It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
The IWSG question this month: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?
My answer: Hard to tell. I love most aspects of being a writer. I love the freedom to daydream, the ability to turn my dreams into stories, the readers’ reaction to my stories. I love writing the first draft and the revising stage. I love my heroes. It would be easier to say what my least favorite aspect is: marketing and sales. I’m struggling to sell my short stories to magazines, and nobody buys my novels, but my free novella on wattpad, Fibs in the Family, has a life of its own. It’s already climbed over 11,000 readers, and the numbers are rising steadily. And I don’t do anything about it. Perhaps, releasing free fiction on Amazon is the way to go for me?
My post for this IWSG Wednesday is connected in some way to my answer above. Lately, I have been writing a short story belonging to another writer’s universe. It is my first attempt at fanfiction. I love the novels set in that universe; they inspire me. So I’m trying my hand at this quirky subgenre, and like any novice, I’m struggling with various issues.
One of those issues is: what do I do with the story when it is done? Granted, there are some websites dedicated to fanfiction and I could post the story there. Do I want to?
In my story, I don’t use any of the leading or even secondary characters the original writer wrote. I have my own characters exploring the universe I’m interested in, playing in one of its corners the original writer never highlighted and never populated. Perhaps I could alter a few telltale details and make it my own original story? Neither the plot nor the characters will be impacted much by such a change; it will be purely cosmetic. Of course, some similarity to the original milieu will remain, but if I’m careful, the setting would become almost unrecognizable. Do I want to go that route?
What do you do when you face such a quandary? Do you write fanfiction at all? Is fanfiction a sort of plagiarism, a lazy writing, or a tribute to an admired author? Should I abandon the story? Keep going and post it on wattpad? Turn it around into something truly original? What is your take on fanfiction?