Yes, because all fan-fic is well written, and all JohnLock is as good as anything that’s won the Pulitzer Prize. The main problem with fan-fic isn’t the material, it’s the fact that it’s written by fucking idiots who just want the main characters to fuck. If it’s neither of those things, and is well-written, then it’ll probably be good. It’s as simple as that. Get off your high-horse, you total fucking asshole.
Hi, Jack. Can I call you Jack?
It’s fanfic. Not fan-fiction, not fan fiction, not “fanfiction” in quotes. Fanfiction, fanfic, or just fic. That’s what we call it. That’s what it is.
The argument that all fanfiction is Pulitzer-worthy is not an argument that appears anywhere in this essay. What does appear is a list of Pulitzer-winning, acclaimed, and beloved works that can best be described as doing exactly what fanfiction does. The reason we’re listing them out here is because many people think that fanfiction is plagiarism, theft, illegal infringement, or to quote one person’s words to me directly, “the devil’s work.”
But I’m so glad that you don’t think fanfic suffers from any of those problems because clearly they were just distracting me from the real issue. Thank you so much for explaining to me that all fanfiction is written by fucking idiots who just want the main characters to fuck.
But for your well-positioned advice, I might have assumed that the Sacrifices arc by Lightning on the Waves, who has spent nearly a decade rewriting the entire Harry Potter series in order to completely deconstruct and critique the class, race, and social structures that JK Rowling built, was something worth talking about.
I mean, it’s one of the longest works of fiction ever written; it’s longer than Proust. It’s got hundreds of original characters on top of the giant cast of Harry Potter, and but for your timely arrival I might have thought it was a painstaking reworking of plot and a profound exploration of character.
The author’s stated purpose is, “I’ve tried to take several clichés (among them Harry being Sorted into Slytherin and having a twin brother who is deemed to be the Boy-Who-Lived) and write a story that’s both good and has rounded characterization.” But I guess the author was lying and she really just wanted to see Harry fuck someone, and all those three million words were just about fucking. I mean, after all, you said so.
But, thank god, you got here just in time to tell me this was just a shitty piece of dreck by an author who wants two characters to bone.
Or this House of Leaves/Inception crossover. It has anagrams, puzzles, hovertext, careful page formatting in the style of Danielewski, reversed text, and an intricate layering of two universes over one another in ways that amplify and transform both. But I guess it’s just trashy porn and not a clever example of literary remix culture, right, because—
—I mean, you’re so sure and I’m sure you’ve carefully examined the opinions of hundreds, if not thousands, of other people who agree with you on this subject—whereas I’m just a woman and a fucking idiot and an asshole, that’s what you said, yeah?, who actually reads this detritus.
Can I just tag on one very small thing to this excellent post?
Sex. Isn’t. Bad. Porn isn’t bad. Erotica isn’t bad. Shipping is not the end of the fucking world.
You want to complain about how fanfic is all about relationships? Complain to literally almost every example of media ever.
Television shows? Almost certainly a love interest.
Books? Movies? Same fucking deal.
Just because these characters aren’t together in canon, or someone writes a sex scene, or they’re two men or two women, or you don’t interpret their relationship that way, does not make shipping or shipping fics bad. It does not make erotic fics bad.
Because – surprise, surprise! – there are well-written shipping fics. Yes, there are terrible ones, just as there are badly-written romance novels and shitty romantic arcs on TV and completely half-assed love interests in books.
But a fic that contains relationships or fucking does not automatically make it bad, unless you want to start calling out literally all forms of media for having the main characters fuck.