Why I Don't Write Fan Fiction (And Why You Shouldn't Either)
The first thing I ever wrote, as a precocious little dweeb-girl of 12, was a five page story. I wrote it in a spiral-bound notebook, and it was bad. Really, really bad. If I still had that wirebound notebook, I'd tear those pages out and frame them. I'd hang them on my wall to remind me, every day, that I may not be the greatest writer in the world, but at least I don't suck that bad anymore.
There were a lot of reasons that story sucked. It was full of spelling and grammatical errors. The story itself made little sense. My ability to write a convincing scene wasn't even there yet. But the number one reason it sucked? It was fan fiction. Combining "Star Trek" and "Lost In Space", I managed to insult everyone who wrote a broadcasted story for those two shows, even the guy who wrote "The Great Vegetable Rebellion" for "Lost In Space". I don't know if the guy's alive or dead, but either way, if he saw that story, he'd be spinning in a grave like a top.
Fan fiction, or "fanfic" if you prefer, is a lazy way to write a story. You don't have to describe the characters or try to make them live and breathe as people. Viewers already know who they are and what they look like. Done deal. No effort needed. Just write 'Spock entered the room' and you're done. Everyone knows what Spock looks like and what kind of person he is. You can spend the free time you save by not desccribing anything trying to market the story instead.
You can't market it. CBS currently owns the rights to Star Trek. I'm sure they appreciate that you love Star Trek so much that you want to write stories about it, but they have no obligation to publish it or even read it (and chances are they won't). You can't take it to anyone else, since only CBS can officially do anything Star Trek related. Congratulations. You just wasted the time it took to write it. Throw it in a drawer and forget about it.
Fan fiction is always umarketable. Have you ever seen Fan Fiction made into a movie? If you have, let me know. I'd love to see it. There are thousands of professional writers out there, and a producer is going to go to one of those people to write him a story before he goes to a fan who's never had anything published before. That's because, being professionals, they won't fall into the trap of most fanfic. Especially the sex trap. Most fan fiction is about sex. A LOT of sex. Most fanfic writers actually throw out such annoying little details as a PLOT, just so nothing gets in the way of the sex. Mary Sue is alive and well in most fanfic, showing her bitch ass off. I like to think that I'm an openminded person, but an image of Kirk and Spock gettin' it on is not on my bucket list, thankyouverymuch.
Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite authors, is a popular writer and a huge fan of Doctor Who. He's written some Doctor Who episodes, and since he's a fan, that's technically fanfic, I suppose, but he also has a number of novels, stories, and even comic books under his belt. If he was Joe Blow wandering into the BBC offcies from the street, they would have said "Thank you very much, Neil." and not even bothered to read it. Also as a pro, he wouldn't even entertain a story idea of the Doctor in bed with Rory, unless he played it for laughs.
If you want to write fanfic for your own enjoyment, go for it. But shouldn't you be concentrating on something that you can market and sell? Even if it's poorly done, someone may want to publish your early work to show people how you've grown as a writer. Besides fan fiction, by definition is crap. And the more crossovers you add, the worse it gets. Exponentially. There are exceptions to every rule, and I've read and enjoyed a very select amount of fanfic, but most of it makes me want to poke my eyes out. It's mostly written by beginning writers, who haven't a clue how to write a story yet. Their writing is full of spelling and grammatical errors. They haven't a clue how to structure a sentence or a paragraph, either. It just, by its nature, sucks.
These days, I'd rather write about my own characters and make them into the people I want them to be. Write my own settings. My own stories. All mine.
So I've read fanfic, but as far as most of it's concerned, I wish I hadn't.
Having said that, if you're a Doctor Who fan, here's the best fanfic you're ever going to read
It's called "The Ten Doctors" and it's really, really good.
It's a shame that the talented Mr. Morrison will never make a dime off of 247 pages of pure, comic book genius that he labored almost two years over. But you can read it for free.