Writing Wednesdays: Fan fic

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After noticing the titles on my Kindle the other day, I remembered that I’ve been meaning to blog about Sherlock Holmes — not the books and stories, per se (after all, I’ve already voiced my admiration), but the fanfic.

I first read about this a few months ago, in Emily Nussbaum’s piece on the television show in The New Yorker. It sent me down a happy rabbit hole of Googling, where I discovered site upon site of new stories. Which makes sense — imitation is a time-tested way to learn a craft, and what better way to get over the lack of new material than to create some yourself? I remember enjoying “rewriting” the ending to Ethan Frome in 10th grade, and while I can’t say it’s something I can see myself making time for now, I can believe I’d have fun if I did.

Do you write or read fanfic?

2 thoughts on “Writing Wednesdays: Fan fic

  1. I have read quite a bit of fan fic, and I enjoy it, when I can ignore the glaring problems. For the Sherlock Holmes stories, the problem can be a little too much of what SEEMS like fidelity (“It was a rainy fall afternoon in Baker Street. My friend was lying upon the couch, deep in the haze of morphine…” etc.) but actually ignores that (1) not all stories are set on a rainy day in Baker Street, and (2) the drugs references occur in maybe 4 or 5 of the 56 short stories and 4 novels (now if you want to talk about drugs, let’s talk about his serious nicotine habit, which if anything killed him, that was surely it!). But I will admit it is no easy thing to write a faithful pastiche involving a character that Doyle himself didn’t like and didn’t care a twig about. The stories themselves are not consistent. But I will say that for someone who is often depicted as “emotionally detached,” Holmes laughs quite a lot. I often feel that these new Sherlock stories have done poor Sherlock more harm than good (though I do enjoy them myself–I just look at this Sherlock as an “alternate reality” Sherlock with the loosest ties to the real thing.)

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