the dying art of one direction fanfiction
Let’s take a time machine back to 2012.
Barack Obama is still president. Everyone’s waiting for the End of The World. 2012 was a monumental year for music, with gems such as Call Me Maybe and Gangnam Style released that year. More importantly, 2012 was the year One Direction burst upon the scene.
So, who were One Direction?
If you’re asking yourself that question, you are either a) a hundred years old with severe amnesia or b) five years old with no memory of what life used to be before today’s BTS-dominated music scene.
Trust me when I say that One Direction were the band of the early 2010s. (For the aforementioned five-year olds: it was kind of like BTS but British and with two fewer members). It consisted of five reasonably attractive members, all of whom are “doing their own thing nowadays” but will never, ever have the success One Direction had in their prime.
As a human being alive in 2012, you either loved One Direction or hated them; either way, you were emotionally invested in the band, which amounts to pretty much the same thing.
What happens when the world’s most popular boy band meets an enormous army of adoring teenage fangirls?
Wattpad will probably go down in history as your one-stop shop for trashy fanfiction. During my meticulously carried out research, I came across some tropes which will probably shock the average reader but are common fare to any former 1D fan:
- The Adopted By One Direction fic: pretty much what it says on the cover. The thing is, it’s not even the craziest fanfiction staple on this list. That title goes to…
- The Kidnapped and Sold into Slavery to One Direction fanfiction: Yes, this is actually a thing. It is also the most popular thing, as many of the fanfics listed under this trope have upwards of a hundred thousand reads. Feel like taking a plunge into relative normalcy? Then take a gander at…
- The Made Eye Contact With A Member of One Direction fic: Again, as with nearly every other Wattpad fanfiction, you get what you see. As unrealistic and convoluted as this trope is, it also has a heavy following on Wattpad.
A few more things these fanfics have in common are: borderline abusive relationships with a member of the band (usually Harry) prolonged staring into someone’s green orbs (invariably Harry) and atrocious grammar that will make your eyes bleed and/or lose hope in the future of English language. Reading through these treasures of literature somehow managed to destroy even my extremely low expectations of the writing talents of crazed, One-Direction obsessed twelve-year-old fangirls.
Most popular of all these fanfictions is the (frankly, terribly written) After by Anna Todd, which was made into not one, not two, but three best-selling books and a movie, which may flop rotten-tomatoes wise but still have a healthy following of 1D fangirls.
After marks the demise of the 1D fanfic, which has been steadily dwindling in numbers since late 2017. While Wattpad has moved on to other tales of borderline abusive relationships (case in point: The Kissing Booth), and all its writers have moved to greener pastures, its name will forever be eponymous with the iconic One Direction fanfiction.