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Why I Hate Fan Fiction
by Megan Larson

The reason I hate fan fiction isnít so much based on the fact that most of what is out there is pure Mary Sue driven crap, although this is certainly true. Keep your Legolas or Harry Potter fantasies to yourselves, people Ė we all know the new character they suddenly fall for is you.

I also donít hate fan fiction because of the writers themselves. Itís not like people wear signs on their foreheads proclaiming their membership to a certain fan fiction group (although wearing a shirt with iron-on pictures of Orlando Bloom with little pink hearts would definitely be a clue). Heck, some of my best friends write fan fiction. I just donít read it.

Also, I donít hate fan fiction because I havenít ďfound the right oneĒ. Iíve been linked to many, including the infamous Cassandra Claire. I still donít read it. So please, stop writing out that email to me with the links and affirmations towards ďteh best fan fic EVAR!!!Ē.

No, the reason I hate fan fiction is because it is a cop-out. Writing a novel from scratch takes a lot of patience, research, and time. In fan fiction, everything is pre-made for you; you just add your own voice to what someone else created. It is a lot like playing with dolls or action figures. Barbieís world, her dream house, and her corvette already exist. All you do is decide if Barbie is going to go to work or marry one of her friends instead of Ken.

Some say this sort of thing promotes creativity. Wouldnít creating your own story, world, and characters do that more, as well as give you the sense of pride youíd get from creating something as amazing as your own novel?

Although no doubt someone long ago paired themselves with Achilles for one of the first fan-driven stories, I wonder if television, the Internet, and microwave meals are partly to blame for this element of culture. Certainly the Internet has helped fans connect to each other, besides being a virtual breeding ground for fandoms. One look at some of the LiveJournal communities out there is proof. And in this fast, hurry-up world we are currently living in, fan fiction is much faster than creating your own story.

Also, in a way, fan fiction ruins the original story. The large subset of slash fiction helps to prove this point. Can anyone honestly say that they will ever look at Tolkienís original words the same way after reading a Boromir/Frodo story? And if C.S. Lewis were alive to know what was going on with his beloved Narnian charactersÖ well, letís just say he wouldnít be happy. Reading fan fiction can sometimes kill your observations, ideas, and thoughts that you had come away with during the reading of the original work. Instead of enhancing the story, fan fiction can quickly dilute the quality.

If I ever became famous for my writing, I would hope they were never used by fan fiction writers. While it might be flattering, I love my characters. I raised them, moulded them, and made them a part of me. The same with the worlds I write about. While I enjoy sharing them for reading, they are mine to build a house on, or ride through on a stallion. Perhaps Iím selfish. But like many other writers, I write for me, not for the fans.

Some say fan fiction writers are misunderstood and ill-represented by the aforementioned Mary Sue writers. Possibly. But the one thing they all have in common is an (healthy or not) addiction to another personís works. No matter the level of writer, it seems that fan fiction will inevitably become a part of many peopleís lives, whether reading, writing, or, well, complaining about it.

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