Today, there are literally 100’s of Jane Austen prequels, sequels, retellings, reimagining’s and inspired by published books. Prior to 1995, there were just a few dozen in print. Why the explosion? Blame it on the incredible popularity of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini-series and the availability in our own homes of the Internet. The time and temperament were ripe for Jane Austen mania to sweep in and motivate budding authors to write stories inspired by our witty muse of the modern novel, Jane Austen.
Wondering what fanfiction, or fan fiction, or JAFF is? Generally, they are fictional stories written by fans of a movie, TV series or book that are either published on the Internet or are developed into a novel in a printed or digital book. If they are on the Internet they are published at fanfiction web sites (JAFF, or Jane Austen Fan Fiction web sites) by chapter installments. Readers can add comments as the story progresses and the writer can continue the story until they choose to end it.
There are generally two levels of engagement for authors of fanfiction: pleasure writers or aspiring novelist. Sometimes they are one-in-the same as budding writers discover that others greatly enjoy their stories and then choose to self-publish as a novel, or submit their story to a publisher for publication. Granted that the road to traditional publication can be quite long and arduous for an aspiring novelist, they can continue to write and publish fanfiction on the Internet to develop their readership. I have also seen some published authors post stories for feedback, or for their online fans. OK, this is getting complicated. An author writes fanfiction of their favorite author and then writes fanfiction of the fanfiction for their fans. Oh my!
Many of our popular Austenesque authors got their start at fanfiction web sites. Off the top of my head I can think of Abigail Reynolds of the Pride and Prejudice Variations series, Pamela Aidan of the Fitzwilliam Darcy Gentleman series, Marsha Altman of the Darcys and Bingleys series and Sharon Lathan of the Darcy Saga series, to name a few. Lately, I have noticed that more and more Jane Austen fanfiction writers are moving from Internet fan boards to the printed medium. This is encouragement enough to opine that the fanfiction boards are producing quality work with great potential.
If you would like to check out current stories by Jane Austen fanfiction authors, I highly recommend these web sites. Follow this link to my list of Jane Austen fanfiction websites including:
- 50 Miles of Good Road
- An Austen Interlude
- Austen Underground
- Derbyshire Writers’ Guild
- Jane Austen Fanfiction
- Jane Austen Fanfiction Index
- Mrs. Darcy’s Story Site
- The Bennet Girls
- The Meryton Assembly
- The Republic of Pemberley Bits of Ivory
© 2010 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose