I’m gonna come out and say it – I love fan fiction. If it’s not glaringly bad presentation-wise (spelling errors, poor structure, obscenely bad plot), then I can usually enjoy it whether it’s so bad it’s good or just plain good. I like writing, so I can appreciate when someone does their best to put their own spin on established characters and universes. It’s also way I enjoy creepypastas as a sort of offshoot of fan fiction, because they basically tell a horror story to set up a mythos.
I’ve read all types of fan fiction (yes, even the sexual stuff), but the ones I enjoy most either create original stories for their chosen fandom or put the characters in strange situations. This could be anything from breaking the fourth wall to doing a “what if?” scenario. I’ve even enjoyed original fan fiction, based off nothing but ideas sprung from the writer’s head. Most of these were by internet friends, so I couldn’t help but be interested in what they came up with.
I once wrote fan fiction of my own as well. During my middle school years, I was involved with the official forum for Tommy Tallarico, a well-known video game composer who currently co-owns the concert tour Video Games Live. It was this forum where I met my first online friends who shared my interest in gaming and other nerdy things. One thread was dedicated to creative works, including fan fiction, so I decided to try my hand at writing a few stories involving a show Tommy was once involved with as well as Adam Sessler’s former show X-Play. I ended up writing four stories during my time there, and I was happy to receive good comments from my friends. Having hand-written them first, I even kept them in binders that I still have to this day.
Looking back on them, I know they’re not good. Being a teenager at the time, I didn’t know how to properly write characters, and my plots played out in a script-like format. I tossed together many ideas from shows I liked, even if it didn’t seem to make sense in the grand scheme of things. But in a weird way, I’m still proud I wrote them. Part of this is because they some of my few writing accomplishments, and the other part is because it was fun. Writing fan fiction let me be creative at a time when I started to read less and less and video games became a bigger part of my life.
While I don’t disagree when people say fan fiction gets a bad rep thanks to poor writing and comparable stuff like “Fifty Shades of Grey”, I think people who love writing shouldn’t feel dissuaded from dabbling in it. Like many hobbies, it’s a creative outlet and a good starting point for aspiring writers to test out their skills and hone them. And while I don’t write as much as I used to, it’s definitely shown me how I’ve improved in my writing and how I can continue to improve.