Discussion – Fanfiction: Everyone is a Writer

It might not be Shakespeare, but it is the next Hollywood blockbuster hit.

It might not be Shakespeare, but it is the next Hollywood blockbuster hit.

Fanfiction is an interesting thing. It has a negative stigma for being a bunch of crap that emotional twelve-year olds write when they are unhappy with the exposure that their favorite couple is getting. The general pool of fanfiction may not be that great, but it isn’t like everything is a bunch of crap. Think of the very popular doujin groups that show up to conventions. Think of the fact that every writer has to start somewhere. Think of the fact that Fiona and Cake is a fanfiction written by the Ice King. That last one may not qualify, but it was definitely an entertaining concept in Adventure Time.

Some of these groups are VERY talented.

Some of these groups are VERY talented.

Let’s start out with some of the most famous fanfiction out there. Doujin circles have been very popular over the years in Japan and they force quite the craze at conventions. They have a reputation for being mostly pornographic, but you can find some stuff that is a little less adult. I don’t know who is looking for stuff like that, but it does exist. The question here is why we enjoy it. Well, it is no secret that I am a big time shipper. For those of you that don’t know what that means, it means that I love couples. Unfortunately, a lot of series fail to give us what we want when it comes to our favorite couples. Why is that? Well, sometimes the couple is in a shounen series, so we rarely get any fully romantic moments or closure on the sub plot. Sometimes the couple gets exposure because they are in a romantic series, but we want to see more because the couple is just that great. Sometimes the fans are crack shippers that like to see two completely unrelated characters together and the only way to get anything out of it is to have someone just as crazy as you, but more talented, write about it. Sometimes people just want to see their favorite characters having sex. Basically, there is a demand and a supply has started. Luckily, these writers are fairly well-respected. Well, as well-respected as independent writers can be. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out for them. There was that fallout with the Kuroko no Basuke doujin circles last year that cost people a lot of time, money, and merchandise.

Most of us think.

Most of us think.

Honestly, everyone has at least brainstormed a fanfiction. At some point in time, you have probably had thoughts swirling around in your mind when thinking about a series that went something like this:

I really like that couple, but they never get any time together. OR Why the hell would the story take this route? OR I can’t believe that the series ended like that. This is how I would have closed things out. OR Why are we not getting another season for this series? OR That sub plot was never fully explored. OR I love this series, but my favorite couple kind of needs to have sex.

That last one is a little extreme, but these are the seeds that grow into storyboards. It is really the fact that everyone has these ideas that fanfiction is so well-known. People want more and a few of them are not afraid turn translate what is on their mind into a more physical form. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always translate well and it results in things like low rated garbage on fantiction.net. Although, can you really blame those people? Every writer has to start somewhere. I am sure that Edgar Allen Poe didn’t start churning out quality poetry when he woke up one glorious morning. The fact is that all of us have these ideas in our heads, but we don’t all write shows that it isn’t easy putting things from mind to paper. It is almost as frustrating as having beautiful images in your mind, but only being able to draw stick figures.

Not every blogger is a professional.

Not every blogger is a professional.

Honestly, I don’t think that bloggers are much different from fanfiction writers. Please hear me out before you decides to go crazy over that one. I am part of an independent blog. We don’t have a lot of readers, but we appreciate anything that we get. I am honestly surprised that so many people care enough to like, comment, and follow our stuff. However, what are we really doing here? Some friends and I decided that we think we can write. We are doing something that professionals are paid to do and using the power of the internet to copy them. Is our writing fantastic? No and a lot of low-level bloggers have a stigma for being kind of shitty. It isn’t on the same level as fanfiction writers, but it is definitely there. What am I trying to say here? Once again, we all have the capacity to be writers in this age of technology. We don’ need to have the money to publish independent works. We can jump onto a free blogging site or grab a cheap domain.  Is everyone a critic? Pretty much, but not everyone decides to throw their ideas out there for people to further criticize. I wouldn’t say that we are doing much over here on Mahou Tofu because it is something that a lot of people do. For the most part, I just put what I think with some slight censorship into a more organized form. Isn’t that fan writing? I know that I am fairly similar to a fanfiction writer in a few regards with the blogging. It is mostly self gratifying stuff that I am somewhat proud of and I get way too excited when someone likes it.

I might like the fanfiction better than the original.

I might like the fanfiction better than the original.

I guess the theme here is that everyone can pretty much relate to fan writers. Whether you have thought up a story that is slightly different from the one that was professionally written, read a fanfiction, or written anything ourselves, fan writing in general is something that starts with the word “fan” for a reason. We are fanatics and there is a demand for more. We may not all be professional writers, but there is good stuff out there. I have read my fair share of doujins. I don’t really brave things like fanfiction.net, but I will try one out every once in a while if someone whose opinion I respect recommends something to me. Honestly, you have to sift through the crap when it comes to professional writing as well. Not every book, movie, television series, or anything that gets funding is necessarily worth the money that gets pumped into it. I have read doujins that are better than the series that they are based on. Luckily, the internet gives us the ability to put our thoughts out there. I guess that can also be considered unfortunate if you are a glass half empty kind of person. However, people who had to struggle getting their writing out there in the past would say that there is at least water in the damn glass. Do I write fanfiction? I have, but Daniel will never get to read it.

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3 responses to “Discussion – Fanfiction: Everyone is a Writer

  1. Writing fan fiction (even without anyone else reading it) showed me that I could write hundreds of pages of an at least semi-coherent story, which I don’t think I would have tried otherwise.
    Also, the fact that Kindle Worlds lets people publish fan fiction (and earn money from it) feels like a good step in that direction. I don’t read a lot of fan fiction, but I’m happy if everyone can write what they like, and if other people like it, get paid for it.

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