When I was fourteen, I wrote quite a bit of fan fiction devoted to my favorite video game, EarthBound for the Super Nintendo. Was it good? No, but that was largely a product of my inexperience and the lack of effort I put into it. Can fanfiction be good? Of course it can. But should you write fanfiction?
If you are a fan of something, yes, of course you can create fanfiction. If your fanfiction is interesting, it can attract the attention of many other ardent fans. However, it won’t attract the attention of a publisher because of issues of copyright. Fanfiction is, by nature, underground fiction.
So, should you spend your time writing fanfiction? Well, that depends. Why do you write? If your ambition is to create an original vision, then no. If your goal is to get published, to interact in literary circles, to be taken seriously by people with MFAs, then no. Writing fanfiction is a waste of time if the latter or the former are your reasons for writing. However, if you write simply because you love writing and connecting with readers (as the latter groups do as well), but aren’t too concerned with originality or all the trappings of a writer’s lifestyle, then go ahead and write fanfiction.
What are your thoughts on fanfiction? Do you think fanfiction can have literary merit? Have you ever composed any fanfiction?