Tag Archives: Fanfiction

Bookish News: Bad Fanfiction

19 Sep

I went searching for some bookish news to share with you all and I didn’t expect Harry Potter FanFiction to show up in the headlines! It seems the author of the HP fic My Immortal finally came forward and revealed her identity [Guardian article]. It seems the story follows an American female with awesome clothes who comes to Hogwarts and dates Draco Malfoy. So, pretty much, my childhood dream.

The issues people have with the story are the lack of plot, bad internet spelling, and Mary Sue character. When author Rose Christo revealed that she was the writer behind the story, reactions were mixed. It seems Christo has several well-received series though I’ve never read any of her work. For me, and I imagine many other FanFiction writers, fic was a way to try writing. You didn’t have to develop characters or setting, just start with something you already knew and work on the plot. Some did develop new characters or change settings, but it gave you a place to start from. The article mentions that Christo would have been around 16 when the story was written. I know I have some stories from a younger age than that on my FFN account that I’m not proud of. Writing something bad is part of the path to writing something good.

I say kudos to Christo for coming out and admitting she was the writer. I think it’s a testament to how far she’s come as a writer and shows how much her writing has developed and, I hope, how much writing My Immortal helped her on her way to becoming a good writer.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

I Feel Like Writing FanFiction

6 Apr

I’m not embarrassed to say I used to write fanfiction. I used to write it a lot. In middle school (2000-2004), I was on fanfiction.net more than any other site. In high school, I went back to it briefly in 2006 but, for the most part, I didn’t think about writing or being a writer. The same is true for college. I might check stats to see how my story was doing, but it wasn’t something I followed. Then when I graduated college in 2012, I went back to it. I don’t know what made me do it, but I went back and finished my story.

I’d started a romance that never went anywhere about a fandom that was mid-series when I was writing. When I revisited it in 2012, I knew how the story would end in cannon, but not how I wanted it to end in my story. Knowing that I was going against the author gave me a degree of freedom that I enjoyed. I added an action/adventure aspect to my story and really enjoyed writing it. I finished the story and have been inspired to write a lot of original fiction.

Fanfiction taught me a lot about writing that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. I read a lot and was able to pick out good and bad stories quickly which helped me make my story better. I’m rather successful in my romantic pairing (312 favorites on one story) though I know that’s nothing compared to some bigger fics. I don’t say this to brag, but to illustrate how supportive the fanfiction community was and how their encouragement drove me to finish my story. Fanfiction is great because you get instant feedback. You post, and within hours reviews and favorites and follows start to flood your inbox. It’s great!

I wish writing fiction were as responsive. I edited ten pages of my WIP today and what did I get? A sore neck and nothing else. At the same time, I got a favorite for my story that was finished two years ago. This was so motivational! I wish I got these emails more often. I wish I still got comments (why do those dry up?). I want more writers to tell me they love my story, to PM me asking for updates.

In summary, I feel like writing Fanfiction. I want that feedback, that love, and that encouragement that I have yet to find anywhere else in such quantity. Nothing against all of you; you’re wonderful and I love your comments. But the feedback on my fiction writing is different. It’s motivating in a different way.

Did or do any of you write fanfiction? What fandom? Did you find it motivating?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (3/5)

7 Feb

Here’s the second book I almost threw across the room when I finished it in a month. I’m not sure why I’m being such a conclusion snob, but it’s getting bad. Brace yourselves.

This book fulfilled “Nebraska” in my Where Are You Reading? Challenge.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath loves Simon Snow. Well, ‘loves’ is maybe putting it delicately. Cath is completely obsessed with Simon Snow. His fictionalized world of magic, vampires, and a powerful Mage has been one of her true obsessions for years. (Harry Potter, anyone?) Now, she’s off to college to study creative writing and she’s lost the one person she could always count on, her sister, Wren. Wren wants to branch out and discover a world besides that of Simon Snow; a world of fraternity parties, afternoon classes, and boys. Cath is content to stick with Simon. She’s made a name for herself as one of the most popular Snow fanfiction writers in the fandom and she’s not about to abandon her followers for something as trivial as a college workload or friends.

When I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. I myself was a fairly successful fanfiction writer in middle school, though I slowed down significantly in high school. After graduating from college, I actually finished the story I was working on and posted a few more things, but I haven’t touched it since October 2012. I checked my stats last week and just went over a total 100,000 views on my more popular story. So yeah, I could related to a lot of what Cath felt. I’ve never seen a book that addressed this subculture before and as someone who was very involved in it, I was anxious to read. I could related to the stigma Cath faced for her work. They’re not your characters and it’s not your world, so are you stealing from the author? This is a completely different argument than what I’m saying about this book, so I’ll let that one rest.

I loved how unique all of Rowell’s characters were. Levi, Cath’s love interest, was especially well-developed. None of the physical descriptions made me think “This guy is a looker, Cath should go for him,” but everything he said and did made me fall in love with him. I could sympathize and feel for every character, even the ones I didn’t like, such as Cath’s mother. I think I’ll be stuck thinking about the characters more than anything. And really, that’s what rings true about books that inspire fanfiction. (Side note, Fangirl already has 30 stories posted on fanfiction.net.)

Rowell says a lot through her characters. Cath is reminded that while it’s all well and good to like or even be obsessed with something, we can’t forget to live. Cath is so involved in her story that she doesn’t see Levi’s flirtation or her dad’s downward spiral until they’re shoved in her face. Cath also has to learn to use her own voice. Her Fiction Writing class forces her to write without the crutch of Simon and his fellow characters. It’s her greatest struggle in the book and her professor’s comments about fanfiction degrade her to the point of giving up. In the end, she has to find her own story and her own voice to keep pursuing her dream.

I think forgiveness could be the main theme of this book. Cath has to forgive Levi for kissing another girl, her father for not taking care of himself, her sister for neglecting their relationship, and her mother for abandoning her and her sister when they need her most. I’m not sure she does completely forgive her mother, but the other three were stretches for Cath’s character and helped her develop.

My husband teaches middle school and he said that a bunch of his students were reading this title. That disturbs me a bit. There are some themes in this book that are appropriate for the age range of the characters, 17-22, but I wouldn’t want a middle schooler reading it. The book is labeled ‘Young Adult’ because of Cath’s age. This is one of those books that I feel needs to be in the ‘New Adult’ category based on some sexual themes and content more suited to those 16+ (probably 18+ to be safe). My personal opinion would be to have designations within YA fiction for that appropriate for middle school and that best reserved for late high school or college.

Writers’ Takeaway: Again, the ending of this book really bothered me. There were so many plot lines that it was going to be hard for Rowell to wrap them up and I think she let a few dangle. Did Cath finish her fic before the last Simon Snow book came out? Did she ever talk to her mother again? I was very disappointing not to find out. My rating is entirely based on this. I think it’s a writer’s job to bring an end to all plot lines. I’ve heard Rowell’s other books have similarly disappointing endings and I’m tempted to take Eleanor & Park off of my reading list because of this.

Rowell found her audience in those who write fanfiction and I’m sure most of her readers are part of this subculture as well. This is the first book (or first I’m aware of) to address these people and I have to give her two thumbs up for an original idea. I’m glad being a fanfiction writer is not something to criticize in this book. I feel I can come out and say I wrote fanfiction that I’m proud of.

This might not bother other readers, but all of the pop-culture and technology references really bothered me. I don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction so this is one of the few times I’ve had to think about characters having cell phones and laptops. I think the pop-culture references to Twilight and Kanye West really date the book so that readers even ten years from now will not understand it as well. Then again, I write Historical Fiction so this is something I don’t run into often.

Overall, I’m not sure I would recommend it based on the ending but if you’re deep into a fandom, it’s very relatable. Three out of Five Stars

Until next time, write on.

Related Posts
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell|Review |The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say shhh!
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell| Book Journey
Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell| We’re All Mad Here
Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell| Pop Culture With Camilla

Changing Your Own Ending

6 Feb

If any of you reading this are huge Rowling fans like myself, there’s no doubt you saw an article yesterday about an interview she did. Emma Watson, who stars as Hermione in the Harry Potter movies, was interviewing JK Rowling when she said that she should have had Hermione and Harry end up together instead of Hermione and Ron.

WHAT?!?!?!

My mind was sufficiently blown. I told my husband and he seemed non pulsed. This only ebbed my anger. I said that it almost seemed like Rowling was writing her own fanfiction to which he responded, “It’s not fanfiction, she wrote the books.” True, but that’s not what she wrote into the books. She’s proposing a change. To me, it borders on fanfiction. It’s not cannon, it’s fic.

My argument is that while it seems plausible, it changes too much of the story. Hermione and Ron have a flirtation early in the books and it’s very subtlety written. I’m reading the fifth book now and it seems obvious to me. Also, the Harry/Ginny plotline appears as early as Book 2. To put Harry and Hermione together would involve taking away the entire Harry/Ginny back story. This is no small change she’s proposing!

This got me thinking about writing in general. Have you ever written something and then realized that you wanted to change the ending? Was it too late? What did you do? If we realize this early on, before something goes to a publisher or editor, we still have a chance to fix it. Once something is our of our hands, is it too late?

Rowling says that she was clinging to the plot she originally imagined and that’s why she had Ron and Hermione end up together. She wasn’t letting her characters develop naturally as she went, adjusting their outcome to the personalities she was writing. I know that this is a hole I could easily fall into because I’m such a planner. When following an outline, how often do you readjust the ending to reflect what’s already written?

As a fan, I’m disappointed in this announcement. As a writer, it intrigues me. Whether a fan or not, how do you feel about Rowling’s announcement?

Until next time, write on.