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  1. #1
    02 KLH
    Guest

    a sticky question

    Ah, I'm aware that what I'm about to mention is the writing world's red-headed stepchild, but I have -deep breath- written fanfiction - for a decade-dead series, posted on elist, archived on web by other folks, and all under a penname.

    Question is: how far should I separate myself from those stories? If an editor or agent finds out, should I expect a rapid booting? Perhaps even shunning? Or will they just shrug and carry on? Is there any possibility that an editor or agent will see pre-existing fans as potential customer/fan base? Or should I swear friends to secrecy and keep my fingers crossed that no one will ever breathe a word of this to a future agent or editor?

    And while I'm at it, any good ideas on how to broach the subject if I do find an agent - or where I can find out agents' opinions on the subject?



  2. #2
    Frank Baron
    Guest

    Re: a sticky question

    I'm voting for "shrug and carry on." Unless the material you're hoping to shop in some way relates to the fanfiction you wrote, perhaps appealing to a similar audience, I see no reason to mention it, or hide it. It's neutral.

    An agent or pub is going to focus on what's in front of them now, not what you did before.

  3. #3
    Tim Lawley
    Guest

    Re: a sticky question

    What's wrong with fan fic? Or is it the 10 decade dead series aspect of it?...I've never published any of my fan fic to the net but a few of my friends have read it.

  4. #4
    02 KLH
    Guest

    err...

    Most (American) companies don\'t have the same take on fanfiction as other cultures. For Japan, for instance, one can write or draw what\'s essentially fanfiction and sell it, and the originators look the other way as long as the printing isn\'t above maybe five or six hundred copies. Aspiring artists (and writers) use these fanfiction pieces, self-published, as parts of their portfolio - often with the very publishers they fanfic\'d! So in that sense, writing for a series that\'s ten years old, created by a Japanese company, means the likelihood of someone actually nailing me (or any of my counterparts) is pretty nil.

    However, I\'ve found that American companies/writers tend to not only be derisive of fanfiction but outright antagonistic toward it. Yes, I have committed a great, evil sin. And it\'s probably an even larger one - heh - when I look at the tally for one archive housing the stories I did. My page alone has had over eighty thousand hits.

    Y\'know, if I could sell that many books I\'d be a happy puppy, and that\'s just one archive, not counting the ten or so stories that have been snagged by other archives which get almost as much traffic. Technically, those stories are now published.

    Thing is, I wouldn\'t mind using that fanbase as a stepping stone, but I\'m not sure how American agents/editors would respond. I certainly doubt they\'d consider fanfiction as a respectable part of a portfolio! But would they look with suspicion on my own stories, for knowing that once-upon-a-time I was one more fan on the \'net?

    *sigh*

  5. #5
    Tim Lawley
    Guest

    hahahaha

    False alarm, the only fanfic I ever wrote was for a crappy video game, I've never written anything like that (nothing in the same genre) since or before that.

    Mildly ammusing lol.

  6. #6
    Claude Harper
    Guest

    Re: hahahaha

    Nobody will boot or shun. Nobody will care. Call it your 'juvenilia' if anyone asks!

    If an agent and editor likes you work, and thinks they can profit, that's about all they care about. That you cut your teeth on fanfic (I don't even really know what that is; like writing unauthorised 'episodes' of Buffy and Star Trek?) won't matter. If you are a hugely popular author of fanfic, and can guarantee a certain number of sales ... well, then I don't know. Nobody minds sales, but they might -still- not want to hear about your previous work if it involves copyright violations.

    And if you find an agent, just tell them the situation and ask. Experienced agents have heard it all before ...

  7. #7
    02 KLH
    Guest

    juvenalia

    whatta way to put it! ...yep, cut my teeth on fanfic as a way to practice specific concepts (styles, variations on POV, complexity of plotlines) with ready-made characters or worlds. While it's a great way to learn things with a safety net (and a supportive audience willing to crit), it does carry a stigma.

    Juvenalia. I'll remember that & use it. I was just mostly worried that someone might say, "oh, I read this author's fanfic work..." and the agent/editor might freak.

    Thanks for the advice!

  8. #8
    Stephen Moorhouse
    Guest

    Re: juvenalia

    I'd read fan fiction of any sort if it was good.
    There can really see one problem with writing fiction that is based on an existing idea, if I understand this correctly; the work can only be pitched to those publishers that own the copywrite or IP for those ideas limiting your chances of getting published. If they say no, you're stumped. I hope I'm wrong, it's a lousy reason for a book not to get into print.

    Steve

  9. #9
    02 KLH
    Guest

    Re: juvenalia

    I'm not trying to publish fanfiction. I just wanted to know whether having a background in writing it - and those stories remaining on the net - would endanger my chances with agents/editors in the course of attempting to publish *original* fiction.

  10. #10
    Stephen Moorhouse
    Guest

    Re: juvenalia

    Ahh right.
    In that case, can't hurt can it?

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