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Fanfiction: Learning What It is and Creating Your Own

Have you ever watched a TV show or read a book, and you were so sad when it ended because you wanted more more more!? Why not give fanfiction a try? Fanfiction writing combines a passion for a favorite series, character, or storyline with creative writing, where fans take the controls and steer the storyline wherever they’d like! It’s a simple equation. The Harry Potter series, for example, is one of the most prolific pieces of writing of our time. There are so many pathways that each character or plotline could have taken, and when fans write their own fiction based on these stories, they’ve created…yes, fanfiction!

There are so many appealing aspects to fanfiction for both readers and writers. Access to it is incredibly easy; all you have to do is search for it online, and there are many amazing websites that host an enormous quantity of stories. Writers are able to hone their skills as thousands of readers look at their work, and there’s an endless variety of stories for readers to choose from. It’s a win win of the best kind!

So, whether you’re a newbie to the art or a pro, a reader or a writer, fanfiction’s got your back. And we’ve got an awesome opportunity for Teens in grades 6-12 who are ready to write a piece of their own. Submit your fanfiction to the Library anytime in October for a chance to win a gift card AND have your story professionally bound. Contest details, including submission guidelines, are on the Teen page.

As an interesting side note, fanfiction does have a “rebellious” side. As a result of the nature of fanfiction being based on previously created works, there’s a lot of fascinating debate about where fanfiction stands in terms of copyright law. As of today, fanfiction neither falls inside or outside the laws of fair use, although typically if a fanfiction author credits the original work, doesn’t pull too many direct quotations from that work, and doesn’t sell his or her story for commercial use, they stand under the umbrella of fair use. If you’re interested in reading more about this, check out this article from Standout Books or this blog post from the Trademark and Copyright Law Blog.

Oh, and I have to include this disclaimer: If you’re like me, you’ll start reading one fanfiction story, and before you know it, it’s eight hours later, your stomach is grumbling, your back hurts, and the cat hasn’t been fed yet. In other words, have fun goin’ down the rabbit hole; I guarantee it’s worth it!

Try out the links below to quench your fanfiction curiosity.

Social media platforms like Tumblr are also a great way to access fanfiction. Just keep an eye out for “fanfiction” tags and you can follow threads to website links, or sometimes the entire story is posted through Tumblr!

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