What is Fan Fiction?
As I sit down with pen and paper, I begin to think of how best to begin my newest work. How can I change something in one of my favorite movies? This work is not the next big thing in normal fiction, the type I need a publisher to get out to the world. No, this work is to be released on the internet, because this is a work of fan fiction. But most people do not know about this community online.
According to dictionary.com, fan means “an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity, etc.” Also, fiction is “the class of literature comprising works of imaginative narration.” So fan fiction is fiction based off of something that a person is a fan. This can be movies, television shows, music videos, books, comics, and video games, but there are some authors that do not allow fan fiction based on their works to be published online. Anne Rice, the writer of The Vampire Chronicles, is one such author.
One of the biggest websites for fan fiction is fanfiction.net. It has thousands of users, both as writers and readers. Of course there are people read fan fiction, but are not official users. So there is an known number of fans of the community. I personal am on this site, but it has allowed me to meet people all of the world.
Most of the fan fiction writers begin young. MidnightWalking states, “I started writing when I was in eighth grade, and I did it because I enjoyed it.” I began my writing in the fourth grade. The problem is that until I discovered I had no way to improve my writing. “I could write and post stories that others would read and send reviews on,” states MidnightWalking. Reviews are messages written by readers that express their opinion on the work and are posted for all to see.
But there is a dark side. Some writers and readers hide what they do. Some do not understand the love of fan fiction. For instance, Mickey Caresen states, “I don't really tell a lot of people that I read/write fanfiction, mostly because they think it's stupid.” Yes, we do take characters from works created by others, but we do things to them that some may not have thought of before.
Think of one of your favorite movies. Then think of one of the main plot points. What would happen if the main character choose something else then what they did? Would the ending be the same or would the ending be better in your mind? That's what fan fiction allows a person to do. It is the writers of fan fiction who create these alternate universes. It is we who create an ending for a movie that we wish had ended differently. The writers create sequels for movies that will never happen, but the fans wish existed.