[Opinion] Fanfiction should be recognized as a reading category


Dhaanya Balaji

Teenagers share their love of fan fictions through different platforms.

Maeghan Koury, Writer

Everyone’s version of fiction, literature and reading are different. Some say that it needs to be published for a work of fiction to count as reading; others argue that because fanfiction is based on a book, series or movie, it counts as a form of reading. Many authors love fanfiction and even encourage it because it involves fans in the universe.

Fanfiction is what many people turn to when they’ve finished a series and feel like more content or storylines are needed.

The definition of fanfiction is fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series, book or movie. For example, many fans are not in love with the way J.K. Rowling, author of the “Harry Potter” series, ended the timeline for The Marauders; specifically, the Wolfstar (ship between Remus Lupin and Sirius Black) plot that the “Harry Potter” fandom strongly believes in. Readers and fans will turn to stories on Archive of Our Own, Fanfiction.net, Tumblr or even Wattpad for the perfect ending for their favorite characters.

Additionally, fanfiction is easier for teenagers to get into, especially if they are not avid readers. Fanfiction will make them want to read more, and eventually read published books. Online, easily accessible fanfiction has been around for almost 20 years and some have even been published.

Many people think fanfiction isn’t reading because it is not published or produced by the author or writer. However, many fanfictions have been published as books with the only change being character names.

Some examples include “The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood, which started as a Rey and Kylo Ren fanfiction. Additionally, Cassandra Clare’s “City of Bones” series was a Draco Malfoy and Ginny Weasly fanfiction. Now that the book is published and has 20+ books in the series, we can claim it counts as reading. A publishing house does not get to say that the same book only counts as literature now that it is published.

Fanfiction is classified as a genre of literature and it does divert from canon (written by the author or in the show), making new and unique stories for fans and readers. Even though fanfiction is not written by the original author or writer, it is still considered literature and therefore is a form of reading. Even reading tracking apps like Goodreads have a large selection of fanfictions uploaded, which enables readers to add them to their yearly challenge.

Fanfiction is a chance for fans to involve themselves in the world of their favorite characters and rewrite their stories. There is a wide community with over 7 million fanfictions on Archive Of Our Own, as of December 2020, and more on additional platforms.

Fanfiction is a way for fans to express their feelings towards literature and movies; it is a way to enjoy it to a deeper extent. It is a form of reading and literature because it may be based on something published, but it is still a work of artistic expression.