The Significance of Fan fiction

Blog Post Number 7 Written:05-22-2021 Uploaded: 03-06-2022

I don’t know if it’s true for all people or just for me, but at least in my case, I was taught that fan fiction didn’t count, that it wasn’t real writing, or real storytelling, or that it would lead to nothing but bad grammar, strange character relationships and debauchery.

Or at least that’s what my father would have led me to believe. Maybe I started reading that kind of stuff just because I was told not to. I don’t remember, that was a while ago. I read, and still often do read fanfic kind of stuff. Admittedly, there are some people who post their babies on the forums before they’re done. Lots of what I have seen need more edits, or more thoughts, though some I think are meant to have fewer dimensions, that they just want to be a good romp. Those that set out to do just that, usually do it pretty well.

On the other hand, there are many writers and stories/fan fic’s that I have read that were fantastic, that took new and interesting twists on the original stories or character traits or made their own stories and characters inside the same universe and they’re fantastic. They make me question my own writing, and wonder why those stories and their writers aren’t well-published and paid handsomely. But many of what I find to be my most inspirational of ideas, that flash when something strikes like lightning and you just have to write, and it doesn’t give you a choice. Most of those moments, most of that inspiration, has come to me, from one of two sources, one being that odd ‘glitch in the matrix moments’ that kinda sticks in your head for no reason, the other is from a good fanfic. 

It might not be the highest form of fiction, but it’s not a bad one either. Perhaps they deserve more respect than they are given, or at least more respect than my father gives them. For me, personally, as I worked my way into writing, it was extremely important. I was a big fan of the tabletop role-playing game BattleTech as I was rolling into high school. But my friends weren’t as big of nerds as I was and didn’t play as often as I would have liked, I needed more BattleTech in my life. On top of that, I noticed BattleTech lore, despite humans spreading all over the galaxy, didn’t include any aliens. They didn’t answer the Fermi paradox. So, I started writing fanfic to solve both problems at once. I got more giant robots in my brain, and I got aliens, I got to answer the Fermi paradox. I had written before, but that was the first time I wrote complete books, I wrote anything good, and had more than an idea that fizzled out in a couple of chapters. It taught me, as a writer. I learned what sounds cool, I figured out how to smash words together out of sheer repetition.

I learned how to make my own characters, my own worlds, and plot and roll it all together at the same time to have a coherent story. I honed my art and my skill through practice and I used those words of fanfic as that practice. It doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad if someone else reads it, or you burn the paper as soon as you finish writing it. Do what you wanna do, and how you want to do it. You can’t win if you don’t play the game. Even if you don’t think your writing is good, write more, edit more. That’s the only way it will get better as Neil Gaimen said “make good art”. Doesn’t matter if it’s fanfic or original, or original character shoved into someone else’s universe, or horror, or smut, or action, or slow-burning romance. You do you, write the thing.

Thanks for stopping by, I’ll see you out there.

Published by chacerandolph

Science fiction author and Avionics Technician

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