…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
It’s really no secret that I started my writing career in the land of fan fiction. It’s where I learned a long-forgotten love of words and where I found my feet as a writer. I’ll tell anyone who asks, my fandom was Twilight and I’m proud of the stories I put out there. But, like I’ve said before, as time went on, fan fiction for me became less about Twilight and more about the people I met along the way, and of course, writing original fiction.
Like many other authors, taking the leap from fanfiction to original fiction is a natural progression. But leaving behind the comfort of someone else’s characters to give our own characters life with words is daunting, and there are some writing one-oh-one lessons to be learned.
In fanfiction, the hard work has been done. The back-stories, the physical descriptions, the relationship dynamics and even the locales and settings have all been done. As an example, in Twilight fanfiction, if I were to write the first line of a new story as “Edward Cullen lives with his adopted parents and adopted brothers and sisters in Forks” any fandom reader immediately gets the following information:
Edward: Bronze hair, cute, emotionally torn, loner.
Carlisle: Doctor, blond, kind.
Jasper: Scars, fighter.
Emmett: Boisterous, huge.
Rose: Pretty, bitch.
Alice: Pixie-like, shopaholic.
Forks: Small town in Washington. Rains a lot.
All fandoms are the same. It’s just so easy. We are so well tuned to the canon characters we’ve grown to love and/or hate in our chosen fandoms and even if the author of the fanfic never describes the physical attributes of a character, we know exactly what they look like and in most cases, their personality traits as well.
It’s true, not all fanfictions are written true to canon. I’ve even written some fanfictions in which the personality traits are very removed from canon, but the backgrounds, settings and descriptions are all pre-done. It’s fiction made easy.
I’m not saying fanfic writers don’t put a lot of time, effort and tears into their work, because they sure as hell do. I’m not even talking about plot. I’ve read some fanfics which were, plot wise, head and shoulders above some original fictions. What I’m saying is the basics of writing fanfiction compared to the basics of writing original fiction are very different.
The worlds and characters we create in original fiction need to be fleshed out, thorough and believable. We need to add depth and layers (and hopefully a complexity) that, in fanfiction, is so freely given by the original works of any fandom. We need to paint a picture in the reader’s mind of our characters, without preconceptions and presumptions.
That being said, my three “free-reads” were once fanfictions. If anyone was familiar with them in their original forms, or even just in the twi-fandom in general, they might recognise some traits here and there that weren’t fully omitted/changed when rewritten. Like Lucas’ southern accent in Sixty Five Hours, or Callum’s southern accent in His Grandfather’s Watch, or Trent’s southern accent in Learning to Feel… see a pattern forming? I guess Jasper’s southern twang in Twilight was a quirk I loved too much to get rid of…
But in my original fictions, each character and their world, simply can’t be a carbon copy of the one before.
So, why offer rewritten, ex-fanfics as free-reads? A lot of reasons, but the main ones being I loved these boys too much to say goodbye forever, and it offers anyone a chance to see if any new prospective readers like my writing style in original fiction, for free.
I can’t recommend having free-reads highly enough. For new authors, for not-new authors, it’s the perfect way for a new reader to sample your style without paying for it. In more cases than not, it will end in a review that reads something similar to “Loved this free-read. Now off to see what else this author’s done.”
You can check out my free-reads here:
Sixty Five Hours
Learning to Feel
His Grandfather’s Watch
(I will be adding Learning to Feel to ARe soon, just waiting on a professional edit!)
And my latest foray into fanfiction is in the lands of Spartacus (Agron and Nasir… rawr!)
Please be aware, it is a canon piece. If you’re not familiar with Spartacus, it might not make much sense.