FFF: Stories to Get You Started

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Hello folks! After last week’s introduction to fanfiction, I hope that you’ve had time to poke around some sites and found stuff that has interested you. If you were too busy, or too horrified when you stumbled upon a tale you couldn’t un-see, this week’s feature is for you. (Sorry for the late post!)

Behold, five different, vast, and enjoyable fandoms. For each, I’m linking two good stories that will hopefully pique your interest. One short, one long.

Please keep in mind that everyone likes different kinds of stories! There are stories that follow canon (fitting in with canonical events in the source work) and stories that are very AU (alternate universe, assuming something is very different than the canonical events). I tend to veer AU, but I’ll try to include good canonical stuff as well.

Harry Potter: One of the largest fandoms found for fanfiction, often sited as a ‘gateway’ fandom for those just getting into fanfiction.

Short: the family evans by dirgewithoutmusic (AU)

What if, when Petunia Dursley found a little boy on her front doorstep, she took him in? Not into the cupboard under the stairs, not into a twisted childhood of tarnished worth and neglect—what if she took him in?

Petunia was jealous, selfish and vicious. We will not pretend she wasn’t. She looked at that boy on her doorstep and thought about her Dudders, barely a month older than this boy. She looked at his eyes and her stomach turned over and over. (Severus Snape saved Harry’s life for his eyes. Let’s have Petunia save it despite them).

A fanfiction trope that I deeply enjoy, by one of my favourite fanfic authors.

Long: New Leaf to Turn by slavetothepen (canon-compliant)

Dudley Dursley lived a very normal life. But when an all too familiar letter makes an appearance on his son’s 11th birthday, Dudley must seek the guidance of a cousin he hasn’t seen in 19 years. Who else but Harry Potter?

Lily Evans was a witch – it may have passed over Petunia, but what of her grandchildren? A very enjoyable story.

Tolkien: Arguably the largest fandom around. Writers are often Tolkien junkies, coming up with cultures and customs that work well with the source material.

Short: Garden in Dol Goldur by esama (AU)

“If you wouldn’t mind it terribly, I would like to take a small detour south on our way through Mirkwood.”

A tale in which Gandalf and Bilbo make a slight detour, and hobbits prove to be marvelous gardeners.

Long: Sansûkh by determamfidd (Novel-length, AU)

The battle was over, and Thorin Oakenshield awoke, naked and shivering, in the Halls of his Ancestors.

The novelty of being dead fades quickly, and watching over his companions soon fills him with grief and guilt. Oddly, a faint flicker of hope arises in the form of his youngest kinsman, a Dwarf of Durin’s line with bright red hair.

This is a story in which Thorin watches Gimli during the War of the Ring, as does well, everyone really. It is complete and is incredibly well-written. Many people have created beautiful fan-art for this tale. One of my personal favourites.

Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU): With the rise of superhero universe has come the speculation of just what those heroes do when we’re not watching them.

Short: A Future Shining by icarus_chained (canon-compliant)

It took Tony a while to notice. To see the increasingly massive sections of memory space that someone had blocked off in JARVIS’ systems, the processing power being diverted to something that … that Tony couldn’t breach.

Tony, and JARVIS, and a conversation Tony never, ever thought he’d be having.

AI are pretty cool – and so is this story. Let us bow to our robot overlords.

Long: both have sharp teeth by cosmicocean (AU, but fits with canon)

“And there are stories about wolves and girls. Girls in red. All alone in the woods. About to get eaten up. Wolves and girls.”
-Black Widow, Nathan Edmondson

She is one of 28.

The story of the girl who would be Karen Page, through Russian winters and New York streets.

The one where Karen Page is also a Black Widow. Tragic and lovely.

Twilight: While the source material is divisively loved or hated, a great deal of its fanfic is absolutely brilliant in correcting issues with canon or creatively changing them to suit better stories.

Short: Do You Remember by LJ Summers (AU)

A winner in the Sort of Beautiful Challenge, this is a story about unconditional love and the value of memory. Jacob and Bella have been married for about forty years when the Cullens want to visit for what is possibly the last time.

A tragic and memorable tale about love, life, and all that comes with it.

Long: Neon Moon by NoSleep3 (Novel-Length, AU)

New Moon A/U. Abandoned by the Cullens, Bella emerges from depression with a wall around her heart and a chip on her shoulder. Closed off and immersed in her college studies, she finds her emotional outlet in a surprising source.

A story of a tougher Bella learning how to cope, and living her life.

Mass Effect: The extensive world building of these games are often expanded upon in remarkably cool ways, and character pairings are given more scrutiny.

Short: Followed Him Home by madamebadger (AU, but fits with canon)

In which Shepard was the greatest mom, because she gave Grunt a pony.

Only for “pony,” read “kakliosaur.” For “mom,” read “battlemaster.” And for “greatest,” read “Oh my god, who thought that was a good idea?”

But things worked out—as they do, as they will—in the end.

Heartfelt and fun, a short focus on the relationship between Grunt and female Shepard.

Long: Juxtaposed by Squiggly_Squid (Novel-Length, AU)

Garrus Vakarian never thought being stopped right before the end of his shift would to look into suspicious activity would change his life forever.

Jane Shepard thought it was just a normal day when facing a C-Sec officer come to convince her to leave her bench on the Presidium. Little did she know what would come.

How would their unexpected meeting years before the events of Eden Prime affect their futures?

A fleshed out female Shepard and Vakarian pre-Mass Effect. First part of several stories, a truly massive undertaking. Warning for explicit inter-species sex later in the story.


So, there you have it! Some stories to get you started if you’re familiar with these fandoms. If you look into them, please be sure to be kind and leave a review for the author! If you’d like, you can let me know what you think after you’ve read a fic.

Please feel free to request fandoms, tropes you’re curious about, or ask about anything else fanfiction related in the comments below. 

Are you a fanfic reader? Are there any ‘starter’ fics you’d like to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Introducing Fanfiction Feature Friday!

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Welcome to a new blog feature! I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but now it’s finally happening. Every Friday, I will introduce you to more of the wonderful and divisive world of fanfiction. I read a great deal of it, from drabbles to novel-length stories, and the creativity and passion of the writers never ceases to amaze me.

So, what is fanfiction?

The simplest explanation is that fanfiction consists of fiction written about characters or place settings taken from another person’s original fiction. It is written by fans of that particular book, film, tv show, or video game, rather than the creators themselves.

So – wait. Does that make it plagiarism?

No, it does not. Though there have been questions of copyright infringement in the past, fanfiction authors are not paid for their work. They write stories as a labour of love, and readers respond by favoriting and reviewing their work. While some authors of original works have banned the use of any of their stories in fanfiction, many others are indifferent or even encouraging of fanfiction authors playing with their characters and concepts.

You may in fact be very familiar with some works of fanfiction. While its true that fanfic authors can’t profit from their work, there is an exception. Fanfiction of public domain works can be published for profit. What does that mean?

Well, any novel that you’ve seen that’s a fairy tale retelling? Fanfiction. The immense number of TV shows based on Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes? Fanfiction. You can barely walk into a bookstore without tripping over a Shakespeare retelling. Fanfiction.

Basically, any work that is derivative of another work is fanfiction.

Who writes fanfiction?

Literally anyone you could imagine. Both men and women, though for the most part female authors seem to dominate. People come from all walks of life – professors, veterans, students, housewives, and everyone in between write fanfiction.

Why read fanfiction?

But Daniella, you say, why bother with fanfiction when there are so many undiscovered published works out there? Well, the simple answer is because I enjoy it. There are many reasons to read fanfiction.

Have you ever read a book which you thought was just okay, but a side character you really loved never got any page-time? There’s probably at least one fanfic written focusing entirely on that character.

Have you ever wished that an author went more into the politics, religion, or history of the world they created? Chances are that someone else has, and that they’ve written fanfiction about it!

Have you ever wished that there was more diversity in your favourite book? Someone else has, and they’ve written fanfiction about it!

Have you ever wished that the characters from one book grew up in the setting of another book? Or that characters from your favourite TV show and book meet each other? There’s probably a fanfiction for that.

Have you ever finished a book and wished that the author hadn’t left so many questions unanswered? Someone else has, and they’ve written a fanfiction about it!

But wait, I’ve heard that fanfiction is porn?

Yes, some of it is. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll find some. If not, don’t read those stories. All stories are usually clearly marked for explicit content.

Where can I read fanfiction?

Though there are many places you can find fanfiction, there are two main websites that fit the bill.

FanFiction.net is the first. According to Wikipedia, it’s the largest and most popular fanfiction site in the world, with stories hosted in more than 30 languages.

ArchiveOfOurOwn is the next. With millions of stories, it has been praised for its curation and organization.

Okay, but where do I start?

Every Friday I’m going to bring you different fanfiction recommendations and reviews, both for those getting started in fanfic, and those who already love it.

Everyone has opinions on what they want from fanfiction, so you may or may not like my suggestions. The best way to go about things is to poke around the search features of the sites and see how it goes!

Don’t be discouraged by finding stories with bad grammar, or incomplete ones. The bane of every fanfic reader is finding quality stuff that’s complete (or at least updated regularly).

Ultimately, for those who love fanfiction, the brilliant stories are worth the search!

Do you read fanfiction? Why or why not? Are there specific fandoms you would like story recommendations from? Let me know in the comments below!