Published on Nov 15, 2021
What Is Fanfiction? Things Parents Should Know About Fanfiction
“Harry Potter and Iron Man come together to kill Darkseid. After batting for years, Darkseid surrenders. Then Harry marries princess Diana (The Wonder Woman). They have two beautiful children and live happily ever after.”
You may be thinking this story doesn’t seem right. Well, I want you to stop scratching your head because you are right. This story isn’t correct because I just made it up, and it is exactly a simple example of fanfiction.
In simple words, fan fiction is fiction writing that combines canon and original writing. In fanfiction, writers depict specific characters from their favorite story (from one or more stories) and add their twists and turn. Like any other writing, fanfiction is also a creative form of expressing yourself.
In this blog, you will learn facts about fanfiction, lingos, and things you can do as a parent if your kids want to write fanfiction. I will also share with you some platforms where your kids can read and write fanfiction.
Things you should know about Fanfiction | Fanfiction Facts
Fanfiction is social
Many people post their fanfiction on various social platforms like Wattpad, WordPress, Tumblr, etc. You can read other people’s fanfiction or share your own on these sites. You can also get suggestions for your writings or give other people suggestions for their fanfictions.
If your kid’s writing fanfiction, each platform has different tools, privacy settings, rules, and publishing methods.If your kid’s writing fanfiction, there are different tools, privacy settings, rules, and publishing methods for each platform. So it would be best if you and your kids reviewed these guidelines to ensure their safety as they explore their passion.
Fanfiction can be explicit or age-inappropriate
There are millions of fanfiction stories on the Internet. When you start reading fanfiction on various social media platforms, you can see a wide range of fanfiction arcs. Some can be sweet and innocent, while others can get graphic and inappropriate.
If you are new to the fanfiction world, you will be surprised to know that you can see contents that are violent, explicit, vulgar, and can contain pornographic images as well. So if your kids are below 18, they can be exposed to mature content that is inappropriate for their age.
Fanfiction can give your kids a career.
Many famous writers like Cassandra Clare, E.L. James, Meg Cabot, Marissa Meyer have written or are still writing fanfiction. So fanfiction is not just for fun; it can give your kids a career as well.
When your kids share their fanfiction stories on platforms like Wattpad, millions of people can read them, ultimately giving their art a form of exposure. When more and more people start reading your kids’ work, publishing companies can offer them writing jobs, ultimately helping your kids boost their careers.
Fanfiction has a huge fandom.
People who read and write fanfiction are deeply committed and devoted to their writing. The whole fanbase comes after them, verbally attacking and abusing, making the person’s digital life miserable. Dare anyone say something offensive about their favorite fanfiction?
So yes, fanfiction can lead to internet harassment and cyberbullying which can be detrimental for kids. So make sure you or your kids don’t say anything bad or offensive about someone’s fanfiction writing because if you do, get ready to face the wrath of the whole fanbase.
However, you can give constructive criticism or ideas to improve other people’s writing without hurting or being insensitive to anyone.
Different Terms Used In Fanfiction That Parents Should Be Aware Of | Fanfiction Lingo
Fanfiction that has inappropriate, explicitly sexual, or violent content. If the writing were a movie, it would be graded PG-13 through NC-17. Adultfic is not appropriate for kids.
It simply means pairing two people in a romantic relationship. Like in the above story, I paired Harry Potter and Princess Diana.
All of the events that occur in the real story. It includes everything, person, event, or remark that occurs in the program, film, or book. For example, Megabyte’s true name, Marmaduke, is canon because it is stated explicitly in the Origin Story. Everything that occurs in the program is canon.
Characters in sexual settings are depicted in tasteful fanfiction. The distinction between erotica and pornography is thin and readily blurred. The primary distinction between erotic and blatant pornography is the purpose of both the writer and the reader. However, all fiction is considered erotica rather than pornography, at least by the writer.
What should you do if your kid wants to write fanfiction?
Encourage kids to read more.
You can’t write fanfiction if you don’t know the real story of the specific character. So, tell your kids to read the book of the character they want to write the fanfiction about very carefully.
While your kids are reading, tell them to deeply understand the character’s characteristics, moral arcs, and actions. Ask questions like: “Why is the specific character thinking that way?” “Why is he or she doing that?” “What made the character act that way?” And more.
This comprehensive way of reading gives them ideas to create other storylines for that character. Also, give them more storybooks, novels, and comics to read. There is plenty of fanfiction all over the Internet that your kids can read.
The more your kids read, the more they learn. And the more they learn, the more they gain knowledge about how to write their favorite fanfiction.
Encourage kids to write.
If your kids want to write fanfiction, the best way to begin is by starting to write. So, tell them to write, write, and write continuously; write whatever comes to their minds. Even if their writing is not good, encourage them to write. Encourage them to write more.
Writing is a cyclical process. So, the more your kids write, the more they will get practice. And the more they get to practice, the better their writing.
Respect your kids’ privacy. Don’t pry on their writings.
When your kids are writing, don’t be all up on their nose asking them questions like what they are writing about, when it will finish, and so on. Also, make sure that you never go around asking them to read their stuff or go behind their back and read their work.
Like any other writing, fanfiction writing also takes time and is personal. So learn to give your kids some space and respect their privacy if they don’t want to share their work with you at that moment.
Watch out for cyberbullies.
As I have already mentioned, there are huge fandoms of different fanfiction stories. These fans are possessive, sensitive, and very protective of their favorite fanfiction. If your kids say something offensive about the work, the whole baseball will come at them.
They will bully and harass your kids. So you have to learn the ways to protect your kids if they are being bullied online on these social platforms. Also, make sure that your kids aren’t bullying anyone or saying offensive and insensitive things out there.
Best Apps or Sites for fanfiction writing
Wattpad is a global community that has generated millions of stories. Comprising over 90 million readers and writers, Wattpad is a haven for people who want to read and write stories like fanfiction. Kids must be at least 16 to use Wattpad.
You kids can share their voices and original fan fiction. You can find more than 50 writing tools you need to write a unique story. As a story acquires readership and momentum, your kids can build a global fan base. Through storytelling, your kids may connect with other authors who share their interests.
Wattpad can be a perfect place for your kids to start their writing career as it consists of Wattpad Studios. Wattpad Studios identifies and connects undiscovered, unsigned, and gifted authors on Wattpad with worldwide multi-media entertainment corporations.
Underlined provides a creative outlet for kids and teenagers who enjoy writing. There is plenty of fanfiction on this website. Teens can share their own fanfiction and other stories and read the works of other young writers. Your kids must be at least 13 to use Underlined.
Writers and readers are encouraged to use their actual names, and their profiles can include their blog links, location, and other information. Underlined’s user-created content policy declares that “highly violent, bigoted, or pornographic content is not OK” but admits that context and narrative can impact content’s acceptability.
WordPress allows users to construct their own websites where they may exhibit whatever they desire. There is a lot of fanfiction on this platform. Your kids can also find many pornographic, drug use, and explicit content on WordPress.
Therefore you should teach your kids about responsible online publishing. Also, help your kids explore the privacy options in WordPress to keep them digitally safe on this platform. You must be at least 14 to use WordPress.
Tumblr is a prod home for fanfiction writers and fandoms. When you search for the tag on a book or movie, you will find opinions, quotes, stills, fan art, and fan fiction. Your kids can upload full works of their writings or offer a teaser with a link to the entire piece stored on another website.
Tumblr is a wonderful place to start for your kids. There isn’t as much content as on the other sites, but it has a strong community. There is also a slew of helpful, passionate writers who compile suggested fanfiction lists for specific fandoms.
So, all in all, fanfiction can be a great form of creative outlet for your kids. Kids can get fanfiction ideas from reading or watching books, movies, and stories on the Internet.
So, help your kids’ writing and follow their creative dreams to expand their horizons of fanfiction by learning about the many platforms where they can read and write such stories.
Jan 18, 2022