Love Letter to Fan Fiction

Places I want to write 3USED

Second weekend in a row with a blog post! I’m proud. Sure, it’s one day late, but still. Hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of the year. Now, I know last week’s post was kinda rough, and while I’m super happy with it and so glad I wrote it, this week we’re gonna be a little lighter. We’re also gonna talk about writing. Or, more to the point, we’re gonna rant about fan fiction!

Full disclosure, for an obsessive fangirl, I was embarrassingly late to the world of fanfiction. I always kind of did the super-fan thing on my own, enthusiastically losing my mind over shows and books alone in my bedroom, screaming about my feelings to myself and no one else.

And then Mina happened.

All it took was a few weeks worth of friendship before Mina started introducing me to aspects of the fandom experience I hadn’t tried before, and let’s just say it was all down hill from there. I shift between hating and loving Mina for this every time I add another fic to my Mark For Later list on AO3, which is about twenty times per day.

Okay, so I am loving every minute of it, sue me.

Let’s talk about how reading and writing fan fiction has made me a better writer.

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So far, I’ve only written a handful of fanfics for one fairly small fandom (The Two Princes podcast), but it is so incredibly motivating. The thing about fanfics is that you get nearly instant gratification. You write, you post, and you get love and affection right away in the form of kudos and comments.

This is a thing you only get on your original writing if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who reads your writing as you go. Writers are very talented at doubting ourselves, our ability and everything about our stories, and you know what? We need regular ego boosts to counteract our own negativity.

There is also so much less pressure with fan fiction. Do you love something? Do you have an idea for something you can do with it? Will you have fun doing it? Write the fic! I was so nervous about posting my first fic because in my head it was the same as submitting something to a critique group, but now I know better. Everyone who writes fanfic also reads fanfic, and we are all THIRSTY for content. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because that is not the point.

Writing fanfic is such a good way to practice your writing, stretch your muscles, push your limits, with the freedom of knowing that all the reader wants is to enjoy themselves and see characters they love in ways that canon didn’t give them. And it’s just ENJOYABLE. You automatically have something in common with your readers because if they weren’t in the same fandom as you, they probably wouldn’t bother reading your fic, so you are directly delivered straight to your target audience, and I think the purity of that is so beautiful. It’s a connection that is hard to get with your own “original” writing.

Fan fiction just makes me so happy, guys. Working on it makes me a better and happier writer, reading it fuels my passion and connects me with writers with enormous talent who are all just here having a good time and fucking up each other’s emotions.

Bottom line is this; fan fiction is pure and beautiful and I love it with all my heart.

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Alright! That was fun. Thanks for listening to me rant about how great fan fiction is! I am so grateful to have this fun, pure creative outlet to help remind me why I love writing so much and why I don’t ever want to stop. If you want to tell me why you love fan fiction, I would love to hear from you!

And on that note, I’m parked out at a cafe and got a ton of writing to do today, so wish me luck!

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