Fanfiction: An underappreciated art of writing

Wiki: Fan fiction or fanfiction (also abbreviated to fan fic, fanfic or fic) is fiction about characters or settings from an original work of fiction, created by fans of that work rather than by its creator.

As a huge part of the Harry Potter fandom, I had always wondered, “What if Harry Potter was actually sorted in Slytherin?” And that’s when fanfiction comes into the picture.

I love fanfiction. A lot. They form a really big part of who I am as a person. At any given time, you might find me reading a book and a fanfiction. Always the fanfiction. They are amazing, beautifully written and deserve more appreciation. And here’s why.

The Authors
I cannot thank the authors enough! Ever. Imagine devoting hours of your day to writing novel-length works (sometimes, a series of novel-length works) while also balancing your personal life. And all of this for FREE. Why? Just because of the sheer love for a thing.

Storylines
No, really, sometimes the storylines to the fanfiction are so amazing you’d think they are almost better than the actual (canon) work. And no, it is not all about sex all the time (although, that is sometimes one of the best features of a fic). It may also happen that the characterizations you thought of as bland and boring in the actual works are, in a fanfic, explored and dug into, offering you great profiles of the same characters.

Representation
Ever wondered, “What if this character of a TV Show, whom I love so much, was actually an asexual woman of colour, extremely comfortable in her skin and in love with technology?” Because there might be a fanfic for that!
Also, literally no one is unfamiliar with the ways a book or TV Show ‘queerbaits’ a character. So just know that any time an author or TV Show does queerbaiting, a fanfic author is lurking in the shadows – frantically scribbling down the injustice done to the said character, or the fans – already racking up their brains thinking of a good title for a fic they’re soon going to write, serving justice to the character and the fandom. Not all heroes wear capes!

Safe Spaces
Fanfiction serves as a way for like-minded individuals to come together without setting up a bar for age-limit. It creates a community, inevitably creating safe spaces for people to critique and discuss things they all love. The idea is always to create a positive atmosphere for people of any race, sexuality, gender and age to come forward and share their opinions. Many times, the protagonist of a fic is the same as they’re in the actual works, but this time along with their heroic deeds, they’re also dealing with their mental illnesses. Such a deeper look into the life of the character exposes the actual reality of life while also addressing the stigma around mental illness.

Paving the way for future authors and artists
Fanfiction serves as a platform to authors for exploring the world of creative and complex writing. They can, with suggestions from thousands of readers, grow as an amazing writer actually listening to the readers’ community and giving them what they want. They’re the answers to all you ‘what-if’s – constantly pushing boundaries and exploring every possible canon situation. Such writers inspire artists to create fanart. It’s like your favourite fic comes to life. Over the span of years, I have seen many of these artists actually get employed, all thanks to the fanart and most importantly, the fic writer!

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