#WhateverWednesday Fanfiction and Malevolence

Sam unwittingly stole my thunder the other day when she spoke about her fanfiction for Malevolence, but I really want to talk about it! And so, I shall 🙂

In the past week I have read two pieces of fanfiction for Malevolence. When I received the emails for them, I couldn’t help but grin like an idiot. I wonder if other writers and such grin the same when they see their work being written about by fans.

The two pieces could not be any more different if they tried. Sam wrote a prequel, whereas Chaos wrote a sequel. Sam’s has more than one chapter, Chaos wrote a one shot. Sam wrote about characters who are not in Malevolence, while Chaos concentrated on characters who are. In Chaos’s piece, I was able to read about how my own characters were dealing with the aftermath of Malevolence. How they regard each other and how they cope with their situation. It was pretty much on the mark for how I have started the sequel book; Emergence, so perhaps I am doing something right after all.

In Sam’s piece, I got to read about what happened before Malevolence. How Mentis A3 was brought into existence, who was involved with its production and who these people were. I had no idea they existed. They must have, as Sam wrote about them. They are now all part of the Malevolence universe!

See, this is why I love fanfiction and why writing and reading fanfiction can be so much fun! While many look down on it, I find it is a way to expand the universes of our favorite books, programs and movies. I mostly write fanfiction when something does not end the way I want, when something ends too soon, and sometimes, when stories take a turn which I don’t like. In other words, I write my fanfiction for my own pleasure to give closure on stories that had otherwise let me down in some way.

My favorite show, Stargate Atlantis, ended prematurely when the producers pulled funding. It left a big hole in my weekly viewing as well as my fangirl heart. It was this show that got me writing in the first place and how I discovered fanfiction. I wished to continue the stories of the team, wanted to read more about them. So one day, I went in search of the books which accompanied the series and ended up reading fanfiction. While I was aware of fanfiction before then, I had no idea what it really was until the show ended. Before, I thought–like many–what is the point? None of us own the characters, nor the show, so why are people writing about it? Then I read some and was blown away by the wealth of imagination and great writers out there. I found a new universe filled with everything Stargate and I loved it! Don’t get me wrong, there are stories I steer away from, mainly fluff and slash and the likes. And there are bad stories as well as good. But give me a well written fan story about the team out on an adventure and in danger, any day–so long as it is complete. There is nothing worse than becoming hooked on a piece of fanfiction that is never finished. Unfortunately, when things end, many of the fanfiction writers leave the fandom to write for others. Me? I still read and write about Stargate Atlantis, sometimes, when I have the time.

I’ve written five stories for Stargate Atlantis, and it’s quite obvious which ones were written first. They don’t read as smoothly as the later stories, are overly descriptive and quite long-winded. But, they still to this day get read and receive good reviews, which is why I have never taken them down. While writing these stories, I was able to get instant feedback on my writing. This is because there are so many people out there who want to read the same things I do! I honed my skills as a writer on fanfiction sites, modified my writing style because of feedback I received from fellow fans. Fanfiction really is a great way to learn how to write!

The last piece of fanfiction I wrote was for part of the Naruto fandom. I wrote is as I prepared to write Malevolence and it far surpassed any fanfiction I had written before. It has been reported on Tumblr, Deviant Art and AO3 as one of the best fanfiction examples of the particular part of the fandom. It has also been translated into different languages after requests I received through Tumblr. Feedback like that told me I was ready to write Malevolence. If I can write their favorite characters in such a way that made people cry and laugh and spread the story to all reaches of that particular part of the fandom, then perhaps I was ready to write my own characters and tell their story.

I often wondered in the past, and asked several fanfiction writers, why they didn’t try writing their own books. Their writing was more than good enough to attempt writing their own work. More often than not, it was down to lack of confidence in creating characters and worlds of their own. In fanfiction, these are already established, so people find it easier to write about them, rather than attempt to create anything original for themselves. But so much work is put into fanfiction, trying to perfect the words and fit them into an already established universe, that I know many fanfic writers would be able to make their own worlds and write their own books. In fact, I said this much to Sam when we first met, and look at us both now!

Fanfiction is not for everyone, but it should never be looked down on. It should be celebrated for showcasing the talented writers out there whose imaginations continue  fandoms which otherwise would have disappeared through time. It should be recognized as a useful tool for those honing their writing skills. It should also be acknowledged for the joy it can bring to people.

As I get ready to write my third book, I look back on my fanfiction writing and smile. Fanfiction makes me happy. It helped me become a better writer. It brought me into contact with people who shared my love of Stargate, Naruto and other shows and books. It introduced me to my writing partner, Sam, and led to the formation of the Dead Pete Society. I will always love fanfiction for what it brings me and what it has done for me. So never look down on fanfiction writers, you never know whose life they changed with their work. 😉

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

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About oneofthedragons

Samantha K. Balk and F. R. Donaldson met on An Archive of Our Own, one of the many fanfiction sites online, when Sam asked Frankie to illustrate the fanfiction that would one day lead to Sam's first novel. They've been friends ever since! This blog was created as a way to share the oftentimes difficult journey any new author experiences on the uncomfortable quest of an introvert for attention to his or her most personal work. It is meant to remind you that authors don't just appear fully fledged like a George R. R. Martin, that all of us start out unsure and feeling inadequate. Feel free to ask us anything. Sam: sammykaye9@gmail.com Frankie: reluctant.fraggle@gmail.com

Posted on June 1, 2016, in #WhateverWednesday, Frankeh Updates, Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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