Just wondering.

I read fanfiction.  Yep.  I admit it.  I got hooked a few years back to indulge my CSI addiction.  Fanfiction is best defined by someone other than me.  From dictionary. com:

fan fic, noun: Fiction written by fans of a TV series, movie, etc., using existing characters and situations to develop new plots.

I started out all about the Gil Grissom/Sara Sidle pairing (what the fanfic community call “GSR”)

I think Sara Sidle is am amazingly strong female character.  We have so few strong women on TV and in film that when I do see one written well, I want more.  Fanfic authors who write GSR tend to be of the independently strong bunch, determined not to let this female character lose sight of her strength.  Reading fanfic gives me more of this character than I can get in the weekly series.

I then moved on to the Gil Grissom/Catherine Willows pairing (in fanfic:  “Grillows”)

Again, a strong character, Catherine Willows holds her own in a field of science that is very dominantly male.

However, I got bored with CSI after awhile.  Given the topic of crime and forensics, I was finding my free time for reading getting a bit too morose for my liking.  I needed humor.  So I moved on to House MD.  Smart, yet funny, Greg House is a fantastic character for entertainment.  I never feel as if the writers are trying to pander to their audience; they know we are smart viewers and they give us that in their storylines.  So naturally, a pairing such as Greg House and Lisa Cuddy (“Huddy”) pulled me in.

I really like the fanfic authors that write Huddy; they don’t let Cuddy take any shit from House, just like in the actual episodes.

Fanfiction isn’t flawless.  There are a lot of crap authors out there.  Trying to stay loyal to characters someone else has created, all while structuring your own narrative cannot be easy.  I don’t even fool myself into thinking I could write fanfiction.  As a critical writer, fiction paralyzes me.  I envy those that can come up with a storyline that lures in a reader that isn’t an argument piece.

Which brings me to the point of this post.  Reading fanfiction is a great hobby for me.  It’s a break when I am busy, a distraction when I am stressed.  But I admit I am not easy to please.  As a writer, a solid piece of fanfiction has to be well structured with a solid plot, loyal to the characters and edgy enough to keep me reading.  Otherwise, I am so out of there.

My new fantastic guilty pleasure—as you already know if you read my facebook wall—is Law and Order: SVU.  I am all about the Elliot Stabler/Olivia Benson pairing (“EO” in the SVU fandom).

I was pretty excited to start venturing into fanfiction for this show.  These characters are both so aggressive and well written already; Olivia Benson has to be one of the best female characters ever written.  She is tough, yet vulnerable.  She is independent, yet knows how to work with a partner.  Sadly, I have not yet found any good fanfiction on this pairing.  There a few authors—very, very few—that write this couple well.

Much of the fanfiction that exists on the EO pairing plays on a narrative in which Olivia is in some sort of hostage situation and inevitably raped, only to be rescued by Elliot as he helps her work through the trauma of rape.

Most of the writers in this fandom are women.  Every time I stumble on one of these rape narratives, I wonder what is really being constructed here, with so many women writing about rape and rescue.  Are the stories being told here by a collective outlet of women working through traditional gender roles or is this fanfiction a venue for women to voice their rape experiences?

Just wondering.


One thought on “Just wondering.

  1. samgerken says:

    Women that are active in fan fiction mostly seem to be voicing their rape experiences in their writing. Fan fiction is a means for fans to express their feelings that arise from a particular show. Though I have not become a member of fan fiction communities, I do confess that I have become an avid follower of a few TV shows. By following a TV show, I feel that one becomes very close to the characters on the show and their experiences. A quasi relationship forms between a fan and the fictional characters involved. Fans often share similar experiences to those that Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson investigate in Law and Order: SVU. The connection makes it much easier for a fan to create a rape narrative using Stabler and Benson. I feel the relationship that the fans create with the fictional characters makes it easier for them to reveal more emotional subjects. It provides somewhat of a comforting aspect for the fans. In my opinion, Olivia Benson is very important to the Law and Order: SVU fan fiction community, specifically the women who write about their rape experiences. She is not only a strong and reliable character but is very comforting to individuals affected by rape in the episodes. However, one could also consider the narratives merely a means for women fans to express their views on rape and rescue. Overall, it seems somewhat difficult to separate the fans’ love for Law and Order: SVU from their desire to express gender roles and relevant issues in their personal lives.

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