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About Fanfiction

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.

Text reading, "And then Buffy staked Edward. The end."
This is fanfiction. Sadly.

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.

By freckle [M]

Freckle can't decide between writing fact or fiction, so she does both, on a very regular basis, and sometimes even for money.

34 replies on “About Fanfiction”

I don’t read a whole lot of fanfic, though I tend to go for the porny ones, or the filthy crackships (because those are so damn funny/awful/terrifying). I don’t know why I gravitate toward the stuff that leaves me wanting brain bleach! Like the Hagrid/McGonagall one that went around a while back. Shudder.

Oh, history people are just as devoted as fandom people. In the French Revolution circles–of which I can say I’m a part–there are Girondins (Monarchists) and Jacobins (people who are for the Revolutionary government: Robespierre, Danton, Marat, etc.). I tend to sit on the fence, and I’ve come out several times in defense of Marie Antoinette–particularly here–but there are–honest to God–people who believe that she was a saint and did no wrong. And then there are the ships (MA/Count Ferson, Robespierre/St. Just). It’s like 0.o.

There’s a special place in my heart for Fanfiction. I started writing a fic based on Star Trek 2009, but it’s been languishing there for a year or two now. I really must get back to it. Yeah… Star Trek is “my” fandom (Spock/Uhura!)

I really think that fanfiction has been done a big disservice. It’s been an important part of literature for a long time. I think I read somewhere that Shakespeare took source material and built on it? Don’t quote me on that :P And it has a big social role to play. But sadly it’s considered very much a “weirdo” fringe movement.

Jean Rhy’s Wide Sargasso Sea is based on Jane Eyre, so there’s a good one.

Isn’t Anne Rice 100% against fanfiction? I may be thinking of someone else, but still. There are many writers who encourage their fans to write fic and I think that’s so great. From a cynical, marketing point of view, it’s a great way to track how popular your work is.

Yep, that one!

Urm, it’s a bit twisting and turning depending on what sources you use. In one JKR for example doesn’t care, in the other she doesn’t want to know about it/doesn’t like people getting publicity over her characters.

Yeah, a quick google says that Anne Rice is very much against fanfiction of her work.

There are a lot of decent Sherlock Holmes fanfiction/pastiches out there; Carole Nelson Douglas, Lyndsay Faye, and Laurie R. King all write good books. And there are a lot of good Jane Austen pastiches out there, too; that market actually seems saturated.

I think there’s a lot less stigma with writing a pastiche compared to fanfiction. But it really all depends on how you define fanfiction. If some of it involves real historical people, can it also be considered fanfiction? If we look at it like that, then that IS a lot of fanfiction!

Reading Harry Potter fanfic got me through high school. I was always a book worm and became obsessed with my favorites – it was a way for me to escape from the unfriendly halls of my new high school. Being able to read about my literary “friends” in between books was seriously such a life saver – and I would venture to say that some of the fan fic authors I read were better writers than JK Rowling is.

Oh man, this rings a few bells :) Reading fanfiction was a big escape for me too, much like fiction really… I think I’d describe the characters as friends as well.

And I completely agree with what you’re saying about how some fanfiction are better than the original writers. I’ve come across some staggering talent on It’s wonderful.

It’s funny how the world turns – the only thing I had ever heard about fanfic was Harry Potter/slash and I refused to read it because I didn’t want to mess with the canon in my head.

And then I wrote a “Bones”/HP crossover. What goes around, comes around. :-D

I write fanfiction, published mostly on but I have also posted a couple of my better stories on Wattpad. I’ve written mostly for “Bones” but I’m so unhappy with the show right now, it’s killed off my vibe (which I hope is temporary because I have some things unfinished and I really don’t want to just drop those stories).

I tend to get a little stabby, though, when I hear people talk about “bad” fanfic because those comments (and I see this mostly on Twitter) tend to be very mean-girl-judgmental.

Fanfic is free. The writers write because they love the show/book/movie/etc. It’s hard to craft a story. It’s harder still to put your name (or username) to it and click ‘publish’ and hang yourself out on the court of public opinion. It feels wrong to scorn particular writers and/or stories publicly. Maybe the writer is very young. Maybe they don’t speak English. Maybe they don’t have a lot of education. Maybe they’re handicapped. Maybe they just aren’t very smart. I always fall back on “Fanfic is free. If you don’t like one story, read something else.”

Sorry for the rant, obviously this is a hot button for me.

No, no, feel free to be stabby. I was wrecked when someone once (behind my back) wondered about me if I had ever even passed English. There can be entire wars in fandoms and fanwork communities.

Bad fanfic is for me not much different than bad fiction. The only thing worse about the first one is because it’s messing with things you love.

I love fan fiction. I mostly read Supernatural, though sometimes I stray into Merlin and Teen Wolf.

I am of the firm belief that writing fan fic is the way the next generation of screenwriters and novelist are going to hone their craft and you’ll see many more of them being open about their fan fic writing habits.

I love fic. I write fic along with my original stuff. HatehateHATE it when I’m following a good one and it goes deadfic.


Where does everyone think about pubbing fic after “filing off the serial numbers”?

I know there’s a fandom stigma against it, but it doesn’t bother me all that much. I wouldn’t file off serial numbers, but I would post links to fic on my author site as free reads.

This is why I’m very careful about WIP because the PAIN of not knowing how it ends, urgh.

I think I’m okay with ‘filing of serial numbers’ but to each author the choice of in what way you’re going to “own up” about how it used to be fanfiction. I mean: the ELJameses of the world need to give up that fight, it’s embarrassing. But that’s probably also because fanfiction still has the stigma of the weird stuff online. Bit of a chicken and egg thing.

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