Writing

The Merits of Fanfiction

Hi, my name is Erin… and I secretly write fanfiction.  

No, this is not a support group meeting.  And honestly, I haven’t written fanfiction in over a year. Before now I’ve tried to separate my two worlds of writing, but yesterday they collided.  First, let me give you some background.

I had never participated in fandoms until I read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer in the fall of 2006. Soon afterwards I got online and started researching Meyer and her books. That’s when I first discovered fanfiction–I hadn’t even realized such a thing existed.  

Since Twilight had me excited about reading and writing again, it seemed only natural to try my hand at fanfiction.  It was a way of enjoying the characters I loved while also improving my writing skills.  Over time I wrote five Twilight-based stories, each one a little better than the last.  In the process I met two other fanfiction authors who would eventually become an imperative part of my writing life:  Syd and Marcy, my current critique partners.  

My last fanfiction story was called “Edward Vs the Toddler,” which remains more popular than my previous four stories combined.  According to fanfiction.net, “Toddler” has received over 4,000 hits. The story seems to have a good blend of romance and sarcasm–a technique that came in handy when writing my first novel.

Writing fanfiction helped me in so many ways:  1) it helped me meet my critique partners!  2) it allowed me to receive feedback on my stories, and 3) it motivated me to write, which led to my improvements as a writer.

However, I couldn’t keep writing fanfiction forever if I had any hope of publication. Soon after I wrote “Toddler,” Marcy and Syd convinced me to start writing my novel.  I learned even more by writing it, because you can’t learn how to create original worlds and characters by writing fanfiction.  I figured I’d probably never write fanfiction again since I’d be too busy writing my own fiction.

But when I discovered an opportunity to help someone through fanfiction, I couldn’t pass it up.

The Support Stacie community is having a Stocking Stuffer Author Auction to help a woman with cancer pay her medical bills. Fanfiction authors are offering to write a holiday-themed story approximately 2500 words long. During the auction, November 29 to December 1, people can bid on any of the 57 authors signed up. If you have the highest bid at the end of the auction, the author will write a story just for you (whether it’s posted publicly or not is up to the highest bidder).

For complete details, go here.  Bidding instructions are here, and the bidding forum—with the complete list of participating authors—is located here.

I’m offering to write a sequel to “Edward Vs the Toddler.” Since it needs to be holiday-themed, it would have to take place post-Breaking Dawn. Want to know how Bella and Edward handle their own toddler? Then go to the auction and bid for the story! Most importantly, it’s for a good cause. 

Some of you may think, “I’ve never read this story–why would I bid on the sequel?”  So this is where I have to show my alter ego.  I wrote fanfiction under the name of Butterscotch82 (no laughing allowed!).  Go here to view “Edward Vs the Toddler” or any of the other stories I wrote. Keep in mind that I wrote these stories a long time ago; I almost cringe when I read them now.  Even “Toddler”–the best of the five–has parts I would change if I were to write it now. So please don’t judge my current writing based on these stories from the past. At least I can look at them and see how I’ve improved in just a year. 

So to apply this to Tuesday’s Topic:  have any of you ever written fanfiction?  Did you find it beneficial… or a waste of time? I’d love to hear any thoughts and opinions! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and let me know if you have any questions about the auction!

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2 thoughts on “The Merits of Fanfiction

  1. Hey Erin,

    One thing I’ve learned in writing (mostly for myself) for many years, is that I ALWAYS cringe when I reread my stuff. I think to be a good author you have to always want to improve on what you’ve written. Otherwise you’d get stagnant.

    Also, speaking of your novel, I couldn’t open the attachment that had your revised first chapter. Could you please resend it? (I should’ve told you this last time I saw you, but it slipped my mind).

    Thanks.

  2. Good point! That’s one of the reasons I love writing: there’s no chance of ever getting bored or running out of room for improvement! Although it also drives me crazy sometimes since I’m a perfectionist. No matter how many times I reread my novel, I always find at least one thing I want to change.

    Resending Ch. 1 now…

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