What did writing fan fiction do for you?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by LLL, Oct 29, 2008.

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  1. LLL

    LLL Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 16, 2000
    I was over on the fan films board and found a link to [link=]this article.[/link]

    So then I thought, What did writing fan fiction do for me? and the immediate answer that came into my mind, at least as far as the kind of benefits these guys are talking about, was, absolutely nothing.

    But then I had to think, Well, that's not entirely true. If I hadn't been writing fan fic, I would never have joined my writer's group, and I would never have met my husband. And, as a side benefit (well, really the only benefit) of trying to enter a fan fic in a "real" writing contest alongside "real" writers' "real" writing, I learned how to polish a piece of writing to uber-professional level. (Doesn't hurt to have good teachers.)

    So, has anybody got a story to share?
  2. MsLanna

    MsLanna Jedi Master star 6

    Jul 8, 2005
    Easy answer: Fun, fun, fun! :D
    I love to write, and fanfic is a perfect outlet. I can get immediate feedback, work on my style or whatever and never have the pressure of doing something 'real'.
    Meeting the people here is great, too, reading the stories I'd like to see instead of what canon does is another benefit. And learing just how to sit down and write, no matter what. Okay, I am still on to that one.:p

    I think some people define benefits too narrow. Or I just have my values in a different hierarchy.:)
  3. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrel Wrangler of Fun & Games star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Jul 7, 2000
    It's done alot in the socialing circle. GOt to meet new people on the boards, and not just via internet. Took my first ever vacation in 2001 to meet fanficcers. It even got me to Scotland. [face_love]

  4. KELIA

    KELIA Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 26, 2005
    The best thing is the new friends I've made here :)

    But I've also found an outlet for creative writing that gives me feedback - which I love - and hadn't had before.

    I'd also like to think I've grown as a writer. Writing Fan fic, especially participating in a few challenges, has forced me to write outside my comfort zone and that's been a great experience.
  5. karebear214

    karebear214 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 7, 2002
    Writing fanfic has made me grow so much as a writer. When I started high school I was barely passing writing assignments. In 10th grade, a friend introduced me to fanfic, and by the time I was midway through college I was writing essays to knock my professors' socks off and seriously considering changing my concentration to screenwriting. And it's fun. I love writing now. I love being able to share my ideas.
  6. Anime_Jedi

    Anime_Jedi Jedi Knight star 3

    Jul 12, 2007
    Writing fan fics, helped me in my teenager years.

    With the emotional stuff you go thou and all, it helped a lot.

    It also led me to this place and let me I know I wasn't the only guy writing and I made friends here and else were to.

    Its also a good outlet when you have a lot on your mind.

    Now I wirte for fun plan and simpe fun, or AU's if I want to see a different out come or what if AU.

    Just recently got into AUs.

  7. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Writing fanfics helped me improve my writing and doing it in a different language than my own is great. By the way Dutch is a silly language to read and write Star Wars stories in.
    And it got me new friends and I could encourage AzureAngel2 to publish her fanart as stories.
    Have met her at the fanart board and been publishing there also. Even got a website of my own featuring my paintings. And reading and writing fanfics gets me to paint and draw even more.

    And writing fanfics is great to give words to things happening in real life.
  8. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 20, 2002
    It helped me improve my writing skills, which really helped in class. It also taught me basic editing, which I used working on my school's newspaper.
  9. micky-nikki

    micky-nikki Jedi Youngling star 1

    Dec 31, 2005
    I actually just wrote an essay for school about what fan fiction has done for me. :p Fan fiction is really what got me writing outside of the classroom, and as others have said, it's improved my writing tremedously.
  10. DarthBerryStraw

    DarthBerryStraw Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 20, 2007
    My awesome factor increased exponentially when I began writing Star Wars fanfic. :p It's brought me "awesome."

    That's beside my real answer. Fanfic has brought me many enjoyable hours of fussing (fussing can be enjoyable, yes) and has improved my writing abilities.
  11. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Mar 1, 2002
    Made it much easier to gain weight... :_|

    Really loved the social aspect of the boards more than the writing part. Writing is hard and getting harder. Reading is more fun and easier to do. But the best part of writing/reading fan fic are the people!
  12. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    Let's see, fanfic has made me meet old and current roommates, improved my writing skills drastically, let me meet the person with whom I am going to write an incredible book, got a lot of friends... Oh, and did I mention the random notoriety factor, like being at Celebration IV and having people know who I am?
  13. JediXManSerenaKenobi

    JediXManSerenaKenobi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 27, 2007
    Fanfiction really introduced me to writing and the idea that I could write something. Without fanfiction, I wouldn't be pursuing writing as a career. And without all the wonderful people in the fanfiction community to help me and encourage me, I'm not sure I would've been brave enough to try writing a novel. Or two. :)

    Plus, I've met a lot of friends on here - some of them very near and dear to my heart. [:D]

    - Serena
  14. Luna_Nightshade

    Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 25, 2006
    It gave me an outlet during the period of my undergraduate years when I was undergoing a lot of emotional stress and rapid personal changes. It was something stable I could return to when a lot of things in my world were unstable. It also gave me something to lose myself in and decompress. Everything in real life is easier if you take some time away to let it go.

    It introduced me to a lot of new and different types of people. Some of those people became very good friends, at least for a period of time, and I enjoyed their friendship. There are some people I really, truly miss.

    It also taught me a lot about people in general, and a lot of those things were difficult lessons to learn. Not everything I experienced with people here was good. In fact, a lot of it was surprising and a struggle. I think when I started here I was very naive about people and what they can do to you--how words can impact you, how they shape your image of yourself and your thoughts, how important it is for you to really know who you are when so many people have just bafflingly wrong perceptions of you. I learned how to let that go and accept who I was even when not everyone else did. I learned how to deal when people said or did things that really bothered me in a lot of different ways. I learned how to manage myself and my feelings, or at least started to learn. I did some very serious growing because of that, and a lot of it I don't remember all that fondly. But it was worth it, because I would never be where I am today--living this kind of career and this kind of life--without learning that, however unpleasant it may have been.

    But ultimately it gave me a chance to express thoughts and images I had with people who could really understand through my stories--and even give me feedback. It gave me amazing stories to read and enjoy. It let me do what I loved outside of the classroom. Most of all, it let me dream of stories to weave and ideas to explore. The process of creating is a mystical thing, and pure magic to experience. It defies explanation, but it is wonderful.
  15. J_M_Bulldog

    J_M_Bulldog Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 24, 2003
    Hn, well, for me, fan fiction allowed me to grow as a writer far beyond what I thought was possible before I got into fan fiction. Before I started my first full length story, most of my stories was dialogue and very little on anything else. Now, I can write description and action and more. I've learned how to flesh out a story. I learned how to respect a character even if I didn't like the character. I gained confidence in myself and in my writing and the courage to let others see it. And in doing so I met so many people who have similar interests as I do. I may never see them face to face, but I call them friend nonetheless.

    Another thing fan fiction did for me was give me the courage to try my hand at an original fiction novel. I know this was something I would never have had before.
  16. Persephone_Kore

    Persephone_Kore Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 19, 2006
    I have had lots of fun.

    I've met interesting people including some of my best friends. And some obnoxious people too, but so it goes.

    I've learned to pay conscious attention to things about stories that I never really did before--or that I resisted in my fun reading because... well, by the time we got done studying anything in English class, I was usually sick of it and never wanted to pick it up again. :p This held even in courses I actively enjoyed, even with one of my favorite teachers, and even for stories I had read several times before. But for stories I want to write fanfic for, I find myself happily looking for themes, motifs, structure choices, symbolism, POV choices and handling, etc., and making them explicit to myself instead of just absorbing them as part of the experience. I think this is starting to spill over into my other reading choices as well.

    So, certainly a net positive. It wouldn't have occurred to me to say "Nothing" first at all, but then, I have been doing it for fun. I haven't been treating it as something that's only worthwhile if it leads (for itself or as a stepping stone to original writing) to... well, "real," editor/publishing-house type publication (I wanted to say "peer-reviewed" but that doesn't quite work the same way for fiction ;)) or other beyond-fandom recognition, any more than I worry about whether someone other than family wants to see my completed cross-stitch. Or thinks it's stupid that I have a kit based on a Thomas Kinkade painting. ;) So while it's had its frustrations, I think I've had much less frustration than you.
  17. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 6, 2007
    I've always enjoyed the idea of adding to existing canon. Then the next book comes out and your suddenly AU again:p I Love OC's and the lesser lights in the Star Wars universe and believe that Fan Fiction is a great filler that can help fill in the actual universe. Want to hear what happened to Kir Kanos after CE2, write it! Otherwise it likely will simply never exist at all.

    So I guess for me it adds to the universe and expands upon loved characters who otherwise would be backbenchers in the galaxy.:)
  18. The_Face

    The_Face Ex-Manager star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 22, 2003
    To become a better writer, there are ten things you need to do.

    1. Write
    2. Write
    3. Write
    4. Write
    5. Write
    6. Write
    7. Write
    8. Read
    9. Write

    All that to say the key thing writing fanfiction has done for me is it?s gotten me to write. The fact that it?s posted online (and potentially actually viewed by people) gives me an extra feeling of accomplishment (on top of the one that writing always gives) that writing a hundred original fiction stories to sit on my hard drive doesn?t. The community of fellow writers has bettered me. Not just through awesome concrit, but also simple encouragement that what I?m doing has worth and I should keep trying.

    Fanfic has helped me grow as a writer. And it doesn?t hurt that I?ve been able to meet a bunch of cool people. :cool:
  19. 1Yodimus_Prime

    1Yodimus_Prime Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 13, 2004
    That, right up there.

    My first completed story longer than three pages was a fanfiction. My second completed fanfiction ended up being over a hundred pages. Fan fiction showed me that I actually do have the potential to write a full-length novel, or a feature-length screenplay, or a graphic novel if I ever felt so compelled. Prior to this, there was always a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I just didn't have it in me to do anything more complex than a short story, or the script for an animated short. But in writing within the comfort zone of someone else's reality, it freed me to look at structure and pacing and these other foundation elements of writing that I was completely missing - things my college scriptwriting classes wouldn't bother teaching me for another two years at that point.

    Fanficing gave me confidence to write without fear. To not avoid putting pen to paper simply because I only knew the beginning and the end but not the middle. Whatever! The middle will come! Or to halt the presses because I couldn't remove a sentence fragment. Oh well! Then there's a sentence fragment! Screw it, I'll write the whole thing in sentence fragments if I want! It's not a damn research paper!!

    It also showed me a population of people I would've never known anything about. The culture of fan fiction is a very real thing, with its own interesting quirks and subsets and unusual facets. And it brings together people with unimaginably variant backgrounds and nationalities. There are few, if any, pimply faced Dugeons&Dragons nerds here. I doubt there ever were (apologies to pimply faced D&D nerds). Instead, you'll find virologists, animators, video game designers, survivalists, farmers, school teachers, full-time parents, professors, seamstresses, Canadians, marine biologists, soldiers, and whatever the hell Face is. And that's a kind of experience that normal writing can never, ever give you.
  20. MsLanna

    MsLanna Jedi Master star 6

    Jul 8, 2005
    FanFic introduced me to NaNo.
    If I get my draft done with that, it gave me more than I can say. [face_love]
    So far, things look good.
  21. Ceillean

    Ceillean Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 13, 2001
    Writing fanfic taught me how to write. I'm still learning, of course but comparing my stuff from last year to now, it's a giant leap.

    And I'm proud of that.

    And writing fanfic keeps me sane, however weird that sounds.
  22. Ubersue

    Ubersue Jedi Youngling star 3

    Sep 1, 2008
    :-B :mad: [face_not_talking]
    *considers cutting back on chocolate and potato chips*
  23. Ubersue

    Ubersue Jedi Youngling star 3

    Sep 1, 2008
    Oh, I can relate. Fanfic keeps the crazy away... sorta.8-} :D

  24. Ceillean

    Ceillean Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 13, 2001
    Or brings in the crazy and shoos normality away. :p
    Both is good enough for me, to get my mind off the dreaded *gasp* real world. :D
  25. Broken_Circle

    Broken_Circle Jedi Youngling star 1

    Apr 24, 2007
    Fanfic has given me confidence in myself to the degree that I am able to post my work for others to judge, whereas before I used to deliberatly shield my stuff because I was afraid people wouldn't like it. It's given me an outlet for the various issues I was dealing with in my teenage years. Fanfic has also gotten me college credits - because my writing scores were so high on the SAT, I didn't have to take my college's freshman writing class, which gave me time to take courses like Philosophy and Latin. Fanfic has also given me access to an entirely different community and let me learn another language - because who can deny that fanficcers do in fact have our own dialect?

    As for keeping the crazy away, I'm convinced that the crazy is necessary. If you don't have a little bit of insanity, you can't have art, or music, or any other type of invention.
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