Why We Read/Write...

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by JediJainaSoloFel, May 13, 2005.

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  1. JediJainaSoloFel

    JediJainaSoloFel Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 5, 2004
    A friend of mine asked me an interesting question the other day when I told her that I read and (sometimes) write fanfic. She asked me WHY? The question intrigued me because I guess I never really thought of it before and now that I know my answers, I'm curious as to what other people think.

    So my questions for you are

    Why do you write fan fiction?


    Why do you read fan fiction?

    I write fan fiction because I have a rich fantasy life and when I get an idea in my head, it's sooo much fun to actually see it typed out. Because then it's tangible, not just some goofy (or not so goofy) idea in my head. I also write because it is occassionally cathartic for me. It's relaxing and a good way to poor out emotions (along with kickboxing which I highly recommend :D). I also write because I find the characters to be interesting and I want to try and get inside their heads and think of all kinds of things for them to do or say to eachother.

    I read fanfiction because it's fun. I love seeing other people's stories progress (especially when it's particularly well written) and I love having posts to look forward to! It's just fun. It's like reading any book (except it's harder to curl up with my laptop) and I absolutely adore reading. I also love to analyze characters and situations and this is a particularly fun place to do it because you can see your responses (and the responses of others immediately). I also like reading AU fics (which is recent within the last year). Now, I think it's really fun to think of all the what ifs, and explore all the different outcomes if the characters had made different decisions.

    But that's just me...:)
  2. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2004
    Why do I write? Well, I stopped writing for ten years and now that I've gotten started again I just can't seem to stop. Writing is like therapy for me. When "real life" problems seem a bit too big to handle I can always retreat to a galaxy far, far away and my problems suddenly don't seem so bad. I mean, my husband isn't responsible for the deaths of billions and my kids haven't turned into Sith Lords - yet.

    I read because I love to read. I read all the time. I like to read all sorts of books. And what I like about fanfiction varies. Sometimes I like to read about them all living happily ever after, or close to it. And sometimes I like to read about my favorite good guys turning dark. I like it because the possiblities are endless!

    Great questions! :D
  3. CommanderConrad

    CommanderConrad Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 30, 2003
    I got into Star Wars because I've always been facinated with heroism. I find heroes in every walk of life and in every different situation. Most of them are very much behind-the-scenes, and I think they deserve recognition. That's why I write--to show that it's not only the Skywalkers and Solos who save the galaxy. Everyday people contribute too.

    Why do I read? I wonder how other people look at the world, and I can get glimpses of that through their stories. It's fun.
  4. agentj

    agentj Jedi Knight star 2

    Dec 3, 2004
    I read because my mom used to read to me every day. I had my own bookshelf filled with all the books she'd buy me, and then they spread into the basement's bookshelves. When I was sick, she would buy me colouring books. In pre-school I learned the alphabet. I took all my colouring books and boldly wrote, "YUVBZ? RXTSQ!" then I would show them to my mother and read them to her.

    I wrote my first fan fiction when I was 10. It was a Star Wars fiction, written for an Official SW Fan Club contest. Sadly, I did not win. Awww. I then saw and fell in love with Doctor Who, and I continued to write.

    Growing up, I wanted to become a writer. All of my classes and free time was geared for doing just that, until I approached the end of college and my mother said, "Well, writing is all well and good, but it's not like you can really make money doing it...."

    I didn't write anything for years. I had to get a job. A real one. You know the one. The one you wake up and drudge to. The one you drudge through and from which you drudge tiredly back home where you sprawl exhaustedly over your couch and from which don't get up. Until tomorrow. When you go back to it.

    Spending all that time on the couch in front of the TV, I found Farscape and Stargate: SG-1 and Enterprise (stop laughing!). I started writing again.

    This past Christmas the OT came out on DVD. Seeing the movies again made me realise how much I missed the story of Star Wars. I remembered all my old ideas and how much it meant to me. I thought, "I couldn't have missed the last movie in the series without knowing it, could I?!" A quick search on the net, and I realised I hadn't. I also found out way more about the movie than I planned to learn. Then the Plot Bunnies struck!
  5. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    I write fanfiction because I believe that the fundamental principles of Star Wars are both noble and inspirational and perpetuating that is such an exciting thing. I enjoy testing the limits of established characters, exploring possibilities of non-canon characters, and seeing if anyone's left standing afterwards.

    I read because other people do the same thing. And they make me laugh, cry, and everything that sometimes I feel incapable of doing.
  6. ThePariah

    ThePariah Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jan 24, 2003
    Hmm. Shall I just spill out the hard, unflinching truth? [face_thinking] :p

    Honestly, I read and write fanfiction because it's usually so much better than the profic. [face_laugh] Nowhere else can I get so many possibilities to explore facets of characters and events that will never be shown in profic because it purportedly doesn't appeal to a mass market of fans, semi-fans, and non-fans. Fanfiction is like an extraction facial--it goes deep down to the nooks and crannies of the fandom universe to dig out all the stuff buried inside and make it better.

    (And that is officially the weirdest analogy I've ever made. :p)

    Fanfiction is what brings out some of the most beautiful and powerful material of whatever your fandom is, because it's coming from your heart and carries a part of you with it. That's what makes it special--not only is it good, it's personal. And that makes it more meaningful than something somebody banged out to make a buck--don't get me wrong, there's profic that's excellent, even spectacular (ROTS novel! w00t), but the grassroots feeling of good quality fanfiction is a level of satisfaction all on its own.
  7. flowerbee

    flowerbee Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 29, 2004
    Well, for one thing, it's a great way to relax and just do something fun when I'm stressed out.

    Another thing is the fandoms I love are so... expansive and complicated that I can't help but want to know everything about it. Now, the profic authors have only so much space, and guidelines to adhere to. But with fanfiction, I'm free to red and write about all the possabilities that Star Wars has to offer.

    I mean, what is the probablity that we are ever going to get a book about the Vong culture, or the first Jedi? Or that Leia and Jag are ever going to get together or htat we'll ever going to find out what kind of a dad Anakin might have been?

    Anything that sparks my curiosity, every song with a message, every obscere bit of dialouge that no one else noticed seems to spawn a plot-bunny. I think the whole thing is rather in my blood at this point. :p

    It's curiousity that drives me and obsession that sucks me in. :p
  8. Vampi_Digitalwytch

    Vampi_Digitalwytch Jedi Youngling star 3

    Apr 11, 2004
    I write because the alternative of not writing's unthinkable. I need to write be it as stress relief, to get a nagging idea/concept out of my head, I write for fun.

    As much as I've said that I want to make it as a prowriter, even if I just stay in the small leagues like I am now, I'm happy.
  9. Darth_Elu

    Darth_Elu Chosen One star 7

    Jan 2, 2003
    I go insane if I don't read or write. ;)

    And since I haven't been able to write anything for a while due to work and other things, I'm going insane! ....even more than normal that is. :p
  10. cka3ka

    cka3ka Jedi Youngling star 1

    Apr 9, 2003
    I write because there is a little voice in my head that talks to me. If I didn't write, I think i'd talk to myself and then people would think I was really crazy... lol ff is my dirty little secret :).

    On a more serious note, I think I write to improve my writing. It's an easy outlet for the imagination and is a productive use of time--far better than watching TV and letting my mind rot imho.

    It's fun and interesting... it's also a challenge.

  11. lurker2209

    lurker2209 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Jan 9, 2005
    Don't say I'm out of touch/ with this rampant chaos -your reality/ I know well what lies beyond my sleeping refuge/The nightmare I've built my own world to escape --Evanescence

    Some people write because they have a story that they are compelled to share. Some like the praise and acclaim. I write to escape. What, I'm sure I will find out years from now in very expensive therapy. Right now, writing is much cheaper!

    Honestly, I often find that this everyday world isn't always interesting enough to occupy my thoughts and I fill them with fantasy. Transposing this fantasy into words is the only way to preserve it, but I make no claim to be particularly good at the actual writing, although I think I'm improving. In fact I find the dreaming to be natural, irrepressible part of the process, and the writing to be rather difficult, but necessary. The fact that other people may be interested in what I have to say is wonderful and exciting. I've had people tell me that if you really want to be good at writing, you have to write for you, regardless of the audience. But if no one really cared about what I have to say, I'd just keep it all in my head. I dream for me; I write it down because other people might care.

    I read fanfic for a number of reasons, some more noble than others. To avoid doing homework, in hopes that other authors will read my fics, when I'm bored. Those are the shallow reasons. The deeper ones are probably more interesting. A lot of it is the same escapism that drives me to dream and write, and it's usually easier to read about someone else's reality than come up with your own. SW is a great place to escape to and there's only so much profic, and only so much of it that I can afford or dig out of the library system. And sure, I could read something other than SW, but when I'm reading pages of more 'literary' writing for school, I want my fun reading to be fun! And the more I dig into the fandom, I discover that there is really good fiction here, and there is a lot more insight about the human condition than most people would imagine.

  12. TKeira_Lea

    TKeira_Lea Jedi Knight star 5

    Oct 10, 2002
    I read Star Wars fanfiction because I love the GFFA of the Flanneled One, but I also love the infinite possibilities if offers. I love the fact that maybe Anakin Skywalker could have made the right choice, or Anakin Solo might not have died. Even though I am a fan of the movies, there is just something about the written word.

    As for writing, there are these whole stories sitting in my brain that bounce around - hippity hopity - demanding to come out. The problem is that I can't just look at the computer and get them on the screen with merely a thought. Has anyone ever really tried to catch and herd bunnies? There is however something cathartic about letting my emotions pour onto a page.

    *back to herding bunnies for me*
  13. Diamond_Revelation

    Diamond_Revelation Jedi Master star 3

    Feb 25, 2003
    I read fanfiction of all kinds cos I am always wondering what if. I love to see how characters react if something happens differently. I also like to find out what happens next from different people points of view. Mostly I read it because I love reading!!! :D

    I would write if I could transfer any of my ideas to paper but I can't cos I am not a very good writer :( so I always wait for others to get the idea instead and then I read their stories! :D
  14. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 9

    Mar 26, 2001 I love the what-ifs.
  15. YodaKenobi

    YodaKenobi VIP star 6 VIP

    May 27, 2003
    I write because I know posting fan fiction on a Star Wars message board impresses the ladies :cool:
  16. ZebulaNebula

    ZebulaNebula Jedi Master star 5

    Feb 10, 2005
    If I'm not reading something, I tend to go stir-crazy. Fanfic is great because of the maxim: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Literally, anything goes. I've read, both here and elsewhere, the most interesting stories i've ever heard of.

    Why I write? The answer to that is the same as "why does the sun rise?" It is part of my very nature. If I didn't write, my vivid imagination would find other, less acceptable outlets, in the form of whopper stories told to everyone I know.
  17. jagsredlady

    jagsredlady Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 7, 2002
    YK [face_laugh]

    "Impressive. Most impressive!" ;)

    I read SW fan fiction simply because I can't help myself... Part of the whole SW addiction... :p
  18. YodaKenobi

    YodaKenobi VIP star 6 VIP

    May 27, 2003
    "Impressive. Most impressive!"

    See what I mean? Works every time ;)
  19. TheCrazyRodian

    TheCrazyRodian Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 3, 2004
    I do it for the chicks, too. Of course, the number of chicks I've gotten is exactly equal to the number of stories I've posted on these boards....
  20. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fan Fiction Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Nov 9, 2002
    LOL, YodaKenobi and TheCrazyRodian! [face_laugh] And YK, you're absolutely right. ;)

    I'm afraid I don't have anything particularly eloquent to add. :) I started to read fanfic because after AotC, I couldn't get enough SW. I continue to read fanfic because I still can't get enough SW :p , and because the possibilities are so endless. At any given moment in the saga, an infinite number of things could have happened just a little (or drastically) differently - and then what would happen? There's something inherently exciting about the mere existence of all the what ifs. :D There are also so many missing moments within the saga itself that fans can expand upon with their own writing, and that's just as much fun. :D

    I write because every now and then I get ideas about those what ifs myself, and sometimes the bunny is vicious enough that I have to write it down. :p And while I'm not a particularly prolific author, when my muse speaks, I find that there's a joy unlike any other in painting a picture with words. :)
  21. TKeira_Lea

    TKeira_Lea Jedi Knight star 5

    Oct 10, 2002
    Ladies, you're going to give the men big heads :)

    *looks pointedly at mi gemela and Kima*

    Kima, it's the fact that those bunnies are so vicious that scares me [face_worried] Ever since you gave me that visual of a plot bunny clamped on your leg, demanding to be heard, that's how I see them.

    Bunnies with big, nasty teeth :D

    And why don't we have bunny emoticons?
  22. Alethia

    Alethia Jedi Master star 5

    Feb 13, 2005
    Writing and reading is my way of escaping the absolute horror I call my life. When I read or write, I am able to enter another world, be it a world that I have created or one that I'm just 'borrowing'. It's basically my form of therapy...I don't need a doctor or anything because I have writing, reading and places like these boards that let me ignore and also deal with what goes on in my life.

  23. NenYim

    NenYim Jedi Youngling star 3

    Nov 6, 2004
    I write fanfic because I just like to write. :p Fanfic is easier to write than original work, you don't hae to make up and describe in detail characters, places, things, it's like speaking a language everyone understands. It's also nice, because with fanfic there's guaranteed to be at least one person who likes what you write even if it's only because of the characters. You also don't have to follow timelines or anything, AU is accepted as normal. You can contradict youself and take the story weird places and its perfectly normal.

    I read fanfic for mostly the same reason. There's almost always a genre, pairing, etc., that you like.

    (And if there isn't, you write one. :p )
  24. Healer_Leona

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

    Jul 7, 2000
    I started reaaing fanfic after seeing TPM and discovering the JA books. I was totally hooked into the stories and lives of these two Jedi not shown us on the big screen. I wanted to know more about one Jedi master in specific (I'm sure all can take a wild guess at who) and discovered, thanks to my daughter, there were others of like mind. I started surfing different sites and discovered many were even superior to the published books and free... what more could a fan want?!?

    From reading them it inspired my own little vision that eventually took form into my very first fanfic story. I went further and did the unthinkable then... placing myself in the GFFA via an OC to play with the characters I love the most... talk about heaven! :D :D

    Why read fanfic? It continues a story we just don't want to let go of. It engages the imagination. Fanfic can be better than profic, and it allows us to get to know the writer's in ways not possible with profic.

    Why write fanfic? Inspiration that turns into a need to birth this little idea that springs to mind. To share a piece of ourselves with others who feel as we do, who understand that it's the joy of reading a story that takes us into the GFFA. Perhaps it's an escape from RL drudgery and the common place where we can live an adventure otherwise denied us.
  25. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fan Fiction Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Nov 9, 2002
    Ladies, you're going to give the men big heads

    Some things are simply inherent to male genetics, as a certain AuthorBoy has pointed out. :p Besides, writing SW fanfic does impress the ladies. At least the ones worth impressing. :cool:

    Kima, it's the fact that those bunnies are so vicious that scares me Ever since you gave me that visual of a plot bunny clamped on your leg, demanding to be heard, that's how I see them.

    Bunnies with big, nasty teeth

    That's what they are, Kia. :D For me, anyway. I don't have nice, gentle, persuasive plot bunnies. When I write, it's usually because the bunnies with big, nasty teeth have drawn blood. :eek:

    And I want a bunny emoticon too! [face_chicken] just doesn't have the same writer-ly effect . . .
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