The Ten Commandments of Fan Fiction

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Title: The Ten Commandments of Fan Fiction
Creator: Kathryn Andersen
Date(s): September 20, 2005
Medium: online
Fandom: Panfandom
Topic: Fanfiction
External Links:
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The Ten Commandments of Fan Fiction is an essay by Kathryn Andersen inspired by B. Cavis' The Ten Commandments essay, and based upon the wording of Deuteronomy 5:6-21.


Just recently, I came across someone's version of "The Ten Commandments of Fanfic", which was rather an amusing idea, though I didn't like the actual commandments they'd done. So I thought I'd make my own version, and since fikgirl is having a bad day, I thought I'd hurry it up, finish it, and post it now.

The Ten Commandments Of Fanfic

In the beginning, the story was without form, and void, and blankness was upon the face of the paper. And God said, "Let us create Authors in Our own image, that there may be sub-creations." And it was so, and God saw that it was good.

And the Authors increased and multiplied upon the face of the earth. And behold, there was much writing, and there were books, and there were movies, and there was television. And God saw that 90% of it was junk, but yet there was 10% of it that was good.

There came a day, when the children of the Authors were enslaved by a great nation, whose name was Copyright and Trademark. For before, where Authors had made works based upon other works, now they were swooped upon by Lawyers who put them in chains.

And the Lord God led the people out of Copyright, into the land of Fanfic. And the people rejoiced, and wrote.

And so that they should strive to write well, the Lord God gave them these commandments:

The Commandments

  • Thou shalt have no canon but Canon. Thou shalt not confuse fanon with canon.
  • Thou shalt not take the name of the Prime Authors in vain
  • Keep the stories free.
  • Thou shalt honor thy fellow authors.
  • Thou shalt not insult the intelligence of thy readers.
  • Thou shalt remember that character is plot, and that plot is character.
  • Thou shalt not steal, moreover thou shalt not plagiarize.
  • Thou shalt show and thou shalt not tell.
  • Thou shalt use beta-readers, for thou art not perfect, and fresh eyes can see the flaws that thou hast overlooked.