OTW Fannews: Being In the Know

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  • A post at Movie Pilot pointed out how early fanwork passions can begin. “I was on Wattpad and came across a profile and her name was Alexandria1019. She has a couple of stories she wrote, which are amazing in my point of view…And the coolest thing, she’s a 7th grader.” Her dreams are short-term but her reasons are universal. “‘When I get older, and go to high school, I want to join a writing club. I want to be a writer because whenever I write, it’s like I’m in a totally different universe. Like I’m not in reality…I know they aren’t my characters and my story that I wrote myself, but it gives me a chance too express what I think. Because, I can’t really express what I think to people.'”
  • These early lessons can have a big impact though. An article at Neon Tommy discussed why people respond to fanfiction. “I found myself reading multiple stories like Red’s, about kids who used fanfiction as a means to improve their English, and with fantastic results. Users told me about how fanfiction helped expand their vocabulary, as well as experiences such as an anonymous user who ‘learned about the culture…ideas and feelings of the writers. When reading I stopped more than once, to learn about a new tradition, a word, a poem, an author, a new kind of music…It’s a window to new knowledge…’ So, with fanfiction, it wasn’t just me who was improving my writing skills.”
  • The New York Post was one of many sites trying to find stories related to Fifty Shades of Grey to coincide with the movie’s release. In their case they found a fanfic writer to discuss pulling to publish and the merits of the fic as originally written. “But many in the fanficton.net community are confused and concerned by James’ success. ‘The prose style, the dialogue — it was very juvenile. It was very simplistic,’ says Karen, a 50-year-old administrator from Phoenix who uses the name piewacket on the site and recalls reading James’ original posts.”
  • A different look at fanfic was provided by the OTW’s Kristina Busse in a post at How We Get to Next. There she argued against separating fanfiction from communities. “Star Trek also became ‘trans-fannish’ very quickly, Busse explained, intermingling with followers of other series. ‘In the 1970s conventions started to include Doctor Who, and by the 1980s you have entire zines that are nothing but crossovers. It moved beyond the specific show; people would become fannish butterflies where they would go from one fandom to another.’ In doing so, they brought with them characters, plots and settings — and also tropes.”

How do you define fanfiction and what has it brought to your life? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.