What is your favorite TV show? Did
you ever want to see a character do or say something that the writer didnt originally intend?
Have you ever longed for a different ending or further explanation of a major event?
Thats what a lot of people are doing these days. Using their favorite
TV shows as a base, they are writing additional scenes or whole new stories about their favorite characters. This is called fan fiction, or fan fic.
A Rare Art Form
According to Obfusc8ter, an X-Files fan fic writer, fan fiction is a story based
upon the character and/or events of a previously established fictional universe written by someone not affiliated with the
owner of the original universe. Caroline McKenna, a writer for several fandoms
believes that Fan fiction is a rare art form that has blossomed recently and is now thriving.
When I first heard of fan fic, I thought it was a fairly new thing, but actually,
it has been around since man began to speak and tell stories. Early legends and
folktales like King Arthur and Brer Rabbit could be considered forms of fan fiction.
Each storyteller changed the story around to his liking or to please his audience.
Modern fan fic has boomed since technology has become more advanced. The VCR and the computer are two of the main tools that have aided in its popularity.
Viewers began to tape their favorite shows to watch later at their convenience. This allowed the shows to be viewed over and over again. Fan fic writers could watch and analyze their favorite broadcasts.
The computer, particularly the internet, allowed fans from all over the world
to come together and talk about a certain episode, or the show in general. Eventually,
on-line communities formed, allowing people within a fandom to
talk about and post fiction about their favorite style or form of plot action, known as genre.
The computer is also important as a way of sending and receiving feedback to
the fan fic authors. Since they dont write for pay, most writers like to get
an idea of how their work is liked by others. Many friendships have been formed through the email sent back and forth between
reader and fan fic writer.
Styles Of Writing
There are many styles of writing, depending on the show and characters. They could range from action-adventure to even romance. For example, in the X-Files, there is a favorite type of writing that most fans of the show love. It is about the relationship between Agents Mulder and Scully, the two main characters
of the series.
Even though most writers have a favorite genre, few specialize in one particular
Most people think that writing is boring, but for the people who write fan fiction
it is a passion. Caroline McKenna is a 15 -year -old high school student who
has written for several fandoms, so it is not an adult thing exclusively. According
to Sue Hazlett who wrote an article on fan fic entitled Filling in the Gaps: Fans
and Fan Fiction on the Internet, the typical writer is a white, college-educated, middle-classed, heterosexual female
between 25 and 50 years old.
She took a poll of writers and 30 responded, of which 27 identified themselves
as female, one as male, and two who didnt wish to reveal their gender.
Their occupations ranged from teachers, students, computer technologists to
even a self-described professional slacker. Fan fic writers come from all walks
A fan could write a story about any of his favorite TV shows or movies, but
some of the most popular ones right now are C.S.I., 24, ER, Buffy, The X-Files, Star Trek and Star Wars. Even older shows such as Starsky and Hutch, The A-Team, Hawaii Five-O and Scarecrow and Mrs. King
have loyal followers and writers.
Publishing Their Work
Most fan fiction writers are satisfied to post their work on the many websites
that have sprung up about their favorite shows, but some have published their work in fanzines, which are magazines devoted
to a particular fandom.
Writng fan fiction has even inspired some writers to take a big step and write
poetry and novels not related to fan fiction. Caroline and Humbuggie have other works published and both are currently working on novels.
The Final Word
Fan fiction gives the ordinary person a chance to make believe and create their
own world for their favorite shows or characters. I will let one author, Audrey,
have the final word on the subject.
. . . at its most basic, fan fic is Ken and Barbie for grownups.
Article: Filling in the Gaps:
Fans and Fan Fiction on the Internet by Sue Hazlett, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Interviews: Obfuscator, Caroline McKenna, Humbuggie
Radio Broadcast: Internet on the Air, guest Henry Jenkins, professor
at M.I.T. speaking on Fan Fiction, a production of the University of Michigan School of Information
Fan Fiction Terms
Fandoms are groups of viewers who share an affection
for the same TV show, movie or group of characters.
Genre refers to a particular form or style of fan fiction.
Fanzines are publications of fan fiction, ranging from
photo copied papers to a magazine format.