Wednesday, June 6, 2012
The Insecure Writer and Fan Fiction
Today is June's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.
Why am I an insecure writer this month? Because my current WIP - my very first WIP as it turns out, the story that got me hooked on writing fiction in the first place - is fan fiction.
Hardly what real authors would consider real fiction.
It’s not that I have something against writing a publishable story – that’s my goal as soon as I’ve finished this WIP – but right now I’m content with using fan fiction to hone my writing skills.
But the stigma of fan fiction means I never know how seriously I’ll be taken by other writers, and as a result I’m often reluctant to mention the fan fiction part whenever I interact with them. For example, plenty of websites host contests with chapter critiques as the prize, but I never enter for fear of the reaction I might receive if I were to win and sent in a chapter based on JKK Rowling’s world. I can easily imagine the person offering the critique feeling as though their time was being wasted.
I shy away from local critique groups since I can only imagine the response I might get should I hand out copies of a story with the word Hogwarts sprinkled liberally throughout its pages. I’m not using any of Rowling’s characters or plotlines, but I’m not sure that makes any difference.
I finally worked up the courage to participate in Rachel Harrie’s beta reader/critique partner match (Highly recommended, btw. Thanks Rachel!) back in February and was fortunate to find a few writers who were willing to critique fan fiction. Thanks to them, my story has improved greatly in the last few months.
Even so, I still feel like an outcast at times, which makes me want to hurry up and get started on my own story. But I’m not moving on until I finish this one. This was the story that showed me how much I enjoy writing fiction and I plan on polishing this puppy until it shines. Besides, I still have so depressingly much to learn about writing that I need a story I’m obsessed with in order to keep learning.
Did any of you start out by writing fan fiction?