Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fan Fiction, She Wrote

The other day Servetus brought up "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" over on Skully's blog and so I was thinking about James Thurber.  One of the many pieces of trivia rattling around in my head is that when Thurber had insomnia he'd rewrite "The Raven" from the point of view of the bird (thank you, junior year American Lit) which made me think about fan fiction in general.

I remember reading somewhere that 19th Century Janites would gather and exchange their own versions of her works (I'm too lazy to search it right now so go with it) as would the Baker Street Irregulars.  In I'm With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie Pamela DesBarres talks about the drawerfic that she and other BeatleSweeties wrote in the early 60s.  The online Beatles fanfic community has really constricted in the last few years but you can still find some fantastic stuff over at the Rooftop Sessions archive; my personal favorite is "Fiendish Machinations" by Margaret C. Racine, a goofball romp through a hotel.  Don't even get me started gushing about The Gossamer Project.

The question has been asked in The Samurai Klingon Fandom about what it is about Worf's half-brother that unleashes creativity.  I've said before that I think he's only part of the equation, the larger part being the community itself.  Entering a community of like-minded supportive women can be a beautiful thing.  It took me a while to figure out what about the community was strange to me but I finally put a finger on it:  the lack of masculine voices.  The only guy is the one everyone is focused on and I've never participated in a fandom where that was the case.  It's definitely interesting. 

So...what was your first fan fiction or fan creativity experience?  Was it exhilirating as wish fulfillment?  Did you immediately start something of your own or were you kind of intimidated by it?  Comments are open.


  1. I wrote a ST:TOS fanfic as a twelve year old, but as I didn't know any other ST fans at the time, I didn't know it was something other people did. I thought I was a little strange and so did my mom when she discovered it.

  2. That's around the age I wrote something based on someone else's characters. It didn't take place in the orginal universe so I don't think it could be called a fanfic but I think that's how a lot of us learn to write. My brother found mine and teased my mercilessly about it.

  3. My mom made fun of it, too. I wonder if it's survived -- in a box somewhere or something. S'pose I'll find out when they die.

  4. Oh Gossamer...How I loved thee. There was some damn good fanfic that came out of that community.

    My first fanfic writing experience was X-Men/New Mutants back when I was 17 in the late 1980's. I had been reading Chris Clamreont X-men since I was 14, and at one point, he seemed to go through almost a break down. The stories became unremittingly dark, depressing, so much so I stopped reading and started re-writing the direction the books had taken. Particularity with the New Mutant who had been handed off to another writer who promptly killed off or removed characters with a ton of potential and emotionally' reduced the teenage characters from about 15-18 year old who had seen and experienced a great deal (including a massacre) to silly 13 year olds who went shopping and giggled about boys, and made really stupid mistakes, yet somehow never become uplifting. I also disagreed with the direction they had taken my favorite character, Magneto (I said there was one fictional bad boy crush in my background), though later I could see that Claremont had shaped the circumstances of his "fall" very well so that it made sense the character would take a step away from "the light," yet he never fully reverted to the villain he was before.

    Anyway, I never shared any of it, but it was the first step in my creative writing. I still have bits of it around.

  5. Gossamer still updates every once in a while. I love that Chris Carter named a character after a fan fic writer (Leyla Harrison).

  6. My first fandom exposure was Star Trek:TOS and TNG. However I didn't write my first fanfic until 1996 when the Doctor Who TV movie came out. That was the first time I found a group of like minded people. I joined a mailing list which turned out to have some really fantastic writers.

  7. The interwebs have definitely done their job in letting us fly our freak flags, haven't they? ;)


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