Fanfics or fanfictions are fictional tales written by people who draw inspiration from existing franchises of other authors’ books or series. The practice would have started in the late 1960s, with the creation of the fan magazine (also called “fanzine”) called “Spockanalia”, whose content was based on texts written by fans inspired by the Star Trek saga.
The idea gained strength with the popularization of the Internet, which made the space for creative people to unleash their imagination and create their own stories about their favorite characters more democratic. This article will go over everything you need to know about fanfiction and where you can find your own fanfiction to read.
What is fanfic?
Fanfic is the reduced version of the word fanfiction, which literally means “fan fiction”. The term was created to designate a trend that emerged in the late 1960s and became popular with the advent of the Internet.
The activity consists of fans writing their own stories using existing fictional characters or universes. This content is often published on specialized sites and forums, such as Wattpad or Fanfiction.net, and there is no interest in financial return from the authors.
How to create fanfic?
There is no rule to create fanfics aside from not being ashamed to write and thinking creatively with an open mind. Texts can be inspired by books, TV/Internet series or even “real life” celebrities. Fan-writers can insert characters from existing titles into another universe, or use the same “world” and introduce new creatures or even redefine the end of the original content. It is assumed that these materials are generally read by other fans who already have knowledge about the characters, places, and elements involved.
Types of fanfic: know the categories
The fanfics can be classified in different categories according to the themes, the number of words, genders, among other aspects. Check out the main types below:
Angst: the anguish of the central characters is what governs the stories of this genre. In general, the protagonists suffer for some reason, such as loss of someone, end of a relationship, existential problems, among other issues.
Oneshot: fanfics with only one chapter, which have no continuity.
Drabble: tales with, at most, a thousand words. According to Urban Dictionary, they are usually written to highlight characters, events or a certain point of view.
Canon: they faithfully follow the original story, using the same characters and locations. They usually keep the couples created by the creator of the universe in which he is inspired.
Crossover: fanfics that mix two different fictional universes, uniting characters and items from Harry Potter and Twilight in the same story, for example.
AU or the alternate universe: when the characters are inserted in a universe different from the one of origin.
Lime: adult romance, not necessarily sexual. Indicated for those over 16 years old.
Mary Sue: fanfics considered more water with sugar, in the romantic style.
Songfic: the story created is based on a song.
Do authors support with the creation of fanfics?
The way the authors deal with texts made by fans from their creations varies greatly. According to Reporter, writer J.K Rowling, responsible for the Harry Potter book series, says she’s flattered that people love the universe she’s developed so much that they can write their own stories.
However, she also expresses concern that the genre will remain a non-commercial activity, “to ensure that fans are not exploited and do not publish in the strict sense of traditional print publishing,” she said. In fact, everybody knows it’s not easy to write a novel. The novel writing process can be grueling and even after that, then many want to consider self-publishing, but even that can be difficult. Add in the rights issues that fanfiction typically brings and you could have a decent problem on your hands.
In other cases, like with Naruto on Commaful, the rightsholders have largely not jumped in and instead leveraged all the free publicity that is harnessed by fanfiction writers. Some small films even feel flattered to have fanfiction created of them like Matlock or Adventures Babysitting.
Writer George R.R. Martin, on the other hand, is totally against fanfictions. The creator of the “Throne War” saga believes that the practice violates copyright laws and considers the activity a bad exercise for aspiring writers. Anne Rice, author of “Interview with Vampire,” took more drastic measures and requested that any content created inspired by her works be removed from the FanFiction.net site.
Fanfics success stories
The creators of fanfics content, in general, have no interest in financial return on the written content. However, some become so popular that they attract the attention of publishers and end up doing the opposite way: leaving the Internet to stop at book pages.
One of these cases is that of the writer E.L. James, who created a fanfiction with spicy scenes among the protagonists of the Twilight series. By publishing the fanfic as a book, in order not to infringe the legal issues, the characters changed their names to Anna and Christian and the story won the title of “Fifty Shades of Gray”. Another example of success is Anna Todd, who had her fanfic rights over the band One Direction bought for the making of a film and a book. The film, After, (originally posted on Wattpad), was a success in the box office.
Where to read fanfics?
Not every fan of a series or book likes to write about it, but many like to follow stories with alternative purposes, totally unthinkable paths or even finally see the novel not materialized in the original tale. There are a number of websites and forums on the Internet where it is possible to read fictions written by fans, such as the international platforms Commaful, Wattpad, Fanfiction.net, Quotev, and Feedbooks. For those who want to read in Portuguese, the recommended Brazilian sites are Fanfics Brasil, Spirit Fanfics and Nyah! Fanfiction.