Okay total wackjob sounding question but do you think there's any point in writing fanfiction for a dead/non-existent fandom?
I’m gonna skip the intros and just say this: ABSOLUTELY.
Seriously, I’ve spent a majority of my fanfic life writing for “dead fandoms”, and can I tell you, there are so many benefits. To name a few:
You can take more liberty with the characters. Anyone in a popular fandom can tell you that the more people that are out there, writing and reading fanfiction, the more pressure there is to write characters a certain way. Everyone else’s headcanons practically become law, to the point that when you try to do something original, it feels weird or out of character. When you’re in a fandom full of cricket noises, though, the characters are your playground.
There’s someone out there who will adore you. Even if they don’t review, there are living people in dead fandoms, and they will appreciate anything you post, even if it feels like shouting into the void. You have no idea how many obscure or dead fandoms I’m still in, simply because someone out there published a few fics I loved. You can ask any fanfic reader and they’ll probably tell you the same thing.
Fewer of the usual tropes have been written. You know the stuff: characters have to fake a relationship, characters are kidnapped, characters are stranded on an island, characters are thrust into a zombie apocalypse, characters are genderswapped, and the like. A dead fandom means that there’s less work out there, which means you can write the “fandom staples” and AUs that the fandom lacks. It’s actually quite beautiful, to be the last hope for Fandom Trash.
The dead fandom may come back to life. Star Wars fanfiction, for the characters I liked, was basically dead as I was growing up. Everyone was writing about Anakin Skywalker and the new trilogy and I was bored as hell. Then the new movie was announced, including the original trilogy characters, and everything kicked back to life again! All my old stories were suddenly getting attention and feedback. The same thing happens when an old TV show gets a movie or an old movie gets a reboot, etc. etc. etc.
It teaches you to write for yourself. It’s a common misconception, especially in fanfiction culture, that writing is a product – a gift you give to other people. This is emphasized by reviewers soliciting more chapters and messaging writers privately to pressure them (which many of us know is a pain in the ass). But when you’re writing, with no intention of professionally publishing and little expectation of online feedback, you feel free to do what you want. You start to write scenes and plots that make you happy, because writing becomes more about the process. And that’s invaluable.
So in conclusion: hell yeah, own that dead fandom. Who knows? You might even pull a Frankenstein and bring it back to life, yourself.
How do I stay motivated to write on a schedule? I want to write more, and I thought planning writing out might help.
Hey, nonny, thanks for your question! I’m pretty sure every writer has faced this problem at some point, and motivation can be hard to come by. I’m currently in a writing slump, and really I’m just making myself write every day. You’ve kind of asked two questions here - how to stay motivated/write on a schedule, and the benefits of planning, so I’ll address both.
How to Write Consistently
Unfortunately, there is no magic solution that will solve all your problems and make you want to write all the time. Sometimes, you lose motivation or inspiration, and you don’t know how to get past it. Here are a few tips to keep you writing on a consistent schedule:
Set yourself a goal to reach every day. Whether it’s 100 words or a 1000, give yourself something to work towards when you write daily. For me, the site 750 Words has helped me write a consistent amount every day.
Try writing sprints. If you’re really pressed for motivation, just set a timer and start writing as much as you can. Sprints can get your creative juices flowing.
Learn to write even when you don’t have motivation/inspiration. You may not always feel like writing, but if you realize that sometimes you have to write when you don’t want to, it can make things a lot easier and help you push past a bout of writer’s block. Be careful you don’t overwork yourself, though.
Set yourself a literal schedule. Set aside some time every day where you just write, and you won’t be distracted. If you do it daily, you’ll set a routine that you can follow, and make writing a habit.
Choose a place where you write. If you can, write in the same place every day - make it feel official. Write wherever you’re not going to be distracted, and where you’re most comfortable and motivated.
Tell someone about your plans to write every day (or however often). If you tell someone, or post it somewhere, that you’re going to write consistently, odds are you’ll feel a lot more motivated to actually follow through on your promise.
Keep track of when you write/reach a word count goal. Mark it down on your calendar every day you sit down and write.
If you’re really not feeling your story/fic/novella or whatever you’re writing at the time, write something just to keep yourself in the habit. Make a diary entry, or a one-shot, or a blog post. Just make sure you keep the habit. Who knows - maybe after writing something unrelated, you’ll get more inspiration for your main work!
Personally, I am more of a panster - I tend to let my story take me where it wants as I write, and I don’t plan a lot of it. However, I do plan the rough plot points and arcs - but I usually end up changing something while I write. So, take my opinion on planning and pansting with a grain of salt.
For some people, planning their story to a ‘T’ helps them stay motivated - they know what scenes they want to include, they know how all of the scenes and plot points fit together, they know how their character arcs tie into the subplots, etc etc.
However, for some people, knowing too much about their story before they write it can hinder them and make them lose motivation. They might feel restricted by their original plan.
When some people write a story, they like to know nothing about it as they go into it. There are varying degrees of this - some people have a general plot, some just have an inciting incident and start from there. They might feel that this gives them more freedom with their story and boost their creativity.
On the flip side, not knowing anything about their story can make some people feel lost. They might not know how to connect scenes and plot points without a plan, or how the story should continue.
So, how do you know which one suits you, you ask? That’s up to you. You just have to see which one works for you through experience. (Generally, even if you’re pansting, you’ll probably have some idea of where your story is going, even if it changes.) Don’t be afraid to stray from your plan, or rewrite something you don’t like. It’s up to you!
Hopefully this helped you out! Here are all of our posts about outlines, if you want to start planning more. If you have another question, feel free to ask, and good luck writing!