Fanfiction: A Primer
10k wip spn hs au Destiel otp fluffy crack on ao3
Now I know to most people that sentence above is gibberish, but to a seasoned reader of fanfiction, it is a very descriptive summary of what to expect out of that particular fic. Let me translate for you. It is a 10,000 word long fic (short for fanfiction), that is a work in progress. It takes place with parts of the television show, Supernatural, but is a high school alternate universe. Dean Winchester and Castiel will be a couple because they are the author’s One True Pairing. Fluffy means that the fic will be sweet and crack (coming from the joke that the author must have been on drugs to think of the idea) means they made it (purposefully) bizarre. And the story can be found on the website Archive of Our Own.
Seems like a lot to take in huh? The further you get into fanfiction the stranger the world and language seems, until suddenly you realize you are fluent. This article is just to explain some of the basic principle behind the fanfiction phenomenon.
So what exactly is fanfiction? It’s the creative written works of fans based on already published books, shows, and movies. Some are based on real people (aptly named real person fiction aka rpf), but since this is an overview we won’t get into that. Otherwise it’s all pretty simple, right? Any story produced by a fan using characters or settings already published is fanfiction. This form of literature has a long history that I won’t bore you with. Suffice it to say it is not the new phenomenon most media would have you believe.
But Traci, you might say, what about shows like Elementary or The Lizzie Bennett Diaries? They are shows based on already published works. In the loosest sense of the word, yes they are fanfiction. Most would ignore the fact that these shows, and shows like them are glorified fanfiction. Stories made up by fans of the work for the consumption of others. Because they are professionally done and made for profit, they move more into the pastiche category, which is professional fanfiction.
There are many forms of fanfiction from the erotic that is heavily publicized by journalists to meta fics exploring deeper meanings in canon (the source material) to gen fics showcasing friendships. For every person out there writing, there is another type of fic being written.
I was cautioned by several fandom friends while writing this piece because fans are an intensely private people and fan works were made by fans for fans. Not for the general public. From interviewers sharing works with actors to college courses using fanfiction without the writer’s permission, fans have been burned before. That is why I made sure to have permission from each of the authors who’s works I am recommending below. Check them out, then go read other fics, and maybe, if you want, one day write your own.
Stronger Than Blood by maramcgregor
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Summary: Scott must survive his mother’s family coming in to town. The Last time he saw them, he was five years old. Or so he thought. The Calaveras have no intention of allowing an Alpha werewolf go free. The Stilinskis and the McCalls must prove that chosen family is more important than blood.
A Handful by boxoftheskyking
Summary: “Why the hell would you want to, wht, de-age yourself?” The kid’s face lights up, and John can definitely see Sherlock. “Science, John!” he crows, wagging his eyebrows. On adult Sherlock, the effect woould be manic. On kid Sherlock, it is possibly the most adorable thing John has ever seen.
Recommended Videos by Prettybird979
Fandom: Les Miserables
Summary: Grantaire commented on Enjolras’ video only because some delusional people kept mentioning him. He expected that someone so amazing wouldn’t give him the time of day… but he did. And now they’re fighting in video comments and making vlogs at each other. It’s great until Grantaire does something stupid (like he usually does) and realises that at some point he fell in love. Well he always did love hopeless causes. Seems fitting his love is one itself. Do it for the Vine and all. (Or the fic where Les Amis are on youtube and there are vlogs about social justice, a dog called Cat and toast)