Sentimental yet sardonic (booster17) wrote,
Sentimental yet sardonic

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Neil Gaiman's attitude towards fanfiction

As gacked from his blog:

Hey Neil.

I'm new here and wasn't quite sure where to post this, so I hope this is okay.

Anyway, I've read that you allow fan fiction of your works, and I was curious as to why? Most authors don't allow fanfic because of concern for losing their rights.

I am a fairly new author (just had my first paid publication and am working on a novel) and am wrestling with this particular issue. I'm looking for any input that can help me decide where to go with it.



Why? Because fan fiction is fan fiction. I don't believe I'll lose my rights to my characters and books if I allow/fail to prevent/turn a blind eye to people writing say Neverwhere fiction, as long as those people aren't, say, trying to sell books with my characters in. I don't read it (and that way no-one has to wonder whether I stole the plot of something from their fanfic).

I don't think my attitude on this is particularly uncommon among authors -- I noticed the other day that JK Rowling doesn't mind Harry Potter fan fiction. Except for the x-rated kind. (I'm sure there are people out there writing Harry Potter fan fiction that isn't x-rated). On the other hand I consider it an author's right to not want fan fiction and do everything the author can to stamp it out, if that's what he or she wants. It's one of those "your mileage may vary" things.

As a fledgling writer, I really wouldn't spend too much time worrying that people will write fan fiction with your characters in. If they ever do, take it as a sign that you probably did something right and made some characters that people liked and believed in and wanted to write about. Or wanted to imagine in the nude. Or something.
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