• Zoë

Fanfiction in the early 2010s: Polyvore outfits, 8tracks playlists and Picmonkey banners

Ahhh, fanfiction in the early 2010s (and probably before but who knows), what an.....interesting time.

I'm pretty sure this is going to be another one of those posts where I pretend to know what I'm talking about and then realize that this was only a thing in the One Direction fandom and that I'm really just screaming into the void.


I'm gonna write it anyway.

When I sit around and think about the fanfiction community when I first started exploring it (because we all do that once and a while, right?), I can't help but remember how much supplemental material came with fanfictions back then. Over on OneDirectionFanFiction.com, it wasn't rare to come across a fic that had a trailer (see post about that here), an 8tracks playlist, Polyvore outfits for every scene and some sort of cover photo or banner masterfully made on a site like Picmonkey.

That really was a fanfiction golden age.

I'm pretty sure cover photos and banners are still a thing over on Wattpad (can a Wattpad lover PLEASE write a post about why you use the site?!) and every now and then I'll read a fic that has a playlist, but I definitely miss the days when writers went that extra mile to make their fanfiction a fully rounded experience.

I definitely dabbled in creating banners for my own fics (and boy, did I think my faux-photoshop skills were top notch) and made a Polyvore outfit or two, but I think it was the best when someone liked a fic you wrote so much they made those supplements for you. Like with trailers, it wasn't uncommon for readers to use their free time to make a banner—or something else—for a fic they really liked.

Not to brag, but I had a couple people make banners for one of my old 1D fics, photoshopping Nina Dobrev (my OFC cast) and Harry Styles together with some fun filters and clip art.

But back to the point of the post (does it have a point?)...

I'm not saying that the fanfiction community was better back then, but I do feel like it was more immersive. It wasn't just open a fanfic, read it, maybe bookmark it and move on. All of the fanfiction add-ons created a different experience for both readers and writers. As a writer, you were spending extra time crafting these additional things (usually for a OFC or OMC fic) so readers could understand, envision and connect to your characters more. And as a reader, you could see how much extra work the writer put into making their fanfiction an experience.

And maybe all this is still a thing in some fandom spaces and communities, or maybe it was only a thing in the 1D fandom back in 2012 (but I doubt it), but I can say that I miss seeing the outfits authors put together and listening to the playlists that were created for the fics.

Do you remember these fanfic supplementals? Did you ever create them? Is this still a thing in your fandom space? Do you miss this era too?


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