Fan fiction: Part 1

April 4, 2014

fanfictionThere’s a very good reason why I’m writing this article and not one of the reviews waiting for me. While on the internet, it’s easy for me to forget that not everyone around, not even some of my friends, share my interests. Most of the time, it doesn’t bother me. But there are other times when I get annoyed, even angry, because people tend to judge my choices because of preconceptions they are unwilling to leave behind. So, for all the times I used to spend inventing all kinds of stories and for all the people I’ve met through various sites throughout the years, I give you an article on fan fiction.

“What is fan fiction?” Now that’s one question I’ve heard one too many times. Fan fiction (aka fan fic) has its roots in that question that pops into our minds when we see a movie – maybe even an anime, they’re very popular – or read a book: what if? A fan fiction is a story written by fans (hence the name), using certain elements from the original source, and turning it into something new. Usually, something beautiful. Honestly, I’ve read fan fictions that were better than some of the new novels that are so praised nowadays. Have a look at the stories written by Kyla or Ali (bubblygal92), they are brilliant; especially fans of Doctor Who, go and read them. There are also a lot fan fics for Harry Potter, Supernatural, Sherlock and for any other fandom you can think of. Side note, a fandom is what the group of fans is called.

So, before you start writing fan fiction, you should always use a disclaimer. It’s better to be safe than sorry; these stories aren’t for sale, nobody makes money from them. Even if some are poorly written or bordering on porn, most of them are worth reading, even if it means spending a couple of days with them or waiting anxiously for the next chapter. Yes, I’ve done both. And, as a teenager, I used to write stories or one-shots myself (a one-shot is basically a short story, just one chapter long). It can be the first step – or at least an important step – towards something grander. You are encouraged to be creative, to dive into your imagination and free your ideas. Never be afraid of putting your thoughts on paper… or of criticism. Of course, once your work is online, you risk receiving bad reviews (or flames), but people usually offer constructive criticism and never back away when it comes to praising what they love.

Now, if you think that only children and teenagers would spend their time with fan fiction, think again, my lovelies. Sure, a lot of fanfiction articlethese writers are teenagers, mostly girls, but just as many are adults with families and careers. So why would they write? Because they can, because they do something they love. Because you, the one who chooses to do this, meet people who share your interests and you can become friends and learn new aspects about a different culture. Or, as it once happened to me, your love for a foreign language might grow so much that you will no longer let it go. You become more open-minded and more confident when it comes to expressing your ideas.

Children should try this, write their own stories. I’ve noticed that they love it and they can learn by playing. Teaching literature can be difficult, but fan fiction is a great way to help them understand the message of a text and come up with their own interpretation. Side note: has anyone read Wide Sargasso Sea? Or any other sequels for classic novels (Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Gone with the Wind)? No, I’m not calling them fan fiction, but we can see here the same principle: start from the canon, the official story, and write your own. Encourage creativity, regardless of the form in which it presents itself!

The second part of the article will be an interview with Kyla Andersen, about art, fan fiction and everything in-between. As a final point, here are some more terms linked to the writings of the fandoms:

–          A/N: author’s note… at the beginning or the end of the fic;

–          AU: alternative universe; it does what it says on the tin. The fan fic is either a crossover or it deviated (quite a lot) from the original plot;

–          Crossover: elements from two or more universes are brought together. Their love-baby is a whole new world, with brand new adventures. Or just a love story between two characters who would have never met otherwise. Personally, I’m not a big fan of  crossovers; most of the stories I’ve read were either incomplete or the writing style was… not that good;

–          Drabble: short-story, around 100 words long;

–          Fangirl (or fanboy)/ fangirling: the former is self-explanatory; the latter refers to the reaction said fan gets when finding something, anything related to his or her fandom.

–          Fluff: the baby of romance; it’s usually a short story focusing on intimate moments of the couple (cuddling, kissing, nothing too graphic). Or parts of a longer story, which describe those actions;

–          Headcanon: unlike canon (original story), this is an idea not mentioned by the author, but accepted by the fans nonetheless because of the way it explains certain aspects of the plot or the motivations of a character;

–          Lemon/lime: to put it bluntly… sex;

–          Marty Stu: male version of Mary Sue;

–          Mary Sue: the ban of our existence, the one we all hate, but seems to pop up more often than it should. She’s that one character who’s so perfect she’s obviously fake; she’s bloody annoying. No, it’s not a reflection of the author, as some claim. It’s simply an idealized version of what some find feminine. That apparently means knowing anything and everything with little to no effort, looking like a model, being a virgin (in most cases), maybe being a kind-hearted orphan, one who faced the hardships of life… but there’s no character development. Unfortunately, we also find her in well-known novels, so you can’t really blame amateurs for creating one;

–          OC: own character; when the authors of the fan fic introduce their own character in the story ;

shipping–          OOC: out of character;

–          OTP: one true pairing, the couple you love/ship the most;

–          Ship/shipping: two characters forming a couple (even if they weren’t together in the original story)… and liking said couple;

–          Slash: homosexual relationships ahead;

–          Songfic: it’s usually a one-shot and it contains either a few lyrics of a song or all the lyrics, in which case we might find them broken in stanzas and placed within the story. The lyrics reflect the plot, the main theme(s) and/or feelings of the character.

What do you believe about fan fiction? Have you ever written such stories?

by Elena Atudosiei

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12 Responses to Fan fiction: Part 1

  1. Fan Fiction: Part 2 | eLitere on April 4, 2014 at 10:15 am

    […] Fan fiction: Part 1 April 4, 2014 […]

  2. Mihaela on April 4, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Really interesting article and very inspiring. I didn’t know there were so many rules to fan fiction. Honestly, I have written something like it awhile back but it never got me anywhere. Somehow I thought I was committing a sacrilege and stopped writing, looking at them now I can’t believe I could have written something so good and after reading this, I might even reconsider and write some more. I have read other people’s fan fic on a lovely Facebook page dedicated to Potterheads and some of them were wonderful. Besides that, I haven’t really dabbed into it much.

    • Elena Atudosiei on April 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Thank you! It does seem complicated, but it’s not :) Everything can be learnt easily. If you start writing again, let me know. I’d love to read your stories!

  3. Maria on April 4, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I am old enough not to be called a teenager anymore, i am an adult, and i am not ashamed to say that apart from the original books that i love to read, i have been reading fanfiction since 2006 and i haven’t stopped. Sure, i read less now that i have to face reality, but when that becomes too much i rely on fanfiction. I love entering another universe that another person like me created.
    I have written fanfiction myself when i was a teen, now i write now and again when i feel that inspiration strikes me. But i never publish anymore. Writing fanfiction just like Elena said makes you unleash your own imagination and ‘what ifs’ you have whilst reading or watching something. You create your own version of what you see/read. And it makes you meet wonderful people. I have kept in touch with a few people that i met during my fan fic writing period. And even though we don’t talk regularly, i know they are my friends and i can depend on them anytime.
    People who haven’t gotten through ‘reading/writing fan fics’ period of time don’t know what they’re missing on.
    Reading the article inspired me. Thank you Elena (my one inspiration during my fanfic writing period) for reminding me how wonderful it is to write.

    • Elena Atudosiei on April 5, 2014 at 6:33 am

      It does bring back good (or at least interesting) memories, doesn’t it? I can’t believe ten years went by since I discovered fan fics. The community developed like crazy, it’s wonderful 😀

      I’m happy I met you, I’m happy that I can still inspire you and that we keep in touch! I still look forward to read something written by you.

  4. Alina Andreea Catarau on April 5, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I miss those times when I was reading your, Maria’s and Joyce’s fan fics on Quizilla. Even though my short stories were not fan fics, I remember it was a lot of fun posting them and meeting Maria. I was so excited to read a new chapter and felt sorry when I finished it, because I hated to wait for the next.

    I’m happy that I went through that experience in my teens and of meeting Maria. For this I truly and sincerely thank Elena. :*

    • Elena Atudosiei on April 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      Those were great times 😀 I still miss Joyce and other girls and boys I used to speak with back then. I am the luckiest woman ever to have you and Maria as my friends and to have met (and still meet) so many wonderful, talented people!

  5. Alina Andreea Catarau on April 5, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    I’m also lucky to have met you, Maria and other interesting people.:*

  6. Ininya on August 7, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Another article I love. I’m as newbie writer myself. I started out a few years back with a, shamelessly, a weak crossover and an equally weak original angst one shots. Very little readers. I got a bit disappointed with myself. As I’ve got all these ideas and stories in my head. But then I thought I’d try and give it an another shot at it. And started on a serious multi chapter story. My own Avengers AU fic. And so far so good! The viewers kept coming as I continue to this day. I got so motivated by it there. And….. Ok. I’ll confess here. I got the general idea from the anime, Soul Eater. That anime hit me hard and good. It influenced me into writing a whole different AU fic. But after this, I’m going original stories and original AUs. With my own stories to tell.
    I’ve got all these ideas and plots in my head but I don’t have the time to write them down but yet. But I will. I love your article again here. Another one. Yes.

    • Elena Atudosiei on August 8, 2015 at 7:15 am

      Don’t stop writing! You’ll find maybe a different source of inspiration or more people who share your interests. Keep writing for you, for your readers and watch your stories grow with you.

      • Ininya on August 8, 2015 at 11:48 am

        Thanks. Yes, in given time maybe I’ll find a stronger and more firm story line. Thank you, once again.

  7. Devika Fernando | eLitere on December 2, 2015 at 4:39 am

    […] and that in turn might make us understand and appreciate their work even more. Then there’s fanfiction. I know some people have very strong (negative) views about it, but I can’t see the harm in it. […]

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