"It is what you read when you don't have to...

by tosca on Tuesday, January 25, 2011

...that determines what you will be when you can't help it."
~ Oscar Wilde (did anyone have better quotes than Wilde?)

When I don't have to read, I read fanfic and sometimes confuse it with the actual tv show it comes from. Made up fan stories about a made up tv show. Confusing make-believe with make-believe? Uh-oh. Maybe, I'm reading a little too much of it. But how can I tell? When is too much fanfic enough? Is it when you reach that point where you find yourself getting confused between what happened in fanfic and what happened in the episodes? Or is it that moment when you realise you've read more fanfic than library books in the last 5 months? Or is it when you find yourself speaking in fanfic comment style to your siblings (I told my sister that I was 'Ded of hotness.' Needless to say, she said, 'You're a dork.')? Or is it when you see all tv shows in fanfic terms (is it normal that I saw Blaine/Glee's 'Baby, it's cold outside' as 'dubcon')? Or is time to call it a day when you find yourself crying over a 50 chapter long story where Jensen dies and leaves Jared desolate, even though you know he's alive and they're both happily married to women? I have done all of those. So...when was enough again?

What is fanfiction? I guess, in short, they're stories that feature characters from movies, tv, books etc., and are written by fans rather than the creators. My book mojo was broken for months and during this time I watched craploads of good tv, bad tv and even worse tv and I adored every single minute of it. It was during one of my Supernatural marathons (good tv, by the way) that I accidentally read my very first fanfiction . Being a newbie, I had no idea that PWP stood for 'Porn Without Plot' or 'Plot? What Plot?' and, while I can't say that it was quite what I was looking for, I did try again with a few other general stories. And I really liked them. Because I wasn't sure what half of the terms meant I spent a very long time reading a lot of what probably amounts to fanfic porn. A quick chat with Natalie, though, and I had it sorted (she doesn't read the smutty stuff, by the way). As a result of my initial filter-less foray, I find that I am now conversant in terms such as: slash, NC-17, dubcon, kilt!kink, RPS, Dean/Castiel, PWP, Wincest, wing!kink, angst, RPF schmoop and much more. And I have love love loved everything I've read. Sure, some of them were incredibly (seriously, incredibly times infinity) bad, but I envy the authors their enthusiasm.

I have learnt two things from reading screeds of fanfiction:

1) I find it hard to remember that someone's re-telling of an episode (with a better ending than Kripke/Gamble have been giving it lately) is not real. These stories are not missing chapters of Supernatural. Jensen and Jared are not in the closet. Sam and Dean do not have an inappropriate relationship. Jensen did not die a long and protracted death. These stories are make believe. Even if a little part of me wishes they weren't.
2) Fanfic - some fanfic - is little more than people's sexual fantasies out there for everyone to read. I wonder if that's liberating?

So...am I at that point where enough fanfic is enough already? I'm way beyond that point. It was enough about a hundred stories ago. Am I going to ease up on it? Probably not. As long as people keep writing, I'll keep reading. Good stuff, bad stuff, worse stuff. Stuff. I'll just have to get better at keeping the fanfic separate from what I watch. Somehow. And maybe lay off the RPS (real person slash) and RPF (real person fiction) O.O

P.S. If you'd like recommendations of Supernatural fanfic (the good, the bad, the downright dubious) let me know. I have links galore!

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