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A Year in Fan Fiction

1st February 2010 was a very exciting day for me as I posted my first ever FanFiction Story – the first chapter of “After Dallas” – 215 people read it and I was so thrilled.  Since then I’ve published:

  • 20 stories
  • 117 chapters
  • 347,767 words (which is an average of 952 words per day!)
  • I’ve had 1715 reviews – almost all positive, which is lovely.

Highlights of the year for me were:

  • Coming second in one competition (‘DeadPan’ Drama category for my Sherlock Holmes parody “The Case of the Stackhouse Demon” which you can read on this blog)
  • Getting an ‘Under the Radar’ recommendation from Suki59 for “Do the Right Thing”

My most popular story, for number of reviews, is “The Maid of the Moor”, and for number of hits and favourites is “Sookie’s Choice”

My least popular story is “Do the Right Thing” which has only ever been read by 163 people!

Things I love about Fan Fiction

  • Just discovering it.  I had always wanted to try creative writing, and even bought one of the correspondence courses they advertise in the Saturday paper, but I’d struggled to come up with good plot ideas or characters.  The wonderful thing about FF is that someone else has done the really hard work for you, but has left plenty of scope for development.
  • The SVM community:  there are some lovely, hardworking members of the community, especially the girls who host and judge the competitions and challenges, communities and forums, and manage the various websites:  I can’t list them all but a special mention for Sapfirerose and her wonderful site  MySVMaddiction (not just because we share a birthday). It  is a great source of updates on all things SVM and True Blood. But there are so many people who contribute such a lot and offer support and encouragement to other writers.
  • Fanfiction.net.  Whatever the downsides (see below) it is generally an easy site to use, the review and messaging features are great, and stats are really useful.  It’s still the most used site despite the problems, and I don’t think it would be possible to organise such great competitions as ‘Deadpan’ ‘Age of Eric’ and ‘I Write the Songs’ without it.
  • My betas:  GajinVamp, VampLover1, VicVega, MoxieMo, and Gallathea who have all been wonderful with their support, advice and encouragement.  I’ve started being a beta myself now, and really enjoy it.
  • The authors and screenwriters who wrote the stories for us to play with!

Things that I don’t love

  • Fanfiction.net.  When its good it’s very good, but when it’s bad it’s horrid!  The crashes, the loss of data (although at least it is backed up now).  Most of all the pathetic, juvenile group of stalker trolls whose mission in life is to ruin other people’s harmless fun.  They’ve driven some great authors off the site for no good reason.  They only pop up from time to time but when they do they cause lots of angst.  What’s most annoying is when the site managers don’t take any action against them.
  • People who add a story to favourites or alerts but don’t review.  I know its bad form to worry about reviews, but it is the only feedback we get so it’s annoying to know that someone likes the story enough to mark it, but not enough to say why.
  • The SVM community:  just very occasionally when it all gets a bit incestuous and angsty – not very often luckily but it can leave a sour taste when it does.

Things I don’t understand

  • Plagiarism.  I know in one sense all Fanfiction is plagiarism as we are starting with someone else’s characters and settings, but at least that is acknowledged.  I really don’t understand people who plagiarise other FF writers – especially when they then try to deny it and pretend its a co-incidence.  Most bizarre, there is a poster on the Twilight pages who has just cut and pasted other people’s stories word for word – that is just weird!

Strengths and Weaknesses

This is what I think, but I’d love some feedback.  Generally I get good feedback on my writing style.  I think it’s improved over the year.  I hope that my punctuation has improved – it was my biggest weakness but I’ve had a lot of help from my betas with this, plus I bought a grammar book!

My stories tend to be quite plot driven which means they do move forward, but perhaps sometimes at the expense of character development.  Although the people who like my stories seem to really like them, I do lack the ‘wow’ factor that turns a story from good to great, and that’s what I’m really looking for.  I am very proud of some of my plots though, which I think have been clever and interesting.  “Vampire Rising” on this blog is a good example – it was an entry for the MyVampFiction original fiction story which got great feedback from the judges but a really poor response from readers.

I do try to finish my stories and update regularly.  There is one unfinished story, where I just ran out of inspiration, and I know I’ve slowed down a bit recently.

My resolution for the next year is to favour quality over quantity, to try and focus on character development, and to finally write  a story with that elusive ‘wow’ factor.

 

 

New stories

I’ve posted two of my SVM one-shots on this blog, along with my historical fiction “The Maid of the Moor”.  You can also read my original fiction “Vampire Rising”, and my new fanfiction story for ‘Upstairs Downstairs’.

A WordPress newbie

I’m just starting to post some of my Fan Fiction stories onto WordPress.

The layout is straightforward.  There is a heading for story type.  I’ve posted three historical fiction pieces which use characters from Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries, and Original Fiction which currently has one story.  Each story has its own heading with chapters if appropriate.

The layout isn’t sophisticated – I’m too much of a technophobe for that, but I hope it is clear.  Please post feedback – it will be much appreciated..