some thoughts on fanfiction

One of the first fics I read was an AU (alternative universe) story about Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles from Rizzoli & Isles set up like Doctor Quinn: Medicine Woman. Of course the two of them fell in love; it was a difficult process. Parts tore my heart out and then put it back together. It was one of the first gay stories I read because it was easily available. There are tons of sites and tons of possible character ships out there to satisfy any consumers needs.

Obviously I stick with lesbian fanfiction, I tried reading some Castle fics at some point but it wasn’t really what I was looking for. Heterosexual romances are so boring. Probably because they are everywhere in mainstream media. I don’t feel the need to read fics about canon ships. What I need to satisfy my tiny gay heart are the stories only us queers see or want to see. Sometimes they’re obvious and sometimes they are not but they are there.

I was having a rough time at work yesterday, I’d call it spring tiredness and maybe that’s it but maybe it isn’t, who really knows. All I know is that I needed a pick me up in the afternoon so I looked for a one-shot of my current obsession, Black Widow and Maria Hill fanfiction. Sometimes it’s not easy to find a good story. Either the writing is terrible, the story is awful or it’s just not what you want at that moment but I came about something that made me think about all of this; is the reason why I’m even typing these words right now.

I actually read something similar in a different fic; the idea that SHIELD recruited heavily from the military’s DADT discharges. It’s silly but the idea of that makes me incredibly happy. It gives this fictional institution such a warm and fuzzy feeling. It’s utterly progressive in a time where we still don’t have marriage equality. This thought is only a byproduct of what I wanted to say though.

In what I read yesterday, Maria Hill comes out to Natasha, saying she was discharged on the basis of DADT. She also talks about how she feels like losing at this invisible race with people her age. Everyone around her is either engaged, married or having kids whereas she is just there. It rang true to me. Because this is how I feel. She goes on explaining that she’s okay with being single though, most days at least, because she is out there in the world doing something important. Not that she isn’t interchangeable but she still has a purpose in life, even if it isn’t being a wife, romantic partner or mother at that point in time.

What got me about that is the sometimes. Even someone as badass as Maria Hill has her moments of questioning herself. Obviously she has them but it’s something we don’t get to see in mainstream media and the portrayal of her character (on screen at least). She struggles with her own expectations as well of those of others just like I do and probably a lot of other people as well.

Sometimes I need to read things like that. Now, I’m not a super hero or deputy director of a super hero institution but a lowly safety engineer (and so many more things). I need to remember that it’s okay to move at my own pace. Because nobody else can live my life aside from myself.

You could say that I could have as easily come to the same conclusion while reading a book and you’re right. It’s a coincidence this was fanfiction and not a published novel. It’s much easier to publish fanfiction though than getting a book deal which means you get stories you would otherwise never see like that. And you don’t always have to read a 300 page book to get what you want; to satisfy your needs.

This isn’t entirely the post I wanted to write when I sat down to write it. You know this by now. Most days I only have a vague idea where things are supposed to go which is fine by me. It’s not a bullet point list of reasons why fanfcition is awesome or matters to me. It’s just a jumble of feelings and that’s okay. Sometimes that’s enough. (See how I cam full circle with that?!)

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  • GFM

    The fact that it can be so hard to find good fanfic is definitely one of the reasons why I don’t really read a lot of it. But you make some really good points about how it actually can be more accessible and provide more interesting stories than what you find in mainstream media.

    …Once you sort through the bad writing and dark corners, that is! lol

    • There are times when I don’t read any fanfiction for months and then I’m obsessed with a new ship again and try to read everything in my way that’s at least half decent. There are stories I read years ago I still return to sometimes. And from time to time you actually come across real gems. I tried looking for one of my absolute favourite stories but it was taken off FF because the author made it into an ebook. Heratbreaking story but so, so good.

      Anyway, yes, there is lots of crap in the fanfiction universe but thankfully not everything is. Just with every kind of media.