A Real Reflection of How I Write: Young Adult Female Authors Seizing Agency Through Fan Fiction
Type of DegreeThesis
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This research project examines 'fan fiction' (stories based upon existing texts such as movies, books, and video games) written by a young adult female and posted online for others to read. The research was conducted in order to determine how this author uses fan fiction to achieve agency, that is to gain power over existing texts which traditionally marginalize people of her gender and age group. The project also speculates on how fan fiction is currently used and might be used more effectively in curricular English composition assignments. This project analyzes in detail two fan fiction stories about male characters, authored by a young adult female. Besides a close reading of each of these stories-- one written for a curricular assignment, and one written on the author’s own initiative-- the project also includes interviews with the author via email which ask her explicitly about her motivation for writing and other areas on which this project focuses. The results of the research are that the author gains agency through her fan fiction by manipulating the type of character who is often used to marginalize her age and gender groups; however her agency is limited when she writes fan fiction for assignments in her English courses. The project calls for further research on the fan fiction of young adult females, young adults who write in the same genre of fan fiction as the research subject, and curricular fan fiction. It also calls for instructors to lift or alter restraints to fan fiction assignments, including limitations on word count, plot, title, and content.