SparkNotes Blog

Why You Should Say YES to Fan Fiction

Performer_for_Life promises a typo-and-slash-free fan-fic experience, if you just know where to look. –Sparkitors

Okay, so based on recent SparkLife articles on the subject, we can all pretty much agree that 85% of fan fiction is bad. Like, “I’d-Rather-Stick-Needles-in-My-Eyes” bad. Bad grammar, bad plotlines, and worst of all, Mary Sues as far as the eye can see. But I’m here to tell you about the other 15%—the hidden gems nestled among the many disasters. The ones that are poignant, passionate, and proofread. Here are the pros of the other kind of fan fiction:

1. How Did that Happen? NOW YOU KNOW.
You know when you’re watching a movie or TV show and a character mentions something dramatic that happened in their past, and you spend the entire movie waiting for a flashback but get nothing? Those missing scenes end up as fan fiction! Here you will find out what happened when Elizabeth had pneumonia in The King’s Speech. Or did you ever wonder how the Rapunzel of Tangled met Pascal? Now you can find out!

2. The Wonderful World of “What If…?”
True, fan fiction isn’t “real.” But unless we’re talking about biopics or historical fiction, neither is the stuff it’s based on! At my high school, kids do not burst into song in the middle of the cafeteria like the kids on Glee. I’ve also never met a sparkly vampire or attended Hogwarts. But A Very Potter Musical, which, let’s face it, is total fan fiction, just wouldn’t be as fun is you kept shouting, “None of this exists!” at your computer screen. Suspend disbelief! Read about what it would be like if the Glee characters had lived in the 1940s! Open your mind!

3. You Say Shipping Like It’s a Bad Thing.
Okay, so most romance fan fics have the depth of recent disaster film New Year’s Eve. But all is not lost! True wonders do exist in the romance genre! Imagine this: you’re searching online, muttering over the stupidity of a fan-fic writer pairing Bella Swan and Colin Creavey, when you discover proof that Eponine need not pine for Marius, because Enjorlas is a way better match for her! Or that Santana and that random Warbler actually make the BEST. GLEE COUPLE. EVER.

4. It’s Not Always about Love and/or Sex.
Are you angry? Are you mourning the fact that love didn’t do right by you? Are you Lord Voldemort? If so, fear not, there are lots of nonromantic genres out there! Mystery, thriller, action, tragedy, horror—heck, even western. You may happen upon something written from the point of view of a minor character (ehemshamelessplugthisone’smine), or from the perspective of a loft, learning something you never knew before.

5. The Rating System Alerts You to Weird Slash Fics
Guys. If you don’t want to read waaay too much about “homoerotic naked touching and the word ‘throb,’” then don’t. Just look at the rating! If it’s T for Teen or M for Mature, and the summary mentions two male or two female characters, then don’t click on that story! By the way, not all slash fiction is smutty, and can be quite beautiful.

6. I Bet You Never Thought of That!
My argument against the alleged small-mindedness of Fan Fiction consists of just one example. When you find a way to rewrite season two of Glee with all twelve Glee Project contestants and it’s as good as this, give me a call.

Have you been convinced to give fan fiction a chance?

Related post: Harry Potter Fan Fiction: Where Do You Draw the Line Between Barfy and Brilliant?

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