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What do you like about fanfiction?

Negrek

Dreaming of Spring
Staff
A simple question, but one it's always fun to see the answers to, I think. What keeps you coming back to reading or writing fanfic?

For me, it's probably the variety more than anything. This is why I love being in a huge fandom like Pokémon. There's so much stuff out there, and even after being a big reader for *cough* years, I'm constantly finding new, unique stories that do things I never would have dreamed of. Yeah, sometimes that daring and innovative stuff is of the "oh... oh, dear D:" variety, but there's so much that's cool and inventive and the kind of story that I never would have thought to tell, and which is a delight to read at least in part because there's nothing else like it out there. There are so many stories to tell about the Pokémon world, and so many different spins to put on it, that I can't imagine I'll ever get bored.

Of course, you get loads of variety with real-world published fiction, too, but usually it doesn't involve Pokémon, and in fandom I get to have my weird shit and my magical murderbeasts at the same time, and that's pretty much the best thing there is.
 

NebulaDreams

Well-known member
Yeah, I'd say it's the variety. Something I really like seeing is the different takes people have on the Pokemon world and they're often better than canon. I really find the Pokemon world charming in particular (even with its flaws) and haven't found another original setting quite like it yet. On the writing side of things, this world has brought out some interesting themes that I haven't really found a way to transfer anywhere else yet.

On that note, although it's something I've worked on a lot and am proud of, I also have to keep what I do a secret from my original stuff. The general response from IRL writers is either confusion or 'why not write your own stories'? Again, original stuff hasn't quite sparked my imagination like the Pokemon world has, and no matter how much original stuff I add to it, there will be that kind of negative attachment others will have to it. So they often fixate on that instead of the writing quality, which is what I'm the most concerned about. Then again, I kind of have to say to myself 'screw them' and just get on with it.
 

Dragonfree

Well-known member
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
I just like Pokémon, man.

I don't actually do a lot of reading fanfic for other fandoms - I'm suuuper picky about characterization and don't really do shipping, so that's pretty much 98% of fanfic out. Often I get into a thing and take sort of a brief look at what the fanfic is like to amuse myself, but I very rarely read any of it, and when I do it tends to be more out of curiosity (like, "what on earth is this summary") than anything else. But the Pokémon fandom's full of fic about OCs and original plots in a world and featuring creatures that I already know I like. And as a bonus, you can get to know the authors, in a way you can't with published books.
 

DeliriousAbsol

*Crazy Absol Noises*
Staff
Location
Behind a laptop, most likely with tea
Pronouns
She/Her
It's the variety I think, and the way the world for Pokemon is just so open to interpretation and imagination. You have the trainer world, the PMD world, and whatever world you want to make yourself too. It's easy to slot OCs into it without the 'Mary Sue' issue, too. I'm not really a fan of reading anime-centric stories, I much prefer original ideas, whether they're set in the canon universes or not.
I kinda have the same feeling for the Sonic fandom, too. Creating OCs is just natural there, and I'm familiar enough with the canon characters to feel I can write them well. I don't tend to do self-insert stories aside from crack.

I really should read more, tbh. I go through phases, and I've dropped a lot atm that I want to pick up again. It's primarily down to my current project, I think, as it's distracted me away from the Pokemon forums and Discord so I can focus on it XD

Like Dragonfree, I also like that you can actually chat to the writers of fanfiction and get to know them, which is something you can't really do with original work. Some authors seem to be more open to chatting to their fanbase than others (Neil Gaiman comes to mind in particular here), and that's great. But I really do like the communities that get built up over a fandom. Fellow writers can help each other out, as well as share ideas (and fangirl/boy together) which is really nice. Since joining the Pokemon fandom, I really feel my writing style has improved a LOT from all the help and advice that's been offered. Knowing people are enjoying my work, too... it's amazing. All these reasons are enough to keep me coming back and writing more.
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
I think I tend to enjoy fanfic primarily because I get to see stories and events and character interactions that I'd never get to see in canon. I can read an AU about fantasy characters set in modern times. Or I might come across a fic dedicated to a minor character that doesn't get much development in canon material. And because of that, so long as the writing is decent, there's a sense of familiarity to the characters and I get to see more of what I love.

But in the case of Pokemon, the series provides so much material that it can be weaved into totally original worlds at some times. Most of my favorite pokemon fics are PMD fics set in completely original worlds.

Overall, I think it comes down to being able to find something familiar, yet new and fresh at the same time.
 

Drgnrdr82

New member
Pronouns
Her
Expanding on what the others said (because I was close ton reiterating it) I think that fanfic is something really special. There is this fictional world that someone else created that writers (and artists for fanart) love so deeply they decided to expand on the world. Or characters they fell in love with that they wanted more with them and so they created that content and shared it with the world. I get that for original fiction it is the same...you love your characters and world so much and are sharing that part of you but I feel like sharing a fandom together is just completely different.

With Pokémon specifically, it is such an open world that has so much room to expand with OCs and new regions and still it is the same world with these crazy monsters that we love.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
For me, I think, a lot of the appeal of Pokefic (because let's be honest, that's the only kind of fic I'm interested in) comes down to the world. I really love tearing into the Pokemon world and seeing what makes it tick, and seeing other people's interpretations of it.

It also helps that Pokemon fic is uniquely suited to fit a lot of my oddly-specific tastes in fiction. Cross-species interactions. Humanity clashing against gods. Kids being empowered and sent out into the world to face a much larger threat. All things that come very naturally to pokefic. It would be difficult to establish an original setting that has all the things I love about Pokefic already baked into it.
 

myuma

I still think about y%#'()_*{\\"'&36)%("'$&''&(15y
Pronouns
they, she
Personally, I like that it gives me the freedom to reimagine things as I see fit. You know when you read a book and you think, "But it would have been so much better if X happened instead of Y!" Fanfiction allows you to do that, and it's the main reason I began writing my own things. Most of my unpublished stuff involves reimagining the events of the main games, filling in plot holes and inserting my own interpretations of the world.

On a similar note, canon material is pretty vague about a lot of things in the Pokeverse, which means you have a lot of freedom to fill in the gaps and develop the world however you like. Writing a Pokemon fanfic means that you have to decide a lot of important details about the little creatures for yourself: their biology, how intelligent they are, and how they interact with humans. So many of the good Pokemon fanfics I've read have done enough worldbuilding that they feel like completely original creations.
 
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I agree with Myuma; the freedom is wonderful. Whether it's expanding on existing characters and worlds, placing said characters and worlds in different scenarios, or making your own up, there's something available for everybody. Pokémon as creatures allow for such variety, too, and I can't quite put it into words, but there's something about them as a group that very few fantasy creatures can capture. Maybe it's the sheer number of them, and how unique they are in comparison to one another, allowing for at least one of them to fit into virtually every role imaginable.

And I agree with Chibi Pika: the themes found in pokéfic are hard to seamlessly integrate into other forms of fiction, whether fan works or original without seeming unrealistic or "OP". In the pokémon world, it just comes naturally, and I love that.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
I just like Pokémon, man.
YEP

For me it's the flexibility and the freedom in what you can do anxd still qualify as a Pokemon fic. As long as you've got the titular murderbeasts decently involved, it's a Pokemon fic, and that's great. I've seen some people tale this too far and completely axe or downplay Pokemon lore or involvement but most people... Most people get it. You can write a space opera or fantasy epic or western or horror story or crossover and be completely fucking valid as a Pokemon fic and it's wonderful.

One thing I've gained a steady appreciation for that I feel like a lot of people don't is the relationship between humans and Pokemon. It's the whole reason where Pokemon is one of the few fictional settings -including my own - where nonhumans exist but I don't inherently want to focus on the nonhumans more, because that unique dynamic exists. It's why there's kind of a sliding scale of Pokefic to me - I can enjoy either human-focused or Pokemon-focused fics but the sweet spot is right in the middle.
 
Pronouns
she
Passion, probably. Fanfiction is a platform for people to explore writing with a natural audience built into the equation. There aren't the same pressures to earn a living or meet a deadline, either, which means fanfiction can be enjoyed purely as a hobby. Plus it gives you a base to work off of as opposed to starting everything from scratch, while still being broad enough to incorporate plenty of your own, original ideas.
 

OldschoolJohto

Level 28
Location
Philly, USA
Pronouns
She/Her
You get to talk back to the canon. You have a ready-made audience. You can get feedback as you write.

I'm also finding it really cathartic to process real world political drama through fandom right now. It feels good to write characters who have access to serious power, even as they face real peril. I have the option of writing happy endings -- I'm in control of the scary stuff. It makes it easier to process the endless deluge of bad news, because I have somewhere to file it: my fic! If I'm applying it to a story, it feels like it serves a purpose rather than just random badness.
 
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