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Fanfiction was the guilty pleasure that helped me unlock the internet

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My relationship with fanfiction began as an English assignment. At the young age of 12, Tora’s parents forced me to spend all my time at a local cram school. It was around 6pm on a Friday night in July. None of us had dinner so our English instructor knew she was missing us. Ms. L looked at us through her reading glasses, pursed her lips and said, Romeo and Juliet

I didn’t realize at the time that I was being asked to write fanfiction, but the same medium was born. 50 shades of gray It became decades of guilty pleasure.

Usually, I resented the extra homework cram piled up on my plate. But for some reason it Romeo and Juliet The assignment triggered something in my academically-fried brain. increase. None of the 20-page homework packets asked us to ponder “what if…”.

What if Juliet decides Romeo’s corpse is a sign that she should run away from her abusive family and go to the nunnery that Ophelia had been avoiding? A masterpiece written, edited, rewritten, and re-edited.In my family, this was the B+ equivalent of a double F-. I had my feet on the ground, but something deep and primitive in my soul changed.

I’m sick of admitting it, but I spent most of that summer hooked gundam wingI grew up on Cartoon Network’s Toonami Healthy Eating. After my parents had gone to sleep, I would sneak into the living room to protest the burden of my homework, 56K modem crackling didn’t wake them up. Google started popping up and it got me into the naughty world. gundam wing Fan fiction. It was the first time he used the internet outside of homework and his AOL games.

99% of them had heart attacks. Hiding a tomato red face behind his fingers while browsing through a fan-curated library. Still, I was as excited as I was scandalized. Here, thousands of people were asking “what if” via their computers. Indeed, most of the questions were, “What if the main characters 1 and 2 were watered down in the most insane ways possible?”But they had the audacity to ask such impudent questions When Write in as much detail as possible. publicly.

Here, thousands of people were asking “what if” via their computers.

As an anxious preteen, that confidence appealed to me. I wanted the freedom to ask “what if” questions and explore them at will. I was lurking around as smarter people than creating a community around a beloved fandom and figuring out how I could take advantage of it.I clicked link after link until I got to Fanfiction.netSuddenly I had access to a free library filled with thousands of stories, and a glimpse into a world beyond what my parents had planned for me. For the first time, I understood what made it so exciting.

Every time I finished a movie, TV show, or novel, I found myself asking my own “what if” questions. Eventually, I got to give myself permission to write down some answers.

My English teacher disapproved. It was an unpopular way to express creativity.True genius, they said, comes from the original work, and pondering legally questionable assumptions is a waste of talent. is fair use principle.)

i wanted to throw up i’m tired that’s all I’m reading dead man’s stiff prose. I wanted to scream that there is an army of confused writers online writing some of the most transcendent stories I have ever seen. You’ll find it written by people who don’t (see below). my immortal, Harry potter Widely regarded as the worst fan fiction on the internet and has its own wiki).But I couldn’t find anything like it on the shelves of my local bookstore. This was one of the few online spaces that brought me the idea that queer people can be happy. But I didn’t have the vocabulary to say such things yet, so I kept my mouth shut.

Nevertheless, I continued to read vulgar fiction in addition to more “legitimate” reading.

fan girl By Rainbow Lowell is a popular novel about a college student who writes fanfiction…and has even spawned a spin-off series where you can read the fanfiction that appears in the novel.

read mummy Thanks to the fanfic, a year-long attempt to read and write hieroglyphs was ultimately fruitless. I learned more about the Civil War from reading his 130,000-word otherworldly fiction written by a history student than I did from AP US History. The footnotes to the story were comparable to those of Vladimir Nabokov. pale fireI definitely learned about classism in French slang. Les Miserables fanfic community. (Author Victor Hugo 100 page digression of the novel About French slang? )

Fanfiction is no longer a taboo pastime.wild but from the beginning Fanfiction.net and LiveJournal crept into the mainstream. 50 shades of gray is twilight A fanfic that was made into a movie.Written by Rainbow Lowell fan girlan acclaimed novel about a college student who writes popular fanfiction. Harry potterAmazing series.then spun off continue When selfish sonan incredible meta sequel series where you can read stories fan girl written by the main character.there is a whole Wattpad to movie pipelineOne Direction fanfiction with 1 billion readers on Wattpad became a Netflix movie. love hypothesis Ali Hazelwood, a romance novel that recently went viral on TikTok, signed a movie deal, started as Star Wars fanfic.there is some more examples.

The genre is still met with much derision, but it was openly celebrated in a way that felt improbable when I was 12.got the fandom a little too big for me, and adult life leaves less time to feel guilty. But old habits are hard to get rid of. I still have my alerts set for my favorite fiction, and if I don’t like how the story ends, the Archive of Our Own is the first site I open. I may have grown up a bit, but thanks to this hilariously weird internet subculture, I never ask myself, “What if I could write with confidence?” Already.

Photo by Victoria Song/The Verge

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