If I had the power, I would ask all the authors in the world to do Yuletide or something like it every year. Sign up for a fic exchange and write some porn for a stranger; tailor your stories to an audience of one, let go of the long-form plots and the careful wide-spectrum appeal, embrace the joy of spending a hundred words on Carlos’s perfect hair or Buffy’s perfect shoes or Jo’s perfect knives. Remember the joy of waiting for one person to open a story and see what it contains.
Because fanfic is joy. Fanfic is fixing the things you see as broken, and patching the seams between what’s written and what is not, and giving characters who got cheated out of their happy endings another chance. There was a time, not that long ago as we measure things, where all fiction was what we would now call “fan fiction.” Shakespeare didn’t come up with most of his own plots. He wrote plays about the stories people already loved. We didn’t get a thousand versions of “Snow White” accidentally: people changed that story to suit themselves, and no one said they weren’t storytellers, or looked down on them for loving that core of red and black and white, of apples and glass and snow.❞
Seanan McGuire, “Let’s Talk About Fanfic.”
(hat tip to kassrachel for the link!)
I was cruising through the net, following the cold trail of one of the periodic “Is or is not Fanfic the Ultimate Literary Evil?” arguments that crop up regularly, and I’m now bursting to make a point that I never see made by fic defenders.
We’re all familiar with the normal defenses of fic: it’s done out of love, it’s training, it’s for fun. Those are all good and valid defenses!
But they miss something. They damn with faint praise. Because the thing is, when you commit this particular Ultimate Literary Evil you’ve now told a story. And stories are powerful. The fact that it wasn’t in an original world or with original characters doesn’t necessarily make it less powerful to any given reader.
I would never have made this argument a few years ago. A few years ago I hadn’t received messages from people who were deeply touched by something I wrote in fanfic. So what if it’s only two or three or four people, and I used someone else’s world and characters? For those two or three or four people, I wrote something fucking important. You cannot tell me that isn’t a valid use of my time and expect me to feel chastened. I don’t buy it. I won’t feel ashamed. I will laugh when you call something that touches other people ‘literary masturbation.’ Apparently you’re not too up on your sex terminology.
Someone could argue that if I’d managed the same thing with original characters in an original world, it could’ve touched more people. They might be right! On the other hand, it might never have been accepted for publication, or found a market if self published, and more importantly I would never have written it because I didn’t realize I could write. The story wouldn’t have happened. Instead, thanks to fanfic being a thing, it did. And for two or three or four people it mattered. When we talk about defending fanfic, can we occasionally talk about that?
Here’s the thing.
I read a lot of scripts. A lot. From professionals to aspiring writers to complete newbies. Features and pilots. Specs and treatments.
And 8 times out of 10 the fan fic that I’ve read over the last, oh, 15 years is leagues better than this stuff. It’s more inspired. It’s more compelling. It’s genre bending and creative and heartfelt. It’s well-paced and intense and funny and sexy and meaningful. It’s smart and thoughtful and good. It’s novel-quality. Better than, sometimes.
Rare is the script I don’t want to put down, but how often have we stayed up until 3am to get to the last chapter of a 100k fic? And it’s not even a fan fic author’s day job. This is what they do on the side. In their spare time. For free.
So my point is, fan fic authors, you’re good. You’re good writers and great storytellers. I know it doesn’t always feel like it, especially if you’re one of the authors who’s not a BNF and doesn’t get the notes/hits that a few do. And because some people still view fic as “not real writing.” You guys know the shit that gets made into movies. You’re better than that. So be better than that. If writing is what you think want to do, then just know you’re already doing it. You’ve already started.
And you’re more talented than you might think.
I felt compelled to reblog this because we’ve all had our hard times when it comes to fan fiction, and seeing someone so high up on the food chain praising fan fiction writers as being better that movie script writers, it doesn’t make me feel as bad as I used to. It makes me feel almost… empowered. It makes me want to get back into the game. It reminds me that there is some pretty awful crap out there and that most of us surpass that by leaps and bounds.
So, read this, then reread it if you have to. Let what this person has to say sink in. Because when it does, you’ll feel so much better about your writing.
Pink Drinks and Pick-Up Lines, rated PG-13 for sexiness and some swearing. No warnings. Felicity notices a guy brooding at a bar. Things get fun.
((A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it. — Jean de La Fontaine))
By her estimation, it took her half of a pink martini (her first, since math seemed important whenever alcohol was involved) to notice Broody Guy. How she missed him before that was a little bit of a mystery because he was only two stools away and he was kind of a big guy. Big in an “I work out” way, not in a “I eat nachos for every meal not-that-there’s-anything-wrong-with-that” way. He leaned forward with his elbows on the bar, hands clasped together in front of a whiskey, and she entertained the thought that his face would look so much more handsome without the frown.
She didn’t say that aloud because while it was annoying, at least her habit of splashing everything in the vicinity with far too many words had some sense of self-preservation. Instead, she finished the pink martini and wondered what he was brooding about.
He didn’t touch the whiskey, not once. He didn’t look up or check his watch or play with his phone, so he either wasn’t waiting for somebody to arrive or he was just one of those incredibly rare patient people. Felicity was not one of those people. She also hated mysteries and by the middle of her second pink martini, Broody Guy was becoming a little bit too big of an enigma.
So she turned to him and said the first thing that came to mind: “I’m sorry, sir, you’re going to have to leave.”
This… This… I can’t even… OMG… SO WONDERFUL! Ack! I absolutely ADORED reading this! Totally made up for the cry fest I had this morning. THANK YOU! You’ve made my day!
This. Love it. Plus bonus Sara x Felicity friendship pairing that I adore!!
Warning! F/F Smut.
I know, right? Ashley writing femslash…weird. I thought so too, and then I found it to be quite refreshing and different than what I usually write.Also a bit of a challenge. Plus I wanted to give Alyssa something fun to read.
So…click the Read More. Ya know, if you’re into this sort of thing…or if you’re like me and Heteroflexible fabulous. (really need to find the person who coined that term)
I can’t believe someone wrote f/f femslash for me to read.
Sometimes I stare at the computer screen when the words don’t want to come and I think, “Fuck, who am I kidding? This is terrible writing, and this story is shit, and no one cares, anyway.” And I close the window and go do something else.
But every now and then I get an amazing, heartfelt, beautiful comment from someone who loved something I wrote, and it reminds me that, at least for that one person, I did write something worthwhile. And so I open the window again and I write one sentence, and then another, and then I start to find my way again.
So on behalf of all fanfic writers everywhere, I want to say thank you, thank you so much, to all of the readers who take the time to leave a comment and tell us that something we wrote mattered to you, that it brightened your day or made you laugh or cry or get horny or whatever.
Please don’t think we’re ever bothered by your comment, or that we don’t want to hear it, or that what you have to say isn’t important enough. It means so, so much. And on some days, it’s what keeps us going.
Because it needs to be said, especially on days like today.
slow build fics
#u know what gets me turned on #SIXTY THOUSAND WORDS OF FRIENDSHIP #AND COMFORT AND LEARNING EACH OTHER AND EACH OTHER’S HABITS #AND EARNING AND GAINING TRUST #AND PINING AND AWKWARDNESS THAT EVOLVES INTO LOVE BUILT ON CARING
I don’t think you guys understand how much I love fanfiction cliches in my smut. I love them so much. I could read a hundred stories where two characters get locked in a small space or have to share body heat or get caught in a rainstorm and have to take off wet clothes. I’m being completely genuine when I say that I live for smut fanfiction cliches.
lmao people mock fanfiction but when u think about it some people manage to create novel-length stories that are extremely well written without getting paid and they do it on top of school and work and everything else in their lives just because they love to write and they love the original story or the people they write about like im pretty sure that’s more productive than being the person who is just sat there laughing at it all
olicity fanfiction: broken written by chasethewind
» The moments when we are at our weakest and most vulnerable are the moments when we need those that mean the most to us. Sometimes just knowing someone is there to help you through the pain gives you the strength to pull through. She became the strength he needed when life felt hopeless.