OTW Fannews: What fanfic does for writers

Banner by Bremo of a Slaughterhouse Five book cover with falling bombs

  • Two articles examined the value of Amazon’s Kindle Worlds. Slate featured author Hugh Howey. “I had read Slaughterhouse-Five in high school and didn’t really get it. And then a few years ago, I studied the work again, and the story had not just meaning but special meaning…Vonnegut’s didactic work helped me through a similar trauma. With my first work of fan fiction, I chose to use his example of writing about the bombing of Dresden in order to confront my 9/11 experiences—an event I’ve long avoided discussing directly. And what I discovered surprised me. Fan fiction is difficult. More difficult than the dozen or so novels I’d previously written.”
  • Over at MainStreet, Craig Donofrio questioned what Kindle Worlds does for authors. “Another Kindle Worlds author, C.L. Marlene, began writing Vampire Diaries fan fiction for Kindle Worlds last June. It was her first venture into any kind of publishing, and she has written two novels, a novella and a short story since then. While sales have only allowed her ‘a few extra nice dates’ with her husband and gave her ‘a minute bump or two’ for her savings account, her overall experience with Worlds has been positive and she would recommend it to other authors—with the caveat to stay realistic. ‘I’m not expecting this to pay my bills or launch me into a best-selling author list.'”
  • Certainly one way of getting paid for fanfic is writing a fanfic article, as Cora Frazier did at The New Yorker with her Scandal fanfiction where “Olivia Pope Fixes Chris Christie.”
  • The Charleston, South Carolina Post & Courier included fan fiction in the bio of the youngest college student in their area. “Amber went on to skip third, fifth and seventh grades. Fourth-grade was her last full year in a traditional school setting, and after that year, Amber was helping high school students with algebra concepts.” Her writing skills were quickly noted. “Rachel Walker, an associate professor of psychology, taught Amber in a writing and psychology class last semester, and she said Amber was ‘exceptional.’ The class was meant to teach students scientific writing, and Amber grasped concepts that many students find to be challenging, Walker said.”

What has fanfiction done for you? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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