Does Fan Fact Sometimes Make You Feel Stupid


A popular trope in fanfiction is what I’m going to call a “fan fact” – a piece of information that does not exist within the canon world but that a writer adds for fun or for their own personal narrative reasons. 

It can be information about a character’s childhood or their romantic history, an extra detail about the protagonist’s job or their house – anything that goes beyond what we see on screen and that doesn’t fit into fan fiction’s “canon” definition.

Fan Labour

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It makes sense to add fan fact to fan fiction – after all, fan fiction is fan labour , it comes from people’s imaginations and from their fan hearts. It would be weird if fan fiction didn’t have something that set it apart from official canon. I’m not accusing fan fact of being a bad trope, nor am I suggesting that fan fiction without fan fact is the only “true” fan fiction – what some people call “real fanfic”. I’m just interested in fan fact and why fan fiction writers do it.

Why Do Fan Fiction Writers Use Fan Fact?

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I think fan labour is about creativity , where you take something you love and give it your own personal twist. With fan fact, that creativity sometimes comes at the cost of canon. It feels like fan fiction where fan fact is used takes away from canon’s integrity. 

It feels like fan fiction writers are fan facing all over canon and that fan fact allows them to write fanfiction without caring about the characters or what really happened in the show/book/movie, etc. We all know that fan fiction is supposed to be AU – but when fan fact becomes too AU, fan fiction seems to have snuck over into fanfic territory.

Warning Label 

I’m not saying that fan fact is bad or that fan fiction writers should never use fan fact – has a place in fan labour and it’s a trope I’ve used without regret. But sometimes I wonder if fan fact isn’t just a way for some fan fiction writers to fanfic all over canon without fanfic’s warning label. I wonder if fan fact isn’t just an excuse for bad writing .

When fan fact transforms fan fiction into fan fiction, I feel like my brain is being invaded by someone else’s imagination. Fan fact seems to threaten my love of the show with change and fan fiction writers who fan fact too much lose my trust.

Wrapping Up

What about you? Does fan fact sometimes make you feel stupid? Do fan fiction writers use fan fact too much? Leave a comment and let me know!Do fan fiction writers use fan fact too much?

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