For some, fan fiction is the source of all evil, an abomination of writing in its purest form. According to them it's full of people trying to rip-off actual good writing, re-writing books in worse editions of the original. For others (among which I count myself), fan fiction is a blessing of sorts and we enjoy it just as much as actual books.
Okay, so admittedly, for every good piece of fan fiction, there are hundreds of bad ones floating around the internet. You will never hear me say that all fan fiction is brilliant. However, I have found out over the years that when you search well, there are some real gems out there.
So why do we love fan fiction?
There's no general consensus on this but I've compiled a list of reasons while I value fan fiction and why I think others value it:
- We just can't get enough of the characters. We all know that feeling of emptiness you get when you've just finished a book you really liked. For some reason, our hunger for more about our favorite characters is insatiable, so we turn to fan fiction for more insight and more adventures. That way we can keep on reliving the book.
- Some events in the book were not satisfying. It does happen sometimes: not agreeing with a path an author chose to go down to. Sometimes characters die whom we love dearly, sometimes their story takes a turn for the worst or in a different direction. Fan fiction allows us to experience all the what-if's. It allows people to rewrite, so to speak
- Alternate universes. This has something to do with point 2, and is something I personally love about fan fiction. It allows us to create and read about alternate universes. We like to imagine what characters would be like in different times and circumstances. Think college AU's, gender switch AU's, time travel AU's etc.
- It adds to what was missing in the book. On some occasions fan fiction gave me more insight, more detail on a character than the original story ever did. As is often the case with minor characters (and sometimes main characters), they get forgotten or pushed aside for some greater plot. That does not keep us from loving these characters though and we want to know more about them!
- It's a good way to find talented writers. This is such a pro of fan fiction. Sometimes you stumble upon brilliant writers. Fair enough, the story isn't theirs exactly but they have an ability to write fluently and beautifully. These are the kind of fan fiction authors whose names you wish to see on the cover of a new bestseller someday.
Do you like fanfiction or not, and if so, which ones are you favorites? Tell me in a comment below!