When I say I like to read, most of the people imagine reading books. Recently, my preferences in reading were slightly different from usual books. When I say I’m reading something, 98% of the time I mean I’m reading fanfiction. It’s basically the same when you say “I read an article” when you actually mean you saw a tik tok, read a Facebook comment, or a clickbait headline of an article. We all do that but it’s still super awkward to admit it out loud.
If you’re new here, fanfiction is a piece of literature written by a common folk, a fan of a show, movie, book, or whatever, about its plot, with altered story, posted on the internet for free.
Here is why I prefer such writing to a book.
Books will forever have a special place in my heart. It’s not like I reject books altogether, not at all.
But with books comes so much additional stuff not everyone has the capacity to endure. For example, you have to have time and space. Good lighting is a necessity along with a little bit of peace and quiet. But most importantly, you have to have a mental capacity to deal with something new, an unknown story, and meeting new characters.
If you’re a completely healthy individual you probably have no idea what I’m talking about right now. But let’s face it. Most of us deal with some or several mental illnesses and we’re too stressed out and anxious to emotionally invite a new character even in a book, and trust this character to make us feel better.
That’s just too much unnecessary pressure.
With so much uncertainty in the world and major plot twists day by day in real life I don’t need any more in my me-time.
Give me something I already know.
Characters I know in a storyline I’m already familiar with but with a little change to keep it interesting.
It’s the same with your comfort show. People with anxiety keeps replaying the same shows over and over again because there is a comfort in knowing what’s going to happen. No surprises.
Fanfiction gives you a chance to get to know the characters you saw somewhere and liked them, to a deeper, more profound level. See the story from their point of view. Inner monologues. Little quirks to make the familiar even more likable. Background story. What happens next. Sense of closure.
If you’re not a fan of how your favorite show ended, no need to worry.
I bet there is someone out there who’s not happy about it either and they already came up with their own, much better ending to said show and published it for you to read.
It baffles me that I have read a Harry Potter fanfiction with more word count than the Deathly Hallows book and for free written by a person named hellokitty54. Not that there is anything wrong with the way Harry Potter ended, it’s just hard to believe that in the end, they all marry someone they met when they were 11. There is a potential for a much better love story and trust me, no matter how bizarre the pairing, there is fanfiction out there for them as well.
Take a look at the Star Wars saga. The ending was shit. We can all agree on that and I shared my full opinion on that in my Star Wars: The rise of Skywalker- The end of an Era. Ever since then, I read so many and so much better endings to such a masterpiece I’m not even mad about the official ending anymore. Fanfictions keep the story alive long after the franchise ends.
Another great example is Game of Thrones. I had so so much to say about that crappy ending in my article’s series GOT. There are teenagers out there with a writing style so good it’s indistinguishable from George R. R. Martins.
Those teenagers write incredible sex scenes.
Remember when 50 Shades of Grey came out and everyone was so outraged about the display of sex there? To this day I don’t get the appeal of those series as I read much detailed and kinkier sex scenes in chapter one of an unknown series, online and for free.
I believe these teenagers or young adults write way better sex scenes for the following reasons.
You might not be as experienced, so your imagination could run wild with all of the expectations of really good sex you saw in movies, shows, or in porn. You’re missing the sad, unsatisfactory, and awkward part of sex that often happens in reality. It’s everything you wish it could be. The best of the best.
Anonymity is another reason why you’re not afraid or ashamed to write out what you actually want sex to be like. When you publish something with your own name there’s responsibility and ability to track it back to you. So you hold back to keep a serious face or to not be known as a porn writer. Just imagine all of your high school classmates or your grandma reading how much you like rough sex.
But if everyone knows you by username handcuffmedaddy69 only an idiot would expect a sweet lovemaking and you can write about your every deep dark sex fantasy without awkward consequences.
Good sex scenes are the standard spicy part of almost every fanfiction, but honestly most of the time everything leading to sex is written in a much better way. My personal favorite is angsty stories that literally make you feel its grip around your heart when you read an especially good part about misunderstanding, feelings revelation, or acknowledgment of suppressed love between the 2 that have been pinning for each other forever.
There are few basic plotlines often repeating in fanfictions no matter the paring or Fanclub.
Just set your favorite pairing to the scenarios of enemies to lovers, enemies to friends to lovers, fake/pretend relationship with eventual relationship, forced to share a bed/home or forced to work together, soulmates, mutual pinning, and more.
My favorite platform to read fanfiction on is Archive of our own.
You can choose a fandom of your liking (movies, show, video game..) and then you have all of the categories sorted alphabetically.
Just so you understand how big fanfictions really are, in a Harry Potter category are currently 279348 fanfictions. That means there are 279348 individual pieces and each of them can have multiple chapters (the biggest one I read was around 100+ chapters) and we’re talking about just one platform offering fanfictions to the general public for free. There are plenty more of them.
Furthermore, you can select what pairing you’re interested in, what other characters you want to be included there, what trigger warnings you wish to exclude, what setting you want them to be, additional tags as humor, fluff, angst, drama, and more. You can even choose the word count or if you want the series to be completed already or if it’s ongoing series that’s still being updating.
The mind baffles with so many options.
You can choose exactly what you’re in a mood for and get yourself lost in someones else’s imagination.
I just want to witness my OTP (one true pairing- favorite relationship) fall in love again and again but in a different coffee shop each time.
I knew a fanfics that got so popular there was fanart being made for the fanfic, a podcast about the story, and even eventually getting published in a book for real. Sure most of the fanfiction writers do it just because they love the fandom and need to get some creative writing out of their system, but the potential of fanfictions is much bigger.
You might be wondering if I myself am part of the fanfiction writers community. But no. I’m just a big fan of their work but I’m sure that reading so many different writing styles has shaped my personal writing style.
If fanfictions could offer you a new book smell they would be perfect.
As someone with terrible sight, there is another reason why I prefer fanfictions to the books. The ability to zoom on the letters and constant backlight. I understand that makes me sound so old but it’s a real issue.
Another plus of fanfiction is LGBTQ+ representation. If you felt the character in a show or a movie had a good chemistry with a same-sex character, if it’s streaming on mainstream media there is a good chance that’s all you’re gonna get. If you want to explore their potential relationship further you have to turn to fanfictions.