I Love Star Trek… I Think I’ll Write Some Fan Fiction, And I’ll Need Some “Critiques” Before I Publish

These days anyone who watches a favourite show or movie will likely have heard about fan fiction.  Simply described, fan fiction takes the characters that you love and puts them in a new situation, not created by the original production team.  If you have a favourite movie or show, and you spend time on the Internet, you will find a lot of writing out there.  Unfortunately, not all of it is good.  We’ve said it before: not everything you write can and should be published.  

There isn’t a problem with fan fiction. It has been around for a long time, and most people are simply writing for the love of their show or book.  

One of the most popular books ever published if Fifty Shades of Grey.  It is intriguing to note that it was originally a fan fiction spin-off the Twilight series.  However, that being said, most fan fiction is never published as such; it is published online.  A lot of the time it is done with various characters in mind, or even some form of crossover between shows and movies.  Most authors know their characters and the plots, but there is a lot of leeway with what one can write about, almost anything goes with this modern fandom.

Although most authors know about their fandom, almost all of them have one thing in common.  Authors don’t like critiques — or at least bad critiques.  There are a few who say that they want to receive some sort of review, but what they really mean is that they want praise.  Do not suggest to these writers that they might have made a mistake, or that something went sideways in their plot or character development.  Most authors long for a happy ending, and even if all signs in their own writing points otherwise, nothing in a constructive critique will change their minds.

More than a few examples of this can be found online.  You simply need to go and look at the comments or author notes where the phrase “‘c/c’ (constructive critiques) are welcome”, and should anyone tell them it doesn’t make sense, or it seems that it’s not going the way they have said it would go, or that there are a lot of mistakes, many authors will either choose to ignore that commenter or lash out in defence because it is “my writing.”  The problem is not the commenter but rather the writer.  They have written the happy ending for the couple, or even the death of a particular character, but they also want the ego boost of having someone read their work because, with time and attention spans being as limited as they are, most people will not read a lot of books.

Most writers will agree that critiques are needed and fan fiction is not the place to do so.  Most of these writers simply want to have work out there, and aren’t ready for it to be published anywhere…. or so they say.

When the writer seems to take comments or views to heart and suddenly change their plot, or character, they are after the fans of the fan fiction.  They want to do exactly what E.L. James did with her books.  In fact James, made that happy ending that almost every fan wants in her own series.  What was written for passion or love of a particular show, is destroyed for money.

We are all guilty of not wanting to hear negative critiques of our writing to begin with, but there is only one way to improve what we have created, and that is to accept that others have taken the time to read the work you have done.  You can’t fix things if you don’t want to.  It’s the challenge of fan fiction, they want to fix something or show gratitude, but they also don’t want to be told that the “art” they are doing needs fixing.  If they do this, then one day, the ones who want to become published authors will have that chance.

One Comment

  • Jeremy Crow

    I remember getting a copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" about a month before the book came out. I read it, and realized that it was a bit racy to be a Harry Potter book. Yes I was duped by fan fiction that had been passed off as an advanced copy. It was a good mistake though because I have since become a fan of the genre of fan fiction. You hit the nail on the head though. Most of it is not very good, but some of it is treasure especially if the original author has given up on characters that you grew to love 🙂

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