Fanfiction is one of those guilty pleasures for some writers and their readers as well. Writers who like to delve into expanding on a literary world they already love or add to their favorite shows and movies, do it because it gives them a creative outlet. Readers of fanfiction often read it because they enjoy continuing the story long after the author has stopped writing the story or series.
The problem with fan-fiction is that when it is good, it is a great read of talented storytelling. However, when it’s bad, it’s typically trashy and treated like an old copy of Hustler found under your mattress, which you swear you do not own. Some fanfiction can be quite disturbing, depending upon the subject matter. Other fanfiction can be laughable when you read an inexperienced writer’s weak attempts at literary glory. Some fan-fiction authors are well versed in Ebonics and have nothing higher than a grasp of fifth-grade grammar. There have been times this author has read a story and cried out, “WTF am I reading?!” However, I have attributed most of those author’s work to things about Fifty Shades of WTF and vampires that sparkle. I’ll pass.
Some might find it strange to write or even read fanfiction. Some literary authors conclude that augmenting their existing works is a form of copying their creative ideas whereas other authors are quite flattered that their readers would want to take their world one step further. Then there are fanfiction authors who write their stories because they are dissatisfied with how the original author portrayed the characters or the outcome of the story and therefore come up with their endings or alternative story lines.
For instance, let’s look at J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. You will find a vast number of authors who write fanfiction for the HP Universe. It is by far one of the largest contributed groups of fanfiction. Thankfully, Rowling feels flattered enough to allow it. While most will praise her writings, your more seasoned writers are disgruntled with aspects of Rowling’s books in the way they are written and how she concluded the series. There are a lot of fanfiction stories that take Rowling’s epilogue, roll it up in a wad and toss it out the window. They have been written because they felt that Rowling took the cheap and easy way out explaining what happened to the three heroes at the end of the story.
Additionally, many of the writers also delve into the background of each of the characters. On one aspect, J.K. Rowling’s literary series was more of a setting that the characters were placed into instead a solid group of characters that had the setting evolve around them. They had very questionable backgrounds, and some major plot devices were never explained, which left many older readers scratching their heads. Apparently, holes in the series were lost on younger readers who probably filled in the blanks by watching the movies with their parents. With the various submitted works of fanfiction, many budding authors have taken it upon themselves to fill in the blanks and give depth to the characters in a way that Rowling failed to do. This is not to say they did not enjoy the premise of the story or the main characters. They just wanted to make them better.
Another reason to write fanfiction is for authors to hone their skills in an existing setting. Some indeed write as if they are producing the next best-seller but they are using it as a tool to improve their writing or to find a way to work through some creative ideas of their own. You will find that some of your most talented fanfiction writers are writing original works of their own.
The bottom line for any author writing fanfiction is that is just plain fun. When you centralize yourself to a community that shares similar stories, you can often get great feedback and input from your readers. You also get an opportunity to talk to other authors of fanfiction as well. The type of author that writes fanfiction varies from the stereotypical angst-driven teen to the burly forty-something father of three, who is an IT programmer by day and a fanfiction writer by night. No label can be put on the authors posting their works because they come from all walks of life and offer every creative angle. Of course, the million dollar question you are asking is if the author of this article writes fanfiction.
Yes. Yes, I do.
So, why do you write fanfiction? Do it because it is fun. Do it because you enjoy it.