Tag Archives: writers

Fanfiction is Good Fiction

Movies, TV shows, and novels have become one of the largest, if not the largest, form of entertainment in the world today. Millions of people enjoy the Harry Potter franchise, the Star Wars franchise, the Game of Thrones franchise, and the Twilight saga, just to name a few of the more popular ones. Most of them are so popular that they are still going strong even after 20 or 30 years. One of the biggest contributors to their continued popularity is the creation of fanfiction.

Fanfictions, for those of you who do not know, are stories that use characters, settings, and backgrounds that already exist. The vast majority of fanfiction is published online and is available for free. The writers (i.e. the fans) can change any part of a character, story, or background, for almost any reason. They can do so if they simply like a character one way over another or if they want to add a trait that’s necessary for telling their story. Fans do this because they enjoy writing, because they wish to see more of their favorite characters, because they are interested in seeing what may happen if they changed a crucial plot point, and so on; the reasons are countless.

Some of these fanfiction stories are of a very professional quality and are novels in and of themselves. On the other hand, some of them can be rather subpar; it all varies between writers. However, there is some controversy over the creation of fanfiction, regardless of its quality. Some consider it a breach of copyright and critique the writers for being unoriginal. Some believe others shouldn’t borrow the hard work of professional writers, directors, and screenwriters. But the situation isn’t as simple as that.

typing
“Fanfictions, for those of you who do not know, are stories that use characters, settings, and backgrounds that already exist.” Photo from: sourcemygarment.com

Fanfiction writers don’t claim to own any of the characters or stories that they base their work on nor do they enjoy any financial gain from it. Many make a point of letting their readers know that they do not own the characters they are writing about. They aren’t mooching off the professional story tellers’ financial gain or reputation; they gain nothing but the satisfaction of writing and having people read and enjoy their work. There is no breach of copyright because there is no claim of ownership.

As for criticisms of unoriginality and lack of talent, those are nothing but a blatant ignorance of all of the hard work, effort, and skill that goes into the creation of any creative work. There is no denying that some fanfiction is just bad; it’s poorly conceptualized and poorly written. Those stories are typically the works of inexperienced writers who are working to improve their writing abilities. Then there are also the writers who simply don’t put much effort in. But there is just as much, if not more, fanfiction out there that is well thought-out and well written, with original plots and ideas. Even the way a person writes can be well-executed; they can give great details and create vivid descriptions. Fanfiction writers can develop new and interesting storylines that can really make you think about and feel for a character.

To suggest fanfiction is merely unoriginal and poorly written is simply ignorant of the skills and creativity needed to make great stories; these are the same skills and creativity that the original creators themselves use.

Everyone has the right to their opinion

Last week, I received a comment on an article about racism, more specifically, about Beyoncé’s performance at the Super Bowl. I stated how I thought that white people didn’t understand the importance of inequality regarding race, how I enjoyed Beyoncé’s performance because of her message, in her video as well as her Super Bowl performance, of police brutality against black people, and the idea of people of color coming together to stand up against racism in the United States.

Graphic from draytontribune.com
Don’t let what other people tell you what your opinion should be. Graphic from draytontribune.com

The comment that was left on that article consisted of a person stating that oppressing any race is wrong, that I was implying that white people should be less than black people, that my article was “propagating hate.”

When I read this comment, I became upset because that interpretation is the exact opposite of what I meant to convey. In the article, I was expressing my frustration with white people, of course not all white people, and their mentality of feeling superior, thinking that Beyoncé’s performance was an attack at all police officers, which is a perception that I didn’t observe.

I was simply expressing my opinion on what white people have said on social media such as Twitter, on Beyoncé’s performance.

I never meant to imply that I thought white people should be oppressed or discriminated against. It’s unfortunate that this person who left the comment believed that was my intention.

This experience has allowed me to understand that not everyone is going to agree with what I write, nor are they going to interpret my writing in the way I intend them to. Not everyone who reads articles is going to understand the intentions of the writer simply because when reading something, you can’t hear the writer’s tone of voice, especially sarcasm.

If the reader is confused or misunderstanding the writer’s article, the reader can’t ask questions because they’re not face-to-face. I’ve discovered that talking about controversial issues, such as race, will cause conflict and some people are going to disagree with you, but you can’t let that discourage you from talking about things that are important to you as well as the world we live in.

Important topics need to be discussed and, with that necessity comes conflict and anger. All you can do is understand that people in this world have different opinions, have different views, but that shouldn’t stop you from expressing yourself or your opinion. All opinions matter, whether or not you think they are right or wrong.

5 best websites for aspiring writers

Being a writer is a very difficult thing. Showing your work to other people and allowing them to critique it is a very intimate and let’s be honest, stressful, experience. In addition to this, once you’ve gotten your poem, short story, or novel perfect, finding an agent who will help you get published is borderline impossible.

Luckily, our generation has the internet which has tons of great websites for writers to read each other’s work, workshop their own pieces, and even find agents.

Here are five of the BEST (free) websites that the internet offers to aspiring writers.

1) Figment

With Figment, you can share all writing from poems to full length novels. The website gives your fellow authors the option to “heart” your work. As time goes by you collect these hearts and those top pieces end up on the front page which is terrific publicity for any writer. Most everyone on Figment is extremely professional and offer very constructive criticism. Figment also has discussion boards so that users can ask for suggestions, collaborate with other writers, and advertise their work.

 

Graphic from SmileyMe
Be happy about your writing, and use these websites to let you express it. Graphic from SmileyMe

2) FanFiction

Okay, so fan fiction in general gets a bad rap considering most people associate it with crazy fangirls writing erotic scenes between them and Edward Cullen. However, while this is the case sometimes, most fan fiction is pretty interesting to read. FanFiction, the website, has millions of fandoms that writers can choose to write about. Believe it or not, diving deeper into someone else’s story is a great way to defeat chronic writer’s block. Since you already know the characters, it’s very easy to get straight to writing what you want to write. Another bonus is the fact that every time someone “Favorites” or “Subscribes” to your story or your account, it is a HUGE ego boost. Even if it’s “just” fan fiction.

3) Agent Query

Agent Query is more or less a searchable database for agents. Anyone who is serious about writing knows that having an agent is the best way to find a credible publisher. The website also advertises when events such as writing conferences are coming up so that you can make as many connections in the literary world as possible.

4) National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO)

For the writer with the million dollar idea, but who lacks motivation, this one’s for you. Every year, November is “National Novel Writing Month”. Simply make an account, create your story, and get to writing. The goal is to have at least a 50,000 word draft by the end of November. Along the way, the website tracks your progress, offers inspiration, and allows you to converse with fellow writers. When November is over, don’t be sad, because a newer feature on the website is “Camp NaNoWriMo,” which is a similar concept, except it takes place over the course of the summer.

5) Writer’s Digest

Writer’s Digest is a highly valuable resource. Not only do they put out books and an amazing magazine, their website also contains the latest writing tips and information about competitions.

As a writer, any chance you have to get your work out there, you should take advantage of. Also, remember that Whim is accepting poetry and short story submissions so take the opportunity to show off your writing chops with your fellow Highlanders!

Assistant needed: Why you should be the Goose to my Maverick

At college, I have three main jobs. The first is to be the best student I can be and to do well in my classes, so that I can graduate on time and build a great future for myself. I also work at the Starbucks on campus, which is my second job. My third job, which also happens to be my favorite, is working here at Whim as the Campus Life section manager. As incredible and rewarding this position is, I can’t carry the weight of the world on my shoulders; I require someone to be the Mr. Spock to my Capt. Kirk. Continue reading Assistant needed: Why you should be the Goose to my Maverick