Fan Fiction. Ever heard of it? I had heard of it before, but had no idea how big the phenomenon really was until I looked it up out of curiosity.
Fan Fiction is when a fan of a movie, story, or some other medium of entertainment, decides to write a story using someone else’s characters. Usually they write about what they would like to see happen, even if it doesn’t match up with what really happens in the “official storyline”. For example: a fan might write about Harry Potter falling in love with Hermoine, rather than Ginny in J. K. Rowling’s series. This story can then be posted for free on the internet where anyone might enjoy reading it. Because no money is involved, this practice is perfectly legal. There are some fan fiction writers who become so well known, they are almost as popular as the real author.
As an author myself, I found this rewriting of fiction an interesting idea. A fan fiction writer reveals what they really wanted to happen in a book rather than what the author wanted. They can be two very different things. You would not believe what I found while doing research on this subject. Almost any book will have fan fiction written about it somewhere. Just try putting your favorite title and the words “fan fiction” and see what comes up. (Warning: not all fan fiction is created equal. Some are well written—others not so much. And there are always weirdoes out there so be careful of content when you do try reading anything.) I loved Trixie Belden series when I was young, so I once tried reading some fan fiction about her. Some of it was just bizarre, but others were so charmingly written they were better than the real thing.
On one website alone I found the following numbers of fan fiction for each of the books listed below:
Sammy Keyes – 70 fan fictions
Inkheart – 334 fan fictions
Ella Enchanted – 448 fan fictions
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - 782 fan fictions
Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew - 807
Percy Jackson Series – 1,143 fan fictions
Sherlock Holmes – 1,242 fan fictions
Series of Unfortunate Events – 1,315 fan fictions
Redwall – 1,591 fan fictions
Warriors Series – 4,536 fan fictions
Phantom of the Opera – 8,764 fan fictions
Lord of the Rings – 41,419 fan fictions
And the Winner is . . .
A certain boy wizard we all know and love with 376,144 fan fictions and growing.
I guess a lot of people feel they can do a better job than most authors can. So, if YOU were going to rewrite a story what would it be?