Why Fan Fiction is Important to Me

When it comes to writing, we all have to start somewhere. For me, it was fan fiction.

I started writing when I was ten-years-old using up notebook after notebook. It was a little while later that Kris discovered a website catered to just fan fiction. She got an account on there and posted a story based off of one of her favorite video games, The Legend of Zelda.

Meanwhile, in my notebooks, I was writing fan fiction based off of my favorite TV show, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

When I found out people were reading and liking and reviewing Kris’s stories online, I begged her to post my story. I was too young to get an account and Kris decided to be a nice sister and add my story on there.

Thus began my fan fiction “career.”

Why Fan Fiction Is Important To Me

The majority of people I know or heard about say they love fan fiction. They think it’s a great way to get started with writing. Plus, it’s always fun to fantasize about your favorite characters. Put them in new and different situations than your shows or comics would normally put them in or even add yourself as a cast member. The possibilities are endless and fun.

But there are those few people that don’t like fan fiction. They say it’s not “yours” or it’s not “original.” Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I think any writing is writing.

Fan fiction is important to me because, without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I might still be jotting down random ideas in notebooks and never getting anywhere with them. Or maybe my writing would have fizzled out completely.

But one of the reasons why I stopped writing fan fiction was because I kept coming up with all these new, great ideas. And I thought to myself, “Why not create my own characters and use this idea in an original novel by me?”

There are times when I want to get back into fan fiction. I still have my folder filled with ideas for various categories on the website. When I get stuck on my original novels, I sometimes get the itch to revert back to fan fiction.

I never have, though.

My account is still on fan fiction. I have a link to it on my Contact Me page. Though I wouldn’t advise anyone to go check it out or to even read some of the stories I wrote on there.

The stories are old, pretty dumb from the mind of a young kid, and just plain old embarrassing.

I’ve thought many times to take down my old stories or even just to delete my entire account. Like I said, looking back on some of the stories now, it’s really embarrassing. I cringe just by looking at my profile.

Yet, I can’t take them off. Those stories are part of who I was as a kid. Those stories got to me to this point in my life. They helped me realize what I want to do for a career. They helped me realize what I truly love and have a passion for.

Writing. Creating. Using my imagination.

Once I was old enough, I created my own account in January 2005. That was almost 11 years ago. I last updated my profile in December 2014 with hopes I would get back into it, but I never did. In all that time, I uploaded 58 stories and a total of 421,396 words. The last thing I posted on there before that was in 2012.

April 2012, to be exact. I started blogging in May 2012.

I think it was at that point when I realized I wanted to be a full-time writer. I started my blog to build my platform and get more of my original writing out into the world.

I stopped fan fiction, ending one chapter of my life to begin a whole new chapter; writing originals. Writing for a career. Writing for you. Writing for me.

So, as embarrassing as it is, it’s fun to see how much I’ve grown as a writer since I’ve started. I’m still not a perfect writer, but I’m a lot better than I used to be.

With that being said, I’m posting a four-part series about my fan fiction (this post being the first part). The next two parts will be posted in October and the last part will be posted in November.

I hope you’ll enjoy this blast from the past with me as I make a fool of myself looking back at my old stories.

Have you ever written fan fiction? What got you into writing? Let me know in the comments!

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27 thoughts on “Why Fan Fiction is Important to Me

  1. Fan fiction was what got me into writing, too (though I was a bit older than you, probably 14 or 15). It was easy to get into because the characters, their personalities, and the locations were already set up – as well as some of the general story lines. That made it really easy to write. I started by changing parts of the plot, then moved onto writing new stories with those characters, until I was able to begin my own writing with my own characters. I never posted any online though – even when I was writing fan fiction, I was embarrassed about writing fan fiction!

    • It is easy because there’s not much planning involved. Like you said, everything is set up for you.
      Fan fiction is nothing to be embarrassed about… Even though we all are, lol.

  2. I’ve got nothing against Fan Fiction. I’ve written my share of PokΓ©mon fan fics because PokΓ©mon! (I’ve been playing it since the 90’s lol and have every Gen since!). I think a lot of people get their first taste of writing doing some sort of fan fiction. It’s the first basis for our imaginative minds to latch on to and hope to explore – and then we start creating out own, better characters.

  3. I’ve never let anyone else see it (except hubby), but I sometimes rewrite my favourite shows after a plot twist I don’t like (like a character’s death). I find if I don’t do it quickly my depression can put me off the show. I also like to put autistic characters into my favourite shows to see how they relate and pose my favourite characters problems I’m struggling with! Very useful!

  4. I am a hardcore lover of fan fiction. I also have an account on fanfiction.com, but I will say it has been a few weeks since I’ve posted any Final Fantasy tales or stories about my favorite anime/manga. I started putting more dedication to getting my own blog out there and putting more effort towards my latest novel idea. It’s tempting to start writing a fiction again, but I think that side of me may be about ready to die away. I do still read a story from time to time though. Usually, when I’m bored out of my mind. But I do support and love fan fiction. I’m really glad another author is posting their one time use of it. Makes me feel a little less embarrassed. Ha ha!

    • That’s why I broke out of fan fiction. I started blogging and wanted to work on my original pieces. I still do have the urge to write fan fiction again from time to time though.
      I’m glad I’m finding people who used to be on that site through my blog. It makes me feel a little less embarrassed as well!

  5. I did some fan fiction. I had some stories set in St. Canard (Darkwing Duck). I had an original character, Detective Falcon, but he had a robot dog, Rush (Mega Man series).

    I guess that qualifies as fan fiction, but I would like to try my hand at real fan fiction. I think it would be an awesome challenge.

  6. I also began writing by writing fan fiction (mostly Star Trek). I suspect a lot of people probably do, even if they don’t admit it. Believe it or not, I used the same fanfiction website you mentioned and I still occasionally (once on a blue moon) get the odd comment from someone who read a story I wrote some ten or fifteen years ago — and feel mortified, because I remember how bad my writing was back then. I admire your bravery for including it in your contact page at all because I’m not telling ANYONE how to find me on that site. Still, I also think of it as where my “writing career” started, so I can’t bring myself to completely delete it either.

    • Everyone has to start somewhere and all those experts were beginners once. I’m proud of my fan fiction account even though it’s totally embarrassing, lol. πŸ™‚
      I still get the occasional review as well, but I can’t remember what email I used to log in. I don’t have that email anymore so it’s a dilemma, lol.

  7. Love this post πŸ˜ƒ I’ve never written Fan Fiction but I love to read it. Believe it or not I only started to read it this year, I didn’t know about any of the sites until I joined – Instagram/Bookstagram and when I found them, let’s just say I’m now addicted. πŸ™‚

  8. Every time I read your post I learn something new. Not having kids, I missed out on a lot of “modern” kid things. Your writing certainly benefitted from getting involved in Fan Fiction, I am sure.

  9. […] Rachel Poli – Why Fan Fiction is Important to Me (I had to include this, because to be frank, fan fiction was pretty much where I also started writing and I have a sneaking suspicion that a great number of writers today can probably relate to this refreshingly unashamed, reflective little post). […]

  10. I didn’t start writing fanfic until college, but looking back I did a lot of daydreaming between episodes of my favorite shows. My junior year in college a friend and I tried to apply for a joint independent study project on writing, beta-ing, and reading fanfiction. We couldn’t find a professor to sign off on it though. After explaining it to most of the Liturature faculty, creative writing faculty, and a poetry professor, we did find a theater prof wiling to give it a go but by then it was too late to get the application in by the deadline.

  11. I too was a young writer who started in fan fiction, Space Cruiser Yamato to be exact, and I still have my silly stories at home. I wasn’t inspired again to write in any capacity until nearly 26 years later. My story was original with original characters though the concept was drawn from fan fiction. it too another 6 years before I would again be inspired by the Avengers. Since then I have written another original novel and four Loki AU novels for which I’ve received very good reviews. I have three novels on Amazon’s vanity press, Kindle Createspace. I write for three websites now and I blog here on WordPress now and again ( I should do this more often!) But for me, I wouldn’t be where I am at now were it not for fan fiction. I love taking the story further, relating my ideas for how the story could go. Original work is great fun but it’s building from scratch. Fan fiction is adding layers or editing to your satisfaction. Though I admit I was shy or felt foolish when I showed people my fan fics, that quickly died off when I started getting fans myself. It’s been a rewarding journey.

    • Wow, that’s awesome! Fan fiction really is the foundation for writing. You get a lot of practice and then soon enough you build enough confidence to create something yourself. I have no idea what I would be doing if I never started fan fiction.
      Great story, thank you for sharing. πŸ™‚

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