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Why Create Fan Fiction?

Little Musings About How Fan Fiction Can Improve Writing

By Emily Marie ConcannonPublished about a month ago 4 min read
Top Story - August 2023
Why Create Fan Fiction?
Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

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.

By Vincenzo Godono on Unsplash

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?"

A Recommendation

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

Emily Marie Concannon

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: :) I appreciate all your support and engagement! :)

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Comments (15)

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  • Sarah D18 days ago

    I too write on Wattpad and Neobook. Fan fiction is an interesting genre and after reading your article, I would love to try writing fanfiction as well. Read mine?

  • I agree, so many amazing authors developed their writing habit through fan fiction on WattPad and other sites. Fan fiction might not have booker prize winning prose, but the good stuff captures tension and character extremely well.

  • Muftau Ishaq26 days ago

    Please I just wrote an article, help me rate it so I can do better.

  • Congratulations on Top Story🎉 Thank you for sharing. I really knew nothing about fan fiction until now.😊💕

  • Estrellita Lópezabout a month ago

    Excellent story!!!

  • Naomi Goldabout a month ago

    I’ve never written fanfic but I loved how you clarified the benefits of writing it. That makes so much sense. I absolutely hate what the writers on The L Word did to Jenny! It enrages me. I’ve wanted to write an “open letter” to Jenny saying how sorry I am for how her character was treated, and probably will. But this has me thinking how fun it would be to give her an alternate ending. Congrats on your Top Story! 🥂

  • Kenny Pennabout a month ago

    Fan fiction is literally how how I started writing. Great piece and congrats on top story

  • Mariann Carrollabout a month ago

    Congratulations ♥️💕💓🥳🥳🥳My daughter got me hook on death note anime

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Emily, this is fabulous!!! Congratulations on Top Story!!!💕❤️❤️

  • Chloe Fitzwaterabout a month ago

    Fan fiction (the Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker) was actually how I started my writing journey. Congrats on Top Story, and I agree that fan fiction can really cultivate a writer’s career. It’s just so fun!

  • WellsFiction( Matt)about a month ago

    I started writing my own stories from writing fan fiction. Great post, Emily!!!

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    You know what, it's always my favourite characters that gets killed off unnecessarily so I totally get what you mean!

  • Mark Gagnonabout a month ago

    I agree with you about Under the Dome. Unfortunately, I had lost interest in the show towards the end of season 2 so I never saw the 3rd season. Like the show Lost, it lost its way.

  • Lamar Wigginsabout a month ago

    Never seen the show but have definitely been there when a series could have done a much better job. Loved that you shared some of the imaginary games you played as a kid. I’ve thought about fan fiction but have never actually wrote one. I agree that no matter what, it’s still a writing exercise that one can use to enhance their skills.

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