Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Case For Fan Fiction

I attended a literary (i.e. not genre fiction) book camp last weekend. One of the hot buttons there was fan fiction. Is it good or bad, legal or illegal?

I think it is a great place for aspiring-to-be-published writers to start. No, I wouldn't publish my fan fiction (that's copyright infringement, writers own their characters) but it is a wonderful learning tool.

There are an overwhelming number of things a writer must learn before she can write a publishable story. If we can borrow a world and then concentrate on plot or character growth, it can make those first writing exercises more manageable.

I borrowed fairy tales when I started writing romance. I would write a beauty and the beast story set in the wild west or I would set a story in Snow White's world and have the wicked witch be the heroine or I would swap the prince and princess roles. Leaning on these crutches allowed me to write full stories yet these stories had the focus of a writing exercise.

Once I had a handle on the components of a good story, then I put them all together in a completely original story. That one wasn't publishable because putting the components together is also a skill to be learned. The next two stories weren't publishable either (I was a slow learner). The fourth one was Breach Of Trust.


Every month, Kimber Chin gives away her favorite romance eBook read the month before. To enter, visit