I’m not going to comment on the recent drama with certain authors decrying fanfiction of their work. Instead, I want to offer up two of the purest examples of fanfiction that I can think of.
In my family, storytelling is an everyday part of life. When I was 5 years old, in 1st grade, my mom would write me little stories about my favorite characters (usually Wonder Woman and Scooby Doo) and put them in my lunches. I requested these stories, I remember, because I wanted Wonder Woman and Scooby Doo to do things relevant to me and my life, such as talk about their favorite foods, show up at bedtime and let me stay up until 10PM, etc.
Basically, I wanted to insert my favorite characters right into my life and imagine what it would be like if Wonder Woman showed up at my window looking for blueberry yogurt. (In the story, I helped her out by opening the fridge and finding her a spoon.)
My 3-year-old companion is really, really into Frog & Toad stories. Alas, there are only 4 books, with no hope for more, and he knows all the stories by heart. So what does he do? Asks me to make some up! Frog & Toad stories have their own unique logic and sense of humor, and he can immediately tell if I don’t get it right. “No, that’s not how it goes!”
Among his requests:
- Frog & Toad go to the grocery store and get cake
- Frog & Toad play basketball with a rainbow basketball
- Our cat plays basketball with his friends, including Frog & Toad
- He drums in a rock concert with our cat, Frog & Toad
He’s also a fan of “Little Red Riding Hood Fixes The Wolf’s & Granny’s Car.”
If this isn’t fanfiction, I don’t know what is.