I think it’s time for me to come out of the closet. Yes people, I’m a secret fan fiction reader. I’ve read so much fan fiction that I could compile anthologies with titles like ‘Wonderful Wizardries: The Best of HP Fan Fic’ or ‘The Best Star Wars Fan Fic…in any Galaxy’. The titles suck; I know…but so does most fan fiction.
So why do I read fan fiction if most of it sucks? I don’t really know. I guess its because I’m jobless most of the time. Or maybe it’s because I really want to know what could happen in an Alternate Universe, as opposed to the Canonical Universe. Or I like to watch events unfold from a different point of view. Or maybe it’s because through all that copyright infringement, I really enjoy being able to spot genuine literary talent.
Fan fiction is actually a lot more complicated than it looks. Anyone can create an Original Character for the main character (who’s usually the fan fictioner’s main literary squeeze) to fall in love with. The OC will generally be closely modeled on what the fan fictioner imagines himself/herself to be. There will be lots of dirty, improbable and grammatically imperfect sex. There will be lots of action and adventure, and in the more angsty stories, deep soul searching and S&M.
It’s a quirk of the typical fan fictioner to like the most despicable canon character. Hence, in the HP fan fiction roster, you’ll find plenty of love stories featuring Snape, the Malfoys and the Dark Lord himself. In most of these stories, the villainous types find a way to redeem themselves…mostly through mutilation and such like, but also through discovering True Love.
But as I was saying, some people do manage to write good fiction, which just happens to be fan fiction. These are the people who don’t choose the easy way out by creating OCs. They stick to all canonical characters, which is difficult, because you have to make them behave as they do in canon, but in different settings and with different dialogues. My personal favourites are the ones that spoof the original or the other works of fan fic.
I’ll leave you with a short selection of some of my favourite pieces of HP fan fiction. I could mention spin-offs of some other books or movies, but I’ve read a lot of HP fan fiction and I guess I know more about these than others. (I shall not bow my head in shame!!)
P.S. There are homosexual elements in the second story. Homophobes Beware! But if you just care about reading a well-written and funny story, go ahead!
For those who want to continue exploring this ‘genre’, I leave a glossary. For first timers it’s generally a safe option to start reading at The Sugar Quill
HP – Harry Potter
AU – Alternate Universe
POV – Point of View
R/H – Ron and Hermione
H/H – Harry and Hermione
H/G – Harry and Ginny