Mr Grossman of Time best defined it back in 2011: “Fan-fiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker. They don’t do it for money. That’s not what it’s about. The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They’re fans, but they’re not silent, couch bound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language.”
I really liked the ‘brilliant pop-culture junkies’ reference but suffered some qualms about the sealed in a bunker scenario somehow that just sounded, uhm.. sweaty.
I write fan fiction. I do it to exercise my writing muscle. I tried taking the well known course of keeping a daily journal but found within two months, I simply did not have anything of interest to say to myself, about myself. Sobering, huh? Then I discovered fan-fiction. For a long time I simply read, and kept my journal. Researched, and ignored my journal. Read some more and used my journal for kindling in the fireplace.
Then I opened my laptop, and began to write. It was like balloons, and hot dogs at the county fair, jet skis, and freshwater tubing, sneaking out for a date, getting your first kiss and not getting caught. In other words, F.U.N! Before long I was letting my imagination have free rein and I discovered it was larger, a tad bit more naughtier than I knew, and always, always up for the adventure.
With each story, my writing muscle grew leaner, meaner, and before long frankly I fell in love. Which shouldn’t have been surprising since I always went for the lean, tough guys.
What was I going on about? Just this, write what excites you, what lets you sit in front of the laptop typing frantically as tears waterfall down your cheeks, or you burst out laughing fingers clacking away. Because writing is a conversation between you and your imagination. Your fingers acting as the dutiful secretary recording for prosperity your soul smeared on paper for everyone to examine. With that kind of price tag if it’s not at least half way fun, what’s the purpose? Why do it?
By the way, the laughing out loud, and the waterfall of tears part while typing? Yea, same night in the span of an hour during which my family threatened to call Fire and Rescue what a hullabaloo!
In the end, the story got rave reviews and my imagination and I, were healthier, happier, ready to conquer another plot line, and miscreant characters. This time, though, they were my own.