50 Shades Bad

What is Fanfiction? And is it worth reading?

08:00Annie Rose

Fanfiction is where fans of something (usually a book/book series, TV show, or movie) write online chapters of fiction using the characters and occasionally the plotlines) from the virtual world of their choosing. Fans often rewrite endings to episodes or books that they don’t like or thought were unsatisfactory, which allows them to have complete control over the entire story -  not a particularly complicated idea.

 I thought I would talk about this post that came up on my dashboard on Tumblr. (If you aren’t familiar with Tumblr, firstly - why not?! And secondly, a dashboard is a way to see all the posts from the blogs that you follow.) The post reads: “Reblog if you have read fan fiction better than some published books.” The last time I looked it had 49342 notes, which means that 49342 people believe they have read a fanfiction better than a published book. To me, this seems astonishing considering the stigma surrounding fan fiction; namely that it’s badly written, as anyone can write and upload stories without editing them.

While this can be true of some fanfiction, I think there is a distinct underestimation of fanfiction writers and their talent. Many turn out to become published writers, such as Stephen Moffat (Head writer of Dr Who and creator of Sherlock), or the most infamous fan fiction writer of all time, E L James, who turned her Twilight fan fiction into the best selling Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy simply by renaming her characters. Regardless of your opinion of the quality of the writing, they still sold 100 million copies.

Let’s look at some more statistics. On fanfiction.net (the top result in Google when you type fanfiction in) the book category shows you over 694,000 fanfictions written about Harry Potter. In TV, there are over 106,000 for Glee. The top followed and favourited fanfiction in the most popular area (Harry Potter) has 390,000 words, over 15,000 favourites and 12,236 reviews - and this is only data from people who have accounts on fanfiction.net. The actual Harry Potter series on Amazon has 1679 reviews. I’m not saying that the fanfiction writer is better than JK Rowling, but I am saying that you cannot discredit someone for writing fanfiction or say that it’s drivel. The only difference between JK and online writers of Harry Potter fanfiction is that JK created and owns the characters, and the other is playing with them.

Whatever you think about fanfiction yourself, I think you can probably say that it isn’t really a bad thing. While fanfiction about real people can be extremely creepy, if that’s what the author wanted to write about, then that’s their choice. At the end of the day, it develops creativity and improves the writing styles of thousands of individuals. Most fanfiction writers are teenagers or are in their twenties, and shouldn’t be discouraged from this safe, creative outlet borne out of love for and investment in stories created by others.
Quite frankly, if I wrote a television series or a book or a film, I would probably be more offended if people didn’t write fanfiction about my characters. 

Annie Rose XOXO

You Might Also Like


Contact Form