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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

The strange world of 1D fan fiction

July 2, 2014
Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff explores the odd and slightly disturbing world of One Direction fan fiction (examples included). I have never been a fan of One Direction. Beginning their career smashed together as good looking yet average singers on the 2010 edition of the X Factor, their ascent has been startling, and completely removed from my personal…

Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff explores the odd and slightly disturbing world of One Direction fan fiction (examples included).

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I have never been a fan of One Direction. Beginning their career smashed together as good looking yet average singers on the 2010 edition of the X Factor, their ascent has been startling, and completely removed from my personal experience. Although the boys are roughly my age, in their very early twenties, the age group that venerates them must be significantly younger, as the closest I’ve come to experiencing a ‘Directioner’ (see this helpful ‘1Dictionary‘ of terms to find out more), is when I saw two young girls on the tube plastered in sparkly One Direction tattoos and merchandise; their placid, watery-eyed dad looking on with pleasure. And yet the stats reveal that their success is almost unparalleled – with The Wire reporting in April that the band are the ‘all-time highest-earning boy band in British music history’, each member having a fortune of 14 million.

I saw two young girls on the tube plastered in sparkly One Direction tattoo’s and merchandise

I have managed to avoid knowing the lyrics to any of their music also, except for the irritatingly overplayed and vapidly whiny ‘You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful’. And perhaps it is that I just don’t understand because it’s a generational thing and I was definitely obsessed with boy bands too at that age. But I think not. The level that these girls, and some guys, seem to go to in their adoration seems incomparable to my vague interest in getting the Spice Girls’ autographs, and has most definitely been exacerbated by the advent of the internet. One Direction’s heavy use of social media to promote their music and carefully choreographed image has in no small part led to their success and eerie domination of the tween girl music market.

It is also the internet that has enabled the widespread development of 1D fan fiction. So as it was reported in early June that a One Direction fan fiction writer has landed a major publishing deal (perhaps the most depressing thing I’ve heard in a while as an aspiring writer), I thought I would do some trawling and attempt to find the best of the worst of 1D fan fic:

1. Dah anus wrekining: Flloyd stiles is harrys boyfriend/ husband, and he like s the dick. harry only in his the butt though. if uyou like this story pls thumb up (the butt) lol j/k but dio it.

Excuse the typos. This lovely piece of fan fic is possibly the most concerning thing I came across during my search. With corkers such as ‘his anus started quivering and he scream’, it’s clear that some of these 1D fan fiction writers are either trolling or into the more grimy world of slash fiction. Pretty much does what it says on the tin.

2. Silent Pleads: Infinity Rose Ex-Girlfriend of Niall Horan. One day the boys and their girlfriends started ignoring her and left her. She is broken inside but puts on a smile for the twins.

With a whole 12 characters, each with their own creepily attractive thumbnail picture snatched from elsewhere on the IN-TRA-NERT, ‘Silent Pleads’ documents the day poor Infinity Rose, is left by the star. ‘Don’t call or contact Me, The Boys, Niall, The Boys Girlfriends , your sister or Naomi We left and hate you ok so stay away from us and keep those retched children away from us too’. Characterised by shoddy spelling, punctuation and grammar, the most depressing thing about this story is the desperation of the author’s tone as she envisages a perfect life and home for wee Nially. It’s like he or she is playing Sims.

It’s like he or she is playing Sims.

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3. Dark: Will their dark sides tear each other apart and destroy one another? Find out who wins.

I have reached the higher end of 1D fan fiction, apparently ‘literally one of the most famous fics in the world’. But it’s still pretty poor. Sporting proper sentences and 54 chapters, this whopper appears to be about a vampire version of Harry Styles. ‘the sharp pain intensified as his teeth grazed the skin. His breathy laugh fanned over the area as I desperately struggled against the male’s hold before he continued to draw blood to the surface’. Just off to be sick in a corner.

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4. Made in the USA: When Lucy and Niall meet in the USA they find a love that is stronger than most. Yet they don’t know it yet.

Smuh, average. The tense changes are annoying, but essentially the story is vaguely coherent and ‘Made in the USA’ seems to encompass the general tone of the 1D fan fictioners (there’s probably an official word for them but I can’t be bothered to find out what it is). A good looking, slim white girl with long brown/blonde hair and pretty eyes meets one of the boys (perhaps majority stupid-hair-Harry-Styles), and amazingly, gets him to fall in love with her. There’s some kind of conflict blah blah but they end up together or someone dies and they can’t be together and it’s all very dramatic and predictable.

I’ve had enough now, and while my foray into 1D fanfic was vaguely disturbing, essentially the majority of it was written by a bunch of idealistic girls who will almost definitely stop pining after unattainable, overrated singers once they hit their late teens.

I’ve had enough now, and while my foray into 1D fanfic was vaguely disturbing, essentially the majority of it was written by a bunch of idealistic girls who will almost definitely stop pining after unattainable, overrated singers once they hit their late teens.

Nevertheless, it does reveal the usual problems girls have in our society – a propensity towards eating disorders (the ‘thinspiration’ was unmissable) and a constricted notion of the perfect body type. Plus the idea that by finding the ‘perfect guy’ their lives will also become perfect. Lies perpetuated by the patriarchy. And there you have it.