Many people by now have heard of the piece of fanfiction turned bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey, and I know that currently many people are hating on E.L.James, either for her success, the fact that her writing is terrible, or that she got successful by using someone else’s characters.
I want to touch upon the last point actually. To begin with, there should be no shame in writing fanfiction. I know it receives a lot of negativity, but there’s nothing wrong with writing these stories. As long as the original author’s wishes are respected, there should be no legal issue. A number of famous writers (Cassandra Claire, for example) wrote fanfiction at one point; it’s a great tool that helps you develop your writing skills and receive feedback from people. I often reflect upon my earliest fanfics and compare them with my writing style now, and I feel proud that I’ve managed to come so far.