I know a lot of writers frown upon fan fiction, but I’ve done it and loved it.
I published my first in 2009, and it sucked. The next few ones sucked even more, with no plots and the punctuation of two year old. Yet, with every review I got, the need to improve filled me, and it pushed me to put more effort into my writing.
About a two years later, I wasn’t a huge success but I had a bunch of people following my stories. I got hooked watching the stats of my chapters move up; views from tens rising to hundreds or thousands with one or two of my most popular stories. I enjoyed opening up my email after posting a new chapter, and having notifications with reviews and comments that I didn’t need to beg for. I don’t write for the stats, but knowing that what I wrote was being read was almost orgasmic (sorry, didn’t mean to sound like a perve).
Fan fiction is easy. The people read your work not because it’s amazing, but because it’s about characters they love. Plus, give anyone two interesting characters, and the scenes basically write themselves. It came to me effortless, especially that I was writing uncomplicated stories that I didn’t need to research. I knew I needed to write something that was 100% mine.
So I moved on to original fiction. When I posted a chapter, and it maybe got one or two comments, and only because I begged for them. I wasn’t getting my fix of views or comments anymore. I wasn’t being read; and it went right through my self-confidence, like a hammer through a vase.
I didn’t write fan fiction for a while afterwards, and somehow it managed to wean me off the gratification of the stats. I put my fingers to the keyboard, and I decided not to care because ‘I was working up to having stories that deserved to be read’.
Anyway, today I opened up my email to a message from girl with fan art she had drawn based on my fan fiction. She dedicated it to me, and it made me miss my stats and my readers. I wonder if in the future someone will draw fan art based on my original stories…
Any experiences moving from fan fiction to original one?