Someone Else's Kink!, Issue 0
As I prepare my first volume of Someone Else's Kink!, I figured I should clarify what exactly SEK! is and why I'm writing it. Here's the thing: there is no such thing as bad fan fiction. Someone Else's Kink! isn't a subjective review series. It isn't a bunch of articles where I tear apart fan fiction, complain how poorly they're written, mock their grammar, and make myself feel superior. Someone Else's Kink! is about analyzing the artistic merit and authorial intent behind what would be considered fringe writing. It's about figuring out why a writer would find it important to tell the story they did, regardless of how that story is structured or what the language looks like. Often, the people writing fan fiction, certainly of the kind I'll be reading, are young or neuro-atypical. It is not my job to tell them why what they've done is wrong. I simply want to explore why they cared enough about their stories to write them down and share them on the Internet.

Fan fiction, for so many of us, was a gateway to exploring ourselves through the media we love and were raised on. For neuro-atypical people, like myself, it was a way to tell stories and express empathy when the world told me I shouldn't be able to. For queer people, it's a way to express who you are safely, without repercussions. In a society that lambasts people for being who they are, it's easier to see Yugi Mutou as gay than it is yourself. You can explore who you are and who you want to be by making the characters you love become that person for you, at least for a little while.

When you're dealing with pre-established stories and characters, plugging them into scenarios that you imagine is so much easier than inventing new people and their entire world. Telling stories with existing characters allows writers to subvert existing narratives in ways that make sense to them. Reading fan fiction allows a reader to learn how other people digest and understand media in a way that's immensely powerful. It teaches you about the limits and gravity of existing stories and it teaches you about the writers themselves. Fan fiction lets you discover what these writers find important, how they see a story, and how they relate to particular characters.

My mission is to explore fan fiction in a deep and meaningful way to learn something about the people who write it. I'm going to be reading some fan fiction that's subjectively "poor". There will be grammar mistakes, and when quoting the work of these authors, I'll be keeping these mistakes intact. I'll be overlooking them. That's not the point. There is no substance in talking about how poorly written someone's work is, at least, not in this context. Regardless how incorrect the grammar is, regardless of how a story's structure might need some work, what I want to explore is why a writer would want to tell a particular story. These writers thought it was important enough to share with all of us and I want it to be clear that I'm thankful they did.

This post is up for everyone, but remember: Someone Else's Kink! is exclusive to my Patreon backers at the $5 level until I compile the first few volumes into a zine with a potential physical edition. First volume drops in the next day or so. I can't help myself, so I chose a SonTails fanfic as my first subject. Sit back and hold onto something cuz I've got a lot to say about this one.