Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More on fan fiction as a way to make a name for yourself

After my recent post debating the merits of writing fan fiction under one's own name, I got an email from Susan Bridges of With her permission, I'm reprinting it below.

I saw your blog post with the question regarding fan fiction. My husband and I are kind of in the same boat in some ways.

See, we have a podcasting company --, which we founded back in 2004. It's not the "here's some guys talking about what they think" type of podcasts -- all the shows are scripted serials released monthly. Pendant started out as all DC fan fiction, but over time we added other original shows (and we still add the occasional fan fiction show as well, both DC related and in other genres). We also maintain a comic-type continuity among our DC shows.

While no one who works on Pendant shows is paid, it's, well... huge. We have writers, editors (including a continuity editor who focuses on all of our DC universe material), actors, directors, producers, and promotions people from all over the world. As far as podcasting companies go, we're very well respected, and nobody else puts out material on deadline so consistently -- we haven't missed a scheduled release date in years. We're also popular -- right now we are slated to have over 3 million MP3 files downloaded this year.

Currently we're leveraging Pendant to get in with comic companies. We've got some comic proposals put together with the help of some of our friends, and I mention to them that Pendant basically produces scripted original serials. By having some business cards and explaining a bit about Pendant, I managed to get our proposals to editors at IDW and Aspen. So I'm using Pendant to gain some leverage and set us apart from other unpublished writers, even though much of Pendant is fan fiction related. Whether or not it'll really work... well, it's too soon to tell, I suppose.

So perhaps I spoke to soon and fan fiction can be a legitimate way into mainstream writing. Time will tell, I suppose.


  1. One of my good friends wrote on a fan BB for one of major Soap Operas a few years back.

    Her stuff had a MAJOR following and she got so popular that the writers of the show started actually RIPPING HER OFF VERBATIM. I'm not kidding either. Word for word.

    She stopped writing the fan fiction after that.

    I hounded her for years to put together her OWN show and last week she presented me with the outline for her own show and it's pretty good.

    Now she's finally writing something that she can sell.

    Fan fiction is fine, but you're better off writing something original.

  2. Just as an addendum, these days we run Pendant more than we write for it. In the past, we wrote more. Now we have a staff of writers. The good part about the fan fiction is that it helps us gain audience for our original shows.

    We also have several spec screenplays and comic proposals, and we're working on a new spec now. Having a body of original work is of course a must.