Writing fanfiction was a new experience for me, and I really enjoyed it. There were difficulties I hadn’t expected, and there were things that were relatively simple. Compared to writing my own story from scratch, the short, simple fanfiction I chose to write was easy and enjoyable.
There were days when it wasn’t that enjoyable, though, and I’ve dissected my experience into two categories: Pros and Cons.
PRO: I don’t have to develop my characters. They already have a face, a name, and a personality. I can rely strongly on the characteristics someone else invented.
CON: I can’t develop my characters. Because someone else already created this person, I can’t take too many liberties. If Elsa suddenly jumped on a horse and yelled ‘yee-haw’, and I hadn’t set this fanfic in a western theme, readers might question the quality of my writing. So, there are some confines to writing a character’s dialogue and actions.
PRO: I can sit back and let all the preconceived attributes invade the reader’s mind. I don’t have to go into so much detail. People know what Honey Lemon is doing when I say she rolls an enormous black ball of tungsten carbide to her station and performs an experiment that turns it pink, because they’ve seen it before.
CON: Freedom. Because fanfiction is sort of a free-for-all, I can technically do whatever I want. But if I stretch a character beyond recognition, there’s little point in writing it as a fanficition in the first place. The point of writing fanfiction is to see lovable characters or situations in a new light, not to rip Hiccup out of How to Train Your Dragon and make him a middle-aged man struggling with a mid-life crisis in New York city.
PRO: Writing a fanfiction was a breath of fresh air and revealed to me certain trends I had in my writing. When I’m stuck on something in my book, I can move to my fanfic and just write- just open my brain and let the words flow out. Writing in a different style, a different time period, and just a different story, exposed certain tendencies or catchphrases I use over and over, and encouraged me to find new ways to express myself.
Breaking free from my novel with a fanfiction was refreshing and enlightening. I loved writing Tungsten Carbide, and I’m so excited about my next story in The Side Effects. Writing shouldn’t be a chore- and fanfiction is helping me realize that.