Throwback Thursday #10: Fanfiction

I have a close relationship with fanfiction. Pre-established worlds and obsessive teenage thoughts about shipping and fictional mythology gave me the drive to finish books instead of just starting them. Before that, every work-in-progress or story concept was abandoned by chapter three, as my family shot down the plausibility or I was too limited by my young brain to properly conceive a story world.

I wrote my first fanfic when I was 10, before I even knew what fanfiction was. It was about Harry Potter. I think Goblet of Fire was the most recent HP release at that point, and that was when Ron and Hermione’s chemistry became evident. I shipped them. I wanted them to end up together. So I wrote a story about Harry, Ron, and Hermione on the Hogwarts Express and Harry mediating a fight between his two friends. And I think it ended up with Ron and Hermione confessing their feelings or something.

I can’t remember properly because I lost this story. It was on my old computer – the one with 7 GB of hard drive space and no functioning CD-ROM reader.  I never thought about posting it online anywhere. I just wrote it because I wanted to make it be, and that made me happy enough.

But I was 11 and shy of 6th grade when I discovered fanfiction.net. That was the summer when I became a diehard fan of Artemis Fowl, so I spent most of my summer days on FF.net reading Holly/Artemis stories and other silly things. By the fall, I started participating. I published some things that have been lost in the years since, as I did not save the original files and I deleted them off my fanfiction.net account (things like Artemis Fowl: The Musical, Artemis and The Lost Remote, and a crossover of Artemis Fowl with the movie Clue. I feel like these are probably better gone and buried, to be honest.) To this day, I still have my primary AF-verse trilogy up though….mostly because I like skimming the reviews for nostalgia’s sake. But I’m not telling you the name of it. It really is abysmal. You can see the potential there, I think, but it was quite obviously written by a spastic child.

In 7th grade, I returned to original writing and spent an entire year working on The Outcasts, which was the subject of a previous Throwback Thursday. In 8th grade, I began writing RPF (real person fanfiction) about my actual school friends, met with….mostly outrage from my friends, until I came up with one called Truth or Dare: Dante’s Inferno – or, the only time in my life I’ve ever “pants’ed” a story (I may talk about ToD in an upcoming Throwback Thursday, but that’s one I have to be careful about….because it’s constantly in my “top five shortlist” for projects I plan on revamping. It’s sorta been in development hell because I haven’t been able to get it “right” yet, but I revisit it every couple of years. I really, really adore the concept of it and it’s great fun). My friends loved Truth or Dare so much that I kept writing it throughout the school year, about a chapter a month, until I finally found a way to end it. One of my friends liked it so much that he tried to write a sequel.

The latter half of 8th grade is also when I rediscovered fanfiction.net. I became obsessed with The Office (US), as well as National Treasure that year, and wrote a few stories about each. There was another Harry Potter story somewhere in there, basically my take on what Book 7 should be like. Then Heroes came out and I stuck with that fandom for four years – all the way through high school and part of college. I wrote hundreds of thousands of words – words that allowed me to find my voice and plotting methods and to become a true writer. My last fanfic was published in 2010, and I actually haven’t had a desire to write anymore since. Partially, because nothing has inspired me as Heroes did and 2010 is when Heroes ended. But also, my second-to-last fic was met with mass critical acclaim from the Heroes community, and I finally felt like I’d “made it.” Like I was finally accepted, and therefore ready and determined to be published professionally. Some people can dabble in fanfic while simultaneously working on original fiction. That’s impressive, as I really have to choose between the two. The muses don’t get along and they don’t like occupying the same space.

But I do still read fic occasionally – usually for the Avengers, or Inception, or even strange stuff like True Grit. I’ll even browse through the Artemis Fowl section sometimes. Most of me feels like it was a stage in my life that I probably won’t return to, but you never know when something inspiring is going to come along. Heroes is coming back this spring, after all, and the fanfiction bug could bite me again.

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7 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday #10: Fanfiction

  1. Loved reading about this. Of course, I knew about most of it. :)
    Your experience with Fanfiction was about the same as mine. It’s fun and it’s great for writing practice and feedback. I don’t think I could ever give it up entirely. <3

    • I could never give up reading it :D I always find myself lurking on FF.net or LJ every couple months, especially if I’ve just seen a movie and I think “I SHIPPED THOSE TWO RANDOM CHARACTERS, PLS BE FIC.”

      As for writing it…the fanfic muse does seem to find me every few years. I think it’s just sleeping now while I’m focused on other things. When I get really knees-deep in an original project, I don’t have the desire to watch TV or read much. It’s like I’m isolated from all those fandomy inspirations. Not on purpose – that just seems to be how it goes.

      I am super stoked about Avengers 2 though…and if Bruce and Natasha becomes canon or even if they have shippy moments in the film, that may very well pull me back in :P

      • You are not alone in being stoked for Avengers 2. I’m just so happy my favorite Marvel character (Scarlet Witch) is coming to the big screen. I never ever thought I’d see her in live form.

        Yay, fic! My fanfic inspiration does disappear sometimes but when it comes back it’s always fun! But I understand about your muse sleeping. You do have a lot going on right now. :)

      • Oh gosh, that reminds me that I’m already shipping Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver too, so that will probably fire up the muse when I see the movie. I can’t help it – they made out in Godzilla and now I can’t unsee it :P

  2. I brought you some pie to thank you for believing in me. Will never forget that story. It was so funny and so politically incorrect!

    • Yeah, it was pretty bad lol. The funny thing is, now that I’m older and less….openly offensive, it’s giving me a hard time revamping it into something tasteful :P

      I’m totally sticking with the Jesus pie bit, because that’s just classic. But I’m changing what people are “punished” for in Hell to things that are sarcastic rather than literal. Like, originally the layers were based on the Seven Deadly Sins, but now there will be a layer for television writers, and perhaps another for people who don’t change toilet paper rolls :D

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