So, as I was looking around for things that interested me, I came across this post on Wired. On the one hand, there is a certain stigma associated with fanfiction. But I think that is because when most people hear it, they immediately think of the most horrendous, horrible stuff imaginable. They don't think back to when little kids think they are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which I think is the sort of play that Thompson is talking about here.
Thompson goes on to talk about the Brontes, but most people are probably aware of other famous writers who created magical (maybe even mundane) worlds in their heads as kids. So, I don't see a problem in giving kids a leg up by giving them a starting point. Eventually, you would hope, they start to make their own worlds (mainly because I think that's more fun, and yes, I will force that belief onto others).
This is also sort of the thrust of that book I was reading, "As If." When you really think about it, the Baker Street Irregulars are really just Shakespeare fanfic writers. Though, I imagine, calling them that probably means I'll never be able to join them. Oh well.
Honestly, it also must be a pretty nifty buzz for a writer too. I think if people wanted to create stories in my made up worlds, I'd be pretty hip to it. In fact, fanfiction, I think, is part of building those communities in fiction "As If" talks about. Those people dressing up in Star Fleet uniforms and the like, probably are the natural extension of fanfics.
I am still working on the follow up for the last post. If you want a copy of the story to help understand it, let me know, and I'll send it your way. Also, remember to follow the blog and share if you check here regularly. The statistics tell me people are Google searching for the URL, which you shouldn't have to do.