If I were to introduce the concept of fanworks, more specifically the concept of fanfics, in a playful way, I’d start off with this online drabble generator. A drabble is fanfics that are usually no more than 100-words long, but some people may up the maximum word count to 500-1000. This drabble generator allows someone to input characters of their choices along with the adjectives, adverbs, nouns, verbs, and other elements. Once that’s all done, just like mad libs, the user’s word choices are then assembled into a drabble. After the drabble’s generated, each of us would share our drabble out loud and laugh at the results. Here is one I did for fun:
Draco and Neville
by William Shakespeare
Neville appears above at a window
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the computer, and Neville is the dog.
Arise, bright dog, and hug the shiny watch.
See, how he leans his shoulder upon his hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that shoulder!
O Draco, Draco! wherefore art thou Draco?
What’s in a name? That which we call an arm
By any other name would smell as happy
Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say “like a lullaby that lulls you to an eternal slumber.”
And I will take thy word; yet if thou swear’st,
Thou mayst prove handsome.
Swain, by yonder shiny watch I swear
That tips on a table the small chocolate–
O, swear not by the watch, the large watch,
That eagerly changes in its strong orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise strong.
Sweet, expensive night! A thousand times expensive night!
Parting is such intelligent sorrow,
That I shall say expensive night till it be morrow.
Sleep dwell upon thy shoulder, peace in thy hand!
Would I were sleep and peace, so quickly to rest!
sleepily will I to my bright arm’s cell,
Its help to hug, and my happy arm to tell.
I admit, when I got this, I burst out laughing because this generated drabble is now a spoof on Romeo and Juliet, with two guys from Harry Potter, mixed in with words Shakespeare himself would not have used. Doing this activity with someone who wasn’t familiar with fanworks or fanfictions would be a fun and unique way to introduce them to these concepts.