People within the writing and fandom communities have long wondered if fanfiction would ever escape the world of the esoteric. The “Tumblr girls” that love fanfiction certainly have their own type. Most in the publishing community have long pushed off fanfiction is niche. That started to change with 50 Shades of Grey but even that hasn’t really brought fanfiction into the public light.
More recently, fanfiction has started broadening its reach and focus. In particular, many teen fiction pieces have done well as stories broaden beyond sex and crazy ships. Places like Reedsy have a lot of story ideas that get people started.
Popular Adaptations and Fanfiction themes
Wattpad has helped with this process as many fanfiction stories have since been adapted into original works. Fanfiction is often easier for younger writers to write because they don’t have to go through the complex process of world building and character building. They get to work with existing characters. This allows these writers to focus on rich storylines rather than characters. Fanfiction, in particular, is also easier to work with when it comes to character development. Characters also come with pre-built problems and ways to grow. The process often feels more natural than when writers create their own characters because creating a good character flaw is one of the hardest things to do when developing the characters.
Stories are also expanding Into wider fandoms that are more appealing to wider audiences. Stories that are alternative endings have been doing particularly well. Flipping key decisions in movies and TV shows. These tend to be a lot more interesting to general audiences as they don’t focus on ships, require deep knowledge of fandoms, or focus on graphic elements. As a result, everyday casual viewers are able to get into the stories as well.
Most Mainstream Fanfics
These are a number of fandoms that have stories that are easier for the public to consume. They range from the obvious popular ones to fandoms that have less fanfiction, but have a more mainstream appeal. As an example, fanfiction around movies designed for younger audiences tend to be more plot driven rather than romance driven.
There is of course Harry Potter fanfiction, one of the largest fandoms for fanfiction there is. While much of this fanfiction, mostly found on AO3 and Fanfiction.net, does end up being smut, given its shear volume, there are a lot of really great parodies and plot driven stories. My Immortal is certainly the most famous Harry Potter fanfic story that blew up. People have even made illustrated versions of it. In fact, an entire site of more visual fanfic works has spun up on Commaful. Writers in this case actually add pictures to bring the fanfiction pieces to life. For a generation glued to Instagram, visuals obviously are a strong move and good way to go.
A lot more fanfiction writers are using various writing tools and novel guides to plan and structure their fanfiction. This combined with modern technologies allows for writers to really take their storytelling to the next level.