Fanfic: You should be writing more of it4 min read
Fanfic: if you can think of it, it already exists. Dobby and Draco slash fic? Yes (and my poor eyes…). Toy Story and Walking Dead cross over fic? You betcha.
Fan fiction is great. It gives you a chance to practice different voices without having to spend a whole load of time thinking up a new character with associated motivations. It lets you to get creative with someone else’s world and characters, which is a good relax compared to the whole story world resting on your shoulders. Not to mention you have a whole load of friendly communities happy to see, and give advice, on their favourite characters and pairings. Sometimes loudly and with many squeeees.
Fan fiction helps you practice your focus on the centre of a story. With one shot fanfic in particular you are posing yourself a single question. What would happen if all the characters in the Big Bang Theory were in Wonderland? How would Naruto defeat Samurai Jack? What would Spongebob’s life be like if his pants were *shock horror* spherical?
I read Orhan Pamuk’s new book The Naive and Sentimental Novelist last week and his last chapter is all about the centre of the novel. I may not agree with how he defines literary fiction vs. genre fiction, but I do think good fiction should look to try and answer a central question. With Pride and Prejudice it’s, “should we staunchly maintain our initial impressions of people?” (Answer: wait until you’ve scoped out his house, then decide.) In South Park: The Movie, it’s “what would Brian Boitano do?”
When you’re writing a long story the centre can often be unwieldly. So one shot fanfic is a fabulous practice space. Like short stories or poetry, you par everything to the bare bones to deliver your message. And all the free feedback from the super engaged fan communities… I cannot oversell how helpful it is to get that many critiques.
Fanfic is also where I go to rebuild my confidence when my other writing isn’t going so well. As well as being strong on the online critique, good fan communities don’t stint with the love! Having people engage with your writing is what authoring is all about, right?
So get out your comic books and TV box sets. Is there an underrated character in need of more air time? Characters you would like to see paired up and on an adventure together? (I’m still hoping for some Dr Zoidberg/House crossover fic and, now I’ve thought of it, rules of the internet means I’ll be able to find it somewhere online…)
Tell us what you fangirl or fanboy about; there’s bound to be someone from Plotist in that community!
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