As bloggers, we developed the idea of starting our own online journals or contributing to people’s blogs because we had a story to tell. We wanted to share our thoughts with the world. But what if you could share someone else’s thoughts but in your own way on your own terms? You don’t get it, do you? Okay, let me rephrase the question. Have you ever read a book or watched a movie and totally fell in love with the characters? We all have. Now, have you ever felt that the movie or book could have done better? Maybe you are a sucker for happy ever after’s like me or maybe you feel like some things in the story were not well explained and you feel you can improve the work? We all feel that sometimes.
I love reading novels and sometimes, I feel like the author has put so much drama in the plot that it has lost direction such that I feel I would have done a better job with the characters. Well, now you can.
Fan fiction or fanfic as is simply known is fiction about characters and or settings from an original work (called a canon) that is created by the fans of that particular work rather than the actual creator of the work, for their reading pleasure. Most fanfics are written to give an alternative universe for the work and also to play around with characters to give a ‘what if’ scenario.
Since the advent of the internet, fanfics have already gained popularity with the extent of some fans loving these fanfics more than the canon. Fanfictions are rarely approved by the original writer and are rarely professionally published unless you do a full character overhaul, change the setting and the direction of the novel.
A famous example is the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E. L. James which was originally developed from a Twilight Fanfiction originally titled Master of the Universe under the pen name Snow queen’s Ice dragon. The piece featured characters named after Stephanie Meyer’s characters in Twilight, Edward Cullen, and Bella Swan.
Although the fans invest a significant amount of time and effort creating their stories, they provide this creative work as amateurs and do not request any monetary compensation. They do this to hone their skills and just for the fun of it.
The skills they get though these fanfics help them market themselves online while some others find employment and other valuable opportunities through their work. In the example I gave above of the Fifty Shades Trilogy, E. L. James got an opportunity to publish her fanfic as her own book which was eventually adapted into a movie.
Some have also gained recognition; with media houses including them for their media product development, marketing, and advertising, promotional activities and distribution. The media has found a way to harness this because fanfic writers usually have a following where they interact using reviews. These are especially the primary motivators of these fanfic writers. If you visit fanfic sites, the writer with fewer reviews and suggestion normally end up abandoning their story. The readers can suggest the direction they want the story to take, give comments on how the story was and also how the fanfic can be improved.
Fanfictions are always categorized according to a genre; adventure, romance, hurt/comfort and mystery. This gives the reader an idea of what they can read. Since there are basically millions of fan fiction stories in the internet, genres allow you to sift through the ones that you are interested in reading. You can also combine two books by two different authors to create what we call a crossover.
You do not have to wallow in self-pity if you don’t have a unique idea for your blog. Go out there and create a fan fiction based on your favorite movie or a book you came across that you thought needed more expounding. Have fun with the characters and see where your imagination takes you. Remember to also credit the author of the canon to avoid lawsuits related to copyright infringement. It can be a small sentence like ‘The characters belong to John Kiriamiti’ if you are writing a fanfic from My life as a criminal by John Kiriamiti.