Fan fiction is becoming popular in Korea.
Also known as fanfic, fan fiction was originally a term for stories about characters or settings from fictional work that are written by fans rather than the original creator. Stories of this nature go back at least to Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th century novel Don Quixote, the style of which was copied for a fake sequel by another author. Soon, fans of other novels started to write their own fan fictions.
After time, fan fictions started to appear in Korea. But Korean fan fictions of Korea have developed in a different way. Now, the term ‘fanfic’ includes stories written by fans of certain celebrities, such as idols or sports stars.
Most Korean fan fictions are written by fans of idol stars. The genre is often romance, sometimes including romance between the members of the pop groups themselves. Many fanfics include straightforward descriptions of sexual activities and violence, and critics of the genre say that fanfics are low in quality.
“Fanfics with celebrities… are low in quality [and] have a limited number of readers,” says Yeonjun Park, an eleventh grader at Youngshin Nursing Business High School. “Only fans of that particular celebrity read those novels; how could they possibly gain enough readers like ordinary fictions?”
It is said that the low quality and few readers are the reasons why most fan fictions are written and read online; they do not satisfy the quality of published novels. However, a few fanfics are either extremely popularity or high in quality. These fictions are published; such as the fan fiction Hyeopgaek-gi, a novel starring the members of the group H.O.T.
“K-pop is gaining popularity, and so are Korean idol stars,” says eleventh grader Yukyeong Lee, of Youngshin Girls’ High School. “Who knows? Perhaps this special genre could become famous, along with the stars of Korea.”
Nobody knows whether Lee is correct and Korean fanfics will one day be read internationally We know one thing for sure, though: fan fiction is now a part of Korean Pop culture.