Wednesday, September 21, 2011

an open letter to fanfiction and why we are soulmates

Dear FanFiction,

I am in love with you and it's not that fake kind of middle school love that dissipates after 72 hours. Oh no. This is the real thing. This love has been going on since I was thirteen and it continues to grow each and every year. Can I say it again just to get it out there? I LOVE YOU.

I know people frown upon you. I know some people don't consider you to be legitimate and just a means for little girls to take out their inner twisted fantasies about fictional characters. But what do those haters know? They don't know anything!! Nothing, I say! Yes, there are parts of you that are rather....terrible. And poorly written and scary (you just learn to avoid these stories). But I can look past your flaws to see you for what you really are:

Amazing.

For years you have given me a creative outlet unlike any other. A means to continue living on in books that I hold so dear to my heart; movies I wish wouldn't end. You have saved me in boring classes when I would hide your printed pages in my binder, eagerly ingesting each word with gusto: Who would Peter Pevensie have married had he lived past 22? What if Fred Weasley had lived after all? Would a girl really hang out with Gordie LaChance and Chris Chambers? Would Spot Conlon ever leave his Newsie glory days?!!!!! What if a blind girl went to Camp Green Lake instead of Stanley Yelnats!? (That is a real story I wrote and I promise you it was better than it sounds...ummm)

You even helped me learn what it means to have a backbone. To stand strong in the face of haters who thought my writing was terrible. You taught me the validity of proper research in writing. Like how I really, really shouldn't have written a "Lord of the Rings" fanfiction if I'd only ever seen the movies. And how not to cry when the passionate Tolkien fan by the penname of Kyuubi no Kitsune9 would read my story and tear me to pieces with her words that pierced my 13 year old being:

"How small do you think Middle-Earth is? It took Boromir months to get to Rivendell, And you have Elrond out of character, he is one of the carriers of the Three, he is not a nasty father who compares his children to Orcs, on the subect of children, Arwen does not have a sister, she has two brothers, NO MODERN LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN IN ARDA!"

But it was through those kinds of reviews, or "flames" as we fanfictioners refer to them, that helped shape my writing for the better. You stuck with me, fanfiction, throughout my terrible stories, and continued on with me when I would write stories that people actually liked. You brought a strange little gem of a community into my life. You gave me an email penpal from Canada with whom I traded writing back and forth, critiquing one another's work and talking about life. A penpal with whom I would never meet but shared so many of the same interests...a person I could vent to that none of my friends knew. A person who wasn't a total creep but just a girl my age who loved writing as much as I did.

Fanfiction I will always love you. You have brought amazing stories into my life, real writers with real talent who sometimes just want to write about characters that aren't theirs, or introduce their own characters to already beloved ones. You were a friend to me in so many ways and I am so grateful I have met you. Thank you.

Love,
Nina.



3 comments:

  1. I'm probably just being incredibly egotistical, but am I the "penpal from Canada" you mentioned? My name's Chelsea, my fanfiction penname was Stormshadow21, and we wanted to write a Dogfight-themed Stand By Me story together! Even if it's not, I still have some things to say.

    Out of curiousity, I went back to fanfiction.net a few months back and I checked your profile just to see if you were still writing. And I noticed you had a youtube account, and a blog! So, like a creepy creeper, started reading your blog. I LOVE IT. I'm not a person of God, but the amount of love you have for life is simply inspiring to me. I love reading about the insecurities you sometimes have and I always squeal at the computer, "HOLY CRAP SHE GETS THAT WAY TOO I AM NOT ALONE?!"

    I ordinarily wouldn't have left a comment, but I felt I had to this time. If you WERE indeed talking about me, you wrote something that flashed like a neon light at me. "...a girl my age who loved writing as much as I did."

    This makes me sad. Because I don't write anymore. At all. I barely even update my LJ. What I'm left with is taking actors and actresses I have an interest in and creating constant stories and conversations in my head. They have last names. I can picture their houses. I can imagine the way their first kiss would be...

    But that's all it is! Thoughts!

    I applaud your dedication to the craft, to keeping a blog for this long, to keeping your skills in tip-top condition. You are a wonderful writer, and don't you ever stop. Don't make the mistake I did of stopping out a of lack of self-esteem and becoming too afraid to start again!

    Cheers to you and I wish you the best of luck in NY. Thanks again for being an inspiration to me. :)

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  2. OH MY GOSH YES!!!! You are the girl I was talking about!!!!!!! So many times I thought to find your email but my old yahoo account expired and I could never get access!!!! WHAT A SMALL WORLD!!!!!!!!

    I don't even know what to say!!!!! I can't believe you read my blog!! Did you delete your StormShadow21 account?? I would send this in an email but alas, I no longer have your email!!!!!!!! And I get comment notifications to my email, but I'm not sure I can reply to them unless it's through here.... Ahahah, I am totally geeking out right now, seriously. I always loved your writing so much!!! Even if you don't write anymore you should know YOU HAVE SERIOUS TALENT. I miss your stories SO, SO MUCH. Thank you for reading my blog and for your kind words!!!!!! Wow. I am just so happy right now ahaha.

    If you ever start writing again PLEASE let me know! Email me! Oh man. All the old stories are totally flowing back, that Dogfight Stand By Me story. I love it!!! Thank you so much for reading my blog. Seriously. And just know that your writing was ALWAYS an inspiration to me and your emails about life in general meant a lot to me! :)

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  3. Hey this is the coolest little online-reunion ever. :)) And can I just reiterate with you too I ADORE fan fiction...how clever and needed is it to read on about all our well loved fictional friends we've walked along side of, even if only in our heads as we eagerly peruse the written word.

    Ahhh...yes...makes me want to break out my old stories and breath fresh life into them or better yet, birth new ones into life... I wish there was more hours in the day. Simply not enough time to get everything I'd love to do, done. *sighh*

    Jeanine :))

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