Why Is Fan Fiction So Popular?

Why Is Fan Fiction So Popular?

From Harry Potter to Naruto — if you can think of it, it exists.
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Most people cringe when they hear the word fan fiction. Over the millennia the practice has picked up a negative reputation as many seem to focus on the ridiculously sexual side of it (Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy doing it with tails?), but with more fan works being created every day in multiple fandoms, it’s hardly a practice that can go ignored.

What exactly is fan fiction? Fan fiction is when someone uses the characters or universe created by a book, television series or movie to write their own fiction based around it. It can even be based off of real people or historical events (that radically popular play called "Hamilton?" Yeah, that’s a form of fan fiction). It’s not a new practice, though it didn’t become wildly popular until the sixties when a publication of a "Star Trek" fanzine, "Spockanalia," contained some fan fiction. Once the internet became widely available, fan fiction began to resurge and become easily accessible, as well.

What makes fan fiction so great? It’s composed of a large community of individuals who write and publish their work so that others can enjoy their ideas as much as they do. The lengths of these works can range from 100 words to over 200,000, and sometimes even longer. (As a point of reference, the longest "Lord of the Rings" book was a little over 177, 000 words). The fact that so many people are writing novel-length works of fiction — for free — should at least receive some form of credibility. There are some authors who’ve been writing for years, and have hundreds of stories online in a range of genres.

So why isn't society chomping at the bit to spread the good word about this impressive culture? Probably because it’s mainly composed of women. When "Star Trek" fan fiction was being published in the '70s, 83 percent of those writers were women. Research conducted in 2010 based off of statistics provided by Fanfiction.net revealed that 78 percent of users who chose to disclose their gender were female, and largely ranged between thirteen and seventeen-years-old. Society has a habit of dismissing any interests teenage girls seem to latch on to, so it shouldn’t be surprising that fan fiction culture has been brushed aside as some weird, teenage obsession to see two guys kiss.

Believe it or not, while you can get plenty of two guys kissing, fan fiction represents much more than that. Fan fiction gives writers and readers the ability to take their favorite characters and manipulate them to make them more identifiable. Women and minorities are the most underrepresented in mainstream media, and they use fan fiction to create media that caters to them since no one else seems to be doing it. You can make Hermione Granger black if you want to, you can make Luke Skywalker and Han Solo gay simply because you can. You can change the storyline of that TV show you follow that killed off your favorite lesbian character. Fan fiction is the woman’s opportunity to see the impossible happen, and even if the chances of seeing Natasha Romanoff and Peggy Carter holding hands in space become real is pretty slim, it’s fun to pretend that it might without ridicule.

I will admit that I spent the past week pushing through a 700,000 word story that may or may not have made me cry a few times. I wasn’t just impressed with the fact that someone had written a story about Captain America that was almost as long as all the "Harry Potter" books combined, but also with the fact that it was good. There are millions of works out there with literary merit worthy of a Pulitzer. These works resonate with some people as much as Shakespeare or Jane Austen. Now, I'm not saying we should begin offering college courses on why fan fiction is amazing (despite how quickly I’d sign up for that class), but we do need to start giving the practice the credit it deserves.

Cover Image Credit: tumblr.com

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

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They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

Bitch

What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong


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