What’s the Sitch with FanFic?

Have you ever stayed up all night watching a series or reading a book that was just so good you couldn’t stop, but then once you got to the end you kind of felt robbed? Maybe the couple of your dreams never got together or you never quite found out what happened to that one awesome character you were rooting for.


That’s how senior Lucy Kleshinski, and many other Presentation students interested in fan fiction, got hooked. “I read a lot of books and sometimes I was disappointed with the endings and because of that I wanted to create my own endings. I wanted to take something I loved and make it my own,” says Kleshinski.


Thanks to the Internet, there are a lot of outlets for these fanfic lovers to collaborate with friends and share their stories. Common tools include ArchiveOfOurOwn, Wattpad, and even Google Docs. A lot of the times, these fanfics are downloadable in eBook form, which makes them easier to access and read.


Inspiration for these stories can come from everyday life. Though the plot can often be inspired by events from the character’s’ original story, fan fiction works can also involve dropping celebrities or cartoon characters into everyday life. The ability to customize and build off of favorite superstars and characters can also be very appealing.


“I love Beyonce and she’s my queen so it’s really fun to make myself her best friend … we talk about each other’s problems and stuff,” says freshman Alyssa Ortiz-Barela. In the real world, meeting your favorite celebrity can cost $2,000, but in the realm of fan fiction, these friendships can be freely created.


The subjects of the stories themselves can be pulled from many different domains. Fan fiction can include characters from TV shows, movies, books, comics, and more. However, fanfic authors may also choose to incorporate aspects of their own lives into the plot. “I will sometimes make up my own characters called OC’s or ‘other characters’ and those just come from my mind, usually inspired by my friends,” says Kleshinski.


Not only can fan fiction be used as a creative outlet, but it is also a means to improve upon writing skills. Other users on story sharing forums can provide helpful feedback. Ortiz-Barela says, “I’ll ask for pointers sometimes if the grammar in my writing is weak. It’s really nice because I get better at writing from it too.”


For those who prefer to keep their work to themselves, like junior Samantha Denny, individually improving on work is a way to practice for a future career. “[Fan fiction] helps me figure out what good writing habits are because I want to be an author,” says Denny.
To some, re-writing a whole show to fit your fancy may seem a little extreme. But for these writers, it’s just the best way for them to express themselves. Like Ortiz-Barela says, “It doesn’t matter if you think you’re bad at it, as long as you’re expressing yourself in some way it’s art, it’s art in your eyes and it doesn’t really matter what other people think about it.”