So yesterday I read a a really interesting article about fan fiction, from the perspective of someone who writes it, and has written it for quite some time. It was up on Pink Raygun (which is a fabulous site for fans of genre) and looks to be the beginning entry in a series on the topic. After reading the first article I am definitely looking forward to more. This is partly due to the fact that it was well written and about a topic that I have some personal experience with. But my anticipation is largely due to the fact that this article once more got me thinking something I have been thinking for quite some time.
I need to start writing fan fiction again.
Some of you might be nodding your heads in understanding with this, others might be wondering if I have completely lost my marbles. Fan fiction, in my experience, is something that people either understand or don't. Most of the people in my life don't get it. I am at peace with that. As far as I know, nobody I love enough to really care about their opinion on the matter has judged me for my involvement in the activity. My husband, in fact, has always been quite supportive of my writing fan fiction. He has had some minimal exposure to fan fiction in the past, but mostly, he understands the two things that are most important to me about it: It is an incredible way to practice and improve upon my writing, while sharing it with a group of peers who will give me feedback; and it is a way to delve deeper into a community of people who love something that I also love, as deeply (or more so) as I do.
My drug of choice was Stargate Atlantis. It was my gateway into fan fiction and I never really strayed far from the fold. That is, honestly, the only fandom I have ever been so involved with that I wanted to write more stories for it, and read what other people had to say as well. It was a way of getting more SGA during the breaks between seasons, or, increasingly, the ridiculously long hiatus between season halves. Sure, I have toyed with writing a few crossover stories involving the characters from Buffy or Bones (I love crossovers), but they would have been set largely in Atlantis.
Once I stumbled across the SGA fan fiction, I was, quite simply, hooked. Finding the archive site Wraithbait was a revelation of sorts for me. You see, hardly anyone I know watched SGA. My husband, if home, would watch the occasional episode with me (and we are currently watching the whole series together), but he isn't that big at sitting down and watching serialized television, so I couldn't have the kind of in-depth speculative conversations with him about the series that I wanted to have (though he is kind and patient enough to have listened to me ramble on about the topic ad nauseam on more than one occasion, to be sure). Fan fiction gave me that outlet, though, and I will always love it for that.
I'll admit, when I say I was hooked, I mean, I was spending hours a day poring over every new story added to the site, and would get antsy whenever there wasn't anything new to read available. Then a series of stuff happened that caused me to get so far behind that there was no way to get caught up again, especially when some other stuff happened that cut significantly into my reading time. So it has been a few years since I have spent much time on Wraithbait, or since I have written my own story. I have a few started stories or story ideas hanging out in my writing folder though, and I think the time has finally come to get back to them.
I don't know that I will ever get back into fan fiction with the same fervor of that original experience. That's probably okay. But I have realized that I do miss that community, and I would like to go back, even if it is only for a brief visit once or twice a year.
One of my goals for this brand new year is to work on my writing, and today I would like to make an amendment to it. I would like to dust off and finish one or two of those fan fiction stories that are waiting oh so patiently on my hard drive. I may or may not upload them to Wraithbait. I definitely think that my November novel may be a fan fiction story this year, if one of my ideas seems like it might lend itself to the length (you'd be amazed at some of the novel-length fan fiction stories I have come across over the years). It seems like a perfect fit, to me. I will be able to dive right into the characters and setting without the need to worry about world-building and without getting too bogged down in descriptive text. This will leave my non-November writing time free to focus on the world-building, character development, research, and story plotting that I would like to devote to my original story. The more I think about it, the more I like this idea.
I love this feeling, when my brain is all afire with new inspiration and ideas are just racing around like particles in the LHC. This year I will not fear the blank page. I will instead look upon it as the on-ramp to the highway that will lead me directly to becoming the writer I want to be.