I recently came across a Mythic Scribes article about the importance of fanfic for a budding writer, (article linked below), and I couldn’t agree with it more.
We all know that fanfic gets a bad rap sometimes. Sometimes it’s warranted, most of the time it isn’t. Yes, there’s some badly-written stuff–but there’s a lot of really well-written, quality pieces. There’s PWP (Porn without plot)–but also a lot of fantastic erotica. Strange pairings? Weird crossovers? Killing characters? Check, check and check again. And you know what? That’s okay.
//small rant coming// Fanfiction is a safe place for people write what they want. So many times, I see others talking stink about “this piece or that piece”, about how the pairing is awful, the plot is bad or it isn’t edited properly. While some of it is true concrit, sometimes it’s nothing more than readers (or other writers) bitching about someone’s piece just because it isn’t exactly what they like–or they’re just being assholes. The stories might not be what you’re comfortable reading, or might stray into territory that makes you cringe, but at the end of the day, there is an author behind it that is proud of their accomplishment. Sometimes fic authors, especially new ones, don’t understand the finer points of beta editors, peer feedback and the difference between being trolled and being given real advice. It’s our job as “veterans” to help them out so they don’t get discouraged and quit. I’ve seen too many authors get flamed for no good reason and get fed up and leave their fandoms. You can be an honest editor/reviewer without being cruel. //rant over, now back to the topic at hand//
Fanfiction is so important for readers and writers alike. There are people out there who might read a story by their favorite author and be inspired to write their own. Authors meet friends through their fandoms–and those friendships sometimes turn into lifelong partnerships. From a writer’s perspective, fanfiction is so helpful.
When I began writing fanfic many years ago, I had a very contrasting writing style from my current (and I think) permanent one. My outlining techniques were nowhere near what they are today. My editing process was completely different. Had I attempted to write an original piece then, it would have NOT been up to par. Writing fanfic helped hone my skills, made me more confident and gave me the courage to tell myself, “You can write that goddamn novel, lady!”
Writing, no matter what type, helps so much. It boosts not only skill level, but confidence as well. Even with one completed novel in the editing stage and its sequel started, I still write fanfic. Why? It’s fun. It’s a great distraction when I’m blocked or in a pissy mood. And let’s face it, I’m the hurt queen and well, that Episode Ignis DLC will probably be the end of all of us.
To anyone who has ever said fanfic has no purpose and that the writers aren’t legit, I say, “suck rocks.” Yes, there’s some PWP and tentacle smut, but…whatever twirls your ticket, I guess. 😉 To all my fellow fic writers–keep it up! You never know when you might decide to leap into the original fiction pool! But if you don’t ever want to try your hand at original fiction, that’s perfectly acceptable. Because your characters will always be there for you, ready and waiting for you to either be nice to them…or hurt them. *looks innocent*