“I think you’ve had enough,” Harry says and hands the bottle to Niall, who takes a drink. Who the hell is Harry to tell me when I have had enough? Everyone else is drinking so I can too. I grab the bottle from Niall and take a drink again, making sure to give Harry a smirk as the bottle touches my lips.
“I can’t believe you have never been drunk before — it’s fun, right?” Zayn asks and I giggle. Thoughts of irresponsibility flood my mind but I push them back. It’s only one night.
“Harry, truth or dare?” Molly asks. He answers “dare” of course.
“I dare you to kiss Tessa,” she says and gives a fake smile. Harry’s eyes go wide and I want to run away.
Ahh, One Direction fan fiction. To some, it’s literary junk. For others it satisfies fantasies about hot boy banders lusting over regular girls like you and me. And many are recognizing it as a profitable market.
This excerpt is from an earlier version of Anna Todd’s recent novel “After,” which has 1 billion views on Wattpad, a site for people to read and share stories. Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, reportedly gave her a six-figure deal to publish it as a four-part series, and it became a best-seller in Germany, Spain and France. Paramount Pictures bought the film rights.
In the world of fan fiction — stories based on movies, TV shows, novels and the like — One Direction has created an “explosion” of writing, said Anne Jamison, the author of “Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World.” While author E.L. James and her “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy made fan fiction mainstream, One Direction has fueled a subgenre that focuses on real people.
The British band is cutting a new swath of fan frenzy on its On the Road Again tour, stopping Tuesday at Arrowhead Stadium. While girls adore the members’ looks and well-placed tattoos, fans say it’s the personalities and music that make One Direction stand out as this generation’s boy band.
“Love fan fiction or hate it — I personally love it — you can’t deny that there are a number of people who are writing and reading in ways they wouldn’t have done otherwise,” said Todd, 26, who lives in Austin, Texas. “It gives people an outlet to read and write about things they love.”
One Direction fan fiction can range from the classic story of girl and 1D member falling in love to the members becoming president-appointed international spies. There’s also a large amount of gay fan fiction where some of the members — typically Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson — are lovers.
Todd’s original story focused on 18-year-old Tessa falling in love with tattooed bad boy Styles during her freshman year of college. Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and (now ex-member) Zayn Malik are also in the story. Todd had to change the names in her published book for copyright reasons. For example, Harry Styles is now Hardin Scott.
Todd’s fan fiction has garnered thousands of online comments, especially about fan-favorite lines like: “Promises of forever and unconditional love are made as he tenses and gently falls onto me.”
She started writing on Wattpad on her phone in April 2013 as a hobby. Three months later, her stories had millions of views. When Todd found “After” Twitter accounts and fan fiction of her fan fiction, she knew her life was going to change.
She said she chose to write about One Direction simply because she was obsessed with the band and its music. She loves how the band members, discovered five years ago on the British “X Factor,” still seem to be down-to-earth guys who choose to eat hamburgers onstage and don’t do the typical boy-band choreography.
“They’re all so supportive of fans being creative since the very beginning,” she said. “And they’ve let it be known that they know it exists.”
Some of the fan fiction is based around Kansas City. In one Wattpad story, girls take the One Direction boys to Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kan., and flirt on the lazy river. In several stories, a teenage girl and her friends drive in for One Direction’s concert and coincidentally run into the band and fall in love. There are paragraphs dedicated to how well they kiss.
One female author, whose Twitter profile says she lives in Topeka, wrote about her kiss with Harry and how “stinking amazing” it was: “There wasn’t any space between us, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. As he deepened the kiss, I sighed a little. Before I could feel embarrassed about THAT, I felt him smile onto my lips.”
At one time, fan fiction websites didn’t allow stories based on real people, Jamison said. Many in the community saw it as “creepy and weird.” But One Direction fans have a “story they want told. And they get mad if that story isn’t told,” she said.
“Those boys are specially packaged and marketed to be desirable and look like they love each other,” Jamison said. “The publicity machines have created this image that serves as a prompt for people to imagine.”
Fan fiction lets people do what traditional literature doesn’t, and there is not as much judgment from readers. A lot of published authors are secretly on fan fiction websites, she said.
Jamison found that the people who read and write fan fiction are very diverse in terms of race, sexuality, gender and geography — on a global scale.
Katie Lewis, 24, of Kansas City became obsessed with One Direction in college. One of her friends bought the “One Direction: This Is Us” concert movie, and Lewis ended up watching it five times a week with her roommates.
She said she wouldn’t have become a fan if it weren’t for the behind-the-scenes YouTube videos and music streamed on Spotify — monster hits such as “What Makes You Beautiful,” “Kiss You” and “Story of My Life.”
“At first it was because the music was so catchy and they were pretty easy on the eyes, but then we discovered they all had a pretty great sense of humor,” said Lewis, who is going to Tuesday’s concert. Still, One Direction fan fiction “weirds” her out. Most of it has made her uncomfortable, with the fantasy sexual encounters, or made her laugh at how crazy writers can get with it.
But at the same time, Lewis, who works in advertising, credits the female fans with One Direction’s worldwide success. Unlike many male fans, women want to buy One Direction school supplies, T-shirts and posters.
“When girls are fans of something, they go all in.” she said