Fangirl Synchronized Reading: Fangirl Post #2: Fanfiction and Fandoms

Synchronized Readings are a semi-regular feature The Book Bandit and I will be running together every few months.

Our first Synchronized Reading is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

In addition to our intro posts and (of course) our reviews of the book, we’ve also decided to do at least two posts talking about points of interest during the book. Since Fangirl isn’t officially out yet, we knew we had to avoid spoilers. Luckily, the topic for our second posts was a pretty obvious one: fanfiction and fandoms.

Before starting Fangril I didn’t think much about fanfiction or fandoms. There are times and places for both but it wasn’t a personal point of interest–I will never choose to write non-publishable works based on other characters when I can create my own world and characters. But I love that other people can and do.

Then I started thinking about things and realized while it isn’t “fanfiction” per se, some of my first writing projects probably loosely fit the fanfiction bill. The first was when I was 11 or 12 and I finished A Wizard of Earthsea. Right after I started my own book that, in retrospect, was a thinly veiled remix of A Wizard of Earthsea. Then, a couple of years later, Emily of New Moon rocked my world (more even than Anne of Green Gables) and I started another project–this time in my English class notebooks–that years later–I realized was again a remix of a familiar story.

I never finished either story. There wasn’t much point when the original books did everything I was doing in a more or less similar way. But they are what got me writing. They are, in some ways, why I am still writing. And that’s valuable.

Which brings us to fandoms.

Confession time: I’m not a big Harry Potter fan. I went to a midnight release for book seven but I didn’t want to believe about Dumbledore. Or Snape. And I shipped Harry and Hermione. And Luna and Neville. Needless to say, with those things in mind, book seven was a huge disappointment and–over the years–my nostalgia for the  series diminished. It’s another thing that I see value in but I just don’t personally love.

I didn’t think I was a part of any other fandoms either. I like a lot of things. I have strong opinions on a lot of things. (Do not even get me started on all of Smallville’sfailings.) But I didn’t think fandom was really my thing.

Then I remembered that time I crocheted a Woodland Elf Usuki.

Here’s the inspiration:

usuki_chris_elf

And here’s mine:

IMG_6935IMG_6931

So basically I play Neopets. I have since I was fourteen and I still do now in my spare time. Neopets is a virtual pet site where you can play games, raise virtual pets and do other things like college message board avatars (I have 322 which is pretty awesome–just saying). And crochet creatures inspired by site items. I am partly in charge of a guild on Neopets. I have friends through the site that I have known and texted with for years. And it sounds crazy but it’s fun and it works for me.

And if that doesn’t count as a fandom, I don’t know what does.

One of my pets. Isn’t she adorable?

The funny thing is Neopets also has a “newspaper” where users can submit different articles. Either game guides or other things. And I have written a few articles. Now these are usually things I write about my own pets but in the strictest sense of the word–that’s fanfiction.

Imagine my surprise to realized I’d been a part of a fandom (with a fanfiction community!) for years and I never even realized it.

So now you know my secrets. What about you? Any fandoms you’re a part of?