Why do you fanfiction?
Or writing your own version of that particular media, be it a book, a movie or a TV series, because you don’t like one character or you absolutely hate the ending.
I read my first fanfiction when I was in first year college. Crazy, right? I was searching for all things Hikaru and Lantis, my OTP from Magic Knight Rayearth, when I stumbled upon this particular story and loved it so much (still love it), I printed it. Some of the customers at the internet café thought I was printing a term paper when I told the shop lady that I wanted to print 33 pages (7pt, single space). To the boys there, I was awesome for coming up with a 33-page paper. To me, I was eager to read that particular fanfiction again at my dorm room.
Why do we read fanfiction? Because we can’t get enough of one story.
Why do we write fanfiction? See first sentence.
Actually, we also read fanfiction because of that particular reason.
Case in point: Magic Knight Rayearth. Focus: Hikaru and Lantis. As anyone who had read the manga and/or watch the anime, we did not see a happily-ever-after for this couple. Depending on which version, anime, manga or OVA (Original Video Animation), the reasons are varied: (1) they were of different worlds, (2) the girl is too naïve that the boy loves her not in the “I love everybody” kind of way but “I’m deeply, passionately IN love with you” kind of way, and (3), well there is no number three but I’d like to add this: Hikaru is the Pillar and there may be a kind of repeat with happened with the previous Pillar.
You want your OTP to get together and have their HEA! Hear me! No matter how logical or how right the decisions are, there will always be a little nugget somewhere in your being that is going full-on cheer mode for your all-time favorite couple.
But there is another version of the OTP and HEA. The fanon OTP. The OTP, that to your mind, is the one that should have happened because, honestly, Neville and Luna should’ve been together. One of the few things the movies got right. Fanon OTP also happens when there’s a love triangle or a love polygon which is another pet peeve of mine but that’s another topic altogether.
Case number two: The main character (or any other character you want to change) is too stupid/wimpy/mean/weak/*insert other adjectives here* to live. Despite what I desperately want to convince myself, I like my characters to be a certain way. While they may not be the smartest nor the most courageous kid on the block, we want them to be solid enough that they’re able to grow as a person, not just in powers/talents/abilities, but them as a person as they journey on this life-changing time of their lives (since that’s what most of these stories are).
I don’t want cookie-cutter, all-powerful, I-don’t-understand-why-he/she’s-so-special-just-because-he/she-is-half-[insert paranormal creature] Mary Sues. I want the characters to push past that and become their own persons.
Case number three: Alternative universe. They say that there we live in a multidimensional world wherein one particular action could go as many ways as it could affect but then we only follow one of those ways. However, the other alternatives don’t go away. The still exist but in another “version” of this world.
Did I explain it well? Yeah, I understand the concept but it’s bloody hard to explain it to another. You could just watch this video. It makes more sense than I do.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that what if in a key moment in that particular story something other than canon happened. All that what-ifs you can imagine for that story can be great fodder for fanfiction. The only thing to consider is how you do it in a convincing way that not only will the spirit of the story be intact but the alternative scenarios could be mistaken for canon.
And I’m about to begin the topic, How do you fanfiction? So, before I post my guidelines to good fanfiction, I leave you with this question before I go back to reading a Dragon Age fanfiction (I branched out to video games!): what are some of the best fanfiction you’ve read?