Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy. There’s only one way for this story to go, right? Wrong. So while a very popular television has been on hiatus I have seen my favorite couple on said series fall in love many different times, in different time periods, speaking different languages, in different genres, all through the magic of fan fiction.
To say I have been unlucky in love would be an understatement. If love was an exam I would still be in high school, failing miserably. My heart has been broken, I have been ignored, disappointed, ridiculed, and as a result I have become extremely hard-hearted and sceptical when the subject has come up. But like those who lack the real life experience, I have devoured romantic music, films, literature, which I shelf as fantasy in my mind until I kept catching myself dreaming about my future epic love and swiftly closed the romance novels and chose not to watch films with Julia Roberts or Katherine Heigl in the title role.
I managed to convince myself that those that have been let into the mysterious realms of love have been the exceptions amongst the many miserable ‘rules’ like myself (I might have reread He’s Just Not That Into You a bit too many times). The fact that my parents recently celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary and are more in love now than they were in 1971 threw another spanner in the works, isn’t it unfair that I have to live the damnable life without love and have to have a front row seat to a love story that could rival The Notebook?
I was sucked into the world of fan fiction after seven books, ten years, 3407 pages and eight movies weren’t enough for me and I needed more Harry Potter in my life and since then fan fiction has been my go-to place whenever I am dissatisfied with the progression of storylines in films, books, and television series but are too attached to the characters to give up on it entirely.
Romantic fan fiction was born out of the phenomena of ‘shipping’ which in a general sense is supporting a couple whether it may be in film, TV or literature, male or female, dead or alive, they are no boundaries when it comes to spending lots of time writing stories, making gifs and campaigning for a romantic connection between two fictional characters. I recently got lost in the world of romantic fan fiction when I became obsessed with a couple on a television series, I was getting frustrated that they weren’t getting enough screen time and I didn’t see enough development between the couple and so I did what I do best and turned to fan fiction.
Once you sift through the terrible, grammatically hideous and ludicrous pieces of writing, there are some amazing jewels that will bring you to tears, make you laugh out loud, and have that uncanny ability to make you reference it in conversations thus admitting to other people that you read fan fiction, many of those fanfics are better than lots of published works that I have read. But between reading three to four fan fictions a day, sending messages to writers, waiting eagerly for updates and indulging a little in writing myself, I have found hope again.
Throughout the past couple of months, I have watched my favorite pair find love in the second world war, he, a German soldier and she a French civilian, both speaking different languages; they have both been displayed as Greek gods falling in love despite all the odds stacked against them; he’s been a tattoo artist, a doctor, a vampire, a criminal, a bartender, an architect; she’s been a lawyer, a nanny, a journalist, a mother, a lady of the court, a baker, a teacher, but in each one of these instances they fell in love. I suppose I find it poetic that so many people throughout the world are able to create situations whereby a seemingly limited pre-created couple can find love over and over again. It shows the power of love, the faith that people have in something that is unseen and many times considered to be the things of myths.
Lev Grossman, the American novelist, wrote in TIME magazine said about fan fiction that, “The writers write about it and put it online just for the satisfaction. They’re fans, but they’re not silent, couchbound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language.” It says a lot about the time and the culture that we’re living in if people are so eager to write about and encourage the notion of love. We might have entered the age of cynicism; I might never find the Mulder to my Scully or the Chuck to my Blair. but I no longer find the premise impossible, so I’m not a nurse in the First World War, or able to time-travel or fly a broom, but I believe that if love can find a way in the most extraordinary circumstances, it can also happen to an average marketing intern who is still waiting for her adventure to begin.