I've got a question :/

So-- strictly online speaking-- I mostly write novelizations of Video Games.
It’s not exactly “original work” though it’s an original take on them, but it’s not exactly “fanfiction” either cause I’m not tearing apart the world or throwing in world breaking OC’s that destroy canon or anything.
I’ve always tried to find a category my books fit in, and I can’t find one.
There doesn’t seem to be a category for “Novelizations of other forms of media” that isn’t just labeled “fanfiction”

I take my work very seriously; I want people who enjoy the original games to enjoy these books, and I want newcomers to enjoy the books where they couldn’t get into the games.
But I feel the term “fanfiction” has a lot of negative connotations around it that ward off readers, yet I can’t claim it’s wholly original either.

Other than just not labeling it anything-- which sucks when I’m trying to come up with tags for my books-- what should I do?

I’m open to suggestions.

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I mean, you aren’t the only one who does this and it’s considered legitimate fiction/novels. I have a Halo book that is based on the game series, but the difference between it and fan fiction is that the people who made the games commissioned a novelization and the writer wrote it with their backing, so it’s considered canon to the franchise. My suggestion is to contact the developers of the games you want to write for and pitch your ideas, see what they have to say.

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For a moment I thought you were saying YOU were commissioned to write a book for Halo and I was like “Well holy crap that’s awesome! Good for you!”
I was mistaken lol

I actually did drive up to Redwood once, and knocked on the doors of Nintendo in the hopes of pitching the idea of novelizations. You can’t email them directly, you can’t call them. The most contact you have is with customer support and they turn you away if you even hint at wanting to make a pitch.
When I got there, the doors were locked, and I was turned away by some hipster-looking security guards who looked more into vape and coffee than video games.
Not sure why a company like Nintendo would hire people like that, but that’s just how it is I guess.

Making these books official doesn’t seem to be in the cards at the moment, is what I’m saying.
But without that seal of approval, no one takes what I do seriously.

Oops, I apologize for the miscommunication. My bad, poor wording.

That’s unfortunate. Nintendo may not be a viable option then, but if you are interested, you could try other games and their respective companies. If your heart is set on the Nintendo games though, you may have to settle for fanfiction, I’m afraid. Without that official seal of approval, it really can’t be considered canon and falls directly into the category of fanfiction. I’m sorry.

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tsk, yeah, that’s what I was afraid of.
I did end up writing a Silent Hill piece, and Final Fantasy, but I feel like both of those stories live in a limbo of copyright laws between companies.

Aw well, maybe I just needed someone tell me what I already knew so I could accept it.

Who knows, maybe people will see my stuff in fanfiction, give it a shot, and realize some people actually know what they’re doing
One can hope

Thanks for answering my self defeatist question by the way lol

There’s always hope that the developers will hear about your work and approach you instead. And at the very least, you can count on people in the fandom loving it. I know there’s a lot of stigma around fanfiction, but honestly, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it and it can provide a great community.

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The few people who’ve gotten involved my work have been some of the nicest people I’ve met, so I’m glad to be working on these stories even if they don’t make anything back.
But that being said, I’m 25, and the most success I’ve had in my life to this point is a few people on the internet bothered to take my hobby serious for a minute :man_facepalming:
I just need to find a way outta this rut

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Oof, yeah, I can relate. I wish you luck!

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Unfortunately, it would be considered under the massive fan fiction umbrella simply because it’s not 100% your story and world. Fan fiction does get a lot of negative connotations, but that’s mostly because of the celebrity fan fiction you often see and hear about, or the badly written romances—things like After and Fifty Shades of Grey, both of which were originally fan fiction: After being about Harry Styles, and Fifty Shades being about Twilight (Bella and Edward, I suppose?)

But there’s a lot of different types of fan fiction out there, and there’s also a massive fan base for it too. I constantly scroll through BookTok and hear about fan fictions everywhere, whether they’re from Wattpad, A03, or elsewhere. Some major authors even got into writing with fan fiction and still read it, even at 30 years old. Is there a bad reputation with them? Sure. But there’s a bad reputation with every genre at some point. I mean, look at romance and erotica. People constantly look down on them, judge you for writing or reading it, and more. And yet, those two are the number one bestselling genres of all time. :woman_shrugging:

The thing is, though, is that writing a novelization on a video game (specifically one you haven’t gotten the permission to write for and had the thumbs up from the developers to get ideas on what to put in it, etc. to make it all canon) is fan fiction. It’d be completely different if they gave you permission and even got it published, because then, it would be part of the whole storyline, etc. Think of it like the Avatar: the Last Airbender comics and novels. They’re not fan fiction because they’re continuing the stories of the characters, they got the permission, and everything is canon, especially since they added bits and pieces from the comics into the universe of Legend of Korra that even set up the setting. But if they were in your shoes where they weren’t getting published and had the OGs names on it, it would be considered fan fiction, and seeing what happens to the gang wouldn’t be considered canon at all.

But if you really don’t want your story to be associated with fan fiction, you can make it original by not making it a full novelization of the video game. You can write a story that is inspired by the video game. For example, I could write a story that’s inspired by the Forest (which a horror survival game about a man being stranded on an island after being in a plane crash, trying to find his lost son, and trying to survive a village of mutated cannibals) where someone is on an island, trying to escape it and get help, but also finding the dark truths and secrets that hide within the islands caverns—a village of mutated people after they all got infected with some unknown disease. Actually, this sounds like a great book lol. You could, technically (or possibly) get away with such a plotline, especially if you try to twist the video game into your favor so yours sounds different. You’re still nudging to the video game, it’s not a fan fiction, and it’s 100% yours. Wins all around. But if you do decide to go this route, you do want to make it well known that the story was inspired by said video game just so people who know of the game aren’t thinking you’re ripping it off.

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While I absolutely have in the past taken inspiration from other works-- in a “redesigning character costumes until the ship’s a different ship/ taking aesthetic inspiration” kind of way (I’m actually working on a sci-fi novel based around certain random events I played through in Sims)-- my goal with the series I’m currently working on unfortunately only works with all the original pieces…

I wanted to take the aspects of the story, world, and characters of certain games that a lot of people couldn’t get in to because they couldn’t see passed he broken game mechanics. I wanted to emphasize the lore of the worlds I enjoy and draw on for inspiration, to help these stories reach a wider audience they otherwise might not have. Some people don’t play video games, they just read books, or watch movies, and that’s unfortunate since games tend to have way more engaging and thought out storylines.

I think at this point though-- unless we want to just make up a new word on the spot-- what I do can’t help but be labeled fanfiction. I was hoping to find a label that fit that could help pull my works away from that tag, but it’s too all encompassing to escape.
Original works, Authorized publications, and Fanfictions.
Those seem to be the only options : /

Also yes. That sounds like a good idea lol