It is one word that gets thousands of different reactions from different people. I, as a proud fanfiction writer, have almost heard them all.
“Fanfiction? Harry Potter’s an accountant! Ron worked in a chocolate factory! HAHAHAHA!” (Excuse me, I will never write something as atrocious as that (sorry if you think it’s okay, or somewhat funny, but I will never write something that seems almost like an insult to the original author))
“Wait – you’re (insert my penname here)?! OMG. OMG. OHHH MY GOD. I’ve been reading your fics since first year high school!” (Awwww!)
“You’re ruining the (book, manga, TV series, cartoon, etc.). Just leave them be. It was supposed to be that way.” (… Just wait.)
“Whacha writing? … Fanfiction? What’s that?” (Well, sweetie, it’s hard to explain but yeah.)
“Fanfiction! Can you make one where Neji doesn’t die?” (I do. I do it all the time. </3)
“Well, it’s not going to end up in a book, anyway-“
These are actual legit expressions of people who have reacted to me writing fanfiction in public, or have commented on any of my Facebook statuses saying that I’m either writing or reading fanfiction.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not mad at you personally, if you’re reading this and realize that ‘OMG, that’s me.’. As a writer, I take criticism very positively, and I understand that not a lot of people are going to like the same things that you like. You know, how not every person in the world is not going to like Twilight (I don’t) or some other vampire-ish novel (Still don’t).
So now that I’m done with my somewhat lively-not-serious introduction, let me continue on into this completely informal blog post.
Why do I write fanfiction?
I’m not going to give you the reason that, ‘Well, Harry Potter is done and over with, and there’s no way you’re going to get a new story out of it, so might as well make your own’ or ‘It’s a totally cool way to show off and flaunt my talent as a writer’ or ‘It’s what I do in my spare time when I’m not beating deadlines or making Nursing Care Plans’ or ‘Peer pressure’.
It’s waaaay deeper than that.
Let me narrate to you a situation.
You’re reading one of your favorite book series. (cough cough Harry Potter) You’re at the peak of the story’s plot. It gets very exciting. You’re happy. This is what your favorite characters are best at. Hexing, jinxing, flying on brooms, sword-swishing, running, lots of other magical verbs ending in -ing –
Oh, my god. Oh no. Oh no. Someone died. SOMEONE DIED. It can’t be. Nonononononononono-
You start crying.
But then… you realize.
YOU can bring him back to life. YOU can give him the love life he’ll never have. YOU can make his family happy.
Taking the advantage of the fact that I consider myself a somewhat ‘okay’ fanfiction writer, and although it took me a bit, I have created fanfics that make almost everyone happy. Including myself.
You see, fanfictions are a way of letting my imagination become reality. (Or, I mean, as real as it could get, seeing that they really ARE never going to be published, except in the internet world) Fanfictions give me this weird sense of closure. (For example, when Neji died, I just made tons and tons and tons of fanfics about his death.)
So I see you looking at me, going, “Hey, Kaitlin. They’re just fictional characters.”
Fictional characters were almost the only thing I had when I had four rough years of school. Fictional characters make me happy. They’re never JUST fictional characters.
Through fanfiction, I give them a new life, I make people laugh, cry (yes, I have made people cry. Not bragging or anything. It’s true.) and reminisce about their favorite character. Fanfiction makes me happy. And I’m not just doing it for others; to gain appreciation from the fan base. I’m doing it for myself.
That’s why I write fanfiction.
Update: Shameless plugging here, but if anyone wants to read any samples, just comment and I’ll link you. Thanks for reading!