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Bateman: Don’t be tricked by amateur allure of fanfiction

By Oliver Bateman

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Halloween is almost upon us, and it’s important to remember that this holiday is about more… Halloween is almost upon us, and it’s important to remember that this holiday is about more than dressing up like a naughty schoolgirl or the Teen Wolf: It’s also about writing spook-tacular scary stories. Since fantasy football, Wikipedia and “Jersey Shore” have probably combined to drain your creative juices, we’re going to give you some advice on how to go about sinking your fangs into the most blood-curdling fanfiction.

Back in the old days, vampires, werewolves, werebears, witches, blobs, zombies, Frankensteins, dinosaurs, Vikings and wizards were relegated to B-movie monster mashes. Nobody knew much about any of these mythological creatures, except that they were hella scary and some of them sucked blood. Garlic, crosses and holy water worked against most of them — except maybe Vikings — and they all seemed to prey on teenagers who were making out in the family station wagon on a deserted lovers’ lane.

Such stories were only scary if you happened to be a teenager who made out in the family station wagon on a deserted lovers’ lane, so few people gave much thought to these dangerous beasts. Now, with the advent of the Internet, there’s a lot more popularity to go around. Vampires and wizards are as well-known as crime scene investigators and Ke$ha, and there are plenty of good scares to be had. In fact, the media is so saturated with good scares that the only place you’ll be able to make your devil’s mark in the world of horror is through fanfiction.

Fanfiction, which first appeared on a website-hosting service called Geocities, is a kind of writing in which an unpaid, untalented person takes some well-known author’s characters and puts them in new and grammatically incoherent situations. The reasons for doing this are unclear but often seem to involve wish fulfilment and adult situations. For example, in what we believe might have actually happened in the best-selling stories, the boy-wizard Harry Potter needs to die a virgin in order to redeem mankind. In your Harry Potter fanfiction, however, he can have as much as sex as he wants, often with several ghouls and goblins at the same time.

As you can see, fanfiction is a flexible medium. You don’t need to come up with new ogres and demons to star in it, and you can make the existing ones do whatever you need them to do. Once you settle on your character, you can fashion a white-knuckle adventure story for him or her.

Here, we’ll do one with you. Our main characters are the Teen Wolf, former WWE champion “Hulk” Hogan and Count Chocula. These three, who have been best friends since college, set out to solve a mystery.

It seems that some old farmer’s well keeps leaking, and spectral activity is suspected. The “Hulkster” is terrified of ghosts, so of course he’s not going to want to help. However, Count Chocula and the Teen Wolf are both very experienced with ghosts, since vampires and werewolves are both distant cousins of the ghost species. After some witty banter that will lead “Hulk” to “Hulk out” and rip off his shirt, the trio will climb down into the well to investigate.

Inside the well, the ghost of Donald Trump is up to some tricks. He knows there’s money to be had there, namely oil, and he intends to cash in on the energy crisis in much the same way that he cashed in on the dot-com bubble. His zombie henchman Bachelor Brad, who is always unlucky in love, has agreed to help him in exchange for a zombie bride.

To make a long story short, there’s a big fight. Things start off well for the bad guys, but once everyone’s favorite peroxide-blonde behemoth “Hulks out,” it’s curtains for them. Bachelor Brad has a good sex scene with the farmer’s daughter, and then Count Chocula turns back into a human and steals her away from him.

Granted, this is just a short sample story, but it’s a really scary one and very much in the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve. After you write a story like this, you need to upload it to your Geocities page. Make sure you set the background color to black and the text color to orange or green. Maybe even add a haunting MIDI file to spice up your story with music and further establish the eerie mood.

Once you’ve posted your story, link to it on a fanfiction forum or a newsgroup like alt.fanfiction.super-scary. As soon as your link goes up, a bunch of  captious middle-aged men will alert you to its inaccuracies. For instance, you might have had “Hulk” Hogan pressing 300 pounds overhead when everyone knows he has never pressed more than 275. Or maybe you committed the cardinal sin and confused an android with a cyborg. No matter how trivial your mistakes were, they’re sure to be uncovered by this bunch of tireless truth-seekers.

Remember that no matter how fun those hot college Halloween parties are, you mustn’t lose sight of your debt to the generations of horror fanfiction writers who came before you. Although this season might be the last one where you look fly in a revealing costume, it’s never too late for a great scare.

Oliver Bateman is the creative force behind the Moustache Club of America. The Club, which can be found on the web at moustacheclubofamerica.com, has been disseminating scary fanfiction since 2002. Feel free to send us your most frightening tales, as long as those tales don’t include naughty bits about MMA legend Brock Lesnar. We specialize in not running fanfiction with Brock Lesnar sex scenes.

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Bateman: Don’t be tricked by amateur allure of fanfiction