I cannot remember exactly when it happened, but I do remember my first contact with fanfiction. Or at least the first contact that I was aware of anyhow. I was maybe 13 years old, let's say, and I wanted to find something that would quench my thirst of Harry Potter books when I was waiting for the next one to be published. I was fiddling with Google mindlessly, just to find something, something that I could read about the topic. Anything.
And then I found this interesting web page that had 12 chapters for me to read, with all of the familiar characters and written really well, I could not tell the difference. I found myself swallowed into the plot, reading and reading obsessively (yes, just like Chris wrote about the obsessive nature of fanfiction) and I just could not stop. I remember dreaming about the story too. Just like with the original Potter books. When I had read all of the 12 chapters, I found myself facing the same problem again: nothing to read. I was disappointed.
But still, even though I was disappointed, I was happy that I had found this piece of literature. Yes, I would say that it is literature, why not? Words on paper (or in this case, screen), there is a story, and it was also very well written. As it was pointed out in the article "What is Fanfiction?", the genre violates copyrights but to me, when the stories are written without an attempt to earn money with the names of the characters, there is no harm in it. I think fanfiction is only a way to show appreciation for the original. I mean, the obsessive nature of it is a sign that there are people who adore and are truly devoted to the original. It just shows that one seeks to honor and pay homage to something he or she appreciates and has brought joy to his or her life. And that is indeed something worth of praise.
This ended up being an incoherent ramble about the awesomeness of fanfiction, sorry about that. But I mean,who could not see the greatness in Hermione having a secret relationship with Draco, or Harry and Draco's homoerotic escapades? It is just too juicy to put aside. The downside raises it's head, however, when you open the new Harry Potter book and find yourself wondering why Harry is not cuddling Draco anymore...