There is no more annoying thing while watching your favourite TV show or movie or reading a book than when the writers simply refuse to see the obvious chemistry between two characters, who are blatantly meant to be together. Even worse is when the plot takes a turn in a crazy new direction and fans flock to online forums with cries of “They changed it, now it sucks”
In the past the only options were to grin and bear it, while silently hoping that the writers would change their mind, or to shout “Just kiss already” at the screen in front of you before being quickly escorted out of the theatre by the men in the little white coats. For some members of the online community there is another option though, write the changes yourself.
Fan fiction writers take the characters and situations from popular media and use them to write their own stories in an already established universe, either using their work to fix problems they perceive in the original product or just to see what it would be like if writers had taken a different route.
Websites such as Fanfiction.net and Archiveofourown.org provide a place for aspiring young writers to share their work with like minded individuals, and the variety of sub genres available is staggering. A quick look around these sites reveals a variety of unusual themes that are oddly popular. Male pregnancy or M-preg, gender flips, Alternate universes where all characters are aged down and placed in a high school, massive inter series crossovers and every other imaginable variation on established works are available.
While the quality of the different stories varies, from works such as the, so bad it’s good (although really it’s just bad, very very bad) My Immortal, A Harry Potter fic which is universally known as the singly worst example of fan fiction by those in the community, to the extremely popular examples such as Master of the Universe a twilight fan-fic which was eventually removed from the internet and published with some changes as the extremely popular 50 Shades of Grey.
While its not for everyone, there is something oddly satisfying about browsing through the archives of other peoples work and finding the one perfectly written piece from a writer who interprets popular characters in the same way that you do, or who agrees that a short lived series needed a fan continuation. While the stories that you will remember are few and far between they are often well worth the effort of wading through the archives full of lesser stories to find, as they will stick with you and leave you questioning what happened next time you turn on your favourite show and get confused about what was actually in the show and what was written by a fan and posted online.