Fanfiction: What Is Its Place For Writers?

Fanfiction: What Is Its Place For Writers?

Does it have to be one or the other?

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 (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.
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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

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3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

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30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

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Warcraft 3: Reforged - A legend returns

One of the top 100 games of the century makes a comeback in an epic way.


17 years ago, the legion invaded the realm of Azeroth, forcing the different races of Humans, Orcs, Night elves, and Undead to make the most unlikely of alliances. There were those who fought for the light while the others wished to banish it. Night and day, the furnaces of Lordaeron burnt bright as the loyal dwarves of Khaz Modan hammer away the swords and shields that would aid the fight ahead.

17 years ago, the young orc warchief Thrall foresaw the fate of his people as meteors of green flames crash upon his lands. He saw the upcoming demise of his clanand ordered a mass evacuation towards a new continent where they shall be safe for generations to come. 17 years ago, the night elves felt a corruption within the Tree of Life, causing them to split into opposing factions: one fought in the name of the Goddess, while the other fought in the name of personal hatred. 17 years ago, a legion of undead came upon the shores of Lordaeron, plaguing the land and defiling the life force of the realm. That was the story of Warcraft, one that spanned continents and races only to join them together for a crucial battle of their history.

Warcraft 3: Reforged - Cinematic Trailer Youtube

Warcraft was a monument to an entire gaming generation, ranked 2nd best game of all time by German games magazine "GameStar." Its fate, however, was ultimately sealed as computing technology became better and overshadowed the old giant. Plus, with the rise of gaming consoles and handheld gaming devices, PC gaming lost its appeal slowly, and games like Starcraft or Warcraft eventually faded into oblivion.

But over on the horizon, Blizzard Entertainment came to the rescue. Following the success of their previous release of Starcraft: Remastered, they decided to come forth with their next great project: remastering Warcraft 3.

Using a new and revamped engine built over the foundations of the old one, they have rebuilt the world we once loved. Adding to that are new, high definition voices and sound effects that they recorded just for this old game. For the blurry characters of old, the team decided to upscale and remodel all present units to give them the 2019 high-def treatment they deserved. For the old user interface (UI), the development team settled on one that resembled the "Starcraft: Remastered" interface, offering more room for players to look at the gorgeous 4K character models. Also, to fit the new continuity from World of Warcraft, Blizzard opted to alter the story by a small margin, showing promising changes to the revived game.

Warcraft 3 – Original vs. Reforged Trailer Graphics Comparison Youtube

However, not everyone was hyped when the game was announced. Many gamers expressed disappointment at Blizzard's move of remastering old games instead of developing new ones. Many, feeling uncomfortable at the company's decision, took to the internet and into forums. Some fans expressed concerns over Blizzard's decision to retcon a game they hold dear Some are unhappy with the graphics not being consistent with characters: unit models look too detailed while buildings look cartoonish.

Despite all this, the general population loved the announcement at Blizzcon. As the game slowly reaches its release date of December 31, 2019, the hype can only go up from here. For those of us who can't hold their excitement, here's a video of the crowd's insane reaction to the announcement:

Warcraft 3 Crowd Reaction Youtube

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