Fanfiction (or fanfic) is defined on Wikipedia as “is fiction about characters or settings from an original work of fiction, created by fans of that work rather than by its creator.” It’s all over the internet, and just about every show, film and book out there will have some people who loved it or hated it enough to write fanfic about it.
Fans write fanfic for a number of reasons. To “fix” storylines that went a way they didn’t like, to give characters more in-depth backstories, to get those character who they love together romantically or just to have some fun in a fictional world they love.
I’ve read fanfiction, in fact I go through stages of reading nothing but it in various fandoms to not reading any of it for months. I’ve read it based on soap operas, films and even some TV shows that I only know the basics about. I’ve even written fanfiction in the past – no I’m not going to link to it! While I don’t think I’m ashamed of it, sometimes I feel like fanfiction is a bit like fight club and you’re not supposed to talk about it in the wider world.
I don’t think fanfiction is bad. I know some people might say it’s a form of plagiarism or it stops people from reading “proper books” but if people are reading, not matter if it’s fanfiction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the latest Rainbow Rowell book surely that’s a good thing?
And when you write fanfiction, you’re writing improves. You get better at smaller things like spelling and grammar as well as the bigger stuff like structure and how to write conversations without ending every utterance with an adverb, e.g. “he said fondly.”
Fanfiction is no bad thing. Some people write for themselves and would never dream of posting their work on any fanfiction sites, others want to share their work and some of them are so incredibly talented they can make you laugh and cry – either way is fine.
I’m not sure I’ve said everything I really wanted to say, or explained myself well. I just think fanfiction is a part of the internet and it means a lot to some people, and while it’s not something many people want to shout about outside fandom spaces, I don’t think it’s fair to make fun of people who love fanfiction and love to read and even write it.
What are your thoughts on fanfiction? Have you read or written any? Do you ever read fanfiction about shows or films that you’ve never watched?