On fangirling and writing fanfic

Hi, all!

I know. I’ve been neglecting all of you. But I have been writing a ton of Fangirl Friday blogs over at my other site, Women and Words, so if you wonder where the hell I am, check there. And the Twitterz, where I go by the cryptic handle @andimarquette.

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of things in the works right now. I recently published a short novel at Ylva — it’s a thriller with a little romantic undercurrent. Here’s the link, if you want to see more.

I’m working on some rewrites of my other stuff to get it back on the market…yeah. That’s been kind of a clusterfuck, and I apologize a jillion times over for that. Hopefully that will be remedied soon, but seriously. Clusterfuck. I can’t even with that. Sigh.

Plus, I have to admit, this election season has given me super angst. This whole fucking year has given me angst because of all the shitty-shit that’s gone down in a variety of quarters, which means I’ve sought escape in order to maintain my emotional and spiritual (and physical) health.

Along those lines, I’ve basically reclaimed my 37th childhood and decided to go fangirl for various things (see my posts at Women and Words) and seek solace with like-minded people. At least we can all fangirl together.

So in May I started writing a Clexa fanfic in the universe of The 100. For those not in the know, that’s the relationship between Clarke, the de facto leader of the 100 delinquents and Sky Crew sent to Earth from the Ark, and Lexa, the Grounder Commander (shout-out for bi visibility week and Clarke repping bi characters!).

I did this because I was so pissed off about what happened in Season 3 of The 100 that I just decided, screw it. I’m going to write what I wish had happened in Season 3.

How could you NOT fanfic this? I mean, for realz, yo!
How could you NOT fanfic this? I mean, for realz, yo!

And my first official fanfic was born. So far, I’ve posted 33 chapters (roughly 100K words) over at Archive of Our Own, a fanfic site (AO3, for those not in the know) and I’m still writing. This thing will probably go past 150K words, which puts it close to the “epic” category in terms of book length, as in OMG WTF THIS THING IS SO LONG. Given that the average length of a lesfic novel is about 70K-80K words, I’m outta hand with this thing.

I post roughly every week, though I skipped posting yesterday because holy shit I have to write more and I lost a bunch of writing days last week. I hate that I wasn’t able to post, but I want this to be at least readable, so sometimes we have to suck it up and take a bit of a breather so we can get caught up.

So here are 5 more things I’ve learned/observed in this, my first foray into publicly posting fanfic:

1. Plagiarism seems to be a real issue, and that’s not cool. I’ve seen several authors note on social media that their fanfic works have been plagiarized by others who basically slap their names onto a work that they didn’t write and call it theirs. Some have even tried to publish these plagiarized works. I don’t think I need to explain why this is a massive bucket of suck, but in case you skipped the ethics and morals 101 class, let me lay it out for you:

Don’t take what other people have created and claim it’s yours.

One of the great things about the fanfic universe is that anybody can play. Anybody can post their own work. So instead of stealing someone else’s, do your own. Work at it, build up your audience, and have fun participating in fandoms. That’s what fanfic is about. Participating in fandoms and letting your own imagination create works within canon and in alternate universes. It’s hella fun writing your own, and there’s a real sense of satisfaction that comes from doing that. The fanfic universe is a community. Use it to help you improve your OWN writing so you, too, can then demonstrate your awesome. To reiterate: Give credit where it’s due and don’t take other people’s stuff and say it’s yours.

And if you want some writing guidance for your own fic, hit me up! I mentor quite a bit. πŸ™‚

2. Canon and AU. I’m still learning the lingo of the fanfic universe, but fortunately, there are places I can go to figure things out. Like here. So technically, what I’m doing with my Clexa S3 reboot is that I am writing within some “canon” (how the events actually occurred as depicted within the show [or book or movie or whatever is the original source]), in that I’m using the setting and many of the characters and some of the things that happened and are said in the show, but I’m creating basically a parallel or alternate universe in which those people exist and events unfolded differently.

So I’m doing a hybrid canon/AU fanfic, in that I’m using some aspects of the canon of the TV show, but the plots, dialogue, scenes, and narrative arcs are mine. I also bring in characters I created that were not in the show. They’re not canon, thus, but they fit the overall world in that they are as consistent as I can make them within the parameters the world has set. I have also introduced a few new cultural aspects within the canon. Whew. Got that? lol yeah, I’m still figuring things out, too.

3. There is also fanart within fandoms, and I’ve noticed that fanart can and often does depict characters and relationships as they appeared in different fanfics and not as canon in the shows/movies. Yeah, I’m a newbie, kids. lol

4. Along the lines of 3, above, there is hella awesome talent in fandoms, whether it’s the writing side or the fanart side. Speaking of, you can find some of it on tees, and I’ve discovered that the site RedBubble has quite a lot of really awesome fanart tees that might appeal to the Clexa ‘verse. I might have been buying a goddamn crazy number a few tees… #inspirationforwriting

5. Fandoms have engaged and engaging people, many of whom have provided some great thoughts and comments on the fanfic I’m working on (THANKS, EVERYBODY! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!).

I write organically — that is, I have an idea of where I’m going, but the particulars within the scenes and chapters I don’t really know until I write them. Which means that I appreciate all the comments I get and thoughts from readers. I’ve actually tweaked things a bit in scenes that are slated to post because a reader posted a comment on a previous installment saying, for example, they couldn’t wait for a particular scene and hoped it included X, Y, Z. I rather enjoy that. Clearly, that’s something that would probably never happen with the writing teams for shows, but in the fanfic ‘verse, it can and does happen and I do rather enjoy it.

So thus far, this has been a really interesting and super-cool journey. I’m kind of obsessed with this fanfic I’m writing, so I’ll for sure finish it, and then…who knows? I might write more fanfic. I might not. We shall see. For now, I’m having a total blast, so thanks, everyone, who’s been reading along and offering kudos and comments. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.

And if you’re interested, here’s the link to my fanfic. Definitely a work-in-progress. πŸ™‚

Happy weekending!

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