I’m going to preface this post by saying that I enjoy reading bad fanfiction.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE good fanfiction. I salivate and adore. I worship upon its alter. I make offerings to the Fanfiction Muses (and their pet Bunnies). I am, to quote a rather overwrought novel, ‘deeply and irrevocably in love’ with Fanfiction.
But on top of that. I also read BAD fanfiction. By bad, I mean terrible plots, awful characterizations, hilarious misspellings and mutilated grammar. Fanfiction with Mary-Sues and self inserts and poorly constructed dialogue.
Honestly, I have no idea.
I think, for me, it serves as the same cheap unemotional entertainment some people get out of Jersey Shore. You can’t have too many feelings for someone when half the time you’re simply thinking “Why did (Insert Character) Just do THAT???”
In some ways I love reading them because occasionally I’ll find a gem of a mangled quotation and giggle about it for hours. I’ll share it with friends. I’ll update my fanfiction quote blog.
Don’t misread me though. I don’t go and flame these writers, nor do I advise them to learn how the spellcheck button works or tell them to stop writing. I don’t believe I’m a better person or anything, we’re just different people at different places in our lives. We all start somewhere and I refuse to dissuade anyone from furthering their skill or curtailing their imagination.
Its not out of cruelty or malice that I read these. I just enjoy being able to read something amusing, even if that amusement was unintentional. I feel like I sound callous, but if the Media is the Message. Well, I love the Media.
I get genuine enjoyment out of Bad!Fanfiction and I think everyone should write fanfiction. All skill levels, all fandoms. I wrote bad fanfiction when I was twelve and I still write bad fanfiction now. Sometimes I try to write GOOD!Fanfiction. But most of my fanfiction is probably in the Bad category. Because most of my secret fanfiction stash that no one else is allowed to read is terrible self-insert fanfiction that I should probably be ashamed of.
Should be. But I’m not.
Because Bad!Fanfiction is the start of a lot of interesting ideas. I’ve come up with great original stories from Original Characters I’ve written in Bad!Fanfiction. I’ve come up with Super Heroes and Badass Assassins and Martial Artists and Mafias. I have come up with powers and family dynamics and found voices that I love. I’ve also learned about spell check and grammar and weak plots. I’ve learned about character and voice. I am constantly learning through my Bad!Fanfiction.
So I think everyone should write. And if what you write is Bad!Fanfiction, that’s okay. Because if your basic plot is interesting enough and you’re in one of my fandoms AND you decide to post it… there’s a decent chance I might read it.
Everyone needs to Find Their Voice.
However not all Voices are honed. We aren’t all born Shakespeare. Voices need PRACTICE.
So if you have a secret desire to shag Severus Snape, or write about that one time you were an Avenger, or when you travelled with the Doctor…..
My advice to you is….
You Do NOT have to share it if you don’t want to. You can write fantasies out in huge amounts of detail and never share them.
Or you can.
The choice is yours.
I use my Bad!Fanfiction as a sandbox for ideas and creativity. I travel to all sorts of places with my characters and do all sorts of amazing things. I don’t share my Bad!Fanfiction but I do cherish it. Because it was in my Bad!Fanfiction that I found parts of myself I didn’t know I had.
(I feel like this should end with something deep that I found out, but I keep thinking ‘like my fetish for redheaded twins’…. mind meet gutter in five minutes yeah? We’ll rendezvous near the erotica posts)
Find your Truth. Find your inner Bad!Fanfiction.