This is a thing that’s been written about a million times before and will be a million more times, minimum. So, I’m probably not saying much that’s new here and I don’t really expect that I’m going to shed light on something huge for anybody. Thing is in my Harry Potter and the Cursed Child review I mentioned that it felt very much like fan fiction, specifically early aughts fan fiction. So what did I mean by that?
With any sufficiently popular series fans are going to respond with their own takes on things, whether this is extrapolating from what’s already given or “fixing” something they didn’t agree with, it’s all a matter of people embracing a thing and making part of it their own. Fan writers and artists also have a tendency to feed off each other, to make it a conversation as well as expression. This tends to lead to fan works having common tropes or bits of lore that are used repeatedly in similar ways. It’s also worth keeping in mind that a lot of fan works are produced by hobby writers rather than professionals, so there is a mix of people who have been writing for years and people who’ve just realized that they enjoy it.
So back in the early aughts Harry Potter was huge and unfinished and we had a dead Cedric and canon time travel and fan writers who were, by and large, fairly young. There was a lot of saving Cedric and using the time turner, lots of “fixing” going on. That’s where I’m coming from with The Cursed Child. It feels like a fix fic from back in the day. This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing in some cases, but it feels very young. Like something my eleven year old self would have looked sideways at for using fan characters instead of the golden trio.
I suppose my point in all this is that, especially now with fandom being as much a part of my online time as it is, I read a lot of really good fan fiction. So I hate to use the term as a negative without giving an explanation as to why I did. I love seeing the way people interact with the things they love and I’ve seen enough other places where fan fiction is used as a negative comparison, so I wanted to clarify.
That’s about it. Tell me what you guys think, what are your experiences with fandom from now or back in the day?