Amazon announced Kindle Worlds today - which will be a 'place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games'.
My heart stopped beating there for a couple of seconds when I saw the article regarding it on The Mary Sue, and, after it started working again, my immediate reaction was 'Uh buh?'
I learned to write by writing fanfics (though, at that time, I had no idea what a fanfic was). A lot of my friends who are currently writers started out the same way; they began by writing fanfics before moving on to their own original stuff. A lot of us still write fanfics from time to time, mainly when we need a break from our other stories or from life in general.
Fanfics have a quite a sordid past; some authors think it's okay, some authors don't. There have been several debates and articles written about the legality of fanfic over the years. However, regardless of if you like fanfic or hate it, almost everyone agrees that fanfics should never be published or sold for profit.
By creating Kindle Worlds, Amazon has caused quite a stir. Now not only is it okay to write fanfic, but it's okay to publish it too! The authors will earn a profit, and the rights holders will get royalties.
The world may never be the same again.
But, as much as this is interesting and exciting news - I don't know if it's going to work out. Why will people pay to read fanfics when they can find them for free on sites like Fanfiction.net, An Archive Of Our Own, Tumblr, Wattpad, and Figment? Plus at this time Kindle Worlds is only available for a select amount of series - like Vampire Diaries and Glee. Others will be added over time, but I doubt they'll be able to get everybody to agree with them as I am sure there are still people who are not okay and will never be okay with fanfic (for example, I highly doubt that Anne Rice Disney will give their okay for others to play in their worlds)
What are your thoughts, dear reader?
On other fronts, Patricia C Wrede has several helpful blog posts that she has published regarding Writing Methods, Action, Landscape Vs Setting, and Dialogue. A friend, Jewel E Leonard, shared this link with me earlier this week: it discusses the top 10 Storytelling cliches.
I'm still plugging along at writing when I can. Sewing has taken the priority though; first I was rushing to get several things done for our visits to the local Renaissance Faire, now I'm working on a friend's wedding dress. It's a gorgeous number that she bought off of ebay, but she wants a blue panel between the lace layer and the under skirt. Expect a lot of sewing updates soon. A lot of them!
*This quote from Star Wars felt oddly appropriate as I am sure there are people all over who are both celebrating the announcement of Kindle Worlds and cursing it's creation right now...