Three Horrible Things That Happen When You Google "Twilight Fan Fiction"

Posted by Rachel Dovey on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Dearest Bohemian reader: Perhaps you, too, were bumming around the blogosphere this morning and saw that another work of Twilight fan fiction got a book deal.

Another work of Twilight fan fic will get published.
  • Another work of Twilight fan fic will get published.

If you're like me, you feel outraged at first. You think: Isn't Twilight strange and disturbing enough? Isn't it already shameful that a work of fan fiction then became a wildly popular three-part series? Do we really need a third set of tomes inspired by the already-flat characters of a sparkly deer-eater, a sometimes-wolf with rapist tendencies and a teenage girl who could really benefit from some kind of extra-curricular activity?

But then, if you're like me, you admit that you're strangely compelled by the whole notion of fan-ficiton. You overhear 16-year-old boys talking about their Game of Thrones fan fiction in coffee shops (but they're mostly writing about Cersei so you don't really want to know). You once wrote an article about Gone with the Wind fan fiction, for which you spent three months listening to Gone with the Wind fan fiction, which is so full of bizarre plot twists and decadent clothing that you felt bored and empty when you were done. You remember this term from college, "intertextuality," which is basically a smart way of saying that everyone writing literature is ripping someone off.

So you take to the Internet and Google "Twilight fan fiction," to see what horrible and fascinating things emerge.

First, you find that there are several professional-looking forums, in which hopeful writers of Twilight fan fic post their plot ideas. They list the number of chapters, the language, the genre. They include summaries—everything from future snapshots of the Cullen clan to this one, which is kind of awesome: "Falling asleep on a bus and missing his stop, a man ends up in Forks for the weekend...poor guy."

Then, you find that Googling "Twilight fan fic" brings up a number of Tumblr pages. Apparently, if you're wanting to write Twilight fan fic and can't find the words to express the wonder and longing inspired by the original series, you can use pictures! But, wait, never mind. Don't click on those links! While there are some lovely watercolors of wolves (which would look right at home on a tie-dye shirt), there are also some photoshopped images of Edward in pants that zip...oh my goodness. You can't un-see that.

Finally, in a moment of soul-crushing despair, you'll realize that the worst has already happened. Frankenstein's monster has birthed a child, who has, in turn, birthed a child. Or, to be more Twilight-appropriate, that half-human, half-vampire child from the series that started it all has found a half-human, half-vampire mate, and their sparkly progeny is destined to outlast us all.

Twilight fan-fiction has inspired fan-fiction.

Comments (3)

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Sigh, Rachel, love, you need to take a chill pill and develop an imagination. You come across as an elderly spinster in dire need of some romance and adventure in your life!!

If Twilight is such a horrible work of fiction, it would not have inspired millions of fans (young and old), it would not have lead to five movie juggernauts (btw, it is a four-part series - not three), it would not have inspired youngsters to start reading and people to write books and fanfiction. Frankly, any work of fiction that can achieve all that surely cannot be all bad.

Some of us enjoyed the books inspired by Twilight fanfics (or at least some of them).

Lighten up!

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Posted by Bibi on 03/26/2013 at 4:09 AM

Bibi, it doesn't seem as though Rachel is complaining about "Twilight," but about a publishing world -- and a broader culture -- that encourages the creation and consumption of derivative works.

It's wonderful that "Twilight" has inspired so many people to want to write, but it would be even more wonderful if it inspired them to come up with their own characters, situations and themes. Fan-fiction can be a great place for aspiring writers to begin, but it ought to be just that -- not something that ought to be appearing in hardcover at Barnes & Noble.

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Posted by Rob R. on 03/26/2013 at 10:45 AM

There is nothing inferior about fanfiction, Rob. I'm a published author and I actually prefer writing fanfiction over writing my own stuff. Know what else? My best piece of work so far is fanfic.

Fanfiction isn't just a stepping stone for growing artists--it's a worthy final destination for the mature writer.

P.S. Dante, Virgil and Milton all wrote fanfic.

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Posted by Jennifer on 04/04/2013 at 1:58 AM
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