A Surprising Cure For Writer’s Block
by Kate Roth
I look back at my fanfiction writing days with such a fondness. I’m not only proud of the work I produced, I also relish the days when words seemed to come so easily to me. Then I think maybe I should get back to it. Maybe writer’s block has a simple cure, and its name is fanfiction!
My fanfiction days were the early 2000’s. We are talking boy bands, pop stars and a chick named Buffy. Nowadays I see everything from the ever popular Twilight and Hunger Games series’ to Justin Bieber and even stories stemming from TV shows like The Office. Reading fanfiction might not be for everyone but I’ll bet every writer could pen some. As a writer you are a fan of at least one thing. Be it music, movies, books, sports, TV shows…you love something.
So try this, when you’re feeling stuck, hating your characters, wanting to bash your computer screen in with a mallet…take a breath and think about that thing you love. You love the show Supernatural you say? (Let’s pretend you said it because I love that show) So since you love that show you already know the characters of Sam and Dean Winchester. You know what they look like, sound like, how they act and you know their backstory. See where I’m going with this? Writer’s block can show itself in so many ways but a lot of times it’s just that feeling of being stuck. What do you do when you don’t know what to name someone or when you don’t know why they have the angst that you so desperately what them to have?
Fanfiction is freedom to mold already created characters or scenery or plot threads into whatever you want. It’s photoshop for writers. It’s found artwork. Taking something you love and putting more love into it. What could be better than writing that one episode of Supernatural you always wanted but never got? How about a deleted scene from your favorite movie? A Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears love rekindling?! No, leave that one to me. The seventeen year old in me would love nothing more. You could do what Gregory Maguire does and tell a story from another character’s perspective.
Clearly fanfiction isn’t meant to be published by Random House. There are a whole mess of legal issues when it comes to using other people’s work or likenesses but only if you try to profit from it. If you just need a good jolt when it comes to your writing, or if you are just starting out and want to test your skills, have a stab at fanficiton. And let’s not forget a few published authors who honed their craft by writing fanfic, Cassandra Clare and EL James…they are both best-sellers and have had the film rights to their works purchased.
Fanfiction isn’t always taken seriously but I can guarantee you that it’s fun, inspiring and often the springboard that some of us need to head down a successful road.