Darlings, darlings, darlings! I feel wonderful and reinvigorated. Wine for all! Wine and whiskey and chocolate and men! Well, maybe not men. I've left them all a bit exhausted. But wine and chocolate and whiskey, those I can provide.
If you don't know, I got my start in fan fiction. I know, I know, it's not the most socially acceptable way to go about things… but when have I ever been known to be socially acceptable?
A lot of people take issues with fan fiction, and I can see why. It's not all that marketable, it's not always original, and an awful lot of it ends up in the public eye unpolished. But I don't think at all that these are bad things, to be honest.
Not marketable: let's ignore Fifty Shades. We'll just let that one slide right under the radar. Yes, fan fiction isn't terribly marketable. Obviously, you can sometimes get into shared world or extended universe books, but it's very hard to work with those things.
But does everyone start out writing marketable fiction? Of course not. No one does. Why not fan fiction?
Not original: Let's look at this. Fan. Fiction. It's derivative by nature. That's the nature of the work. Yes, it can be original, in a sense, but there's always a tether to something else. Not to mention that there are only 36 plots in the whole world, no matter the origin of your characters of settings. Deal with it.
Not polished: I have one statement on this. It's the same statement I make on any and all self-published work: a lot of it is unpolished. But a lot of work that is submitted to a 'legitimate house' is also unpolished. We as the reading public simply didn't see it. While I'm a big supporter of editing prior to publication, the fact is that we are, in fact, seeing what would have, before the self-publishing revolution, never made it out. So it's not all that strange, really.
The point is that fan fiction is not inherently evil. Not at all. I might even begin writing it again. Who knows? The idea has been occurring to me lately. If you stick around and subscribe, you may just see something interesting coming out.