Why I write fanfic.

A friend (on Dreamwidth and in real life) posted a meme about her fanfic writing. This inspired me and I promised to do my own. I also intend to adapt the meme for my original writing.

1. What made you start writing fanfic?

My daughter knew some of my tastes in books and linked me to a Yuletide story in Arthurian Legend. At about the same time I was asked to teach an upper primary class English Language using Tennyson’s Lady of Shalott (note this was a language class, not a literature one). I was annoyed with the national curriculum approach to poetry and felt able to write to the same standard as the Yuletide fic so I wrote Lord of Shalott which I originally posted as fanfic. A lot of editing and additions later it turned into a self-published novella… I was already writing original work but was panic stricken at the thought of submitting to editors. The Lord of Shalott enabled me to try putting my work ‘out there’ and to explore self-publishing. Once I’d started, in both original and fanfic writing, the floodgates opened.

2. Which of your own fanfics have you reread the most?
I don’t usually re-read my fanfics unless I need to refer to something in a series and then I just skim or do ‘find’ (with no ‘replace’). I have re-read First a couple of times when people have asked to quote from it.

3. Describe the differences between your first fanfic and your most recent fanfic.
Lord of Shalott was historic fantasy, inspired by a poem. It was written in first person, it had a focus on cross-dressing, it referenced various myths and legends and it involved a longing for a relationship. My most recent work (other than some meta and drabbles) was …to catch a thief, a mediaeval AU for a cop buddy fandom (Pros), where I wrote part 1, a friend wrote part 2, we co-wrote part 3 and part 4 was my most recent fanfic. It had an established relationship (from the first three parts) as the focus and was a mild mystery story, told in third person. So although both were ‘historical’ fics they had totally different inspiration and were in different fandoms. In the first, I needed to echo the tone of the poem, and in the second I needed to capture the voices of the modern actors.

4. Do you think your style has changed over time? How so?
I use a number of different styles and I don’t think there has been any particular change over time. I try to alter my style to suit the canon I am writing for, but I know some of my work will be recognisable anyway.

5. You’ve posted a fic anonymously. How would someone be able to guess you’ve written it?
I tried this in a writing exercise I did in a Yahoo writing group – we all wrote a fanfic of part of my Living Fae series. Nobody was able to guess immediately which effort was mine. Presumably the others were attempting to copy my style!

6. Name three stories you found easy to write.
The first version of Lord of Shalott just poured out of me, probably fuelled by anger at the way we were supposed to ask children to view poetry and literature. The result wasn’t actually suitable for young children but that’s beside the point.
…to catch a thief was easy, too, because all the period research was already done for the first three parts and all the names etc. were in my head.
The Thing (SGA) was easy because I just went with the prompts people gave me and didn’t have to think about the story in advance.

7. Name three stories you found difficult to write.
This is an impossible question because I don’t find writing difficult. Editing, yes, research, yes, and proof reading, yes, but not writing. I sometimes find it difficult to motivate myself to start a story but that’s a different matter.

8. What’s your ratio of hits to kudos?
I haven’t the faintest idea. I vaguely know which of my fics get most hits and kudos and it seems to be linked to the general popularity of the fandom. (LotR and Grimm). Beyond that, I don’t know and the idea of trying to work it out dismays me. Besides, why would I?

9. What do your fic bookmarks say about you?

I usually bookmark a fic if I want to recommend it. I don’t have private bookmarks as a rule – I either subscribe to an author or series, or I download something I want to read eventually and it lurks on my hard drive. So I suppose my bookmarks say I’m a reviewer. They also show I’m extremely multi-fandom.

10. What’s a theme that keeps coming up in your writing?
I suppose mm romance.

11. What kind of relationships are you most interested in writing?
It varies with different fandoms. I quite like relationships that grow slowly and involve a lot of banter. I also like the kind that connect with a lot of minor characters, both canon and OC.

12. For E-rated fic what are some things your characters keep doing?
I had to Google this and I gather it means gen fic. I don’t write much of this and if I did, I hope my characters wouldn’t keep doing anything, other than sleeping and eating… I suppose they’d talk? I like writing dialogue.

13. Name three favourite characters to write.
Another impossible one. I’m too multi-fandom to have favourites. I should think my favourites are the ones I’m writing at the time.

14. You’re applying for the fanfic writer of the year award. What five fics do you put in your portfolio?
I wouldn’t apply, but if I had to, on pain of death or losing thbe right to be considered a fanfic writer, then:
First (Rome)
Blame Daniel (SG1)
The Morning Gift (Pros AU)
Elegy for a hanged man (Spooks)
Paths of the Living (LotR)

2 thoughts on “Why I write fanfic.

  1. Missed this post – luckily WP suggested it. Interesting answers – in re 2, I occasionally find an old piece of mine and either go “Oh, that’s awful” or “That’s quite good!” Never an in between.

    • I’ve occasionally skimmed something because of a comment or kudos and thought ‘did I write that??’ I’ve done the meme in relation to original writing too, and should get round to posting it…

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