Hello, Gentle Reader. This is Fan Fiction.
Recently, I’ve seen some rumblings across my dashboard about fan fiction again.
I don’t want to dive into a debate because all the information that I have to go on are second hand sources and there’s always going to be a bit of bias there, because one person can see it in one way and another person can perceive it in another way.
I’d rather explain to you, New and Gentle Reader, what fan fiction is, if this is the first time you’ve heard about it.
Fan fiction is what happens when you walk out of the theater, turn off the TV, the radio, close that book or whatnot for the first time and ask yourself “What happens next?" Or: "What if it happened THIS way instead?" Fan fiction is what happens when you are six or seven years old and you take your dolls, your action figures, your stuffed toys and various household items as props and send them all onto adventure. Maybe Barbie rescues G.I. Joe from Cobra or Optimus Prime fights the Evil Transforming Kitchen Thingy that Mom uses for making meatloaf but should really be the Evil Transforming Dark Lord of the Sith.
Fan fiction is what happens when you are ten and you’re discovering how to really write for the first time and you put words on the page, in your math and English notebooks, one sentence after another, style be damned, painstakingly bringing forth to life the images in your head of your cartoon and movie and book heroes.
Fan fiction happens when you are in your teens and you want to be the hero or the heroine of the story and you want to fight alongside Captain America and the Avengers and go on the Quest to Erebor or save Frodo from the effects of the Ring.
Fan fiction happens when you are in your twenties or your thirties or beyond that and you are still writing because you just enjoy and love telling stories. There’s a new maturity to your writing and that happens because you’re a bit older, though maybe not wiser, but you still love telling the stories anyway. People tell you that you should write for money and sometimes you think, hey I could try that and you dream. And sometimes you just smile and say, "I just like telling stories” and that is more than enough for you.
And sometimes people fall in love in your stories, regardless of sex or gender. Sometimes they fight. Sometimes they laugh. They cry. They hate. They die. Sometimes they kiss. Sometimes they make love. Sometime it’s just sex. You keep writing. You can’t help it. You get that idea and you just need to write it down. Word for word. One sentence after another. Just like when you were a kid and you’d wear your pencils to stubs and let your pens run out of ink as you shape the letters.
That’s fan fiction. Sometimes, the best stories in the world start because they were fan fiction. Ask Shakespeare. Ask Jules Verne. Ask Neil Gaiman.
Gentle Reader, if this is your first time in here, then I hope you might find the time to read my stories. I humbly ask, because a fan fiction writer’s currency is in the feedback of his or her readers and we’re happy to hear from them when it’s good and devastated when we get hate from those who don’t even have the courage to sign their names. If it’s not for you, then I understand. It’s all right. Move on, that’s okay. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Maybe there’s something else you’d like. It’s fine.
And this is what I hope for if you do decide to venture in.
I hope you smile. I hope you laugh. I hope that you ended up snorting coffee out your nose in the middle of Starbucks. (Here’s a napkin. Sorry that I’m not sorry?) I hope that I made you giggle in the middle of the subway or the bus stop and you get weird looks from folks passing by.
I hope you cry, because sometimes I write sad things and that makes me cry too. Here’s a tissue. It’s okay. Sometimes there are no happy endings.
I hope you are frightened, but only in a way that a good, scary story can make you feel frightened. Sometimes there are dark and terrible things out there and they’re part of the Story too. Hold my hand. It’s all right. I’ve got you.
I hope you blush and maybe smile a little later when love and romance and sweet things are told. Love is a gift and true love is meant to endure. And sometimes there’s hurt and pain and grief in there too, but you already know that. You’ve lived that. Sometimes we do have happy endings after all. There’s always hope.
Are you ready?
It doesn’t always start with “once upon a time” or “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” but every story starts somewhere.
Turn the page. Click the button.
Here we go.