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Paula Marie Celine Manliclic Molina English 12 R09 Fanfiction as a Form of Literature and Proposals for its Improvement Defining Fanfiction Fanfiction, by its very definition, is fiction written by fans and are meant to be read by fellow fans. Fanfiction is a product of the excessive love of fans for a particular book, movie or television show, otherwise known as a fandom. Normally, “fics” or fanfics are stories continuing, retelling, expounding or completely changing the plots of their particular fandoms. To both the readers and writers of fanfiction, it is an extension of the stories that they cannot seem to get enough of. Fanfiction helps an author to focus solely on the quality of their work, giving them the freedom they need rather than having the stress of creating something that has not been created before (Jessop 31). There are fanfictions out there that are just downright weird (stories like the love between Draco Malfoy and the giant squid come to mind) but the point of fanfiction is to bring stories to its readers that the originals simple could not. There are ten types of fanfiction. Recontextualization (storylines that were not included in the original text), Timeline Expansion (prequels or sequels), Refocalization (stories about characters that weren‟t discussed in length in the original text), Moral Realignment (a change in the view of who is the hero and villain), Genre Shift (changing the genres of the original text), Crossover (placing the character of one story into the world of another) , Character Dislocation (a radical change in personality and history of a character), Personalization (placing of the author inside his/her story), Emotional Intensification (focusing on extremely emotional moments) and Eroticization (inserting romantic and sexual elements in the original text) or
on the radio and even on websites like Facebook. Lev Grossman‟s article “How Harry Potter Became The Boy . Fanfics are made and posted daily and the number of readers and writers applying on fanfiction websites grow everyday. Fanfiction. carefully maintained archives were created for the ease of the readers (Santilli. With technology advancing at an incredible pace. fanfiction writers felt the need to hide their stories due to copyright issues. There is hardly ever any mention of fanfiction in the news. 19. 42. (McCudden.com. In the earlier years. Each type of fanfiction has sub-types that have sub-sub-types and it goes on and on. What used to be printed on fanzines (fan magazines) turned to electronic fan texts. Certain authors can come up with stories for each type of fanfiction. author of Jane Eyre. Fanfiction Isn’t ‘Mainstream’ Despite its long history and current popularity. The fact that fanfiction can now be heard is a testament to how important technology is in improving the world of fanfiction. there is a staggering amount of fanfiction resting safely in the Internet. The creativity of authors is limitless as well. Soon.). The earliest being Charlotte Bronte. Technology plays an important role in the history of fanfiction. the world of fanfiction became available on podcasts of sites like portkey.net holds the largest number of fanfics than any other fanfiction website today.org and mugglenet. and her siblings‟ fantasy adventures about Arthur Wellesly the first duke of Wellington as well as his two sons. Today. These issues are still being debated on up to this day. A Brief History Fanfiction has been around for a surprisingly long time.Molina 2 “slash” fiction.) Here we see how broad the fanfiction world is. fanfiction still isn‟t considered as a part of mainstream media.
there are still a lot of people who have no clue as to what fanfiction is. The Beauty of Fanfiction Becca Schaffner explains that fanfiction is a dream come true for librarians and teachers.” (para 4. Those whose internet skills are only bound to Facebook. however. however. but at the same time.Molina 3 Who Lived Forever” in TIME Magazine was one of the first mentions of fanfiction in the mainstream media. . it's unbelievably massive. it is understandable that fanfiction still remains in the dark. In fanfiction. Yahoo! Mail and Google and fail to see what else the internet has to offer. Majority of these people belong to the older generation.). It is a community that never stops talking. teenagers spend countless hours reading stories that contain more than a hundred chapters and see it as a productive way of using their time. Grossman mentions in his article that “Right now fan fiction is still the cultural equivalent of dark matter: it's largely invisible to the mainstream. teachers always complain that students don‟t spend enough time reading books. teenagers and the occasional adults. Fanfiction. should be considered as a form of literature in this day and age but it should. Since fanfiction is mostly made and read by tweens. In high school. for its history and growing popularity. Although fanfiction is more popular now than it was five years ago.). thinking about and sharing books (615. change some of its guidelines with regards to whomever can read and access fanfiction sites as well as improve its application requirements for authors and betas (fanfiction editors).
Mahas. Some even make it all the way and become published writers like Cassandra Clare (author of the Mortal Instruments series) and E. Certain fanfics may have the same plot but the way each of them are told is undeniably different (unless. (Andersen. they offer themselves up to every type of criticism. 558. Readers don‟t have any qualms in opening a fic because they know that the plot is essentially what they crave for and this gives authors an easy way of showing off their chops. The author‟s fandom influences their works. helping them write more stories or an urge to better themselves in order to get better reviews the next time they post their fanfiction. they are being plagiarized from another fanfiction author).” (Jessop. to express. The urges behind both are the same: to respond. 106.com. of course. James (author of the Fifty Shades Trilogy) who started off as humble fanfiction writers.” (Schaffner. 29. “„Fanfiction‟ has taken its place as one of the ways that writers of all ages can express their ideas and imaginative leanings in creative writing. quizilla.) It is a place where authors evolve through time and effort. “As in folklore. It was written by and meant for fans.Molina 4 Defining Literature Without primary knowledge about a fandom.net and similar websites (portkey.org. and to give. 616.) Fanfiction.) provide ways for authors to better their skills. etc. This results to a surge in confidence. By posting their stories here. This gives the impression that if you are not a fan of whatever show/movie/book/anime the author is writing about. This is the beauty in fanfiction. It will be difficult for a non-fan to understand a story filled with terms from that particular “fandom” and characters they‟ve never seen before and therefore cannot relate to.). the base of the story remains.L. .net or fanfiction libraries are venues for authors to share and comment on each other‟s works. (Chandler-Olcott. Sites like fanfiction.) There is a reason why fanfiction is called as such. but every telling reflects the teller. do not read it. it would be difficult to analyze fanfiction.
etc. (Black. they produce writings. By its very definition. This is why one sees author‟s notes like “Please review” or “Reviews are like cookies to me”.) The feeling when someone gives a positive review of your fanfic is amazing. They know the culture of whatever fandom they are into. 126. The reviewer is different from a beta-reader. And they talk back. Because of this. 613. Reviewers state what the writer has to work on as a whole rather than work on specifics which s/he can work on by her/himself. fanfiction has not yet been able to be understood by the majority.). it speaks to them. „literature‟ is the production of writing and this is exactly what fanfiction writers do. Reviewers provide the author a comment on the story as a whole rather than in pieces or chunks and hardly ever state errors in grammar and spelling. It‟s simply for the satisfaction of putting up your story online. There is the happiness from the fact that you made others happy. The awe that the writer feels when s/he receives a review along with the sheer love for writing is what drives fanfiction authors to continue doing what they do. (Grossman. “How Harry Potter Became The Boy Who Lived Forever”.Molina 5 Fanfiction writers don‟t write for money. Reviews motivate writers to continue doing what they‟re doing or fixing up their mistakes with regards to the plot and characterization to better themselves for the benefit of their readers. fanfiction should be considered as a type of literature. Fanfiction does not comply with the stereotypes for literature and the majority refuse to see it as such. (Schaffner. which are what betas normally fix. Not all fanfiction writers request for a beta (a fanfiction editor.) Most fanfiction writers are confident with their grammar and spelling. These are the outspoken fans who can‟t have enough of what they already have. It is different from what we are used to about . there‟s pride in knowing that some people are awed at your writing skills and relief that no one hates the story that you worked so hard on.) Being relatively new to the world of literature.
This is because. Reading online rather than “real” books? Outrageous! Unthinkable! However. copyright still remains an issue. And that scares the living daylights out of most of us. Readers grow by number every day and hundreds of fanfics are written every hour. This argument regarding whether or not fanfiction should be seen as "stealing" continues on to this day. Today. Although legal action upon each individual writer is improbable. Teenagers can now actually allot several hours for the purposes of pleasure reading. 30. Fanfiction is not Stealing Fanfiction writers kept under the radar during the early years of internet for fear of litigation. Fay Jessop continues to tackle this concern in her article . it is giving the people who will read it a starting point because truthfully. These are characters we are familiar with but are acting quite differently from what we are used to. was absolutely surprising. (Jessop. There has always been a debate about whether or not fanfiction violates the copyright laws because this has always been an issue. fanfiction writers include disclaimers so that readers know that they do not profit from their writings. When a published author gives away his/her blood. books are just one part of the whole story. They are simply “borrowing” them. It is unacceptable for a fanfic not to contain one. sweat and tears in the form of his/her book. unexplained characters.) Disclaimers play a crucial role in the world of fanfiction. Published writers are asked for their opinions on fanfiction of their works. the majority must learn to grasp the inevitability of fanfiction. fanfiction writers are very well aware that the characters and certain plotlines in the stories they are creating do not belong to them.Molina 6 reading. There are holes here and there. settings or events and people should be allowed to “play” with these holes. which in years before.
Pure. many published writers are unaware of or indifferent to fanﬁction as a genre.stm) based on her characters. given that the Harry Potter category of fanﬁction. such endorsement must come as a relief to the site‟s maintainers.annerice.bbc. how much they were able to relate to the characters and to the problems these characters were facing.com/ReaderInteraction- MessagesToFans. violence. that must be changed. published writers should be happy that people make fanfics about their books. However. There are aspects of fanfiction.uk/1/hi/entertainment/3753001. It upsets me terribly to even think about fanﬁction with my characters. 4-5). etc. In sites like . If people didn‟t then it means your book didn‟t really touch the hearts of the people who read them. and. however. unadulterated joy from writings about stories one knows and loves. JK Rowling is reported to have been „ﬂattered people want to write their own stories‟ (http://news. These fanfics are known as M fics. it‟s uncontrolled and not traditional and that it should remain as it is (para.net now runs to nearly half a million stories. It is unsettling to know that 12-year-old kids can easily access stories that contain scenes about sex.co.Molina 7 Exploring Fandom: Teaching Narrative Writing Through Fanfiction: In fact. there are those who would prefer the whole phenomenon to just slink quietly away. And fast.html) However. What Fanfiction Needs To Improve On Becca Schaffner explains in her article In Defense of Fanfiction that fanfiction is different. The idea of fanfiction in itself should remain as it is.‟ (http://www. rape. and some seem amused by the practice. Ann Rice makes plain on her ofﬁcial website that „I do not allow fanﬁction. The characters are copyrighted. Fanfics show how much readers understood the original text.
there‟s sex scenes in a lot of fanfiction but that‟s not just the focus of it. Some authors can‟t help but romantically. And a lot of it. The ratings and content warnings are there for a reason. And although rating and content warnings are there. Stricter guidelines should be implemented about who can read certain stories so that the younger generation doesn't grow up too fast. It‟s almost developmental. Like life itself. Currently. Children shouldn‟t read certain works. As you grow older. sex is just a fleeting moment in the grand plot scheme that one calls “your life”. erotically or pornographically pair up characters they want to be together (Grossman.). . With this being said. It‟s being human.net. the type of fanfiction you read is more mature and more difficult to understand and authors know what type of audience their stories are suited for (Schaffner. There‟s writing that‟s just downright atrocious and reviewers that embody the word “rude”. I can definitely attest to the imperfection of fanfiction. some people seem to be blind and just trudge on despite the fact that they are twelve-years-old and aren‟t supposed to be reading these fanfics. Yes. all you need to have is the ability to read at a fifth grade level as well as an e-mail address and you can basically access any story archived in fanfiction. Fanfiction sites are known for their ease in navigation and accessibility and therefore make it easier for children to access materials that they shouldn‟t read at such a young age. 617. This is probably the reason why there are so many people who dismiss fanfiction as written pornography. One cannot deny that fan fiction contains sex.). The world of fanfiction is not perfect. better security measures must be taken in these websites to see and control the users they have. Having been an active member in the fanfiction community for almost five years.net without the administrators ever knowing whether or not you‟re under-aged. “How Harry Potter Became The Boy Who Lived Forever”.Molina 8 fanfiction. one only needs to learn how to use a site and you can read any story that takes your fancy.
net betas must be a registered member for at least 1 month or more. It must be noted as well that not all fanfic writers acquire betas and not all of them can become betas as well. The administrators themselves should personally see whether or not an author is competent enough to become a beta.Molina 9 Fanfiction is about the respect and love of the fans towards the original works and so. Beta-readers are an integral part of the online fanfiction community.). They are hired by fellow authors to proofread their works (fix spelling. accurately complete both the Profile and Preferences part of this beta section. is that they also comment on the story itself. whether or not the characters are acting like they should or if the plot is downright terrible. 125. fanfiction opens itself up to the insults that others throw at it. it loses the essence of fanfiction completely. nor does it mean that s/he knows the fandom enough to comment on your story. .”(Black. This being said. In sites like fanfiction. etc. The pride in fanfiction is that it is an extension of the original story and by losing this idea. What makes them different. They must read the applicants voice and judge for themselves if said applicant is able to discern what a plausible and respectable way of retelling an original work is from something that is garbage. not all beta‟s are reliable. when the writing no longer follows this respect and love. grammar. Beta readers are basically editors in the fanfiction world. “ Beta-reader is the fanfiction term for a proofreader. have published at least 5 stories on the site OR have published entries totaling at least 6000 words and finally.). Just because someone has written at least five stories or have a story having at least 6000 words does not mean that s/he can accurately check your grammar and spelling. however.
There is a unique joy in talking to someone about something you are particularly passionate about and internet helps aid this. religion. Through fanfiction and fandoms. And while majority of the fanfics are ones that are globally popular like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. “How Harry Potter Became The Boy Who Lived Forever”). in Fanfiction. fans have m et fellow fans they wouldn‟t have under normal circumstances. teenagers can make friends from all over the world by meeting online and talking about their particular fandoms. The fanfiction world doesn‟t give importance to the color of one‟s skin or whatever God it is that you believe in if you do in fact believe in a God. They no longer have difficulty in coming up with a story from scratch. you are a friend. sex. What makes fan fiction unique is that it‟s a very diverse world. They are unbound from any rules whatsoever. age.Molina 10 In the Philippine Context There is no shortage of young writers here in the Philippines. . Filipino fandoms like Encantadia and Mulawin have also found their way into the world of fanfiction. online or otherwise.net alone. Fanfiction is where authors are at their freest.) Fandoms and in relation to them. In this world. Name any race. As long as you are under the fandom. Teachers could ask the students to write a short one-shot fanfic about their favourite fandom as a project or a homework. and you‟ll find it lurking in the fanfiction world (Grossman. there are thousands of Filipino authors under the age of 21 and as a way of moulding these fanfiction writers into becoming better ones. we may use fanfiction. The Pros of Fanfiction “Fanfiction writing also helped develop and solidify relationships with various friends. 560. Today.” (Chandler-Olcott. etc. Mahas. fanfiction creates relationships unlike any other.
It is seen as something that only the close-minded readers follow and so the majority decide to break it or play around with it. movies or television shows can be whatever you can imagine them to be.). It‟s thinking outside of the box at its finest. here they are happy with the result of the pairings (or “ships” as they call them) or the plotlines of the story. To the majority of the people in the fanfiction community. . Fanfiction still isn‟t known in the mainstream society nor is it considered as a form of literature even though it fulfils the requirements for literature. Initially. Fanfiction is always associated with the terms „copyright‟ and „theft‟ because it is assumed that fanfiction steals the ideas of published writers when in actuality. “How Harry Potter Became the Boy Who Lived Forever”. They can do whatever the writer thinks they ought to be doing. Canon is the dictator. The majority follow “fanon” which is basically canon for fans. The Cons of Fanfiction Fanfiction is ruled by what is called as „canon‟. the world of fanfiction. It gives the laws to what you think you‟re supposed to follow. it is simply fans playing with stories and trying to make their marks as authors. although diverse and ideally perfect. Finally.Molina 11 characters from published writers. has much to improve on with regards to who is able to write as well as read the stories in its online archives. canon is something to be frowned upon. it looks like it has an iron grip but you‟d be surprised at how creative authors can be that they can break the rules but still remain under canon (Grossman.
” English Teaching: Practice and Critique. 2008. N. “Convergence and Divergence. Black. Print. . 46.Molina 12 Works Cited List Andersen. Black.2 (2005): 125-126. 135. Informal Learning in Online Fanfiction Communities and Formal Writing Pedagogy. “Access and affiliation: The Literacy and Composition Practices of English-language Learners in an Online Fanfiction Community. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. Giroux. Inc. Print. Burbules.” Mirror Images: Popular Culture and Education.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. “Adolescents‟ Anime-inspired “fanfictions”: An exploration of Multiliteracies. Mahas. Print. Ed. R.1 (2010): 106. 49.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. Bekerman.7 (2003): 558 & 560. Silberman-Keller. Chandler-Olcott. R. 9. Print. “Media Literacy‟s Gifts to Literature Study.
Print. “How Harry Potter Became The Boy Who Lived Forever” TIME Magazine.Molina 13 Grossman. “In Defense of Fanfiction. July (2011). L. Schaffner. “Online Publishing: (Anime) Fan Fiction and Identity. . N. Diss. Print. 2011.” The Horn Book Magazine. M. Print. November/December Issue (2009): 613-617. October Issue (2010) 29-31. 27. “Exploring Fandom: Teaching Narrative Writing Through Fanfiction. F. Jessop. McCudden. University of Kansas. Web.” Journal of Digital Research and Publishing. 19. Santilli. 3.1 (2010) 42. B. Degrees of Fandom: Authenticity & Hierarchy in the Age of Media Convergence.” English Drama Media.
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