Fanfiction isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s had a massive surge in popularity with the rise of internet use. It encourages thousands of people to try themselves as writers and craft creative pieces inspired by their favorite books, movies, games, and comics.
The fact that fanfiction isn’t part of the curriculum is a huge oversight. It has the power to teach students the art of storytelling and lead exciting classroom discussions. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of fanfiction for student writing.
Benefits of Fanfiction for Student Writing
Fanfiction has a great potential to become a learning tool. When used in the classroom, it inspires students to:
- Improve writing skills;
- Find their writing voice;
- Inspire independent exploration;
- Develop a love of reading and writing;
- Become more confident as a writer;
- Understand fiction at a deeper level.
Writing a fanfic requires in-depth work with the source material. Students need to analyze its plot, characters, and setting to add their original ideas. This deepens their understanding of narrative writing and fiction itself.
Besides, fanfiction helps students overcome the fear of a blank page. They already have a foundation and a fiction world to build upon instead of starting from scratch. It elevates the frustration and stress associated with writing.
Fanfics can’t be published as original works as it is a copyright infringement. Yet, they can still be an exciting activity for students that motivates them to write and develop their skills.
Interest for Writing
Genuine interest is an important component of education. Students often struggle with essays not because they are bad writers. Often the reason is that they are assigned topics they feel indifferent about. This makes it hard to formulate thoughts and build a comprehensive argument.
Of course, the essay service is always there if they want to write essay online fast and cheap and get professional help with research. But it’s also crucial to give students a chance to write about things they are passionate about.
When students’ assignments are based on books and movies they love, it gives a massive boost to their creativity and motivation to study. This makes writing as fun as it can possibly be. Students get to play around with their favorite stories and enjoy complete freedom of expression, which makes them engage with the narrative at a more profound level.
Fanfiction-Based Classroom Activities
Existing works of fiction serve as a comfortable basis for students to build upon. The range of creative activities is limited only by one’s imagination. Students can work with their favorite fiction worlds, add to them, or create entirely new characters and storylines.
Here are some activities you can try in the classroom:
- Work with characters. You can add your own original character to the story or reimagine existing ones. It may involve regendering a protagonist or changing their traits.
- Write a crossover fanfic. Let characters from different movies or books meet in your original story. For example, make Marvel characters team up with protagonists from Star Wars and see where this may lead your story.
- Write an alternative ending. If the season finale of Game of Thrones left you with a bitter taste, why not write an alternative ending for Daenerys or Jon Snow?
- Copy a style of an original work. If you’re fascinated by the writing of your favorite author, mimicking their style is a valuable learning experience.
- Add diversity. Some works of fiction lack representation. Writing a fanfic is your chance to leverage your cultural background, identity, and experiences to enrich your favorite story.
- Change a point of view and tell a story from a different perspective. Just imagine how different Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince would be if you tell it from Draco Malfoy’s perspective.
- Play with time. Time travel provides endless possibilities for storytelling. You can change the entire timeline of a piece and make your favorite character travel through time.
Although students use already existing worlds and characters, fanfics turn out completely original. Yet, if you struggle to come up with ideas, you can get support from an essay writing service. Expert writers will provide you with everything you need while you practice so you can submit a perfect piece.
Why Writing Communities Are Important
A huge benefit of fanfiction is the fandom community around them. By writing and publishing a fanfic online, a student gets a real audience. They get feedback not only from their teacher but from the community of writers and readers. This encouragement may motivate them to keep on writing and developing their skills.
Fanfiction communities unite different people—from young people writing their first works to more experienced authors. They can communicate and support each other on their writing journeys. Students meet people who are as excited about the fandom as they are, which makes writing more fulfilling.
Finding Inspiration in the Works of Others
Fanfiction is diverse and inclusive. Students explore a variety of topics, tropes, and interpretations that get them into a creative mode. It’s often difficult to encourage students to read more, but fanfiction does wonders!
There are different platforms where students can share their writing and read the works of others. Archive of Our Own (AO3) is one of such websites with vibrant fandom communities.
However, there are certain risks associated with reading fanfiction. Students should carefully check tags and author’s warnings before opening any work. Some fanfics include sensitive topics or content that is not suitable for minors. The role of a teacher is to help students find appropriate content and ensure their safety online.
Writing fanfiction unlocks students’ imagination and makes them more creative by appealing to their interests. It allows bringing their ideas to life and indulging in creative expression. With fanfiction, students develop a love of writing and stop viewing it as a chore. It keeps them engaged, reinforcing their performance and motivating them to go above and beyond in polishing their writing skills.