A few weeks ago, I watched the season finale of the X-Files. As I have mentioned before, I adore the show but I’m not sure about the last episode. Apparently, I am not alone in being perplexed by the ending as I have seen a number of comments about it on social media. After the episode, I did what many others did, I sought out fan fiction. Could fans of the show provide a different, more understandable, more enjoyable ending? I wondered. Needless to say, the number of stories that popped up were many. As I began to read some, I pondered the role of fan fiction in fandom and then specifically in our fandom.
It seems to me that fanfic for TV shows, movies and books serves an important function. It adds to the story, in some way. Maybe these stories extend the story beyond what was shown either after it ends or through a potential missing scene. Of course, some readers prefer the alternate universe in which the characters are placed in a different context. I can understand all of that and have read my fair share, especially when I was a big Roswell fan.
What about the work of fanfic in a fandom like ours? We are not fans of made up characters. No, the subjects of our fandom are real people. Does that make a difference? Looking at the purpose of fanfic in those other genres, could they be applied here? Could authors extend the Duran story by adding to an unknown future or filling in a period or episode that is unknown to us? I’m sure that writers could. Could they place the subjects into different contexts? Again, that seems logical.
What interests me is that while I have enjoyed these fan created stories when thinking about TV shows like Roswell and X-Files, I never grabbed onto fanfic within my Duran fandom. Why is that? I wonder if it has to do with the fact that the focus on the fandom is real people. Yet, I can read historical fiction and enjoy it. Those works of fiction are often about real people and events. I’m not sure. Maybe it feels different because I have seen the band members in person and for me, that makes it feel different for me. Perhaps, it is because I have spent so many years researching fandom and thinking about this fandom in an academic sense that I have lost any ability to enjoy this aspect.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not criticizing fanfic readers or writers within our fan community. No, I’m trying to understand myself because it feels like a weird hang up that I have. So, those of you who read or write Duran related fanfic, why does it work for you? What makes you like it? I would love to hear some good reasons to push me to try it again.