Thoughts: When is a fan fiction writer’s ‘career’ over?

by | May 11, 2015 | Opinion, Thoughts | 1 comment


People think being a fan fiction writer is easy. You think up a scenario with your “favorite” person and write about it. Or they think it’s all dirty Skinamax-type stories with no real substance. Or, you know, the author puts themselves in the story to live out a fantasy.

It’s not all like that.

As someone who has written fan fiction of various fandoms for the past 16 years, it’s not as easy as people make it out to be.

Sometimes the words flow out like the air in a balloon. Sometimes you can have a writing kick where you write half a novel (story) in a day’s time. Sometimes you can write a chapter every day for a week. Sometimes that can lead into a month or a writing kick of nine months. (Note: All of this writing time is in free time and not when you’re at work at your full time job or at school if you are in school).

And people think it’s easy to just knock out a fictional story.

And it’s not.

You have to plot the storyline. You have to build your characters, especially if the “real life person” in the story (aka, a Backstreet Boy) is an alternate version of said person. You have to build other characters and give them a backstory and a life. There’s so much more you have to think about.

Then you have to find the time to write it. And that’s not easy, especially if you live a full life and a lot of fan fiction writers do.

They work a 40-plus a week job or side jobs on top of that. They go to school and have all of the projects a college student does outside of class. They have a husband/wife and kids that need undivided attention.

And finding time to write is hard when it’s like that. Especially when you get a chance to sit down and write, you have writer’s block.

Writer’s block sucks. You want the words to come out and you just can’t. They don’t come out. Or as Nick Carter sings in “I Need You Tonight,” “sometimes the words come out so wrong, oh yes they do.”

And what’s worse than writer’s block? Having writer’s block and still coming up with story ideas. You jot them down in a notepad, a notebook or in your notes app on your iPhone or iPad. And you hope to get to write on that soon.

The list gets longer and you don’t get to write. And your website becomes bare because not only are you having real life situations taking your attention away from writing, your friends and co-writers are having the same situation.

And the simple fact is, you’re happier working on another project, but you’re sad because you’re not writing stories and making stories with your favorite people come to life… at least on the computer screen.

Some people understand it, but some people don’t and you don’t want to upset readers who enjoy your work and want the next chapter like most people want the next episode of “Scandal” or “The Walking Dead.”

Everybody has to move on at some point. Fan fiction writers come and go in waves. But when is the right time to actually “go”? Do you just stop writing a story and drift away into another direction?

For me, fan fiction has been a part of my life for almost half of my life. I met my best friends because of fan fiction. Fan fiction lead me to find what I love doing as a career. And it brings you closer to other fans and sometimes and in weird ways, closer to the boys. When Nick says the name of your site, it’s flattering. It’s what most people know you for and if you don’t do it, you wonder if people will stop caring?

As you know with a lot of recent hit books, they started out as fan fiction and somewhere, someday, maybe that can happen with us, too. Maybe one day you’ll see one of our books on the shelf.

Then again, I may never write another word of fiction.

Every writer comes to a crossroads. I’m kind of in the middle of mine and I’m stuck. There’s four different roads and I don’t know which one to take.

Maybe one day soon, I’ll find the right path.

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