I know that I said that updates on this blog would be less frequent, but today I’ve got a bit of free time and I’d like to share with you some thoughts that popped into my head.
Firstly, so it turns out, I don’t really follow plans. I’ve decided that I’m not going to follow a schedule or anything like that anymore. I’m just going to write whenever I want to, and I’ll write whatever I want, and I’ll be happier that way (and that’s the way blogging should be). But don’t worry though, the T.S. 1888 series will be happening, and more reviews and writing tips are coming up sometime this year.
Anyway, without further diverging, I’d like to talk about fanfiction. We’ve all encountered it if we were on the internet; they were my guilty pleasures when I was in high school. It can be literally about anything from The X-Files to Naruto, or any media we consume. The main characteristic of fanfiction is that the franchise, the characters, and most of the things involved in the fanfiction are not entirely our own. There are people out there that abhor fanfiction because of this; apparently, they’re not being original, and that fanfiction writers are just lazy and can’t be arsed to make up their own universes and characters.
I can see where they’re coming from. We often like to show our creativity through the things we make, be it a painting, drawing, a story, poem, or whatever, and if for instance, I painted a picture that is reminiscent of Van Gogh’s art style, you may think, ‘you’re just copying him. Try and find your own style’.
But here’s where I’ll disagree with this stance. While the universe, characters, the franchise of the media is not our own, the idea of the fanfiction is. We can view fanfiction as some sort of wish fulfilment for ourselves; I may want to write a fanfiction about two characters that I want to become a couple (but never will because their original writers CAN’T SEE THE FACT THAT THEY BELONG TOGETHER). Or, there may be an event that you wished could occur differently or have a different outcome. The idea is yours. I know the Fifty Shades franchise gets criticism for starting out as a fanfiction series (I’ve shown distaste for this series on my About page, but I’ve since edited that out, and yeah, my opinions about these books haven’t changed). But, was it Stephenie Meyer’s idea to have Edward and Bella have some sort of f*cked up, Dom/sub relationship? Answer: no. It was E.L. James’ idea (or should I say, Snowqueens Icedragon).
You know what else is original? Characters you wrote yourself. Granted, original characters are often frowned upon; there are some dreaded Mary Sues and Gary Stus that make me cringe even to this day. However, there have been some well-written original characters that blend perfectly with the world of the book/show/movie/anime etc.
There are also what are called Alternative Universes (I like these ones a lot), in which the characters well… they’re in an alternative universe; it speaks for itself. They may be in an alternative time frame (21st-century characters are in the 19th century and vice versa). These are original too!
In other words, my views on fanfiction are quite positive. I mean, there are reaaaallly bad fanfictions out there, but there are also some really good ones too. Fanfiction is creative. It enables a person to use their creativity. It encourages them to write and read a lot more, just like original stories. Additionally, it also encourages people to write their own original stories eventually. In fact, I’ve written a few fanfictions, but never published them. I wrote a fair amount in high school, but eventually, I broke off and wrote my own original stories. While there are some people that can create plots and characters at a drop of a hat, some others may need a stepping stone to get to that level of creativity.
Here’s a writing exercise for ya. Choose a franchise of media you follow. Choose a minimum of two characters from that franchise. Let’s say that these characters are travelling from their hometown to a city they’ve never been to before. Then suddenly, their mode of transportation fails to bring them to the desired place (i.e. the vehicle breaks down or they fall off the carriage and the horses run away), so these characters are left to walk. What are their interactions and dynamics? What do they say to one another? Then, a stranger stops and offers them a ride to wherever they’re going to. How do these characters react? What happens next?
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say about the topic. What do you think of fanfiction? Have you written one? Comment below!
I’ll see you when I see you. Take care and stay creative!