Fan Fiction: The Impact of a Fan-made Genre Essay

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What if Darth Vader had been one of the rebels as opposed to the face of the Empire? What if Huckleberry Finn’s story had continued, and detailed his ambitions of running west to Indian territory? What if the story of King Arthur and his knights had taken place in the future as opposed to the past? Questions such as these have been asked for as long as people have been reading for entertainment. Very rarely are questions such as these answered by the authors of the work, meaning that, if a reader is to have an answer, they have to create one themselves. This is why fan fiction was created, and why it continues to hold popularity among fans of the works it is based upon. Fan fiction, while being an entertaining and engaging form of…show more content…
A good general definition of fan fiction is “an amateur-written story that is either set in the same setting as a popular work and/or it involves characters from a popular work” (Thompson). Saying this, however, can also be a bit misleading, for, although fan fiction is generally “amateur” in nature, it isn’t necessarily not as good as its original source material. While some fan fiction may be written by beginner writers who can barely string a plot together, much more of it is created by serious individuals who know what they are doing, and indeed, it is quite possible to find fan fictions that are on par with professional writers. With an idea of what fan fiction truly is, its history before, and including the internet can be delved into. While it could be said that fan fiction has probably been around for as long as people have been writing fiction, a definite beginning that can be easily seen, and pinpointed, is in and around the 18th century (Edwards-Fox). These first fan fictions, which were published in newspapers and magazines included sequels to works such as Robinson Crusoe, and continued on with more stories of Oliver Twist and Alice in Wonderland (Edwards-Fox). The practice of publishing fan fiction, however has been brought to an end by the creation of copyright laws, in order to protect an author’s rights.
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