FanstRAvaganza 3 Fanfiction: Goin’ Mainstream

English: George R.R. Martin signing books in a...

George R.R. Martin, author of "A Song of Fire and Ice" series, is not a fanfc fan. However, "Game of Thrones," HBO's adaptation of his books, is inspiring lots of it. Image via Wikipedia

The cover of fellow blogger Jasrangoon’s latest fanfic, an updated variation on “North and South.”

Writers at work on Fan Fiction
Fanfic writers come in all ages, shapes and sizes.

Hello, I’m fedoralady and I write fanfiction. And, contrary to popular belief, I am not a geeky sci-fi guy who lives in the basement of my parents’ trailer. (Not that there’s a thing wrong with geeky sci-fi guys; I married a perfectly lovely one.)

There are plenty more fanfiction writers—and readers—out there, and not just in Armitage World. After years of being considered something of a “red-headed stepchild” of the literary world, fanfic is increasingly moving into the mainstream.

My husband can tell you fanfiction as we know it today was born in the 1960s when a series called Star Trek appeared, spawning a fanzine, Spockanalia.

The cover for tne fanzine "Spockanalia," which shared fanfic with Star Trek fans back in the day. (

Today there is fanfiction based not only on books, films and TV shows, but plays, musicals, video games, board games, rock bands, the Bible—even pro football player Peyton Manning has fanfic written about him. Fanfic is boldly going where no fiction has ever gone before.

How big is fanfic? Estimates show fanfiction now makes up at least one-third of all content about books on the Web. alone has over 2 million fanfictions archived on its site, and that’s not counting Live Journal, Wattpad and other sites.

Fanfic’s rising profile has been documented and explored in major publications, including Time magazine (“How Harry Potter Became the Boy Who Lived Forever,” Lev Grossman, July 7, 2011) and Entertainment Weekly (“Just Do It!” focusing on fanfiction, shippers and slash writers, February 17, 2012– print edition only).

Some writers, including Anne Rice and George R.R. Martin, have aggressively worked to stop fanfiction based on their characters, saying it promotes bad writing and treads on copyright infringement.

However, there are other authors who welcome it, including J.K. Rowlings and Twilight author Stephenie Meyer, who even provides links to fanfic on her own website.

And now, showrunners are sitting up and taking notice of fanfic. Television show executive producers are actually monitoring social media for feedback on characters’ story arcs, particularly romantic storylines. Writers of the TV show Fringe were warned fanfic writers and vidders might rebel if they kept two characters apart. It seems our voices are finally being heard.

Rather than keeping it their dirty little secret, more and more published authors are now freely admitting they also write fanfic.

Naomi Novik is the bestselling author of the series Temeraire which has been optioned by none other than Sir Peter Jackson, Richard’s director for The Hobbit films. Novik is also a fanfic writer who was interviewed for the Time article.

Bestselling author and fanfic writer, Naomi Novik. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

“Fanfic writing isn’t work, it’s joyful play,” she said. “The problem is that for most people, any kind of writing looks like work to them so they get confused why anyone would want to write fanfic, instead of original professional material, even though they don’t have any problem understanding why someone would want to mess around on a guitar playing Simon and Garfunkel.”

In the Time article, Grossman points out that fanfiction is part of the “cutting, pasting, sampling, remixing and mashing up” that have become “mainstream modes of cultural expression.” Fanfiction “challenges just about everything we thought we knew about art and creativity.”

So, who is writing this “challenging” stuff? From anecdotal evidence, it appears the majority of fanfic writers are female. And it’s a diverse lot, of every race, color, creed, religion, age, nationality, socio-economic level and sexual orientation.
Fanfic comes with a built-in audience for our work. Ever eager for more adventures with Harry and Ron, Bella and Edward and—in our case—Guy, Lucas, Thornton, Porter et al. we flock to new stories, new pairings, new alternate universes.

Not only do we write and read fanfic online, we see friendships and partnerships develop as we become part of a community. Writers get more immediate feedback from their readers, and there are younger writers who say fanfic is a great learning tool for improving their writing skills.

Some fanfic writers go on to write original stories with their own characters. And some of those writers become successful novelists in their own right (my particular dream).

As with Richard Armitage, the term “fanfic” certainly isn’t  known in every household. But that’s definitely changing.

Who knows, in a few months newly minted fans of the brave and charismatic warrior dwarf Thorin may be inspired to sit down at their keyboards and start writing fanfic.

After all, it’s joyful play–and the wave of the future.

Visit my fellow tagteamers and and thanks for supporting FanstRAv 3D!

American Cancer Society

Image via Wikipedia

Richard always encourages us to be generous and to support worthy charities, and in that vein I am going to mention some of the causes during F3 which have been dear to me. The American Cancer Society has made tremendous strides in the fight against cancer through their support of research, as well as through the education and moral support given to cancer patients and families. Each year the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life raises monies and brings communities large and small together to “celebrate, remember and fight back.”

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

96 responses »

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  3. Lovely post, Angie! I really appreciate your newspaper reporting background in this article!! Here’s to greater creative support for fan fiction. I, for one, wouldn’t think twice about paying $$ for Kindle downloads of many of my favorite fan fics! 🙂

    • Thanks so much. Yeah, I felt a bit like Angie Long, reporter, again. 😉 I haven’t completely lost it. It’s great to see more and more acceptance of fanfic–a spread in a mag like EW is really a sign you’ve arrived–and recognition that, hey, these people are talented and have something worthwhile to say. And I agree about Kindle and fanfics. I have actually been sending my latest work to my sister chapter by chapter and she’s uploading to her Kindle. She’s legally blind and now she can read my stuff with ease by enlarging the font. Yeah, for modern technology!

  4. Shoot, I plumb forgot the charity announcement in my post today. Grrr. Tomorrow’s another day. Been a lot on my mind lately, lol.

    I knew a bit of the history of fanfic (ST), but not what a big deal it had become. That’s really cool; it suggests I am not quite the loser I wonder if I am when I spend hours and hours reading fanfic. One thing I like about it is its inherently democratic qualities, and so I’m also cheered to read that there are “real” authors out there who support their fans’ fanfics. Maybe I’ll actually make some of mine public.

    • It popped into my head this afternoon re the charity. 😉 Probably because I need to contact our Relay chair to find out what I can do to help prepare that doesn’t require heavy lifting. I have been so out of the loop.
      I didn’t realize just how far-flung fanfic had gotten either until I started researching. I mean–Peyton Manning fanfic?? It’s really encouraging to see bestselling novelists out there supporting and even writing fanfic and admitting to it. Having read some of your fic snippets here and there on your blog, Servetus, I would definitely say you should consider going for it. I think DF would be a good place to start.

  5. I too was not aware that some writers are taking issue with fanfic. In my opinion that is ridiculous. It is like saying that I cannot imagine a different ending to a story or fantasize about how I wish the storyline would evolve. Just because I write it down, I am infringing on copyrights???I have become a fanfic fantatic. I even got myself a kindle so I can download fanfic that has been published. All RA related of course. Btw fedorlady, you are fantastic writer and I am currently enjoying your fanfic.

    • While I can understand being protective of your characters and not wanting someone else to profit from your hard work, I also think, knowing fanfic writers don’t make a dime from their efforts, authors should consider moderating some of their staunch opposition to fanfic. Sure, some of it’s not very good, but we all know some of it IS. And it is a great way to learn to improve your writing with a good beta and constructive comments from readers. We all have to start somewhere. The fact people want to write about your characters could be seen as flattering. And thank you, gracie, for the kind words. 😀

      • it’s my theory that people always did this or something like it — it’s just that the internet makes it really easy to share.

        • OH, undoubtedly the Internet is what made it all explode. No more waiting for the fanzine to be published or for your friend to send you his story in the mail. I didn’t go into it in this article to keep it a good length, but you can look back and find a lot of pastiches and parodies written about the Sherlock Holmes stories, for example, in the latter part of the 19th/early 20th centuries. Going back to the 17th century, some anonymous individual published the “second part” of Don Quixote before Cervantes got around to finishing it (apparently the writer was an admirer of Cervantes’ rival). So, yes, in one form or another, it has been around for a while.

          • Right, Cervantes. I had to take a year class on Don Quixote in college — but I had forgotten that. It even had an influence on the “second part” if I remember correctly.

            • I found it interesting that this anonymous Aragones was a fan of Cervantes’ rival rather than Cervantes himself–was he hoping to derail the rest of Don Quixote?

          • IIRC (it’s been 22 years), DQ had a bizarre initial publication history. Most of the first edition was shipwrecked somewhere (?), but the copies that survived in Spain were pirated immediately and wildly, and it was clear that any printed sequel would have been a money maker. It also took C a long time to complete the second part, so long that it might have appeared to contemporaries as if he had lost interest in the project.

            There are a lot of “scooping” stories in early modern lit — one of the most famous and interesting of them involves the first critical edition of the Bible. An edition had been in preparation at Alcalá for over a decade, and it got caught up in the hands of censors — so that a Basel printer was able to get Erasmus to prepare a New Testament that beat it to the punch.

            • I find all this behind-the-scenes stuff in the literary/publishing world fascinating. I recently read a book that focused on the road to publicatino for Gone With the Wind. It discussed how Mitchell had to fight against unauthorized versions of her work being printed overseas. And I had completely forgotten about this (smacks head)–clamoring for more, there were GWTW fans who wrote their own sequels to the book. Mitchell had no desire or intentions of writing a sequel, although her publisher certainly wanted her to do so, and there were fans dying to know what happened next to Rhett and Scarlett.

          • In the end a sequel was published to GWTW, wasn’t it, “Scarlett” by Alexandra Ripley. I never read it as I assumed it to be rubbish, but maybe it isn’t, and I missed out on a great book. 🙂 Has anyone read it?

            • I had heard such less-than-sterling comments about the GWTW sequel I never bothered to read it. I believe it was also adapted into a television mini-series with Joanne Whalley and Timothy Dalton as Scarlett and Rhett. Never saw that, either. It was Mitchell’s estate that eventually OKed Ripley writing the book; during her sadly shortened lifetime (she was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street and died a few days later of her injuries at 49) she simply refused to entertain the idea of writing or approving a sequel. I wonder what she would have thought of Ripley’s efforts?

          • Here’s Ripley’s obit at the NYT:
            with some amusing comments about the book. Apparently there was a miniseries, too, which I didn’t see. Guess it was Ireland they went to.

            The end of GWTW was so perfect. I don’t see how the story could have been continued. Scarlett’s line: “I’ll think about it tomorrow” has become a life slogan for me in times of stress. She gave readers such a lesson in how to be a survivor.

            • Thanks for sharing that link, S. Exactly, Mitchell felt the story ended on a perfect note, and she saw no reason to take it further. Let readers imagine what the ultimate fates of Rhett and Scarlett might be.

              Scarlett had some less-than-admirable qualities, but you had to give her credit: she had tenacity and determination. She was indeed a survivor. Having grown up in the south, I have heard and read the stories passed down through the generations of the devastation suffered through the war and the struggles long, long afterwards.

              I remember as a child watching the reissue of the film to theaters (so I was privy to that Technicolor spectacle on the big screen) and the scene where she holds up her fist and declares, “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!!” And you just knew she meant it. I have used that line about “tomorrow is another day” myself more than once.

  6. Interesting. I did not know about the origins of fanfic. However, I think it was Star Wars that began the fanvidding phenomenon. I wonder what it is about sci-fi?

  7. Thank you so much – fascinating post. I had heard of the controversy surrounding fanfic, but it’s interesting to read that some authors are embracing it. (As an aside, there is (fan) speculation about Richard Armitage being cast in Temeraire).

    • Rowlings has even encouraged other creative activity stemming from her work, including giving her blessings to Harry Potter: The Musical which one of the young actors on Glee performed in. That’s cool about the possibility of Richard being cast in Temeraire–since Sir Peter chose him for The Hobbit and it certainly looks like he’s doing brilliantly in the role, I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened. I was pleased to find this published author and proud fanfic writer who had a connection to Sir Peter and thus indirectly to RA. Sort of a Six Degrees of Separation. 😉

          • Sometimes it seems like a really small world, doesn’t it? Even though I have been an RA fan for several years, I give major thanks to Sir PJ for choosing Richard for this fabulous role that is going to let millions of other people experience RA’s amazing talent. 😀

  8. I discovered fanfic thanks to RA 🙂 The thing I like about fanfic is that it provides a medium for people to write who might not otherwise do so. Plus I think it takes a lots of guts to publish (including fanfic) – so my hat off to you all (as well as very grateful thanks ;))

    • Excellent points, BB. As Servetus mentioned, it is a democratic field, open to all sorts of people, both experienced and fledgling writers.
      And you are totally right–it does take guts to put your words out there for the world to read. I had been a professional reporter for seven or eight years before I began writing fanfiction so I was accustomed to seeing my name in print in both hard copies and online (and to being trashed periodically by unhappy readers). And I was STILL a bundle of nerves when I posted that first ficlet! I can only imagine what it’s like for someone completely new to the world of writing.

  9. Excellent article, Angie! I was particularly interested when you quoted Naomi Novik (dragons in the Regency? this is fantastic!). I will start perusing her books very soon.

    Some people write fanfics in order to exercise their skills as writers; some are already writers but they don’t know or don’t care; some will prove themselves to be as soon as they find a publisher. This latter is your case, my beautiful historical romance’s writer!!

    Fanfic’s writers are like coverbands. If you love a character, you will find neverdending adventures to keep him/her alive in yours, and your readers’ imagination. If you love songs, you want to sing them around for you and for other people whenever is possible. I have sometimes attended concerts of bands covering the most famous “gods of rock”. Thrill is high, emotion is palpable, only a bit less in comparison to real concerts with original bands. An experience that is worth while!

    • Thank you, Carla. 😀 I, too, am interested in learning more about Ms. Novik’s novels and I really loved her quote about fanfic being “joyful play.” I can completely relate to that. Your last paragraph reminded me of a group that came and performed as part of our arts council season a couple of years ago. They performed the music of the Beatles. They didn’t dress like or talk like or wear their hair like the Beatles, but they had an absolute passion for the Beatles’ music, passed down to them by their father (three brothers were in the group) and they were fine musicians. It was an interactive experience where audience members got to request the songs before the show and at intermission, and they knew every Beatles’ song, even the more obscure ones. It was such an enjoyable show–their energy and enthusiasm for the music was so infectious. And some of us were brought up to dance–yes, even yours truly, who managed not to throw her back out. 😉

      • Great post, Angie, congratulations! 🙂 Funny this topic of tribute bands came up! Some of the BEST concerts I’ve ever been to were done by Hungarian Beatles tribute bands! The Beatles had quite a cult following in Hungary even in the 80s when I was a teenager! I was member of a Beatles tribute club too! Oh those were the days, my friend! 🙂 I started learning English basically because I wanted to understand the lyrics of the Beatles’ songs…

        • This is something else I want to touch on in a future blog post. The value of fandom as an ESL teaching tool. (English as a second language). The Beatles are wonderful, I loved them as a child–Paul McCartney was the first musician on whom I had a crush. I was all of–four? I will always love their music.

          • I had an enormous crush on Paul McCartney too! 😀 For me, the Beatles were absolutely invaluable as a teaching tool but also emotionally: their music helped me through a very difficult phase in my life. My father died when I was 16 and listening to the Beatles was my refuge from the grief..

            • I am sorry you lost your dad at such a young age, Judit. It was hard enough dealing with losing mine and I was far older. But it is good to know the music of these talented fellows allowed you a place of refuge and solace. I believe the arts–books, music, drama, dance–can be so cathartic and therapeutic.

  10. Interesting post Angie! I started reading and enjoying Remington Steele fanfic some time ago, but have only become really interested in it since discovering Richard. We become emotionally invested in his chaRActers, so it’s only natural that we want to experience more of them either in an AU, or as a continuation from where the scriptwriters left off, and there’s no doubt that many of the fanfic writers whose work I’ve read treat their subjects with much more love and respect IMO!
    I agree that fanfic writers are like coverbands, or what I would call tribute bands; groups that have the look and sound of the originals. I have seen tribute bands for Creedence Clearwater Revival and ABBA, among others, and as far as I know, the originals aren’t complaining! That’s how I see fanfic, as a tribute to the original characters.

    • Yes, Mezz, I completely agree. Many of the fanfics show much more love, affection and respect for these ChaRActers than we saw with the original scriptwriters and producers. For me, I see Richard put so much hard work and effort and artistry into his characters, how can I NOT respond to them–yes, even to the less-than-admirable ones–and want to see them treated with the care and attention they deserve? I think as long as tribute bands don’t go around pretending to be the REAL band (apparently there are groups who pretend to be the original Platters, for example) the musicians they are paying tribute to see it as exactly that–a tribute, very flattering.
      Imitation is, after all, the sincerest form of flattery.

  11. Thanks, Fedoralady. I’d never heard of fanfic until I stumbled into the ‘North and South’ world. Now my life is immersed in it!
    As a musician, I love the idea of relating fanfic to the enjoyment of familiar music. Fanfic could be considered an unending and open ‘Theme and Variations’ of sorts!
    For those of us struck deeply by certain stories and characters, it’s wonderful to be able to read or write explorations of the subjects to our heart’s content.

    • Hi, Trudy. I love your “Themes and Variations” idea in correlation with fanfic. Isn’t it really a compliment to the writers and actors whose work we admire so much we want to craft our own versions of their characters and stories? As the title of the Time article implied about Harry Potter, “The Boy Who Lived Forever,” these beloved stories and characters never die (no matter what TPTB may come up with).

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  13. fedoralady I have so enjoyed reading yours and so many other talented fanfic writers stories of many of Richard’s loveable and redeemable characters. Fanfic is one of my favourite things about the internet and have immersed myself in beloved characters from books at first, followed by excellent TV shows that ended far too soon GRRRRR due to the glut of reality TV, and then to my thirst of anything Richard related. Please keep sharing your writing talents.

    • Thank you, lucylou, and welcome!
      Richard does such a smashing job with his characters we can’t help but care and want to continue their stories (and in all too many cases, bring them back to life). You are right, too many quality shows seem to fall by the wayside–reality TV being cheaper to produce.
      I am working on my novel The Lady & the Panther, but it’s slower going right now because of a need for additional research. I am trying very hard to make it the best it can be. I hope to post chapter 19 by next week. Thanks again for your kind words and for posting about your own experiences.

  14. I think I mentioned before that I actually came into the RAniverse sideways, through fanfic and I REALLY wish I could remember who the author was because I’d totally send a virtual fruit basket. Anyway, I love fanfic generally (I would argue that Beatlefan Drawerfic was an important step though the Beatles Fanfic Community seems to have dried up recently) so I loved this post. Great reporting, fedoralady!

    • I think Spikesbint/Angela was the first RA fanfic I read, so I really need to send HER a virtual bouquet. 😀 I think fanfic is a wonderful thing that encourages creativity in its authors and it’s a way to “share the love” with fellow fans. Thanks, jazzbaby, I am glad you enjoyed. 😀

  15. Hi Angie

    lovely article.

    For me fanfiction has been a huge learning curve in so many ways. As a would be writer it has helped me develop so many skills necessary to being a story teller. I have used it as a way to test out the water so to speak. Do you know what I mean – to find out if anybody is interested in what I’m writing. I have also found invaluable as a way of learning the value of constructive criticism. I’m now brave enough to write original stories without fanfiction I wouldn’t have reached this point.

    • Thank you, Khandy. The fanfiction community really is a wonderful place in which to learn about the craft of writing, isn’t it? And yes, it is a way to try out your wings and see what readers think, to get feedback and constructive criticism and to do so in such an immediate manner and from readers across the planet. It’s like an online writing lab of sorts and we don’t have to pay tuition, other than our time. I was a professional non-fiction writer for years who wanted to get into writing fiction but was too–fearful, I suppose. Fanfiction opened that door for me, too. And now I am working on original stories, too. Hooray for fanfiction, I say. And for Richard Armitage.

      • I’m cheering, too. As a participant on DF, I read a lot of great work, often much better quality than I see on the bestseller racks. Fanfic is a joyful activity, and writing it is like taking your creativity to the gym for a good workout. One famous author was asked what one should do to become an author; his reply, “Write, write, write!” It is a craft one can only hone by doing. Fanfic gives us a way to do this without the daunting test of submitting for publication, until we are ready to put our work out there for the world to see.

        Do you realize that there is an almost thousand-year history to fanfic? After “La Poema del Cid” was written about Rodrigo de Bivar, the legendary Spanish knight who fought against Moorish invaders, others wrote additional poems expanding on the legend. They took existing characters, including the Cid’s wife and daughters, and wrote about them. These authors’ names have not survived but their work is now included with the original in most editions.

  16. This was a really fascinating look at the origins of fanfic. I didn’t discover fanfic until my RAddiction was in full swing, but I sure do enjoy it! Shouldn’t be surprised that it originated with Star Trek, sci-fi fans seem to be some of the most dedicated. Thanks for including my fanfic graphic, made me blush when I saw it in your post! 🙂

    • Yes, Star Trek fans seem to be incredibly dedicated! Even to the point of madness! See this episode of Frasier (my favourte sitcom of all time):

      • I loved Frasier, too. 😀 Trekkies are certainly a dedicated lot! My husband and I both watched the show in our childhoods and we loved it and consider ourselves fans, but we definitely don’t take it to any kind of extremes. The only obsession I might take to extreme is Richarding. 😉

    • Thanks, Jas. Glad you enjoyed. I wanted to use a fanfic cover for an RA fic as an illustration, and I remembered yours–it was so eye-catching. I hoped you wouldn’t mind. 😀

  17. Great post Angie! I became aware of fanfic because of you and I have to say I enjoy a lot of it! Looking forward to what you will be bringing us in the next week!! 🙂

  18. Thanks for this post, Angie… I had no idea about the roots of fanfic, or how popular it had become! Very interesting! It makes me want to read some good ol’ RA fanfic. 🙂

      • 2 million, this should do it to keep us entertained for a while.. Like others wrote before, it was only after my mindblowing “encounter” with John Thornton/RA that I found out about the existence of fanfiction (nonetheless it took me a couple of months to pick my way through to DF, LJ, C 19, Wattpad and, until I finally consider myself in RA heaven….) All this opened up a whole new world for me and I’m trying to catch up since….which is pleasurable hard work to do as there are so many stories and no end in sight! I’m sometimes that overwhelmed, how incredibly strong my emotions can get involved in some of this stories. This never happened to me before, when reading a “normal” book. Ok, I admit, put a RA-look-alike in any book and it will be….prob interesting??? 😉 A BIG thank you to all you fanfiction writers out there. I appreciate and love your goodies and of course your bravery to put them out to us, your audience!!

          • I agree with Linda. You, writers of Fanfics, opened a totally new world for me too. I was also surprised feeling so intense emotion I never had with “normal books” as Linda says and surprised myself shedding tears ….
            Thank you one more time Angie and other writers for your wonderful stories.

  19. I’ve been looking for Bound by Honour by Collette Gale which was recommended on an earlier post. Sorry, can’t remember who, and I’ve lost track of where I saw it. Apparently it’s on Dreamerfiction but I haven’t been able to find it.

    • Thanks, Kathryngaul, and thank you, Dr. S for beating me to the punch with the explanation. 😀 I thought about all the various acronyms and terms tied into fanfiction, too, but that would have required a separate post, I do believe. Maybe I should do a regular blog post on it?

      • That would be lovely for people like me who are new to fanfic reading…but only if or when you have time. As much as I love all the posts you do…and so many!…I wouldn’t want you to overdo it and wear yourself out. We FMS people need to look out for one another!

  20. Re: GWTW, I read Scarlett many years ago and, like servetus, didn’t find it paticularly memorable. I have a book called Rhett Butler’s People by Daniel McCaig sitting in the to-read pile next to my bed. It’s an authorized novel written from Rhett Butler’s POV of the GWTW story, over a longer timeline. After this discussion, I’ll have to move it to the top of the pile!

    I have enjoyed many Pride and Prejudice fanfiction stories and sequels, of which there have been a number published. One had Darcy and Bingham in a sexual relationship which in itself didn’t bother me, but the characters’ least admirable personality traits-Darcy’s arrogance and Bingham’s weakness-were considerably accentuated, which was more of a problem for me.
    A favourite is Darcy’s Story by Janet Aylmer, about Darcy’s POV.

    • Please, Mezz, let us know what you think of the Rhett book, as I had considered reading it myself. Re the slash story with Bingham and Darcy, I’m guessing it was something of a dominant versus submissive relationship? As you know, I think, I have also written some slash but I can’t get into the darker, angrier stuff myself.
      Sex never bothers me LOL I certainly write enough of it, but it has to be an equal, healthy relationship. No hate sex, rape, heavy bondage. That’s just not my cuppa. Not judging people who do like it/write it, because we all have different tastes and different comfort zones. As I mentioned, there’s fanfic for all tastes out there. 😀

      • Will do, as soon as I’ve finished Bernard Cornwell’s Arthur trilogy! 🙂

        You guess right, the Darcy/Bingham relationship in this story wasn’t a healthy one; there was also a Darcy/Wickham r’ship which I found disturbing as well. But, as you say, each to their own. 🙂

  21. I gather that the vast majority of fanfic is written at shared Internet sites, not published for profit. I can’t help thinking of the many spin-off novels based on Pride and Prejudice. That’s really published fanfic, isn’t it?
    There’s a rising tide of self-published fanfic out there, and I imagine it will only swell.

    • Trudy, this brings up a good point. With classic novels that are in the public domain, there certainly doesn’t seem to be a problem with all sorts of versions being written and published for profit. Fics based on Guy and Marian but altered in name and certain elements of the Tiger Aspect characters and storyline have also been published.

      I have a John Porter fanfic that I would love to polish up and publish–I have had more than one person tell me they think it’s good enough–but not sure Sky/Chris Ryan would be too happy. It could tread on copyright infringement.

      Self-publishing is not unlike fanfic-it is finally getting acknowledgement and respect. “Vanity” presses used to be looked down on; the perception was you only published through that means because no publisher thought your book worthy of being printed by them. Times have definitely changed. We are seeing more and more successful self-published works and some of them have gone on to be picked up by major publishers. So TPTB in the publishing world are also sitting up and taking notice, much as the showrunners are.

      • Copyright infringement is a huge issue regarding fanfic. It’s probably the sole issue keeping many from publishing. In the case of N&S spin-offs, self-publishing is likely the only option since it is a niche market. There are few Gaskell followers compared to Austen.

        • Exactly. I know it’s been a big factor for me and Truce. Regarding Gaskell, there may very well be an upsurge in interest in this author after more people finally discover RA and begin to explore his earlier works such as N&S. It will be interesting to watch what happens in the aftermath of The Hobbit.

          • Maybe. Austen / P&P benefits from a “cultural classic” status that Gaskell / N&S does not enjoy, and thus high name recognition even outside of potential core audiences. Even male college freshmen associate something with Austen, which is not true of Gaskell. I’m sure more people will see N&S after The Hobbit comes out, but even so, that isn’t going to put it into course curriculums in high schools in the U.S. (a status Austen enjoys) or make it the general cultural commonplace that P&P is, which means that it’s in every public library, along with with even the minor works of Austen. You’re just as likely to find a DVD of N&S in a US public library as you are to find a copy of Gaskell’s book. It would take an awful lot for Gaskell to reach the status of Austen, I fear.

            • Austen is so huge, Gaskell will never come close to the same recognition. I look forward to more people discovering her, though, and an interest in Richard’s past works may put a few more people on the path to discovery of this wonderful author. I find the social, religious, and industrial elements in her book marvelous – it’s much more than just a romance novel. I don’t find Austen as invigorating.

            • Yeah, I have to confess I never heard of Gaskell until I saw “Wives and Daughters” on Masterpiece Theatre. After becoming an RA fan through RH, of course I watched N&S and then went on to read the book and very much enjoyed it. I agree, I doubt it’s going to become required reading in school here in the states and will never be the cultural phenomenon that Austen has become, but it would be nice to see more interest arise in Gaskell’s work.

          • I’d have loved to see N&S on PBS to swell the ranks, but barring that great exposure, I hope The Hobbit brings in more N&S fans. I think Gaskell’s great work is largely unknown and I would love to see her gain more recognition. (Of course, I stand to profit from it as well with A Heart for Milton)

          • w/r/t PBS, I’ve always thought that they assumed their potential market for viewers was likely already saturated via the DVD distribution, i.e., if you loved period drama, you probably had already seen this one. It may be the case that they’d be willing to rethink it after The Hobbit, when more people will know who Armitage is and constitute a potential audience. If that happened it would certainly help out the BBC N&S, but I doubt that it will do much for the cause of greater name recognition for Gaskell.

            Frankly, the book is also under-recognized among scholars who aren’t working specifically on Victorian England. This is the kind of book I should have read in grad school — it’s of a piece with all kinds of other stuff that was on my reading lists, including big chunks of the minor works of Dickens that treat social issues — but I hadn’t even heard of it until Didion made me watch the series. I knew of Mrs. Gaskell only as the author of the Life of Charlotte Brontë.

          • I think I read somewhere that N&S has never been screened in the US. Is that correct? It would be a natural progression IMO for viewers to follow up with the book after seeing the mini-series if they have an interest in the genre.

          • For me, P&P and N&S are really in different genres. P&P is mostly a novel of manners, whereas N&S is a social novel. It’s hard to imagine Austen ever writing anything like N&S.

          • There’s some debate about this question, but it’s clear there’s never been a national broadcast of it. There are people who said they’ve seen it on their local PBS affiliate, but I don’t know if that’s accurate, just what some people have reported. There is a campaign / was a campaign to get it onto Masterpiece, which would give it near national distribution, but it’s currently dormant after the person who makes the decision said thanks for the suggestion but we’re not going to do that in response to a postcard campaign.

            • It’s like the Spooks series with Richard–they have never been shown in our local PBS market. And I really do not remember N&S showing here, and I generally do watch their period dramas, so it is possible it hasn’t. Too bad the postcard campaign didn’t make more of an impression.

  22. Thank you so much for your very interesting post, Angie! I didn’t even know the word ‘fanfic’ before I discovered RA. I’ve spent hours and hours reading many wonderful fanfic stories based on RA characters. I thoroughly enjoy them. I must say I prefer the slightly steamier stoires. And there are still so many stories to read and new ones coming up all the time!

    I’m so late with my reply as this is my first time in FanstRAvaganza and I’m now trying to catch up with the reading of all interesting posts. I’ve had a very busy week at work. Luckily, I’ll have a day off from work on Friday so I’ll be able to really consentrate on FanstRAvaganza. It’s been really amazing!


    • Hi, Cristine and welcome!

      I think Richard introduces us to a whole new world of fiction, videos, art and more, not to mention a lot of really lovely fans. And that fandom and the creative work they produce inspired by RA just keeps growing!

      Oh, and I prefer the steamier stuff, too. I also write it. 😉 I hope you get some rest after your busy work week and enjoy indulging in more of FranstRAvaganza. 😀

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