I've been a Kuroshitsuji/Black Butler fan for several years now. As I can no longer afford to buy manga I am stuck at Volume 13. I have watched all of the anime, even the OVAS. Even that really weird fanservice one that has Sebastian leaning over and trying to take the viewer's hand, etc. I wonder, was I the only one who finds Sebastian sexy who was kind of creeped out by that thing?
Anyway, having exhausted every official resource, I have turned to fan art and fanfiction with an increasing intensity. I have been amazed at the amount of talent lurking out there, and admittedly also at the very weird and terrible things that some feel they need to inflict on the public. Just as it is incredibly exciting to find a writer who beautifully captures my favourite characters and invents fascinating scenarios for them, it feels something like a sacrilege to come across those horribly-spelled, half-punctuated tales that involve the author travelling back in time and becoming Sebastian's wife. And don't get me started about most of the "poems!"
Overall, the experience has been very positive. I have come to understand characters in new ways that give me insight into actual humanity. The depictions of Grell Sutcliff (my favourite), have been especially helpful in that respect. I feel as though I am starting to connect to some of the writers through the reviews and messages, though I am very shy at the thought of much interaction with people who are so gifted! They are my new celebrities, since I don't really have many "real celebrities" to lionize.
I have even been inspired to start writing my own fanfiction with my own original character--oh yes, there will be more about her later. I promise she will NOT be me, though she will share my favourite colour. And she will not be a Mary Sue, or Sebastian's future wife. I promise.
The problem with all of this is probably obvious to anyone already hooked on fanfiction. But in case you are not, let me spell it out. I had started a challenge to read 125 books this year on Goodreads and was pretty much on schedule. Until now. Now I am about 12 books behind. I am reading, but obviously, fanfiction doesn't count, no matter how well-written it is. I am in the middle of something like 7 books and almost never finish one. One reason is that I keep losing books before I can finish reading them (I am starting to think I will never be an organized person). The other is fanfiction.
The other problem is that most of these stories are published in installments. So the reader goes and gets all interested in the story and then it stops until the author has time to post more. Sometimes that never happens. Being left hanging drives me crazy! I know these writers are very busy and have many other things to do, so I'm not blaming them. I'm just expressing frustration.
If you are interested in venturing into the world of fanfiction, let me just issue one warning: make sure you understand the terminology before picking a story. For example, you will need to know what the word "yaoi" means! And "lemon." And if it says "non-con" that means rape. Knowing the terms can help you to avoid specific things that you don't want to read about or find stories that are about your favourite concepts. Expect some really awful stuff, but be prepared to be impressed as well. For me the journey has been worth it.
Do you read fanfiction? If so, do you have a favourite author you would like to share? Post your experience in the comments!