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Sentimental yet sardonic [userpic]

Neil Gaiman's attitude towards fanfiction

June 13th, 2004 (09:06 am)
lethargic

current mood: lethargic

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.

Thanks.


domynoe



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.

Comments

Posted by: Anne (norwegianne)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 03:54 am (UTC)

Interesting. I've noticed that there is a very wide variety of attitudes amongst writers regarding fanfiction. (And probably even more when the publishers enter the picture.)

Nora Roberts was asked on her messageboard if she had anything against it, seeing as fanfiction.net has banned fics with her works (both as Nora Roberts, and J. D. Robb) but she said she won't read it, but have nothing against people writing fanfiction.

The thing is that there are authors fanfiction.net will ban works by now, since the NC-17 rule came into effect that they wouldn't have banned before, because their work would probably fall into the R rating, if not NC-17 if the books had ratings on them... Probably Laurell K. Hamilton is one of these, regardless of how she feels about it.

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.

He really caught onto why so many of us write fanfiction.

Posted by: Wannabe Quincy (dangermonki)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 05:31 am (UTC)

Neil Gaiman is my hero. Where's his blog?

Posted by: Sentimental yet sardonic (booster17)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 06:09 am (UTC)
Fred Bend over [Lil Amy]

I am feeling particularly malevolent today, so : http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/journal.asp

Posted by: Andrea (fiannan)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 06:16 am (UTC)

*snickers*

I don't know whether to laugh, or chastise your cruelty.

Still love them badgers :)

Posted by: Sentimental yet sardonic (booster17)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 06:25 am (UTC)
subtext [jidabug]

Hey, 'tis the match today, after all.

And fair warning was given in the header. :)

Posted by: Andrea (fiannan)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 06:34 am (UTC)

True, true :)

Posted by: Andrea (fiannan)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 05:46 am (UTC)
i write therefore i am

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).

What, there's actually HP fan fiction out there that ISN'T smut? :P

In all seriousness, it's nice to see another writer who's happy to let us dabble in his worlds - or, as he himself said, put his characters "in the nude". Good bloke.

Posted by: Sentimental yet sardonic (booster17)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 06:31 am (UTC)
HP femmeslash

Non-smut HP?

Non-smut HP?

No, sorry.... not following you.

Posted by: Andrea (fiannan)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 06:38 am (UTC)

You know, fan fiction that doesn't have Ginny and Draco, or Harry and Snape if you're into that thing, shagging like rabbits. Apparently it's out there somewhere. Or so I've heard.

And I refuse, refuse to look at that icon of yours (again).

Cho and Ginny? Traitor! :)

Posted by: Wannabe Quincy (dangermonki)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 06:46 am (UTC)

I've heard rumors that it's out there, but I think it's like Big Foot. Some people try to put out some false proof, but for the most part it doesn't exist.

Posted by: Sentimental yet sardonic (booster17)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 07:09 am (UTC)
Faith/Garbage 1 [foxglove_icons]

Does this count?

Posted by: Wannabe Quincy (dangermonki)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 02:11 pm (UTC)

Hahaha that was funny

Posted by: Sentimental yet sardonic (booster17)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 02:19 pm (UTC)
Boromir shiny [houses7177]

I try.

:)

Posted by: CaptainBoulanger (captboulanger)
Posted at: June 18th, 2004 03:45 pm (UTC)

Actually, there's quite a lot of non-smut HP fanfic out there. Most of mine, for example, doesn't even *have* pairings.

Posted by: Andrea (fiannan)
Posted at: June 18th, 2004 11:29 pm (UTC)

In truth, I'm well aware of the existence of non-smut HP. My comment simply stemmed from the fact that I'm more personally interested in the "steamier" stuff. Once I didn't even READ smut, let alone write it, though I think I always sought out (and yes, wrote) fandom with my favourite pairings in it. It's a weakness I have :P

Posted by: Spectacularly Adequate Empress (empressvesica)
Posted at: June 13th, 2004 02:06 pm (UTC)
Bored (mine)

Or wanted to imagine in the nude. Or something. Okay - that's it. I shall now have to run off and become a full-fledged Gaimen fangirl - though I think I will skip the dressing in all black (unless it's a really high class fabric with impressive jewelry).

Damn you! 'Cause you know I needed to turn into more of a comic book geek. ~EV

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