The Power of Fan-Fiction

While I have not talked much about fan-fiction on this site, I feel that we should for I have already been engaged on the topic by another blogger, Chrissy’s Writing Challenge. Here posts are usually short and sweet, and I don’t mind for each blogger tends to write their blog in their own unique way.

In her post about the topic of fan-fiction she said the following:

 I like the idea of using characters that you know and love and writing about them but it always seems a little like stealing.

Yes, I commented back on her post, and while I could copy the whole comment that I left her I will let you click on the link above, which will take you to the post. However, I will summarize by stating that fan-fiction is not necessarily stealing for it is more of away for a show to build a presence from one person’s perspective.

I also noted that show runners and show writers tend to look at fan-fiction as away to see how much of a presence the show is getting online. Granted, as writers we all should note that the Fifty Shades of Grey series was originally a fan-fiction piece based on the Twilight Saga. Also the show Gargoyles had one of the largest fan-fiction communities than any other show, and due to this community they used to have a convention for the show.

Yes, a convention just for one show. Furthermore, their big kick off event was either writing, reading, or discussing fan-fiction based on the show. If that doesn’t tell you the power of fan-fiction I don’t know what will.

I have written a few fan-fiction pieces for the following: Gargoyles, Hocus Pocus, The Young and the Restless, and fairy tales.

While some may see it as stealing ideas, I see it as a way for one to get their own view of how a show or story should be going, even though, show runners and show writers will tell the story the way that they want to tell it. But it’s still away to make creativity happen. Also most writers started off as fan-fiction writers before they published their own works.

But it should also be known that some show-runners and writers have been known to read fan-fiction pieces to see how others view the show. Not only do they read it and encourage it, but I have heard one or two say at conventions that they are flattered by all the fan-fiction that come from viewers.

It must all be said that at times, fan-fiction can raise the bar as far as ratings, and that is alright, as long as they are inspired to write to keep the ideas being generated onto the page. So it must be said that I’m on the side of the writer who feels inspired by what they see or hear that they want to write a piece and that they want to join in on the community.

Also based on fan-fiction, that is how some theories for shows are conceived from, and some of the theories are not that bad. If you want to see a community that has a tone of theories right now, look no further than Game of Thrones. Yes, we fans of the show are eagerly awaiting for season 8 to begin, but in the mean time all we can do is theories and speculate about what is going to take place.

While others put down fan-fiction, I feel that it should be embraced as it is a story on its own right. Even though, it has characters that they did not create but some writers have created their own characters to encounter such known characters like Batman. There is merit to fan-fiction and the biggest merit of all is that it builds community and it brings others together.

Now I will give one piece of advice when it comes to writing fan-fiction and that is know your subject, which means do your research. If you don’t know the world that you are writing about, then your piece will fail. When it comes publishing fan-fiction, the best piece of advice is change characters names and other details. Furthermore, it’s up to you if you want to share with readers that it’s fan-fiction or it’s an original idea.

On the last note, we as writers all have to start somewhere and if it’s with fan-fiction so be it. I mean I started with fan-fiction and I think that it’s one of the best things that ever came into my life.

I hope that you have found this helpful when thinking about the value of fan-fiction. I hope that you have a great writing day!


Dream Interpretation

When we sleep, we tend to dream and when we dream we get ideas for stories if we think back to those stories. Granted, we may get even more curious about our dreams and we seek out or try to look for their meanings. Dreams are wonderful things, and there have been scientific studies done on dreams. However, as writers, we tend to reflect back on our dreams, especially the ones that either speak loudly to us or those that we have over and over again. Some people spend so much time reflecting on their dreams that they tend to have a journal to record what happens in their dreams, or at least what they remember in their dreams.

There have even been a few authors that have claimed that their stories came to them in a dream. Stephanie Mayer the author of the Twilight Saga claimed that it came to her in a dream. J.K. Rowling has also said that the inspiration of Harry Potter came to her while she was on a train and she was drifting off and then she saw a boy in a black cloak running through the train. From that moment on for Rowling, she started to jot down her notes and ideas for Harry Potter.

Dreams can be remarkable things and times they can come back to us without any indication that they are doing so. Dreams can be used as tools in our writings as many authors have shown us countless times when a character falls into a dream state. When we use dreams in our stories, they should pay apart in the motion of the story. If the dream has nothing to do with the story, then the tool of the dream will become wasted.

Here is an excerpt from a dream sequence that is in the Raven Prophecy:

While Draco saw the kiss continue on, the scene began to spiral and several more images came flying past him. The images came fast like a spiraling storm inside his head, for he saw the woman over and over again. Different men wore the crown, several blackbirds that he presumed to be ravens flying in every direction towards him. He tried to duck from them as he felt their talons against his face. Dragons being destroyed and their bodies burned to ash. Then finally the spiraling storm stopped and he found himself in a clean, white room.

Granted, while this is just one example of a dream sequence and this dream sequence is at the heart and soul of my book.

If you are curious more about dreams, you can spend the time either reading about them or doing research on the web. But I hope that you find dreams useful in our writing.


The Importance of Human Life in Story

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of Twilight from the perspective of how it has been criticized for some bad things that are featured in the book. However, what I forgot to mention was how there was a theme that resonated throughout the book series, which was the importance of human life. When you really think about it that is the most important aspect that we as writers can bring to our writing is how important life can be. Let’s go back to looking at my favorite example that I have mentioned on here several times, The Hunger Games. Yes, as much as the book mentions death, there is still deep down the underlying theme that life is important. This comes up in the second book when Katniss is touring the other districts and she brings up Rue, who reminded her of her sister, Primrose. The thing that we find is how tragic her death was how Katniss is reminded of it again and again how Rue’s life was cut short and what could have been for Rue.

Granted, that is not a happy example of how important life is, but when you think about some of the other books that we read, like Charlotte’s Web. Fern really brings up in the first few pages that life is precious and that if she was a runt her family would not have disregarded like her father was going to do with the pig, who would become Wilbur.

But as much as these examples, show the importance of human life, we as authors can show the same through our characters. Yes, we have death in our stories, but at the same time, we need to show the balance of how life is important too and all the great things that come from living. Think back to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, yes, Charlie Bucket’s life was doom and gloom but once he entered the chocolate factory he got to experience the wonder that was the factory. The same can be said of The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy enters Oz and sees Muchkin City for the first time or even the Emerald City for that matter. These are wonders that they got to experience in their lives. I’m not taking away from Alice, but we did not find the same wonder that was explained to the reader as we did with Charlie or Dorothy for that matter.

That’s one thing that we need to do as readers, which is to show the wonder that can found in fiction let alone fantasy. As much as I like and love Game of Thrones or The Hunger Games, there is still something that can be said when a world can take a hold of you and show you the wonder that can make your imagination soar and show that life can be wonderful once you find that bit of magic.

The Importance of Twilight

Again I was roaming around Facebook and someone brought up how Twilight is a terrible book series. Yes, we know it has vampires that sparkle in the sun, and a love triangle. But at the heart of Twilight Stephanie Meyer’s had a way of adding a historical/background perspective to her vampire characters. Yes, we know part of it was written really bad but when you really analyze the series there were some good parts of the story and some bad parts of the story. The one of which for me was that Jacob was very insecure and acted like a whiney baby, which I was so over throughout most of the third book.

But given how Twilight has been received, there are several books that are looked in the very same way. Granted, not all work of fiction can be perfect but there are some bright shiny things to consider in those that might not be the best. Take the Hunger Games, which I really enjoy, however, one of the biggest criticisms of the series is that author could not come up with an ending. While I disagree with that, I think that in the second book, the ending felt rushed. It was like she had to quickly finish it so that she could work on the third and last book of the series, which was by far the most emotional book in the series.

Every book has its ups and downs but at the same time, we must remember as we are not perfect no book is perfect for books are written by humans. I remember reading Charlotte’s Web, not too long ago and thinking to myself how bad it was to read, but then I remembered at one point in time I enjoyed the book as a child, so what changed? The answer is I grew up and I read other books to come to what I understood what I now do not like about Charlotte’s Web. But if you have read any children’s books lately, the biggest problem that I have with them is that they don’t have a true ending. It likes they go and then all of a sudden they stop and you are sitting there doing this is it. I read this just to go how does it end? When in reality there is no true ending, which is just plain sad.

We as writers need to look at other writers and their works and look at the good and the bad of them. But at the same time, we can take what they did so well or not so well and improve upon those items in our own writing. This is the beauty of studying the craft of writing is that we can take something and work on it or improve on it.