If Literary Characters Wrote Fanfiction
This is a guest post from Carolina Ciucci. Carolina is a book-hoarding, coffee-drinking, wine-loving professional bustler. Lit student, English/Spanish teacher, European Lit TA, @PixelProject volunteer. She never saw a project she didn’t like. Follow her on Twitter @wutheringreads.
Ever wondered what famous literary characters would write if they happened to stumble upon fanfiction? It’s no secret that what is now called fanfiction was considered to be a genuine literary practice for centuries (hello, Shakespeare), with a large portion of it being Real People Fic filled to the brim with self-insert (say hi to Virgil for me, Dante!) But as new concepts like originality and plagiarizing made an appearance in the world of “serious” literature, the art of writing stories featuring real people or other authors’ characters lost all respectability.
Lately, we’ve seen a turnaround of this trend. The reimagining and retelling of famous stories can be found in any bookstore or library these days. Nobody bats an eyelash about it anymore – provided that it’s not termed with the oh-so-dreadful term of fanfiction. But I digress: my point is that fanfiction has a long background in literature, and it’s not so much of a stretch to imagine some of our beloved characters jumping on the bandwagon. Particularly these characters, all of whom are known for a flair for the dramatic.
So, the question remains. What would they write about?
Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights
Heathcliff loathes calling it fanfiction, but he writes detailed RPF in which he beats Edgar up and is fawned over by an awe-struck Catherine. The paragraphs below are a fragment of his first draft.
He thought he would die, so fierce was the pain he felt upon watching his beloved, his other half very soul turn from him and to Edgar Linton. Linton! No more than a wet boy who would rather sit indoors and sniffle than follow such a goddess Catherine in her rambles. And yet she had chosen him!
But not for long. Oh no, Linton was too much of a weakling to keep a woman like Catherine Earnshaw content for long. He lacked her passion, passion that he, Heathcliff, had in spades. His idea to woo and marry Linton’s sister had been a stroke of genius. Cathy would surely see what she was missing now that he’d added yet another irrevocable barrier between them.
He had only to wait.
Pip, Great Expectations
Pip writes self-insert fic in an Indiana Jones movie-esque story pairing himself off with Estella. These are some notes he compiled while waiting for Mr. Jagger one morning.
- Estella realizes what a tremendous mistake she made by giving up Pip, that most devoted of lovers. She determines to woo him back, lest she end up like Miss Havisham. The idea that she might fall in love with someone else doesn’t even cross her mind. How could she, when Pip was most handsome a paragon among men?
- But Pip isn’t willing to risk his all-too-sensitive heart again. Instead, he decides to give up all his worldly goods and join an expedition to India. He never expected for Estella to follow him… or to find himself tangled up in a mystery of prophecies, curses and treasures.
- Can Pip forgive and forget? WILL ESTELLA PROVE HERSELF WORTHY OF HIS LOVE?
Count Dracula, Dracula
Nobody holds the current vampire trend in more contempt than Count Dracula. He spends a good portion of his days (what else is he to do, that damn Harker boy is a ways off yet) writing parody fic of all those vamps falling in love with teens.
He was immortal, and immoral. There was a certain pleasure in that, God knew, but oh, all of that changed when he met her. Her. That one girl who managed somehow to meet the standards of beauty in every culture and historical period; surpass them, even. She wasn’t like other girls, she was perennially fashionable.
He sneaked into her chambers once, ran a finger down her cheek as she slept peacefully. Or not? Her eyes opened and she drew up in bed, hair perfectly smooth despite having lain in bed for hours. It was then, noting the glassy-eyed expression on her face, that this 746 year old vampire lost his heart, and his craving for blood – biology and mythology be damned, to the sixteen year old girl who watched him, fangs and all, and didn’t scream for help. Could it be that she saw redemption in his red-rimmed eyes? What other possible reason could she have for keeping quiet?
The idea of her simply being in shock was out of the question.
What characters do you think would be prone to writing fanfiction? And what would they write?