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Have you ever written fan fiction or a story that was part of some else’s world’?
How does it differ from writing a story entirely on your own?
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I once penned a story based on the Uncanny X-Men by Marvel during a time I wasn’t finding my words so easily. The frustration and constant rewrites or Blue Honor had taken a huge toll on my love of writing. Definitely experiencing fun in writing was much needed. This fan fiction was the way to get there, for me anyway. I hadn’t tried it yet, and I was curious about how writing a work based on another’s work would come out. A lot of authors do that for a living. Think about it. Comics, scripts, series and the like are all based off of an initial work that the current writer likely had not created. Star Trek also comes to mind.
X-Men is one of my favorite comic series. I loved the cartoon in the 1990s, and the films still rank as some of my favorites. Who doesn’t love Hugh Jackman as Wolverine? He’s such a great guy and he really is THE Wolverine, in my mind. Writing a fan fiction based on this franchise really brought the goods, as far as having fun. Sure, there’s stress in the knowledge that fanboys would come for me when I got anything wrong, but they complain about literally everything so their slings and arrows really wouldn’t have the impact I feared. Especially now that I look back, I am glad I didn’t let such killjoys stop me. This fan fiction helped me get past the struggle of publishing my first book.
To make things simple, I went with the smaller arena of the films. Writing from the comics would have required a lot of time and research, both of which I didn’t have the energy to expend at the time. Fan fiction, in my mind, should be fun, first and foremost. Going into so much detail can truly bog down a story. I’m a fan, and I’m writing a fiction about the material I love. That’s the second most important thing. Lastly, It takes a lifetime of really digging into a series like X-Men to be able to write it accurately. I was not planning on publishing it with Marvel, so all of that mattered less and less.
The series rests, published on my KWilliamsAuthor deviantArt account. You can go there and review the trash fire. It’s in dire need of a polish, but I have moved on and have no time to revisit the story. Besides, as I stated before, it was an experiment to see if I could get the fires burning again through utilizing something I loved to bring me back around from the battle of publishing. I have no interest in pursuing the series with Marvel–that would just have defeated the purpose. Getting in with Marvel is next to impossible without proper connections, and you’d have to really impress them. With all the voices that I compete with on a daily basis, I highly doubt my little experiment is going to win that million dollar lottery! So, I don’t stress about it.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love my character Gemini. She was a lot of fun to create. She also fulfilled my desire to see Wolverine happy with someone of his own at last–someone he couldn’t hurt or chase off, someone no one else could hurt to get at him. She’s a tough, resilient woman–brilliant and driven. Gemini, besides, is a character that can stand on her own and is more than just her relationship with the male lead. There’s a lot of potential to the story, too. I realize that. The experiment served its purpose and is now dormant. If my X-Men are needed again, I know they’re there and I can revisit to reignite my fire for writing when needed.
This experiment also feeds into my early cosplay. If I attended comicons, I’d have my own character to portray, complete with her own story. That’s going extra, but the community loves things like this. It stretches my cred as a writer and gives me a greater connection with the community. I may just have to break her out again, now that I’m on TikTok doing cosplay…
Fan fiction is a great way to stretch your skills when learning to write, but also a great way to remind yourself why you write–to bring that joy and love back to your art. Anyone putting it down really doesn’t understand the point. Readers become fans and a lot of readers become writers. Why shouldn’t they explore the place where these things crossover? When you don’t have to figure out how to build out a world, you can focus better on the mechanics of grammar and writing. A newer writer can also practice the structure of storytelling with less work to do in the worldbuilding, which can get them confused, bogged down, and super distracted. There’s so much to learn! Fan fiction can help you get the practice needed to become a fabulous storyteller.
Let’s face it, storytelling in its infancy was about telling and retelling the same stories to the clan. It was a job viewed with high respect and it apprenticeships are how one got to be the storyteller. You didn’t just jump in there, and you didn’t just start telling your own stuff from go. The skills were learned, trained, and honed. Then, of course, it was expected that you would be able to tell the old favorites, as well as adding your own stories with exemplary skill.
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