"Hot Seat"?

Lifewriting/Firedance Forums Lifewriting "Hot Seat"?

For too long, I have kept myself from writing stories that were directly inspired by stories I love: Issues around rights, not wanting to disrespect canon, hoping to be truly original, dismissing “fanfic” as somehow “less than” (*big* cognitive dissonance given my enjoyment of many of the original series Star Trek novels!) – excuses, excuses, excuses!
Mercedes Lackey’s “Valdemar” series is one of my favorites, and my “What if…?” idea became almost cathartic. I wonder how many other would-be authors with mental illness diagnoses either don’t write at all, or severely edit themselves in order to be more appealing to publishers and readers. Anyway, got one, whether it gets noticed by Ms. Lackey et Al or not, maybe it’ll reach somebody who might need it… besides me.

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    • #55
      Starshadow
      Participant

      Have you checked out the fanfic site (I think it’s fanfic.net but not sure, been ages since I’ve checked it out. Might be fanfiction.net or somesuch. You may have to Google it.)

      Several years ago I wrote K/S fanfic. Now you may be unaware of this phenomenon, but there are a great many fans of the original Star Trek (and now there’s a new generation for the movies as well, though I’m not a new Star Trek fan) who firmly believe that Kirk and Spock had a relationship closer than friendship. It’s not just about the sex (what the “slash mark” represents is “ship” for “relationship”) though Gods know we all had that in our fiction in varying degrees from fade to black all the way to explicit) but about the chemistry between the characters and hints we all feel were dropped during the original characters’ television lives and the original cast movies, too.

      So there was fanfiction. Originally, fifty years ago, the fanfiction of Trek was just an extension of the tv show, just a way to write more of the characters we loved when the series had been cancelled.

      But then one fan–anonymous to this day, I believe–wrote a fiction that didn’t even use the characters’ names, and implied more than it said–and there ensued a firestorm. As you can imagine, back in the day the idea that our heroes were–in the vernacular of that Dark Ages time–“mincing fairies”, was outrageous to some. Well, to many.

      But then Leslie Fish wrote some wonderful stories, and the K/S slant was on. When I found the Internet, I got converted to slash, as it was, and is, called, fairly quickly, and started writing and publishing my stories in Usenet’s asceml (alt.startrek. something something erotica moderated something–memory, the first thing to go, and I forget what the second is.) as well as in online and in-print fanzines. No-one makes money off this stuff, and there was always a disclaimer, that Paramount -then-owned the characters and we were just playing with them, and would put them back unharmed, etc. Plus the rating. G, PG, R, and NC-17, proceed at your own risk.

      I won awards! True, they were virtual awards, but still, heady stuff. I was put into print in fanzines I got copies of in most cases.

      Now as to Mercedes Lackey–she’s notorious –or was, years ago–for hating fanfiction done on her stuff. (Ironic since she got her start in fanfic, but some people are hypocritical.) So proceed with caution, there.

      I consider my forays into fanfic a training ground. I learned how to chop sentences and not wax exceedingly poetic when only a few words were needed. I edited, too, and this was a different skill than writing, as we swapped editing jobs (because you can’t edit your own stuff.) I was fortunate enough to have a couple editors who brought professional quality to fanzines, which made my own writing better.

      I’d say write your characters that you love, and find a safe haven to publish, but try to write original stories too. Learn the mechanics of writing by writing what’s familiar, but then branch out. Write originals. Learn the “hero’s journey” and why it creates successful fiction that lives on. Maybe start with short stories. Vignettes. Situations. What-ifs. But write what pleases you.

      Your first work will suck. Don’t let that stop you. Keep writing. I promise it’ll get better, and easier, and the ideas and characters will walk into your life and introduce themselves and will tell you more about themselves than you even want to know, if you let them.

      You can do it. I’m pulling for you.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Starshadow. Reason: typo fixes
      • #62
        Ross Murker
        Participant

        Thank you for the encouraging words.

      • #56
        Steven Barnes
        Moderator

        I like that notion, Ross!

        • #61
          Ross Murker
          Participant

          Which one? There were a couple notions…

        • #57
          Steven Barnes
          Moderator

          Starshadow, that is 100% on point. ANY writing that engages and excites you helps to connect heart (emotions) head (knowledge) and body (work). And that is the path of growth. When it is FUN? When you can laugh your ass off while you do it? Better still!

    • #49
      Ross Murker
      Participant

      For too long, I have kept myself from writing stories that were directly inspired by stories I love: Issues around rights, not wanting to disrespect canon, hoping to be truly original, dismissing “fanfic” as somehow “less than” (*big* cognitive dissonance given my enjoyment of many of the original series Star Trek novels!) – excuses, excuses, excuses!
      Mercedes Lackey’s “Valdemar” series is one of my favorites, and my “What if…?” idea became almost cathartic. I wonder how many other would-be authors with mental illness diagnoses either don’t write at all, or severely edit themselves in order to be more appealing to publishers and readers. Anyway, got one, whether it gets noticed by Ms. Lackey et Al or not, maybe it’ll reach somebody who might need it… besides me.

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