14. Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.– Ernest Hemingway
To extend the metaphor, fanfiction is interior decoration. That is, fanfic takes an existing structure and works within in. Prose has to start from the ground up. You design the entire structure, taking into account how the foundation supports the framework, what the framework allows for the space inside, what the characters will do once inside that space- it’s all you.
Also, there’s something to be said for the complex science that is architecture, versus the less mathematical interior design. If a design plan flops, the building doesn’t fall. So much of architecture sits quietly behind the scenes, belying the hours effort that went into it. Another trained architect can see and admire the effort, but most of us don’t notice when we walk into a building. We’re glad its there, and we appreciate that the building serves it purpose for us, but few of us can see the blood sweat and tears.