Join us as Lisa Henry goes Outside the Margins.
I Ship It, Too
For Valentine’s Day, Brandilyn wrote a really good post about fan fiction, which got me wondering what attracted me to not only reading fan fiction, but also writing it. And here’s what I’ve come up with.
Fan fiction is like writing in shorthand. I stick to the Teen Wolf fandom. If I start a story with “Stiles wakes up on a Friday morning with a craving for Froot Loops, and an erection” then my readers, who already know this character in all his fanfic permutations, don’t need all of his back story explained. They knows that Stiles is Stiles Stilinski, the only son of the widowed Sheriff of Beacon Hills, best friend of Scott McCall and, if I’m going with the most popular couple in TW fanfic, will somehow be paired up with Derek Hale, a.k.a. Sourwolf, before the story ends.
And yes, for the record, I have stated a story with that sentence.
Of course, not all of those assumptions may be correct. I might be writing a story where Stiles’s mother didn’t die. I might write one where Derek’s entire family didn’t die. I might write one where they all get stuck in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, or start a rock band, or go to Hogwarts, because why the hell not? That’s part of the fun of fan fiction: literally anything can happen. You take these characters and do whatever you want with them. Then, the next time, you get to try something completely different. And you can’t do that usually, not with your own characters, not without throwing your own canon out the window.
In the fan fiction I’ve written, Stiles and Derek have gotten together in quite a few different ways. And once, Stiles got together with someone else entirely. As a writer, it gives me an opportunity to really play around with these characters, to shove them into a bunch of different situations and see how they’ll react. It gives me the freedom to write total fluff, then hit the reset button and write something totally dark, or something absolutely heartbreaking.
Fan fiction also lets me completely disregard the conventional rules of writing fiction.
Want an unhappy ending? Write one!
Want to write the entire thing in second person? Sure, give it a try!
Want to write 80 000 words of porn without plot? With random unicorns? Well, go for it!
One thing you should never do though, is mistake fan fiction for something inferior to published fiction. Okay, so sometimes there are a lot of grammatical errors and typos — and hey, I wish that wasn’t the case with books you actually have to pay for, but we’ve all been there, right? But in all honesty I’ve read some fan fiction that is vastly superior to a lot of published fiction out there. I’ve read some stinkers as well, but it’s a bit like a lucky dip. And frankly, you don’t know if you’re reading something by a professional author, or by a teenager giving it her first shot. But I will promise you this: for every movie or TV show that you love, and you secretly shipped two characters who for some reason never got together on screen, there is fan fiction out there just waiting to be discovered by you.
You should absolutely give it a try.
And, since I’m not comfortable pimping out anyone else’s fan fictions here (some fan fic writers prefer that their works aren’t linked to) here’s what I’ve been doing lately, under the name DiscontentedWinter (It’s probably best to assume it’s all NSFW!):
Balloon Animals Are Awesome: my first attempt at Sterek (Stiles/Derek) fanfic!
Stiles is totally in love with Lydia. Until one day he’s not.
Fuck his life.
And seriously? Derek? Derek Hale?
He can’t be in love with Derek Hale. Derek hates him.
Stiles Stilinksi is a lying liar who lies: contains misunderstandings and kittens.
Derek always figured it’d be Stiles’s recklessness and sheer disregard for his own safety that caused them to break up.
He’s wrong about that.
It turns out they break up because Stiles is a lying liar who lies.
Don’t Fail Me Now: Stiles/Peter. Very dark. Non-con, Stockholm Syndrome, and lots of violence.
Stiles goes to Derek looking for help.
He finds Peter instead.
Peter takes what he’s wanted for a very long time.
Bite Marks and Bendy Straws: Fun, short, and fluffy! Only slightly dirty.
A series of vignettes (and helpful lists) about Stiles’s mouth and Derek’s newfound obsession with it.
Promise You’ll Look After Him: Written in second person. Also contains dark themes, as it deals with the aftermath of rape, but there is no rape on page.
Sheriff Stilinski is used to dealing with victims of violent crime. He knows how to approach kids who’ve been beaten and sexually assaulted.
Except this time it’s his son.
I Know Where Babies Come From, Derek: This is a WIP. Because in fan fiction, mpreg is a thing that happens. Although it happens off page here.
Stiles finds a baby on the porch.
It looks exactly like him.
Well, this is awkward.
~ Lisa Henry
About Lisa Henry
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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