Surprise! 5 of Your Favorite Authors Write Fanfiction
At some point the world is gonna wise up and embrace the wonderful world of fanfiction. Did you know Shakespeare borrowed all of his characters and story ideas from other playwrights? It wasn't a secret- it was how the industry worked. What are the histories if not RPF (that's real-person fanfiction, for those out of the loop).
Gregory McGuire took the Wicked Witch of the West and turned her into Elphaba. Plato wrote his Symposium to argue that Achilles and Patroclus were lovers, instead of the platonic friends that Homer depicted in The Illiad. Fanfiction isn't some fringe fad- it's part of who we are. But if all of this is news to you, it might surprise you to hear that some of your favorite writers have been creating transformative fanworks this whole time.
Not only did she write fanfiction, she was actually the epicenter of a giant fandom wankfest in the early aughts. Before she launched her career as a published author, Clare contributed to LOTR and Harry Potter fan communities, and her writing heavily influenced the fandom characterization of Draco Malfoy. While most of her fanworks have been removed from the internet, you can still see a video dedicated to Clare's Very Seret Diaries- a humorous retelling of The Fellowship of the Ring as recounted by Legolas (swipe left on the image above to see it).
Orson Scott Card
For someone with no shame about his homophobic views, it's a little shocking to discover that he too is part of the fanfiction community. And yet, here he is:
"My story "Origins" was set in Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe, and my story "Feed the Baby of Love" was set in Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine universe.... The advantage to fanfiction is that because someone else created the world, your creativity will be focused on character, story, and performance; the disadvantage is that instead of finding worlds and stories inside yourself, you're worshipfully following behind someone whose vision may not be as deep and true as yours."
So I guess that's carte blanche for anyone that wants to rewrite Ender's Game as a gay romance?
The words of the award-winning poet have been appropriated by the Supernatural fandom for years, and Siken has embraced fandom with open arms, writing his own slash fic in the BBC Sherlock community.
"In the driest language possible, I would say that fan fiction successfully undermines the traditional American heteronormative dynamic in ways that can’t be undone. In wetter language, fan fiction sexualizes. It’s transgressive because it suggests the possibility of the erotic. It’s political, because it complicates power structures. And it’s personal, because it grants permission for range of previously unacceptable expressions and interactions. I think my poems enact a space for complicated, multivalent relationships. I think that’s the draw."
Is that too long to get engraved on my tombstone?
Gaiman has written derivative works of H. P. Lovecraft (I, Cthulu), The Chronicles of Narnia (The Problem of Susan), and Sir Arthur Conan Dolye's Sherlock Holmes (A Study in Emerald). So, if you've ever wondered what inspires the author of Good Omens, Stardust, and Coraline, now you know. Gaiman is rarely shy about his influences, and encourages others to be the same way.
"I’m not sure where the line gets drawn — you could say that any Batman fan writing a Batman comic is writing fan fiction. As long as nobody’s making money from it that should be an author or creator’s, I don’t mind it. And I think it does a lot of good."