This bonus episode features Delia Gallegos of Black Girls Create, with whom I discuss what it’s like to read and write fanfic, including past shame regarding the practice and how to embrace its legitimacy. Woven within our praise of AUs, we hope to set listeners up for a better understanding of fanfiction before taking a deeper dive into the archives.
The fics mentioned in this episode are World Ain’t Ready by idiopathicsmile and The Barista, the Burglar, and the Sofa by SeasOfTrees. We also reference the Podfic version of The Barista, the Burglar, and the Sofa by xinasvoice for SeasOfTrees. All of these can be found on Ao3.
Talia Franks: Hello, and welcome to a special episode of Into the Archives. I’m here with a good friend of mine. Delia Gallegos. Delia has been a nerd longer than she has known the meaning of the word. Texas-born and raised, she’s a writer, an off-key singer, and journal enthusiast. When she’s not lamenting the lack of Ravenclaw representation in the Wizarding World, Delia enjoys nerding out over K-Dramas, Jane Austen, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, and anime. Delia, it’s great having you on the show.
Delia Gallegos: I’m excited to be here.
Talia Franks: I brought Delia on the show today, because while on a family zoom call, a few of my cousins brought up that they were going to listen to my podcast but had no idea what fanfiction was.
And I thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to talk about fanfiction as a thing and not just about, you know, individual fics and. Individual experiences with fanfiction?” Because if someone doesn’t actually know what fanfiction is, it’s going to be kind of confusing to just jump right in
Delia Gallegos: It. It would certainly be an adventure if you just jump in. No, no context. (Laughter)
Talia Franks: I mean, that’s kind of what some people I know do? I have a few friends who just read fanfics without actually having watched the original content, because
Delia Gallegos: I have done that before.
Talia Franks: they just love the chaos (wheezes)
Delia Gallegos: It is chaotic
Talia Franks: It’s very chaotic. But you know, that’s where we are sometimes. (wheezes again)
Delia Gallegos: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend it regularly, but I have done a time or too. It’s chaotic, but you, I, for me, it worked, I got into the series and, that, that, it worked for me. (Laughs)
Talia Franks: Well, you know, sometimes there’ve been a few things like a few shows and stuff that I’ve gotten into because I, read crossover fics with
Delia Gallegos: ahh, okay.
Talia Franks: And then I’m like, Oh, you know, that’s actually interesting. (Delia Laughs) I’m going to read that like, or I’m going to watch that just because that fic was so good. And then I like actually watched the thing and I’m like, Oh, See, the fic was better than that. (Both laughing)
Delia Gallegos: Yeah, that does happen a lot.
Talia Franks: And actually, Niq who’s in the first episode of, Into the Archives said that they often don’t like reading fanfic because it’s better than the show. And then they can’t enjoy the show. And you know what? I kind of see their point, but that’s why you just got to read more fanfic.
Delia Gallegos: Yeah. You just got to find an author or two, or find, you know, a hashtag on Tumblr that it’ll keep providing you with the content that you need.
You, you leave the show, the book, whatever the original source material is. You leave that behind that’s over. That’s canceled.
Talia Franks: Yeah, no. Yeah, no. That’s what, that’s see. That’s my thing with Harry Potter, like Harry Potter canceled. Harry Potter fanfic the world is your oyster.
Delia Gallegos: And it will keep, and that’s the thing, like, I feel like the fandom, especially with Harry Potter in particular, instead of just abandoning it, they’re like, okay, you know what we have to do.
We got to steer the ship ourselves full time.
Talia Franks: Full time. Yeah. Yeah. It’s like J K Rowling. I don’t know her.
Delia Gallegos: Absolutely. Don’t I don’t know her. She sounds awful though.
Talia Franks: Whomst? (Both laughing)
Delia Gallegos: Yeah, I also for the record for. You listening there? I do write some fanfic, but I don’t know if I’ll write any more Harry Potter fan fic, but I am inspired by those who still keep on. So maybe I’ll even return to that, that space, but JK Rowling right now, she’s on my, on my list.
Talia Franks: Yeah, I do. I do write Harry Potter fanfic but only because I was already writing Harry Potter fanfic like, I have a few fics that have been in the works. Like one of them I’ve been writing literally since 2017, and I just, you know, I feel an obligation to my readers to finish this fic.
Like there was one reader who literally commented “this fic chains me.” (Delia laughs)
Delia Gallegos: Those are the best comments. Look what we’re going to get into, like what fanfic is. But I just want y’all to know, as you start on your fanfic journeys and you start exploring it for yourself. Comments, kudos. Wherever you’re reading your fanfic mean the world to fanfic writers.
Talia Franks: Oh, they mean the absolute world, like, like comments and kudos are like the only reason I still write.
Delia Gallegos: They’re, they’re fanfic writer’s lifeblood. So, do that. Be a good reader.
Talia Franks: Yeah. Like every, every time that I read a fic review, that’s just someone who’s just like smashed a bunch of letters on the keyboard.
Like that’s when I’m just like, okay. Like that means that I have to keep writing.
Delia Gallegos: Yeah. On the flip side though, don’t be too overzealous. Cause quick aside I wrote a Harry Potter fanfiction called “To All the Wizards I’ve Considered Before.” And it has Black Hermione because Hermione’s Black and, and I kept getting, there was this person who was just kind of obsessed with commenting mean comments, not mean, but just like very critical, which is abnormal in my experience on Ao3, and this person, I don’t know, they, I don’t, they didn’t have their name, but they went so far as, people would respond to them and say like, no, that’s not correct. Because they also, it was like problematic stuff. Cause they’re like, well, I imagine Hermione as Jewish, you’re like, that’s my head canon. And like saying some like not. Overtly racist things, but quite questionable at best. They even went so far as to write a whole blog post about how much they dislike my fic. So
Talia Franks: What?
Delia Gallegos: don’t be that zealous. Yeah, no that happened. It was the weirdest time. Like I wasn’t even bothered. It was just so weird. The energy.
Talia Franks: Yeah. That’s like, so ridiculous also because like Black Hermione and Jewish Hermione are not mutually exclusive.
Delia Gallegos: Thank you exactly. But they. Which is why I’m like it wasn’t overtly racist, but you know, you can, you know,
Talia Franks: That’s so ridiculous.
And like that reminds me also, I saw something on Twitter recently that someone posted Oh, this fic hasn’t been updated in so long, me and my friends wrote a new ending and
Delia Gallegos: Oh, I saw that.
Talia Franks: we put it here, and we want to be co-credited and,
Delia Gallegos: don’t do that.
Talia Franks: authors and were it’s like, excuse you no! Absolutely not.
Delia Gallegos: You legally can’t do it like, I mean, it wouldn’t ever be an issue, but while there’s a lot of like legal quagmires with fanfiction, as far as like the original IP, the part that don’t belong to the original IP, the author of the fanfiction is the copyright holder.
So, don’t do that.
Talia Franks: Yeah, no, it’s like one thing like a lot of times an author will abandon a fit or put a fic up for adoption or say, I’m not going to finish this, someone else should, like, someone else can take over the story for me.
Delia Gallegos: Right. And that’s fine.
Talia Franks: But this author hadn’t done that.
Delia Gallegos: Yeah, don’t do that.
Talia Franks: But yeah. I have lots of feelings about fanfic as is clear because, you know, I decided to make a whole
Delia Gallegos: they started a whole podcast.
Talia Franks: I started a whole podcast. (Both laughing)
Delia Gallegos: Yeah.
Talia Franks: Yeah. So
Delia Gallegos: Actually, do you know the first time you and I talked was about fanfiction?
Talia Franks: Was it?
Delia Gallegos: It was. We were walking I had been so busy that whole, you had been in and around our panels at at LeakyCon Boston.
And, but I don’t think I talked to you till we were walking to one of our panels and you just happened to be walking with me and Bayana and you were talking about, I can’t remember, but I think it might’ve been like a Doctor Who fanfiction you were writing? I don’t really remember, but you were. The energy, like when they say they’re excited, they’re like, that was my first impression of you.
It was the most precious thing. Like they were so excited. It was adorable.
Talia Franks: I like, don’t remember that, but I was probably talking about, I was probably talking about my Harry Potter/ Doctor Who crossover,
Delia Gallegos: Yes! That is what you were talking about,
Talia Franks: Where Harry, Hermione, and Luna are companions of the Doctor.
Delia Gallegos: And that was exactly what you were talking about.
Talia Franks: Yeah, it’s a really fun one because they’re companions of Ten first from The Doctor’s perspective, but they’re companions of Eleven first from their perspective.
Delia Gallegos: Interesting.
Talia Franks: Yeah,
Delia Gallegos: Because of the Timey Wimey?
Talia Franks: The Timey Wimey! (Delia laughs)
Spoilers, but, Timey Wimey? Keep that in the back of your brain.
Delia Gallegos: Yes. Keep that in the back of your brain.
Talia Franks: It’ll, it’ll, it’ll become more relevant in the future.
Maybe not in this podcast, but you know. Just, just keep it in mind over the coming months.
Delia Gallegos: Oh, they’ve got plans. I don’t even know them. So, I will also be keeping that in the back of my mind.
Talia Franks: Anyway. So (More laughter) thinking about fanfiction and how we’re going to talk about fanfiction. I wanted to talk about how I’m going to be talking about fanfiction on this podcast.
Cause for my first episode, I, and I know Delia, you haven’t listened to my first episode. So, you’re at a slight disadvantage here, but it was also a Harry Potter/ Doctor Who crossover. And
Delia Gallegos: That’s funny.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And so that took place in a parallel alternate universe. And it sort of broke the canon without really breaking the canon.
But one of the things that we talked about was to what degree, something breaks canon and to what degree something is or isn’t canon like how does things fit in? So, for example, this fic was very non-canonical, for Harry Potter, but fit very neatly into canon for Doctor Who. Like it absolutely could have happened, this absolutely could have happened in Doctor Who. It could have been a Doctor Who episode. It fit very neatly into the Doctor Who narrative, but it completely changes everything about Harry Potter. And so, my question for you is what is canon when we think about it?
Delia Gallegos: In the simplest terms, canon is what exists within the quote unquote text, or, you know, if it’s a show within the actual episodes of seasons of the show, like it’s onscreen it’s on in the text. But that does get complicated and you’ll, you’ll see as probably as they go on and go through their podcasts and cover more and more fic that it gets a little bit dicier because: what about in the case, we’ve talked about Harry Potter in the case of Harry Potter, you have the OG seven, the original seven books. Okay. Those are clearly canonical. Those are the canon of the story. Like Harry goes, Hogwarts does what he does, defeat Voldemort, et cetera, et cetera. But what about Cursed Child?
Which takes place in the future. What about Fantastic Beasts, which takes place in the past? Are those things canonical? Should they be considered part of the canon? Are they non-canonical, are they post-canon, pre-canon? Like, there’s a lot of ways you can define it. And that gets debated within fandom, but also explored with thin fanfiction.
So, in its simplest form, it’s what’s on the page. It’s what’s on the screen, but then there’s more. (Delia laughs)
Talia Franks: Yeah. Yeah. And there’s also the examples too, of the book canon versus the movie canon. Like what happens in the book vs what happens in the movie? You know, sometimes things people will change things in their movie adaptations.
Think for example, about Good Omens there’s book canon and there’s TV canon. So, the Good Omens TV show takes place in the late twenty teens, but the Good Omens book took place in the 1990s. There is a 30-year difference between when the book took place and when the TV show took place. And then there’s also to consider like Doctor Who. There’s the Doctor Who TV show, but then there’s, as I discussed in my last episode, there is the extended universe of the Doctor Who books, the Doctor Who comics, the Doctor Who audio dramas with Big Finish.
And so, like what really distinguishes those extended stories from fanfiction. When sometimes the narratives of what happens in those stories will be incorporated into the TV show. But sometimes what happens in the TV show will explicitly go against what happens in a comic or a book and there’s conflict there.
And so, the concept of canon can be very fast and loose. And that can mean that what makes something canon compliant — so like canon compliant is a common tag that people tend to use.
And so, it tends to be when someone says, ” canon compliant”, I tend to assume that that means that they are talking about a particular definition of canon. And usually in an author’s note, they will indicate that or in the tags, they will say that they are talking about this is movie canon. Like I’m talking about what happened in the Lord of the Rings movies, not in the books, because those are like very different.
Delia Gallegos: Or like canon compliant up to book five or what, or something like that.
Talia Franks: Like this is canon compliant up to book four of Harry Potter because, we don’t like what happened at the end five with Sirius Black. You know, so, so that’s just like another thing but then there’s other then there’s other times when some people just take canon and they throw it completely out the window, and the way that they do that is by making things into an alternate universe.
Delia Gallegos: Or AU.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And so are like some of my favorite fanfics and I gotta say, I am Coffee Shop AU trash. (Delia laughs) I love myself a good barista fic. (Delia laughs again)
My favorite fic, which like I would love to include on the show someday, but I’m probably not because I’m mentioning it now is the the, Oh, what is it? I think I shared it with you. It’s like the, The Barista, the Burglar and the Sofa. Did I share that one with you?
Delia Gallegos: Ahhhh, I don’t think so? That doesn’t ring a bell.
Talia Franks: I have it printed out in this binder that I have. Yeah, it’s called The Barista, the Burglar and the Sofa.
Delia Gallegos: Maybe you did. I’d have to go check my mark for later, I don’t think I’ve read that one yet.
Talia Franks: Listeners, can’t see, Delia and I are currently on a zoom call.
So (Delia laughs) I’m showing her this binder that I have of printed out fanfiction. And the first fanfic is The Barista, the Burglar and the Sofa from SeasOfTrees on Archive of Our Own, which I literally printed out the entire fic and put it in a little binder. So, I can just
Delia Gallegos: Amazing
Talia Franks: read it to myself at night.
Delia Gallegos: You have to do what you have to do.
Talia Franks: What was that?
Delia Gallegos: I said, you have to do what you have to do.
Talia Franks: I gotta do what I gotta do. Yeah. And so, The Barista, the Burglar, and the Sofa. It’s not quite as a Coffee Shop AU. But it kinda is. But it also is a WolfStar fic. And WolfStar stands for Remus, Lupin and Sirius Black, which is
Delia Gallegos: one of the best ships,
Talia Franks: one of the best ships and by
Delia Gallegos: period
Talia Franks: yeah, period and by ship, of course we mean relationship because that is the pairing.
That is to say two characters that are
Delia Gallegos: romantically involved,
Talia Franks: romantically, involved and meant to be.
Delia Gallegos: Meant to be absolutely. Okay.
Talia Franks: Absolutely meant to be.
Delia Gallegos: This isn’t I’m sure there will be episodes on, WolfStar. I am have to imagine, but
Talia Franks: WolfStar is their name. Love is their game.
Delia Gallegos: Basically, you can have not all ships have names, sometimes it’s just like, the pairing name, it’ll be like Frodo/Sam, like Frodo and Sam being together that, that you would just call that Frodo slash Sam, but some have names like WolfStar, Harmony.
Talia Franks: I really like Luna, Hermione, and Harry together, which is Lunar Harmony.
Delia Gallegos: Yeah. That’s a good one,
Talia Franks: which is why my Doctor Who Harry Potter crossover fic it’s actually a series of fics. So, the series is called Lunar Harmony Through Time and Space.
Delia Gallegos: I love that. (Talia laughs)
Again, they’re not always, even when you do the like mashup names are not always so pretty as Harmony and then Lunar Harmony, but I would obviously absolutely lean into that.
Talia Franks: Yeah, no, it’s a lot of fun. But a lot of times the ship names are just like, sometimes they’re like fun phrases sometimes they’re plays on words, like, Aziraphale and Crowley in Good Omens are sometimes called Ineffable Husbands. Or because both of those characters are often read as being genderfluid, they’re sometimes called Ineffable Wives and they’re also called azcrow. But actually, so fanfiction, as I’ve mentioned, often it will have tags, which is like one of my favorite things about fanfic and I honestly wish more books had tags.
Delia Gallegos: Yes, yes, yes. This is its own blog, post episode, whatever. But we have talked about this. I know you feel very strongly the same way, but. Books should absolutely have tags because it tells you exactly what you’re getting. You can pick exactly what you want to read. It also is so useful, and this is not, this is getting off a little bit, but you know, just for like, if there’s content you can’t read right now, or you just generally can’t read, you will know because it’s in the tags.
Talia Franks: It’s in the tags and, it’s so useful because if you want to read something that’s really angsty and it’s tagged angst? You know it’s angsty! If you want to read something that is really fluffy, and it’s tagged that way, you’ll know! If you want to read something where the romance is a real slow, slow burn mutual pining and you want that in your life. There’s a tag for that.
Delia Gallegos: There’s a tag for that. And so, if you’re in the mood for something you don’t have to waste your time with all the other stuff you don’t want to read.
Talia Franks: You know, sometimes there’ll be a summary, but sometimes summaries are like really vague or like authors make them purposefully funny and it’s the tags that will really tell you what the story is about. Like if it’s a Coffee Shop AU, for example.
Delia Gallegos: And most of these sites, to clarify, when we’re saying there are tags that you can also search by these tags. So, you’re not just scrolling and reading them, although you’re also doing that. But if you specif— like Talia is like, alright, it’s Coffee Shop AU time. They can filter whatever fandom they’re looking for, Coffee Shop AU, and scroll to their heart’s content.
Talia Franks: Yeah, and so, like, to be specific, Coffee Shop AUs are usually a specific kind of A— so usually not always, but usually a Coffee Shop AU will also be a Human AU. Which is if it’s a like fantasy universe there will often be these Human AUs where all of these fantasy characters are suddenly all of them are humans and sometimes there’ll be an also sometimes overlap with the High School AU or a College AU where they are all like, evened out in terms of in, in terms of age, in terms of setting. Especially in universes, like Doctor who or Harry Potter or Good Omens, or The 100 or Hunger Games, or like really dramatic universes where lots of things are happening at once, and everyone’s like angsty.
Some of them are like dystopias, and we just want things to be happy?
Delia Gallegos: Yep.
Talia Franks: A Coffee Shop, AU an Human AU where like things are even out, and they just have like normal lives. It’s one of my favorite things.
Delia Gallegos: I think the best part of these types of AUs, like those modern AU high school college, all of those is that in the fantastical setting, like, you usually in the, in of course in the canon story, you are so focused, writers are so fo— and they should be it’s, it’s a balancing act. Right. But you know, a big part of the story is the fantastical element, whatever adventure they’re going on, it takes up a lot of the screen time or the pages that you can’t focus on the characters as much. So, these, AUs really allow you to like really dig into the characters themselves and their personalities and like just their interactions with each other, because you’re not worried again about, “Oh no, here comes Voldemort.” Like, that’s not an issue. You get to just see
Talia Franks: Or, you know, Voldemort is like that, what’s it called superintendent? Who’s always like bearing down on the on the school district. And like, you don’t want to, you don’t want to anger him, but it’s not like he’s a dark
Delia Gallegos: riddle
Talia Franks: lord. He’s just a jackass.
Delia Gallegos: Yeah.
Talia Franks: But yeah, and that also is tangentially related to another series of fics that I tend to like, which are the domestic fics, which are not necessarily (Delia says LOVE co-currently) human AUs. Sometimes they’re still within the universe. But it’s just the stories where you know, maybe it’s like, after all the dramatic stuff has happened and all the characters, finally get to settle down and live their lives and just, you know, be happy and like have families.
Delia Gallegos: living in domesticity.
Talia Franks: And like live domestic lives. Sometimes there’ll be like a slow burn type romance situation. The fun that’s
Delia Gallegos: My bread and butter is slow burn mutual pining y’all like, I, that is where I live. I I that that. So, I’m trash for that. So just making that clear when we’re talking about it. Cause I’m like, yes, you guys can’t see me, but I’m sitting here like, yes.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I love it. I love it. Also, when they do the fake dating and like they’re fake dating, but they real like each other, but they fake not liking each other. And it’s just like, Hm, give me that. Goodness. I eat it up. There’s a great fic that I love that one of my, one of my old roommates introduced me to Oh, I’m blanking on the name.
But I love it so much that I literally, and this is even a step up from my binder, but I literally,
Delia Gallegos: Oh, is this the one?
Talia Franks: I printed, I printed and bound it. I like went to one of those, one of those websites where you can like self publish and I had it printed and bound as an actual book.
Delia Gallegos: Amazing.
Talia Franks: It’s called World Ain’t Ready. And it’s a Les Mis fic.
Delia Gallegos: That’s amazing.
Talia Franks: And it’s an, it’s a high school AU.
Delia Gallegos: I know we had talked about that before. I hadn’t seen it before now I can see it cause we’re on zoom y’all and wow, amazing.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And I literally had it printed in bound. And I, and I gave it to her for Christmas one year, but I also printed and bound it for myself because
Delia Gallegos: absolutely
Talia Franks: I wanted it for myself too.
Delia Gallegos: What a great gift. That is an A-plus gift.
Talia Franks: Yeah, I like. Yeah. And my, and like my e-reader like half of it is just EPUBs downloaded from Ao3.
Delia Gallegos: Which you can do, by the way, if y’all are just, if y’all are new to your journey through fanfic, sometimes you’re on the go and you can’t read it. Or maybe, you know, we’re professional. I have definitely read fanfic at work, you know, for lunch, but you can’t really pull that up so easily by on my Kindle, sure can, when it’s an EPUB.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And if you have the Google play books app on your phone and download it to your phone, and then when you go to open the file, it’ll automatically open it in Google play books, and that’ll just be in your Google play books library and you can open it from any device.
Delia Gallegos: Love that.
Talia Franks: Love that for all of us,
Delia Gallegos: y’all are learning about fanfic and getting tips. We’re here to help.
Talia Franks: But yeah, it’s just, and there’s just so many there’s just so much great fic out there and I feel like there’s really something. Something for everyone. Like, I, I, like, I know we’ve been talking about like a lot of romance fic, but also some is just like really wild and weird and fun.
Delia Gallegos: Yeah. There’s, there’s all sorts of when you really start getting into fanfiction, like fanfiction in and of itself truly is its own fandom. Like that’s its own, its own following. It’s got all of its own terms. We really are just brushing the surface here, but there’s like, what’s called crack fic. And usually these are just crazy off the wall fics that often are meant to be humorous.
There’s, just gen fic, which is just general fanfiction. So, like that won’t be romance based. Like that’s where I live, I live in the romance fanfiction, but you know, if that’s not your bag, you can go find, find those tropes. They do exist. I, so I’m told.
Talia Franks: Yeah, no, I actually read. So, like I’ve read a lot of romance fanfic also, but I’m also really into sort of more the, the fic that I really love are fix-it, fics because mostly because I’ve read a lot of Harry Potter fic and I. I have a lot of feelings about how a lot of things have gone down in Harry Potter. I feel like, you know, she, who must not be named is problematic, but a lot of what went down in her universe is problematic. Like, Oh, do not get me started on house elves, oh my goodness.
Delia Gallegos: Look okay. Wait. You’re right.
I should say in Harry Potter specifically, cause I was thinking about, I was like, yes, I’ve read some real good, real good gen fic regarding house elves regarding, Native Americans, post magic in North America. That’s the whole thing. If you don’t know what it is, don’t go look it up. Don’t worry about it.
Talia Franks: Really. Don’t go look it up. Do not.
Delia Gallegos: It’s not worth it.
Talia Franks: protect your energy,
Delia Gallegos: but yeah, there are, so there is good. I should say. There’s definitely good stuff. In gen fic. I’m just biased, but yeah, no, it’s the, the writing, the writing of fanfic. I mean, obviously Talia has a whole. Podcast dedicated to it. That’s why you’re here. But like, I just, I cannot stress enough when I talk to people who don’t know a lot about fanfiction.
Like potentially you dear listener. I just have to stress like the writing can be so good, so, so good. Like better than quote unquote, traditional literature, that’s the whatever. And people do it for free. That’s what amazes me like so many thoughtful takes thoughtful deconstructions of canon, of, of plot lines and of problematic things that happen within stories, like house elves. And it’s just, it’s just amazing to see and I can’t get over it. Cause when you mentioned. I can’t remember the name of it, but there was this one particular fic I think it was like a one-shot or maybe it was like one-shot, meaning a fanfiction. That’s only the one chapter. It’s just kind of like a short single thing.
It was either a one-shot or just like a couple of chapters, but it was like really talking about house elves and deconstructing, like, the reality of house elves. And it was just so good. Like I think about it all the time. Like, it was good in what it was, you know, the message, but just also the writing, it was just so good.
Talia Franks: I really feel like there’s so much that people put into fanfic that is so, like just people put their heart and soul into writing? Into creating these fics and it’s just so beautiful to witness and to read. And I just enjoy it so much. And, you know, for a long time, I was really ashamed of how much fanfic I read.
I was like,
Delia Gallegos: me too.
Talia Franks: And I was like, oh no, like this isn’t as good as reading real books. Like I should read more. And like for a long time, I was ashamed of it. I thought, Oh, this isn’t valid. Like this isn’t real reading, but no, like this is real reading.
Like, fanfiction, and the act of creating and recreating, is completely valid and is just so, so meaningful because it’s it’s a place for really deep character work and for introspection and where. And I, I kind of want to say where the universe is already created and so that we can like focus on the characters, but at the same time with like, with the alternate universes, like sometimes those universes aren’t already created, sometimes things are so outside of canon, it might as well be a completely different world. Like sometimes I’ll be like that fic, World Ain’t Ready? Like when I read it, I’m like that could be its own YA novel I think actually part of the reason why I ended up printing it out like that was because I, I think the author might actually be turning it into a YA novel and I wanted to take it off Ao3 before it got taken down.
Because some of these, some of these fanfic authors are so successful and are such good writers that they are getting their own original work published and rightfully so. Because fanfic authors, are real authors and are real writers. And the work that they do is real and good and meaningful and contributes to the world in a positive way.
And like, I don’t know why I’m talking about it in third person. Like I’m not also a fanfic author, except for the fact that I
Delia Gallegos: I was about to say Talia this is also you
Talia Franks: really intense imposter syndrome, but, you know, that’s some unpacking I need to do with my therapist and not on my podcast. So, we’re not gonna talk
Delia Gallegos: Also go read their fic, go leave nice comments that also helps.
Talia Franks: I feel like before we go, we should address
Delia Gallegos: I know
Talia Franks: the last little
Delia Gallegos: right, what a Segway
Talia Franks: elephant in the room, which is the sexy fics,
Delia Gallegos: the sexy fics the steamy fics. Y’all know ’em, y’all love ’em. Don’t lie. Be honest, be honest with yourself.
Talia Franks: I mean, like, I’m not gonna say that I’ve never read a lemon or lime, but,
Delia Gallegos: which are types of sexy fics again. There’s a lot of terminology, but they’re just, that’s all you need to do. You’ll get there. It’s a journey.
Talia Franks: They’re zesty.
Delia Gallegos: They’re zesty. I absolutely have read. See here’s the thing. For those who don’t know me, which I assume there’s lots of people listening who don’t know me.
I am ace so I don’t usually seek out these types of fics, but they do be hittin sometimes. Like I. Like, I think a lot of people, like in all seriousness, like there’s a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions about fanfiction that they think all it is sex. And like people making characters do quote unquote weird things, whatever that means to them and like that exists.
And I think it’s valid that it exists. I’m not sure why we have to belittle that that exists because people like that too. And I don’t think that’s wrong to like, but also like, I feel like a lot of people just in general, not even in fanfiction, but just haven’t really engaged with really good. Like, I don’t know how to put it.
It sounds weird to say sexual content, but that’s basically what it is. Like good like romance stories or even like, cause it’s just the way it’s presented in media is usually it’s very cheap, but like, it doesn’t have to be that like there’s, what’s called smut and plot what plot, but like the way it’s written, again, fanfic writers are talented.
And there is also jokes about how like fanfic writers kind of take some liberties with human anatomy and that’s, that’s its own thing. And that’s hilarious, but I think they put a lot of care, just like any fanfic writers of any other show, put a lot of care in what they write, whereas, you know, sex scenes on HBO or, I don’t know, I don’t really watch a lot of traditional TV or media, but I just feel like the care isn’t taken that fanfic writers are taking, taking in their craft. So.
Talia Franks: And, you know, I feel similarly I definitely don’t seek out explicit fics. And like when I do encounter sexy times in fics or in romance novels, I always skim.
Delia Gallegos: I do in romance novels too. I’m better about fic, but like in romance novels I’m like, okay, skim, skim, skim.
Talia Franks: I don’t do it in fic either. And one of the things I actually really appreciate about a lot of fic authors cause a lot of the fic authors that I read, and I really appreciate this is that they will literally put in their authors notes, they will put, Hey, this chapter includes like a sex scene. If you want to avoid it, stop after this paragraph, you can restart after this paragraph and they’ll put section breaks. They will literally say like sex scene starts here; sex scene ends here. Like, this is where you can skip. And like, I prefer that over the romance novels, because then I can skip!
Delia Gallegos: I think that’s maybe why I never put it into words, but actually you saying that right now? I think maybe that’s why I can. I’m fine with it in fic, it’s cause usually I’m well prepped. I’m well warned. Like I can mentally prepare myself or get myself in a head space where I can appreciate it for what it is or whatever.
Whereas like in TV and movies and novels, it comes out of nowhere, even if it seems like, there are context clues.
Talia Franks: It really does come out of nowhere!
Delia Gallegos: But it it’s not enough, especially if you’re not into that sort of thing or not in the mood for that sort of thing out of nowhere.
Talia Franks: Yeah, no, it’s like, there’s one fic I was reading recently where the author put in the author’s notes, it was like, this chapter is basically one long sex scene. If you want to avoid it, wait until next week. And I was like, thank you. I appreciate it.
Delia Gallegos: I will.
Talia Franks: I will. (Both laughing)
Delia Gallegos: Yeah. So, I mean, and don’t get me wrong. Look, I’m not trying to like make it sound, again, there is like, I don’t even want to say weird because again, you know, I don’t kink shame. People like what they like, you know?
But there’s all sorts of stuff you can find if you really want to go look for it. And so that stuff does exist. But again, like I wouldn’t, if you’re exploring fit for the first time, I would try it all. You never know what you’re going to like.
Talia Franks: Yeah, no. You really never know. I don’t kink shame at all. And like I said, sometimes, I do read it, but a lot of times, I’m just not about it.
Delia Gallegos: Yeah, no, totally fair. I mean, again, I definitely wouldn’t say that I. Seek it out, usually what happens. And again, if you’re on start a journey, you’ll get to know it.
Like, especially if you have like a pairing, that’s not that popular. You’re trying to search the tag. You’ll read through everything that is your top choice first. And then you’ll go back and like, this is the like second pass through. And suddenly you’re like looking at stuff. You might not have considered it before.
That’s usually how it happens for me. I pick up all the fics I want read them all. And then I go back and I’m like, okay. Some of these have explicit tags, but I’ve run out of fics. So, I guess that’s next!
Talia Franks: So, I guess I gotta go for it.
Delia Gallegos: But yeah. Smut, plot, what plot. P*rn without plot, you know, it exists. It’s a good time. If that’s what you’re into.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Delia Gallegos: The fic world is your oyster.
Talia Franks: Well, it has been great having you on here, Delia. I’m so glad that we have this chance to chat about fanfic.
Delia Gallegos: I was so happy that you asked me. I love talking about fanfiction. I feel like it’s not, I wish I could do it more. Like I, as it moves to the mainstream, I get to talk about it more and more, but like, like you said, there was a time where I was just so ashamed to even read it.
So now I feel so. Validated. I love talking about it anytime. Like I will talk to you about it again if it ever comes up.
Talia Franks: Well, definitely. If you ever want to talk about fanfic, I am, always down and you should definitely read The Barista, the Burglar and the Sofa.
Delia Gallegos: Should I move that up on my reading list?
I’ll move it up.
Talia Franks: Move it up on your reading list. Like literally I’ll read you the summary right now. This is the story of twenty-three-year-old Remus Lupin, an overworked graduate student and underpaid barista, who comes home one day to find an exceptionally attractive man has broken into his flat. Given the neighborhood he lives in, that isn’t a huge surprise.
He is surprised, though, when the burglar comes back with a sofa. Alternatively, this is the story of how Sirius Black tries to seduce a man by slowly furnishing his flat. (Delia laughs)
Delia Gallegos: How many chapters was that one?
Talia Franks: I don’t actually, I think it’s actually only one chapter.
Delia Gallegos: I don’t know why I didn’t read that. I usually like do one-shots first and then I don’t know why I haven’t gotten to that one yet, but
Talia Franks: Like this one actually
Delia Gallegos: I will.
Talia Franks: it’s it’s funny because I just made a big deal of over how I don’t actually like explicit fic, but I think this one might actually be explicit. (Both laugh)
Delia Gallegos: Look sometimes when the fic is good. It doesn’t matter. Like there are some fics that like get pretty spicy by the end, but the writing so good. I’m like, whatever I’m here, we’re in it.
Talia Franks: Yeah. No, this one is spicy. I think the reason I read it was because I was listening to a bunch of podfics. There was really slim pickings for WolfStar podfics.
Delia Gallegos: There is. Oh my gosh. Yeah. I don’t know why there’s not a lot podfics for those who don’t know, sometimes people will go and record audio versions of fic that’s been written I think you could do it yourself, but mostly it’s people who really love the fic and they’re like, I’m going to go record a podfic of this, and then they get linked together in Ao3 and it’s great when there’s a lot, but for WolfStar there is not much
Talia Franks: Yeah, so I was listening to a bunch of podfics. And I was like, Oh, this is really good.
Delia Gallegos: Should I listen to it as a podfic? That’s so exciting. I did not
Talia Franks: listen to the podcast. The podcast is really good.
But yes. So, where where can folks find you? Where can they, where can they find you?
Delia Gallegos: Mainly on Twitter @deliaistyping. So that’s D E L I A is typing.
So, find me there. I’m usually talking about nothing, but you know, you can find me there also at Black Girls Create I am the CFO and creative director. Money things mainly, but you can find us on there.
I’m on the Twitter account sometimes you’ll know it’s me. If you do. I usually am tweeting the most mess. So that’s @blkgirlscreate Twitter.
Talia Franks: You left something out.
Delia Gallegos: Did I? Oh, hi. Hello. I did leave something out. You can also find me on Instagram. Hello. I have an Instagram with my friend Connie @thenerdsaretyping where we go through different series and type characters based on the Enneagram and the Myers-Briggs MBTI. We have little series and bigger series planned. So, if you’ve ever followed any Enneagram accounts or MBTI accounts on Instagram, it’s that vibe, but for nerd properties.
Talia Franks: Fantastic.
You’ve been listening to Into the Archives, a fanfiction podcast from Talia Franks. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @ArchivesPod. Join the party, send me your favorite fanfics and memes. You can also send us an email at [email protected] or visit our website intothearchivespod.com. And if you’re sick of me pretending I’m not just the one person behind this podcast, you can find me, Talia Franks, at @talia_franks on Twitter and Instagram. I’d also love to have your support on Patreon, where you can find me at patreon.com/taliafranks and find Into the Archives related perks and more. Have a good night and try not to stay up too late reading fanfic. Do as I say, not as I do.