Fanfiction: What Is Its Place For Writers?

Fanfiction: What Is Its Place For Writers?

Does it have to be one or the other?
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What is fanfiction, exactly?

Put simply, fanfiction is a when a writer creates a story that takes place in an already-established publication using the characters, setting and concepts from the original author. In the last several years, fanfiction has boomed into a massive movement, sparking publications of its own and exploding the internet with the ever-popular Fanfiction.net (which should be navigated only with discretion).

Now the big question: is fanfiction a valid method of storytelling or not?

As a writer, I have had a divided opinion of fanfiction, despite the fact that I owe it a major portion of my growth. I had a recent discussion with a fellow writer about whether or not we could consider fanfiction “real” writing, as in, if we should or shouldn’t consider fanfictions to be our own work.

It’s a fine line. On one hand, fanfiction is empowering. When I started writing in 2010, I had little experience crafting a story, let alone an entire world with rules and magic systems, etc. After finishing my first novella, I wanted to do something bigger before my first National Novel Writing Month challenge in November. So I decided to try a little fanfiction. I chose my favorite anime at the time, Bleach by Kubo Tite, and went off on a plot idea I had.

In writing a sixty thousand-plus word fanfiction, I discovered much about writing. For one, chapter-by-chapter feedback is amazing. For two, it’s a good idea to write ahead of schedule and then edit before posting. (I did not realize this until a couple years after the fact, and am still ashamed of my practices). Finally, I learned that such a massive amount of writing was not only possible, but fun, and the very next month I wrote fifty-nine thousand words of my first original NaNo novel.

In essence, fanfiction was my gateway. It taught me how to write in quantity while keeping a decent story pacing, and also taught me the elements of accountability—since I posted my fic regularly and needed to keep a schedule. Without my project, I may never have had the proper confidence to attempt an entire NaNoWriMo.

Of course, there is a flip side. Not long after I started writing my own novels, I could no longer see the use in fanfiction. Using other authors’ story ideas, characters and settings seemed more like cheating than creativity. The dedication and effort to create an original piece far outweighed that of fanfiction. I also found a much deeper joy in finishing my own work. It was mine. Only I had a claim to it. When I compared my massive fanfiction to my equally massive novels, I had an infinitely deeper connection to the latter.

I began to wonder. Why do fanfiction at all?

After much internal debate (and several years), I have finally come to a somewhat surprising conclusion. It is this: any form of writing can be beneficial, and therefore well-done fanfiction deserves respect.

Here’s why—fanfiction does take conscious effort. Embodying another person’s characters in full, with all their traits and quirks, is not easy. Keeping true to the original ideas whilst creating one’s own storyline involves speculation and in-depth knowledge of the content. Fanfiction also gives writers the opportunity to showcase their skills while accessing an active fanbase, thus giving them a taste of what it feels like to interact with real readers and write accordingly. It also gives authors space to improve their writing techniques and play with style and structure. Finally, it offers writers a place to funnel their excessive love for anothers’ fiction in a positive and constructive manner.

This shift in my thinking is fairly recent. Let’s blame my fandoms. Last week I wrote the first fanfiction I’ve attempted in six years, and while I’m a bit rusty, it was liberating. I finally had a way to express my adoration for a fictional universe without squealing at someone in a high-pitched string of unintelligible words.

In addition, as I wrote, I realized my biases were not as concrete as I’d assumed. I was not just ‘stealing’ someone else’s ideas in order to gain recognition and or attract readers. This was a genuine effort to produce a meaningful work mutual fans would connect with. Like fan art, it offered a way to demonstrate my appreciation for a story in a way that I personally love and can do at least decently. If I enjoy writing it, and other people enjoy reading it, then we have accomplished something. If that isn’t a spectacular outcome, I don’t know what is.

Therefore, I would encourage interested writers to try their hand at fanfiction—if that’s what they want. If someone tries to tell you that fanfiction is lazy or plagiaristic writing, don’t let them stop you. Fanfiction is a great tool for sharpening your skills and getting you motivated/in practice to write your own works. If it makes you happy and you’re being productive, there’s no reason you shouldn’t write it. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t sweat it—that’s what original stories are for. If you wind do up loving it, however, then take advantage of your passion. Someone out there in the fandom will thank you.

Plus, maybe you’ll save someone from your high-pitched squealing. Verbal communication really breaks down when you can’t actually talk. So write, and show that love in a cohesive and captivating way.
Cover Image Credit: Stocksnap.io

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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6 Things I Never Miss To Have In My Handbag

My handbag is a 'mini me' and I feel totally clueless without it

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I take my handbag everywhere and carried everything at times even junk, worn out receipts, tickets, coupons for a long time. Thought it would be the right time to come to terms with it. I have started organizing or should I say customize my shoulder companion with things that are needed every day for me so that I could share it with you peeps. I really like my handbag that I became a sucker for naming it and you can see it why.

My Nutcracker Case

It might seem different but that is how I like to call my cute little box with nuts. I fill them up with almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnut and dried fruits and sorts if I go out. My nutcracker case helps me with my hunger pangs and snacking habit. I can munch them on when I have to skip my eating during my studies or if I have some work or travel. It is just a simple healthy alternative I do instead of grabbing fries or burgers. I've been taking healthy choices lately and this idea is helping me a lot. Try it!

My Perfume

I literally cannot survive without my perfume. It keeps me going and it really helps me on the go. My perfume is like a part of me so I am very choosy about it. So that said, I always keep my perfume in my handbag. How do I choose my perfume? My nose has a sharp sensitivity over the fragrances. So it says, what is the best perfume for women.

My Tech Space

I use to put up a fight every time with my handbag in the name of searching for my charger and headphones. So I gave it a thought. My favorite clear pouch came to the rescue and I gave it a name, my Tech Space. I carry my two headphones, my power bank, pen drives, travel phone charger, memory cards, and USB connector within the Tech space!

Money Banks

Well you would have figured it out by now. Yes, it's my wallet . Something I would never miss to have. I do have a separate small coin pouch. I am not a big wallet person so I always prefer a small comfortable wallet with many racks where I put my cards and ready-cash. I don't just put my wallet in my bag; I specifically have them in a zipped compartment. Once I had a bad experience when I left my wallet in the room due to 'bag cleaning'. So from then on, I started to put my wallet in a separate zipped compartment, so that it remains safe even when I occasionally take out the bag.

My Journal

I am still an old school. I will better remember the details when I manually write it down. My journal is also my 'To-Do list' so I pretty much use it for everything. I carry a fountain pen with me which I use, so pretty much I am a very old school indeed.

Vanity

I stash all my skin essentials in this pouch. I will have a small bottle of my daily-facewash, a pack of facial tissues, my moisturizer, a concealer, small mirror and a light lip shade, overall a quick makeup fix. I have a side compartment in my vanity pouch where I keep my sanitary needs. I need my lip balm very often, so I usually put it the bag so every time I don't have to open the pouch.

When you ask me, my bag is more like a non-talking companion who literally has a small version of my room in it. What about yours?

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