The Ramblings of a Fanfiction Writer.
Whether it's AU (Alternate Universe) where Edward Cullen is a vampire firefighter (I strangely haven't read one about this?), or AH (All Human) where Jace Herondale and the rest of the The Mortal Instruments crew are now fully human and students at a school, you cannot deny the importance of fanfiction.
As a fanfiction writer myself, I cannot express just how much this form of writing has helped me during my life. I have been writing on fanfiction.net for almost 5 years now, and during those years, my writing has VASTLY improved and it's all because of that site. Everyone that writes fanfiction writes for a reason. My reason was because I was a very lonely teenager and I loved writing and wanted nothing more than to share my words with the world. No, I was not a very good writer, but I persevered. And it paid off in the long run.
Writing fanfiction not only gave me a platform where I could post my stories based on my favorite shows and books, it also introduced me to the world of constructive criticism. Through the guidance written in my reviews, I became a so much better writer which also led to me starting to blog and review. Also, fanfiction writing introduced me to other like-minded people who also wrote in the same category! Some of my longest online friends are the ones I met when I first started writing fanfiction. They helped me through my depression and teenage years and quite frankly, I'll always be indebted to them.
Fanfiction is a tricky subject to discuss, and it shouldn't be. The genre is one of love, it has to be said. Each story, no matter how good or bad it is, has a person, a real person behind them. You sometimes feel that what your writing is second-class and inferior to published works. There are many people who hate the fact people enjoy taking a beloved author's work and twisting it around using their imagination, and I just cannot understand why. I have never understood it and quite frankly, I don't think I ever will. There is nothing worse than being bashed for writing fanfiction, I assure you. It's soul-destroying and can easily knock a person's confidence, causing them to never want to write fanfiction again. I have been the subject of bullies a few times. Most notably when I was a writer in the The Vampire Diaries section of the site. In the end the sheer hostility of the fans caused me to give up on writing TVD fanfiction. A year later I even gave up on the show because of the terrible online fans and their relentless bullying. (Not towards me, thankfully). Fanfiction writing is a good, amazing thing that allows anyone and everyone to write. It should be encouraged, not discouraged.
Plus, you must remember that fanfiction writers are doing this for free. Every word and chapter is a labor of love. Whether it's Crack, Slash or well, anything. There are so many writers that carry on posting even when they get next to no views or one review. These people are heroes. If there's one thing writing fanfiction has taught me more than grammar and punctuation, that is PATIENCE.
Yes. Patience. When you first begin writing fanfiction, you dream about becoming one of those people on the Most Reviewed page. You want nothing more than to be one of the most reviewed writers in your category. Fanfiction fame, basically. Those with thousands upon thousands of reviews and loyal fans that read your every chapter and word.
I was one of them for sure. It was my goal on the site. My ultimate goal. And after two/three years, I made it. I reached my goal: one of my stories had over one thousand reviews, over one thousand views and it even had a loyal fanbase. But then... it was over. And suddenly I was faced with the dreaded two words: What now?
It took a long time for me to decide what to work towards after smashing my goal to pieces. Eventually I decided that my new works would be centered around mental health, drugs, addiction and what I was suffering at the time: depression. I wanted to introduce people to the painful reality of what depression is really like and show them it without full-on romanticizing it. Mental health issues and depression is nothing to see as all lovey-dovey, I can tell you that now. I wrote these in the hope of helping out other depressed people, to encourage them to stay strong and carry on. I'm more than delighted to say that I've had endless impossibly long messages from grateful readers. That I helped them recover from depression. I'd love to post some of these messages up, but privacy issues, of course. They all made me cry. Happy cry. VERY happy cry. All I've ever wanted was to help people through my words. And I have. To me, that is worth more than all of the reviews and views in the world.
Anyway, fanfiction writers all have different frames of mind: each story is personal to them, even if they don't realize it. Say, a scene could be something they long for themselves. The more I get to know about fic writers, the more I see of them in their fics. And that is amazing, personally.
In all my years, the main points I have learned from writing fanfiction are:
- How to create realistic storylines
- How to make friends
- How to improve my grammar
And most importantly...
- TO NEVER GIVE UP.
Giving up is a fanfiction writing sin. And one that I have committed too many times to count, sadly. Sometimes you have a moment of madness and think "why the hell am I even doing this?!" and seriously consider deleting all of the precious words that you've wrote so far. Just don't do it. You'll regret it.
As you've gathered from my ramblings, fanfiction is a very difficult topic to talk about. We are writers, yet not. Yes, some fanfiction writers are lucky enough to become published authors, but that is only a TINY majority. Personally, I don't think I will ever become a published author, but I will always carry on writing my The Mortal Instruments fanfiction and my current two novels (The Dark City and Ocean of Ink and Teeth).
Fanfiction is a giant family. A giant, dysfunctional family that lives on crack-fics and smut. And I love being a part of it. It's not a secretive world as some people like to think. We're loud and proud. Much like Magnus Bane. We are Writing Warlocks.
My fanfiction can be found HERE
If anyone wants to chat fanfiction or story ideas or anything, my PMs are always open!