These past weeks, reading about RPF, I danced around the question of the fan fictionalizing the very fan narratives that they live in. Yet so far I haven’t touched on a genre that appears to be more popular in RPF than in any other fandoms and makes this relationship explicit: reader inserts. It is almost as if it was easier to see the narrative creating process when it was not so explicitly presented.
Harder might the examination be, that’s why it brings some questions that might be productive to follow. Is there some significance to how reader insert stories seem to flourish in RPF fandoms? How do these stories create the fiction of a fan – something the author and reader share?
And finally: what literature about reader inserts would you recommend to me to read?