Someone on OYAN (oh, yes, OYAN! Again!) asked whether fanfiction was acceptable to write for the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum. I, of course, had a bit to say on the subject.

First of all, there are fanfiction sites out there (most reknowned of which is where people write stories like this and post them for the world to see. You can’t publish them, or make money off them, or claim the characters (unless they are original) or the story world as yours. I’m also fairly sure you can’t enter such a story into the OYAN contest, although you may have to check with Mr. or Mrs. S on that. For your OYAN, it is best that you come up with original characters, an original storyline, and an original story world. This will help you in the long run.

(Translation for those of you who are NOT OYANers: You can’t publish fanfiction without permission from the author or their publisher. You will also get in BIG trouble if you claim the story world or canon characters as your own.)

People have had different views on fanfiction. Some say it hurts one’s writing, others say it helps. I think it can do both. If you write fanfiction like I do, mainly for self-entertainment, then I don’t think it can hurt. It’s extra writing experience, extra time spent making characters feel real. You have a template to start with and all you have to do is add a plot and run with it. It’s good for developing good spelling and grammar skills, as well as a consistent writing style (or several, even!). I also use fanfiction as a way to write consistently. If I don’t feel like working on a particular story one day, I open up my fanfiction and work a bit on that. 

However, if you ALWAYS write fanfiction and never come up with anything original, this will hurt your original fiction in the long run. It will sap your imagination. If you write it instead of your original novels, you will find yourself getting lazy and not wanting to work on the things you should. It DOES take up a lot of your time–and why write something you can’t make money off of, some say. All these are things to consider.

So my point here is that while it is a bad idea to write fanfiction for the OYAN curriculum (or for your first “novel”), you can certainly save the idea for later. After you’ve written your first original novel, it will be good writing practice. It will help you write consistently. That’s a good thing.

Peace out, yo.

~Mercia Dragonslayer

PS: I apologize profusely. It appears that I cannot remove the white highlighting… Oops.

About merciatremblac

I'm a junior in college, creative writing major, currently living in the mountains of North Carolina with my best friend for a roommate.
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