Weird Rubbish?

Sarah Rees Brennan has a longish post on having been a fan fiction writer.

When someone is traditionally published after writing fanfiction, they get treated like trash, both by people who think fanfiction is weird rubbish and by people who themselves like to write and read fanfiction.

You can read it here. I post it for my own edification mostly, since my fascination for fan fiction remains ongoing.

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2 responses to “Weird Rubbish?”

  1. asakiyume says :

    Hmm, I’ve heard good things about the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy, but didn’t know that the author wrote fan fiction. Reading the post you linked to feels like coming in on an argument you don’t completely understand–which I guess is the case, for me. I have to say that I don’t think her comparisons to Neil Gaiman work, though: in the cases she cites, Gaiman’s essentially being accused, or asked about, sentence-level plagiarism, and brushing it off or calling it homage. That’s its own problem, but it’s a different problem from being accused of telling basically the same story as some other thing, which I gather from her post is what she’s accused of. (I’ve never seen the show Supernatural, though I’ve heard of it of course.) In other words, people saying, “Oh you’re ripping off Supernatural because you wrote a book about brothers and demons, and that show is about brothers and demons” is different from people saying, “This line in your book actually also appears in this earlier book by this other famous person.” It’s the difference between my using “It is a far, far better thing I do” as a line in my story, unremarked, and writing a whole story whose characters and situation are reminiscent, at least to some people, of A Tale of Two Cities. It may well be that male writers get an easy pass for derivative writing whereas women are dumped on for it, but those examples don’t prove it, because they’re raising a different issue. . . and in any case, the fact that people did raise the unattributed quotes to Gaiman as an issue seems to indicate that people are actually troubled by, and by extension critical of, possible plagiarism in the work of a well-known male author.

    • Justin says :

      I agree. Still, I find it fascinating – not least because one of the books I am reading is a “tie-in” to a brand, yet it wouldn’t be called fan fiction. And when I’m using the phrase “it’s like fan fiction”, I am trying to be very specific as to what I mean by that.

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