Fan fiction sites and slash fiction sites
Whether you love it or hate it, fan fiction is a cult phenomenon. Harry Potter dating Draco? Romping hobbits? Spock and Kirk behaving illogically? Despite the controversy of copyright laws, fan fiction is now so deeply entrenched in internet culture that – for better or for worse – it’s truly beyond our control…
Loosely defined, fan fiction is the re-writing of stories using characters and settings from an original piece of work, whether that be a movie, book, comic, TV show even a computer game.
Popular literature inspires people to imagine and in doing so they may find themselves thinking: what if this happened instead? Fan fiction’s popularity is based on the notion that anyone can create and share their imaginative fantasies. You can create your wildest dreams. You can make Harry Potter fall in love with Draco and become pregnant with his child. It is all up to you. The beauty of fan fiction is that you can ‘borrow’ your favorite characters and make them do whatever your heart desires.
Fan fiction is not a modern-day occurrence. In fact similar concepts to it were evident as far back as the 8th century when re-tellings of the story of King Arthur spread through Europe. The 19th century saw a influx of fan fiction as re-writes and parodies become popular, including novels like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’. Modern-day fan fiction was cemented with the 1960s ‘Star Trek’ fanzine (fan magazine) ‘Spockanalia’, which heralded a new form of creative writing.
There are a few different templates which a fan fiction writer can use. Most common is ‘chaptered fic’, a basic style in which the story is updated in chapters. ‘Drabble’ is a short scene or idea, which usually lasts one chapter and doesn’t have a plot line. Another common type you may have come across is ‘songfic’, in which the writer uses a song as inspiration and writes their piece around the lyrics. A more imaginative concept is the ‘alternative universe’ form, in which the original setting of the story is altered, creating a new setting, or even a crossover into a different work of fiction’s universe. An example of this would be to place Harry Potter in Tolkien’s Middle Earth and create a story around that.
Fan fiction hasn’t had a trouble-free existence: mostly due to issues of legality and copyright. Some writers, like Anne Rice and Raymond E Feist have stated forcefully that they don’t want any fan fiction written based on their work. Although there’s little they can do about it, they must trust their fans to respect their request. Popular sites like fanfiction.net give a list of authors who they’ll refuse to publish pieces on, in accordance with that author’s wishes.
However, some writers have accepted the culture surrounding their work and give their blessings. Most notable is JK Rowling, who stated that she is “flattered” that people want to write about her characters, although she is not comfortable with anything that is explicit. However, this cannot be changed, and the amount of Harry Potter smut (artwork and photo manipulation as well as writing) available out there is staggering.
Most of this explicit work is that of ‘slash’. Slash is one of the most popular sub-genres of fan fiction. Mostly written by females, it focuses on a romantic or sexual attraction between two male characters that are originally considered heterosexual. The term ‘slash’ comes from the slash symbol (/) that is placed between the names of the characters that will be paired in the story. Some of the most popular pairings include; Batman/Robin, James Kirk/Spock, Frodo/Sam, Jack Sparrow/Will Turner and, of course, Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy.
Overall, the growth and accumulation of fan fiction expands every day, with more and more pieces being written and published. I challenge anyone who has not read or written a piece of fan fiction to give it a go. You might find you enjoy it, it may become a hobby for you, you may even find people who love your stories. You can remain completely anonymous, and there are plenty of websites that will publish your stories.
If you have ever thought ‘what if?’, why not make it happen… then let those scenarios play out on the internet for others to enjoy.