The Magic of Fan-Fiction
Expanding Upon Your Favorite Stories
It starts long before the urge to type hits your fingers, long before you realize what's happening. Perhaps you're sitting on your porch, book in hand, hanging on every word that passes. Or maybe you are curled up on the couch, watching the story play out in front of you, so absorbed you may as well be in that world yourself. This is only the beginning of an addiction that will make this world a part of your own.
Hours, days, weeks later, you may be sitting together with your friends discussing this new favorite book, or most recent Netflix binge and wondering aloud what would have happened had a certain chapter played out differently. You talk about your favorite couple on the show, or who you think should be a couple. Relationship dynamics become something debatable, more than just a passing conversation. Sometimes you and your friends may even sit together and place your favorite characters into Hogwarts houses, combining two of your favorite worlds. There are always those like this, but then there are those who don't just wonder, they decide to create those worlds, let the events unfold upon the pages of a document. They all begin with wondering, questioning, discussions among friends, and lead to a magical creation of the stories they want to read in the form of fan-fiction.
Fan-fiction is a theme that has been around for ages, whether the term existed or not. Since ancient times authors have expanded upon the stories they felt a connection to. Take, for example, Virgil's Aeneid which follows up the Greek story of the Iliad. Much of the fan-fiction created today is for personal pleasure, for the joy of writing. However some has still become successful yet today. Fifty Shades of Gray started out as fan-fiction of supernatural romance series Twilight, but has since turned into a series of its own with movie adaptions.
Whichever purpose fan-fiction serves on the outside, it always has the inner pleasure of playing out what has not yet happened, or what one wishes were to happen. Many stories have sad parts to them; after all, life itself is not always happy. But many of us wish we could smooth over those parts in the lives of characters we love dearly, and in fan-fiction that wish becomes reality. One can fix the death of their favorite character, returning them to live the life they were always meant to. Or perhaps they can tie off a loose ending that the creators never quite fixed in their favorite show.
Fan-fiction can be created to play out "what-if" questions the fans have. For example, wondering what it would be like if the Avengers lived in a world where superheroes didn't exist, and lived their lives like every other person in New York City. The author is creating an entire world, an entire dimensions of possibilities, an Alternate Universe (AU).
The satisfaction doesn't end at playing out the wildest stories of your favorite characters, because writing on its own is a reward. Finishing the story is an accomplishment that can make pride swell in your chest. Sharing it with others to allow them to join you on a unique journey. There are websites dedicated to providing writers with a place to share their works and passion, and readers a place to find stories that will sweep them up in the magic of a new adventure.
One must take the chance to write this new adventure, to write the story inside of them that's wanting to break out. Answer the "what-if's", give the characters you love a chance to get their happy ending, give yourself resolution, and write. Stories don't have to end simply because the author wrote the words that make the final page of their book. Those stories live on inside you, in the fans who love them, and in the pages of fan-fiction.
“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” —Toni Morrison