Thursday, March 3, 2011

FanFiction FanDom

Yes, those are both non-words, but I like non-words. The english language is made up of hundreds, if not thousands of non-words like texted, television, and all those other words that weren't around when English was created... made... invented... um... I'm not going to try to figure this out since it has absolutely nothing to do with my post.

Back to the point (technically, 'to the point' since you can't go back to something you never got around to in the first place, and... I'm really distracted tonight).

Have you ever watched a movie, followed a show, or read a book, and thought to yourself "well, that was a terrible ending"? Maybe you're absolutely certain there should be another character in there (preferably one with your age/height/hair color)? Or wondered what happened in a characters life to make them that way? Trust me, you're not the only one! Cue huge sigh of relief: "I'm not weird." Well, actually, you are weird, sorry. You're just not weird because of this, just for many other reasons, like reading my blog: if you can read an entire post without a headache, you're weird.

Many, many, many people have thought those same exact things. How do I know that? has over two million users. True, many aren't active or are just readers (or are like me and only keep their account active for some beta-reading/editing practice), but the very fact that they have registered with this site tells us that they are thing it. The thing is FanFiction writers (and readers too) get a lot of criticism, and not the good kind.

What is the point of writing something that can't be published? Why waste your time on something that can't go anywhere? What, are you too lazy to come up with your own characters/story?

Well: "It's fun and great practice", "entertainment and mental exercise isn't really a waste of time", and "yes, sometimes I am too lazy." True, FanFiction can never be published. At the same time, no one expects it to be. It's a great way to flex our writing muscles, while not wasting time laying the ground work for stories we aren't actually using. It's a great cure for writers block, and let you feel good about your writing. When you post FanFiction you don't have to worry so much about people 'stealing' your ideas while getting feedbackon your writing style. It's also a wonderful way of learning how to stay in character. I am a huge fan of FanFiction if: the Characters are accurate and the plot isn't completely off. Now there are some FanFiction thatis Alternate Universe, which means the characters are in a completely different story. Those I somewhat enjoy because you're exercising the "What if" muscle. The What If muscle is when you take a character and say "what if they were actually in space," or "What if he was a girl?". Sometimes it takes wondering how that character would fit somewhere else or as someone else to see that they should be there. Example: Chicken Little was originally a girl, until they said "What If she was a boy?". Even just taking a character out of a given story can show you their true personality aside from circumstances that necessitate certain actions. FanFiction allows us to exercise The What Ifs.

By being able to take a character and write a whole new story, while staying completely within the confines of that characters personality and skill set, is a great ability to have. It is especially helpful to plot-novelists who have trouble with characters. Once you can do it with a character you know and love, you can do it with your own character with already built-in habits of checking for character consistency. (Side Note: No cheating-Having Han Solo say "I have a bad feeling about this" does not mean you have established character consistency and now have free reign)

Also, FanFiction is a good cure for a creative rut. When you can't think of a plot, or you just need to do something besides your WIP, you can write a FanFiction. Youhave ready made characters and setting. You don't have the temptation of abandoning your WIP for a new one, since a FanFictioin can never replace your own story that you've eat, slept and breathed for so long.

I am a fan of FanFiction. It's a great tool. Eventually everyone 'graduates from FanFiction and starts an original story, usually leaving a half finished story behind, but it's something you can come back to if you need some practice.

Pete the Lion is planning his next Masterpiece entitled "Masterpiece"
He's pretty confident it will be a fitting title.

All Things Writerly - Free Blogger Templates - by Templates para novo blogger