My feelings about fan fiction are wavery at best. I enjoy reading it; you could say that it’s a guilty pleasure of mine. My first long form story was a Lord of the Rings fan fiction. I was very proud of the fact that I had hand written well over 50 pages.
Yet fan fiction often is crap. For every good story, you get thirty seven that fail miserably. My first fic? Well, let’s just say that it was one of the thirty seven. These days, I find myself writing fan fiction (and reading it) when my own stories grind to a halt. I worked on a Highlander fic last month because my own characters were being uncooperative. Don’t expect to read it, though.
What can I say? It’s fun to try on other characters, to imagine how their writers crafted them. Trying out different situations with preestablished characters is a good way to work on maintaining characterization. I can see why people like reading and writing it (because I certainly do). But just the same…I really don’t want to read the dross.