Posts Tagged ‘ fan fiction ’

Fan Fiction: Love It or Loathe It?

I got to thinking about this the other day after my friend tweeted me saying she’d just found all our old Star Trek and vampire/werewolf fan-fics on her laptop. I actually asked her to send them me as I lost them when I had to get rid of my computer tower and had no external hard-drive to back them up on. Moving on from my own idiocy…

Ah, fan-fiction. A genre of writing that encompasses almost everything out there from Star Trek to band-fic, to game-fic to adding your own fan-canon to an already established series (e.g. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Firefly, World of Warcraft, Everquest) and on and on… and on… Personally, I’ll confess a love of fan-fiction, dependent on topic and – snobbishly, perhaps – good spelling and grammar. A few mistakes, I’ll happily forgive. My mum told me the other day I have a kind of elitist ‘intelligence’ in that not everyone ‘can be as good as you when it comes to spelling and grammar’. Hi, Mum, I love you but I do have my failings in this area. Nobody’s perfect.

Anyway, back to the point. Fan-fiction is all about fandoms (would you believe it?*) and a good deal of fan-fiction is about ‘ships’ or ‘OTP’s’ (one true pairings). People can write about anything from relationships between existing characters, to adding new ones or simply expand on the in-genre canon or even create their own narrative line, borrowing from the main elements. For me, I’ve dabbled in pretty much all of the above (I still have a quizilla account lurking online somewhere with my old band-fiction works). The best part about fan-fiction (provided you’re not obliterating someone’s copyright) is the escapism it provides. Some worlds read better than the one we live in; even though there’s dysfunctionality everywhere, at least we have more control over this fantasy world. Fan-fic is tailored perfectly to our escapism needs, the door to another world where we don’t have to deal with the mundane of our own personal lives.

I’m of the opinion that people shouldn’t discourage fan-fiction as a genre (especially ‘well-written’ although that depends on your own personal tastes). It’s not just for angsty fourteen year olds in love with Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance or that one guy from Inuyasha. Fan-fiction is for everyone because everyone is a fan of something. It borrows from so many genres and works in any narrative voice. There’s so much you can do with the genre (as with other fictional creative writing). Of course, there’s always the chance that, whilst writing it, you can write quite auto-biographically and project a lot of your ideals and your hopes for your life onto your characters – not that there’s anything wrong with that. But as with all writing, it’s a constant challenge not to write as yourself, to write as someone else. Everything you write provides you with the opportunity to develop your craft and improve as an artist. Yes, writing is an art.

I’m not ashamed to say that I still frequently dabble in fan-fiction myself; for me it’s part-escapism, a way to give my friends in other countries a ‘birthday gift’ by writing their favourite couple and it’s a chance for me to try and improve myself as a writer. The genre’s given me the confidence to try so many different styles of writing and work with different perspectives. I’m still working on not writing myself into my characters quite as often but that’s always going to be a challenge as I’m quite introverted and tend not to want to tell people all my inner-workings (so it all comes out in my characters ಠ_ಠ).

…That said, if you were to ask me to share any of my own fan-fiction with you, I’d be a tad reluctant. I like my anonymity sometimes. One writer whose work I absolutely adore is a girl on livejournal, coley-merrin. Coley writes mostly for a fan-created pairing titled KyuMi/QMi (Kyuhyun and Zhou Mi of Korean boy-group Super Junior with various sub units including the Chinese Super Junior Mandarin or M). Her works tend to be set AU (alternate universe) and occasionally a little ‘rated’ (i.e., sexually mature, NC-17) but even if you have no idea who Super Junior are (shame on you) her writing is amazing. For me, personally, she captures emotions and translates them in such a way that is easily understandable and empathetic. Sure, some storylines may come across as cliché, but she makes them work. Check her out!

I’ll try and remember some of my other favourite authors from the kpop (Korean pop) genre and post links to them from time to time. Just a quick warning though; if m-preg is mentioned anywhere, run. Don’t even click it to read it. It’s scary stuff. Very weird.

So what’s your opinion on fan-fic? Hate it, love it, neutrally inclined? Have any of you ever dabbled in it?

fin.

*any news on when that sarcasm-font’s being brought online?

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