Fan Fiction Addiction

by LimebirdCat

Today kids, I’m going to rock your world with the tangled realms of…dum dum duuuum! Fan fiction.

This is one of the avenues I personally pursued to get into writing stories.

It provides a sort of template for you to add your own ideas to and then watch them flourish. The backgrounds and characters are already established and can be tinkered with however you see fit – you sort of get creative without even knowing it.

You even enjoy yourself into the bargain.

I think we all read novels, watch films and see musicals that we all fall madly in love with. Some are best just left alone, others spark your imagination. The hunger to continue the story that you’ve read – or retell it, can actually provide a firm creative foundation.

It’s like with drawing I suppose. You copy and copy and copy the greats until you become confident and develop your own style. Then someone will emulate you, then find their own. We are like each other’s mother ducks, nudging each other’s fragile creativity into the pond of wonderment.

Fan fiction is, erm, I wouldn’t go as far as saying easy but perhaps easier than writing something from scratch. The characters, setting and the kitchen sink are all there for you to play with. It doesn’t matter if you write like a kid or a laureate – all’s fair and game in the world of fan fiction.

It is good and proper to love a story, even if someone else came up with the idea first. It’s wonderful to create your own take on it.

What I utterly adore about fan fiction, is its ability to always to surprise me. There are numerous novels, films, comics and musicals out there that I adore and to visit a fan fiction site and see someone continue the story beautifully makes my actual day. Proper, proper *squeeee* moment. The official author may not have continued it, but someone else has and just as skilfully. There, right there is the joy of it. The skill, the vision and the effort people demonstrate when writing fan fiction is stunning. Blow your actual head off stunning.

I love it.

There are a lot of skilled, and I mean genuinely skilled craftsmen and women out there furthering their dearly beloved story on the web (and even in published formats too) and doing so with clear love in their hearts and talent in their fingertips.

It’s a form of writing that gets so derided because there is a lot of association with the smutty side of fan fiction that you hear about. Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock fame (here in the UK) has recently spoke about his brush with fan fiction, expressing his amusement at reading the more Mills and Boon type fiction that he’s seen.

Yeah – alright, that does exist. Like it does in the average supermarket shelf paperback. Nothing you haven’t seen before, promise. In a way, it’s sort of funny to read about the romantic and amorous escapades of characters you know and love. Particularly those characters who, like Erik from the Phantom of the Opera, in all actuality, are not ever going to be laid if they were real. I’m glad that there are an army of Mary Sue characters out there to give him the love (and indeed lovin’) he was never going to get from the likes of his creator, Gaston Leroux.

One of the most successful fan fictions I have ever come across (and read) is the sublime Phantom by Susan Kay. It is seriously, seriously good and you cannot get hold of a copy for love nor money. I had a sell my soul to get mine.

Do you know? There is just something so beautiful and ridiculously, madly wonderful about it. Something that you can never get from a novel that you’ve just picked up. Something gorgeous and silly and perfect about it. It’s like frogspawn – out of these humble beginnings emerge new writers who are finding their voice and their feet. Or flippers. Do tadpoles have flippers?

Out of this wonderful world you get some stunning writing that, as I have said before, is just joyous and skilful.

I love a lot of novels and stories and have written fan fiction myself in order to have a bit of a go at writing and gone from there.

Fandom’s that are my complete and total guilty pleasures and I read them quite a bit, are mainly Jane Eyre, Phantom of the Opera and V for Vendetta and other broody, dark and mad things like that. I draw the line at all this True Blood and Twilight malarkey. I’m getting old I think. Or curmudgeonly. I just can’t get into something I know that my 14-year-old self would have salivated over and that just can’t be right in my book! Those of you who are my age or older and are into that sort of fiction I salute you. You are cooler, more interesting and vastly more ‘with it’ than me!

Want to see what the jingo I am talking about, when I allude to fan fiction and it showing some amazing quality? Below are some links that will take you to some stories that I just think are the muts nuts. Some are erm, yes, there is a little bit of impropriety shall we say, but all wonderfully written. Just beware of those chapters if you are a younger reader. I am not having your Mum come round my house wanting words or anything!

L’Ange Noir

This is by a young lady called Evie Corr from Australia. She is currently at University and apparently works at a shoe shop. I read her blog, she’s ace. Anyway, here is a perfect example of fan fiction demonstrating promise from a fine young writer. It is in the realms of the Phantom of the Opera, but this is a retelling, so you don’t need to have read the story beforehand.

Time The Avenger

This is a wonderfully written, trippy and frankly mad fic written a good few years ago now. It’s all Phantom of the Opera and really quite fabulous. Be warned, your ‘impropriety’ metre will go off the scale with some of the more lewd things that go on, but the story itself is nicely crafted and twisty-turny.

V for Vendetta – Collection

This is a link to a whole list of fan fictions written about 6 years ago by an American lady. That’s all I know about it and her. She wrote hundreds of one shot stories that sort of serve as chapters. They are all written in the sort of way that makes you feel like V (our hero) would think. Very nicely crafted indeed and I have just come across them myself. If you are not familiar with V for Vendetta, then go! Go to Amazon and buy it! There’s the DC comics graphic novel which is gorgeous, but Huge Weaving IS amazing in the film. Seriously amazing and I think it’s his best role ever. He uses simply his body language and voice to act out this insane role and does so perfectly. How many other actors could pull that off? Ok, will stop gushing about Mr Weaving now. Promise.

I think there is enough to get you reading, if you want to. There are plenty of fan fiction sites and I say, chuck caution to the wind and have a go yourself! Or read and support those who do. Some people use it as their spring-board into wider creative writing, others just solely write it and that’s it. Either way, it’s a glorious and woefully underrated thing and it would be wrong not to fall madly in love with it like I have.

LimebirdCat x

PS: Hugo Hugo Hugo Hugo!!!

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17 Responses to “Fan Fiction Addiction”

  1. Ohhh, you know I’ve never tried writing Fan Fiction. I remember in secondary school, some of my friends did HP and LOTR fan fiction, which was really good and I’ve also read some fan fiction, but I’ve never taken my hand to doing any myself. However, after this post I have to say that I’m tempted…. Hmmm… where do you think would be a good place to start?

    • Well, there is a fabuloso fan fic website that may inspire you to write and publish on it. Or read. It’s probably the biggest one around: http://www.fanfiction.net/ considering it’s such a huge site, it’s really crap to navigate. As soon as you get the hang of it though, it’s amazing. I began writing fan fiction as a very small child, probably back with Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. I kid you not! I’ve been writing FF ever since, with long breaks in between. My mates at school where never that interested in it, but I think that’s because they all had lives and I didn’t! T’was a geek.

      To start in terms of writing, I dunno, it’s quite an individual thing. Which bit of what story did you like? Is there something you wanted to know about a particular character that you think you can answer? Would you ever want to see a character do something the ‘canon’ version wouldn’t? It’s down to whatever inspires you. It’s about filling the gaps or even plastering over them completely with your own take.

      PS Did anyone spot my, err, typo… that’s right….um…. a typo…. with Hugo Weaving’s name? I just reread this and thought it was so Freudian and hilarious that I defy you all now not to go find it and not laugh! Ha!

  2. You’ve inspired me here Cat! This is something I have never even considered having a go at – it wasn’t even on my radar. I haven’t read the links you posted yet, but I’ll definitely come back to this later and delve a bit.

  3. I’ve never tried my hand at fan fiction but I do read it and couldn’t agree more with your post – I’ve discovered some really amazing writers who have captured my favourite characters completely and given them a storyline that I wish had been in whatever film/book/tv show they were from and in some cases (and I don’t know if I can admit which tv show fanfic I read in this case) the fanfic has been better than the actual writing on the show!

  4. Fan fiction is a topic near and dear to my soul.

    I started writing when I was probably about ten or eleven years old, with Star Wars and Dark Crystal stories. They were, admittedly, not very good, but I like to think I got better over time. Fan fiction really allowed me to practice, and pretty safely; I didn’t have to come up with histories or characterizations. I could just write.

    These days, I love my original worlds and characters. But there’s still a part of me that enjoys writing fan fiction, too. It’s a way to ignore some of the rules related to publishing and editing and just have fun with characters or ideas you love. (“Doctor Who” remains one of my all-time favorite fandoms, and I love writing stories about my Songbirds, even if those stories have veered far afield of what the creators originally intended!)

    Fan fiction is one of the purest forms of writing-for-enjoyment that I’ve ever come across. Yes, there is quite a lot of dreck out there. But, every once in a while, readers can find a gem or two. I’m actually very proud to have made some fan fiction stories that people enjoy! (Because I know that the “real world” of publishing original work is going to be so much harder.)

    Nice post!

  5. I didn’t realize what I was getting into when I started my relationship with fan fiction. It’s been an interesting journey and that’s putting it mildly. I’ve been at it for a few years now and recommend it if there’s a world you love. Just remember that certain authors/properties do not appreciate it. (There’s a good list of them on fanfiction.net)
    I have some blogs on this as well… can be found at melissacuevas.wordpress.com archived in December 2011.

  6. You may have already heard, but as one of my followers I would like to invite you to my bad girl blog: http://nothobblingnow.wordpress.com/

  7. I read your slip as Hugo too! I wrote fanfics when I was a bit younger, and stopped. At that age though, I made some really good friends doing it. One of whom I still talk to after 5 years. Good memories…

  8. I had never heard of fanfiction until I met a bunch of fans of the TV show Bones on Twitter a couple of years ago. I never would have thought I’d write any, but I found that it was a great way to boost my muse… when I’d be stuck with my novel, I’d write some fanfic, and that would keep me writing and jump start my creativity again.

    I’m not keen on the idea that some fanfic is being re-purposed into original novels. There is something that doesn’t quite sit right with me when considering that basically just names and other minor things have been changed… original fiction should be original fiction. I enjoy reading and writing it, but I do not take myself too seriously with it. I think it’s a great avenue to experiment with writing and also get some public attention – especially when you have honest reviewers.

  9. I love to read fan fiction. I have been amazed at the number of well written stories out there to enjoy. It allows me to revisit a world that I love when I don’t want to give it up. 🙂

  10. I’ve never really written or looked into fan fiction before. The closest I think I came to it was two times when I was younger. I was probably 11-ish when the movie Independence Day came out and I loved it! I forced my mom to drop me off at the theater 4 times to watch it, I was hooked! Never since then have I seen a movie 4 times at the theater… Anyway, after my 4th time I came home and wrote a short sequel to it with the main characters and stuff. And then one time when I was maybe 13 or so I wrote a short sequel to Stephen King’s Tommyknockers. I do find it hard to let go of character’s once the author’s tale is told, and like to think what they might be up to.

  11. Interesting article. I’m not sure about recommending fanfic to others as although it can be great for all the reasons you say, I actually have a more conflicted relationship with fanfic, bordering on addiction. I guess it’s like all things and can be good in moderation with the right attitude. But these ‘verses have a way of taking over your life if you let them… 😉

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