My name is Sara Muftic and I write fanfiction.
There are many fanfiction writers who consider admitting to writing fanfiction as a form of social suicide. They hide this hobby from their friends, their parents, their teachers, etc. in fear of being teased or being seen as outcasts.
Why should we hide our talent from the world, though? Why shouldn’t we be proud of what we do, what we have accomplished, and what we hope to achieve in the future? Fanfiction as we know it today has created many amazing and unique opportunities for a new generation of writers. E.L. James’ Fifty Shades series, as questionable as it may be, has been immensely successful even though it was adapted from a “Twilight” fanfiction. Not only that, but 16-year-old Emily Baker is turning her fanfiction about popular boy band One Direction into a novel.
Whether people like it or not, fanfiction isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Rather than look down on those who write fanfiction, why don’t these critics take a moment to think about all the positive sides of fanfiction? There are many things that could be said about the benefits of fanfiction, but to get the ball rolling here are three main points.
For starters, fanfiction has created a love for storytelling in so many people-I know that I never would have considered pursuing a career in writing if I had never discovered fanfiction. Reading and writing become exciting when characters from our favorite TV shows, books, or movies are involved. With so many different types of media to consume and the internet at our disposal as well, we have a better chance of discovering this love. Moreover, our love for writing is genuine. We don’t write for money or fame; writing fanfiction is a hobby that we are truly passionate about and enjoy.
Fanfiction has also given people the opportunity to improve their writing skill, which is something that we all need to have in the professional world. Reading good fanfiction and receiving critique on your own fanfiction help you write better yourself. If you write diligently, read frequently, and listen to the advice of your peers, you can hone your talent and do something great with it. Joining fanfiction websites gives you the unique opportunity to share your work with a potentially massive audience and receive feedback from that audience. This is something that was not so easy before.
Lastly, fanfiction has given us new way to critique media. Every piece of fanfiction is a direct response to the medium that it is about; we are able to critique the characters and the stories we see, whether positively or negatively. When we write fanfiction, we are sending a message out there and telling the world what we want to see in the media. We are taking an assertive stance and putting the media into our hands. This is a unique way for us to respond to the media consume and contribute to its success. An active fandom is just as important as an active series.
Call us nerds if you want-many of us wear that title proudly. Try to tell us that our writing isn’t serious-we will prove you wrong. Go ahead and throw Fifty Shades of Grey in our faces… We likely agree with you on that one, but we encourage you to give the rest of us a fair chance anyway.
Fanfiction is important. You should take it seriously.
If any of you write and/or read fanfiction, how has it impacted your life?