Jordan's got a fairly unique question:
In my spare time when I'm not doing original work, I like to work on fan-fiction. While I'll drop this when I receive my first professional gig, one major plus is I am doing it in script format to hone my craft. It's mainly for fun during down-time, plus I don't have the pressure of original specs. The style isn't anything I can really submit for writing samples, although I am working on a number of specs in various genres to show my writing capabilities.
I would like to post these online to entertain fellow fans, but considering I want to be a screenwriter, would it be wise to write under an alias? I would like to go for a job on a currently running show, but would I be less likely to get an assignment if the Producers see I write fan-fiction based on the show? Would a future employer frown on me if they found out that I previously wrote fan-fiction? Can any good come of posting it under my real name? I mean, I take pride in my work and I want people to know I created these scripts. By the same token, however, I can understand the other side of the argument.
I know it sounds like a stupid question, but I'm genuinely curious on protocol.
I think the most relevant question you ask is "Can any good come from posting it under my real name?" My gut answer is, "Not really." There's an excellent chance that this won't do you any harm either. My hunch is that most employers won't really care, but then I recall hearing stories of Star Trek fans who were lucky enough to get pitch meetings on the various TV-series feeling that it was best to not advertise their fan-fiction pasts when meeting with producers.
Most of the time, the people creating your favorite shows are simply too busy to pay much attention to things like fan fiction and those online sites. Plenty of writers might lurk on fan boards to see the reaction to a particular episode or to gauge what show elements are connection with viewers and which ones aren't, but if anything, they'll avoid fan fiction like the plague in order to avoid any chance of being sued for stealing ideas.
That said, suppose you write it under your real name. Then somehow you manage to get a meeting with one of the story editors and his Google search of your name sends him to several fan fiction postings. First, he's probably not going to read it (again, legal reasons), but he might make some assumptions based on that.
So it might be a big deal, it might not be. But why take that chance? If it was me, I'd just choose a nom de plume and post under that.
Anyone else have a different perspective?
And keep the questions coming, folks. I like that I'm getting some that are "off the beaten path" this time.
1 week ago