I recently completed a piece of non-flashy flash-fiction with journal publication in mind. But when I came to consider which journals (I use Duotrope to manage this process, how about you?) I became lost. I could not get a grasp on what genre it might fit in. We must fit into a genre mustn’t we?
I knew only that it was fiction! But when I tried various search criteria on Duotrope the one common theme I was noting was the term ‘Fan Fiction’. I eventually had to ask myself ‘is my piece fan-fiction?’ No, first I had to ask myself ‘what is fan-fiction?’. Now certainly the clue is in the name – it is not hard to work out but I knew all the same there would be a dry academic well resourced explanation for it and I ought to familiarise myself with it seeing as I may have created some of it without my knowing what I had been up to.
So I inevitably hit Google and it inevitably hit Wikipedia.
They began their explanation with
a broadly-defined fan labor term for stories about characters
or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator.
So they begin their explanation with another term ‘fan labor’ which also needs further explanation. But anyway it is clear enough. And they go on:
Works of fan fiction are rarely commissioned or authorized by
the original work’s owner, creator, or publisher;
also, they are almost never professionally published.
Brilliant! I have likely created a piece with no monetary value!
I can understand though the complicated copyright involved. I can understand too how the original author may not like at all what someone else has done with one of their characters, their creation, their child. Yes that’s it – a fan-fiction writer is more often than not viewed as an unsuitable suitor for the creator’s son or daughter!
So such fiction now usually resides on fan-sites or blogs. It may be spurned but only by the literary establishment.
On Wattpad for example it is one of their most popular genres. Some of it is like a coming-of-age, marriage-wish fulfilment to the latest pop-star sensation. One such, One Direction, who are one of those boy bands who look like they have freshly-stepped out of a clothes catalogue, and in particular their lustrous-locked lead singer Harry Styles – have reams of fan-fiction devoted to them. Some of it has millions of views and thousands of comments. Imagine, yes imagine!
However One Direction are a current flavour of the month in the pop-world whereas the subject of my fan-fiction is a modestly watched US procedural legal drama The Good Wife. I am guessing one of the drivers of readers to fan-fiction is the subject’s popularity rather than an interest in the quality of the prose itself. The fiction will not be making the subject popular, rather the subject will be making the fiction popular. No matter.
But this post serves also has a disclaimer. If you have never watched The Good Wife then my piece may well be of no sense let alone interest to you. But I do feel it works as a standalone piece and that even with no knowledge of the show it could still be enjoyed.
If you would like to read it then please click on its title’ Your Own Boss?’ where you will be directed off WordPress to Wattpad.