Have you heard of “Fan Fiction”? If not, the definition is easy enough to decipher: Fiction written by fans of a given movie/TV Show/game/any-other-cast-of-characters.
Fan Fic isn’t a genre I’ve read much. I’m a big fan of numerous fictional universes (DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Star Trek, etc.) which have corresponding subcultures of fans, but I’ve just never stumbled upon much Fan Fic. That changed recently.
I’ve mentioned on this blog before that lately I’ve been doing some writing about Magic: The Gathering, a strategy card game built on fantasy tropes. (Think of a more awesome version of Lord of the Rings on steroids, and with an extra dose of cool.) The fan community around Magic is one of the strongest I’ve seen. It rivals any comic book subculture fandom I experienced at the LA Comic Con, the Motor City Comic Con, or during my days selling comics at our local store. A big part of the Magic community is taking the characters of the game and making them “more real” through art, stories, costumes, and even jewelry.
One writer and Magic enthusiast who writes for the same site I do, MJ Scott, has her own Fan Fic blog. It’s on her blog that my first Fan Fic story is posted. It’s called “The Demon Inside” and it stars one of my favorite characters in the game, a leonin mage named Ajani Goldmane. It’s also a “Flash Fiction” piece that I wrote after my buddy Josh encouraged me to write more Flash Fic.
I’m guessing that some of you may think all of this is pretty stupid. Am I right?
I’m guessing that some of you may think things like: Why waste your time writing a short story about a game? Or Why waste your time writing something that will clearly never be read beyond the niche community who cares about it?
Here’s my brief defense of Fan Fic. My experience writing it has:
- Been a lot of fun.
- Given me more exposure to new readers.
- Connected me with another fiction writer who read and edited my material.
- Forced me to think about writing a character within a fictional “canon” – not an easy task.
- Allowed me to discuss something that’s bigger than the game, and bigger than fiction itself – wrestling with feelings of injustice / vengeance in our lives.
I’m sure there are more good reasons to write Fan Fic, but those are the things that jump to mind now.
So my questions for you:
- Have you ever read Fan Fiction? What was it?
- As a writer (or reader) do you think Fan Fiction is a waste of time, just a writing exercise, or a legitimate genre in itself?
- If you were to write Fan Fic, what would it be about?
Now my friends, go and write. And have loads of fun doing it.