A Beginner's Guide to Fandom: A Fangirl's Perspective











In addition to fanfiction, fanvids are one of the most common creative projects that fans take part in. A fanvid, or fan-made video, is pretty much exactly what it sounds like- a video made by a fans for or about their fandom’s TV show or film. In many respects it’s similar to fanfiction in goals, but it uses visual and auditory cues rather than the written word.

Henry Jenkins commented on fanvids in a response to a widely circulated Star Trek fanvid. He commented that they have become much more common in recent years due to technology making it easier not only to make videos (using digital software) but to distribute them (using sites like YouTube). He noted:

“YouTube is the place right now where work travels from one grassroots community or subculture to another. There are real advantages to such a site since it results in cross-influences and more innovation, experimentation, and diversity, yet there are also losses to this process of decoupling amateur media from its original contexts of production and consumption.”

As with fanfiction, fanvids viewed by people outside the fandom can misinterpret or simply not understand what the fan is saying or why in the video. This is particularly true involving videos depicting romantic or sexual relationships. However, some fans have taken the technology posing this potential problem and turned it into a positive fandom project. A YouTube channel, Are You Watching Supernatural, contributes to fandom by making short promotional videos of Supernatural designed to attract more viewers to the show. Fans enjoy them because they are well-made videos that echo literary and social themes in the show and emphasize reasons Supernatural is great to watch. However, by targeting non-fans, the videos are also able to reach across the social lines a closed fan community can sometimes create in order to connect with those unfamiliar with the show and the customs and practices of fandom.

In addition to promotion of the fandom, fanvids let fans tell visual stories using methods unavailable to the fanfic writer. The combination of picture and sound produces a different effect on the viewer than a story does in its reader. For example, the video below (by KrokiRefur) edits clips from Supernatural of the characters’ car and pairs it with a song about a car-turned-serial-killer. A fanfic of this nature would be difficult to take seriously, but the video works because of the way she put it together.

This kind of video is what Jenkins calls a “constructed reality” video. The most sophisticated fanvids are not the ‘music video’ equivalent of a TV show or movie; instead, they use digital media to create an original story. As he puts it,

“…It creates a new story by linking together shots from the original series as opposed to using those shots simply to interpret or provide an alternative emotional perspective on events already depicted in the aired episodes.”

Another option afforded to fanvids unavailable to fanfiction is commentary on the show or movie’s cinematic style in the show’s own medium. For example, Ash is a fan who made this video to link Supernatural to various film traditions it employs in the show.

The resulting video is both entertaining and thoughtful to watch, as she uses the video to comment on Supernatural’s visual and historical ties to the Western, horror and film noir genres.

Recommendations

Searching on YouTube with a TV show or movie as the keyword is a quick way to discover many, many fanvids. One simpler way to do it, however, would be to use ‘vid rec’ communities such as this one, which is specific to Supernatural, or this one, which has multiple fandoms represented.

I would also recommend Deirdre-C’s fanvids. She ranges from funny to serious and is very good about matching clips to appropriate audio. She also has an ongoing list of recommendations which are helpful for me. I’ve found that often the best people to recommend fanvids are those who make videos themselves; they’re attuned to the visual cues which make a video great that I might only be subliminally aware of.



{October 12, 2009}   Wiki Wiki Wiki!

I’m sure many of you have heard of Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia. While it’s arguably the most famous of its kind, Wikipedia is only a single example of a wiki- a Web site created, updated and maintained by Internet users. Wikis represent a collaborative effort between many people who visit and contribute to the site.

Henry Jenkins recently recommended the new issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, which included an article on wiki fandom and Lostpedia, the largest wiki for the TV show “Lost.” Author Jason Mittell notes:

“The basic definition of a wiki—a Web site that can be edited by its users via a simple Web interface—suggests a structure that privileges particular possibilities of use and creation. While wikis can be used on a small scale to allow a closed community of writers to collaborate, such as in a class, an office, or an organization, a wiki becomes exponentially more robust as its base of editors expands, as with Wikipedia, the world’s most famous wiki.”

In other words, when fans come together in increasing numbers, they can create an impressive project that could never be done by one person. Fandom wikis often act as a catalogue for the canon of a TV show, book, etc. (Canon is the published or broadcasted factual information for the show, including plotlines as well as things like interviews with the authors and pictures of the actors.) This serves as a wealth of information, but because anyone can contribute it can sometimes be chaotic, as Mittell says:

“Wiki content can appear and disappear according to a single user’s preferences, rather than by consensus or as a result of debate, even when a clear policy on such changes has been established—and often such changes are left in place, simply because nobody within the community notices the edit. While any wiki does reflect a version of consensus among the editing community at a given time, it is important to note that it is often a passively accepted status quo rather than an actively negotiated agreement. Active and vocal editors will be able to trump less forceful and less active users, even if their preferences or opinions are not widely shared.”

Fandom wikis, such as Lostpedia, differ significantly from sites like Wikipedia in that they allow users to add their own creative content beyond the bare facts. For example, it may allow such original research including examination of themes or analysis of storytelling devices. This is where fandom really shines: they can offer creative interpretations, theories and interconnections that enrich the viewing or reading experience.

superwiki

Supernatural has a very active wiki known as Superwiki, which has a Twitter account as well. It serves not only as an information source for the show but for the Supernatural fandom as well. It catalogues interviews in the press with the show’s actors, writers and producers by season; it also has an academic articles page that links to published texts on issues such as gender and narrative within Supernatural.

What is truly notable about Lostpedia, Superwiki and other fandom wikis is that they offer information as well as a chance for dialogue. Other modes of discussion such as forums or blogs are limited by storage space, decentralization (not everyone has a LiveJournal account, for example) and the inability to widely circulate theories without becoming chaotic. Once fans start to build up the content and membership of a wiki, it can become a more universal place for a fandom to congregate, speculate and discuss at length the material it shares an interest in.



Ashley Flattery is not a groupie.

The 20-year-old French major at the University of Florida, a friend I met nearly a year ago, is involved in bandom, a subset of general fandom that follows bands instead of a TV show, book or movie series. She follows Panic! at the Disco, but general bandom also includes Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Cobra Starship, The Hush Sound and The Academy Is… [Note: the ellipsis is part of the name].

Ashley Flattery

Ashley Flattery

“If you divided up all the bands, you’d have crossovers all over the place, so it’s just simpler to say bandom,” she said.

Her activities in bandom include reading fanfiction, following blogs of both band members themselves and other fangirls, and doing internet memes. She also goes to band performances when she can.

“Since bandom does have a live show component, you can meet up to go to a show together, and I’ve met a few friends that way,” she said.

According to Flattery, bands often cater to members of bandom because they became popular in the first place largely due to their internet following.

“They play it up,” she said. “It’s kind of a marketing ploy for them.”

Bandom is different from the nature of other fandoms because they are based on real people rather than fictional characters and situations.

“It’s a real person fandom, so generally we’re considered the creepy stalker person in fandom,” she said.

She feels this characterization is unfair, however.

“With regular celebrities, stalking kind of implies showing up at their house at 3 o’clock in the morning with a video camera,” she said. “Stalking in the context of bands involves keeping up with blogs and Twitter.”

While there are occasionally people who fit that stalker stereotype, Flattery said they are shunned by the rest of bandom.

“Because bandom doesn’t have the fourth wall like others do, we try to create one,” she said, “and that includes not showing up at people’s houses at 3 o’clock in the morning and not mentioning fanfiction to the artists.”

While people in fandom may write or create things that aren’t rated PG, Flattery said fangirls often have a strong sense of what is appropriate when interacting with band members. For example, she cited the case of a fan comic called The Gay Starfish about an obviously fictional relationship between two male My Chemical Romance members.

“It was extremely popular to the point that the author published it online,” she said. “However, she found out that a fan took that comic and made the band members aware of it. It’s at that point that she basically shut it down.”

Flattery said what she enjoys most about bandom are the amazing people in it. She feels the online community greatly enriches her life in unique ways because of the solid relationships built over the years.

“It’s a dimension that most people who aren’t in a fandom don’t understand at all,” she said.

While the bands were the fangirls’ catalyst, bandom continues because of the people involved.

“Originally, it was just the shared interest of the band, but now it’s become more about the community.”



One of my personal heroes, Larry Lessig, gave a talk to TED in 2007. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a nonprofit devoted to discussing and implementing ‘Ideas Worth Spreading.’ While not specifically addressing fanfiction, Lessig talks about some of the legal issues surrounding user-generated content on the internet, including remixes and fan-made videos. The video is 18 minutes long and worth every second. (Here’s a transcript, but I recommend watching, as he shows several videos.)

“In my view the most significant thing to recognize about what this Internet is doing, is its opportunity to revive the read-write culture that Sousa romanticized. Digital technology is the opportunity for the revival of these vocal chords that he spoke so passionately to Congress about. User-generated content, spreading in businesses in extraordinarily valuable ways like these, celebrating amateur culture. By which I don’t mean amateurish culture, I mean culture where people produce for the love of what they’re doing and not for the money. I mean the culture that your kids are producing all the time. For when you think of what Sousa romanticized in the young people together, singing the songs of the day, of the old songs, you should recognize what your kids are doing right now. Taking the songs of the day and the old songs and remixing them to make them something different.”

What he says here comprises the essence of fandom- taking something you see and remixing it purely out of love and not for profit. Fans create their own culture when they produce new and meaningful content to share freely with each other, and any person with internet access can join in.

Where this can get problematic is when extremists on both sides of the copyright law debate get involved. After all, fans are technically writing about characters someone else owns. But what constitutes ‘fair use’ in a world where digital copies are free, instantaneous and widely available? Lessig advocates two changes to the way we think about copyrights as they apply to user-generated content (i.e. fanfiction):

“First, that artists and creators embrace the idea; choose that their work be made available more freely. So, for example, they can say their work is available freely for non-commercial, this amateur-type of use, but not freely for any commercial use. And second, we need the businesses that are building out this read-write culture to embrace this opportunity expressly, to enable it, so that this ecology of free content, or freer content can grow on a neutral platform where they both exist simultaneously, so that more-free can compete with less-free, and the opportunity to develop the creativity in that competition can teach one the lessons of the other.”

This common-sense approach is one of the best proposals I’ve heard yet. Viewing user-generated content in fandom as a potential source of creativity rather than a threat to revenue benefits everyone. John Rogers, the creator of TNT’s “Leverage,” has an open-minded view regarding fanfiction (his response to this particular question is about halfway down the page):

“I think what TV/corporate media had wrong for a long time was how they understood the idea of a “water cooler show.” They saw it as making the audience talk about their show, on their terms. So any fan-created media is them losing control of their material. I see this more as the natural evolution of culture in a shared digital age. I will be blunt — other than the satisfaction of our own creative urges (and all that entails: the quest for perfection, artistry, craft, etc), our job in media is to give you stuff to talk about in your conversations, to integrate into your social circle in whatever way you see fit.”

Writers should embrace fandom’s creative possibilities and stop worrying about how to dictate the terms under which people like their material. Otherwise, their unrealized potential will be all that’s left to comfort them when the digital culture leaves them behind.



{September 28, 2009}   Fanfiction, Part 3: The Crossover

Another popular type of fanfiction is the crossover. In my opinion, it’s one of the more interesting types of fanfic out there in terms of creativity and fandoms. A crossover, simply put, is the combination of two or more fandoms in one story. It comes from the idea of one character, plotline, etc. ‘crossing over’ into another. It’s similar to the idea of the AU (alternate universe), but instead of being a generically ‘different’ environment, the story mixes two specific fandoms together.

Popular ways of doing this include having characters from two different worlds interact. ‘What would happen if Spock met Harry Potter?’, for instance, or ‘If Buffy Summers met Edward Cullen, would they get along?’ This can be motivated from the author’s sense of curiosity (they could be wildly different characters), or it could have deeper literary significance because of some perceived similarity or productive interaction between the characters. One example that comes to mind is of Frodo Baggins and Harry Potter, who have similar character issues involving magical temptation and heavy burdens. Instead of (or in addition to) character interactions, crossover writers may also choose to insert plotlines or worlds from other fandoms. For some of the more thoughtful pieces, this goes beyond the matter of superficial environments and into questions of social commentary, moral decisions or character study. If Captain Kirk found himself with the One Ring, would he be tempted to use it? Could his tendency toward arrogance overcome his sense of moral duty?

Crossover fanfic is great for those who enjoy multiple TV shows, books and movies. Fandom operates by Murphy’s Law: if you think of it, then someone has written it. There are a lot of high-quality crossovers available, probably because the kind of person drawn to mixing and matching fandoms is more able to extrapolate the motivations and nuances of multiple kinds of characters. After all, they’ve taken the extra creative step of writing fiction for not one fandom but two (or more) simultaneously.

Recommendations

Fanfiction.net lets you search crossovers by wildly variant tags, including Greek mythology, musicals and cartoons. The homepage also has a box that has listings by medium, such as comics, movies and television.

LiveJournal has many different communities dedicated to crossovers. As with all fanfic, pay attention to the author’s notes and warnings before clicking on a link to a story; that’s the best way to avoid unwanted or uncomfortable stories. Note: sometimes you’ll find the same story in several places because authors have posted their stories to multiple communities.

Also, individual fans, whether on Livejournal or other Web sites, will often recommend fics they enjoy to their friends and the general public. Livejournal user daanae has a rather extensive list of crossovers from multiple fandoms. She notes the stories’ fandoms and  ratings on the page; she also gives a basic summary of the story and why she liked it, so you can get a sense of what the fic will be like before you click on it.

Again, as with other fanfiction, if you come across an author you like, read the stories he or she reads and recommends. You’re likely to have similar taste.



I’m starting a mini-series within my fanfiction series on fanfic genres. As with other literature, there are many different genres of fanfiction, but a few are more common than others. While not an exhaustive list, I’ll be going over the ones most often seen in fandom. Today’s topic: the alternate universe, often abbreviated AU.

photo credit: Shenghung Lin on Flickr

photo credit: Shenghung Lin on Flickr

Note: the picture is a reference to the butterfly effect, an idea stemming from chaos theory that adjusting small actions can lead to an entirely different universe.

The idea of an alternate or parallel universe is not a new one. The basic idea is that writers take the main concept of their show (or book, or movie) and transplant it into another environment. This can be a literal environment: fans of a 1970’s buddy cop show might write an AU in which the characters live their lives as sheriffs in the Old West, for example. It can also be a different metaphorical environment: the  world may be the same, but AU writers may create a world in which personal circumstances have been altered. Basically, it’s a ‘what if’ scenario: What if person A didn’t die after all? What if person B chose this path instead of another? The possibilities are endless because the author purposely sets out to break with the established literary canon (that is, officially published/broadcast/sanctioned work) in at least one and often multiple respects.

Why is it that fans write alternate universes when they could easily stick to already established situations? Simple- the power of creativity. AU authors seek to explore characters, themes or relationships beyond what they have been given. They do not limit themselves but rather push the objects of their fandom into new territories. Henry Jenkins, a transmedia scholar, notes this explanation from a fanfic writer on his blog:

“I find that fandom can be extremely creative because we have the ability to keep changing our characters and giving them new life over and over. We can kill and resurrect them as often as we like. We can change their personalities and how they react to situations. We can take a character and make him charming and sweet or coldblooded and cruel. We can give them an infinite, always-changing life rather than the single life of their original creation. We have given ourselves license to do whatever we want and it’s very liberating….”

In the “Supernatural” fandom, I recommend Minkmix’s fanfiction. She has several single stories as well as an ongoing AU series. Her master list is categorized by theme, so each link takes you to a listing of all the stories in that category. AU stories are so noted at the top of each page. Her writing is excellent and has a lot of variety of story type, including humurous slice-of-life stories as well as longer, plot-driven stories. Additionally, there are plenty of AU stories on fanfiction.net, but some are of higher quality than others.



{September 20, 2009}   The Fandom/Twitter Saga Continues

In my last post, I explained how a misunderstanding between “Supernatural” fans and Twitter users caused a confrontation between fans using the #luciferiscoming hashtag and followers of P. Diddy using the #godishere tag, leading both to be banned from appearing on the Twitter Trending Topics list. While this was unfortunate, I felt like the publicity generated (as well as the continued use of the #Supernatural tag) was an overall positive example of the collective power of fandom to promote the show.

Misha Collins, a regular actor on the show with a large Twitter following, has continued to comment on the situation. I should note that his tweets are frequently sarcastic and silly, and his comments should be taken with a grain of salt. For example: he calls his Twitter followers “minions” and frequently references his plans to use them for world domination. Additionally, when P. Diddy started his #godishere rally, Collins challenged him to a cupcake-eating contest on horseback. Since the incident I previously described, Collins advocated Supernatural fans using the tags #pdiddyisscaredofhistv and #Twitterisafraidofmishasminions.

This BuddyTV article by John Kubicek has good evidence that Twitter banned these from their Trending Topics as well, since they do not appear on the list despite having enough mentions to do so. I’m going to come right out and say it: good for Twitter.

I’m the first person to admit I follow Misha Collins on Twitter; he’s hilarious. I also praise the Supernatural fandom for using Twitter to promote the show. However, these tags are not promotion; they represent a confrontation with P. Diddy and his followers that brings no real benefit to the show. In fact, there’s more potential for harm than for benefit because this kind of collective action amounts to a large-scale personal attack that fans shouldn’t be encouraged to engage in.

Twitter’s recently updated Terms of Service page makes it pretty clear it doesn’t condone personal attacks against other users, so Twitter is perfectly justified in banning these activities or even suspending users who repeatedly attack others. Think about it: if you’re doing something against the site’s policy, it’s not only harmful to you but to the cause you support. If other users see Supernatural fans being suspended for their online activities, how does that reflect positively on the show?

Kubicek sums it up perfectly:

“The lesson from this week is probably that while it is pretty darn funny, petty feuds and catty hash tags aren’t the way to go if you want Supernatural to dominate the Trending Topic list.”

By using its collective power to launch attacks on other users (even if it starts out as a well-meaning joke), fandom is wasting the technological potential a site like Twitter has to offer. Fans have the chance to reach a very wide audience, so don’t waste it by proving that every bad stereotype about screaming, crazy fangirls is true.



I’m taking a break from the series on fanfiction to address a recent phenomenon in my fandom. The season premiere for Supernatural was Thursday, September 10, and several fans of the show decided to try to get a Supernatural-related tag onto Twitter’s trending topics in order to promote the show. Since last season’s finale ended with the beginning of the Apocalypse (a storyline a long time in the making), they chose the tag #luciferiscoming, along with #supernatural and a few others.

Thanks to fans worldwide, #luciferiscoming and #supernatural made it to the top of the trending topics list:

photo credit to supernaturalwiki.com

photo credit to supernaturalwiki.com

Once at the top, it naturally received a fair amount of attention, as fans intended. Unfortunately, however, some people who didn’t know the show’s context interpreted the tags as the work of religious people, rather than fans. Rapper P. Diddy led a large group that reacted by promoting the tag #godishere. The subsequent clash led Twitter to stop posts with God and Lucifer tags from appearing in their trending topics.

The story was mentioned in many national news outlets. One of two important points, in my opinion, was that much of the uproar happened because people didn’t know and didn’t seek out the context for the tag. An article on Associated Content says:

“Those who actually knew why the tag was so popular were easy to spot. They also used the #Supernatural tag in their tweets, indicating the name of the show which caused this mass hysteria.”

and

“A very simple search of the tag which is on clear display under trending topics would show what all the fuss is about, but people do not seem inclined to do this.”

A second important point was that unconventional or not, fans managed to gather a lot of attention for the show. Eclipsed Magazine put it eloquently:

“This massive push by fans to promote the show garnered a lot of buzz and attention among many people who are active on Twitter and no doubt brought more attention to the premiere. It also goes to prove a personal point of my own, which is that scattering things on numerous LJ’s doesn’t have the kind of impact of fan based promotion for the show as it does when fans and viewers come together in one central location, easily accessible by other fans, media and those involved directly with Supernatural. When everyone comes together on one place, it creates a more cohesive force and gets more voices of support heard.”

This story overall serves as an example of what can happen when fans and popular culture interact. On the one hand, many people (as P. Diddy shows) misinterpret their actions because they fail to understand their underlying context. Often, a simple search will help explain what on the surface appears to be extreme.

On the other hand, as Eclipsed noted, fans can do far bigger things as a unified group than any one person could hope to accomplish. Fandom is not an exclusively inward-focused group. They seek to interact not only with each other but to collectively make an impact on the larger world. And I say, more power to them.



{September 9, 2009}   Fanfiction, Part 1

One of the most important elements of fandom is the work they create to celebrate it. Fans are all about user-generated content- visualizing, producing and editing creative works related to their favorite TV shows, movies and books. Fanfiction, commonly abbreviated as fic or fanfic, is one of the most common and well-known types of fan products.

Fanfiction differs from original fiction because authors are not using new material they have created themselves. Instead, they use the raw material from a book, TV show, etc. as a starting place to write their own story. Fanfiction, by definition, is a mixture of borrowed and original material since fans take what authors have given them and take it in new and different directions. Fans use the medium of fanfiction to explore characters and situations beyond what the film or book shows. For example, many fanfiction authors will put their favorite characters in situations which do not exist in the original canon in order to express how they think the characters might respond to different circumstances. Another common type of fanfiction is a story in which authors experiment by establishing or extrapolating a relationship between two or more characters.

Note: This is the first of several planned posts about fanfiction; I’ll go into more detail later about different types or genres of fic as well as some of the creative and legal issues fanfiction entails.

Where to Start Reading

Fanfiction.net is a site exclusively dedicated to fanfiction. They have communities, which are archives of user-selected favorites. The site also has a search function that divides stories by author, genre, maturity rating and fandom. I should note that as a site populated by non-professional writers (often younger people), it of course includes stories of dubious quality, but there are good, high-quality stories as well. I’ve found the best way to navigate the site is to find an author I enjoy and read the authors they list as favorites; usually good writers read other good writers.

Television Without Pity has a forum where members continually recommend specific stories they have read and enjoyed. Nearly all the stories listed there are of very high quality, so it’s a good place to discover authors who appeal to your taste. Each fandom has their own separate category on the site, so if you’re looking for a fandom other than Supernatural, you’ll need to click on the show you’re interested in under the “Forums” button on the site’s main menu. (For example, they also have a fanfiction recommendation page for The Office and House.)

LiveJournal has quite a few communities dedicated to all types of fanfiction. You can modify the search terms to look for a specific type of story, fandom, etc. Communities are useful because people post their own stories as well as recommend them. They are usually policed by a moderator, so the community usually has behavioral and screening standards.

Another Note: It’s very important that you read any authorial notes before you start to read a story. At the top of the page, fanfic writers put a brief paragraph of information about the story that includes its type, maturity rating and a brief summary. Authors warn for any explicit or adult content they may have in their fic as well as any spoilers they may include. (A spoiler is any information pertaining to the show that has not been aired or published yet, such as the identity of upcoming guest stars or future plotlines.) Authors often put the story under a cutline so a reader can see the description but must click on a link to read the actual fic.  Pay attention to the warnings at the top of the page. This will save you from accidentally viewing something you’re uncomfortable with or not interested in reading.

Remember: this is supposed to be fun! Approach fanfiction like any other literary genre- find what you like, and enjoy your reading.



{September 3, 2009}   My beginning as a fangirl

Have you ever heard of a Star Trek convention and thought, “I wonder what they do at those things?” Or maybe you’ve heard those kinds of fans are pretty weird and said to yourself, “Those people can’t possibly be normal- can they?”

I was once that person who looked at fans and thought, “I have no idea what that world’s all about.” Then, I started going online to look for things to read about my favorite TV show. I found insightful commentary, colorful characters and inspiring creativity. I was hooked.

The idea of fandom is that a group of people come together to celebrate a book, movie or TV show they care for. They talk about what makes it good, they speculate on what could happen or might have been, and they take what authors have given them to create their own artistic visions of the show. In the process, they enrich their own and others’ creative experiences with the material they love.

From an outside perspective, fandom can be intimidating. I was certainly unsure of myself when I started exploring what fandom was all about. But the more I saw, the more I was fascinated with this unique subculture. Are there ‘crazy’ people? Of course; there are a few nuts in every group, after all. In general, however, I’ve found most fans to be a group of passionate, fun-loving people who put a lot of time and effort into a hobby they love. Do fans engage in weird behaviors? By some standards, yes, but almost any group of people will do something that others see as strange.

Here in this blog, I’m going to outline some of the basic parts of fandom for the uninitiated. I’ll be looking at things like fan-created works (including fanfiction), the communities that fans build with each other and certain behaviors standard in online fandom that differ from behavior elsewhere. Much of my experience is with the fandom for the TV show Supernatural, a smaller show on the CW network about two brothers who fight ghosts and other monsters from American urban legends, but I’m also familiar with other fandoms. (I should note that fans aren’t always exclusive; they can be in several fandoms at once.) My goal is to make the idea of fandom less intimidating and foreign and to explain how it works for those of you who know nothing or only a little bit about fandom.

By many standards, I’m still a rookie in fandom. Despite this, I’m proud to call myself a fangirl, and I hope my experience helps you have a better understanding of what it means to be in a fandom.



et cetera