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Creepy mini-trend in fan fiction

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I've been hearing about Wattpad so I've been browsing it to get the hang of it and also probe the minds of teenagers to see what they REALLY want to read. (A quick glance in teen fiction shows romance, fan-fiction, humor, and fantasy with the most number of stories, if you're curious.)

Then I clicked on "sort by newest."

Oh, goodness. There were THREE stories on the first page, from different (I assume) teen writers, about being adopted by rock stars. Two of these stories have the band One Direction adopting them (as a group?). Then I did a search for "adoption One Direction," and there were 144 pages of results. Not stories. Pages.

While I certainly get the wishful dreams bit about enjoying the high profile life and being famous/rich, I'm guessing the writers were young teen girls? I'm not sure what to make of the desire to be adopted by a young man/men not too much older than you, especially someone you happen to also have a crush on? I guess I'm just a jaded fuddy-duddy 30something, but that makes me cringe. I did see many of them titled something like "One Direction's Kid Sister," so maybe it really is just they are seeing the guys as older brothers. I hope.

Thoughts?
#1 - April 04, 2013, 10:03 AM
www.andreabrame.com  |  Twitter: http://twitter.com/Andrea_Brame  |  Instagram: @andreabrame

Yes, I do think they're thinking of the guys as the ultimate older brothers.

I am absolutely fascinated with fanfiction (don't get me started!  I go on for hours!) and what it can tell us about what young readers dream of, think of as the "ideal," find appealing, and so on.

I tend to read fanfic in my (fangirl) areas of interest, such as Sherlock Holmes (both the movies and TV show from BBC) and Iron Man.

The single most popular story line in these fandoms is this:

Sherlock Holmes/Iron Man has a daughter who is just as smart, witty, sarcastic, etc. as he is!

A close second is:

Sherlock Holmes/Iron Man has a little sister who is just as smart, witty, sarcastic, etc. as he is!

Now thinking back to my own girlhood fantasies (don't laugh, but they were usually about Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Trapper John, MD, Remington Steele, etc.--okay, you can laugh), they were exactly the same.

Somehow, I was a kid/girl/teen character on the show who, amazingly, the other characters welcomed and one of them acted as a father/big brother figure (not a mom/big sister--go figure!) and they all discovered how flippin' cool I am.  Ha ha.  The only kid who got to hang out with the grown-ups, I was just witty and intelligent enough to hold my own, plus I delivered a lot of good one-liners.

Now my theory about the big brother/father thing is that many young girls admire the character of Sherlock Holmes/Iron Man/Whoever, and want to be like them, so the short cut is to think of themselves as the younger, female version of said character (most often described as a teenage girl with amazingly cool looks and a sarcastic wit).  These young girls may be in fact crushing heavily on the hero but not ready to think about physical relationships.  (Or maybe the hero's age is a bit up there and they find it squicky).  Therefore being the Hero's little sister or daughter is the safe choice--because, duh, no scary physical relationship involved!  Yay!

If the young girl doing the dreaming IS ready to think about the physical relationship, then we get the third most popular storyline:

Sherlock Holmes/Iron Man meets a teen girl/young adult (often from our time period) who totally captures his attention because she's SO AWESOMELY COOL!

This, in other fandoms (Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, maybe even One Direction?) with younger heroes might actually be Storyline #1.  It's so popular that there's a name for it--and I can't even recall what it is, sorry.  Basically "Girl From Our World Meets Heros."  In Lord of the Rings, they call it "Girl Goes to Middle Earth."

Edited to add:  I don't actually enjoy reading this kind of story.  I don't usually like fanfic that's basically the author's fantasy acted out, and I don't like the ones featuring original characters much.  I just see these storylines listed in the story's summaries over and over again.

There so much fabulous fanfic out there, though among the really terrible stuff, that it's so much fun to find the gems among the rubble.
#2 - April 04, 2013, 10:24 AM
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 10:34 AM by Jaina »

Totally with you on Remmington Steele!

And yes - I think it's a thing where the girls either aren't thinking sexually yet, or aren't ready to think about what that means and just want to be *close*. My two cents. Of course, if it was my daughter's fan fic, I'd seek to redirect her interests a little...
#3 - April 04, 2013, 10:30 AM
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At the age of 13-14, I wrote REMINGTON STEELE fanfic as well (represent!) with a self-insert Mary Sue who was Remington and Laura's apprentice. I had zero interest in being romantically involved with Remington, even though I thought he was incredibly handsome -- but then I also thought Laura was incredibly beautiful and wanted to be just like her (right down to the wrinkles in her forehead when she got annoyed). But I desperately wanted Remington and Laura to get together, and I wanted a ringside seat! Eventually I did write my self-insert character a boyfriend, but he was basically the Ned Nickerson to her Nancy Drew -- a boy who hung around and helped her from time to time, rather than anything romantic. And it wasn't long after that I got bored with the idea of writing myself into fanfics and started creating more original characters and stories instead. (Though I also went on writing fanfic, but that's another story.)

So basically yes to everything that's been said here. And if we're talking creepy trends in fanfic, there are a lot (and I mean a LOT) worse ones, really.
#4 - April 04, 2013, 01:16 PM

Heh heh.  That's what I was thinking earlier.  There are some REALLY VERY CREEPY things out there!  Being adopted by One Direction doesn't even scratch the surface, as far as weirdness.

I also realized after posting that, er, my screen name here is "Jaina"--after the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia, so I guess I haven't left it all behind me . . .
#5 - April 04, 2013, 01:24 PM

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lol. Good to know it isn't as creepy as I initially thought.

I'm pretty new to the concept of fanfic. I guess the closest thing I wrote to it was a full-length mid-grade novel (my first!) from the ages of 9-12 in which I basically ripped off a Tales of Avonlea episode I had watched. Anne of Green Gables was my hero ... and Rilla of Ingleside. I frequently dreamed of being one of them and sometimes of dating their guys but I can't think of any male characters/real-life people I wanted to write into my own story.

That being said, I'm a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes. I would totally be ok being his super-cool sarcastic side-kick if I was a teen. Except when he started up with the opium again. The opium would have to go. ;)

Maybe that's why I married an INTJ. All my favorite male characters in books seemed to be INTJs. (Hellllllloooo, Mr. Darcy and Sherlock Holmes.) What can I say? I'm a sucker.
#6 - April 04, 2013, 01:35 PM
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I was always Han Solo's kid sister in my fantasies -- a really cool, tomboyish (but pretty in a unique and quirky way!) wise-cracking kid sister who could handle a blaster and was a mechanical genius. I always fixed the Millennium Falcon just in the nick of time. Chewbacca was my best friend and always looked out for me, so that also fufilled the having a dog fantasy in a weird way...
#7 - April 04, 2013, 01:52 PM
FIVE SHORT SECONDS
SAYA AT SPEED
RULES OF THE GAME
TEST CASES
TWISTER RESISTERS
CRASH COURSE
Heinemann, Fall 2013

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Ha.  My best friend and I were the twin daughters of Superman and Wonder Woman, but because they were so busy fighting crime, they gave us up for adoption to Maxwell Smart and Agent 99.  No crushing involved--we just wanted power.
#8 - April 04, 2013, 02:19 PM
BUSY-EYED DAY (Beach Lane Books, 2018)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
VAMPIRINA AT THE BEACH (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

My fan-fiction was about being let into the Dead Poets Society :)
#9 - April 04, 2013, 04:21 PM
Youth Services librarian and YA writer. Wisconsin SW (Madison area) Rep.
@amandacoppedge on Twitter

I didn't know there was such a thing as fan-fiction when I was a kid, but my best friend and I wrote "scripts" for Moonlighting, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and Miami Vice.  *cringe*
#10 - April 04, 2013, 04:32 PM

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You guys, all your childhood fan fiction sounds totally awesome to me! The twin daughters of Superman and Wonder Woman, being let into the Dead Poet's Society, Han Solo's kid sister: I would've loved to read that stuff!! My brother and I used to 'play' Star Wars with our friends sometimes and make up the action and story lines on the fly. I was also heavily into the Anne of Green Gables series when I was young, especially one of the later books, Rainbow Valley, and wrote my own Anne style story about a family with 7 kids (I think Anne had 6 in Rainbow Valley).
#11 - April 04, 2013, 05:25 PM
Film school grad. Time traveller. Billy Bragg fan. Canadian/Irish novelist of character-driven fiction from sci-fi to slice of life.

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My five-year-old talks about a boy at her school as though she's totally in love with him. "I miss him so much, it makes my heart ache!" "When I listen to this song I imagine it's him singing it to me."I dreamed we rode on a horse together and there were rainbows everywhere!" Seriously! And I remember feeling the same about a boy at my school around the same age. He was more than a friend in the sense that I felt more intensely about him but there was certainly nothing sexual about it. I think it's the same for my daughter and for these girls, too.

But yeah it'd probably freak me out to read it too. Not so much because they have these feelings but because they have these strong feelings for a complete stranger at such a young age.
#12 - April 04, 2013, 05:52 PM

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I didn't know there was such a thing as "fan fiction" either when I was a teen -- I thought I was terribly clever to have invented the idea of writing stories about my favorite TV and movie characters, and that I was the only one who'd ever done it! But I wrote reams of the stuff about all my favorite shows -- Remington Steele, Scarecrow & Mrs. King, Airwolf, Manimal, and most of all Doctor Who. In fact my first "original" novel was a thinly veiled rewrite of an epic three-part Fifth Doctor fanfic starring an "original" companion I'd invented who embodied just about every Mary Sue trait in existence -- a golden-haired blue-eyed princess who wielded a crystal sword and rode a telepathic unicorn. Oh, and of course she and the Doctor ended up having to get married for political reasons. *facepalm*
#13 - April 04, 2013, 06:32 PM

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I didn't know there was such a thing as "fan fiction" either when I was a teen -- I thought I was terribly clever to have invented the idea of writing stories about my favorite TV and movie characters, and that I was the only one who'd ever done it!

Me, too, R.J.---My best friend and I thought we were the only people in the entire galaxy who had ever thought of writing stories about Han Solo and Luke Skywalker (and us, of course). How terribly clever and original we thought we were!
#14 - April 04, 2013, 06:42 PM

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Any of you got any of this original fan fiction to hand? I'm dying to read!
#15 - April 04, 2013, 06:57 PM

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We watched very little TV when I was little, so all my 'fanfic' came from the books I read -- but I regularly inserted myself into my favorite books.  It was usually a 'romantic' thing, where the hero would discover he truly preferred me -- or I would be a part of a family, someone they adopted who knew more than all the others, that kind of thing.  I can't imagine wanting to be adopted into a band, though...but then, I also only listened to classical music at that age (yes, I was amazingly popular, ha).
#16 - April 04, 2013, 07:27 PM
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Unspun: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSR6CPJ/
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I do have all the "scripts," still, yes.  Or half of them, anyway.  My friend has the other half.  We were about 13 or so and we'd pass them to each other, taking turns writing parts til we ran out of ideas, etc.  It paid off a little in high school when we wrote a few little scripts for Spanish class or history day.  Um, not about Scarecrow and Mrs. King, though.
#17 - April 04, 2013, 07:32 PM

I never cared to be the girl, I just inserted myself in the male role, perhaps because they got to do all the cool stuff, or maybe because it's just a comfortable space to express my yang side, but by the time I was old enough to write fan fic I had pretty much already decided it was better to write original work, so instead of writing fan fic I just made INCREDIBLY thinly veiled versions of my favorite characters and inserted them into my own universe. I did, however, have this total love for the character of Jonathan the Zombie Master in Piers Anthony's Xanth books. He only appears at any length in one novel, so wasn't super-well fleshed out, and I let my imagination go with that one and wrote his "origin story".

And yes, I still have it, I keep everything! It opens with: "Jonathan was born in December. A chill was in the wind. His mother and father were delighted. They had been trying to produce a child with no luck. They had high hopes for their little boy and raised him as hard as they could. They believed his talent was intelligence. Jonathan had a marvelous vocabulary and was intelligent in general. But their was one problem. Jonathan simply wasn't sociable. His father, Zeb, gave him a hefty pat on the back and brought him to social gatherings."

And so on...for many pages...poor, intelligent Jonathan with no friends! Not like I identified with THAT or anything...

(And oh my gosh, Amanda always reminds me why I miss her--we both moved out of Florida--when she posts here. Dead Poets Society fan fiction...lol...strange children unite!)
#18 - April 04, 2013, 07:45 PM
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I destroyed all my laboriously typed (and Liquid Paper-covered -- even in my pre-computer days I was a compulsive self-editor) fanfics when I turned nineteen, in a fit of snobbery after finishing my first Real Original Novel. Never mind that said Novel was terrible and that it, too, has vanished into the ether thanks to changing technology. (Anybody know how to get WordPerfect 2.0 files off a Zip disk? I thought not.)

I want to go back in time and kick my late-teenaged self now. Because reading those old fics would be HILARIOUS.
#19 - April 04, 2013, 07:55 PM

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I mean, I think I still have "Sylvia" somewhere. I hope I do. (I got rid of a lot of my young writing ideas when I ran out of storage space.) Her father got sick, she traveled by train to stay with her cousins in the country, and she crushes on a local charming young man while having grand adventures with her cousins and Randy, the collie. I wasn't allowed to have indoor pets so I was very fond of that collie.
#20 - April 04, 2013, 08:35 PM
www.andreabrame.com  |  Twitter: http://twitter.com/Andrea_Brame  |  Instagram: @andreabrame

I miss you too, Jackie!

I am still unpacking from the move. I'll have to see if I still have my Dead Poets fanfic. I know I still have some of the Phantom of the Opera fanfic I wrote.
#21 - April 05, 2013, 05:01 AM
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"Jonathan was born in December. A chill was in the wind. His mother and father were delighted. They had been trying to produce a child with no luck. They had high hopes for their little boy and raised him as hard as they could. They believed his talent was intelligence. Jonathan had a marvelous vocabulary and was intelligent in general. But their was one problem. Jonathan simply wasn't sociable. His father, Zeb, gave him a hefty pat on the back and brought him to social gatherings."


Poor little intelligent unsociable Jonathan indeed! Love this line, "His father, Zeb, gave him a hefty pat on the back and brought him to social gatherings." What happened to Jonathan? Did he discover how to be sociable?!
#22 - April 05, 2013, 07:57 AM

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And yes, I still have it, I keep everything! It opens with: "Jonathan was born in December. A chill was in the wind. His mother and father were delighted. They had been trying to produce a child with no luck. They had high hopes for their little boy and raised him as hard as they could. They believed his talent was intelligence. Jonathan had a marvelous vocabulary and was intelligent in general. But their was one problem. Jonathan simply wasn't sociable. His father, Zeb, gave him a hefty pat on the back and brought him to social gatherings."

This is kinda awesome.
#23 - April 05, 2013, 08:20 AM
Twitter: @MelissaKoosmann

Poor little intelligent unsociable Jonathan indeed! Love this line, "His father, Zeb, gave him a hefty pat on the back and brought him to social gatherings." What happened to Jonathan? Did he discover how to be sociable?!

Of course I gave him a couple of friends. But I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say he discovered how to be sociable...that hefty pat on the back just wasn't enough, I guess. =D
#24 - April 05, 2013, 04:51 PM
Author of the Magic Under Glass duology
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Dark Metropolis, 6/14
http://jaclyndolamore.blogspot.com

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Of course I gave him a couple of friends. But I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say he discovered how to be sociable...that hefty pat on the back just wasn't enough, I guess. =D

Darn, and here I was thinking that hefty pats were a cure-all. He he he.
#25 - April 06, 2013, 05:27 PM

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Jaclyn, you made me laugh so hard! I inserted myself into the Enid Blyton stories on scraps of paper, or margins of school notebooks. I played lacrosse and went out on midnight romps on a horse. It was pure fantasy, thrown away at the end of the school year. When we came to the US, we each brought just a suitcase full of clothes and favorite books, and a tin box of mementos. No fanfic. I am, however, saving some bits of writing and drawings of my highly intelligent and sociable kids :) Can't wait to see how they turn out. Must give them more hefty pats.

Vijaya

#26 - April 06, 2013, 06:54 PM
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