Today i was scrolling through twitter & i saw that on NaNoWriMo’s twitter (short for National Novel Writing Month) they were going to be talking all about fanfic on their Facebook page today. I thought “Great! Maybe i can learn a thing or two!” (myself being a fanfic writer). As I scrolled through the comments on the post, I smiled at how many people are actually so passionate about fanfic. Some people have a love for writing that started with a simple basic fanfic story that they made because they were passionate about the fandom it was about. So, naturally, i put my contribution to the post:
The thing that got me into writing was actually my first story, a Justin Bieber fanfic (I was 13, okay?). Ever since then i had a fascination with writing and a love for fanfic. I went on to write One Direction on Wattpad and i literally could not believe the amount of people who actually read and responded to my story! It made me feel so good to see that people enjoyed my story and now i write Harry Potter, Marvel CU, Sherlock, Doctor Who & a bit of Supernatural. I love writing fiction because i get to make my own world and people – but fanfic gives me the opportunity to make my favorite characters that i love do what ever i want them to do. It is a bit of a challenge sometimes (especially in my Sherlock fic… Daddy sherlock is a pain to write) but the fun of fanfic is being able to write what you want and learn how to improve yourself! Well, there’s my novel contribution. I just really love writing fan fic!
The article that NaNoWriMo links you to is by dailydot.com, titled ‘A guide to fanfiction for you people who can’t stop getting it wrong‘. As i was reading it, I laughed at some of the things that they mentioned because they were true. Fan fiction did become a little more ‘mainstream’ after the Harry Potter series concluded, making it explode with the amount of Harry Potter fics. On fanfiction.net, there are over 709,000 works of Harry Potter fan fiction (pleased to say that one of those is mine) and on archiveofourown.org there are over 71,000 fics of Harry Potter on that website (one of those is also mine).
Now just because one has more fics than the other doesn’t mean that is necessarily the site to go to. The article give a perfect example of that. When searching for fanfic on google, the first site that shows up is fanfiction.net, which does have a lot of magnificent stories and some of them have a more serious tone to them, but slowly fanfiction.net seems to be getting deserted, for people are going over to archiveofourown.org, which is relatively new to the internet, where there are more adult stories and a more serious viewership, readership and writing as well.
Then there is Wattpad.com, where I started out writing as JustLittleAlyssa and posted my infamous Daughter Direction series (which has over 5 million views in total for both segments plus the Christmas special). The article is pretty spot-on about Wattpad, its mostly used by tweens who are writing about boybands. I logged on yesterday for the first time in actual months and noted that there was literally no change. I tried posting my other stories on Wattpad, but if you’re not posting a story about a boyband you won’t get as many views.
I took to tumblr a couple of weeks ago to ask about this. I wanted my stories to get a little bit more publicity (I work hard on them, okay?) so I just made a simple post. I wanted to know what people used more: a) fanfiction.net, b) archiveofourown or c) something i didn’t know about. I didn’t get a whole ton of responses, but a lot of people did say that although fanfiction.net is great, archiveofourown is becoming more popular and there are better fics there than there are on fanfiction.net. I used to only update fanfiction.net more because my following on archiveofourown.org is very small, but after that I started to update both and now I even prefer to read archiveofourown instead.
Another thing that the article mentions is “Myth: Fanfic writers are all teenagers or modest young women who shouldn’t be exposed to this kind of Internet filth”. First of all, yes most of us are probably going to be women. But, we are not all kids or teenagers (rich coming from the 19 year old – look i’m close enough to 20 let’s just call me 20 for this one, okay?) as the article says. The sites that most teenagers and younger tweens post on are fanfiction.net & Wattpad – which don’t allow adult stories. The article states that most writers are probably going to be college students (thats where i fall in) but there will also be a couple of older gals writing as well.
As far at the filfth part goes, if you’re worried about your 12 year old finding porn on the Internet, then they probably shouldn’t have unfiltered Internet access and not be reading at least 70% of fanfiction or have any sort of access to tumblr. Just saying.
The article goes on to say another Myth that really ticks me off “Fanfiction is bad for teen literacy.” First of all, educate yourself. Most fanfiction writers are very smart and their works are so well-written that you think they are professional. Writing fanfiction benefits, people! We improve our writing and English (or other languages) by sitting here all day and writing! You just think of it as weird because we are writing about Supernatural smut or Thor & Loki incest. There are some fanfiction writers who actually get editing help from others to proofread their works and make sure everything is spelled correctly and is also grammatically correct. There are of course, some who don’t (cough MY IMMORTAL cough), but those people are most likely the tweens of the internet.
One more thing that fanfiction is very largely famous for is the amount of porn fics & smut fics. This is most commonly where people get scared of fanfiction (that and because it is slightly weird, but i’m gonna wrap up with that point). Now folks, repeat after me: not all fanfiction is porn!
Come on now, say it with me: NOT ALL FAN FICTION IS PORN!
And thats true, a lot of fanfiction is not porn or smutty at all. I’ll use mine as an example for this. I have a new story that I’m in the process of writing that is going to be completely smut-free for the first 10 chapters or so (maybe more – its a Captain America fic, do we really think he would have sex before marriage?) and eventually, there will be smut. For some people, seeing this warning may lure them away from my story because they don’t want to read the smut. For others, they might read it and stick around for the smut. But really, not all fanfiction is smut. There may be smut in the fanfic, but unless it states in the description that its purely a smut fic, there are other non-smut fics to look for. I only read smut once in a blue moon myself.
I end with a hopefully inspirational note. Not all fanfiction is weird. For a person who isn’t the lover of the fandom life, sure, it is going to be weird to you. But before saying that fanfiction is weird, remember that for us, it isn’t. A writer should never be afraid to display their work in fear that they will get shot down, especially in the fanfiction community. For fanfiction writers, writing about our favorite story is our way of showing the world that we really love our fandom.
So go ahead, write that Spock/Kirk slash fic, make Dean & Castiel have hot steamy sex in the back of the Impala, & god dammit make Loki love a woman! Do what you want and write what you want!
Leave a comment below of your profiles for fanfiction websites, i’ll go read them & i’ll probably love them.
WEBSITES FOR READING AND POSTING FANFIC:
MY PROFILES WITH MY FANFIC