Okay, I know this probably makes me a bitch, but I am so not on-board with Amazon’s new “Kindle Worlds” licensed-and-paying fanfic thing.
This probably sounds weird, right? I mean, I love fanfic. I write fanfic. I champion fanfic as worthwhile writing and a worthwhile use of time and effort. I champion fanfic as wonderful practice for young writers who need a training ground where they can get feedback and improve their skills. And, I would love for more content creators to do what Lucas did with Star Wars and open their worlds up to exploration by established authors — to license other professionals to play in those worlds that have so much room in them.
Except I’m pretty sure Amazon’s model could kill all of that.
Because what it’s going to do is legitimize plenty of people who just flat-out shouldn’t be legitimized as professional writers. People who do not have the talent or the discipline. (Frankly, online publishing in general has already done a lot of that, and it’s something that I resent in a really unlovely way). It’s not going to mean more worthy writers getting attention. It’s going to mean more money going to hacks like E L James.
I think there still needs to be a bit of a crowbar there between writing informally, for fun and pleasure and the amusement of your friends, and writing formally, professionally, as a career. I think this will not only dilute the field of writers who deserve attention, it’s also going to be a detriment to the field of fanfiction by making it… just something it shouldn’t be. Fanfiction should be experimental, explorative, done for the joy and the experience, not commercial.
This is, of course, only my opinion and no one is obligated to share it, but I’m really not going to be swayed from it, either.