Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fanfics and Inspiration

Since the subject seems to have come up in the recent past, I wanted to take a moment and mention where I stand on the issue of appropriating fan fiction to make, publish, and sell an original story.  (I'm not talking about any particular authors out there.  Honestly, the number of other m/m genre authors I've actually read can be counted on one hand, and I can't make judgments on works I haven't read.  The ones I have read don't seem to be relevant to this post.)

I like to create stories in many different genres, so I knew surprisingly little about the m/m genre before contracting my first short story and novel.  For example, I didn't know that most m/m readers and writers are female.  I also didn't know that many m/m writers used fan fiction as a starting point for their stories.

Like so many writers, I've been making up original characters in my head since my elementary school days.  Now, I probably worry more than I should about whether my works are "original" enough.  Any time I see a character in another story or movie or TV show that's similar to one I've created, I have a mini heart attack and start considering whether I need to change my story.  From an artistic standpoint, I've even scrapped entire character designs after coming across others that I felt were too similar.  I may still fail, and in the end my stories may not feel more original to a reader than something that started as a fanfic.  The reader might prefer the fanfic over my story.  But alas, that's the way I like to do things.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that other writers can do whatever they want, and I won't join in any efforts to metaphorically lynch them if I happen to not write the same way they do.  I really have no qualms about how other people decide to write.  And if it works for them and they have a good finished product that reads as original, why should I complain?  But I will guarantee that none of my work comes from fan fiction.  For better or worse, 100% comes from my own backwards, scrambled, upside-down mind.

(on a side note, I plan to describe the origins of each of my stories in future blog posts, preferably when it's not 3am...)

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