Classic vs. Fan Fiction

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This week’s post seeks to explain the difference between classic fiction and fan fiction:

Classic fiction: a creative narrative worthy of academic discussion. These can be novels or short stories, but must have literary merit. Many of these were written in the 19th century. Most noteworthy are works by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen as well as epic poems such as The Divine Comedy and The Illiad.

Like myself, you are probably aware of classic fiction. But, fan fiction may not have been on your radar. Here is what I found:

Fan Fiction:  the author uses familiar characters and settings from novels, movies, and/or video games from the original creator as a basis for their own writing. TV shows and movies sometimes use fan fiction (Example: The Twilight Series).

Note: Fan fiction is rarely authorized by the original creator or publisher and rarely professionally published. Some people like reading about characters they know and love in new scenarios, but others may feel these are not creative and—even more so—are a form of plagiarism.

Did you know?  Many classic works of literature are actually classified as fan fiction. For example, Inferno by Dante and Paradise Lost by John Milton.

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