Fan Fiction: Evolving into Mainstream Media
The visibility of fan fiction has increased since the recent success of Fifty Shades of Grey, but that’s not the only reason fans are slowly but surely surfacing with their modified creations. The truth of the matter is fan fiction has been around for a while, an underground hobby fueled by the anonymity of the Internet that for a while was solely based on fans writing x-rated pieces about their favorite couples that just never seemed to happen.
There’s nothing worse than reading your favorite book, or watching your favorite television show only to become disappointed with the outcome of a storyline. Now, this has no correlation to the writers’ actual ability to… you know, write, but rather our own wishes regarding the outcome of our beloved book, or series.
The legalities that come with writing fan fiction are too complex to write within this one blog post, nor am I a lawyer so the things I write shouldn’t be taken as legal advice, but the way I see it is as long as fans proceed as if their works were labors of love: creations melted and sculpted to fit a different mold from its original content there should be no reason for a lawsuit. There’s also the whole non-profit mumbo jumbo, and a few other things that escape my mind at the moment but my point is how can society discourage devotee’s to write and share their work online when the general consensus of Writers, Producers and Actors are to ‘go for it!’
I, for one, am a huge fan of The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle book series, by L.J. Smith, in addition to their television show counterparts on The CW. What I gathered from countless tweets by The Secret Circle’s Executive Producer and Writer Andrew Miller is that fan fiction is not only welcomed but supported. Through his tweets Miller jokes about the fans of TSC developing the new 50 Shades, and proclaims he’ll have to check the fan fiction to see why a certain character acted the way they did in a previous episode. It seems not only fans are looking to fan fiction to develop ideas, but writers of the series as well.
On The Vampire Diaries front, Matt Davis, who plays Alaric Saltzman on the highly watched series has a Twitter alter ego who writes, get this, fan fiction! His crazy, sometimes smutty interpretation of the show he resides on is without a doubt the talk of the community. If the actors can write an alternate universe based on original content, why shouldn’t the fans? These ‘higher up entities’ encourage their enthusiasts to get creative and write fan fiction, so it now becomes unclear what is socially acceptable in a world of countless copyright and trademark laws.
One thing is clear, the interaction between TV Execs, Authors and Actors has changed since the rise of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. When it comes to public figures such as Andrew Miller, and Matt Davis it has become seemingly easy to chat with them during episodes or on a daily basis, thanks to Twitter. That connection between the shows actors, writers and fans is what makes their shows an even bigger success.
Look at it this way, if a fan is writing a work of fiction it’s usually because that person is a supporter of the original content… free publicity, people! Fan fiction is here to stay, so whether the industry chooses to embrace it or fight its fans is yet to be determined.