Over the last eight or nine months, I’ve spent a lot of time teaching creative writing to children. When I started, I found it a little frustrating that no matter what the prompt or lesson or skill development, almost every child in every class would start off with a Great New Idea, which promptly turned into fan fiction the moment their pen hit the paper.
What started as “a race car driver has to win his final race to save the world from aliens” quickly became Top Gear fan fiction.
What started as “a girl has to find magical mushrooms to defeat an evil monster” was suddenly set at Hogwarts.
I spent far too much of my time trying to figure out how to overcome this “problem”. And then it occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t actually a problem at all.
In fact, writing fan fiction was incredibly beneficial to these kids. And the more I thought about it, the more I came to realise that writing fan fiction can be beneficial for anyone — whether you’re a brand new writer or a highly experienced one. [Read more…]