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Contribution : "Fanfictions, the phenomenon of the web" by Fiona Regazzoni

Recently, the fanfictions have emerged on the Internet, fans wishing to have a word to say and to be something in the future of their favorite TV series. Let’s see closer this phenomenon.

What is a fanfiction?

A fanfiction is a text using characters, synopsis and universe of TV series or others things (books, movies, video games…) and almost taking the same form as the original work. Those are written by fans aiming to change or sometimes to extend the original work. Very common on the web, we can quote for example the website which counts already more than 5 millions of texts. But the fanfictions appeared a long time before the Internet era. Since the 20th century, science fiction fans got the possibility to publish their texts between publications of serial thanks to the first fanzine The Comet.

Why sharing our own texts with the public?

On the Internet, fans communities called fandoms have been created, giving the fans the possibility to talk about their favorite TV series and to share their passion about this work. With the fandoms we discovered an easy way of publication and, these communities of fans have encouraged young writers to show their, fan fictions work to people who can appreciate it. Take for example the end of the TV series How I met your mother, being such a disappointment for the fans. The fandoms unchained themselves on the Internet after that the last episode came out, in changing the end in their own way and in satisfying their own expectations regarding TV series longevity. This very craze, in permitting to see that each one could  let himself go to his own ideas, allowed a lots of fans to express themselves on the web giving each one the possibility to find the perfect ending.

Today fanfictions and tomorrow…

The fanfiction seems to open itself to new perspectives of future which bring to contradict its origins. What made it a new phenomenon was its non -profit goal, a situation that changes slowly. That’s in fact became a very coveted domain after the publication of the bestselling fanfiction, I named 50 shades of grey, who has made win to her author a huge sum of money. And the arrival of « Kindle world» of Amazon, platform in negotiating with TV series’ creators/writers to sold texts of fans on their website, increases even more the commercialization of the fanfictions.  Will This change questioning the origin of the fanfiction permit it to stay faithful to herself or the « Kindle World » will be the first step to a professionalization of the fanfiction?

Be a fan doesn’t mean to be there since the start but until the end.

Fiona Regazzoni, Master 1 PCC Université d'Avignon

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