Fanfiction, or ‘fanfic’ as it is affectionately known, is no recent phenomenon, but it continues to grow. Heck, everyone’s at it and they aren’t ashamed to admit it either. Researching fanfic, I was expecting to just find crazed One Direction fans dreaming up a scenario where the curly haired one falls in love with them. And believe me there are more than a few of these ones, so much so that One Direction fanfic is quickly overtaking Harry Potter fanfic in popularity. I looked at three main sites: Wattpad, fanfiction.net and Archive of our Own. Searching Wattpad’s fanfiction section, it is hard to find fanfic which isn’t centred on One Direction, which left me disappointed. Too much One Direction can be a bad thing, you know. From this, one piece advice I would give aspiring fanfic writers is that it appears that the less popular the fandom, the easier it is for your work to get recognised. Although there are stack full of stories about Harry (of the Styles, Potter and even Prince variety) there seem to be a select few that are popular, such as “He’s No Good” centred around Zayn Malik from One Direction, and currently has 7million hits.
If the thought of being dominated by Directioners trying their hand at literature puts you off, there is still hope. Websites such as fanfiction.net and Archive of our Own has a fandom for everything from Buffy the Vampire slayer to Degrassi. Who knew? These sites are great for those who want to branch out to even the most obscure of fandoms. Sign up is free, although Archive of Our Own requires you to be ‘invited’ like some kind of secret society.
I only planned to read a few fanfics but it got strangely addictive, and before I knew it, I had spent 3 hours reading and had added a One Direction fanfic to my Wattpad library. And I’m not even a 1D fan. It was official, fanfic had become my guilty pleasure.
Reading fanfics from all walks of fandom I noticed two trends that seemed to be occurring. Writers would either use the characters from the TV programme/film etc. and mould them into a completely new storyline that they had conjured up. For example, one writer had made a bizaare fanfic hybrid out of Breaking Bad and Wizards of Waverly Place. I’m not sure how a programme about Disney wizards and a programme about cooking crystal meth could possibly be a match made in heaven, but it apparently seems to work, getting 358 hits since it was published three days ago. Although the storyline seems bizaare, with this method you can literally let your imaginations run wild. An alternative method was following the original storylines, making alterations here and there. This was true of a Gossip Girl fanfic I found, one of my favourite TV programmes ‘back in the day’. The author of ‘Once Upon a Chairytale’ had used the original storyline of Chuck and Blair’s relationship and had altered it slightly. Hell, there was even a girl that had written and altered every single episode. Now that’s dedication. I wasn’t so much of a fan of this method but if you chose to do it this way, be warned- you have to know your fandom inside out or you get other members of the fandom verbally attacking you for being inaccurate. Another point, the fanfic world can be harsh.
I’ve read a lot of fanfics today; more than one person should be able to stomach. I’ve read some surprisingly good ones, some frankly disturbing ones, and some ‘meh’ ones. With this in mind, it is difficult to establish ‘how to’ write fanfic because there appears to be no rules. I think the one great thing about fanfic amongst all its hype is that it is fun, to be enjoyed by the author and other members of the fandom, rather than being scrutinised for poor grammar or lack of extended metaphors like ‘normal’ novels. And that’s what fiction should be about- enjoyment, and however much fanfic may get laughed at and mocked, I think it sets a pretty good example for the rest of fiction writing, and sites like the ones mentioned only make fanfiction easier to be a part of.
Love Georgia x
If you’re interested in writing or reading fanfic, these are great fanfiction sites:
If you fancy a read of the fanfics I had a look at, check out the links below:
“He’s No Good” by MalikIsSexy (One Direction)
“You Make Me Feel Human” by 3mmaRawrs (Vampire Diaries)
“The Disappearer” by Porkchop_Sandwiches (Breaking Bad and Wizards of Waverly Place hybrid)
“Once Upon A Chairytale” by rayj829 (Gossip Girl)