When life gives you lemons, write fanfictions
Fanfiction has probably existed forever possibly called under different names other than its current popularized and hated name Fanfiction. Thanks to the internet age fanfiction has become stronger and more prevalent in the day to day lives of readers and to the dismay of writers. I would even say that is how most of us have found an outlet to our incredible imagination, creativity and more importantly our voices. You don’t like how the original story ended in one of your favorite stories? CHANGE that shit. You wanted your beloved characters to end up together? Go change that! Or you felt that a character lacked depth? Add depth by writing a parallel story line! (Which is how I usually write my fanfiction, uhhh, shameless plugin, you can check them out if you want.)
How bad can it get from there? Doesn’t all of this sound fantastic and damn liberating? More importantly, the main story has been laid out for you by the author, the only thing you have to do is add your own pizzazz.
But back to how the internet responds to Fan and fiction, perfectly encapsulated by this meme down below.
No. Don’t be hasty with your judgment.
It is a convenient outlet, what I mean there is no middle man, no big publisher unless you want to pursue that route professionally. Therefore, taking the big shot publisher and editor out of the equation (I don’t want to say professional because I know it will trigger a response) you as the writer become the editor and publisher which turns every work of yours into a battlefield of experimentation, development and growth. Additionally, as like video games or reading, writing fanfiction is an escape for people like me and I believe it should be treated with respect and mostly understanding.
Let me explain why, as someone who was insecure about most everything in my life (not gon’ lie I am still working out the kinks) and never had the courage to voice out what I felt, because in my mind the world often made me feel that my voice had no worth – so writing became my outlet. Of course, factoring in my background the changing of languages, moving different places, readjusting, blah, blah blaaah – it ain’t no cup of tea for someone of my character to adjust to these drastic changes, so logically I gravitated towards something that made me happy and escape reality which was writing.
Discovering fanfictions and developing skills to grow confident
The first time I ever wrote a fanfiction was an unpublished and eventually scrapped fanfic of Harry Potter. That is where I got a taste of fanfiction. I was wildly inspired by the J.K. Rowling’s world and took inspiration from her writing, as well as jotting down words and expressions that often aptly captured emotions. Then from there I began reading fanfictions, diving into intricately woven stories that at times were better than the actual story itself. I have to give credit to my sister who brought to my attention that fanfiction existed and she was the one that encouraged me to publish stories online, convincing me that it was better to have an audience of strangers than audience of oneself.
There are two more works inspired by Japanese mangas (Japanese comics) which were turned into Anime (Japanese animation) one was Detective Conan/Case Closed and Naruto.
I got inspired by the manga called Naruto. Looking back it was without shame my pride and joy, it was the most exhilarating and freeing experience in my life when I wrote and published the chapters at least 3 times a month. Evidently, critique and judgment came not for my appearance and actions but more so for my writing which was refreshing and a relief. I had a blast writing it! And it is still enjoyed by many, which warms my heart.
Finally, was it worth it?
Writing fanfiction strengthened and deepened my love for writing. It made me realize that I enjoy the creative process and more importantly made me believe that I am good at writing. But to get to that point, I had to break through many walls (I would say even right now, writing on this blog and putting myself out on the internet requires me to break a few more walls that have thankfully grown thinner with time).
In the end, I pushed myself, I pushed this fragile person (who maybe wasn’t that fragile to begin with) to put her work online only to receive an epiphany by the positive reception of my stories that hey-I-guess-I-am-good-at-something-and-fuck-you-schools-and-teachers-who-told-me-otherwise. Nothing is as satisfying or fulfilling as an artist when someone recognizes/praises and acknowledges your work. It pushes you to work harder and better and it makes you realize that as an artist or writer that you cannot function in a vacuum without a give-and-take relationship with an audience or readers. You have a dual purpose, one, to keep yourself happy as you create and two, spread your work to make others happy.