Two seemingly regular words are ‘fan’ and ‘fiction’. But when combined, these words create something entirely more fantastic. Fan fiction, meaning stories involving popular fictional characters that are written by fans and often posted on the internet (Merrian-Webster Dictionary) is a miraculous outlet for creativity. Also known as ‘fan fics’, this term was first used in 1944 and is an amazing trend that has taken off in recent decades. Not only has it become an internet phenomenon, but it has also challenged the limits of the average person’s imagination. Finally it goes without saying that it has brazenly tested our country’s copyright laws. Fan fiction may as well be considered a writing revolution.
Indeed the fanfiction world has grown remarkably large in recent decades. An explosion of fan fics has saturated the internet. Websites like fanfiction.net have accumulated a vast archive of fan fics. It is in fact the largest collection in the world so far. It’s safe to say that writers have been going at with the power of then fingers for quite some time now.
Not only is the world of fan fiction anything but empty, but it contains vast possibilities for the average person’s imagination. Consisting or extraordinary depth, dimension, and diversity, this ever evolving world attracts so many average-everyday people. Writers and readers alike that have never considered themselves as a part of a fandom allow themselves to be transported through the fan fic medium to live and breathe in their favorite worlds. They find themselves observing or even interacting with cannon characters which are the original characters of whatever media it is. In this world, whatever you can imagine can come to life with words. Sometimes writers will find themselves asking, “What would have happened if…?” Imagining all the possibilities keeps writers entertained, and it is also to the readers’ enjoyment.
Yes, this world attracts people of all ages, of all backgrounds, and of all professions. Why is this so? Well the answer is as simple as turning to today’s popular media. Ask yourself “What is your favorite story based T.V. show or movie?” or “What is your favorite book about a world?”, and chances are that there is a fan fic for that. From Star Wars to Star Trek, from Harry Potter to the Lord of the Rings, from the Chronicles of Narnia to Twilight, all of these are covered. The categories have also expanded because of the public’s interests to include manga, anime, cartoons, plays, musicals, comics, and games. Whatever you’re a fan of, they’ve got you down. If it is even possible that there isn’t a fandom yet for what you like, start one. You could say that the software of the original creation is suddenly open source, and it’s up to you make something out of it. That in itself leads us to another point about fan fiction.
There has been much discussion about fan fiction and how it has courageously and sometimes impetuously tested our county’s copyright laws. There have been downright arguments on how fan fiction may be an infringement of copyrights and trademarks. Though some of the materials’ original authors and creators don’t mind, others take offense and insist that anything related to their work is taken off of fan fiction sites immediately. There may be a lot of views on this issue, but one thing is for sure; this wave of fan fiction will not ebb anytime soon.
Some people haven’t even been exposed to the idea of fan fiction. The good news is that it is never too late. Not only has this great idea been pooling on the internet and in many creative minds, but it has created a unique way of expressing our imagination. Anyone and everyone should give it a try. One little dip and you just might find that you like it. So, only one question remains; ‘Will you join the fan fiction revolution?’