So, I’m stepping away from the weekly character spotlights to talk a little about something that I absolutely love and that’s the beautiful world of fanfiction. Now, I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s beautiful because it really is. It’s something I can write without abandon and fully focus on one certain aspect of my writing. And why is it a good thing? Well, I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I should probably explain a few things first. Oh… and the definition of fanfiction is simply this.
“…fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series, movie, etc.”
First off, I started writing fanfiction without even realizing what it was called when I was in elementary/middle school. Like we’re talking I’m nine/ten years old here. My first two fanfiction stories centered around two universes: Sailor Moon, and Digimon. With respect to the latter, it was season 2, with Ken. /sighs Those two shows began my love of villains. Diamond and Ken. The world was complete then.
Well, anyway. Crystal (Sailor Moon) was ( and still is ) a very powerful Sailor Scout with all of the abilities of the other planets. Which now, almost two decades later, I have finally found a way to explain, but that’s for another post. Elizabeth (Digimon) is a bit more grounded and I developed my interests in dance through her. Elizabeth also became Laura who was the main character in regular fiction story I began writing probably around my eight grade year. While reading the manga version of Sailor Moon, I became entranced with the Mannequin Bride episode and that sparked a mystery story that never got off the ground and centered a bridal shop that dealt with ghost brides.
Crystal and Elizabeth were soon joined by Alexandria Cleopatra Ramses when I discovered Yu-Gi-Oh and, more importantly, Maximillion Pegasus. Oh, look! Another villain!! She’s pretty much a Mary-Sue (click here for definition). She had many talents which included owning her own company, speaking many languages, playing piano, singing, dancing, cooking…I mean, you name it, she could do it! She’s toned down quite a bit over the years, but let’s face it. Yu-Gi-Oh is a Universe meant specifically for Mary-Sues! Come on! Have you seen the things those characters can do in one turn of a children’s card game?!
The trio’s quartet was soon completed with Lacrimosa Rose Donovan, my main OC int he Harry Potter Universe. She’s tied to the Marauders Era and came about for my love of Severus Snape. (Seriously, villains are just my thing!) She was also a Mary-Sue in the beginning but she’s changed quite a bit, but I still stick by the fact that her Mother was from India and her father is an Englishman.
Now, there are so many more characters in the fanfiction realm that run around in my head. Murielle Orloth ( my Marvel OC who ends up with Loki ), Jane Austen and Emily Potter ( OC’s for Severus ), Anastasia Hillcrest, Mysty, and Chrissy Day ( three different OC’s for three different stories of Phantom of the Opera)…I mean the list goes on and on!
But why do I write this stuff? I mean, it obviously couldn’t ever be published in a book and make money because of copyright issues and stuff. ( We will avoid the subject of how 50 Shades of Gray is a fanfic of Twilight ). So why would I spend countless hours writing things for only online readers and not be a “real” published author?
1.) It helps young budding writers learn character development.
- I mean, think about it! The universe you’re writing in is already created. Lots of the characters are already done for you! Alexandria (or Alex as she’s more commonly referred to) just needed a good solid history that fit into the timeline and then she interacts with the characters already present in the universe. The trick to remember is that you can’t change how the other characters naturally are. Pegasus still mourns for his wife ( but I found away around that. yay for reincarnation ). Seto is still a jerk, Mokuba will always be kidnapped, and Yami/Yugi will always win that duel!
- I strongly recommend finding a good character development sheet and writing down as much as you possibly can about your character. Some sheets even have spaces where you can write down what other characters think about your OC or anything like that!
- I also recommend becoming part of an RPG like Pathfinder, or Dungeons and Dragons, or anything like that. THAT is a great way to create characters and realize that not everything in the world goes according to plan. It’s also a good way to interact and socialize because we can’t be at our computers all day for some stupid reason. Anyone else rather just sit and write all day? No? That’s just me? Huh…oh well!
2.) World Development
- So, you’ve written a few fanfics and you’re ready for the big leagues! World creation!! Murielle Orloth ( OC for Marvel’s Loki ) is a half-elf and so I had to create the entire world of Alfheim. Now…I LOVE mythology so to learn more about Norse Mythology was like a little slice of heaven. I also pulled a little from what I knew about Tolkein’s elves and used most of that for Alfheim. There are three different main areas on Alfheim and it’s used to classify the elves, although their magic is all the same. I also created a Kentonmen (coming of age) Ceremony which caused our heroine to travel to Asgard and meet our wonderful Prince Loki.
3.) You CAN be “Published.”
- There are places you can post your stories and get feedback! Granted, not everyone is the best at giving constructive criticism because it’s all online and that gives people the anonymity the need to be jerks. But if you’re looking for a place to put down your writings…
- Archive of Our Own
- Many More!!!
4.) Be a Part of the Universe!
- I mean, who doesn’t want to experience the joys of fighting at the Final Battle of Hogwarts? Or go to Camp Half-Blood? Or destroy the One Ring? Or stop Loki from taking over all of Asgard? Okay, that last one not so much for me, but you get the point right? You’re no longer a spectator! You’ve created a character and have chosen a particular Universe to place them in and that character is a part of you! You get to experience and live the story with the other characters that you already love so dearly!!!
5.) Ready for the Big Leagues
- Awww! You’re ready to write an actual fiction novel now? Well, you’ve been prepped!! The story of Faith Denton, and her three sisters ( it’s going to be this huge four novel series ) has forced me to concentrate on World Creation. I’ve created a fictional city in Tennessee, so I’ve had to look at other shows ( specifically Gilmore Girls ) for what I want in a city. Then there’s government, school, religion…any thing and everything you’d find in an every day city has to be present somehow. Fortunately, I’ve had to create the realm of Alfheim so I have an idea of what I’m doing. And you’ve done pretty well at realizing how a character works! Now you just need to create like…a million…instead of just one.
6.) IT’S. SO. MUCH. FUN!!!!!
- Like, I’m not really going to say much more than that. It’s just fun! I get to use things I already love and know about and some of my characters love those same things. So, I’m connected to them already and then they just take off and develop their own way. Kate ( an OC for Rumpelstiltskin in Once Upon a Time….yes yes another villian don’t you judge me! ) has a foundation that’s rooted entirely in Greek Mythology. So I get to geek out about two things I enjoy in one beautiful story!!
There are so many reasons I write fanfiction but I’ve narrowed it down to just six for now. I might do another one of these later. The important thing to remember really that last one. Have Fun! If you’re not enjoying what you’re writing, nobody is going to enjoy reading it. So, find a universe, and dive in with an OC or ship to characters together to create something totally new! For an idea on what shipping is, you can revisit my old post here.
That’s all for tonight! Enjoy your week and I’ll “see” you all real soon!! I might do one more fanfiction related so that I’ll have a nice trilogy of posts about this.