Wednesday, May 1, 2013

05/01/2013 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone! We've made it through another month relatively unharmed. Yay! Today marks the first of May, and while the weather is great, depending on where you're at I hope you're safe. My area likes to be an over-achiever during such times, so please if you live in the greater Seattle area, or are planning on going downtown today, please reschedule. Knowing our luck it will be absolutely ridiculous today.

Let's distract ourselves from those more darker topics though and think about something fun, like writing and things like that. I'm actually going to touch on a somewhat delicate subject today, and it's more delicate in the sense of a lot of people don't think highly of it rather than controversial. No, what I wanted to take a look at today was the idea of fan written stories, or fanfiction. I'll give you all a moment to stop either reeling or laughing before I continue.

Now that we're done with that, the reason I wanted to bring it up because aside from being questionably copy write infringing, has touched on that subject before and it was actually quite interesting, fanfiction does have something it's actually very good at, and that is giving authors something to practice with. Let's say there is a particular genre you know you aren't the greatest at and you want to work on it, but the idea of making up entire characters/backstories/world-building and such for that is not helping motivate you. Fanfiction gives you a medium to do that with fairly easily, since all of that has already been established for you. Sure there are a lot of people who believe it is the lowest form of writing because of that fact, but there are a lot of people who write it for the purpose of practicing, not for novel-writing.

I'm not say there aren't scary things in fanfiction, because there are. Lots of them. Terrifying things. I won't go into them here, but there's a reason my friends and I joke about it. The point I'm trying to make is that if you do decide to use that as one of your mediums, don't be ashamed, especially if someone tells you that you should be. Tell them your reasons for it, and if it makes you happy then just smile as they look at you like you're crazy. Fanfiction is also a great 'gateway drug' into novel writing, in my opinion. You start with something that you really love and make something of your own from it, then you start putting in the characters you've made (this even includes the Mary Sue characters I hate so very much), and after that it's only a matter of time before the number of characters that are in the original source material compared to your own are dwindling. Once that happens it's just a few setting changes and POOF original work.

A lot of authors got their start writing fanfiction first or getting their inspiration from things like Dungeons and Dragons, which is why I will never knock it's value. I'll even admit that back in my day I wrote some, and also posted it on the internet (good luck finding it because I'm not telling you the pen name I used), and while I think it's silly I did it, I'll never say it wasn't good for me. The stories were long (to me at the time), character driven, and no one who read them could say that the reactions didn't seem realistic. Once in a great while I get an e-mail notification that they were 'favorited' by someone, and that gives me a little nostalgic feeling. If your goal is to eventually write a novel, and right now you're working on something like fanfiction or basing your story off your D&D game, keep at it, because that's where a lot of the greats started.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. I hope it treats you well and I will return on Friday with my normal review. I always hope they help the authors that I showcase even a little bit. For now though I hope you have a great rest of your week!

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