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Fan Fiction - Reading versus Writing - What are your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Zane-Marit, Nov 18, 2005.

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  1. Zane-Marit

    Zane-Marit Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2003
    I had long believed that reading other fan fics would somehow alter my writing or even inadvertently cause plot bunnies causing writers to claim the dreaded P word. So I had mostly avoided it.

    After a long time of getting little to no response on my fics, it was recommended that I should read other fics and leave comments, get my name out there. So I took to the challenge of forcing my self to read other fics. Some were good, while others were terrible (IMHO). But there were the occasional few that blew me away. I think in the long run, thus far, it has actually help me as a writer. Having seen how others set up their stories, pace and flow.

    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?
     
  2. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    Reader. I've been reading science fiction since I could read, many many years. Once I discovered the banquet that was fan fiction, there was no stopping me! For a long time I read every single SW fic I could find. I've slowed down now. Once I started writing, I just don't have the time any more.
    But fanfiction actually got me started writing - this woman was writing a lovely story and I thought of a plot bunny in her universe. She gave me permission to post it on my site and the rest as they say is history.

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Absolutely. After the first fan fic that inspired me to begin writing, there have been several writers whose writing skills and language were just so beautiful that I tried (and failed) to emulate their styles. But it also taught me to appreciate words and the way they can wring out emotions. Some of the fan fics I've read recently have really influenced my work, both in terms of plotting and sheer beauty of language.
     
  3. Anakins_Force

    Anakins_Force Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2005

    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    Both. I started reading fanfic in June and I started writing in June although I did not post until August or so. If had to chose between reading and writing...I don't know what I'd do. Writing keeps me sane, but I think I enjoy reading more. Like you said, there are some fics here that will blow you away.

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Yes. I learned how to avoid the little things, like having 'he said/she said' after every piece of dialogue, how to do flashbacks, etc. I also think I've learned about pacing--I can tell when a scene feels rushed in other fics, so I hope it helps me do the same with my own work. Others things have influenced me--such as the little details of life in the Jedi Temple. That wasn't something I had ever thought of before reading fanfic, but now it seems like canon to me.


    I lurked in Jun and July because I didn't truly understand the need for comments. I made a rule in August when I started posting my own work that if I read a fic and liked it, then I would leave a comment. I definitely think it's important to comment--it makes me feel like part of the community and I've gotten to know other authors.
     
  4. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrely Community Mod star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2000
    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?


    Definitely started out as a reader, although a naughty lurker one at that. It wasn't until a plot bunny bit me and I found the need to post it, that I even registered and learned the joys of replying.

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?



    Greatly. It was another author's round robin that influenced me to create an OC and these particular group of fics have become my version of the SW galaxy. So that when I do write, it's most often in the universe she's built around the cannon characters that I play in. :)
     
  5. RK_Striker_JK_5

    RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 2, 2003
    Did you start out as a reader first or author?
    I was a writer before I even knew what fanfic was! I was writing a SW/ST crossover in 1995-96 with my best friend Chris Lark. At the time I thought I was sssooo original for doing it. :p


    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?
    Absolutely. I think it's almost impossible not to.
     
  6. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    Hey, I started reading in first grade! But I got turned on to sci fi in the 60's, once I found out there was GOOD sci fi out there.

    I started writing SW fan fiction back in '77 and got published in several fanzines of the time. I just decided to pick up an old love and start again this summer, when I found this board. [face_dancing]

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Definitely. Everything influences me. I could point to any story of mine and point to something that influenced me, whether a plot bunny (obvious example: Ladies Only Strip Club in Mos Eisely) or just a phrase that set off a train of thought in my own mind.

    I have a plot point running around in my brain resulting from a story in the paper today that has NOTHING to do with sci fi. No story yet, just a plot point.
     
  7. YellowDart

    YellowDart Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . . ;)
    I first got the internet when I was a junior in high school in . . . let's just say in the mid 90's. ;) The first thing I did was look up my favorite TV show. And I found an AOL message board with a Creative folder. I had never seen or heard of fanfic before, but after I opened the first file, I was hooked! Just a few months later, I wrote my first fanfic, and I haven't stopped writing since. I've branched out to a few fandoms, but I have always written. In terms of Star Wars, I had the idea before I even know where to find SW fanfic, but I started reading and writing at about the same time. I am a horrible lurker. I really can't complain that my stories aren't really recognized, because there are so many stories that I have read and enjoyed that I haven't posted comments on.

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works

    I think so. I came into this as such a SW novice, having only seen the movies once -- and that was under duress! (Although but now, I can probably recite AotC and RotS!) I think reading fic helped me learn the characters a bit more and it also helped me learn a bit more about the GFFA (and I even know what that means now!). So, I think that other fics really have influenced me, at least a little bit.
     
  8. KELIA

    KELIA Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 26, 2005
    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    I started out as a reader but it wasn't too long before a plot bunny bit me and I started writing. It did take awhile for me to polish up my first viggie and get it posted, though. I spent my early weeks reading and posting replies.

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Absolutely. I've gotten some interesting plot bunnies reading other stories and I've also learned a lot about plot pacing and character development.
     
  9. MirandaFair

    MirandaFair Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 13, 2005
    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    More of a reader. I started off as a reader that had plot bunnies hopping around in my mind. I was a lurker for a time and then decided to join the forums. Before joining, I had written some original works, but thought it would be a nice experiment to play in someone else's galaxy. I also felt (and still do) that I need to find my voice as an author.

    I read to be entertained, and write as a means of therapy. ;)

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Yes. Without a doubt. I believe I have learned from other writers successes and to read what works and what doesn't. To be successful in any creative medium, you learn not only by trial and error, but through watching others throw themselves into the 'fire'. (Goodness, I hope that made some sense).

    I read genres that I enjoy. Although sometimes, I will stop and look at something completely different. Something that involves characters I wouldn't think of writing. It's good to get writers different styles and perspectives.

    However, when I come across a story that in some way mirrors an idea or work that I've been doing, I tend to stay away - until whatever it is has been finished. I might admire the literature, but I feel I'd be influenced to either change or scrap the idea.

    A very interesting topic. Thanks for posting it!
     
  10. Toni

    Toni Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 1998
    I read fanfiction, though I hadn't read any EU when I posted my first fanfic story. I think most writers are avid readers, I read all sorts of fantasy, non-fiction, classics (I was almost an English minor), etc.

    Absolutely, what I read influences what I write. I learned one of my favorite formats from my beta!
     
  11. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Did you start out as a reader first or author?


    Oh god, of course as a reader!! :p

    Voraciously so! I was compleatly blown away by the incredible diversity of styles and stories.

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Without a doubt. There are some authors I admire (quite a few) with a wonderful, lyical style that could make a laundery list entertaining. I agree with Stephen King who says "The first step in becomeing a writer is to read anything you can get your hands on. You must hunger for words, devour them..."
     
  12. DriftingThread

    DriftingThread Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 21, 2005
    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    A reader of course, of course! Star Wars and Ender's Game influenced my sci-fi craze and Lord of the Rings did the same for my fantasy. I became a writer about a year after reading fanfiction for the first time and I don't think I could live without it!;)

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Certainly. I look to others to see the way they've shaped an idea and used it. It's not copying, just learning because there's always someone better to learn from. Always!:) That's the brilliant thing with writing.
     
  13. Celina_Marniss864

    Celina_Marniss864 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    I was writing fanfiction long before I even knew there was a name for it. I was constantly writing little stories about what went on behind the scenes of my favorite tv shows and comic books. Some of them I wrote down. Many, many more I simply daydreamed. When I got to know Mr. Internet and discovered this spectacular thing called fanfic, I was ecstatic. I'd put my writing aside for some time, thinking it was rather silly to spend all that time and effort on something that no one would ever read.

    I devoured all the fanfic I could get my hands on for some time. I read a lot of spectacular stories, a lot of horrible stories, and even a few spectacularly horrible stories. It wasn't long before I jumped back into writing with a renewed enthusiasm. And I've actually just recently jumped back in again after a college-induced hiatus.

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    I think absolutely everything we read effects our writing. Writers are a lot like computers--we take in data, we process it, and we spit out new data. I may not remember every single thing I've ever read, but it has all planted itself in my subconcious--placed into the well of inspiration.

    I truly believe that reading is the very best thing a writer can do. Whenever writer's block strikes, I read. 9 times out of 10, reading someone else's work will give me the inspiration I need. And it isn't just big ideas, plot ideas, and such that we get from reading. I can't even venture to guess how many phrases I use in my writing I originally read in someone else's.

    I could probably write a book on this subject, but I'll get off my soapbox for now. [face_blush]
     
  14. Zane-Marit

    Zane-Marit Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Great thoughts all around. I have to be honest to say that I find it surprising, that a lot of you so far, were fan fic readers first. I started off after reading some of the Star Wars books and came across a few that I thought were terrible. I thought to myself "I could do better!" So I started writing and found out how difficult it really is to write something of large scope. But at least it got me writing ;)

    This brings up another question. Perhaps this should be its own thread...

    Look for the thread titled. Fan Fiction - Your recommendations

     
  15. Zane-Marit

    Zane-Marit Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2003
  16. PonyTricks

    PonyTricks Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 25, 2003
    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?




    I started reading fanfic about four or five years ago, when I discovered "Corellian Embassy" as well as many other sites (many which are now gone, alas...) I only started attempting to write fanfic a few years ago, after I found THIS easy-to-post site!



    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works? - Absolutely! Many - if not most - of my stories came from an idea 'off-shoot' of fanfic stories from authors much better than me! Or, sometimes, just an innocent comment posted in the 'reviews'... :D
     
  17. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    I was breifly a reader before I started to write my own fics. I used to write alot when I was younger, but got burned and let that defeat rule me for a good ten years. I recently started again when I discovered this forum. I'm a newbie and proudly so. I would say I started as a writer, but feel that reading is the best way to improve your writing.

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    What I have discovered reading fan fic is how infinite the possibilities can be. The humor. The drama. The pathos. The action. This can only prove to enhance my own writing as I see the creativity of those around me.

     
  18. Jedi_Liz

    Jedi_Liz Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2000
    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    I was definitely a reader First.


    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Yes. There was this one vignette that I read and one part of it gave me an idea for the flashback in a fic I wrote. The part that gave me the inspiration was a little video of Luke and Leia's birth that Luke found and it gave me the idea for the flashback/memory that Leia has that leads Luke and Co. to Naboo in my story Destination: Naboo.
     
  19. LilyHobbitJedi

    LilyHobbitJedi Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 29, 2005
    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    I was actually a writer first. During study hall in high school I started writing about my favorite fandom of the time, before discovering a couple of months later that it was actually called fanfiction that I had been doing. A whole new world opened to me then, and I've been reading and writing ever since.


    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Oh definatly, I can't count how many stories have impacted my writing style and the new plot bunnies that have developed as a result.
     
  20. Commander-DWH

    Commander-DWH Manager Emeritus star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 3, 2003
    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    Author! Within a month of my first time seeing any Star Wars movie at all, namely Return of the Jedi, I wrote a 12-page parody script. Which, for a 12-year-old who'd seen the movie once, was pretty good. Then I discovered the fanfic community, read some really bad fics, took their example, and wrote some really bad stuff (except for the parodies, which remained my specialty). I mostly only wrote song parodies for the longest time, though. Watch out, Backstreet Boys.

    ...hey, don't look at me like that. I was 14, what did you expect?

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?


    Other fan fics? Well, they certainly did when I was younger, and not in a good way. Let's just say that some of my stories are remaining buried for a reason. :p Fortunately, I grew up, wrote a little bit of original fic (the one thing my US Lit teacher ever gave me 100 on was an original story), and then came back to fanfic once I was in college and was my own literary person, so to speak. :p Profic influences me, certainly. I especially love the work of Matthew Stover. And my philosophy classes influence me. :D So, fanfic not so much, but other writings, certainly.
     
  21. CarrKicksDoor

    CarrKicksDoor Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 16, 2005
    I am answering this without reading any of the other responses, so they don't influence my answer. ;)

    Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    I suppose you could say that I started out as an author, but as far as the boards go, I was a reader first of all. This was a long, long time ago, under a far, far different screenname.

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Not nearly as much as the actual literature has. There have been a few fanfics, (notably InyriForge's pilot!fics) that drove me on to consider a few relationships that I might otherwise have glossed over, and consider characters that I wouldn't have before. But whereas two years ago I would have written something fluffy, I'm not finding myself doing that anymore. Fanfics in general don't influence me nearly as much now as they used to, and I'm not sure if that's because I'm maturing as a writer and I'm finding my own distinct voice, or because I'm being exposed through my English courses to a broader range of classical literature and beginning to experiment with different methods of storytelling, or both. Also inherent in this is simply the lack of time I have now to read. The reason I don't often comment is that once I find a story I like, I tend to wait until the story is complete and sit down and read the entire story in one fell swoop, much like I would a book. I'm reading so many books at one time in RL that I have trouble keeping so many story lines straight in my head otherwise.

    I suppose my general attitude towards reading and writing fanfic can be summed up in a rather pretentious statement (and do feel free to whack me for it, because I am well aware of how stuck up this sounds): I read fanfic as a simple enjoyment when I need brain candy. It's not that there aren't good fanfics out there with real stories and writing, but overall, when I need a mush attack, I automatically look for a fanfic, not just on these boards, but in general. When I need a break from Dostoevsky and Conrad and Woolf, I come running towards fanfic. Towards writing, I look at it as a step towards a larger world. I look at fanfic as a way to stretch writing muscles, I suppose. It's a way for me to experiment with storytelling, to see what works and what doesn't. I like to tie elements together, use certain devices, bring out depths in my characters. I want it to become a stepping stone to larger things.

    Anyway, there's my two cents (although I may have overestimated my contribution). :)

    ~Carr

     
  22. J_M_Bulldog

    J_M_Bulldog Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2003
    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?


    If you mean here on the boards, I started as a reader. I love reading and love Star Wars. I read the profic and then found out that there were those who wrote fanfic. I was in heaven :)

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Oh, most definitely. I was inspired to write my frist Star Wars full length fic by two stories on the boards.
     
  23. ZebulaNebula

    ZebulaNebula Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2005
    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    Reader: my ex-gf got me hooked on reading, then on writing it. However, I've mentally run through concepts and scenarios for fics for years.

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Yes: Jade_Max's classic [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=9311623]From Scratch[/link] had a definite influence on my writing, especially my Renewal arc. RK_Striker_JK_5 and Courtney_Solo have influenced much of my more recent material.

    Edit: Stupid markup.
     
  24. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 2002
    My question to you is...Did you start out as a reader first or author?

    I had never even heard of Fan Fiction until I wandered in here late one day in August of 2002. I was elated that there was an unlimited supply of stories of my favorite characters that I could devour.

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Oh, absolutely. I don't see how one could not be influenced by the stories we read.
     
  25. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Did you start out as a reader first or author?
    I most defiantly read fanfiction first, although it wan't Star Wars[face_blush] I was looking online for info about the show ER and found a site that had fanfics. Then I started looking for my other favorite things and found my way into a larger world. I just started writing fanfics, and as of yet have been to chicken to post any of them[face_blush].

    Do you feel that other fan fics could or have influenced your works?

    Absolutely! Sense I just started writing my own I find I will read a fic(or a chapter of a fic) for enjoyment and then go back and see how they expressed thought, or elaborated on something. I think this has helped me a great deal!

     
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