You Should Write Fanfiction

Fanfiction gets a bad rep. Sure, some of the accusations levelled at it – overly smutty, badly written – can be true, but that shouldn’t put you off. Used well, fanfiction can be both a fun hobby and useful tool for a writer of any experience or ability.

Here are ten reasons why you and fanfiction are a perfect match.

  1. You’ll be good at it. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already a writer. Perfect – you already know what to do. If not, don’t worry. Plenty of people start out like this. You’ll get good at it.
  2. You love stories. If you’re a writer, you’re a reader and if you’re a reader you’re going to be a fan of something. There’s a story you love and you need more of it. Fanfiction is how you get that.
  3. It helps develop your skills. Every time you write, you’re improving. Writing fanfiction is a low-pressure way to do that. You’re free to experiment with no negative consequences if it doesn’t work out, but plenty of benefits if it does.
  4. Less planning required. The world and characters are already there for you. You can change as much or little as you like. No need to sit around for hours world building – you can jump right in.
  5. Easy feedback. Most sites will have some form of a ‘like’ button and comment sections for your work. Leave a note at the end asking for constructive criticism and someone will respond. Often, people will leave comments simply because they enjoyed it. Easily find out what people did and didn’t like, without having to recruit any beta-readers.
  6. Instant gratification. Post something and it could have hundreds of reads within hours. Working on a manuscript for months without anyone seeing it can be disheartening. Fanfiction is a quick boost to your morale. You write something short, you post it, people like it, you feel good and you go and work on your book feeling invigorated.
  7. Someone, somewhere, wants to read it. There’s no need to worry if anyone will like it or not. Trust me. It might not be many people, it might take a while but whatever you write, it will be someone’s favourite. Example: I found a fic about one of my favourite games from the perspective of a background fish and it made my day.
  8. Grow your popularity. Write enough fics and you’ll get people following you just for them. Tell people who you are in the notes at the end. If you have a blog or a social media account, provide a link. Get your name out there. Just don’t use it to try sell anything. That’s illegal.
  9. Copywriting practice. If you post a fic, many sites will require a blurb. What a fantastic opportunity! Here you have a playground to experiment with different styles of description and you’ll have the stats to see what difference they make. Writing a description for a self-published book is unexpectedly hard, but fanfiction lets you get some practice in so when it really matters, you’ve got an advantage.
  10. New stories. The scope for fanfiction is infinite. A much larger infinity than there is in traditional writing because not only do you have every character and location your mind can conjure you also have every character and location every other writer ever has created. Add in the potential for self-aware fics, parodies, alternate universes and the thousands of tropes waiting to be turned upside down then you’ve got one of the largest fictional infinities you can imagine.

I won’t post my own fanfiction here for the same reason I wouldn’t post a first draft – most of it is simply not good enough. And that’s okay. I write it for fun and if anyone enjoys the results, that’s great. If not, I still enjoyed myself. There’s always another fic.

Do you write fanfiction already? Do you think you might try? Tell me about it, or leave a link in the comments. I’ll be happy to take a look and give feedback if you like, especially if it’s your first time.

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4 thoughts on “You Should Write Fanfiction

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  1. When I was a teenager, I used to love writing fanfiction! It definitely gets a bad rep though and I don’t understand why! I haven’t done it in a while, mostly because I’m so in to my own stories, (and I haven’t really had the inapiration too) but I once wrote a heroes/jurassic park crossover and although, the writing isn’t great(at all), its one of my most favouritest stories I’ve ever written!
    I agree with you! More people need to try it out at least once in their lives!
    I also think its a great way to learn how to portray querks and postures that you see on tv/film and its made my writing so much better!!

    Like

    1. Yeah I think that’s exactly the point it doesn’t have to be perfect but it’s still great!
      I think it’s helped with my dialogue especially, for example when writing a portal fic I was able to have all of GLADOS and Wheatley’s lines from the wiki so I could really get a sense of how they spoke and make sure my lines fit.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for writing this. I have been debating whether to post my fanfiction and if it would be worth my time and effort. Your blog has helped me come to a conclusion and I am going to start editing and organizing my mountains of scenes and tiny manuscripts. Your point of having instant feedback hit home for me. I started my blog a month ago and I am enjoying the reactions I am receiving, but the blog is about my personal life when my passion was and will always be writing fiction. So thank you for your help in resolving my issue!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome! I’m really glad I could be of some help ^_^ if you haven’t already picked a site to post on then I’d really recommend AO3 which I find very easy to use and has a lovely community, but there are plenty of options out there. Best of luck with your writing and all!

      Liked by 1 person

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