In case you’re wondering what fanfiction is…
I really love fanfiction, as I mentioned before when I blogged about Otakon. Fanfiction is a story written about a video game, movie, TV show, anime, etc. that often uses the same characters. The point is to have fun exploring that fictional world and expanding the story… and even create a romance between characters that doesn’t actually exist in the original canon.
I have huge, huge respect for fanfiction because, at its best, it is challenging work to get the characters and environment just right. Remember, you’re not writing to your taste, really, you’re writing to the taste of other fans. And, ontop of that, you need to tell a good tale. If you write using a handle (pen name) online, like on a website like fanfiction.net , then you can also enjoy exploring all kinds of possibilities and flexing your skills while remaining anonymous, which can be so freeing. Actually, if you’re an aspiring writer, I highly recommend writing fanfiction, especially because your audience is already built in. They already want to read about what you want to write about; you’re all fans of the same thing.
Fanfiction is like organic… writing. Kind of like organic, free-range chicken. So good for them. So good for you.
Fanfiction is your chance to really get a look into why people obsess over what they do, and what makes it even better, actually, though you might not think it… is that some folks writing are novice writers. They are flexing their muscles, trying on what works and what doesn’t. I think the icing on the cake is that you can see people learning how to tell better stories, seeing their talent bud and bloom… it isn’t the polished-off product an agent or a publishing house or an editor has got to. It’s just how they genuinely feel.
What is a Pairing?
When it comes to fanfiction (and especially anime & anime accessories*), people pair up whomever they like, regardless of most restrictions, and just enjoy kind of ‘rooting for their team.’ So, for example, in the world of the Ace Attorney video game/anime, let’s say, you do have… Phoenix-Miles pairing fans. Even though these guys are just friends, a defense attorney and a prosecutor, and that’s not really what’s going on in the game/anime, some people are already on that train. That’s called an alt-pairing (alternative pairing). And they may even argue with you, ‘that the subtext in the second season was pretty clear,’ which is a very well-timed ‘Ship Happens’ reference on my part.
Actually, I have read an excellent Phoenix-Miles pairing fanfic, if you’re curious.
Simba + Nala from the Lion King = canon pairing
Simba + Cringer from He-Man = alt pairing (Don’t cringe too much at that one!)
And Ship Happens is an excellent crash course in the difference between canon and alt-pairings, by the way.
(I swear, I link to that video once a week… I’m such a fangirl.)
*King of the Hill reference, “propane and propane accessories.”