The Fifty Shades Trilogy is one of the biggest book sellers in the world. It has sold over 125 million book copies worldwide, an impressive feat for E. L. James. The books received such a good response that they were made into a movie franchise that has made millions. What many people don’t know is that this trilogy was based on a fanfiction about the Twilight series. E. L. James, writer of the Fifty Shades Trilogy, started her career writing fanfiction on many different websites.
What is fanfiction? To put it simply, it’s the rewriting of any story. In more specific terms, fanfiction is a broad type of writing that encourages story manipulation, the creation of new endings, pairings of preferred couples, and the addition of new content. Fanfiction is not only limited to plot rewritings of books; it can be based off movies, shows, anime, manga, video games, celebrities, song lyrics and other types of media entertainment. Almost anything you can think of. This type of writing is not a genre itself, but because of its popular demand and supply, it’s considered an art and talent by many. Creating an original story can also be classified as fanfiction.
While some people might not be familiar with the term fanfic, many of Galileo’s students.. And while you might not realize it, the person sitting next to you could possibly be a popular fanfic writer.
School can be stressful and one way people deal with that stress is by writing fanfic. That is what many students here at Galileo are doing. A fanfiction writer here at Galileo says, “I write fanfics purely out my own satisfaction and sometimes to release stress. I mostly write them to bring my imagination to life. It’s a second world that’s more interesting than this one.”
With all the balancing of extracurricular activities and school, it might be hard to believe students have time to write. “I write whenever I have inspiration, an idea, and time. I usually write at nights when my ideas flow naturally and I have finished homework,” says a Galileo student.
At Galileo, there seems to be a strong correlation between anime and fanfiction writing. According to a Galileo student, at least half of the anime club is involved in this activity. Anime is a huge influence on fanfiction. A lot of fanfictions written online are inspired by anime or manga.
Many fanfic writers prefer to remain anonymous. While many writers prefer to remain anonymous, most are also looking to obtain more readers. “I want people to read my stories for the content, not because of how I look or who I am,” says an anonymous fanfic student writer.
All fanfic writers, including Galileo students write for their own satisfaction. Some students write fanfiction and become an important figure to the readers. Each writer is able to see how many people read their stories, how many like it, how many are following them, and feedback from them. The bigger the fan base of a story, the higher the expectation for a writer to update. “I take people’s feedback well because the people usually comment: “I love your work!” or if they’re really impatient people, they’ll just comment: “Please update”. It forces me to continue the story to make the people happy,” a student write stated. A fan base also creates a drive for the writers to keep on writing. In a way, many people look up to the writer for the story they have written.
Three of the biggest websites used for fanfiction are fanfiction.net, wattpad.com and Archive of Our Own. You never know, you could be reading a Galileo student’s work.