Fanfiction: What Is Its Place For Writers?

Fanfiction: What Is Its Place For Writers?

Does it have to be one or the other?
53
views

What is fanfiction, exactly?

Put simply, fanfiction is a when a writer creates a story that takes place in an already-established publication using the characters, setting and concepts from the original author. In the last several years, fanfiction has boomed into a massive movement, sparking publications of its own and exploding the internet with the ever-popular Fanfiction.net (which should be navigated only with discretion).

Now the big question: is fanfiction a valid method of storytelling or not?

As a writer, I have had a divided opinion of fanfiction, despite the fact that I owe it a major portion of my growth. I had a recent discussion with a fellow writer about whether or not we could consider fanfiction “real” writing, as in, if we should or shouldn’t consider fanfictions to be our own work.

It’s a fine line. On one hand, fanfiction is empowering. When I started writing in 2010, I had little experience crafting a story, let alone an entire world with rules and magic systems, etc. After finishing my first novella, I wanted to do something bigger before my first National Novel Writing Month challenge in November. So I decided to try a little fanfiction. I chose my favorite anime at the time, Bleach by Kubo Tite, and went off on a plot idea I had.

In writing a sixty thousand-plus word fanfiction, I discovered much about writing. For one, chapter-by-chapter feedback is amazing. For two, it’s a good idea to write ahead of schedule and then edit before posting. (I did not realize this until a couple years after the fact, and am still ashamed of my practices). Finally, I learned that such a massive amount of writing was not only possible, but fun, and the very next month I wrote fifty-nine thousand words of my first original NaNo novel.

In essence, fanfiction was my gateway. It taught me how to write in quantity while keeping a decent story pacing, and also taught me the elements of accountability—since I posted my fic regularly and needed to keep a schedule. Without my project, I may never have had the proper confidence to attempt an entire NaNoWriMo.

Of course, there is a flip side. Not long after I started writing my own novels, I could no longer see the use in fanfiction. Using other authors’ story ideas, characters and settings seemed more like cheating than creativity. The dedication and effort to create an original piece far outweighed that of fanfiction. I also found a much deeper joy in finishing my own work. It was mine. Only I had a claim to it. When I compared my massive fanfiction to my equally massive novels, I had an infinitely deeper connection to the latter.

I began to wonder. Why do fanfiction at all?

After much internal debate (and several years), I have finally come to a somewhat surprising conclusion. It is this: any form of writing can be beneficial, and therefore well-done fanfiction deserves respect.

Here’s why—fanfiction does take conscious effort. Embodying another person’s characters in full, with all their traits and quirks, is not easy. Keeping true to the original ideas whilst creating one’s own storyline involves speculation and in-depth knowledge of the content. Fanfiction also gives writers the opportunity to showcase their skills while accessing an active fanbase, thus giving them a taste of what it feels like to interact with real readers and write accordingly. It also gives authors space to improve their writing techniques and play with style and structure. Finally, it offers writers a place to funnel their excessive love for anothers’ fiction in a positive and constructive manner.

This shift in my thinking is fairly recent. Let’s blame my fandoms. Last week I wrote the first fanfiction I’ve attempted in six years, and while I’m a bit rusty, it was liberating. I finally had a way to express my adoration for a fictional universe without squealing at someone in a high-pitched string of unintelligible words.

In addition, as I wrote, I realized my biases were not as concrete as I’d assumed. I was not just ‘stealing’ someone else’s ideas in order to gain recognition and or attract readers. This was a genuine effort to produce a meaningful work mutual fans would connect with. Like fan art, it offered a way to demonstrate my appreciation for a story in a way that I personally love and can do at least decently. If I enjoy writing it, and other people enjoy reading it, then we have accomplished something. If that isn’t a spectacular outcome, I don’t know what is.

Therefore, I would encourage interested writers to try their hand at fanfiction—if that’s what they want. If someone tries to tell you that fanfiction is lazy or plagiaristic writing, don’t let them stop you. Fanfiction is a great tool for sharpening your skills and getting you motivated/in practice to write your own works. If it makes you happy and you’re being productive, there’s no reason you shouldn’t write it. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t sweat it—that’s what original stories are for. If you wind do up loving it, however, then take advantage of your passion. Someone out there in the fandom will thank you.

Plus, maybe you’ll save someone from your high-pitched squealing. Verbal communication really breaks down when you can’t actually talk. So write, and show that love in a cohesive and captivating way.
Cover Image Credit: Stocksnap.io

Popular Right Now

50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right
1028711
views

In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" "huh...Judas..no"

31. "Sleep? I don't know about sleep...it's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"


35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?


39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"


I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

'A Quiet Place' Packs On The Thrills But Not The Noise

This week I finally got around to watching 'A Quiet Place' although the environment in which I watched it impacted my experience of it.

5
views

I made my long journey back to America this week, which means I watched a good amount of in-flight entertainment. To start off my 8 hour flight I decided, upon my sister's suggestion, to FINALLY watch A Quiet Place and boy am I glad I did.

For starters, because I watched it on a flight, the audio wasn't the best to begin with. After 'tuning' my headphone jack just right, I was able to get 75% audio and only 25% static. Which for the film I was watching ended up working to my benefit.

A Quiet Place takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, taken over by monsters with supernatural hearing abilities. This means that our protagonists, a family of 5, must live life in silence if they want to survive. Although how the world came to be like this is never explained, that curiosity quickly goes away as the viewer quickly becomes fascinated by all the little adjustments they make to survive.

Lead by the patriarch of the family, played by John Krasinski who also directed the film, the family 'monster' proofs or in this case, 'sound' proofs their home. They have set paths covered in sand to reduced noise when walking, they eat on leaves instead of plates, and in case of a sound emergency, they have fireworks on standby in a nearby field.

The most terrifying/breath catching sequence of the film by far is when the matriarch, played by Emily Blunt, goes into labor with a monster looming and stalking her throughout the house. With the rest of her family out gathering food, she is left alone and must remain noiseless in order for her and her coming child to survive.

This sequence strongly demonstrates the strengths of this film, as throughout it, the audience feels the pressure to be quiet as well. Unlike other horror flicks which rely on jump scares, and decades old tropes. This film relies on the audiences involvement, even though it of course has no impact on the film. This is the perfect film to watch home alone at night if that is your thing as the intimate sounds the film do have get heightened from a more personally experience, which was not the case for me as every 15 minutes or so there was an announcement from a stewardess.

Because I had the experience of watching it on a plane, every sudden noise of stream of AC had me shiver in my seat. This to me proved that this film and its lack of noise narrative worked. After all, who isn't afraid of things that go bump in the night or in this case plane?

Related Content

Facebook Comments