I’m a closet fanfiction reader. Sort of. Only a few of my friends know that I read (and write, or at least try to write) fanfiction. Actually, very few of them even know what fanfiction is.
Many of us fanfiction devourers are ashamed of admitting that we enjoy this kind of story for fear that we will be judged or ridiculed by others, as some of those who are familiar with the term think that it’s only about fictional characters getting it on, which is only half-true. This kind of thinking is bull and is the reason why extraterrestrials refuse to visit our planet (probably). We need to change this and encourage more people (especially young adults) to read and write more fanfiction, and here are some of the reasons why.
You can read fix-it stories.
If your favorite character dies or gets abducted by tutu-wearing space monkeys or whatever, you will naturally want to change that character’s fate, but it’s not like you can harass the creator of the show/movie/book on Twitter to make them do what you want. Well, technically you can, but please don’t do that. The world is already full of assholes as it is. What you can do instead is to search for fan-made stories where the character is alive and not held by extraterrestrial primates—unless you’re the only one who cares about that character, in which case you’re screwed.
You can read about your favorite pairing.
Whichever pairing you ship, whether they be popular or, uh, peculiar, chances are there are a couple of (or more than 50 thousand) stories about them that you can find on AO3 alone. Want to read about Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy getting creative with their wands? Go ahead. In the mood for some Mycroft Holmes/umbrella? Here at Book Riot, we don’t judge.
You can find your favorite characters in another universe.
Admit it, at least once in your life, you’ve dreamed of being transported to another universe, a universe that exists only in fiction: Hogwarts, Middle-earth, Narnia, Westeros (you’ll probably die in 5 minutes, tops), you name it. As scientists have yet to invent a device that would enable us to do so, we are stuck here in our own. But our favorite characters don’t have to be. For example, we can find Teen Wolf stories set in a world where all the original characters are present and Derek and Stiles are living happily ever after.
Sometimes, when two or more fandoms love each other very, very much, they have wild, passionate sex and a crossover is formed from their unholy union. Want Team Free Will to enlist the help of the the Doctor and the Baker Street boys to stop yet another apocalypse? Because I do. (Superwholock, bitches.)
It’s still reading.
No matter what you read—a novel, a poem, a fanfiction piece—it’s still reading, so when you read fanfiction, you get all the benefits of reading, plus all the things I’ve mentioned above. Who cares if what you’re reading is not a “real book”? Who cares if it’s not written by a “real author”? As long as you’re enjoying what you’re reading, continue doing so. Never apologize for what you’re reading; life is too short for that.