Fan-fiction. The mere utterance of this sometimes hyphenated phrase is enough to make many a geek and serious movie-goer shudder in fear and disgust. Why? Well, it's because usually fan-fiction involves obsessed fanboys and girls writing terrible short stories about their favourite characters hooking up and doing things best left behind closed, locked and abandoned-very-far-away doors.
Yet, I'm here now to tell you that fan-fiction isn't all that bad. Not the literal definition of it anyway. At its core, fan-fiction is simply fiction written by fans. Under that literal banner marches all your favourite franchises today, and that's why fan fiction is okay.
Think about it. Marvel movies are under the direction of studio boss Kevin Feige but he never wrote any of the original Marvel stories in comic book form. Joss Whedon is creative director at the moment and he has written Marvel comics, but none that would influence the MCU to date. Then, all the other writers at Marvel studios are screenwriters, not comic book writers. Though they share a common characteristic: They love Marvel, which makes them fans, which means they write fan fiction and you pay millions of dollars to see it every year.
Feel like having a shower still while 'The Crying Game' plays in the background? Okay, let's continue.
Star Wars is being revived by J.J Abrams but he never wrote the original and he's a self-confessed fan, just like everyone else who is human. Result? Fan-fiction. J.J. also has his hands on another franchise: Star Trek. Same result, he didn't write the original, therefore it's fan fiction.
It's not just movies either. Even on TV popular shows are now no longer being written by the original creators but by people who grew up watching them and were fans of them. Case in point: BBC's 'Doctor Who' which has been written and creatively directed by Stephen Moffat and Russell T. Davis for the past 10 years. Result? Fan-fiction.
It's everywhere, and it is insanely popular. In fact there is barely anything original any more, but is this a bad thing? That depends on how many Marvel movies you have been to see. Oh, all of them? Right, just like everyone else then.
Long live fan-fiction!