Let’s talk a little bit about fanfiction, because I know some of you guys are just visiting this page for my fanfics – I see it in the stats and I love it. It’s how I came to writing, and I’m still doing it, though not as frequently as I’d like.
Okay, for those not familiar with the concept (really?!): it’s when you sit down to write stories on an already existing text, use the setting, the characters, and stuff, make that world your own. This also works with the life of celebrities, though I’m not engaging in that. But I engage in plenty of the rest.
Since I’m having a hard time writing this year, it’s actually a good thing Pitch Perfect 2 came out when it did. It inspires me, not the movie per se, but its characters. I’ve written quite a lot about them two years ago and I’m just getting started on it again. It’s good, it’s familiar, it’s easy (or easier).
You probably think: it should be, someone else has done all the work for you. In part, that’s true. You take existing characters and existing settings and just play around a little. And then there are tropes and memes which also help you along. Yes, the blonde and the brunette is one of those. There are actually standard phrases for different character constellations, things that they usually do, a way to do it right.
As said, I’m writing Pitch Perfect again. The story is called Six Degrees of Queer, and it’s kind of a reflection on thoughts and discussions that are important to me right now. The title also reflects on how strange I feel writing again, because it’s like learning it anew. Sometimes you feel so out of it that you have to go to a familiar place and retrace steps. That’s what I’m doing right now. And it’s still slow going.
I started writing fanfiction when a friend in the Xena-fandom said, hey, you write such beautiful poetry, think you can actually write a story, that would be great. So, I started writing for our favorite dynamic duo. That was in 2001, an eternity away. Needless to say, I loved it, though it was for a small community, it being in German.
Then there came some years when I didn’t write fanfic and then came Pitch Perfect and it all came back to me, vividly so. And it’s indeed like playing. Others have outlined the setting and characters and you can just delve in. I’m grateful for the fact that there are people out there who share this special place, the fandom. And I’ve had about 99.9% great feedback, people liking, being enthusiastic, asking me when I’ll continue (yeah, I know there are some unfinished stories and I wish I could get back to them today, and I’m sorry that I don’t).
Fanfiction is a great gateway writing experience. If you want to start somewhere it’s good to start where there are people who appreciate it, who cheer you on. It’s also a good place to read, to get to decide, what works for you in way of style, tropes, pairing, whatever you’re searching for. And it’s not shameful to indulge in fanfiction, even if there’s classic literature out there you haven’t yet read. Fanfiction is a part of literature, maybe it’s amateur writing, maybe some of it is really bad (then again, so is 50 Shades of Grey, and that’s been published [yes, I’m aware that it started out as Twilight fanfiction]), but you can learn from bad writing at least as much as you can from brilliant writing, maybe more. And you will also find stories that you’ll love and come back to every once in awhile, because it already contains something you love – a part of your favorite show/movie/book/etc.
If you don’t know where to look for these stories or where to publish them: fanfiction.net is a good place to start. It’s an extensive library with all kinds of fandoms represented. You might also want to check out Archive of our own (short AO3 – archiveofourown.org), especially when you’re a writer and want to have your work preserved for generations to come.
Hope you’re having a good week, lovelies.