Fan fiction has a bad reputation for being poor-quality storytelling with a lot of sex and eroticism. People think it's just porn for people to release their crazy fantasies about certain characters in a show or movie. But that's not always the case.
When I was a little girl, I played out character sketches with my brothers and sisters. My one sister and I loved to play Narnia and Star Wars. Eventually, we made this awesome crossover universe where Anakin, Padme, and the Pevensies spent days exploring the Woods Between the Worlds, Tatuine, and everything in between.
My other sister really loved Sonic the Hedgehog. So, we played these characters in a make-believe world where the different characters had kids and then developed their children and so on! Basically, everything in the story revolves around these characters, how they grew, and how they interacted with each other.
I tell you all of this because I think these games played a big role in my creativity today. One of the reasons I am so focused on character and character development in the stories I write is because of these games, fanfiction games I played with my siblings.
None of the games were accurate to the storylines of the movies or TV shows we acted out. Accuracy wasn't important (although there was a time when my sister and I knew basically every line in Star Wars Episode I by heart). The characters and how they interacted was the most important part.
This is why I think it's actually good for writers to engage in fan fiction. It gives us a creative release, allows us an opportunity to take a story in a new direction and explore character arcs.
What Drives Us to Write Fan Fiction?
I think we write fan fiction to right some errors we see in a TV show, movie, or book. Some people hate this, thinking that no one can craft the story better than those crafting the movie, show, or book. I disagree.
Every writer is entitled to craft the story they feel is inside them. But sometimes, especially in TV shows, the writers go off the deep end and lose sight of the characters. That's why we sometimes put pen to paper (or go on Wattpad) and make up an alternate universe where the characters had the arc and ending we feel they deserved.
I don't think it's a bad thing. I think it actually helps us further develop our writing muscles and figure out how we would develop a character. It allows us to identify plot and development errors and create something we feel better suits the story's flow.
Recently, I watched Under the Dome (2013). This interesting TV show is a unique retelling of Stephen King's best-selling novel by the same name. I personally think seasons 1 & 2 are amazing, but season 3 was a complete flop. Maybe that's my personal opinion, but I felt like the story had an amazing character arc that they completely lost in the last season.
My favorite character was James "Junior" Rennie. He started off as an antagonist and quickly grew into the most selfless defender of the whole crew of kids. I particularly liked the relationship he developed with Melanie and thought the two of them had one of the sweetest couplings in the whole show. But this relationship was completely forgotten in season three, and soon the whole show became about "possession."
I wasn't so much mad that James Junior died in the last season, but I was mad about what the creators did to his character. We spent two seasons growing to love this kid and seeing him go from being a small-town bully to a selfless young man, just to have him get turned into some sort of butterfly-alien-thing and get stabbed by his psycho dad.
Side tangent: I feel like this is exactly what will happen to Steve Harrington in the finale of Stranger Things. I see many parallels between James Junior and Steve in these shows, but unfortunately, these types of characters never get the endings they deserve.
Anyway, I decided I wanted to explore this amazing character further and see where I'd take the story. Again, nothing against the show's creators. I just don't think it worked, and I want to see how I'd move the story and where I'd take this character. It's been incredibly helpful for me in writing my own novel.
As I explore the character of James Junior Rennie, I think about the character I created in my novel. I wonder where he'll go and how he'll become a man. Writing about James helps me better understand my own character and think, "How can I not completely ruin my character the way the writers at CBS destroyed James Rennie?"
The very first fan fiction I ever read was these amazing pieces: At the Heart of Justice and In the Eyes of Justice.
Fans of Death Note Anime will probably love this great alternative universe view of L. Lawliet and Naomi Misora. Not only is the writer great at exploring characters, but they're fantastic mystery writers!
If you want to read my fan fiction on Under the Dome, you can read it here on Wattpad. I'm not saying it's earth-shatteringly fantastic, but I chose to publish it in case anyone else felt the same way about James and Melanie! I write it because I enjoy it and need a break from SEO content creation and want to spin my creative wheels. If you enjoyed the show, you might like my little fan fiction!
But if you enjoy writing fan fiction, do it! There's nothing wrong with it and I personally think it makes us better writers!
Lots of love to you all!
About the Creator
I am a world nomad with a passion for vegan food, history, coffee, and equality.
You can find my first novel on Kindle Vella here: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09V4S7T4N :) I appreciate all your support and engagement! :)