Fanfiction has gotten a bad rep over the years. For those not familiar with the term, fanfiction is fictional works written by and featuring characters from a particular television show, movie, book, or other fandom. Most people think this writing subculture is full of sup-par stories and only for tweens and teens who are obsessed with Twilight or guys obsessed with sci-fi and Lord of the Rings.
However, this is where most people are wrong.
Fanfiction is so much more than that. It spans many popular fandoms from hit television shows like Supernatural and Glee to bestselling book series like Harry Potter and The Mortal Instruments. Even fans of plays/musicals and comics have their own niches. Many, if not most, writers who partake are very talented, crafting engaging plots that can reach novel and novella lengths when all is said and done. Their stories just happen to star their favorite fictional characters rather than ones they created.Most of all, it’s a great way to flex your creative muscles with a low pressure project that that is more for fun than for landing publishing deal.
Still not convinced? Here are some reasons why you should give fan fiction a try.
Think of it like a writing prompt
When you break it down to it’s barest bones, fanfiction really is just one big writing prompt. It’s a great way to work through those moments when writer’s block hits or when you just need a break from a long project. You’re given a set fandom universe with specific characters and required to work within that framework. From there, the rest is up to you.
You get a chance to be a part of the writer’s room for your favorite fandom
We all have that fictional couple that never was, that character death we never got over, or that series that ended way too soon. Maybe you have an idea for a scene between two characters not included in the original. Fanfiction lets you right all those fictional wrongs by putting you in the driver’s seat. The story is in your hands and you get to tell it your way.
You’ll become part of a pretty awesome community of fellow fans and writers
One of the best things about fanfiction is that you have a built-in community for your chosen fandom. Websites like Fanfiction.net are a great way to connect with other fans who get why you have a passion for this medium and want to see what you’ve been working on. You’ll get feedback on your writing, see what others are working on, and become a part of community that loves writing and fandoms just as much as you do.
It’s a great way to test out story ideas
Got an idea for a story you’re not sure about? You can utilize fanfiction as a way to test drive it before you commit a whole book to it. Plus, you’re fanfiction community is full of fellow, talented writers who can offer feedback and help you work out the kinks so you can refine it for your next book project.
It’s just really fun
As writers, we can get so focused on creating something publishable that we forget why we started writing in the first place. Fanfiction is a safe space where where you can just let go and write without all the outside pressure. Let’s face it: Sometimes, in our moments of creative blocks, thats all we really need.