Tag Archives: fanfiction

The Con Job

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A couple of weeks ago I read a bit of fanfiction called The Cyborg Arm Job by CopperBadge. It’s a Leverage/Captain America cross-over fic that was really good. So good in fact that it spurred my brain to demand that I write my own Leverage/Captain America cross-over fic despite the fact that it’s been about a decade since I last wrote fanfiction. I only intended it to be a quick little story about the Leverage crew meeting Eliot’s idol, Captain America, at a Comic-Con, but it ended up being an eight thousand word beast that is getting a lot of love over on Tumblr where I originally posted it.

Summary: Eliot jumps at the chance to meet his idol even if it means spending the day at a geek convention. But HYDRA thinks the con is the perfect place to take Captain America down once and for all. Now the Leverage crew must team up with Captain America, Black Widow, and Falcon to prevent a lot of innocent people from being murdered.

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Guest Post #6 Jennifer Kammerer-Pulley Writing For The Love of It.

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Jennifer is yet another awesome writer I met through the message board of She Who Shall Not Be Named. When the deletion and banning of those people who disagreed with parts of the book got too bad, we migrated over to a much more awesome message board where we could discuss and snark and disagree with each other to our hearts content without worrying about being banned or silenced.

 

Ana asked me if I would be willing to write a guest blog this month and I jumped on the chance, as long as it got published today, October 29th. Because I turn 30 today. So this guest blog is a birthday present to myself! I’m going to talk about writing for the sheer love of it. Not to be published, not for fame, but just for the fun of it.

I’ve been thinking up stories for as long as I can remember. My earliest stories were cracktastic fanfics that involved the A-Team. I was 5. I had no idea what cracktastic was. I had no idea what fanfic was. All I knew was that my brain was thinking up the most awesome story lines and I could spend hours with my eyes closed watching as they played out on the back of my eye lids. A few years later, the A-Team story lines were replaced with China Beach story lines. And then I saw Lost Boys for the first time. And really folks, it was all downhill from there.

I started writing my stories down. I discovered rather quickly that I didn’t enjoy writing about preexisting characters. I loved thinking about them, but not so much writing them. It hampered my budding creativity. *said with a hoity-toity voice* So I started letting my mind wander through these fictional worlds that others had already created. And I started finding original characters that existed. And I started writing cracktastic fiction in earnest. And continue to unto this day. Although now I create my own worlds as well.

I should note that I love editing other people’s work. I’ve done editing for quite a few friends, and I like to think I’m passably decent at it. When I try to edit my own work, I usually start out ok. And then after a chapter or two I get sucked in. And a few hours later I’m finishing reading the pages with a giant grin on my face, having made my brain happy because it got to hang out with its old friend, cracktastic story, for a little while. My story never really gets past the zero draft stage, but I’ve discovered that really doesn’t matter to me, since I only write for myself.

Do I ever want to get any of this fiction published? Aw hell no! My stories are really rather awful when compared to what’s in print these days. Completely implausible storylines. Mary Sues/Gary Stus out the wazoo. Gratuitous sex and violence. But I love writing them. And that’s what matters to me. I don’t write to be famous. I don’t write to make money. I write because I have a story in my brain struggling to get out, and even if no one else ever reads it, putting it on paper lets it roam free in the world. And there is something ever so gratifying about writing a cracktastic story, walking away from it for a few months, and then going back and reliving every thought that went into it. Even the really embarrassing ones.

I know I’m not the only one who writes purely for the pleasure of making my brain happy. And I think it’s important to recognize and remember that it’s ok to write solely for yourself and no one else. So if you enjoy writing for the fun of it and you don’t want to make it big, go right on a head and keep at it. Do it because you love doing it. And don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong!

 

Now, please join me in wishing Jennifer a very warm and wonderful HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Books! And Cleverness!

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Recently, (Okay, it was actually quite a few weeks ago now. I won’t say how long this post has been sitting in my drafts queue) a friend linked me to some Labyrinth fanfiction (mmm… David Bowie in that codpiece…). Yes, I love fanfiction and fully support fanficcers everywhere, but that’s a separate post.  One of the stories she linked to incorporated a very apropos song, Der Erlkönig, into the story. I am sure the author was going for clever and witty and lyrical. In reality, it just came across as heavy-handed and unreadable. I got bogged down by the cleverness because it was so apparent.

Cleverness, like most artistic treatments, requires a deft hand and a light touch. I don’t want to be thrown out of a story because I can see you beneath the masks and glitter and costumes. And yes, I know that it’s just fanfic, but I have high standards for everything I read.

Because of the heavy-handed use of the song, I just could not finish this story. Everything else about the writing was spot on. The story was interesting and original and the writer definitely knows how to evoke images in her readers’ minds, but I just could not get past that one misstep.

I’ve done it with published authors as well. If I can see behind the curtain too far, if I can see the gears of the machine in too fine a detail, I’m no longer entranced. The magic is gone and there’s no getting it back for me.

Do you have any quirks about reading that will make you put down a piece and not finish it?

Guest Post #3 — Eeyore9990 You Can’t Edit a Blank Piece of Paper…

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…But sometimes you can’t write on it either.

How do you introduce a fluffy purple donkey who writes some of the most cracktastic smut around? It’s not easy, that’s for sure. I met Eey on a certain author’s message board board many years ago. When that started imploding from Teh Crazies, I followed her to LiveJournal where she and several other introduced me to slashfiction. It was love at first read. Pretty boys doing smutty things to each other! *sigh*

Go check out her InsaneJournal (because she’s become too crazy for LiveJournal :-p) and read some of her luscious fics.

Ana approached me to guest blog as a writer of fanfiction, and while I was (and am!) happy to do so, I can already hear the hisses and screams now.  And they’re not all coming from the BDSM corner of fandom.

I can’t personally tell you what fandom is about.  It’s too wide-spread, it covers too many areas of life, and quite honestly it’s pure crazy.  I’ll admit it.  We writers of fanfiction, creators of fanart, and downloaders of fanmixes are a completely committed bunch.  We have to be, don’t we?

We’re the people who read a book/go to a movie/view a piece of art and can’t let it go.  We hear music on the radio and can only hear the songs as they pertain to our favorite characters.  We see a picture of two people kissing and, in our minds, they are a fictional couple acting out a love scene we’ve read.

So why do we do it?  Because we’re invested.  We’re intelligent, free-thinking individuals for whom the words “The End” have no meaning.  There is no end as long as there is fandom.  For anything.  Pride and Prejudice is still going strong nearly two hundred years after it was first published.  Don’t believe me?  Google it.

Why does fanfiction exist?  In short, it exists because people like me can’t stop thinking about what people like Ana write.  We can’t let go of those worlds.  We love the characters and celebrate with them when they’ve won.  We grieve when they lose.  We go into mourning when they die.

And then we bring them back to life.

So how does one write fanfiction?  Well, we write in much the same way that anyone else does, I imagine.  We sit down to a blank computer screen, watch the cursor blink for a few—or fifteen—minutes, decide we need a drink/sandwich/walk around the park, and come back to continue the staring contest with our blank page.  Eventually a word or phrase will crawl through our brains, and we’ll write it down.  Finally, the story unfolds.

And then, if we’re at all worthy, we find someone to beta—or edit—our stories.  For the most part, people who write fanfiction are rabid about things like characterization and canon (everything that is true for the original model, be it book or movie or television show).  So we find someone who knows the world we’re writing in, give them our stories and tell them to rip them to shreds.  At which point they’ll likely send our stories back with red marks all over them and notes like, “Elizabeth Bennet’s eyes are described in canon as ‘dark.’  In which universe is light blue a ‘dark’ color?”

The writing part is easy.  After all, someone else has done the hard work of world-building and character development for us.  Did you expect me to deny it?  I absolutely won’t.  I would not exist as a writer of fanfiction if it weren’t for the gorgeous brains of those who created the sandboxes I play in.  I cherish each and every one of them because they have provided me with a necessary outlet.

Fanfiction exists in all forms.  From entire on-line communities built around the concept of stories told in exactly 100 words (drabbles) to epic masterpieces comprising hundreds of chapters with multiple sequels.

All it takes is one idea.  One “what if.”  What if Elizabeth had not gone to visit Mr Darcy?  What if she’d stayed home?  What if she’d accepted Mr Collins’ proposal?

That’s where authors of fanfiction step in.  We take one idea (or several) and develop them into a story.  We use the characters we love, the worlds we’ve spent so long in that we know exactly where to place different structures on a map.  Even if the map is of a world so totally alien to Earth that up is down and down is sideways.

We use the sand from your sandboxes to build castles.  Have we changed the sand?  Of course not.  Have we prevented others from playing with the sand?  Nope.  The sand is still the same sand it was when we climbed into the sandbox.  It’s just taken on a different shape for a few minutes.

So don’t be threatened by fanfiction.  It exists because someone loved something so much that they couldn’t stop thinking about it.

And now I’ve got to go write that Elizabeth/Mr Collins fic….