How To

Unleash Your Inner Fangirl!

Yash Kesanakurthy

Staff Writer

Somewhere between starting her schooling in Saudi Arabia and finishing high school in Singapore, Yash Kesanakurthy realized that she disliked school. It was the fateful move to Vancouver, Canada for a BA in Economics (which, surprise, didn't pan out) that led her to the MA program in Children's Literature at UBC. She had fun immersing herself into the academia of children's literature but nothing beat the joy of writing for The Book Wars, being able to set aside classics and pay attention to the culture of contemporary YA. And now, everything is PB/MG/YA and nothing hurts. Well, some things hurt but nothing her bookshelf can't fix. Currently, she is working on her own YA fantasy novel and an all-ages picturebook. Her life goals include: getting a pet dog, getting published, and presenting you dear readers and Rioters with posts that engage and entertain. (Maybe not in that order?) Blog: The Book Wars Twitter: @SeeYashTweet

See, I have zero units of chill when talking about things that have captured my imagination. As I begin to talk and my eyes do their best impressions of stars, I can see the light fade away from my friends’ eyes. I am lucky to have patient friends and I am lucky to have impatient friends who love me enough to not bludgeon me with my heaviest book.

Thing is, I know I would be worse—so painfully worse—if I didn’t try to stop my inner fangirl into becoming a very obnoxious, outer fangirl. So, I came up with my “Be Cool, Fangirl” plan*:

  1. Make New Friends: That’s right, life is too short for friends who secretly hate you. Cut ‘em out of your life! *ahem* Kidding! Just kidding! What I mean is, the Internet is a great way to find someone who is in the same stage of fangirling as you are. Whether you encounter GIF-y reaction posts, headcanons, reviews, fan art, magnetic poetry fanfiction—all it takes is a reblog with tags or a few complimentary words in their inbox and you will find yourself with someone who will feed off of your passion and vice verse. Next thing you know you are both plotting a story together and making plans to have coffee IRL.
  2. Fannish Contributions (Part 1): It doesn’t have to be something dishearteningly difficult or even very obviously fannish. It could just be playlists with songs that remind you of the books or the characters. These playlists can be vaguely titled. These playlists could be entirely made up of Taylor Swift songs. These playlists can be shared with unsuspecting friends. At which point you can forget about the plan to Be Cool and POUNCE! No, wait, this is the opposite of what this plan is supposed to be. Hm. Ignore that last bit!
  • Fannish Contributions (Part 2): You could, of course, go all out. You need a new way to express your love for a fictional being? Learn a new skill! Say it in song! Say it in knitting! Say it by strapping yourself to a moving vehicle and playing a flaming guitar!! Or, uh, something safer … like chalk-drawings? See, this way, even if your love for the story withers away, you will have a new skill to impress your friends with. Especially if you can do the flaming guitar thing. I mean, that is real talent.
  • Magic … Baking Powder: I am fortunate enough to have friends who are pretty much always up for recreating goodies from books. If you aren’t though, I guess you could always trick your friends into helping you bring some aspect of the books to life? You just need to find good excuses as to why the chocolate needs to be frog shaped, or why the bread ought to be wrapped in leaves.
  • Note-Taking: If you are someone who enjoys writing your own fiction, then maybe you can turn your fangirling into researching. How did the author manage to get you so attached to these characters? How did the author surprise you, despite all the foreshadowing? How are still crying about that one character death?? Dissect your love! Study its anatomy! Make a list!

    Alternatively, you could just toss the plan and unleash your inner fangirl. Being cool does not have to mean pretending to be someone you are not. I mean, to some extent, the most thrilling part about reading is opening yourself up to someone else’s words and giving those words a home inside yourself. Some books are just a part of who I am, just like other books are a part of my friends—even if my friends may not wear their hearts on their sleeves in quite the same way. That said, *twirls moustache* perhaps this only means their inner fangirl needs a little tug from my outer one …

    *Results may vary.