Fan fiction in any form can be entertaining.
Some people use it to hone their own skills (be they writing, drawing, digital art, comics strips, voice acting, etc) others use it as a form of immersion. Personally, fan fiction is a fine instrument that, when used correctly, has an infinite amount of potential.
The difficulty with the English language is that it has an affinity for vagueness.~ E. Nygma, The Riddler Speaks
Writing, in any form, has unlimited potential. As theriddlerspeaks has often said: “Plans are like empty buildings – there is plenty to go around.” How hard is it to find a unique idea that NOBODY else has done… ever? It is extremely difficult. But, the real question is HOW to present an age-old idea and make it stand out? That is, I believe, where fan fiction comes in.
“Writing like other people is how everyone starts, who you read, what you watch, it’ll all end up in there. As long as you can differentiate between doing it on purpose and on accident you’re at least moving in the right direction.”~Zack Carrick, The Life and Mind of a Pseudo Functional Psychotic
Already, writing is very hard. Such a small portion of people can sit down and pound out a novel in a few weeks – an even smaller amount even get published. Personally, save for a couple Riddler-related one-shots, I have never made much of an attempt at using fan fiction as a writing tool. As for my fellow Wattpad members: I have watched them grow as writers (and readers) by writing fan fiction.
I remember, when I first published “Gotham Unhinged” (on either wattpad or fanfiction.net – I forget) somewhere around the 2007-08 area, the community was extremely helpful in assisting me with the development of characters and plot. Practice in writing a character smarter (I needed no assistance with the insane part… #iwonderwhy) than myself provided something to my own writing experience I had never thought about before: ACTING. This experience, too, assisted in my development of what I like to call the spiderweb form of plot creation. The Spiderweb is the theory that everything (no matter how small) connects to some bigger picture. George R. R. Martin and Mark Twain have both talked about it in either interviews or autobiographies (and, can’t we all learn from the greats?).
A lot of my fellow creators (some are friends as well) developed their own ideas by taking an idea and characters previously published or presented in another media. Something about taking an idea and twisting it into your own seems good practice for us writers.
But, is it healthy?
And that just brings a whole other level to this….
I’ll leave that up to you!