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Fan Fiction - Why Are We Addicted?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Liz Skywalker, Jan 6, 2002.

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  1. Liz Skywalker

    Liz Skywalker Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 13, 2000
    Today, in the middle of stressing over a major history project, I suddenly opened both Word and FF.N and began to work on a new AU fic while checking if there were any new Percy fics in the Harry Potter section. This has happened uncountable times.

    We have all joked at one time or another that we're addicted to fan fiction, but I would doubt that I'm the only one who has ever gone into withdrawel. Yes, I have begun to shake uncontrollably and things like that when I haven't gotten my "fix". And a "fix" can be anything. It's gotten so much that I carry a spare notebook with scenes from fics that I'm writing so I can read them and add on. Sometimes I do this in the middle of class.

    As far as I know, one cannot die from fan fiction withdrawel. That's a very good thing. But it begs the question. Why are we addicted? What about fan fiction makes it so vital to our very life? There are times when I think I will puke if I read another book from a certain series (coughnjocough) but I can still kick back and enjoy a fic from that series. Sometimes, I confuse what is "real" and what is just "fanfic".

    Is this addiction just an off-shoot of loving a series so much that we want more, daily? Or is it something else?

  2. Mcily_Nochi

    Mcily_Nochi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 23, 2001
    Very interesting thought. I've never gone into withdrawal, but then I only encountered fanfic last September. I get unreasonably grumpy sometimes when I can't get on the computer.

    I'm not sure if we're addicted in the usual sense of the word, though. For me, SW fanfics are my escape from DRL. When I escape into the GFFA for a precious few hours each day, I don't have to worry about anything else. So maybe fanfic is our way of keeping life in perspective.
  3. Kitt327

    Kitt327 Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 23, 2000
    The worst addiction I ever had was when I first started reading Valerie Vancollies' 'Runaway'. I started reading it really late at night, then realized I wasn't going to get it finished. So I printed the entire thing out, wasting heaps of ink and paper on our printer. The next day, I put all the pages in a supermarket bag, and took them on the bus on my way to uni. I read on the bus. I read during my first lecture, while pretending to be taking notes. Afterwards, I avoided my friends and went and hid in the library so I could continue reading.

    I think part of it is that only fans themselves know what fans truly want. And fanfic writers don't have to worry about 'what will sell' so they can just write from the heart.
  4. Liz Skywalker

    Liz Skywalker Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 13, 2000
    ah,yes, Runaway. I sometimes get cravings for that story itself. would you bleieve that I can spew out the order of the scenes in that fic? I am truly hopeless...

    [blockquote]Now that Luke no longer cared about Darklighter, the boy was completely his.[/blockquote]

    but I have an excuse: that story is one of hte best AUs I have ever read. :)
  5. Mcily_Nochi

    Mcily_Nochi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 23, 2001
    I was addicted to Lisse's "The Circle." That is a great AU.
  6. Jedi Girl of Corellia

    Jedi Girl of Corellia Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 23, 2000
    I'm just addicted to it all. When my usual time on the computer is cut short by someone other than by self it's like I have the severest case of PMS ever! People stay away from me during that time, as I am not wholly sane. :D
  7. Melyanna

    Melyanna Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 19, 2001
    Great discussion thread, Liz.

    I have to agree- I'm addicted to reading and writing them. Over my week-long break at Thanksgiving I told my readers that I wouldn't be posting at all and I couldn't keep that resolution. I had to have the interaction.

    Christmas vacation was even worse, because I was actually away from my computer for ten days with no internet access whatsoever. Man, was I edgy in that twelve-hour drive home. ;)

    So why am I addicted? Mostly because I love Star Wars, and this is a way for me to get more of what I love without paying for it or waiting for the books to come out. I can write Jaina and Jag or Obi and Sabé or Mara being Obi-Wan's daughter or any of these things, and I can read them too. For someone who's been reading for twelve years, since I was four, reading is like air, and writing is like water. So this gives me life support of sorts. ;)
  8. NarundiJedi

    NarundiJedi Jedi Master star 6

    Oct 8, 2001
    I'm addicted because it's true that the fans do know what other fans want. I've been disappointed with the portrayal of one of my favorite characters (Kyp) since the beginning of the NJO, so I enjoy reading fanfics that portray him in a more affable fashion. I also enjoy reading fanfics about Jaina, just because even with the NJO there doesn't seem to be enough stuff about her out there and I need more!! :) Yes, I am addicted. As for my favorite fics, you guys should all go and read "Getting Over It" by Val Solo and "Perfect Strangers" by JadaSkye, because they are AWESOME!! I especially like Perfect Strangers because it shows Jaina with another guy than the "fab three" that everybody debates about. :p So go read them!!! And while you're at it, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE somebody try reading my fic, Edge of the Purge, because I really need feedback about it and nobody has given me any yet! :( It's posted along with the others on My author name is the same as my name here. Please, I need feedback! I'll be your best friend!! ;) :) :D

    Jae Angel
  9. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    I agree, it's the interaction. The boards are like a big, on-line Star Wars convention. I almost enjoy interacting with all you guys & my readers more than I enjoy writing the stories!

    If TFN had a chat room, we'd all be goners...

  10. Mar17swgirl

    Mar17swgirl Force Ghost star 7

    Dec 26, 2000
    There's still AIM and ICQ and Yahoo Messenger... ;) I chat with guys on AIM very often.

    Anyways. I once had a line in my sig: "Once you start down the path of fanfic writing, forever will it dominate your destiny!" :p And I must say it's true.

    I've loved the boards ever since I registered. But it wasn't until this August that I realized that I was addicted to the fanfic reading and writing. I've always loved reading, and the first thing I've EVER written was a SW fanfic. Before that, I've never wrote anything (besides essays in school, but that's not stories), in English nor in Slovak (I'm Slovak, you know, and English is not my first language... ;) ).

    When I came to this university, I found out that I have a lot of free time and free Internet in the computer labs. Hey, that was cool! I was sitting in the lab all the time, reading and writing. True, my writing has developed, as well as my English, but now that the exams period is here, I realized that I wasted so much time, just being online. :(

    Reading and writing fanfics is great fun and it can give you a lot, but it's very easy to substitute it for more important things. Your family, school, and work should always come first; then you can find some time for fanfics. :)
  11. thegreatyoda

    thegreatyoda Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 10, 2001
    Hell, the only other site I go to is
    *Ignites Lightsaber and preapares to bisect Trek haters*
    Well, that and the Archive.
  12. Vergere

    Vergere Jedi Knight star 5

    Jul 19, 2000
    well i get rather cranky without a fanfix for a few days :p

    i love the feedback, that's part of the addiction for me. maybe it's just because i like to be criticized for my work, but it gives you a high when someone truly appreciates what you've done.

    i love writing in general, so i guess it's very appropriate that i would love the fanfic aspect of star wars. and, of course, i love star wars. :)

    the people that we interact with keeps us addicted, too. to find such diverse friends that all have one very thing in common is a blessing, actually, and signing onto AIM or the boards always makes me smile at the end of the day.
  13. Darth_Fruitcake

    Darth_Fruitcake Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jan 18, 2001

    Actually, it's the interaction and the chance to express yourself. Here, everyone accepts you for who you are: a Star Wars fan. No stereotypes, no cliques, nothing. That's why the instant I get on the computer, I'm checking the boards :D
  14. ArnaKyle

    ArnaKyle Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 12, 2000
    I'm addicted to the Internet in general, I had a little outburst on Thanksgiving and around Christmas because I wasn't online. Seriously, I don't know what's wrong, my mom told me I had an addiction, just like any other sort, and that's all I can ever think about. It's probably true.

    As for the JCs, I was severely addicted for a while last year that it got SO bad I checked this before my email, before getting on MSN, and before everything else. I literally could not live without the JCs. Then one of my friends told me to get AIM, so I went on hiatus for a while, and eventually I decided to return, mainly because of a renewed love for fanfic.

    Fanfic has become everything and more for me. For a while I tried to do "serious" writing, but that easily frustrated me. So, after a long, and much needed break from the JCF, I began Blue Orchids, my quite successful Anakin and Tahiri fic. It's been a great escape from real life.

    Also, it allows me to be a little more personal with people I've never met before, and really just to exercise thoughts, feelings, and philosophy that I want to illustrate. Fanfic is a way I write my life by making it interesting. There's something comforting about writing fiction, it gives an author the chance to write about hopes, dreams, and ideas. There, the world is in your hands, and people can read and appreciate the varied works.

    Fanfiction is an escape from the pressures of daily life for me, and it really has given me some incredible ideas and experiences. The nicest thing about fanfic is that you get direct feedback from readers, and the exchange of ideas can only benefit your writing. It's a wonderful and personal experience, and I can see why anyone might be easily addicted.
  15. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    And at least it's a creative hobby. Some brainwork is involved. :)
  16. Melyanna

    Melyanna Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 19, 2001
    That's true, Renata. My roommate looks at me like I'm nuts when I'm writing or reviewing a story for the archive (too much like work to her) even though she's a Star Wars fan- just not a fangirl like me. ;)

    And some day I'm going to point out to her that it's more productive than what she does in her spare time, which is to play games like Unreal Tournament online. At any rate, she's of the opinion (like many people) that because I'm a music major, I'm not supposed to cultivate any other talents. ;)
  17. Mcily_Nochi

    Mcily_Nochi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 23, 2001
    My mom thinks I'm addicted. She says not to get more attached to this world than the real one. This world is a lot nicer, but I realize that my real responsilbilities lie elsewhere.
  18. LLL

    LLL Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 16, 2000
    I got addicted to fan fic at a really low time in my life because I recognized that it was something I was actually good at. I didn't feel good at anything else at the time, and our society is such that if you aren't good at what you're "supposed" to be good at, you're just less than zero.

    Anyway that time passed, but I still enjoy fanfic because I feel such empathy for the characters. Also, the SW universe is so readily understood that if you set a story in this universe, your audience is automatically fluent in your language, LOL. If you are playing with a particular idea, it will stand out in sharp relief against the SW universe, because everyone knows what the conventions of that world are. I like to play with what I could do different in the SW universe, what it tells us about ourselves that is good, and what it tells us that is counterproductive. Since it's all based on myth, it's easier to challenge those myths that don't tell the human race productive or helpful things about itself.

    Plus, it's just a very compelling universe. I try to think up my own worlds for my fic, but coming up with original characters who are as compelling and intriguing as these is at the EXTREME end of the difficult!!!

    You just keep coming back to the family you know and love, LOL!
  19. Casper_Knightshade

    Casper_Knightshade Jedi Master star 6

    Oct 18, 2000
    Remember these lines of thought......

    Lurking is the path towards Fan Fiction. Lurking leads to Reading, Reading leads to Posting, Posting......Leads to writing. :p

    We are addicted for many reasons. It's SW: we are reading creatively different stories with the subject, we can write creatively different stories with the subject, as writers we are our own editors and approvers, as readers we can either be critics, or helpers, or editors(betas), as readers we can become fans of a new saga far different than the movies, or fall in love with a story that last one post, the stories are free AND we don't have to return them to the library when we are done.

  20. NarundiJedi

    NarundiJedi Jedi Master star 6

    Oct 8, 2001
    Heh, lurking at least inspired me to make a fan art thread but it still hasn't pushed me to write my own fan fiction (on the topic of known Star Wars characters, that is). If anyone likes artwork, here's the site:

    [link=]Kyp Durron fan art Page[/link]

    I'm almost to the point where I'm going to update it! Honest! :)

    Jae Angel
  21. KenobisGirl

    KenobisGirl Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 10, 2001
    I am always grumpy and agitated when I don't get my daily "fix", as I affectionally call TheSwedishJedi's "Eyes Can Decieve." I am so addicted to the stuff... :D Every fan fiction is just so much fun to read, and the people on these boards are like my best friends!
  22. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 1, 1999
    Why not?!

    I love fan fic because it's easy. The world, and even the characters are all already there. I only have to come up with plot. It's a great way for new writers to practice plot without having to worry about the rest of it. Force knows I owe a lot of my writing skills to fan fiction and the writing thereof.
  23. TwilightKat

    TwilightKat Jedi Youngling star 2

    Nov 12, 2001
    Sometimes the 'real' world doesn't feel all that real for me.
    It's like people wear masks to protect themselves - not eveyone but most - and the masks seem to come down in fanfic.
    It just more...comfortable. Complete strangers end up joking and debating with one another, and very rarely end up 'enemies'. At least not seriously 'enemies'.

    I suppose it's like a haven, where - as someone put it brilliantly - we all speak the same language. No explanations. No justifications - unless you want to. No stress - unless an author leaves you a cliffie. ;)

    It's okay, as long as you remember to return to the 'real world', as that's where responsibility is, and everyone has to return to responsibility sometime otherwise the world would quickly fall apart - worse case scenario - but it's wonderful to take a rest from it all, just for a while.

    A vacation at home. :D Costs less than vacations too...and more guarenteed satisfaction.

    It's not only in fanfic, it's also in many other 'net communities'...but *I* have never seen a wider-spread, more diverse, more interactive 'population' on the web. Not to mention I've never seen one with less 'bushfires' between members.

    *Can* anyone think of another 'community' that blows my theory out of the water?

    I also vaguely remember something that Liam Neeson said on the tpm dvd. It went along the lines of; There's a lack of something in the world today, and Lucas' tale provides that something lacking in the form of a 'fairytale/myth'. Add on fanfic writers, and even *more* of those 'lacks' are addressed...

    Those're my little thoughts.

    [face_love] Kat [aka TK]

    ps - and Shade; [wry look] Lurking is the path towards Fan Fiction. Lurking leads to Reading, Reading leads to Posting, Posting......Leads to writing. How true!

  24. JediClare

    JediClare Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 8, 2001
    Like Mcily Nochi said, it's an escape from the real world - what we call Darth Real Life.

    Even if there's a pile of homework waiting for me on my study table, once I get on the boards I can forget it all until I log off. An hour or two of bliss. ;)

    And there's this kid in all of us, that simply wants to read and be immersed in stories, to pretend that you're there and you're actually seeing events unfold. It allows you to be part of the GFFA, seeing Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon and Luke and Leia do things.

    Another thing is the message board format of these fanfics. It allows you to interact with other people (more or less), whereas a book doesn't. So you get to discuss stories with a whole lot of other people from different countries. It also allows you to do crazy stuff like rounding up a mob because the author isn't posting :D, which you can't do with a book.

    Fan fiction allows you to express your ideas. Like you don't like the ending of The Phantom Menace, you think Qui-Gon should have lived. Fine, write a fanfic! You make yourself happy by making Qui-Gon live, and you make others happy!

    Guess that's about it. Sorry if none of these points make sense. :D

    = [hl=navy]Clare[/hl] =
  25. BelleBayard

    BelleBayard TFN Fan Fiction Archive Editor star 4 VIP

    Mar 16, 2000
    Good responses. I became addicted to fanfic long before the JC. I began with X-Men Rogue and Gambit because of my disgust with the path of their relationship. Same went for Disney's Gargoyles' Elisa and Goliath. Then, I rediscovered SW when TPM came out and two of my favorite characters bit the dust. Fanfic is a way to make things come out the way you wish they would have. You can resurrect characters, have them get a real relationship, be allowed to love, no matter the differences, etc. And as has been mentioned, it helps to hone your writing skills. While you play with another person's creation, you still have to stay in character or you'll have readers going "Hey, that's not how Yoda talks!" or the like.

    As for addiction... You don't want to know what my family thinks. Even when I have my own work to do, I have to check in with DMEB and JC just to see what's new. Message boards, fic archives and such have become a part of my life. I don't write as much as I used to, but it's always there, niggling at me, calling me to look at that unfinished story and do something with it. An escape? Certainly. But, believe it or not, writing fanfic has helped me write better in school as well.
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