“There’s a time and place for everything, and I believe it’s called ‘fan fiction.'” ― Joss Whedon.
It is the night, the season 10 finale of the “X-Files.” It is dark outside. You have the lights off, popcorn in one hand, and soda in the other. You are nice and snug in your chair. The only light showing throughout the room is the glow of the television screen. You are glued to it, only taking bathroom breaks during the commercials. Then there it is, the final scene. Mulder in the car and Scully outside of the vehicle, both look up to the great big light beaming down at them, now fade out.
You fall to the floor in shock. You rise to your knees, with fists shaking to the sky, and pray (well, cry out) to the almighty Fox Network, “Why, why? Why have you done this to me?” You are left wondering if there will be a season 11, and then your mind wonders. Thoughts plague your senses. You rush to your laptop, open up Microsoft Word, and type at the speed of light. Words are pouring out from your finger types. No time to check for grammar, not yet anyway. You are done. You run the story through Grammarly for any editing. Re-read it to see what Grammarly missed. You create a cover with Mulder and Scully and upload it to Wattpad, where it takes its place beside your other “X-Files” stories.
For some of you who are wondering what happened above, the person created “Fan Fiction.” Believe it or not, it is here to stay, no matter the legal problems that arise from it. It has been here before any of us were born. According to Ewan Morrison, a writer for The Guardian mentions stories in medieval times of people retellings other stories with similar characters. She talks about how Daniel Defoe claimed amateur writers took from his work. Sherlock Holmes fans in London and New York wrote about Sherlock Holmes. There is even a journal called Baker Street Journal, where fans displayed their stories. Then those in the science fiction world took over. Walt Willis and Bob Shaw created a story based on Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress called The Enchanted Duplicator. Then Star Trek came upon the scene. Jennifer Guttridge created a slash fiction ( the sexual relationship between fictional characters of the same sex) of Spock and Captain Kirk called The Ring of Soshern. We now have fan fiction covering many entertainment platforms, from televisions, movies, bands, songs, and other literature.
I believe we all have indulged in fan fiction, either by writing, daydreaming, or talking amongst our friends and family. I have yet to dip my hands in writing fan fiction, but I have daydreamed about it. The first one was about the original Battlestar Galactica and Starbuck saved me. He raises me as his own. She was close friends with Boxey. With The Dukes of Hazzard, I was a cousin. Misfits of Science I was a misfit. Knight Rider, I was Michael’s daughter. MacGyver, I was Mac’s daughter he did not know about. Kids Incorporated, I was one of the dancers/musicians that actually was in the storylines. Mickey’s cousin, who he left behind after the first season. With The Lost Boys, David had a sister, which the group, minus the head vampire, was protecting.
Now, even into adulthood, my daydreams still re-work the shows I watched. With X-Files, I was Mulder’s little sister. With Highlander, I was also immortal, but a special one. She was raised by Connor MacLeod, until Duncan came along. Raised and trained by both of them. There was also Charmed, there were four sisters, not three, and Page made five. Smallville, Clark was raised with a sister. And there are so many others stories that I have daydreamed about.
What are some of your “fan fiction” daydreams?
Fan fiction is a touchy way of writing. Some authors do not want you to write stories that are included, based on, or inspired by the characters and the world they created. They want you to create your own stories, characters, and worlds and not use theirs. Other authors do not mind if you write fan fiction, just do it tastefully and do not make money from the stories. Why? You do not own the rights. How would you feel if someone was making money off your work and you were getting nothing for it and did not give them permission?
With that being said, there was a safe place where you made money off fan fiction, Kindle Worlds by Amazon. They had legal rights to specific stories and television shows for you to create your fan fiction. But they closed their doors in 2018. Other than that, any fan fiction you create must be for free. You can show off your fan fiction on sites such as Wattpad, Fiction dot net, Fiction Pad, and Coffee House Writers.
Why do people write fan fiction? They could be not happy with how the story turned out. They could not be ready to see someone die. Untold stories of the characters’ past. No matter the reason behind the writing, it is the fact that the person is writing in the first place. Practice makes perfect, and if writing fan fiction gets someone starting in the world of writing, then who am I to stop them. Writing fan fiction sparks the creative mind. Once you start you can start creating your own characters, then soon your own worlds.
Authors and other writers have quotes in the video. The music playing is called The Lost Boys by 69 Eyes. The song is inspired by the movie of the same name. I found it fitting with the topic being ‘fan fiction,’ and the song is a kind of ‘fan fiction.’ I, of course, do not own the rights to the music, nor am I making any money off the song. You can download it off of Amazon.
*Story originally written in 2016