Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fan Fiction and Me...or How I Started Writing (Again) Pt.1

Whenever I meet new people, either in a personal or professional capacity, during the standard get-to-know-you stuff, inevitably the question is asked, "So, what do you do?" And when they find out that I'm an editor and writer, the conversation turns even more inevitably to how I got started writing in the first place.  After all, it's not exactly a career choice for everyone.

And up until now, I've been, well, sort of vague about the whole thing, except with a few people, and that was after knowing them for a while first.  Mostly to make sure they wouldn't laugh in my face.

I'd tell them that I'd loved writing as a kid, and gotten back into it while my husband was traveling a lot; that I'd come home from work and have a lot of time on my hands, so I started writing short stories.  And that was about it.

And it's true.  Mostly.  Sort of, in the same way as your skeleton can be considered your "body".

You see, the truth is, I got back into my writing groove writing Twilight fan fiction.  Let me define that for you: Fan fiction is, as Wikipedia says, the term for stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator.

If you're laughing, I kind of don't blame you, and I'll give you a minute to get it out of your system.  Fan fiction has this weird--mostly undeserved--stigma around it: that it's written by bored, horny housewives or squealy teenage girls to fulfill...what, I don't really know, probably something that needs fulfilling.  If you haven't participated in a fandom (group of people with a common interest in something, including the minute details--Trekkies are a good example of a fandom) before, most people assume it's all about writing sexytimes with someone else's characters, and while there is plenty of that, it's about a whole lot more.

Let me explain, but also let me back up a little bit.

I've always loved to read and write, and I've been crafting stories, good and bad, since I was in elementary school and probably before that.  I'm sure being an only child has something to do with it; by default we're on our own a lot, and we tend to have active imaginations.  Story-creating is what we do.  Despite this, I never majored in English or creative writing or anything that most people would automatically associate with something to springboard into a writing career, but writing and creating weren't foreign concepts to me.  I feel this needs to be established.  So there you go.

Anyway, yes, my husband was away traveling a lot, and yes, I had a lot of time on my hands and got bored.  So I guess I'm not dispelling the "bored housewife" stereotype, but whatever.  This was back in 2008, and the first Twilight movie was just coming out.  Though I'd never heard of the books or movie before, the buzz around it was quickly picking up steam, and I'm weird about reading books before I see a movie based on them (mostly so I can judge them harshly), so I figured why the hell not and picked up the first book.  And I was kind of hooked--the story wasn't bad, and it was enough to keep me entertained, which is what I was looking for, so I bought the other two and finished them as well before the fourth book came out a month or so later.  Mostly I wanted to see when Edward Cullen would get his head out of his sparkly emo ass and bite Bella, because they were clearly meant to be together forever...

Ahem...back to my story.

"Bite me." "No." "Why?" "I'm too angsty."
But when I read that last book, I immediately wanted to throw it across the room.  I almost did, actually, but I don't condone human-on-book violence.  I completely disagreed with some story choices the author Stephenie Meyer made in the third book (Eclipse), which somehow also led to the clusterfuck that was Breaking Dawn.  It's the book (and plot twist) that shall not be named. Sorry, but if you disagree with me, we can get into a fight about it in the comments section below.  I've met a lot of people who enjoyed all of the books, and a lot who agree with me, and while I respect their opinions, my blog, my rules, my skewed opinion.

And while Stephenie Meyer did an admirable job world-building, and her characters (weirdly enough the side-ones like Esme, Charlie, and Rosalie along with the rest of the Cullens) are interesting, her two leads needed a lot of work.  And then there were the plot points I didn't like.  These were all things floating around in my head after I read the books, leaving me with weird feelings I hadn't had about someone else's story before.

I had the overwhelming urge to FIX IT.  Make it--the story--the way I thought it should be.

This post is getting a bit on the long side, so I'll break it off here, but stay tuned shortly for Part 2.

Leave a comment below if you've ever been part of a fandom...which one? Did you read fic? Write it?

xoxo Sarah


  1. I pretty much just stay away from fanfic. I figure that if people want to write they should come up with their own stuff.
    And, I have to say, of the more than a dozen people I've actually known who write fanfic, they are either
    1. bored housewives
    2. teenage girls
    And it's almost exclusively been about sex stuff.
    Just sayin'.

    1. Not an uncommon viewpoint...I address some of this in the next two parts, so stay tuned for those!