I write these

…late at night, mostly. I can’t help thinking that this adds to the general weirdness.

I’ve been pondering lately on the nature of a sanitized fanfic, such as Fifty Shades. As we all know, it was originally a fanfic of Twilight that had its numbers filed off to avoid copyright problems. But is anyone really fooled by the result? And is it really the same story if the origin has been obscured?

I don’t know, but fanfiction has always been the best kind of remixing to me. It’s all the stories that otherwise could never be, and we need them. Culture needs experimentation, or it stagnates – and we can hardly rely on the mainstream media to take risks.

So a sanitized fanfic has its place – but it still has to be good. This is why I dislike Fifty Shades on such a deep level – E.L. James just can’t write worth a damn, and there is no way in hell she’ll have any kind of career as a writer unless she gets a lot better. But I won’t diss her series for its origin or her choice to be a fanfic writer. Hell, I started that way too…

The nature of the sanitized fanfic is a weird one. It exists in two worlds at once; that of fandom, and that of commercial writing. Trust me when I say there are big differences, and I’m not surprised that few make the jump from fandom to commercial success.


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