Right so today I want to talk about something that's been a little controversial in the publishing world lately, but I'll be talking about it in a very non-controversial way. I'd like to talk about... FAN FICTION!
Okay, okay, I know I just got a look from some of you,
|a look something like this, maybe?|
but hear me out. I'm not talking about Fifty Shades of Grey here, although if that's your bag, go with it!!! What I'm trying to say is that fanfiction isn't all hardcore sexy stuff, but you probably already knew that.
Reasons why I think Fanfiction is good for a writer's mental health:
1. Thinking of original characters and plots is hard. Especially if there's a certain amount of pressure on you to do so like you just got an email from your agent or editor asking, "What are you going to work on next?". With fanfiction, the characters are already there. They're awesome (you wouldn't be a fan if they weren't) and you probably know them really well so it won't be too hard to dive into a story.
2. Trying to find good beta readers for your original writing is also hard sometimes. People can be very picky about what they want to spend their time reading, which is fine, they should be. But with fanfiction, there's already a built-in readership. Not only is it built-in, it's EXCITED about reading! And from what I've found of the community, it's very supportive. Sure, like any online forum there are trolls and people who just want to be mean for the sake of being mean, but honestly, if you can't handle those types then publishing is not for you.
3. Because there is such a large built-in readership, you get almost immediate feedback. Maybe it's just that someone starts following your story or they leave a simple comment like "I'm liking this! Please keep going!". It might not be a huge critique like we're used to, but it's something. It could be that something that helps you to remember why you love writing in the first place.
4. You might be saying, "I don't have time for that. Why would I write something that will never be published?" Well, I'm a firm believer in doing something nice for yourself every once in a while. We might love being a writer, but sometimes we hate to write. With fanfiction, the pressure is off and you'll know it's just for fun. Besides, writing anything is practice, right? Just look at it like you're making one more step towards the perfection of your craft.
5. Which leads me to possibly the best reason of all: IT'S FUN! It's fun to get to know the community which I've found to be nothing but supportive and funny and talented. It's fun to put your favorite characters into situations you've always wanted to see them in. Are you a Thor fan? Send him and Loki on a brotherly bonding adventure. Are you a Lord of the Rings fan? Have The Fellowship of the Ring encounter a sea siren in a creepy lagoon. The possibilities are endless.
If you're curious about doing this, I advise you check out tumblr.com and search for whatever you're a fan of and add "fanfiction" to the search. Or browse fanfiction.net.
And there you have it. Let me know in the comments what you think about fanfiction. Do you read it or write it or both? Has it been important to you?
And remember, if you're interested in becoming a regular contributor to our fun little blog here, you have until Aug. 26th to apply! So get those emails in!!!! Check out Stef's post here for the details!