So what am I writing about today? Fan fiction. (On 2nd thoughts this line is redundant, since that is the title of the post). So, if a writer has already published everything relevant, are fanfics redundant?
Fan fiction, or fanfiction (often abbreviated as fan fic, fanfic, or simply fic), is a broadly defined fan labor term for stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator.
Wikipedia has a singularly boring, but precise, description for a kind of writing I have been enthralled with, over the last few years, as I have come to know of it.
When you read, the characters come alive in your head. When you watch, you want to know more. Your heart wants its favourite pair to openly admit to being in love. Your mind wants to know what if! A kiss has to be complete. A story can never be left incomplete. If someone dies, you want to know how others cope up. If someone is young, you want to know what happens when they grow up.
The writer had a tale with a starting and end. He breathed life into the characters as he penned them down or enacted them out. You on the other hand are equally invested not simply in the story, but in the world, in its people. And you don’t merely observe, you are proactive to extend the world as you imagine it must be.
Fan fiction is any type of writing by a fan of the original work. There is no fixed rule I think. So it could be fan fiction when only the names are same. The story could also start off as same and branch off later. Or it could be a whole parallel universe with no connection what so ever.
Isn’t it nice when someone who does not want the experience to end, obsesses over it, wishes there was more, with all the love in their heart take it upon themselves to write something to assuage these feelings and without the motive of gain (expect perhaps appreciation) shares it freely with fellow fans.
The first ever Fanfiction I read was about James and Lily Potter. It was beautiful. I fell in love with them. In the book there was a faint reference to their patronus (a magical mascot like creasture that chases away sad soul sucking awful beings) being complementary. A stag and a doe. Also one tiny flashback where Harry Potter gets a glimpse of his arrogant extremely handsome brilliant mischvious father as he was as a teenager, completely head over heels for Harry’s beautiful intelligent elegant teenager mother. And on this slight basis we get a lovely 20 chapter story from a fan.
I have read fanfiction on Harry Potter, Twilight, Game of Thrones, Battlestar Galactica and Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon. My preference is when the story stays close to the actual. If you haven’t read what fans write about the books/shows you love, try it. You’d be pleasantly surprised.
Sometimes giggle worthy, some that make me cringe. Lots of angsty ones. I tend to like the lighter livelier ones. I find it safe to say there is most probably a writer out there who writes stories just your way, and in case you don’t find exactly what you imagined maybe it is time to start writing something of your own.
The first thing you will notice is abbreviations and lingo. Canon refers to the actual pairing on the show eg. Harry Potter and Ginny Weasely. Hate that? You always wished to see Harry Potter with Hermione Granger? Then consider yourself a shipper ie. one who ships a certain pair.
They can write on forums, blogs or sites dedicated entirely to this. It can be a one shot (OS) where you talk of a single thing. A scene where Ron Weasely’s mother talks to Hermione Granger. It could be a short story (SS). What happends when Renesme grows up and Jacob realizes it is time to fall in love. Or an FF. Reams about Arnav and Khushi and their ajeeb love story.
So, now you know all the terms, wondering where to find the best of stories? You are not alone in this quest. For stories on Indian television shows try out india-forums. With possibly ever book or show out there you cannot go wrong with fanfiction.net. A niche site with great stories for popular series like Harry Potter, do visit livejournal . Of course, a simple google search will give you hundreds of blogs with millions of stories and even more memories.
A newspaper article once insinuated that this kind of writing was for frustrated women who wanted to read much more than just a kiss. I won’t even bother deeming that with a response. There are such stories out there. Usually labelled Mature (NC 17). Even those are quite fun actually.
On a more interesting note, you perhaps do know already that Fifty Shades of Grey started of as a fanfiction of Twilight. Another popular writer, George R. R. Martin, author of Fire and Ice (the books on which HBO’s Game Of Thrones is based), has gone on record to wash away his hands completely off those mad fans who want to use his characters to write stories. The fun never ends in the land of fanfiction.
I have learnt scores of new words reading such stories. One of my favourite writers says she might stop writing fanfiction and journey into regular fiction and that has me worried and excited. The people I know, who write such stories, are some of the wisest, fun and inspiring people I have come to know. I have felt happy and heard my heart sing. I even started writing, a thing I gave up a long time ago, even before actually starting.
There is a section on this site which has a title fan fiction. My muse Arnav and Khushi. And am an extremely proud reader, writer and evangelist of Fan Fiction.