Notes on a Fandom is a regular column dedicated to lesbian/bi fandom in it’s various incarnations. It will also feature thoughts and comments from you, the fans. Follow @DanaPiccoli on Twitter and Tumblr to keep up with the latest topics and questions.
Whether you consider yourself a flailing fangirl, or a more casual kind of fan, chances are you have come across a piece of fan fiction. Fan fiction (also fanfic or fic), or is one of the cornerstones of the fandom universe. Plentiful to say the least, it comes in many varieties. Some are brilliantly moving; some can make us blush. Some are, well, less than stellar. If Twitter is the mouthpiece fandom uses to try and influence or appeal to the powers that be, then fan fiction is its beating heart. It’s a medium used and created by fans, for fans, where the stories we long to hear are told. Communities are built, and hidden talents are discovered.
The idea of fan fiction is nothing new. For as long as there have been stories, there have been variations of those stories told by others.
That guy Ugg acts like he invented fire or something. In my fic, he gets eaten by a saber-tooth.
Photo courtesy of novinite.com
The accessibility of fan fiction however, increased exponentially over the last 15 years or so because of the Internet. Finally fans could connect in a way they never had before and the fan fiction came pouring out. Fun fact: On fanfiction.net, arguably one of the largest collections of fan fiction, there are over ninety thousand Glee fanfics. Harry Potter has over 600,000 on the site alone. That translates to millions of collective hours of reading, writing and living fandom.
I asked fans on Twitter and Tumblr why they read fan fiction. Here is what they had to say.
@danapiccoli Canon or not, it’s fun, cathartic even, to get to see your ships in all sorts of mundane to insane situations.
— Tabatha (@DanceUponMyToes) February 8, 2013
@danapiccoli I like both, as long as they’re done well. The width and depth and breadth of fandom have no limits.
— Carolyn (@adrblepancreas) February 8, 2013
@danapiccoli yes – gives me additional content for the characters/ships I want to see explored. Also: subtextparty!
— Steph Ouaknine (@StephInTeevee) February 8, 2013