When I have a little uninterrupted me time, one of my favorite ways to de-stress is to curl up with my laptop and read a little Jane Austen Fan Fiction…yes, I said fan fiction. I’ve read all of Austen’s books repeatedly—my favorites being Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility—and will neglect to mention how many times I’ve watched the movies. The number would probably be embarrasing. But, escaping for a while into Regency England where language was admired as a beautiful tool and honor and respect were still valued individual qualities, not to mention a bit of heart fluttering romance thrown in for good measure, leaves me feeling refreshed and content that happy endings are always a possibility.
One day, while utterly bored at work after finishing all my assignments by 1 o’clock, I stumbled across a community of Jane Austen fans who wrote their own versions of Austen’s classic works. At first I was skeptical. After all, fan fiction tends to have a negative connotation. But, I had nothing better to do, so I picked a random story and dug in. What I discovered was that the vast majority of the fan fiction is entertaining and imaginative. There is the occasional story that is so poorly written it simply doesn’t make sense. But, most of the writers in the JAFF community produce intelligent, witty, intriguing stories that are well worth the time they take to read. And a number of the authors produce works of publishable quality! Roughly six years later, I’ve read hundreds of these stories and proudly label myself a Jane Austen Fan Fiction Addict.
The stories range from modern retellings to “what would happen if?” adventures to complete re-imaginings of any and all of Austen’s tales. Pride and Prejudice tends to be the most re-worked story, but Austen’s other books also get a fair amount of attention. And after reading many stories and making numerous friends amongst the community, I even delved in a wrote several short stories as well as a full-length retelling of Pride and Prejudice. The best part about the community is that they are inclusive, supportive, and always interested in welcoming new members and reading new ideas, even if your writing is not up to the almost unreachable standard that Austen, herself, set.
If you’re a JA fan but haven’t yet discovered the fabulous world of JAFF, or if your looking for some fun, accessible, free reading material, here are a few of my favorite sites for you to try:
This list just scratches the bare surface of the JAFF world. From each of these sites, you can discover many more that are most definitely worth a visit! If you are an Austen fan, or even if you just need some escapist fun, you can’t miss out on this community.
P.S. If you’re a JAFF veteran, please add your favorite links to the list by commenting!
September 29, 2014
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March 25, 2014
March 18, 2014