What is fanfiction?
A quick Google search would give you tons of definitions. Fanfictions are works of fiction about characters from TV shows, animes, cartoons, and comics which are written by a fan.
Many people enjoy reading and writing fanfiction. Fanfiction is getting more and more popular by the day and is slowly becoming a large part of pop culture. However, on the flip side, people are generally embarrassed and ashamed of reading and writing fanfiction. It is considered to be childish, strange and “bad” writing.
I’m here to tell you why that is absolutely wrong. Fanfiction writing, like all forms of writing, is complex and comes in various forms. Many of the arguments made to invalidate fanfiction boil down to elitism in the writing community and ignorance.
Some of the arguments are:
1. Fanfiction is written by 12 year olds
In my personal experiences with reading and writing fanfiction, I will admit that pre-teens write and submit their work. However, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with that or that it brings down the quality of fanfiction writing as a whole. Everyone has a right to express themselves creatively. Fanfiction is a great tool for people to exercise and expand on their writing skills. I started writing fanfiction at 13 and continue to do so now at 20. The biggest positive about fanfiction is that it is open to to all people. Writing and reading fanfiction encouraged me to read and write so much more than school did. The exclusiveness in the writing community is intimidating and easily discourages potential writers.
2. Fanfictions are based off of previously created characters and story lines.
I think this argument is the funniest one. Very few things in literature are original. Concepts and themes have been borrowed and built upon many times. There are tons of examples of borrowed works being re-imagined or interpreted in different ways.
3. Fanfiction is shallow writing for the pleasure of the fans and isn’t as complex as “real” works of literature.
People who believe this haven’t read many fanfictions – if any. Fanfictions have no real rules so there are a variety of works out there. Yes, there are examples of fanfiction that are arguably “shallow” but there are also examples of published works being anything but “complex”. Fanfiction, like any form of writing, shouldn’t be generalized.
For all potential writers or current writers that doubt themselves, remember that if you write, then you are a writer. It is as simple as that. Don’t be discouraged by the elitism in the community or the work of other writers. Writing is an art form and within art , rules are broken. Some of the best and well known works disregard the expected rules of their time, even going as far to make their own.
Keep writing because you can only get better.