The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

Repeat after me: I am a fan of fiction, but will never write fan fiction.

When Harry Potter turned 30, he decided that he’d had enough of his spell casting days, and crept to the top of the bell tower – remember, in that last crappy fan fiction thing that I wrote, he transported himself to Notre Dame – walked up to the ledge, and cast a spell on himself to end all of his magic. He looked down toward the ground that seemed so far away, and jumped. All the sudden, he felt himself stop, and when he opened his eyes, he was riding the back of Falcor, and Atreyu was staring at him, laughing, and smiling, and gave him a big hug, and promised he’d never let Harry die. 

Repeat after me: I am a fan of fiction, but will never write fan fiction.

No, the writing above is not taken from any fan fiction that I’ve read, but this is basically what every fan fiction piece feels like – at least to me. It’s ridiculous. Why can’t people simply leave characters to their authors, or to the screen writers who take the original pieces, and attempt to not destroy them when translating from page to screen? Is it that difficult to just read a book, and dream of being inside that world? Do people really have to “carry on the story line”?

Repeat after me: I am a fan of fiction, but will never write fan fiction.

We all steal from our favorite authors or essayists or lyricists or whoever it is we carry close to our eyes, or ears. We all make the mistake, once in a while, of writing something that sounds a bit too close to one of our favorite pieces. I made that mistake with my college thesis, and when I found it getting too close to a piece I loved, and I had to stop, rethink the way I was writing, and rework my story line. It was never an option to take the piece I had previously read, and simply insert those characters into the fold.

Repeat after me: I am a fan of fiction, but will never write fan fiction.

I completely understand that we all hit walls. We all lose faith in our own writing. We all pick up books that we love and wonder why we can’t write like that, but we do not have to pick up their characters in order to write. 

Repeat after me: I am a fan of fiction, but will never write fan fiction.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t feel as if fan fiction should even be considered as a marketable venture. Those who write it have no idea where the author of origin wants to take plot, and have no right to change, add, or deplete the story line. People need to learn to write about their own characters, their own plot lines, their own obstacles, and cultures, and settings, and creations, and everything else that goes into a story.

So, repeat after me: I am a fan of fiction, but will never write fan fiction.

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

2 comments on “Repeat after me: I am a fan of fiction, but will never write fan fiction.

  1. sophiebowns
    May 22, 2013

    I love writing fiction, but I agree, I actually find fan fiction a bit creepy!

  2. Jeyna Grace
    May 22, 2013

    Nope, I cant repeat that after you. Haha. I need to write fan fictions for practice. And don’t worry… I’m the kind that tries very hard to follow the originality of the series.

    But I do agree.. it is not marketable.. it should not be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on May 22, 2013 by in COMMENTARY and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,558 other followers

%d bloggers like this: