I am a huge fan of fanfiction and for Writerly Wednesdays 10 I have decided to tell you all why. The media would have you believe fanfiction is all about sexy stories and nothing else - they could not be more wrong. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy my reasoning. Some of my reasons are superficial, some, not so much.
10 Reasons Fanfiction is Amazing
- Fanfiction writers can fix anything.
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So your favourite character is dead and has been chopped into a million pieces by a wood chipper and there is no magic or superpowers in this universe to save them. Wait! No they aren't, actually it was their evil twin, who was trying to take over their live, that died. You fav is still in the basement, waiting to be rescued. (And that's still better than waking up to find your dead husband in the shower!)
If you can think it, someone has probably written it and if they haven't, you can write it yourself. Someone will love you for it. Fanfiction can even fix things like the fiasco that was the end of Forever Knight, where they basically killed a good percentage of the cast.
No problem is too great or too small for fanfiction writers to tackle. It can be fixed.~*~
- OTPs for all!
Your one true pairing not being shown in the book/movie/tv show? Someone will have written it.
If you can think of a pairing there is most like a fic for it, all you have to do is look for it. If it's incest or going to squick a good few people then there will definitely be fic about it ;).~*~
- Alternative Universes
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Do you long to see your favourite characters as if they were all in high school together? How about where some work in a coffee shop and others are the customers? Want to see what they'd do outside of their magic laden, supernatural world, or how about if they were taken from their modern setting and thrown back in history?
Fanfiction explores it all. High School AU, Barista AU, Regency AU, Non-magic AU, Pirate AU, Slave AU, Space AU - they are all out there and so many more. Fanfiction writers are some of the most creative people on the planet.~*~
You may have seen slash mentioned in the media, or femslash. This is where writers take two male characters or two female characters and put them in a relationship together. Slash is the most popular, simply because much of the media out there has leading men, or at least that's one of the main reasons - there are others covered in a lot of meta about the subject.
In fanfiction you also find a lot more characters who are asexual or bisexual, genderfluid or transsexual. Fanfiction is a subversive medium and many things that mainstream media has only recently been willing to even mention have been going on in fanfiction for decades.
For a long time, especially with TV, the only place you were going to find a strongly written, well thought out female characters with a real part to play was in the fanfiction. It is improving slowly and books have always been better at it than TV and film, but if you want fantastic female characters, fanfiction is the place to look.
Whitewashing is something we see all too often in Hollywood. Too often the characters of colour are the sidekicks or the people in the background. Fanfiction can bring them to the forefront. Hopefully mainstream media will get with the program more and more, but until then, fandom has the answers.~*~
- Amazing smut.
The modern media seems to be obsessed with Fifty Shades of Grey, which started off as Twilight fanfiction. Let me say, there are works out there that are sooooo much better. Some are admittedly worse, but there is so much great, hot smut out there for the discerning reader.
There are the most amazingly well written, steaming hot sex scenes sometimes woven into the most intricate and satisfying plots that you have ever read. I kid you not. Just go and look on Archive of Our Own - find the fandom you love and then look at all the wonderful adult rated stories.
Wesley/Gunn by The Theban Band~*~
Did you ever wonder what would happen if the real Scooby gang ended up fighting off vampires with Buffy or if Harry Potter fell into the land of Middle Earth?
Fanfiction writers have wondered with you.
Some crossovers are written just to bring two characters from different universes together. Others like to merge two universes to create a whole new one (also known as a fusion). Then there are those which drop characters from one universe into a completely different one just to see what will happen.
All are valid, all are wonderful. A good crossover is a fabulous thing and something you just don't get in mainstream media because different people tend to hold the copyright on different show/books/films.~*~
- Absolutely stunning writing.
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When someone loves something enough to create for it, the results are often superb. There are 100K+ word epics in the archives that are better than the original material they derive from. There are 1000 word shorts that make your heart ache for the characters in them.
Fanfiction is not the lower cousin of original fiction, it is simply a different kind of fiction with its greats and its goods. It's not all wonderful, but neither is original fiction - just take a wander through Amazon a time or two to see that. There are jewels buried in the mass of fanfiction, I promise and you'll still get a great read from the mass too, even if not all of the stories are classics :).~*~
- There are no constraints
In the world of fanfiction creativity is encouraged. There are no confines and no matter what you write, someone will read it. There's no guarantee they'll love it, but someone will read it :).
No one is going to tell you, you can't write it. Well, I'll take that back, there might be some people who try to tell you that, but don't believe them - they don't speak for the majority.
'N Sync as fish? Go for it. John and Rodney from Stargate Atlantis as penguins? It exists. Characters as personifications of inanimate objects? So much of it exists.
You can explore anything you like in fanfiction and people do. It's incredible.
- Wonderful Learning Space
If you want to practice your writing skills, fanfiction is a wonderful learning space in which to do it. Criticism can be hard, but if you are willing to put yourself out there and take the advice other members give you, you can improve so much.
I know that my writing when I first started in fanfiction was woefully inadequate in certain aspects. Everything I have learned from other writers has only helped.
You can also learn all sorts of other things when reading fanfiction: the importance of diversity, consideration, historical facts, awareness of issues, feminism, science, arts. There are so many well read, learned people who write fanfiction or meta about it that it is impossible to not come out more educated than when you started reading.~*~
If you want to make some amazing friends and find support from a wonderful community, fanfiction is a fantastic space for you. Fandom in general is great, but, I have found, those involved in fanfiction are often the best of the best.
Do you love fanfiction? What reasons did I miss?
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