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Anime has one hell of a crazy little sister: Fanfiction.
Fanfiction shares anime’s long list of possibilities, even breaking the rules of the universe it works within. Sometimes it’s just someone wanting to change the stories. Other times they add on a new chapter to keep the excitement going. Or they may just want to take the characters to a new setting. No matter what, the goal is to explore and participate within something the fan likes.
As someone once explained to me, the fans are taking the toys of someone they admire and playing with them, hopefully treating them with care, and putting them back at the end of the day. It’s a practice that’s both loved (J.K Rowling) and hated (Anne Rice), but I’ve always been a big supporter. Fanfiction is a must not only for budding writers, but for dedicated fans as well.
In its purest form, Fanfiction is a breeding ground for ideas, and a free space to explore them. It’s not always a safe place, as the internet has effectively ruined the walls beetween normal humans and jack-asses, but it is a good place to flex those creative muscles. You can do just about anything with the material in front of you, something invaluable when you’re staring at a computer screen trying to be the next Neil Gaiman.
Speaking of Gaiman, he said on his website that Fanfiction is a good thing because it helps writers hone their skills:
“It’s a good place to write while you’ve still got training wheels on – someone else’s character or worlds. I remember, as a nine-year-old, writing a Conan-meets-some-Ken-Bulmer-sword-and-sorcery-characters. And it’s fun to head over into someone else’s playground.”
Writing is a daunting task; It’s not just throwing words on paper like an angry monkey. It involves the creation and understanding of people more than anything else, and the ability to string together events that logically connect. Like any craft, it takes practice to perfect, and there isn’t a better place than the fanfiction community. Since the world is already laid out in front of you, and you’ve hopefully seen enough to know how characters function within, all you have to do is practice connecting event A to event B. Even if the story amounts to little more than “Hiei kisses
me my original character,” it’s practice all the same.
Furthermore, with an active community around it, you can get some feedback on how to get better. The judgmental gaze of the internet is cold at best, asshole-ish at worse, but here you’ll find that rare third option: helpful. Here you have the bespeckled stare of a fellow fan, who also has a deep love for that character, and is willing to indulge your fantasies. They love the universe you’re working with; they love the idea of more stories. Your job is just to provide them with reading material and, usually, they have no qualms in telling you what needs improvement, or just praising you for what they liked. Sure you get the “YOU SUCK!!!111” too, the Flame Wars have long since gone to kindling.
In the end, it’s the playground all writers need, a fun and easy to use tool. It’s imperfect, messy, and very chaotic, but it serves its purpose better than anything else.
What are your thoughts on Fanfiction? Got any good ones? Feel free to comment below. I have a few recommendations myself, so sit back, pull out some popcorn, and get ready to revel in the rewrites.
- Past and Future King — A pirate on the Grand Line should know to expect the unexpected, particularly when he’s the King. Little did Roger know just how unexpected the results of calling out to a stranger in the fog would be. Who knew there were islands that could warp time? This meeting would always be one of his treasures. Oneshot.
- WARNING: Spoilers
- Author: Kitsune Foxfire
- Rating: K
- Fandom: One Piece
- Genre: Humor
- Plot Holes — [Complete] Koenma blinked and looked around. “Where am I and what are we talking about?”
- Warning: Spoilers. Meta-fic
- Author: Nightwalker3
- Rating: K+
- Fandom: Yu Yu Hakusho
- Genre: Humor/Supernatural
- Hope Springs Eternal: A Subterranean Romance — (1998) Disney’s “Hercules” sequel – In which Hades’ kingdom is in danger, an immortal witch wants control, the Fates predict a miracle, and Hades falls flaming-head-over-smoking-heels in love. The usual stuff of myth. [SEE PROFILE PAGE FOR LINK TO ILLUSTRATED VERSION]
- Warning: Sexual content and a lot of swearing.
- Author: Quantum Witch
- Rating: M
- Fandom: Hercules
- Genre: Romance/Humor
- Pairing: Hades x OC
- Castlevania: All his Engines—For centuries, Dracula has warred upon humanity. For centuries, Dracula has been certain in their inferiority. For centuries, Dracula has never been proven wrong. Dracula is about to get a different answer to his question of what a man is…
- Author: Legend Maker
- Rating: T
- Fandom: Castlevania
- Genre: Drama/Adventure
- Black Ice— It is the first anniversary of Elsa’s coronation, and the queen is, at best, unenthusiastic. That is, until a mysterious prince in green catches her eye across the ballroom. By then, she is simply unimpressed.
- Warning: Again, language, and a lot of violence
- Author: plaguedbynargles
- Rating: T
- Fandom: Thor/Frozen
- Genre: Romance/Tragedy
- Pairing: Loki/Elsa