*approaches you at party* *clears throat* has anyone ever told you your eyes are the color of Darth Vader’s helmet glinting in the moonlight
— Emo Kylo Ren (@KyloR3n) January 1, 2016
What do the twitter feed “Emo Kylo Ren,” Kassandra Claire’s “Very Secret Diaries,” and the entire Twlight series have in common?
Together, they share:
- Love for a great story.
- Irony, parody, or homage to an existing series.
- Awareness of the canon (more on “canon” later).
- Loyalty to the fanbase.
- It also looks like all of these writers are millennials! *squee*
It seems that Twitter handle @KyloR3n is a fan of the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” movie, which is, by the way, pretty awesome. (Take it from me, a cynic who was such a hardcore George Lucas fan that she considered avoiding the movie altogether. Also, I am a very weird, stubborn creative-type.) I blogged a good while ago that Cassandra Claire was a huge Lord of the Rings (LOTR) fan when all those movies chock-full of Orlando Bloomy goodness came out in the 2000s. That rah-rah, fighting fangirl spirit inspired her to write a very successful series of LOTR parodies that only the best inner-circles of LOTR geeks tend to know about.
And then, far more people are familiar with the Twilight series of books and movies, and this also started out as a fanfiction homage to the popular 50 Shades of Gray series. Art becomes life, becomes art. It’s nice that we’re no longer living on a planet where fanfiction is a dirty, seedy underground writhing wormish artform that no one dare slip up and tell their coworkers about during a coffee break.
But have you ever wondered what would happen if you secretly started to write your own fanfiction? Dun, dun dunnnn!
Why you should write your own fanfiction
Hopefully, the popularity of such fan-written stories is a sign that things are even, even better today for geeky creative people (especially potential writers) who get swept up in media, fall madly in love, and want to have fun imagining what else could happen. And, you definitely should. It’s a great way to get your feet wet, and anonymously, if you’ve ever wanted to write a story.
The secret world of fanfiction, fangirling (or fan-boying) and hard core fandoms is hot
Fanfiction is also a lot more active and entertaining way to get excited about your favorite series rather than read countless articles about the same thing over and over online or wait for the next Star Wars movie, YouTube video, book, etc. to come out. Fanfiction is also a great way to connect with huge fans online who can provide even more exciting perspectives and insights about your favorite series.
Here’s a real life example. It took me years and a chance encounter at Otakon to meet an amazing Xena cosplayer, Jessica Crouse, who later told me about the last Xenacon in 2015. (Imagine a whole Xena convention where you could meet Renne O’Connor, Lucy Lawless and their crew! ) But, if I’d been online in the same message boards as Crouse was in, and then, a lot of hard core fan message board links get shared with people who are deep into a fandom and who are already reading fanfiction about their favorite series… Well, I am sure that I missed out on years of hardcore Xena fangirling. Now, doesn’t that beat reading a random wikipedia article about Xena or clicking through YouTube? You seriously can’t Google some of this stuff and find it if you don’t even know what you’re looking for. That’s where having the hookup in online fandoms comes in.
You can just sip your favorite series, or you can savor it
You see, the series you love really can come alive for you through fanfiction and participating in online fandoms. And that’s a really unique, high level of interaction with a series you already absolutely love. It’s a kind of deeply satisfying, geeky intimacy few people really get to savor in life. Normal fans are just tasting a series. Fanfiction readers and writers are really luxuriating in what they love.
Lo and behold ! A dazzling, glittery, shiny, glistening, shiny, shiny star for writers and hobbyists rises in the east (or west, not really sure)!
What Emo Kylo Ren has started is a hilarious Twitter feed, that some might argue isn’t meaty enough to be fanfiction. Especially fanfiction writers who have cramped their fingers over a keyboard, stressed out about negative reader commentary, or read up diligently on the appropriate wikki/wikia page for their favorite movie, television show or video game while they plan the next ironic story arc. But, all the key qualities of loyal fan parody I listed above are definitely present, so I guess how much you choose to get into it is really up to you. Seems I’m suddenly very, very into Emo Kylo Ren myself and will be following him on his dark and broody adventures from here on out. I love what he posted today… I can’t say that I’d want to be picked up by a guy in that fashion… But, let’s say… if I was wearing my ‘Merry Sithmas’ sweatshirt with Darth Vader on it, and the guy was seriously quoting Emo Kylo Ren at me while we were both sitting at the bar… Wow. Clever, weird, cute and hard to pass up. Full of spicy wabi sabi.
But how do you write your own fanfiction? For the first week of the new year, I’ll tell you how. And what a new year’s resolution to take up if you haven’t one already 🙂
Check back in later during the week for some tips on writing a Downton Abbey-Dragonball Z mashup fanfiction spectacular!
*Emo Kylo Ren-style doom music*