Come on, admit it. Fan Fiction. You know what it is. The guilty little secret so many of us live with. Isn’t it time to just ‘fess up? Say it with me; I HAVE READ FAN FICTION.
There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?
Maybe later we’ll admit together that we also WROTE Fan Fiction. If we’re brave.
In the early days of the internet – while dinosaurs still roamed the earth and I was young and cool – I first stumbled across fan fiction while I was looking for episode information on one of the TV shows I was all hot and bothered about at the time. It was a UPN or a WB show and they were vague about show renewals back then, being small networks that were just breaking away from being the “re-run” stations, with their own original programming. It was a cheezy show, which most of them were at the time, but there was a hot guy playing the lead and that totally made up for the ridiculous plots and fairly terrible dialogue. I found message boards (Gawd, remember those??) and fan sites for the show and for the actor and then… yes…. I saw my first piece of fan fiction. And I was hooked. Heck, the writing was better than the show’s in some cases!
I don’t even know if Yahoo still has Yahoo Groups or not but back then they were super popular and I found a bunch of Yahoo Groups that centered around the shows I loved, and there was so much fan fiction! I read it all; the good, the bad and the ugly. I learned The Lingo. I learned about “hurt/comfort” which is where you bust up one of the main characters so another character can comfort them. That’s where I started learning about the abnormal psychology of some of the writers…. I learned about “Mary Sue” characters, which are basically characters that are US with a different name and are perfect at everything they do and everyone loves them – except the people reading the story. And I learned about “Slash”, which is basically taking two straight characters and making them gay. This apparently goes back as far as the original Star Trek series. There were a lot of Kirk/Spock slashers. And “Shippers”, oh Lord, Shippers… the ones who insist that there’s “subtext” in everything and put two characters together even when there is zero chemistry. My least favorite of all were the Sam/Jack shippers from the Stargate fandom. They were a rabid bunch.
Back in the early days of the internet there were loads of fan fiction sites, hell, I even ran one, myself. But there were also the old-school folks who created “Zines”, which were fan fiction stories that were edited and printed, bound and sold at “Cons” and over the web. I wrote many stories for zines and published a few of them, too. Yes, I humped boxes of zines to cons in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area. I found one online on eBay not long ago and bought it just to have it since all mine got tossed many moves ago. The image for this blog is not mine. I found it online and fell in love with it. Perfection!
I made so many friends through those Yahoo groups and have such fond memories of posting stories, one chapter at a time and waiting for the feedback to start flooding in. It was a rush! Some of the old fan fiction stories I wrote years back have been resurrected, rewritten as original pieces and are now books. The time I spent writing fan fic wasn’t a waste at all, it was a great exercise for me!
Okay, let’s admit it together…. I WROTE FAN FICTION!!!!
Next we’ll work on admitting that we watch 90 Day Fiance.