When I say I read everything, I mean that I read EVERYTHING.
One of my comfort reading activities, especially after reading or watching something that I really enjoyed or was unsatisfied with, is to take to Tumblr and find fan-fiction for that book or movie or a favorite character.
And, I am not afraid to admit it.
In high school, I stumbled upon LOTR stories and Harry Potter stories. After reading Cassandra Clare’s Draco trilogy, even today, I sometimes cannot separate her story from the Harry Potter canon.
I know that fan-fiction is not thought of as “literature” or as as a respected form of reading or writing, but I love it for what it is. How many budding authors have fine-tuned their craft while creating new universes and situations for beloved characters? How many characters have become beloved because the fan-fiction world took notice of them and gave them storylines they were lacking in a book or movie? How many of us have gotten to enjoy a continuation of our favorite series because someone took the time to write about it for us? How many of us have enjoyed a character/YN pairing that allowed us feel something?…whatever it might be.
Of course fan-fiction has its own issues: quality of writing, questionable themes, and even creating personas for real people, but on the whole, it is a fantastic concept. People are reading more, writing more and exploring more complex emotions through the genre. As an educator and a reader, I love that.
Now, I also love when authors create published fan-fiction…like Jo & Laurie.
Margaret Stohl and Melissa De La Cruz wrote this fun reimagining of Little Women, for readers like me, that maybe wanted a different ending to the book. Some critics of this book slammed it for being “glorified fan-fiction,” but that is exactly what made me enjoy it. I would be lying if I said that I never searched for fan-fiction where Jo and Laurie’s relationship ended differently when I was a teenager. I appreciate that two established and talented authors made something that told the story I was looking for in the early 2000s.
I really enjoyed this creative, new take on Jo’s relationship with Laurie, with her family, and with her writing. And you may too!
In sum, fan-fiction, I like what do….most of the time.