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Averon 2011
06-30-2011, 03:00 PM
DELETE

Guardian
06-30-2011, 03:20 PM
I still write Buffy fanfic. :D

gothicangel
06-30-2011, 03:29 PM
I tried writing one recently, but it erupted in to my current [original] WIP.

Cyia
06-30-2011, 03:43 PM
There are plenty of us here (both current and former), and there are also plenty here who detest the idea. Fanfiction at its best is great, but it's also addictive for the instant gratification factor.

crunchyblanket
06-30-2011, 03:44 PM
I still write fanfic. It's pretty much how I got into writing longer pieces; I once wrote an epic 40,000 word fic (it sucked. I was 16)

Peer critique within fanfic communities is immensely useful too.

bearilou
06-30-2011, 03:48 PM
I was for a little bit, way back in the day. :) I still read it from time to time and dabble in it, though I never post it these days. Mostly, I write it to 1) entertain myself and 2) warm up before settling down to write on my original wip.

Aerial
06-30-2011, 03:49 PM
I still write X-Men fanfics. It's a great way to build writing skills and, at least the fandoms I've been involved in have been friendly environments to learn how to give and take critiques.

Aerial

Parametric
06-30-2011, 04:01 PM
I love and embrace fanfiction. :LilLove:

BfloGal
06-30-2011, 04:43 PM
My interest in writing arose from fanfic. Then I read a blog where an author ranted on it, basically saying, "If you think you're so good, why don't you try original fiction?"

So I did.:D And I am soooo grateful for the challenge.

Fanfiction helps you learn to write by taking at least one element out of the writing process--character, perhaps setting. For me, it was like training wheels on a bicycle.

The cons are that fanfiction is uncopyrightable, and you may be in violation of someone else's copyright if you post it somewhere. If you hope to publish one day, I'd choose to either not post fanfic online (and then, what's the point?) or write under a carefully guarded alias.

And frankly, I've found fanfic peer critiques not very helpful at all--mostly praise, in my case. A good writing group is better.

shadowwalker
06-30-2011, 05:19 PM
I got back into writing via fanfic, and I'm very, very glad I did. What I've learned over the past few years - thanks to a couple of also serious writers - is unbelievable. Not all fanfic writers just toss stuff together and don't care if it's crap. There are many writers who put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into these works, honing their craft. And even though I'm now working on completely original works, I'm still writing fanfic (I even built a website for it :D).

Sheryl Nantus
06-30-2011, 05:26 PM
Started off decades ago as a fanfiction writer for the X-files - found my husband through it and honed my skills over years to the point that I'm now getting paid for my original work.

Love it, still read it, don't write much anymore due to the original stuff taking precedent... and encouraging some fanfic writers to go professional.

The truth...

aw, you know the rest.

;)

crunchyblanket
06-30-2011, 06:25 PM
Started off decades ago as a fanfiction writer for the X-files - found my husband through it and honed my skills over years to the point that I'm now getting paid for my original work.

Love it, still read it, don't write much anymore due to the original stuff taking precedent... and encouraging some fanfic writers to go professional.

The truth...

aw, you know the rest.

;)


X-Files fandom high five :hooray:

atombaby
06-30-2011, 06:45 PM
When I decided to take a good stab at writing, I started with writing fanfiction. Using another person's story as a crutch helped me to learn some of the craft that goes into writing, so I don't particularly look down on it. When I look upon them now, my writing is appalling but I can't help but feel a little sentimental towards it.

What bothers me about fanfiction is that yes, some of it is phenomenal -- the writing execution and plot line is done so well, that I wonder why these people haven't written their own original stories and pursued getting published. Maybe they do on the side, I don't know. I'd much rather be writing my own fiction because while I it's probably good practice, I feel it'd be a time-waster for me at this point.

perspicacious
06-30-2011, 07:42 PM
For me, creating characters and discovering them is the fun of writing so I've never liked fanfiction. But I don't see why it's a shameful or bad thing, and I forever eyeroll at writers who look down on fanfiction writers. Whatever dudes, if it makes people happy, you know?

BrassStotch
06-30-2011, 07:49 PM
I used to write (albeit half completed and often half assed) fan fiction.

And then I read my favorite author's opinion on the subject and I was left feeling so filthy I jumped into "original" writing and never looked back.

But I think fanfiction on a whole outweighs its negatives. It gives people who probably wouldn't normally write, a reason and a drive to write. But I think it's probably natural that if someone is serious about writing, they'll leave fan fiction behind sooner rather than later.

veinglory
06-30-2011, 07:54 PM
Sure, I was... sort of still am. If you look hard it is still out there on the internet.

Cyia
06-30-2011, 08:00 PM
The cons are that fanfiction is uncopyrightable,

It's unpublishable, but your stories are still yours. The original author of a novel or series can't take a fanfic and publish it as their own, which is why said authors are encouraged NOT to read fanfic of their own novels. If a fan picks up on future plot clues and writes something close to what the original author has in mind, they can get huffy if the original author is proven to read fanfic.

Sheryl Nantus
06-30-2011, 08:00 PM
But I think it's probably natural that if someone is serious about writing, they'll leave fan fiction behind sooner rather than later.

A lot of fanfic writers don't want to go pro. They're quite happy doing what they do, how they do it. And that's great, it's their choice.

:)

veinglory
06-30-2011, 08:01 PM
Also not all fanfiction has copyright issues. I still write public domain and explicitly permitted fanfiction (e.g. some authors have disclaimers you can sign for specific tolerated fanzines, Mercedes Lackey being one).

Cyia
06-30-2011, 08:05 PM
A lot of fanfic writers don't want to go pro. They're quite happy doing what they do, how they do it. And that's great, it's their choice.

:)

Very true. And there are some exceptionally talented people out there.

Fanfic fans are terrific for a writer's self esteem (though not always the best thing for pointing out where they need to improve) and they're generally a loyal bunch. That's how someone like C@ssie Cl@ire can transition with an established audience.

Those audiences are HUGE in some fandoms, and can build over a quick span of months. I had stories with several hundred thousand hits in about 3-4 months. It's a head rush for someone not used to feedback.

Alice Grace
06-30-2011, 08:24 PM
I had my first internet experience somewhere around 1996. I was about 15 years old and the first thing I discovered was fan fic. I fell in love. Couldn't believe the treasures that were "out there".

X-files all the way though :) Shipper fic, Slash fic, even some Skipper.

shadowwalker
06-30-2011, 08:32 PM
It's unpublishable, but your stories are still yours.

Well, it's not unpublishable unless the original author has stated they don't want it done. Otherwise, there are many sites where it's published online, and there were (possibly still are, haven't looked lately) print magazines with fanfic. We include a disclaimer, stating we don't own the OC's, who does, and that we're not making any money from the stories.

Anna L.
06-30-2011, 08:34 PM
A lot of fanfic writers don't want to go pro. They're quite happy doing what they do, how they do it. And that's great, it's their choice.

:)

This. I've always written original stuff alongside the fanfic, but I have friends who are great writers but don't care to try original stuff.

I don't have time for fanfics anymore, but in my time I was a busy bee. I have a 200,000-word fanfic somewhere out there and a few novel-length ones. Fanfic-ing is how I learned English, basically (Canadian-French girl here, yo).

Sheryl Nantus
06-30-2011, 08:36 PM
I had my first internet experience somewhere around 1996. I was about 15 years old and the first thing I discovered was fan fic. I fell in love. Couldn't believe the treasures that were "out there".

X-files all the way though :) Shipper fic, Slash fic, even some Skipper.

Ah, then... you might have tripped over some of my stuff.

When I was Sheryl Martin, not Sheryl Nantus.

:D

Cyia
06-30-2011, 08:38 PM
Well, it's not unpublishable unless the original author has stated they don't want it done. Otherwise, there are many sites where it's published online, and there were (possibly still are, haven't looked lately) print magazines with fanfic. We include a disclaimer, stating we don't own the OC's, who does, and that we're not making any money from the stories.

I mean it's not publishable for profit.

And you do own your OC's, as they are your own creation. You don't own the cannon characters.

Quossum
06-30-2011, 09:00 PM
I enjoyed writing fanfic when I was in middle school (Pern, mostly) and recently wrote a Pern fanfic to accompany one of my Pathtags (http://www.pathtags.com/community/publicpathtagprofile.php?id=16852). It was fun and had me writing during a long, drear hiatus I've been experiencing.

I wrote a whole novel of a Star Trek fanfic. One of my long-term projects is the tedious process of utterly converting it to my own universe. I wish I'd written it that way to begin with! But...at the time, it was fun.

--Q

Amadan
06-30-2011, 09:20 PM
I've written fan fiction. Still do.

dawinsor
06-30-2011, 10:14 PM
I wrote LOTR fanfic. I learned a lot about writing and had fun doing it. If I ever manage to sell a book, I hope my fanfic readers will be willing to take a look at it.

Becky Black
06-30-2011, 10:23 PM
I'm not ashamed to admit I got my start in fanfic, and it was great experience, writing a lot, learning so much and sharing it - something I found impossible to do with writing before that.

I think one of the great things about it is that if you're a starting out writer and still learning then the early stages of sending out original work can be very disheartening because of the lack of interest and response. You must start to wonder if you're doing nothing but tossing your work into a black hole. But with fanfic, people actually want your stuff! They come looking for you and want to read your work and, often, tell you what you think of it. You can learn a lot very fast that way.

In my genre - m/m romance - you can't swing a cat without hitting an ex-fanfic writer, usually of slash, though not always. It's almost like an apprenticeship for many writers.

Bookewyrme
06-30-2011, 10:34 PM
I discovered that I could write by writing World of Warcraft fanfic. I still do write it on occasion, because I still occasionally play, and my game characters need stories, yanno? :tongue


I mean it's not publishable for profit.

Actually that's not strictly true. The extended Star Wars universe is all essentially published fanfic by a huge variety of authors, some better than others. I believe they all had to get specific permission from Lucas, but considering that some of Lucas' own work directly contradicts some of those books (after the fact, grrrrr), I don't think he cared too much about content.

dpaterso
06-30-2011, 10:40 PM
I've mentioned elsewhere that I started writing with Trek fanfic (<-- see avatar!), and I'm still doing it, albeit in another form (http://mywebc.vs120132.hl-users.com/bb/sc-sample-31may11.jpg) and with my own characters. :D

-Derek

DavidCrue
06-30-2011, 10:41 PM
I still write fanfic, in the Supernatural fandom.

I use fanfiction as an educational tool. Years ago, when I was new to fic, I just did my best and scoured the feedback/comments for anything useful to help me improve. Now, all my fanfiction is stuff I think is a couple steps beyond my actual abilities. I try new things, employ technical skills I've never mastered. I'm free to get overly ambitious in fanfic because if the story flops, I'm only out some fandom cred. If it turned out great, I've learned something of value I can carry over into commercial writing.

shadowwalker
06-30-2011, 10:44 PM
I mean it's not publishable for profit.

And you do own your OC's, as they are your own creation. You don't own the cannon characters.

Oops - by OC's I meant the original (canon) characters.

One gets sooooo confused... :e2hammer:

Anninyn
06-30-2011, 11:02 PM
I never wrote anything you'll be able to find and read. I di write fanfic- but I never posted it or sent it anywhere. Good thing, too, it had all the worst aspects of fanfic.

But it was some of the first writing I did. I wasn't very old- still in single figures- and it was safer and easier to play with somone elses world. Within a few years I had mostly started to enjoy creating my own worlds and characters more.

I still dabble, a bit, when I read a book I really like. I like to write a little from the point of view of someone in that world. Again, I never post it anywhere. Maybe I should, but the fanfic world is quite drama-filled sometimes, and with really wanting this whole professional writer shit to work out, I just don't have the time.

Alice Grace
06-30-2011, 11:26 PM
Ah, then... you might have tripped over some of my stuff.

When I was Sheryl Martin, not Sheryl Nantus.

:D

That name definitely rings a bell :) I've read your fic for sure.

Hang on, my apologies, but it's been such a long time since I read fan fic, I will have to google.

...and... done.

Oh, I remember a lot of your titles. Ashes to Ashes, In Plain Sight, Sittin' and Thinkin and a few others. I remember that really liked these. The 16 year old girl in me feels slightly star struck... *blushes*

I think it's time to get a little nostalgic and go fan fic hunting :)

Sheryl Nantus
06-30-2011, 11:44 PM
That name definitely rings a bell :) I've read your fic for sure.

Hang on, my apologies, but it's been such a long time since I read fan fic, I will have to google.

...and... done.

Oh, I remember a lot of your titles. Ashes to Ashes, In Plain Sight, Sittin' and Thinkin and a few others. I remember that really liked these. The 16 year old girl in me feels slightly star struck... *blushes*

I think it's time to get a little nostalgic and go fan fic hunting :)

;)

And I'm still with the Wookie...

heza
06-30-2011, 11:48 PM
... the fandoms I've been involved in have been friendly environments to learn how to give and take critiques.


I think this is so very true. But going even further, if you don't happen to be in a friendly environment (say rather in a fandom with a huge 'shipping war), then it's also a great place to develop thick skin. You won't be everything to everybody, and a fic community is one place you can instantly learn that (and learn to deal with it in a place that won't hurt your professional standing).



Not all fanfic writers just toss stuff together and don't care if it's crap. There are many writers who put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into these works, honing their craft.

A lot of writers I know put just as much effort into their fic as they do into their original work. Serious writers, I think, are probably more or less perfectionists when it comes to whatever they're writing and don't let that work go out the door (any door) without the proper amount of polish. If I ever get published, I certainly hope I'll be able to find the time to continue on with my fic.



... it was safer and easier to play with somone elses world.


And that's the thing when you're practicing. You can just jump right into this fully formed world and start writing, but even that yields craft benefits.

You have this prefab world, but for good fic, there's a certain level of consistency you have to maintain. You have to continue to show the world as the source did and you have to keep the canon characters recognizable in terms of personality, motivations, mannerisms, etc.... fanfic is a really good exercise in characterization.


It gives people who probably wouldn't normally write, a reason and a drive to write. But I think it's probably natural that if someone is serious about writing, they'll leave fan fiction behind sooner rather than later.

I'm not sure that anyone who wouldn't normally write is actually out there writing. I mean, there's a reason that people get involved in fan fiction and that's because in some facet of their being, they're writers. I think that different people get different things out of writing it. Some people do it purely for the practice, some do it because they didn't like some aspect of the source and want to "fix" it, and some do it because they're deeply in love with the fandom and their fan fiction (or fanart) is a way to give to that fandom by doing the other thing they deeply love.



Fanfic fans are terrific for a writer's self esteem (though not always the best thing for pointing out where they need to improve) and they're generally a loyal bunch....

Those audiences are HUGE in some fandoms, and can build over a quick span of months. I had stories with several hundred thousand hits in about 3-4 months. It's a head rush for someone not used to feedback.

But all those hits and reviews are more than just an ego boost. If you're consistently getting the same numbers of readers from chapter to chapter and your reviews are consistently positive, then that's a good litmus test for whether you've succeeded in retaining your audience. One of the "practice" parts of fic writing for me is figuring out whether I can 1) effectively string a storyline together for a multi-chapter fic and 2) keep an audience engaged and coming back for more.


I'd much rather be writing my own fiction because while I it's probably good practice, I feel it'd be a time-waster for me at this point.

I get a bit of this. I have an audience, so I want to be as loyal to them as they've been to me, and I don't want to leave them hanging, waiting on chapter updates. Still though, even while I'm feeling good about having posted a new chapter, I also feel guilty. That's 10K words I could have invested in original fiction. I'm trying hard not to look at it like that because I honestly think they're different creatures and deserve different considerations.


I had a chapter of my fan fic critiqued by a beta reader on my fan fiction community, and it was the most helpful thing anyone has ever done for me. He helped me address a lot of problems with my craft, and looking up answers for some of the subsequent questions I had is what eventually led me here.

I write fan fiction for Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Alitriona
07-01-2011, 12:09 AM
I began writing fanfiction a few years ago. I had recently finished Shades of Atlantis and had a crisis of faith in my writing as well as some personal issues. I had never read any before and happened across a video for a popular fanfiction. From that I joined a community of other readers of the same story and it was through their encouragement that I began to write again. I wrote a 160,000 fanfic and then went back to my original writing. If I hadn't found fanfiction I probably would have given up on writing fiction altogether. I will always be grateful and I'm still involved in the community.

Cyia
07-01-2011, 12:13 AM
But all those hits and reviews are more than just an ego boost. If you're consistently getting the same numbers of readers from chapter to chapter and your reviews are consistently positive, then that's a good litmus test for whether you've succeeded in retaining your audience. One of the "practice" parts of fic writing for me is figuring out whether I can 1) effectively string a storyline together for a multi-chapter fic and 2) keep an audience engaged and coming back for more.


The ego boost comes when you pull things down in anticipation of publication, someone else puts them back up because others want to read them, and then your original readers jump on them for endangering your possible future writing endeavors ;)

Happened this week and it was friggin' awesome to think that 1 - someone liked something enough to repost it, and 2 - someone else (or several) had enough respect to jump to my defense.

No matter how big, fandoms are like small towns and word travels fast. You get your occasional jerk, but for the most part, they're great people who not only have the same interests, but become an accidental support system. And if you tick one off, you might as well go find yourself a penname because they'll have the one they're annoyed with on every fanboard imaginable by sunset.

Sheryl Nantus
07-01-2011, 12:25 AM
Strangely enough none of my fans followed me to my original fiction. At least, none that I know of.

I'm not sure why...

:(

melodyclark
07-01-2011, 12:27 AM
I suspect a lot of the m/m romance writers evolved out of slash fan fiction. I wrote fan fiction for many years. A lot of pro writers did. A lot of pro writers still do -- under pseudonyms, of course.

Amadan
07-01-2011, 01:07 AM
The ego boost comes when you pull things down in anticipation of publication, someone else puts them back up because others want to read them, and then your original readers jump on them for endangering your possible future writing endeavors

Heh. I have no intention of pulling down my fanfiction when/if I get published. I wrote it, I'm not going to pretend otherwise or hide from it. Hell, I'm proud of it. But then, I do other things that are against the "rules" and supposedly doom me to never ever be published, like writing negative reviews.


Strangely enough none of my fans followed me to my original fiction. At least, none that I know of.

I'm not sure why...

That's interesting. I've seen quite a few BNF authors who decided that thousands of "You're good enough to be published!" reviews on fanfiction.net would translate into a writing career. For those who tried to go the self-publishing route, it never works out that way. The gap between readers willing to read your work for free and readers willing to actually pay for it (especially when it's no longer about characters they already know and love) seems to be very large.

There are a few BNF authors who've made the transition to publication and kept a lot of their fanfiction fans, but it seems to be the exception, rather than the rule.

This is why when all my readers tell me "You should be published! I'd totally buy your OF!" it's nice to hear, but I take it with a grain of salt.

amrose
07-01-2011, 01:26 AM
When I was 11 I wrote a huge Vampire Chronicles diary style fanfic with an awful Mary Sue, but I didn't know what fanfiction was and I never put it on the internet...thank God.

roseangel
07-01-2011, 02:11 AM
Me too! Me too!
I wrote a terrible videogame fic, a Neopets one, a Harry Potter crossover and a straight up Harry Potter fic.
I still read fanfic, though I mostly write original stories now.

ChaosTitan
07-01-2011, 02:12 AM
I've mentioned multiple times over the years that fanfiction got me back into prose writing. I started out about twelve years ago writing for a little-known show called "The Sentinel." I had loads of fun, learned a lot, and I met my best friend through a fiction mailing list. I wrote a few "Star Trek: Enterprise" fics and then branched out into email-based RPG's for a number of years.

There was absolutely a fun high to be had from the instant gratification you get from feedback on a new fic. Commercial publishing isn't nearly as intimate as fandom in that way.



The gap between readers willing to read your work for free and readers willing to actually pay for it (especially when it's no longer about characters they already know and love) seems to be very large.


I think there's also a gap between people who love your writing when you're writing characters they know and love and people who will follow you when you write original fiction.

Anninyn
07-01-2011, 03:06 AM
Thinking of it, my first 'fanfiction' was for LoTR. I was 7, or so? and I wrote a really bad mary-sue self-insert about a girl who was captured by Orcs. Aragorn saved me and fell in love with me.

Yeah.

Am I glad this didn't go on the internet to be mocked forever.

But it was writing practice. Even then I was dissatisfied with what I created, and I struggled (with no tools to speak of) to make it better.

ios
07-01-2011, 03:07 AM
Who's brave enough to admit that they were one? :)

I started out writing fanfic, but all of mine were AUs (Alternate Universes), meaning I plopped the character down in a different situation or world or like. So I was already getting fantasyish. About my late teens, though, I really started writing original works. Some ideas from my fanfic I use in my original writing.

I am still a fanficer at heart, though. I often watch a tv show and imagine (but not write down) a fanfic story idea. Eventually, the fanfic idea takes on a life of its own and I write it as an original story.

I also still read fanfic. Although quality varies, the emotions are strong in the fanfic; same with connection to characters. I am currently working on a story that has that sort of fanficy feel to it.

Jodi

ios
07-01-2011, 03:11 AM
I've mentioned multiple times over the years that fanfiction got me back into prose writing. I started out about twelve years ago writing for a little-known show called "The Sentinel."

Wow, do you mean this show (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sentinel_%28TV_series%29)? If so, I wrote in that one too, all AUs though. I loved that show and read a ton of fanfic in it. In fact, it is the show that really changed my writing forever--for the most part I write original works of buddy fic or bromance stuff. Before that I wrote fanfic that involved male and female romantic leads, but I never did that in original fiction. Couldn't.

Jodi

DancingMaenid
07-01-2011, 04:48 AM
Strangely enough none of my fans followed me to my original fiction. At least, none that I know of.

I'm not sure why...

:(

I think a lot of fanfic readers are in it almost entirely to read stories about their favorite characters, which is fine, but it does mean they may not remain interested if you move on to writing something else. I keep my original fiction and fanfic separate for the most part, but I've been a little sad lately because most of my fandom friends have become interested in fic for stuff I'm not into in, and my new fanfic is for something none of them are into.

I've seen people get support for their original fiction, but usually more from friends and acquaintances than casual readers.

But anyway: Yep, I write fan fiction. Like a couple other people here, it was what got me back into writing. I gave it up when I was fourteen to focus on my original stuff, but a few years ago, I was going through a bit of a creative crisis. Writing fanfic again reminded me how much I love writing, and helped me grow more confident when it comes to writing as a whole. My interest in fan fiction is a bit more transient since I have to feel inspired by something in order to write it, but I find it a lot of fun and still do it pretty frequently in addition to my original stuff.

Jehhillenberg
07-01-2011, 05:00 AM
Haha I wrote Degrassi FanFic and South of Nowhere FanFic...yep

bglashbrooks
07-02-2011, 10:16 PM
Me! I got into fanfiction back when my mother had cancer. I needed to write in order to function, but the emotional turmoil in my life made it next to impossible to write anything with original characters.

I wrote over 350000 words of CSI and Criminal Minds fanfic until my mother recovered.

There was no pressure, you see? No real stress and I always got positive reviews.

I have since made the big move to original fiction, but in doing fanfic I could practice the skills I was learning in my Fiction class at college (was enrolled during my mother's illness). Particularly, staying in character. I'd put the fanfic characters into situations and would try to keep them true to the characters on the actual episodes. I practiced building suspense and tension and longer story lines.

I also wrote my first novel-length pieces in fanfiction.
--
Bridget--aka fotobridget2 on ff.net

Filigree
07-02-2011, 11:17 PM
I wrote m/m slash fanfic in some obscure and not-so-obscure fandoms about ten years ago, more as an exercise in writing character interactions, sex scenes, angst, and cozy humor. (And yes, sometimes all in the same fic.) Using prefabricated characters and settings let me concentrate on story. It was enjoyable, and I still get email comments from people to this day.

I'm glad of the skills I refined while writing fanfic, but now I'd rather put that effort into my original fiction.

But I do agree that there are four or five fanfiction writers out there who would instantly have my dollars, if they published professionally. Because they're that good.

RedStringSoul
07-02-2011, 11:32 PM
I wrote fanfic many, many moons ago. I cringe looking at a lot of what I wrote now but I remember having fun while doing it so that's really what matters.

I always enjoyed fanfiction that was more-or-less true to canon rather than recreating a character or universe into something that the author would not recognize. The fun in fanfiction for me was taking a template form, so to speak, and then extending the boundaries of canon rather than rewriting them.

I don't read or write it anymore, though. I eventually started to realize that if I wanted to take parts of characters and make them more in line with what I envisioned, then I should start writing my own stuff.

Kweei
07-03-2011, 04:23 AM
I still write fanfic, in the Supernatural fandom.

I use fanfiction as an educational tool. Years ago, when I was new to fic, I just did my best and scoured the feedback/comments for anything useful to help me improve. Now, all my fanfiction is stuff I think is a couple steps beyond my actual abilities. I try new things, employ technical skills I've never mastered. I'm free to get overly ambitious in fanfic because if the story flops, I'm only out some fandom cred. If it turned out great, I've learned something of value I can carry over into commercial writing.

Yay! Supernatural fandom!

I don't usually comment on the fanfic threads, but I'm in a mood tonight.

I think fanfic is great practice. I've used it in a few fandoms (SG-1 and Supernatural, mainly) and it's really honed my skills and my self-confidence. I'm more focused on my own stuff now, and I think that is a natural progression for me.

I do think, though, for people who want to go pro fanfic can be a blessing and a curse. It's nice to get some recognition. Let's face it. If you're told over and over that you're writing is amazing and you win fan awards, etc., it can be hard to say no to that. Instant gratification. Plus, it's nice to be loved.

But it can hold people back. Certainly not everyone. Some people never want to write out of fanfic or try to publish their own stuff. There's nothing wrong with that. I just find there is a danger for some people who might use it as a crutch.

Legalities aside, I do believe it's a great way for people to have fun and express themselves.

A.P.M.
07-03-2011, 05:35 AM
In my genre - m/m romance - you can't swing a cat without hitting an ex-fanfic writer, usually of slash, though not always. It's almost like an apprenticeship for many writers.


*Gets hit by cat* Who swung that?!

But yeah, I used to write fanfic-of video game characters, mostly, in very small fandoms (Fire Emblem, anyone?). Once I started writing my own original stories, my fanfic writing really died down, to the point where I still have unpublished fanfics floating around. I feel kind of bad for leaving the readers with no conclusion sometimes, but I don't really want to continue with fanfic-It feels like a waste of time now.

AKyber36
07-03-2011, 07:42 AM
*raises hand*

I started out writing fanfiction not only to sharpen my writing chops but also because I truly loved some fandoms. Most of my fandoms are anime and video games, like CLAMP (mostly Clover and Legal Drug) and Final Fantasy IV. I also wrote Lord of the Rings fanfic and still have a big one in hiatus.

However, I'm still writing fanfiction and trying to finish part 1 of 3 in a huge story I got quite underway in. That baby's clocking in at 65,000-67,000 words the last I updated, which was yesterday. Interesting thing coming from writing my own original fiction was that it was so much easier to write the fanfic. That epiphany was quite cool.

shaldna
07-03-2011, 12:43 PM
I have written for years, and still write, fanfic. Harry Potter, LOTR, GIJoe, X-men, Firefly, some star trek and a great dollop of Superman. What can I say. :)

akaria
07-03-2011, 11:58 PM
Another fanfic writer here. My first? Forever Knight. Something with a horrible self-insert Mary Sue working at Janette's goth club. I still have it on floppy disk somewhere. *cringes*

I've written in the House, Lost, BSG, True Blood and BDB fandoms but didn't post that much. I never wrote about fan favorite characters or ships and when I did a bit with favorite characters it always ended up as femslash. Talk about low demand!

I don't read or write it much anymore, but there's a boatload of scenes from all of those fics that are getting a new lease on life in my own original stuff.

Lazara
07-05-2011, 05:02 PM
Fan fiction is where I started out I had no clue what it was at the time I started but now i do:) I still have som wip stories lying around that people wants me to update, and maybe I will, someday.
Lately I have been to focused on my original work though.

but fanfiction got me started, gave me the tools and generally have given so much to me in the art of writing.

I still read fanfiction on occation someweeks more than others.

JSSchley
07-05-2011, 05:36 PM
I had been writing with an eye toward publication for almost twenty years and had four novels under my belt but was too chickens--t to query any of them by the time I stumbled on fanfic.

It's given me an opportunity to try out a bunch of things I'd never try in my professional work. I write in a very small niche in my fandom, and I don't have huge audiences. But if the fandom were a real audience, what I write wouldn't "sell" and I'd never find a home for it. In fic, I can get away with writing something that isn't popular to the general audience and still have a satisfying (to me, anyway) number of people read it.

So for me it wasn't an introduction to writing, it was something I brought years of experience to. Count me among those who puts serious effort into her fanwork--as far as I'm concerned, it's still published work and someday, someone might find out I wrote it, so I'd like it to reflect my full ability as a writer. I think of it as swimming to train for a marathon. If you want to run marathons (i.e. write your own novels), the bulk of your work is going to have to be long distance running, and no amount of swimming will make up for that. But swimming can be a good change of pace that keeps your muscles moving and injects some variety into your training routine.

Alice Grace
07-06-2011, 11:37 AM
Strangely enough none of my fans followed me to my original fiction. At least, none that I know of.

I'm not sure why...

:(

What is your genre?

Diana_Rajchel
07-13-2011, 10:37 AM
This must be one of my posts that got eaten.

I got into writing Daria fiction while in grad school for creative writing. The fanfic probably saved my love of writing, because grad school was killing it quite dead.

Since then I've written Dexter, Witchblade, House and In Plain Sight. I try to offer something that makes it a worthwhile read, and I'm grateful to borrow the characters and premise.

I don't know if it makes me a better writer. But it preserves the sense of play that can get killed in the daily work of writing, rewriting, marketing and networking.

Because.
07-14-2011, 05:32 AM
*raises hand*

I wrote some when I was twelve for the Maximum Ride series and Noughts and Crosses. I now write fic for the British show Misfits. I think I'll focus completely on originals once I'm done with the latter fic. But, yes I love fanfic. Reading and writing. :D

Rhoda Nightingale
07-14-2011, 09:32 PM
Totally used to write fanfiction. Kingdom Hospital, Harry Potter, LOTR, The Ring, Batman, X-Men. It's a good time. And I stumbled over some original characters in the process who turned out to be awesome. I saved a few for future projects.

V. Greene
07-14-2011, 10:42 PM
I did! I did! Harry Potter, where I got started on m/m by getting challenged to write a Ron/Draco. I learned a lot about writing by doing it with the training wheels on. You learn to be true to a character once it's created, for instance, while still being able to have them surprise themselves. Too, there's nothing like modding a fanfic site and trying to tell other writers why their effort isn't getting posted to really improve your own skills.

I was lucky enough to be on a site where some of the reviewers took their duties very seriously, too, and told you if they found something implausible, non-canon, or just plumb hard to read. Thanks, good reviewers!

heatherleacubs
07-14-2011, 10:43 PM
I learned that I love to write from fanfiction. I started with Days of Our Lives stuff, then came to hate the show. Then I moved on to That 70's Show, which was fun because the characters are so interesting (to me, anyway!). I played around with Harry Potter but that never went anywhere. Back before I knew what fanfic was, I wrote some Beverly Hills, 90210 stuff that I never showed anyone. But before I did fanfic, I didn't think I could write creatively. And now I've got tons of stories just waiting for me to get to them.

So I'm grateful to fanfic. :)

PriyankaB
07-17-2011, 06:35 PM
I never really wrote fanfiction- I had about three short one-shots I'd written over the course of five years, but when I saw the new Pirates of the Caribbean film in May, for some reason the story of Philip and Syrena completely fascinated me- might have had something to do with the fact that I was a teensy bit drunk at the midnight showing. It was my 21st birthday ;) - and I decided to try my hand at writing fanfiction for the first time in years.

I like that it's giving me the chance to try writing in the first person, since most of my writing is in third person. It's an exploratory ground for me, and even though I'm not getting much feedback (might have to do with the fact that there's more introspection in my piece and very little wish fulfillment), I'm having fun playing with language and narrative techniques, especially as it's in present tense.

letters2you
07-19-2011, 12:32 AM
I used to write Harry Potter fanfiction. In fact, that's where I first got involved in a writing community of any sort. Everyone was so nice and helpful! Through their site, I learned how to take in reviews from people and write reviews. Fanfiction really let me explore what it was that I wanted to do with writing. I had never really written seriously before (unless you count writing random stories as a kid), and fanfiction helped me focus my energies on how a story is created. I don't write fanfiction anymore, but it certainly was a great step off for getting into original writing.

And Because, I LOVE Noughts and Crosses! Seriously. I want to see a movie made out of the first book. But I digress...

DanielAnuchan
07-19-2011, 12:00 PM
I used to try writing fan fic but I found that I kept deviating from the rules of the universe.

I think it's an excellent way to get started, because the world-building is already done for you. But I would not want to read someone else's fan fiction piece.

Stryker
07-19-2011, 11:39 PM
DanielAnuchan, are you a clone? Our pics look very similar. : ) I'll look for another one.

I don't tell anyone that I want to write.....especially the trash I think of.

Velma deSelby Bowen
07-21-2011, 08:52 AM
I write fanfic. None of it goes online -- it's either in my journals or my morning pages -- but I find it a useful exercise at times. I tend to write it, not for my favorite books/shows/stories, but for the ones where I think there are one or two aspects of the plot or character interactions that are good, but there are more than annoy me or outright piss me off.

liumac
07-21-2011, 03:25 PM
I have written fanfiction in the past, but ultimately it frustrates me that it will be dismissed by a great majority of people not because of what it is, but what they assume it will be. :tongue

PulpDogg
07-21-2011, 09:44 PM
I have dabbled a little in fanfiction over the years, but haven't put anything online as of yet ...

Just stumbled over that article which is about fanfiction ...

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2081784-1,00.html

Steph King
07-23-2011, 11:18 PM
Yep, I started with fanfiction, and I would encourage beginners to do it because you get to play with writing styles and ideas without any pressure. I started with little comic scenes and mashups, building up until I was writing novel length stories with original characters. When the original characters became of more interest to me than the fanfiction characters, I crossed over. There I started small again; flash fiction first, building up to novel length.

At no point was I bogged down with wondering if what I was writing was publishable, or whether I was safe to put it on the internet. I couldn't do anything with it, and neither could anyone else. It was just fun, great practice, and a great way to make friends.

A few years down the line, I also realise that it was a service to publishing that my beginner mistakes weren't contributing to some poor soul's slush pile.

Provided it's in the fandom of a writer who doesn't mind, I think it's a great way to build up your skills.