Fanfiction vs. Pro Fic

fanficI had a wonderful discussion with other readers, writers and authors and helped moderate a panel at Rainbow Con about fanfiction. It was called “Fanfiction to Profiction.” I was on the panel with the amazingly talented, Sarah Madison, Grace R. Duncan, Vicktor Alexander and Amanda C.

We talked about filing off the “serial numbers” on fanfiction and recycling it to M/M. It was a lively discussion in which most of us on the panel stated we had used former fanfiction stories and converted them to pro fic. Depending on your publisher, or if you self-publish that might mean you have to pull your fanfiction off the Internet. We also talked about telling readers if that particular book was formerly published fanfiction. I think everyone on the panel agreed we always disclose if a book had been fanfic.

The first short story I wrote and submitted to a now defunct publisher was a former J2 A/U where the characters were flight attendants and had been written for a prompt fest. When I pulled the fic off of Livejournal, I let my readers know why (it was being submitted to a publisher) and it was being revised and expanded by more than 4,000 more words. That story, “Coffee, Tea and the Mile High Club,” has not been re-published after Silver Publishing went away; not because people found out it was former fic, but because I haven’t had the time to re-write some parts I wasn’t happy with. When I get the time, I will re-publish it, along with two more shorts in the flight attendant universe. I will state inside the ebook, that this is “previously published material.”

Recently, on Good Reads people have asked if our latest novella, Suck This, Neil Patrick Harris was J2 fanfiction. It is not J2 fanfiction! Sorry, but my writing partner doesn’t like RPF, nor does she wear a tinhat about Jared and Jensen. That would have been me! 🙂 But I’ve since recovered from that J2 addiction and now only am obsessed with Stucky (Steve/Bucky, Avengers) and Hannigram fandom. I haven’t written any fic in those fandoms, although I would love to get my hands dirty in Stucky fandom!

I have no issue telling someone what was and wasn’t former fanfiction. Have I used scenes from fanfiction into certain books? Most certainly (usually sex scenes). But not the whole story, the only one that was used that way was Coffee, Tea and the Mile High Club.  So anyone thinking the new book is J2 fanfiction, know that it isn’t. Dante is not Jensen, in fact my inspiration for douchebag Dante is so far removed from Jensen Ackles…who is a lovely, lovely man.

I understand the fanfiction to pro fiction talk is controversial with what happened in Twilight fandom with FSOG. However, I have never been ashamed to state I come from a fannish background, I love fandom and slash and that I learned how to craft a good story from my time writing in various fandoms. However, as I said at the panel, I decided last year that I don’t have enough time to write pro and fanfic, so I decided one had to give and that was my fannish writing. I no longer write fanfic, nor does my writing partner. Not that we wouldn’t love to, but we just don’t have the time to do both.

So, if you ask Eleanor and I. we happily cop to being recovering fanfic writers and loving fandom. Whatever your position on the topic, we hope you’ll like our books and know that if you ask us, we’ll always tell you what our background was.

3 thoughts on “Fanfiction vs. Pro Fic

  1. Sarah_Madison

    Hey, if it is any consolation, I was once accused of converting a Firefly fanfic into profic. Um, no. I’m a fan of the show, but have never written, or even read, in that universe. I think I was trying so hard to make the set-up different from those in fandoms I was writing in at the time, that I unconsciously wove in characteristics from other shows. I had to laugh, though.

    I read this story on my flight home from Rainbow Con and I loved it! Having read some J2 fic, I’m not sure where the reviewer got that idea–maybe because both MCs were actors and they saw a superficial similarity? Either way, it was a delightful story and you should be proud of it. 🙂

    1. hlholston Post author

      Yeah, I can’t imagine anyone thinking Jensen Ackles was Dante from the book. Dante is a dick straight up and Jensen Ackles is so sweet (from the times I met him at Creation Cons). JA also gives nice hugs.

      Firefly? I saw the pilot, not my thing, but I have friends who loved it. So good to see you at Rainbow Con!

      1. Sarah_Madison

        Yes, the hard part was redeeming Dante’s self-centeredness by the end of the story–which you did in a supremely dramatic fashion!

        Well, my story centered around a small ship with a small crew, which I guess automatically translates into Firefly for some people. It was written for an anthology short story prompt, though, so I couldn’t spend as much time on the world-building (and the fact that the ship was alien, and had bonded to the captain) as much as I’d have liked. Still, you could have knocked me over with a feather when someone said that! 😉

        It was so good to finally meet you in person!

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