I do, however, really appreciate fan art. I have spent hourstime browsing the Wheel of Time art at Deviant Art and other sites, some of which is amazing:
|Moiraine Damodred by Westling|
As a wanna-be author, I am of two minds about fan fiction, specifically. I understand the lure of taking a beloved character or story and taking it in a direction of your own choosing. I can see how that would be both enjoyable and, perhaps, a very good writing exercise. And, I suppose, I can see why people would want it read online or even published. It just feels a little close to copyright violation. If I (I've daydreamed about this...) publish a book with original characters in it, would I be okay with people taking those characters and twisting or manipulating them into a different story? The writing I've done feels very personal-- it's a creation (somewhat akin to a child, I suppose) that is all mine, hopefully, and I don't know if I would want someone playing around with it.
I do believe in fan art, however. I love to see how talented artists picture my favorite characters much the way that I do.
Then again, how different is fan art from a modern re-telling of a fairy tale or a "reboot" of a classic comic book character's story. Maybe there are really no original ideas anyway! Twilight is vampire fan art. There are many interpretations on Sherlock Holmes (books, TV and movies), as well as all the classic horror characters. Maybe I've been too hard on would-be authors writing stories with their favorite modern characters.
I'm still not going to go looking for fan fic right now. I have so many books on my to-reads list already.