Does everybody know what this is? I only discovered it this summer, and wow, what a surprise. It turns out lots of people are writing original fiction about popular characters from television (e.g. Buffy the Vampire Slayer), movies (Star Wars), fiction (Harry Potter, Twilight), and real life (American Idol). Who knew? The Internet makes it all possible—lots of it is posted on LiveJournal and another site called FanFiction.net but you can find it via Google. Just enter the name of your favorite show or characters along with the words “fan fiction” and you’ll be all set. When I searched for “Twilight fan fiction” the first Google hit was an archive page from FanFiction.net with links to 99,591 stories. That will certainly keep you busy.
I hear that some original creators are more receptive to fan fiction than others. I read that J. K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer are very supportive of their fan fiction writers but that some other authors are less thrilled by it. And I have to wonder what the real life subjects feel about it. Has anyone asked the Jonas brothers, I wonder? Interestingly (and I guess not surprisingly) there’s a whole subgenre of R-rated stories that are extremely popular.
Before you scoff at it, give some of it a try. I have spent a lot of time this summer reading some really creative, really well written stuff.