The very fact that writing a blog about this is semi-embarrassing and awkward will tell you something, first off. Fanfiction pretty much has a terrible name for itself. Some don’t even know what it is, others immediately think of the Star Trek books they’ve seen in bookstores and have thought “ha, who would read that?”
In a lot of ways, fanfiction is synonymous with the fanatical and obsessed geeks. And yes, a lot of times that is true. I would argue, however, that fanfiction has a lot more to offer than just as an outlet for the pathetic fan who needs a hobby. After all, what else was Milton’s epic Paradise Lost than a fanfiction of the Bible?
Looking across the internet, at different fanfics, it is also easy to see people slowly improving their writing, getting better, to the point that some fanfiction is at the level of being worthy to publish.
Yes, this is me admitting to reading and writing fanfiction.
Originality is a relatively new concept, and one that is impossible to fill. People hunger for the next “new” thing, and claim that originality is the ultimate goal. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t exist. What is Harry Potter but a conglomeration of a high school scenario plus the traditions built by Tolkien and other fantasy writers? What is the Hunger Games but the Roman gladatorial games set in a future dystopia?
End of the day, I think people need to start realizing that originality is impossible. Fanfiction may always have an ignoble name, but in the end, it is just people showing their appreciation for their favorite show/movie/book. What’s wrong with that?