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QUESTION OF THE WEEK: #11 – Not Just for Twilight Anymore

Boys in our Books is starting a new series: Friday Question of the Week!

Each week we’ll ask a question about your reading experience. Our review team will give our answers and we encourage you to join in and comment with your answers as well!  Let’s talk about BOOKS! :)

QUESTION:

Fanfic Reader: yes or no?

 

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Ami:   I only started reading fanfic in 2013 and even then it was very limited to Merlin fandom. I avoided fanfic before because I had this weird thing of liking things the way they are, canon wise, and I felt fanfic couldn’t stay true to how the characters were. Until I read Merlin. BUT I still have my ‘weird’ rules on fanfic, like “I don’t really read the fanfic of shows I still watch” or “I prefer to read Alternate Universe” … At the moment, Merlin is my poison, though I also nibble here and there in “The Eagle”, “Suits”, “X-Men: First Class”, and “Sid/Geno (hockey)” fandom. 

 

Sara:  I haven’t read much of fan fiction as I was turned off by it early on but I have come around to it recently. I will say that I do enjoy a bit of Wincest (Brothers Sam and Dean from Supernatural) and I openly admit and adore Larry Stylinson fan fiction (Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson from One Direction). I love how creative folks can be with taking characters they love and either continuing the story line or setting them in an Alternate Universe and making the story their own yet staying true to the characters. I have learned there is a great big world full of stories out there I might attempt to read some day. 

 

Shelley: I am crap with fanfic. I just don’t watch enough TV to qualify. I don’t need to remind you all that I thought Teenwolf fic was about Michael J Fox. That’s how bad I am with fanfic. So in the interest of upholding our credibility I’ll refrain from the fanfic questions. Although that short True blood fic with Eric and Alcide was HOT! (I thank tumblr and gif world for that imagery – I never did watch Trueblood, but I did read the books:)) 

 

Sheri: The only time I ever found myself looking for fanfic was for Qhuay. I will forever be grateful to a certain piece in particular….for it lead me to amazing friends I cherish like family. However, I found out after reading a few books that they were indeed fanfic. But I had no clue beforehand. :P 

 

Sue: I’m not well versed with fanfiction. I only recently read my second piece (by accident) and have no real interest to read more… call me boring (again). But for this example I’ll go for the one and only fanfic I’ve ever wanted to read and that was a True Blood “collaboration” with Eric and Alcide – THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SHELLEY!!! 

 

Susan:  So, I’ve never consciously read fanfic before (except a couple short Nagron (Spartacus) ones by NR Walker!) but I ship characters in my head all the time! I think I probably would like fanfic…there’s just SO much to choose from and few guarantees the random one I choose to read will be any good. It feels like a lot of research/effort…and I’m kinda lazy. :)

 

Tracy:  Big yes. Fanfic is like Free Awesome Novel Town–population: A Gazillion. It definitely works better if you either a) have some familiarity or liking of the fandom, or b) have no inkling, but are willing to try it like an “original” work. I started in fandoms based on Japanese works in the late 90’s, but more recently have been into X-Men: First Class. Lots of great stuff there.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

…are you a fanfic’er?

10 comments on “QUESTION OF THE WEEK: #11 – Not Just for Twilight Anymore

  1. Xing
    April 18, 2014

    Like Ami, I started on the fanfiction bandwagon in 2013 with Merlin. Loved it and read them like crazy. When I exhausted through a lot of the “classics,” I started looking elsewhere. Teen Wolf was okay, but many of the stories were fluff or PWP, or had ADHD!Stiles, which isn’t my favorite portrayal of him (makes him feel like a 10 year old). And then, I finally hit the mother lode with Supernatural. Started with J2 (Jensen and Jared), but then found Destiel (Dean x Castiel). I’ve read more Destiel fanfiction this year than actual published works (over 3 million words since January 2014)!

    I think if there’s one reason why I love fanfiction, it’s the ability to explore the unfamiliar with the characters you already know intimately. Because you CAN’T watch a multi-season series and not once think, “I wished it happened in a different way.” And fanfiction allows me to see these other “ways.” When done right, even the AU’s can be entertaining if the characterization is done right.

    The reason why I love Destiel more than other fandoms (even Merlin!) is because of the setup to the Supernatural world. Anyone who has watched the series up to season 4 is familiar with the amount of angst, agony and despair these characters go through. It’s the kind of show where the main characters hardly ever get the break they deserve. And to me, the most beautiful love stories are formed under the pressure of that pain and tragedy. Thus, why I prefer canon-material for Destiel fics. However, I also enjoy the characters Dean and Castiel as separate entities on the show. Therefore, if the characterization is spot on, I find myself even enjoying AUs.

    Like

    • Sheri
      April 18, 2014

      I knew you’d love this weeks question! :)

      Like

      • Xing
        April 18, 2014

        It was calling my name!

        Like

  2. Sarah_Madison
    April 18, 2014

    I got my start in fandom. Fell in love with a set of characters and read everything I could lay my hands on that involved them. Tentatively started writing my own fanfic, which opened floodgates of creativity that I didn’t know still existed after a lifetime of being a career professional. After writing over a million words of fanfic, I finally got the courage to submit some original fiction for publication. The rest, as they say, is history. :-)

    In some ways, the fandoms that attract the most compelling story-writers are the ones that have some serious flaws in world-building or continuity but have characters with undeniable chemistry for each other. I say this because excellent television rarely leaves room for the fanfic writer to play–but episodes with gaping inconsistencies or troubling plot holes are meat and drink to the fanfic writer. The appeal of fanfic is not only playing in the universe with characters you love, but explaining the unexplainable. One of the challenges I loved most about writing fanfic was staying as close to character as possible while still telling my own story. The greatest compliment I can receive is when a reader tells me that not only are my characterizations dead-on accurate, but that my story could have been an episode–that’s how clearly the reader could visualize the action.

    Sadly, I don’t have nearly as much time for fanfic as I used to–and fandom itself seems to be migrating to platforms that I don’t care that much about, such as tumblr. One of the things I miss most about the slow death of more word-oriented platforms such as Live Journal is the long, meaty meta discussions people would have about episodes, characterizations, and stories. I’ll still write the occasional fanfic (I happen to be working on one right now) but I suspect my fandom days are on the wane.

    Which is why I am grateful for large archives such as AO3, which allow me to look up a story in a fandom I’m interested in and read it without having to following that particular fanfic author on any platform they use in order to find out when they are posting a new story. :-)

    Like

  3. I’m not really a fan of the whole fanfic genre. Like others I don’t watch many of the shows that so many of the fanfics are based on. the real reason though is that I really just like the author’s books too much to want someone else to write them i’m not that interested in someone else telling the charcter’s story. probably crazy, but there you have it.

    Like

  4. Ariss
    April 18, 2014

    Yes, I read fanfic. Often it actually improves upon the source material and many published m/m writers began there.

    Like

  5. gaycrow
    April 18, 2014

    My introduction to gay and m/m fiction was through fanfic. Started off with het Snape/any_other_female, then moved onto Snape/Harry. That was back in 2003. Wow! Snape/Harry was my OTP for years; I did read other pairings though, and other fandoms.

    Recently, however, with many changes in real life, I’ve moved away from fanfic completely, and only read original fiction. The Snarry fandom was such a huge part of my life, but I don’t miss it much. I do miss the friendship groups, though. They were fun.

    Like

  6. Kaje Harper
    April 19, 2014

    I wrote fanfic as a teenager (way, way back; never showed anyone, but it was good practice, I think) and I’ve read a few recently that are great (Student Prince springs to mind.) But I haven’t had a TV for 20 years, so I don’t know the originals. And there is so much good original fiction, so I don’t go looking for it.

    Like

  7. Peasblossom
    April 19, 2014

    Like Sheri, I found my way to some amazing friends through Qhuay fanfic… But I have a problematic relationship with the whole genre. I love the enthusiasm, the imagination, and the commitment, but I really want so many of the writers I’ve seen to do original work. They have all this talent, skill, and drive, and they could be building careers based on original characters, but instead they are kept under the radar and in many cases quashed by authors who are legitimately defending their intellectual property.

    Like

  8. tagediiebin
    April 21, 2014

    With the exception of Sherlock and Harry Potter, I usually read fanfiction without any prior knowledge of the shows/ books it’s based on. I made an effort for Teen Wolf after my latest Sterek marathon and watched a couple of episodes. But if the author is any good, there shouldn’t be much need for extensive knowledge of the show. Especially with AU settings.

    I also never specifically looked for fanfiction. Instead, browsing the shelves of GR friends and a couple of enthusiastic reviews sucked me in.

    I’m not 100% sure what makes me read so much fanfic nowadays. I’m sort of glad I didn’t know about it 10 or 15 years ago, though (couldn’t have been healthy for my grade point average, and I wouldn’t want to miss the fun I had looking for m/m in classic literature).

    What I enjoy for sure is that it’s a bit subversive, caters to any taste, has a super friendly and lively community and great authors. And, let’s be honest, the difference in quality between published m/m and (excellent) slash fiction isn’t that big (and sometimes not even noticeable). So why pay money when there’s a free alternative?

    Like

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