Gabaldon and Martin ask why fanfic writers don’t just develop their own characters, or at least appropriate old characters in the public domain (Jane Eyre, for instance), but I think they’re not accounting for this impulse, a desire to participate actively in the culture. Given the speed of current culture, our mythic figures – from Batman to Buffy Summers – spring up and coalesce into cultural touchstones at a rapid clip. And many people want to engage creatively with these characters and the worlds they inhabit. Some may want to give voice to certain erotic fantasies. Some just want to play around in the sandbox with characters. And some love a fictional world but perhaps don’t recognize themselves in it, or find themselves marginalized in it (as could be the case in the Lt. Uhura example quoted here), so they want to transform the world, if only a little.
Fan Fiction: Moral Rights v. Transformative Use by Brent Bell