A Different Kind of Obsession: Fanfiction

"You aren’t really obsessed until you find yourself awake at 3 A.M. reading fanfiction."

 

As someone who has been obsessed with multiple fandoms, I can certify that this is true.

Before I discovered fanfiction, finishing a novel I had loved reading felt terrible. I felt that I would never be a part of that universe or witness the lives of those characters again. But then one fine day, while randomly typing in the names of the protagonists of a book in Google in search of some fan art to cry over (yes, I was that obsessed) I came across a site that had multiple stories written on them. Having never heard about fanfiction before, I was surprised, wondering if these were scenes from the book I had somehow skipped while reading. When I realized that these were, in fact, stories written by fans based on the characters of the novel--well, it was a turning point of my life. At the age of 14, I was constantly on my computer reading story after story. If you’re wondering whether reading about the same characters gets boring after a while--no, it doesn’t.

Whether it be fluff or smut or tragedy, fanfiction is always fun to read. It gives you situations that you couldn’t have thought up yourself, and have you crying into your pillow in the middle of the night. Let’s be honest--sometimes, people do write shitty fanfics. But then, there are some that have you so much more obsessed than the original work itself and you are left feeling empty when you complete reading them. And of course, there is one drawback about fanfiction--the unfinished gems. Truly, some of the best fanfiction I have ever read was never completed. The authors just seemed to disappear out of the blue and even now, I would give anything to have those finished.

 

Nonetheless, reading fanfic is one of the best ways to pass time, and it satiates your fangirl-heart like nothing else. If you’re someone who wants to get started on reading fanfiction but don’t know which sites are best, I have some options for you:​

Fanfiction.net

This is the site where I started my fanfiction journey, and trust me when I say that this has the true gems. Starting from books to movies to comics, Fanfiction.net has content on everything. If there was any novel that got popular enough to be written on, you’ll find it here. Believe me when I say that some stories written on this site are better than the original piece. However, this website was really hot and happening a few years back, but now updates are very rare and infrequent. But since there are thousands of stories to browse through, that shouldn’t be a problem.

 

Archive of Our Own

Although I have read less stuff on this site, this can a good place to start too as it has many stories on real-life people--such as actors. However, there is definitely too much mature content here. If you’re a fan of smut, this is your go-to place.

Tumblr

Tumblr surely has to be one of the best sites ever created. In addition to being the birthplace of various famous and infamous memes and text posts, Tumblr is also a great place for fandom content. If the fandom is really popular, such as Harry Potter or Marvel, you’re sure to get some amazing writing here, as well as gifs and images. Tumblr is truly an aesthetic site, making the experience of reading here all the more fun.

Wattpad

Chances are that as a teenager you already probably read a lot of books on Wattpad. Let’s not try to deny it--I’d like to think that at some point all of us went through that phase where bad boy-good girl stories were everything. Well, other than these kinds of cliched stories that I’m assuming now make you cringe, Wattpad also has a lot of amazing fanfiction. Although most of them are about One Direction and the like and are fairly cliched, you will be sure to find many other books that will keep you reading late into the night, and again, the option of adding images and gifs is an added benefit (but when these are overused, it becomes a major turn-off). The site is also very user-friendly, although recently the addition of advertisements has gotten quite annoying.

 

Apart from these, there are many more websites you can find to read fanfiction. And once you’re done reading, do write some pieces of your own, because if you’re a budding writer, this is one of the best places to start!

Edited by Gauri Jhangiani (ASP 2019)