets no benefit from the fanfic, unless they are running the actual fanfic site.
It must be doubly annoying to watch someone else - the fanfic site - earn money for, literally, nothing.
Perhaps authors would be a bit more willing to give fanfic the nod if they got a cut of the money.
Susan Ramsay, Editor