Since the whole 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon, a lot of attention has been placed on fanfic authors who pull to publish (P2P) and there are a group of people on websites such as Amazon and Goodreads who leave bad, sometimes downright awful, reviews just because a book has once been a fanfic.
Before I got any work published, I read the original fanfic of 50 Shades under the title of Master of the Universe (MotU). I read all 86 chapters of the first insallment and by the end of it, couldn’t really understand the furore. It wasn’t brilliantly written and I wasn’t keen on the subject matter, but that was my personal opinion. Good friends of mine had absolutely adored it, we didn’t fall out, just accepted each other’s views.
When I heard that Icy (E.L. James) was publishing it, I thought “Good for her” and pretty much nothing else. I knew I wasn’t going to buy it no matter how much she changed it up. What would be the point? As many of us who were involved in the Twilight Fandom know, she didn’t change it much at all, but people still bought it and raved about it. Again, I say “Good for her”. Why should I begrudge anyone their success even if I personally don’t like/agree with how.
Let me explain that last comment. I don’t disagree with her P2P, the story is hers to do with as she wishes, no matter how it began, I do disagree with the fact that she hasn’t reworked it much, or at all, but that was her choice as an author.
I know quite a few fanfic authors who have gone down the P2P route, and again, I have no problem with it. As I said, they wrote the stories so they can do what they want with them. Yes, these stories were originally based on someone else’s characters, but they’ve since worked on them and made those characters (and locations) their own and what is released is usually something completely original.
This post isn’t meant to be a rant, I just want to get my opinions across about the subject which is fast becoming larger than the Twi Fandom, and all for the wrong reasons.
As I mentioned, there are people online who go out of their ways to troll through published books and trash them simply because they were once posted online as a fanfic. These people usually have quite a vast following so when they “shelve” a book under a certain tag, their followers see them and follow suit.
Again, these people are fully entitled their own opinion, but when it becomes clear that they haven’t read the published book (and in some cases they haven’t even read the fanfic). THAT’S when I get a little ranty. How DARE these people push their opinions onto others and really hurt the authors based on something having once been a fanfic when they can’t even be bothered to read it?
There are claims and shouts of plagiarism in these reviews which I do understand… but at the end of the day, I don’t believe there are many books out there that are completely and totally without outside influence of another author. We are constantly inspired by others, not just authors, but as long as we take that inspiration and twist and mold it into something of our own, then where is the plagiarism? An idea an’t be copyrighted, simply the format the idea is communicated.
Here are some of the things a friend of mine have had to deal with on Goodreads. I personally think it’s disgusting. These “ratings” were all 1 star for N. Wood’s The Sound of Silence are given by “reviewers” who haven’t read the book:
I have also heard of some books and authors being labelled in this way, even when their books are not P2P (not that it matters if they are or not).
As someone who has P2P, I await these ratings and ‘attacks’, but at the end of the day, Just Like in the Movies, which started as an Alice/Jasper ff, was sat on my ff account unfinished for at least 12 months. There were 6 chapters posted which I reworked into the 1st 3 of the published version before writing another 10 chapters plus an epilogue. That was MY choice and MY work to do with as I wished. Yes, it originated from Twilight characters, but I pretty much started from the beginning and did with it what I would never have done with it had it remained a FF.
I don’t need to justify myself and my writing to anyone, and neither does any other author. I just ask readers to ignore these ratings on Goodreads and judge a book for themselves.