The very moment I came across the term “fanfiction” in the weekly assigned readings, I felt my eyes rolling due to a combination of an immature, dismissive nature and acerbic sense of humor. I knew I had to confront this type of remix eventually. In fact, I even made a promise to myself last week that I would pick a piece of fan-fiction for this weeks critique.
The very mention of the term conjures up images in my mind of a mildly-obsessive (to put it mildly) fan still living in their parents’ basement with limited outside world contact. I am opening my mind and getting rid of this image as we speak:
This, of course, is highly inaccurate. Lots of people write fan-fiction! It is becoming an increasingly popular medium. I respect it! Please don’t kill me.
I happened upon this piece from fanfiction.net after searching for “library” (to ensure relevance with my “Libraries and Librarianship” theme). I chose this piece because it was on the longer side compared to so many 500 word options (no thanks). I wanted more meat on my plate. Also, I am a little tired of Harry Potter inspired pieces from working in a library, but this posed an interesting challenge for me: keep an open mind. I think it is fairly safe to assume all my readership is familiar with Harry Potter so I won’t link to the Wikipedia page.
I will admit: I am less than crazy about this piece. It is ridden with grammatical errors and the ending is visible from miles away without having even read it. Nonetheless, it is a remix and warrants a more substantial critique. After looking at the author’s page, I now realize that she hails from Sweden and is writing in her (at least) second language so I feel terrible about taking her to task for spelling and grammatical errors. Shame on me. I’ll do it justice.
Kinds of Involvement: This piece displays all sorts of involvement. Above all else, the author is clearly self-established as a fan of Harry Potter. Endeavoring to create a fan fiction remix inevitably reveals oneself to be at least slightly obsessed with the original work being retooled. It is also apparent that the author enjoyed the series! Based on her page on fanfiction.net, it seems to be the case that Nittedhat is trying to establish herself as an author of Harry Potter fan-fiction (among other topics).
Literacy Dimensions: This author knows her characters and put a lot of stock into the developing relationship between Ron and Hermoine (the library being the most obvious setting for a romantic encounter between them). The plot is very believable and seems like a natural (albeit perverted) extension of the original, expecially at the first mention of Draco Malfoy. That was a surprise twist that came across very effectively. Based on the number of reviews and favorites, it looks like she hasn’t spread this piece around too much and it would be of use to use other social media outlets to get the word out. If she wrote more fan-fiction, it would also be instrumental in establishing her identity. Then again, she hasn’t been very active since 2012 (according to her profile).
The author has a unique voice, and fan-fiction provides an excellent outlet for establishing that voice. Nonetheless, it would improve with more activity.