Honeyboys Wattpad fanfiction: An exclusive interview with its creators
Wattpad, a well-known website among internet users in the early 2000s, is a platform for amateur writers to share original fiction. The website quickly became popular for a specific type of fiction dubbed “fanfiction.”
Fanfiction is an unofficial story written about an existing piece of literature or public figure, without the express permission of the original writer or person being written about.
A popular Wattpad fanfiction was released around 2012, entitled “My Mom Sold Me to One Direction.” The story was meant to serve as a fantasy for fans of the boyband, following a first-person narrator who is “sold” to One Direction. The original story and author remain unknown, because the story inspired many imitations and circulated the internet as a meme.
This February, a fanfiction called “Heard it through the Grapevine,” was uploaded to Wattpad under the user name “Slofanfic.” The image card displays a picture of the local band Honeyboys, with text that reads “I Was Sold to the Honeyboys” — a clear parody of the original One Direction trope. The story was co-written by two Cal Poly students who would like to remain anonymous and will therefore be referred to as Author A and Author B in this article.
“Both of us in middle school went through the whole fanfiction phase, so it’s your classic ‘I was sold to One Direction’ story,” Author A said. “It started with an ‘I was sold to the Honeyboys’ laughing moment.”
“Heard it through the Grapevine” is told from the perspective of Nathan as he navigates joining the Honeyboys as their newest recruit. To complicate things, Nathan has to juggle his romantic feelings for three members of the band in a “love square.”
“I had been crying all night, my feelings for the boys got more complicated by the second,” the fanfiction reads. “I couldn’t believe all of the drama that has occurred over my short time with the Honeyboys.”
In real life, Nathan is a Cal Poly student, a member of Honeyboys and a past member of another local band, Car Pool. The content for the story was inspired by in-depth research using whatever information the creators could find online.
As a result, the story follows a fictionalized account of true events, such as The Honeyboys’ article with KCPR, the Battle of the Bands and trivia night at Kreuzberg.
“Literally there was nothing Instagram couldn’t tell us. Right before we started writing, [Honeyboys] posted a video with fun facts about themselves and we were like ‘perfect, this is gonna be included,’” Author B said.
The writers made a story map with the goal of fitting as many satirical Wattpad stereotypes as they could into one narrative. For example, Nathan is modeled after “y/n” (your name), a concept used in fanfiction so the reader can place themselves directly into the fantasy of the stories.
“We invited all our friends to come over and we created a huge storyboard. We color-coded all of it, so all the boys and what their tropes would be, and what their struggles would be,” Author B said.
The fanfiction offers a unique time capsule of the culture of San Luis Obispo and the underground music scene. Members of many local bands such as Kiwi Kannibal and Plywood Love are included as side characters.
“It was nice to accomplish something that incorporated all the different parts of SLO from downtown life to the farmers’ market … There were so many little inside jokes about the community that we had to include,” Author A said.
One apt critique of Cal Poly students occurs in the story when Nathan attends an ASI event and wonders, “why did all these people have their toes out so late at night?”
Because of its satirical origins, the creators did not expect the fanfiction to become as popular as it did. Circulation by Cal Poly-associated meme accounts on Instagram, such as @officialcampusbottle, @slobaddiesofficial and @sl.ench, resulted in the fanfiction amassing thousands of page views on Wattpad.
The writers of the fanfiction were relieved upon hearing the reaction of the band. Since the fanfiction was meant to serve as a lighthearted satire poking fun at Wattpad cliches and San Luis Obispo culture, the authors made sure to keep the content “PG.”
“The Honeyboys have read this,” Author A said. “Someone told me that [lead singer Ari] was saying that he showed this to his mom.”
Researching information about the characters, bands and local organizations mentioned in the fanfiction allowed the writers to “infiltrate niche spaces on campus in a weird way,” Author B said. This project also allowed them to feel closer to the community and to the Honeyboys themselves.
“I do think I have a fondness for them that I did not have before,” Author B said. “They’re our boys.”
A poll was sent out before the last chapter was released, allowing members of the community to vote for which Honeyboy they wanted Nathan to choose romantically. While the 16th and final chapter was released on March 14, the creators said they would consider writing more fanfictions in the future.
“It was fun to have an audience with this,” Author B said. “What if [next time] we drew attention to different spaces on campus that people haven’t heard of?”