I’ve come to the end of my fanficition writing career–and I’m okay with it.
Last week I finished my last remaining Star Trek AOS piece. It took almost a year, with a 6-month hiatus in the middle–because life.
Looking back, I’ve had a great run with fanfic. What started as a way to look busy in high school economics class without actually *doing* economics turned into one of the most enjoyable activities in my life. (Note to my Econ teacher: I’m sorry for not paying attention. It was 7am, I was tired and had absolutely NO INTEREST in learning about the stock market.)
I sat in the back of the classroom and scribbled in a notebook about my favorite video game at the time, Phantasy Star IV. I had no idea what fanfic was, or that it even existed. I just knew that I loved the story of the game and had a massive crush on one of the characters (yes I’m aware he was a video game wizard). I wanted to give them new stories–so I did.
It turned into my first fanfic piece, originally written in a notebook and later completed on a desktop word processor, complete with dot matrix printer. That’s right, I just dated myself.
At the time, I was prouder than hell of it. Looking back–it was a piece of junk. We won’t talk about just how terrible it really was. But gimme a break, I was eighteen years old. I’ve always dreamt about completely overhauling it, but there isn’t enough time, plain and simple. The PSIV fandom is small and dying, and that means the re-vamp would more than likely be just for me.
Life then happened: I bought a house, graduated from college, got married and had a kid. During those times, I never stopped reading fanfic and had always dreamed of writing again, but just never got the chance. By then I had expanded my reading interests into Star Trek, Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy VII. There were authors who I loved instantly, and thought “wouldn’t it be the coolest if I knew them?”
Well, lemme tell you folks…I do know some of them now. One even comes to visit. Granted, it’s also to see her family here, but I’m calling it a win. (BTW, Ashbear, I miss you and you need to get your butt up here soon.) I’ve made some of the most wonderful friends through fanfic. It’s such a comforting feeling to know that there’s others out there who make their own headcanon, appreciate the inner workings of characters’ minds and try to put them in different situations, just like you.
Without fanfic, I would never have met some of the coolest people ever. I wouldn’t have my beta and dear friend. We met over a love of a certain bumbling Estharian President and forged a friendship that, even though is separated by a thousand miles, still burns strong. We’ve never met face-to-face, but that doesn’t make us any less close. We’ve shared good times, heartbreak and some extremely silly moments–just not in person.
After my son was born, I decided to take the plunge and write again. I started slow, with my first oneshot. Of course, it starred Laguna and Squall. Because reasons.
All along, I had been brewing an incredible plot line in my head, one that I knew if I started, it would be epic. I kept writing small oneshots while planning what would become Phoenix.
Sixty-five chapters, and just under 230,000 words. No small feat, and it took forever. But I’m so proud of what I accomplished, and it gave me the courage to delve into another fandom: Star Trek AOS (the new movies.)
I’m no stranger to hurting poor Captain Kirk and taking Bones along for the ride. I’ve been told I’m the queen of hurt!Jim and angst, and I’m happy to accept the title. I love that people enjoy what I create, even if it is bringing a certain Starfeet Golden Boy to the brink time and again.
I’ve written twenty-two fanfic pieces in total, some very short and several multi-chapter works. Each one holds a special place in my heart, has some sort of meaning. They were all written in different frames of mind, with a plethora of “life stuff” going on around me.
This past summer, my son and I were working on a “strategy guide” for games me makes up in his head and in binders. Seriously guys, the mind and imagination of this seven-year-old is beyond anything you can imagine. I’m so proud of him.
What started off as me trying to come up with a plot for his “game”, turned into what would become my original fantasy novel.
When I realized what I had created, I abandoned my book about my son and all the crazy shit he’s said in his short life so far and concentrated on bringing this new world to life.
But I knew in order to completely devote my time to my new venture, I’d have to leave fanfic behind. I thought I’d be sad, but I’m not. I’m more relieved than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing fanfic. But there’s just something magical about creating my own characters, universe and stories. And it’s also terrifying. I don’t have existing canon to glean from anymore. It’s all me.
There will more than likely be a day when I return to fic, because I still have a “vault” full of ideas and a few oneshots in various stages of completion.
But for now, I say goodbye to the characters that I’ve spent so many years sending to new places, meeting new people and having grand adventures.
Goodbye, Rune Walsh. Someday I’ll clean your story up and give it a nice new magical Frade Mantle to run around in.
Goodbye, Laguna Loire. Some of my most favorite pieces I’ve ever written are just that because you’ve made them so damn funny. I’m not sorry I got you drunk and made you play truth or dare. It was entertaining, admit it.
Goodbye Squall Leonhart. You were an angsty butthead and gave me a lot of headaches. I tortured you and you still loved me in the end. I know the situation with Raine was terrible, but in the end you got your mother back. You have a new life to enjoy and I sincerely hope you do.
Goodbye Fated Children. Yes, I really only focused on Selphie and Irvine, but you were all there in spirit. And Selphie, don’t worry about squishing spiders. Irvy’s got your back.
Goodbye Jim Kirk. What I did to Commander Leonhart looks like child’s play compared to what I put you through. The darkest place I’ve even traveled in fanfic was with you. We’ve been to hell and back together and survived to tell the tale.
Goodbye Leonard McCoy. I’ll miss you most of all. I’ll miss your crabbiness, your skepticism, your crass sense of humor. But most of all I’ll miss watching pledge your unwavering support (and sometimes love) to your friends, especially Kirk. When I made the shit hit the fan, you were always there to pick up the pieces. You waited until you were in private to crumble, but I’m proud of you that you actually let it happen.
It’s been a blast and I’ll miss you–but life moves forward.
You’ll have a new sibling soon–a fantasy novel that I hope will be as incredible as I think it will be. I won’t forget about you–how could I? I promise to revisit again, and torture Jim Kirk for old time’s sake.