Recently, Lev Grossman from TIME, explained that Fanfiction is basically what “literature looks like reinvented” .
Those who are fans of a particular media rewrite or “continue” a saga using their own words even though it belongs to another author. This is not for money but pure enjoyment. FF writers do not get paid for this. If someone is not satisfied with a certain scene in Dragon Ball Z: Season One (Vegeta Saga)l or Inuyasha, or Avatar The Last Airbender – The Complete Book 1 Collection, they can rewrite it and share with readers online looking for a “fix”
Sometimes, commercially produced material cannot “fully fill in the gaps and fanfiction can be seen as an expansion” of those gaps, that fanfic writers could see(Henry Jenkins, 2011).
Perhaps the only way I can explain this is by sharing my experience. In 2006 I met this young lady who was into mangas and Japanese Animations. We shared one thing in common: Literature. However, she would tell me about cartoons featuring demons who were actually warriors, boys who fly and eventually Boondocks. At first I was like “Well, I watch the Simpsons…” However I gave it a shot and began watching Inuyasha . About a boy who is half dog and half demon but who rescues people and Kagome is a girl who fell in love with him. Kagome fell into a well and was transported back to the feudal era where she met this dog demon (must watch to see what I mean).
Anyhow, as the story unfolded before me, I began to take part in the characters’ journey. I would go to my room, put in the DVD, grab a snack and watch hours and hours of episodes waiting for the hero to actually kiss the girl, or the character to finally move on and experience his/her power.
These are so much different from The Simpsons and Family Guy. Sometimes the characters actually get older as in The Last Airbender, or Dragon Ball Z. Anyhow, in my twenties I have discovered a love for action/romance genres in animations and still cannot explain the feeling they hand over to me.
Regressing back to post topic: What is the history of Fanfiction?
According to Wikipedia, “In the 1920s and 1930s fans of Jane Austen wrote stories based on her characters”
In 1945, C.S. Lewis adopted elements from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium. Surprising, huh?
Without rehashing what is already posted, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_fiction for more on the history of fanfiction, it is quite a read and actually legitimate considering the sources used and how popular the form really is.
And as usual, keep writing and place your thoughts here on The Write Web!