Definition : Fanfiction is when someone takes either the story or characters (or both) of a certain piece of work, whether it be a novel, tv show, movie, etc, and create their own story based on it. Sometimes people will take characters from one movie and put them in another, which is called a cross-over.
How I became interested in this topic is because a young woman, a fan of Harry Styles and the One Direction band wrote stories about them. She wrote fan fiction about Mr. Styles using his name and the other band members drawing a huge crowd to her site. This woman has received a six figure contract with Simon and Schuster for a book titled After.
Here is the premise of the book: The synopsis is just as vague and dirty as one could imagine. According to the After Table of Contents on Wattpad.com, the story follows thusly: "Tessa Young is an 18 year old college student with a simple life, excellent grades, and a sweet boyfriend. She always has things planned out ahead of time, until she meets a rude boy named Harry, with too many tattoos and piercings who shatters her plans."
Harry Styles is, of course, the Harry in question. Other members of One Direction make appearances in the story as well.
At this point, there hasn't been a comment made by Harry Styles or One Direction. I forgot to mention that the book is going to be turned into a movie. Many of Harry Styles and One Directions are very upset by this depiction of him and the band even though it's fiction. Some fans have turned away from the group because of this book assuming the story is factual.
Fifty Shades of Gray was written as fan fiction for the Twilight series and made it huge.
More information can be found on the links below.
These authors of fan fiction might need to read the copy right law of 1976 because they could get into serious trouble. The rights belong to the author to make any changes to her work she/he wants to. Some authors have encouraged fan fiction writers because most of them never get published.
While many authors and television show writers such as J.K. Rowling and Joss Whedon have supported fan fiction, in that they have even hosted contests for fan fiction, these same writers have also later brought copyright lawsuits against writers of fan fiction. Returning to the Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling initially was supportive of fan fiction writers, in particular, the Starkid Productions’ A Very Potter Musical franchise. However, Rowling was also surprised by the amount of sexually explicit fan fiction written about her characters. She took action against specific writers of “smut” while remaining silent against other derivative works such as James Potter, a series concentrating on the future generations of the Potter universe. An author has a right to protect her work but what does it mean when an author chooses to prosecute a particular type of writing while allowing and encouraging others? Unfortunately for writers of fan fiction, it is unclear and the power remains with the author of the originating work.
More can be found at this link on this topic: http://lawblog.usfca.edu/internetjustice/2013/fan-fiction-and-copyright-law/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_issues_with_fan_fiction
Do you see anything to be concerned about with fan fiction, or do you think it's okay?
Thank you for reading. Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.
Sandra K. Marshall, Author@ Eirelander Publishing