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5 Things I Wish People Knew About Fanfiction

On June 6, 2011, in Commentary, by Mokibobolink

5 Things I Wish People Knew About Fanfiction

5 Things I Wish People Knew About Fanfiction

After my last post, where I talked about an article that did nothing except forward some terrible stereotypes about fanfiction, I decided to discuss some things about fanfiction that not many non fic writers and readers know.

Such as….

1. Fanfiction is an incredibly fun hobby

Because of the legality of it, fanfiction will always be nothing more than a hobby. But oh what a hobby it is. If you write fanfic, it allows you to take something that you love and inject your own creativity into it. If you read fanfic, it lets you delve more into the world and minds of your favorite characters and stories, providing a nearly never- ending supply of new adventures.

2. Writing fanfic can be a challenge

Anything not completely AU requires research and unlike those who are actually paid to write these stories, we don’t have a “bible” (a term used more often in television for the guidebook that contains every fact about the show) to help us. Instead, us fic writers have to do things like watch episodes over and over, gleaning any clues we can about the characters and memorizing facts about their lives. What’s the birthday of one of the characters in our fic? Well if that info doesn’t happen to be in some wiki somewhere, we may have to try and remember an episode where it was mentioned, pull out our trusty DVD and watch it again to find out.

3. A lot of fanfic writers write gen fics, not just wildly AU, slash or overtly sexual ones

First off, I don’t want to insult anyone who DOES write those kinds of fics, but when trying to take away the stigma often associated with fanfiction, I can’t help but to address the most common problems people have with it. I have spoken to at least a couple people who were disgusted when I told them I wrote fanfic. When I asked why, it turned out they assumed that it was all about me writing some odd sexual fantasy, or romantically pairing straight characters into gay relationships. In other words, they thought I was changing characters they loved, or taking a canon storyline and throwing it out the window. The idea that many (if not most) fics are simply generic stories, ones that could easily be another episode in a series or a short tie-in novel (when was the last time you ever heard of anyone being shocked to find out someone wrote a tie-in novel?), hadn’t even crossed their mind. So I’d just love to get that idea out there more.

4. Not all fanfic writers and readers are teenagers

Again, not that there’s anything wrong with being a teenager. Believe me, there are days where I wish I still was, but alas those days are pretty far behind me. But I think if more people realized that fanfiction writers (and readers) came in all shapes, sizes, ages, sexes, and income brackets, that’d be one less stereotype to battle. If a person knew that there were people like themselves writing and reading fanfic, maybe they wouldn’t find it as strange of a hobby.

5. Reading fanfiction is terribly addicting

Whether your penchant is for gen fics that simply read like another chapter in the continuing saga of your favorite story, or if you enjoy reading fics that take things in a whole new direction, reading fanfiction can take over one’s life pretty fast. With the ability to download fic onto electronic readers, we can pretty much read it anywhere or anytime, just like our favorite novels. There’s nothing quite like finding a new genre to love or a new author whose stories capture the characters in a way that is close to your heart. Once that happens, it’s all over. You will simply have to learn to live with the dreaded condition known as fanfiction addiction. Sadly there is no cure….except for more fanfic!

And now once again, I toss it out to you guys. Is there anything you wish other people knew about reading or writing fanfiction?

Got a fanfiction issue, question or problem? I can help! I am now offering fanfiction consultating/coaching services to anyone, in any fandom, writing any type of story. If you’re interested in a consultation, just email me at Moki@mokisfanfictionblog.com to get a free evaluation and find out what I can do for you.

Want to know every time I add a new post? Be sure to subscribe to Moki’s Fanfiction Blog!


More on Moki’s Fanfiction Blog…
Is Fanfiction Better Left in Cyberspace?
Fanfiction Writing Tips: How To Get More Constructive Reviews
Hurt/Comfort Fanfiction, Why Do We Hurt The Ones We Love?

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  • Gaelicspirit

    *stands up and claps*

    You got my top five. I would only add that it’s a free, healthy escape. It offers you the opportunity to hone your writing skills (if that’s what you’re looking for). And (at least for me) it provides a venue to build friendships with like-minded people all over the world.

    I will definitely share and/or reference people here when I get that arched-bow reaction of, “Oh, I thought you said you were a writer…didn’t realize it was fanfiction….”

    Thanks for being such a champion for this genre and its writers. Believe me when I say very sincerely that it’s appreciated.

  • EmeraldSong

    Love this post!! I would also add that a really good fic writer often rivals published “original” authors. Fanfic doesn’t automatically mean bad writing, just as original fic doesn’t automatically mean good writing. I’ve actually read fics for fandoms I know nothing about, just b/c I stumbled across them and they were so good. At that point it really is like an original story.

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful blog. I would like to add that, like any new hobby, you need to do a little research before rushing in. If I was suddenly wanting to explore painting, I would check out what types of paints and brushs and canvasses were available and what suited me before purchasing. Same applies to fan fiction. I had to read a few different types of genres before I settled on my favourites.

    By and large, there are many more positives than negatives to FanFiction and it suits my extremely tight budget down to the ground.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to comment on the social side of FanFiction. I have recently moved from the UK to UAE with my husband and two children. With him at work and my children at school I and am finding the adjustment quite daunting and I miss home terribly.

    Although I have not been a member of FanFiction for very long, other members who know of my situation contact me frequently to discuss how I am and also the shows and stories that we love.

    Their kind consideration and positive thoughts has kept me sane during these last few months and has resulted in some wonderful friendships for which I will be forever grateful.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, that’s another great thing about it. I have now been lucky enough to meet someone in person who I only know because of fanfic. I have made many online friendships because of it, that’s for sure.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, great points! Thanks Liz. :o)

  • Anonymous

    So very true! I’m extremely biased of course but I think fanfic writers outdo most of the tie-in novels I’ve ever read. I almost have to think of them as two separate things and never compare them to each other.

  • Anonymous

    *stands up and bows*

    Why thanks! So glad you liked the article and I’m very happy to see that it is appreciated. :o)

  • Anonymous

    Excellent post.  Fanfic is so much fun, and it is *terribly* addicting – reading as well as writing. For me though, the best part is that it’s about the only truly creative outlet I have in my life and that is truly more important to me than I can express.
     
    Being able to share that creativity with others, to see that it’s being read by people from places in the world I’ve never been to, and even better to get encouragement and constructive criticism is astounding. The feeling I get from finishing a piece and publishing it is simply exhilarating.
     
    I actually quite like a lot of AU fic – the article on Cracked says it “uses characters after removing them from the context of anything interesting at all” – and while there’s many a true word said in jest, one of the benefits of writing fanfic is that the characters come ready made, so you can just dive straight in knowing that you have a ready made audience who will understand exactly how that person thinks and behaves. I have to caveat that by saying the “minor changes to canon” stories *tend* to be a lot better (but rarer) than those “set in a high school” – but there’s still sometimes the exception!

  • Anonymous

    Do you think it’s because fanfic’s written with love, and some tie-in novels seem to be more about a quick buck? (I’m particularly thinking of some of the ‘thinner’ Dr Who novelisations I read – and was disappointed with – as a child)

    I’ve occasionally read crossover fanfic where the other fandom is unknown to me, and if anything it’s only made me want to find out about that show, so I get what you mean EmeraldSong.

  • Pingback: Moki’s Supernatural Fanfiction Story – “Blood Brothers” – Chapter Two | Moki's Fanfiction Blog

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=717681643 Katie Nimmo

    Fanfiction Syndrome- the inability to stop reading Fanfiction

  • Anonymous

    LOL! Yes I know that syndrome well.  ;o)

  • Anonymous

    Yeah AU fic certainly does have its place as well, just as all fic does. Recently I’ve found myself sucked into a few “series” that have caught my interest. Where writers have added their own characters and complete storylines, with multiple fics in some cases, telling a whole different tale. Some of them are really quite good and I’m amazed at how engrossed I’ve gotten with characters that have never been seen on the show. 

    I know exactly how you feel about finding a place to post your work and receive encouragement and constructive criticism. Oh man, I so know that feeling you’re talking about after publishing a story or a new chapter. Such a great high. 

  • Anonymous

    You know, I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I think I may have to do a whole post about it as there are so many reasons why fanfic (to me) is better than the novels. 

    First off, most of the writers who do it are simply novelists taking a shot at a new show. I’m not even sure if all of them are fans, and even if they are, I don’t think they’re anywhere near the level of a “real” fan (if that makes sense). 

    Plus there’s the fact that you can pick and choose the exact genre, the exact characters and in some ways, the exact story you want to read in fanfiction. There are so many to choose from (especially in a fandom as large as, say, Supernatural), that you can truly find whatever story you’d like to read. The tie-in novelists have to write to suit the majority of readers and by doing so, usually fail to please anyone. Fanfic writers on the other hand may pick a very precise niche, but when they do, they only get readers of that niche and therefore make them extremely happy. 



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