Well, Squiders, we’ve talked about fandom a bit in the past, but I’ve had a rather worrying bout of it recently. (Not even about anything specific. Just…stuff.)
You see, I am going to a con in mid-June and not only do I not get to them nearly as often as used to, but this also the first one in a few years where I will not have to wrangle family as well, so I got a little overzealous about things, and have had to resort to bizarre measures to stop myself from putting together fifteen cosplays in the next few weeks.
So for this week and next, we’ll be looking at the creative aspects of fandom, and perhaps the one people think of first is fanfiction. Heck, Amazon is even publishing fanfiction now, so there you are.
Fanfiction, for those of you have been living under a rock, is where a writer takes a world and/or characters that are not theirs and writes a story in it. Wikipedia tells me that the first known work of fanfiction was written in the 1400s by Robert Henryson (based off of one of Chaucer’s works). And apparently the Bronte sisters wrote real person fanfiction back in the day.
The modern era of fanfiction was started by Star Trek fans (no one is surprised) back in the ‘60s.
The world of fanfic can be kind of a scary place. I think my first journey in was back in the ‘90s when I found Pokemon fanfiction. (Don’t judge me, Pokemon is awesome.) And without knowing what things like genfic or slash or AU mean, you can stumble onto some things you wish you hadn’t.
If you’re interested in reading some fanfiction, you can try a site like Fanfiction.net, which is a repository for several different fandoms. Many fandoms also have their own websites. Be aware, before diving in, that the quality of story can vary widely, from things that sound like a five-year-old dreamed it up to epic tales that may, in some ways, be better than the source material.
Fanfiction may also be the most controversial of ways people show their love of things. Some creators don’t like the idea of other people messing with their characters, especially in situations that may involve more sex or violence than the source material had. Even among writers, there’s arguments about whether or not writing fanfiction can help you hone your writing skills.
I know we’ve talked specifically about fanfiction here before, but feel free to let me know any thoughts you have on the matter, whether you like it or not, read or write it, and if you have any examples of truly awesome stories to share.