The transparency of fan fiction and romance as repetitions, as proliferations of shared sources, permits texts in these genres, so frequently disparaged for being all the same, to register greater differences between them than texts that purport to stand alone. In a given fandom, the preponderance of versions of a single pairing’s story will yield depictions of gender, sexuality, power, and agency that diverge greatly from one another. Across one hundred fan fiction stories, the same pair of characters will be used to play out scenarios of total equality between partners, of dominance or submission (it is likely that each character will have multiple turns, in multiple stories, at being the dominant), of betrayal and abuse, of hurt and comfort, of sacrifice, of redemption, of missed opportunities, of cooperation, of severe illness, of death.De Kosnik, Abigail. 2015. ‘Fifty Shades and the Archive of Women’s Culture’. Cinema Journal 54 (3): 116–25. https://doi.org/10.1353/cj.2015.0037.
On the legitimization of fic and romance