They run and hide in a cave, the ocean around them, and it’s only later that Osha finds him, picks him up even though he’s too big for it now, and whispers to him in the Old Tongue. Sometimes Rickon forgets the Common Tongue; sometimes he tells Osha he wishes he was a wildling like her.
Don’t be alarmed, but you just read a piece of fanfiction. Come along Pond, I’ll show you the good side of it.
From time to time fanfiction pops up in mainstream media. Usually when they still have an empty spot in the Those Crazy People Online category. Lists are made and filled with (very) creative pairings, incredibly bad writing and lots of pornography. If the medium is a tad more serious, they’ll add how Real Authors hate fanfiction and fanfic authors simply don’t have the guts or ideas to write original fiction. And ta-dah, another spot filled.
Like all online things fanfiction can be really bad. It can be all those things mentioned. And it’s true that some authors don’t really care about it (G.R.R. Martin, if you’d write faster, we wouldn’t need fic!). To me fanfiction is like playing in someone else’s playground. A playground you didn’t build up from the ground and you didn’t decide where the slide goes. A good fanfiction writer doesn’t vandalize it, doesn’t even write her name on the roundabout. He/she is just running around, enjoying it. If you don’t like to see that happen, look the other way?
To write off all fanfiction because of silly stories and disapproving authors would be like burning down a 21th century version of the library of Alexandria. Writing off fanfiction because it doesn’t come from “real” authors is like never eating self-made bread because there were no real bakers involved. Would you do that? Of course you wouldn’t! So get in (if you want to. You won’t suffer from anything if you’re not interested)!
Before you venture over to AO3, LiveJournal or Tumblr; here’s a helpful list of terms:
- AU: Alternate Universe. Your familiar characters are cops. Coffee shop personnel and clients (this one is very popular). They’re unicorns or werewolves. Everything goes, world-building is pretty important.
- Crack: Silly silly silliness. Joffrey is a circus monkey, Jaime is a drag queen, Cersei rides a donkey. Nothing makes sense, but can be very amusing.
- Crossovers: Tony Stark meets Sherlock Holmes and Harry Lockhart. Characters of one book/film into another book/film/television series. All the characters played by one actor meet up. And so on.
- GEN: Daily life. No or little romance.
- Genderswap: Girls will be boys and vice versa.
- Kink: There will be sex. Any possible fetish you can think of (but sometimes vanilla as well). In kink memes you’ll have to tread carefully because there will be triggering stuff. But so will fluff (sugary sweet relational things). Your Kink Is Not My Kink is the first rule of kink memes: it should be a place* for everyone, no kink-shaming. (*Yes, you can go there and ask for a fanfiction of your own interest if you can’t find any)
- Race swap: Yes, sometimes Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr are POC. Happens a lot in Tumblr photosets.
- RPF: Real People Fiction. Instead of your fictional characters, fiction is written about”¦ real people. Also known as gossip websites.
- 5+1: This is more a way of writing than a genre: five repetitive situations (almost getting kissed for example) and one new situation.
- WIP: Work In Progress. There’s always a risk this fanfic will never be finished.
Some of these websites and places use clear tagging and summaries, but there is always a chance you will suddenly stumble upon a romantic meeting between the Hogwarts building and the Octopus. Don’t let that bring you down: look for Fic Rec lists or only click where there is a summary.
Fanfiction can be found about almost anything. It will be tougher if you support a rare pairing, it will be glorious if you find an author that cranks out a 3000-word chapter every week. For starters I added a small list, enjoy and remember: fanfic authors and readers are people too!
Jamais Vu (Les Miserables)
Cosette and Eponine are fierce fighting ladies. Vive la republique!
DILF (Teen Wolf)
Derek adopted his sisters’ kids, Stiles is the teacher of one of them. Fluff, flirting and sex at the end.
Love And Honor (A Song of Ice and Fire)
[toggle title="Spoiler!" variation="deepblue"]What if Ned wasn’t beheaded in King’s Landing and Catelyn didn’t die at the Red Wedding?[/toggle]
The Last Love Song of Anthony E. Stark (The Avengers)
After contracting an Asgardian virus, Tony starts forgetting things. And people. And Steve.