All the feels

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All the feels

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If I’m being completely honest, fanfiction is underrated in the creative writing community. For those who don’t know what fanfiction is, it is a piece of writing in which is based off characters in a movie, musical, show, book or any other media work that the fanfiction writer doesn’t own but tweaks or adds more to such as a new ending, character deaths or character relationships. It’s amazing for the writer and its readers, yet people stereotype it to a teenage girl crying over a One Direction poster, writing on a sloppily put together website and using several emoticons after every sentence. Like most stereotypes, there are exceptions, but for the most part fanfiction is not like its assigned stereotypes. 

As a fanfiction writer myself, fanfiction is an outlet. I’ve tried more than once to make an original story, but it can be near impossible 99% of the time. The checklist for an original story includes things like beliefs, characters, background characters’ descriptions, slight foreshadowing, plot, plot twists, items used by characters, character names that give the reader a sense of their personalities, different character personalities, character traits — the list goes on and on. With fanfiction, it’s already there. The characters are already established for the writer and for the reader. It makes writing so much easier, especially when first starting out. 

Fanfiction can be published online, but there are cases in which they are even published as a book. Take, for example, the “After” series by Anna Todd. It started out as a One Direction fanfiction on a site called Wattpad, and now it has over a billion views and has been made into a stop motion picture. 

Additionally, fanfiction gives the writer room to grow. For me, writing fanfictions is my practice. I refer to them quite often as my “draft babies.” They give me space to strengthen myself as a writer within a series I’m familiar with and am comfortable writing about.

As mentioned, readers benefit from fanfiction just as much as the fanfiction writers do. Within fanfiction, characters that might have little screen time but a huge roll in the plot get more of a spotlight in the writing. The readers and myself get clarification on several small to large details that are expanded upon within the fanfiction. Can’t remember the hair color of a character? The fanfiction tells you! 

Fanfiction doesn’t just clarify details to the readers, though. It increases the readers’ reading comprehension and gives them imaginative ideas to keep them into the fandom even long after the series, band, or show ends.

That’s why fanfiction is so underrated, specifically in regards to what it does to its community fandom. It’s a constant fuel for both readers and writers. It brings the characters into new situations. It lets writers grow, yet it’s so stereotyped in many ways so people don’t take it seriously. 

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