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Fan-tastic: Fanfiction as a Valid Form of Writing

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Writing has long been known as a form of self-expression and creativity, but some forms are given more validity than others. One such form is fanfiction. Now, for those who don’t quite know what fanfiction is, by definition, it is the act of creating an original story using either the plot or characters of a particular piece of work (a novel, tv show, movie, etc.) Usually, these works of fanfiction can be lumped into groupings or fandoms based on the work they’re rooted in.

While a fanfiction cannot be an entirely original work, it allows writers to have a baseline of pre-created subjects to build off of. With pre-created characters or worlds, authors can direct their attention away from character creation or world-building and instead attend to their individual ideas and plots. This is seen as some in the literature world as “lazy”, but why? Each writer has their own strengths and weaknesses and for some, that may include development. For others, like myself, we choose to write fanfiction for comfort or for the love of the subject. We have the skills to draft up an entirely original idea, but that can take months of pre-writing development, with fanfiction, we can get straight to writing our ideas out.

We choose to write fanfiction for comfort or for the love of the subject … with fanfiction, we can get straight to writing our ideas out.

Yes, because of its wide ranges, you will find some interesting fanfictions, that’s for certain. But even in those stories, people may find comfort. However, not every fic should be degraded because of a low word count or the containment of smut or spice or whatever term you prefer. Some fanfictions are even springboards for major works, such as Fifty Shades of Grey, which began out as a Twilight fanfiction, or even more recently, The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood, which began as a Reylo fic.

Nevertheless, not all fics will or should become “true” novels or literary works, they simply exist for the enjoyment of the read. Which is perfectly fine. Who’s to say that we as a society should judge the way someone receives joy or comfort? And who knows, maybe you’ll read a fic or two after this. We certainly won’t judge.

Kylie Schmehl

Bowling Green '25

Kylie is an AYA: ILA student at Bowling Green State University, which means she's studying to teach language arts at the middle and high school level. She loves music, theatre, and poetry. Kylie is passionate about self-discovery and so she'll try just about any new classification quiz. She's an Enneagram 5, an INFP, and her love language is Physical Touch.
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