I have a dirty little secret.
Umm, no, that’s not actually it. (Unless you’re Jensen Ackles, of course.)
I write fanfic.
(wait for it)
She did NOT just say that.
Yeah. I did.
What of it?
Look, a lot of people write fanfic. We all know about EL James, right? If you are one of the utterly clueless, Fifty Shades of Grey actually started as Twilight fanfic. Several famous authors also write fanfic, among them Sue Hinton (The Outsiders, she writes Supernatural fanfic) and Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments, writes LOTR fanfic).
I don’t get the bad rap, but I also never wrote it or read it until about 3 months ago.
And I do mean never.
Even as a kid I never wrote about other people’s stories, because I had so many of my own in my head. I think I am among the minority, though, because if you think about it, that’s how most writers get started.
Stephen King sums this up the why of this brilliantly (as he does most things) in his book, On Writing (otherwise known to me as the Writer’s Bible):
“[Because] …it’s beautiful and we fall in love with all that story[…] Even after a thousand pages we don’t want to leave the world the writer has created for us, or the make believe people that live there. You wouldn’t leave after two thousand pages, if there were two thousand[…]”
“J.R.R. Tolkien is a perfect example of this. A thousand pages of hobbits hasn’t been enough […] for fantasy fans. Hence Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, Robert Jordan, the questing rabbits of Watership Down and half a hundred others. The writers of these books are creating the hobbits they still love and pine for; they are trying to bring Frodo and Sam back from the Gray Havens because Tolkien is no longer around to do it for them.”
~ Stephen King, On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft
I love this. And I loved it when I read it years ago, long before I’d heard of actual fanfic, or read any of it. So what got me into fanfic? HA.
This lady right here.
Laurann Dohner, Author of the New Species series
I got sucked into the New Species stories because every PNR junkie I know had read them, except me. Then a friend lent them to me and well, they’re like book crack. Not exactly good for you and sometimes they made you a little ill, but I couldn’t really stop. Basically, the New Species stories are about a race genetically engineered by an evil pharmaceutical company and the trials they face after they are released. The series started kind of rough, then got better as they went along, [I still think Moon is one of the best PNR romance reads ever], but there are so many characters left unexplored and the possibility for stories in this world is endless. One character in particular wouldn’t leave me alone. Finally my brain cooked up a whole plot for him and next thing you know, I’m on fanfic.net. I was obsessed, wrote a nearly 65k word story in less than a month.
I think what appeals to me about writing fanfic—besides the story itself—is trying on someone’s else style, writing with their pen, if you will. LD is far more stripped down than me, more simplistic, more dialogue driven and action orientated. While I will never adopt that style permenantly (I am too in love with lush, dark and richly detailed) this is an EXCELLENT writing exercise for me. It gets me out of my own head, helps me realize when I’m getting too heavy. It helps clears my mind, gets those bats out of the belfry when they get out of control.
And it’s fun.
I put the question of why we read and write fanfic to a group I belong to, and got some really great answers.
“I love characters so much, but I don’t like the things that happen to them, so I make up the endings I want.” ~ Ripley
“[…]because I feel that all of these characters and stories leave questions unanswered. ~ CJ
“I write ff because I love adding different endings to stories I already love.” ~ Jackie
“Authors don’t have time to fill us in on everything, but with FF, you get a glimpse into other aspects of the characters lives.” ~ Leigh
“Like so many others here I read fanfiction to pass the time between releases of my favourite authors.” ~ Helena
“I never thought I would read ff. Ever. I held a rather low opinion of it to be honest.[…] [But] …it was amazing. The talent and stories I get to read is astounding. I sort of feel like I never have to buy a book again! Like Lesia said, it’s a way to pass the time until the next book in the canon comes out but I also like to read the different takes on the stories and get the chance to read a different outcome.” ~ Megan
And my favorite~
“I like wandering off the beaten path, and that’s what I consider fanfiction stories to be: an adventure into the unknown with characters you’ve grown to care for over the years.” ~ Jenny
So basically, stories you can’t let go of, or worlds that won’t let go of you.
TO check out some really amazing fanfic, try https://www.fanfiction.net/
Some of the ladies quoted above have some stellar work out. My faves include:
Also on wattpad”
And my fanfic handle is:
Happy reading. 😉