Before the pandemic, this was something I’d never even tried. I’ve only read a few pieces of fanfic, honestly, and associated the whole genre with teens trying their hands at writing for the first time.
During COVID, Cobra Kai was one of the shows I binged and I discovered that Marie had been watching it as well. We both had very different opinions as far as whether or not we liked the show, yet had very similar thoughts about the direction of the story. To both of us, it seemed like Johnny and Daniel liked each other, but were oblivious to the fact themselves, or perhaps in denial. Come on, those two are always going to extremes to get each other’s attention, and their words to each other can hurt more than a roundhouse kick. The show’s hammered in that Johnny is very much a product of the 80’s and, while being a loveable character, he’s full of toxic masculinity. It’d make perfect sense he’d be in a state of denial, yet go through all the trouble of drawing a dick on Daniel’s billboard.
Fanfic is also wonderful because it has a quality that’s difficult to duplicate in fiction. If you want to write romance or erotica, readers tend to want those things early on. Get to the good parts, right? But that doesn’t leave much time to establish the characters so their relationship matters as much to the readers. Think about three seasons of Cobra Kai, plus Johnny and Daniel’s history in the movies before they get together in a fanfic. The readers are already heavily invested in these two. In a romance or erotica novel, ya got fifty to a hundred pages, if you really want to push it.
If any of you are reading Magical Men on Tapas, there hasn’t been much romance yet, even though it’s in the BL category. I wanted to establish my four characters first – how they interact with each other, who they are – so their romance matters. I’m sure people may have gotten frustrated or outright given up on the story.
So, writing fanfic allows someone to write a romance or erotica while having established characters with a long history. I sorta wish the slow burn style would be more accepted in other kinds of fiction. What are your thoughts?