by Raymond M. Coulombe
Fan fiction is when you take some well known author’s characters and creation and write your own stories in their universe. A lot of people do it.
I sorta kinda get the reason why. Maybe your favorite writer isn’t writing stories with your favorite characters fast enough. Perhaps you want to have them do things the author won’t have them do. Maybe you want a mash up of characters from different universes. That’s were we get things like battles between the Star Wars Star Destroyers and the Star Trek Enterprise. (Okay that sounds kinda awesome, which is why it happens.)
While it might be a fun thing to do, there are better ways for a writer to spend one’s time. No matter how well your story is written, almost nobody is going to publish it. Little things like copyright violations keep editors away. One way around that is to write parodies, but make sure you know the fine line that makes it legal.
My thinking is that if you are going to go through all the trouble of writing, why not create something new? Instead of using someone else’s characters and universe, build your own.
If that sounds like too high a hurtle, do what many other writers do: steal someone else’s characters and usinverse, but change them enough to avoid legal problems. If it wasn’t for Tolkien, we would not have have so many books with elves, dwarves, wizards, and little people. Thanks to the success of Star Wars, we have an awful lot of stories with space battles between empires and rebels.
There’s a big difference between “inspired by” and “copied.”