Evening all. Did everyone watch the Olympics? Well you should have. It was awesome.
Alright, I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve written a lot of fan-fiction in my time. Usually admitting such a thing will prompt a cringe from anyone trying to become a serious writer but I think, if used properly fan-fiction can be a useful tool for developing your skills.
Think about it. Even if you’re writing the best thing since sliced Tolkien you can’t work on it continually. You’ll sicken yourself of it, ultimately making you writing stale and you don’t always have 2 good stories bouncing round your noggin to alternate between. So how do you keep the writing juices flowing? Just scribble out a quick fan-fiction.
It’s great for practicing all the skills you need to write your own story without all the heavy lifting of fleshing out your own world. All of the rules and mechanics of the story are already set, all you have to do is come up with a character and have shit happen to them.
Now obviously there is a great capacity for fan-fiction to be nothing more than a pile of unbeneficial, self-gratifying shite so if you’re gonna use fan-fiction for practice there’s a few things you might want to try doing so you can get the most out of it.
1. Use your own characters
Characters aren’t too difficult to come up with and you can use the established world to help define them which is half the work. It’s the perfect way to practice your character creation skills.
2. Use your own story
It’s a big world (probably. Depends on the franchise you’ve chosen) and your plot doesn’t have to happen anywhere near the existing stories.
3. Try and use your own setting
Same as above. Hopefully the universe you’re borrowing is big enough for a few different locations.
4. Sci-fi or fantasy works best
As long as it’s not just a franchise set in the world as it is. Otherwise you’re just writing your own story in which case you really don’t need a blog post about fan-fiction. You’re already writing!
There is great potential for abuse with fan-fiction, I think 50 Shades of Grey proves just how far out of control this kind of self-indulgent tripe can go but I maintain that with a touch of objectivity, fan-fiction can help us grow as writers.
See you next week!