The Power of Fanfiction: a rise in transmedia storytelling

As our world is becoming more socially digitized and interactive, it is undeniable that fandoms have become important aspect in keeping franchises alive, but how important has fan influence become? Transmedia is a growing technic narrators’ in franchises have begun to use in which a single story is told across multiple platforms and adaptations. Although transmedia’s rise through social media and influence have been covered in a few topics and articles on the artifice before, how has fan fiction influenced transmedia storytelling?

Examples may include looking into fanon versus canon and instances where a highly popular canon has become fanon (such as Matt’s appearance in the anime Death Note). Another important aspect to look into is the “Boba Fett Phenomenon” where a side character becomes so wildly popular within the fandom that a franchise is forced to give them a backstory and more character development.

Although I struggled to find a source for this, I remember my Digital Media professor once discussed that there was a scandal in the Dr. Who fandom where a popular fanfiction actually guessed the fate of the current season. The fan who had written the story was sworn to secrecy or told to change their story (can’t recall exactly…) as to preserve the integrity of the show. Regardless, I think this is another example where fan fiction was integrated as an unauthorized expansion within a universe (and therefore has become a piece of transmedia storytelling).

A great theorist for transmedia and fan fiction is Dr. Henry Jenkins.

  • I myself use to think that fan fiction was boring and unnecessary, but recently this year I reread a book series I fell in love with in high school, 'Vampire Academy' and found a fan fiction writer/ blogger via Tumblr (can't remember their user) but I just fell in love with how they continued the story after it was finished by the author and it just amazed me how they decided to write so much and keep the story alive for themselves and for other readers I also think that these writers ideas can be taken away from themselves and used in other peoples ideas and stories and can also be taken and twisted to suit the other story but people are so imaginative and society is changing so much, so fan fiction can be taken any place these days, there is also a fan version of the Vampire Academy movie I have not brought myself to watch yet – ambermakx 6 years ago

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