Fanfiction has become increasingly popular, especially on the writing platform Wattpad. Oftentimes, fanfiction writers are looked down upon by other writers or publishing industries. But that shouldn’t be the case—fanfiction actually can be an incredible tool for writers.
What is fanficiton?
According to Google’s dictionary, fanfiction is “fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series, movie, etc.” It often includes new characters or even crossovers of popular franchises/stories.
Why does it have a bad reputation?
Many people think fanfiction isn’t original writing, isn’t well-written, and is used only for writers to create self-insert characters. While that may be true for some, fanfiction can be a powerful way to grow in writing.
Why should you write fanfiction?
1. It allows you to study world building and characters
When people write fanficiton, it often takes place in the story’s original setting with the same characters. This can be incredibly beneficial for writers to further look into world building and characters, since they’ve already been established. It allows for an exploration of what good world building looks like, complete with culture, architecture, history, and politics. You don’t have to spend the time making up their own world. Additionally, you can study character development/arcs with fanfiction by adding a sub-plot or filling in plot holes, or even just expanding on the original conflict of the story.
2. It’s a good way to take a break from your main WIP (work in progress)
Writing can get tiring and it’s good to take a break from a central manuscript, especially between stages of editing. Fanfiction is a great way to pause on a main work and instead focus on a smaller, less important one that can be fun while still helping to nurture writing abilities.
3. It gives you the means to develop your own, original characters
Similar to the first point, with an already established world and characters, you’re able to create your own character, whether it be a self-insert or an OC (original character). This allows for even more exploration of character development, this time with someone you’ve written and (arguably) know better than the pre-written characters.
4. It’s a way to simply write
If you’re struggling with writer’s block, writing fanfiction can be helpful for writing. You have a pre-set conflict, characters, and world for you to explore and put into different situations. Use it to your advantage!