What I learned from Fan Fiction–2

So, I googled images for writing fan fiction after my last post, and it turns out I’m like the 50th person to write on this subject, but chances are most people still haven’t read about it, since I never have…logically…

I may check out some other people’s perspectives later, but there’s nothing wrong with continuing with mine, that is why people read this…man I love blogs.

Anyway, picking up from part one, I talked about why fan fiction is written, and what it taught me functionally about writing characters and romance.

I think one of the reasons it works is because writers of fan fiction are imitating, and you learn by intimating. The quality of the source materiel is a huge part of whether or not this imitating it making you a good writer. Bad shows have fan fictions, and they typically suck. It’s hard to make it better than it already was if there was nothing praiseworthy to begin with.

But, starting from the assumption that what I like is already worthwhile😉, I’d like to get more into how and why I write fan fiction.

A part of me does wonder if it’s unhealthy and obsessive. Many people think it is and will mock fan fic-ers mercilessly. I don’t typically talk about it. Once I mentioned it to some other fans of a show I like, and one guy’s response was just “no.”

With that encouragement, I keep it to myself.

But I honestly believe fan fiction is awesome. It’s so much fun, and it helps you understand why you likes something, and why it’s good, and what it’s flaws are.

But fan fiction is always primarily about the characters. People write it to get more of their favorite. Often a character who is dead will be alive, one who left the show is still there, one who is good will be evil (I never do that, but I will make typically steadily good characters have a crisis), one who is evil will turn good (guilty as charged), and a lonely character may get paired with another. An interesting outcome of fan fictions, (and a staple of most of them), is the emergence of what is known as OCs, or Original Characters. And they are hated by a lot of people who read fan fiction out of curiosity. An OC is almost always a self insert character. Born out of the writer’s desire to experience the story for themselves.

And I do have OCs, not every OC is self insert, it typically is, but some writers come up with many of them just because they enjoy character design and creation; my sister does this, she has little interest in writing a story, she just comes up with a look and a background.

I did something more unique with my OCs, I actually repeat them. I reference my previous fan fictions each time I write a new one. I have a whole part of the story that’s original, which explains how each is connected. It’s actually a very interesting idea that I think is worth exploring, involving dimension travel and the like, but for now I’m sticking to how it helps me write.

By having repeating OCs, especially my main one, I double the learning experience of writing. When you have to make your character fit in with this other world, you have to ask what makes it different form yours, what makes it similar, how would the characters react to anew person? What can your ideas add to the story? Can they add anything?

Often the shipping fan fics do not add anything to the story, and that goes for their OCs. So they mostly just write however they want and ignore how characters act.

But leaving that aside, others have to think about it. Many people don’t care if it’s true to story because it’s “just fan fiction” but my sisters have made me stick to the story’s tempo, it’s heart, and it’s tone. They don’t think a fan fiction is any good if it cannot work within the show or movie. because if there was nothing good about it, why would you care? And if it’s good, don’t change the good.

Change the bad.

So yes, I “fix” thinks in my fan fictions. Healing the story is actually considered to be a huge part of critical writing and reading, it teaches us what we like, what we don’t, what we value, what we don’t, etc.

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Before you assume that makes us spoiled brats who have to have things our way, let me ask you, do you complain about your life?

Do you wish it was different?

Do you ever try to change people? (We all do it.)

Do you try to change circumstances?

Are you God? Are you all knowing? Did you bring yourself into this world? Can you control your life?

The answer to all four of those latter questions is no.

You aren’t really qualified to change your life, yet you still do, or you try, and sometimes you succeed.

That’s real. That’s has real consequence, you could screw it up royally.

But you still do it.

Now, if you, oh flawed, limited person, can do that with real life, are you really able to judge us for doing it with imaginary things? We can’t hurt anyone but ourselves by doing it. It’s fairly “safe” to mess up your fan fiction. You can try to change people, and never actually change anything except your own perspective.

And that’s why I write. I do it to get a better perspective.

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I have control in a story that I will never have in real life. It’s not a power trip thought, few things are as humbling as writing. It shows you how little you know. It forces you to limit yourself…and that actually helps you. Through writing fan fictions I’ve faced the fact that I can’t change people. I can learn from them, but in the end you have to believe people can change because they have the ability not because you can make them. You can try to help, but they have to be open.

See, I can change the events of a plot, and still change absolutely nothing. The problems remain. The only way I can solve them is to find the truth. And I turn to an outside source for that.

When I “fix” stories, I don’t do it by doing what I want solely to happen, what I want becomes merged with what I think would happen, and what I think is best for the characters. I don’t actually always enjoy what I write, but I do it to work out the issues.

Basically, fan fiction lets me do what my original stories don’t. It’s just like real life enough to present me with people’s real world problems, and then I ask: can this be helped? Is there an answer to this in my Faith?

So far, I have always found one. Fiction often mirrors biblical truths without knowing it does.

My own stories, I need to have the answer already, there’s not much time to learn it. Fan fictions let me explore until I find it, then I can take that into my next original story.

I know some people will never understand why fan fiction is helpful. But I don’t need them to, I know it is. That’s what matters, until next time–Natasha.

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