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Fans use fiction to keep vampires alive

Twilight featuring zombies art work as published on online fan fiction website Deviantart.

Twilight featuring zombies art work as published on online fan fiction website Deviantart. Photo: Meru Chan

As Twilight sparkles for the last time, the legion of teen fans around the world are not allowing the story of Edward and Bella to end so are instead going into DIY denial and picking up where Stephenie Meyer and Hollywood left off.

The next big thing in teen fiction, according to researchers at the National Library of Australia, are the teens themselves who use their favourite contemporary literary characters and plot lines to write their own prequels and sequels.

''They are taking real-life characters like One Direction and also taking all of the Edwards and Bellas, Harrys and Hermiones and characters like that and writing them into new stories and giving them a new perspective of what they would like to see happen or what they would like to have happen in the future and putting them into all sorts of different environments,'' digital collections officer Heather Walsh said.

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart as Edward and Bella in <i>New Moon</i>.

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart as Edward and Bella in New Moon.

''The 'next big thing' for young readers seems to be e-books, written by teens and tweens and posted on open forums. There's still a lot of teen romance and a lot of fantasy.''

While fans wait for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire next November and books featuring stories of vampires, fairies and werewolves fill Christmas stockings, Ms Walsh, who has been investigating a range of publishing platforms in Australia, said teenagers were writing for themselves and self-publishing rather than waiting for the next bestseller.

''I've just come across a lot of online platforms that definitely seem to have more of that teen element with teens writing for each other and sharing their work, commenting and being social around their writing. They write for each other and they give each other feedback.

''Teens, mainly girls, are using things like Wattpad to write their own fan fiction stories but are putting themselves into the stories. There definitely is that younger market and they're doing all sorts of genres, so there's teen fiction, werewolf fiction, vampire fiction, they're writing themselves into the story, then sharing it,'' she said.

Wattpad is an online reading and writing portal specifically for use on smartphones and tablets. Ms Walsh said while it is not directly targeted at tweens and teenagers they make up a large part of the site's demographic.

Crescent Sun, a 31-part series written by mother-of-one Ashley who goes by the pseudonym ''TeamCullen0401'', has penned what she calls ''the Twilight saga after Breaking Dawn''.

It is one of the most popular reads in the Wattpad ''Vampire'' category. Since it was originally published and updated back in March it has been read more than 950,000 times and has received close to 3000 comments.

''I like how you keep each character strong, like Emmett, he's good for trouble … overall I love your writing technique,'' sexy-kili commented.

''Im [sic] only on the second page and im [sic] already addicted. This is really amazing. This should be the fifth book. Totally. Its [sic] so funny,'' hythdhythd123 added.

Online fan fiction is a burgeoning trend for literature and film, thanks primarily to the hype around the e-book-turned-international bestseller and soon-to-be-film Fifty Shades of Grey.

Greater Union's Kerryn Tippet said even though the Twilight film franchise was complete, fantasy young adult fiction would once again fill cinema seats in 2013.

''Beautiful Creatures [the first book in the Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl] will be huge, so will the second Hunger Games movie which will be released around the same time as Twilight traditionally is. The Host, Stephenie Meyer's next book turned movie will no doubt be popular with her fans,'' Ms Tippet said.

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