Fan Fiction: Writing for Fun – Melanie Whithaus

In my previous post, I mentioned my love for fan fiction. I figure I could go into a little more detail about it for those of you who are unfamiliar with the phenomenon.

According to Wikipedia, the definition of fan fiction is “is a broadly-defined fan labor term for stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator (“Fan Fiction”).” So basically, as I quote myself here from my last post, “you write a story about your favorite novel, movie, celebrity (the list goes on forever) living in a world that you’ve created. Now, it can be the same ‘universe’ that the original story is written in, but the new plot is yours.” There’s such thing as “alternate universe” which is outside the original canon.

For all we know, fan fiction could have been written for ages before it was documented. As a child, Charlotte Bronte was one well-known fan fiction writer, and during the 20th century many parody stories about Alice in Wonderland were written. But it wasn’t until 1965 when the term “fan fiction” was coined. Many sci-fi stories were written, and then, in 1998, came to life (a personal favorite site of mine) . (“Fan Fiction”)

Just like any media, there are genres of fan fiction. “’Crack,’ a story with a deliberately bizarre premise, such as a nonsensical crossover; ‘angst;’ and ‘fluff,’ ‘schmoop,’ or ‘WAFF (Warm and Fuzzy Feeling)’ for a “feel good” story” (“Fan Fiction”) are a handful of examples. Personally, I like to read and write fluff because I get the most WAFF out of them. Romance stories are the most common because there are so many characters from any fandom that can be paired together. There is even such a thing as “crossover,” which is when two fandoms (that can be completely different from one another) are put in the same universe.

I could go on for hours about all the details of fan fiction, but I want to tell you a little about my own experience with writing in that genre. I started writing fan fiction when I was in the seventh grade. My friend introduced me to Harry Potter fan fiction and I instantly was in love. I spent hours reading fan-written stories, but I never had the faith in myself to write my own. As I grew older, I stopped reading fan fiction and focused on published works and writing my own pieces. But come my senior year of high school, I fell in love with another “fandom” (fandom, fan domain, is a term for a community of followers for a specific piece of published work), and my love for fan fiction immediately returned. Now I don’t mean to brag or anything, but according to my reviewers, I now have one of the best stories written in my fandom!

I enjoy writing fan fiction because not only is it fun, but I feel that it’s easy to write and makes for good practice. It helps to get the basics of writing down without having to worry about character development or setting up a world. The focus is on the writing and the fun of writing. Taking something that you found was wonderful and putting your own spin on it. That’s what fan fiction is all about: writing for fun, as it should be.


Works Cited “Fan Fiction.” Wikipedia. 2013. <;.



One comment on “Fan Fiction: Writing for Fun – Melanie Whithaus

  1. paws4thought says:

    My daughter writes a ton of fan fiction (and some original stories) and I’m constantly amazed at the scope of what’s out there. There’s a whole world stories waiting to be discovered that get dismissed too easily. I have one adult friend for example who wrote a full-length novel set in Harry Potter’s world – you can check it out, it’s called Rowena’s Quill and is published on Goodreads.


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