The thing about Fan-fictions

picture @Ruttika_Shin on twitter

Fan-fictions, for some of us they are something they bring the most fun as we try to indulge in a world of a series that we enjoy and love, seeking more than we got from the official director or author. Yet there are some important things about fan-fiction that are ignored or overseen in the many fandoms which exist out there.

While there are a lot of different opinions, tastes and visions about how a fan-fiction should be written, criticised or depicted there is a lot of freedom for the authors of fan-fictions.

In today’s blogpost I want to give you my personal opinion on the many sides of fan-fictions, the positive but as well the negative sides that some people are afraid to talk about or fear to be criticised for. 

Definitions

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Fan-fiction is a term commonly used to refer to a story in which characters appear that are not owned by the author writing it or even depict real-life people such as celebrities for example.

In some of the fan-fictions the setting and plot from a certain series is used in which the author inserts his/her own ideas, self-inserted original characters and even changes the plot into another direction than the original plot.

A fan-fiction in which the series’ characters appear but are put into another setting are called alternate universes (short AU) among the fandom.

Short scenes or imaginatives including the characters in a not familiar situation from the series, yet are interesting to ponder about or too short to be called a fan-fiction fall under the category headcanons, as they depict short-lived stories taking place “in one’s head”.

There are other definitions which need to be known when someone is involved with fan-fiction, one of them is the term OOC(out of character) meaning that the character from the series is not like he/she usually is in the original plotline which is usually referred to as canon.

So on the other hand non-canon fan-fictions refer to a plot heavily deriving from the original plotline as they take out major events or scenes, even changing them that are essential for the main story.

OC (original character) is a term used for a character who doesn’t appear in the main story and is invented by the author, some people even use OCs  in a way to self-insert themselves into the story.

Now that we have made the most important terms clear, let’s delve right into the topic.

Original author

@kahmurio devianart

The original author is the one who first created the whole series fan-fictions are based on. For example we have Haruichi Furudate as the author of Haikyuu!! or Hajime Isayama known for his work Attack on Titan.

While there are many fan-fictions dedicated to those wonderful works and characters that the original authors put in much thought and heart in, which show the love and passion of the fans of those series there are still a lot of things going entirely wrong or negative directions in some ways.

Many people think of it as a freedom and being able to do what they want since it is only a fan-fiction which wouldn’t bother anyone at all beside the other readers, yet many disrespect the author’s wishes in some ways.

As in many fan-fiction people change the canon plot, which is not a big issue quite the opposite it is interesting to see a different twist in what-if scenarios, like things happening if for example someone had lost instead of winning in the original series.

But the issue in some half-heartedly written fan-fictions where one can clearly see there was no thought put into or attachment to the original plotline, that some authors stripe off the whole canon parts even major characters or their development which made them the way they are. While in AUs it makes sense since they play in a different universe, in a story in which setting and plot are much more similar yet out of laziness or spite some people remove major canon events, developments or characters (especially some characters making them disappear or non-existent since they do not like them instead of mentioning them only by name).

In a way that is a slight disrespect to the original author’s wishes, since some authors are more sensitive to what the plot and characters means to them than others. Some authors really don’t care what is happening in other people’s written fan works but many show dismay as they see their original work getting butchered up in a way or another.

Because despite what the viewer sees some things in a series hold a great value for the original creator of the story as characters can be based on important people in their lives or major story events have a personal connection to them, and seeing that butchered up somewhere else can hurt one author or the other.

Specifically the character case will be mentioned later on, yet there is another big problem in many fandoms occuring: shipping wars.

Shipping wars is a term referring to an aggressive approach of a discussion to prove that the other party is wrong about who they want another character to get paired up with.

Especially in on-going series, shipping wars are commonly seen and escalate, as some pairs are not confirmed yet and left free to interpret for the audience.

One example in which those shipping wars even influence the original author’s fear of pairing up characters is Kazuma Kamachi’s Toaru series. The series is a harem anime in which there are many options for the main character and even though they are a close range of characters the authors stated that he at least at this current point doesn’t plan to pair up any characters indirectly indicating his fear of the already shipping wars escalating and losing fans due to that.

A true fan of the series can be disappointed and have a free opinion to wish for certain characters to pair up, yet those wishes should not discourage other people to watch the series as they are uttered in an aggressive and intolerant manner or even worse obstruct the original author in his work as seen in the Toaru series. Having a wish and opinion is nice, but forcefully pushing that idea on others and creating hate between many people is not a way to respect the work of the original author.

Even though those were the negative sides, there are a lot of people who show a lot of love and respect towards the original author, as many people make fan art, merchandise and many other creative things out of the author series.

And I cannot imagine how it must feel to see other people getting so invested and passionate about one’s work, seeing them unite and use their many talents and hobbies to create a whole range of  individual spice to it.

Fan letters, fan meetings, getting autographs and buying the author’s book is such a great support and motivation as they show all the hard work and messages the author wanted to convey somehow came across, fan-fictions can be one of them as especially nicely written fan-ficitions which make you think that a person put so much thought into the original author’s characters and plot makes you wonder a true fan that understood the author’s feelings and wanted to reciprocate them.

Characters

@Ruttika_Shin Twitter

As mentioned before there is a lot more to say about the characters used in fan-fictions.

While the nice thing in fan-fiction is that you can basically use already existing or fictional people without having to think about some original ones of your own, there is also the bad thing about… having to use characters that are not your own.

What does that mean?

Simply said, while not having to think about a whole backstory, personality, skills, likes and dislikes for a character since they already exist and spare the time to think of other things in your story, it still doesn’t really make it easier to write them.

Some are easier to write indeed as they are like open books or the author already gave us a lot of insight in the original series, but there are other characters who are just too complex or not much is revealed to simply write them as they are.

For that sparing time might not always be the right term since researching and analysing the already existing character is time-consuming as well, especially when the character’s way of thinking and acting is not relatable to your own.

In many cases this can cause people to not even try to understand the character and just use them shallowly, as for example only appearance and a bit of backstory yet not a single character trait stays the same anymore.

Following that example takes away the essence of the character, imagine someone being majorly known for his grumpy and snapping attitude and somehow you take away both those traits and make him a mellow sunshine guy, that person will not be the same anymore he can have the same name, background and appearance but he will not be the same character.

Some people like going OOC though, so having tags that say this character will OOC and maybe wanting to see that character in a whole new different what-if-we-make-it-different way that’s another story of course. It’s nice to see the different outcomes when a character could have different traits than in the original story, but deforming a character to one’s own desires can be upsetting for the original author depending on how much he values that character, since many authors use real life people as reference for their story.

Yet there are situations where one cannot predict how much a character can react or think, since the given information lacks on the original author’s side. So making assumptions about how a character could potentially react in different situations is a fun thing and even refreshing for both fans and the original authors, as they see their characters in a new light which they themselves never thought about before.

The most important thing in a fan-fiction for me personally is to treat the characters which the authors thought about with love and passion well, as to try to understand them and depict them as realistically as possible.

Because what is the point of deforming a character to a point where he/she is not the same anymore?

You could simply just create your own one by referencing.

Fandom

@Ruttika_Shin Twitter

Last not but least, the fandom.

As there are many fandoms out there, here again having a big community to exchange thoughts and share your opinion with is amazing but has its own perks in many ways.

Like mentioned in the example of shipping wars before, people tend to get a little bit too emotionally invested into a certain ship to an extent of wanting to force it upon other people and not allowing anyone else to have another opinion.

In worst case scenarios, people even claim they are canon, even though they are not.

Such toxic behaviours are seen in many fandoms, I don’t want to name any to disrespect any fandom here and I don’t want to drag any innocent followers of that fandom in, since being part of a fandom doesn’t make you just like the other toxic people who are part of it too.

The saddest thing is that many people make fan-fictions in which they ridicule other people’s favourite pairings, characters and even spread hate and destructive behaviour in it, I don’t mean in an educational way or which is canon but a disgusting harmful and hurtful way.

Still there is not only that bad side, a lot of people start fan-fictions for others as they write about a character which many people can connect to, others even start role-playing fan-fiction in which they directly interact with other fans and create an new stories with OCs and self-inserts.

It’s an amazing way of staying connected like in times of COVID and having fun while doing so, immersing into one’s most favourite series/world with people around the world.

Not only that but as there are many Y/N (your name) stories where people write for others to insert themselves in it from a reader’s perspective it gives many people the chance who cannot write stories of their own to interact with their favourite characters in a way, which is not possible if not through a game or fan-fictions.

Conclusion

Despite the many perks and negativity that swirls around fan-fictions there are a lot of positive aspects as well.

Being able to read more of one’s favourite series and interacting even more with one’s favorite character is only able through that, which can give many people out there the dream of connecting.

Fan-fictions can be a coping mechanism sometimes as some of us want to flee into the world they ever love so much and while many works are already written there is a chance other people will wait to create an interactive story along with them.

With many multiverses and AUs, one story can be told in many ways and characters can be put into many different situations giving us the chance to see them out of their usual routine.

While fan-fiction is a wonderful work, one  should never forget where the original came from and respect the author’s wishes as well.

Concluding today’s blogpost, did you ever write fan-fiction or especially enjoyed one?

What was the best feeling you ever had reading one?

Drop it down in the comments!

See you soon in our next tea dream,

Makii

2 Comments on “The thing about Fan-fictions

  1. Pretty interesting post Makii!!!. Not in to fan fic, but it’s good to get the creative juice going. Also your about section xDD. Turn yandere!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thank you so much, it really means a lot to me!

      I feel you, to be honest just some years ago I wasn’t much into fan-fiction either but since I nowadays write them myself you get to see the many sides.

      (And I don’t know if we’re alike but I am pretty picky when it comes to fanfics hahaa)

      Yes, creativity is so nice especially seeing such diverse ideas all over the world!

      About the Yandere thing, don’t tell Nissa okay? Or we might have a case soon (jk)

      Like

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