I had the privilege of video chatting with two writers workshop classes in my home state of Georgia this morning. I was super excited and really enjoyed talking to the students about writing and my process. One thing I made sure the mention in both classes- if you write Fanfic, write it.
In middle school I’d started writing a story in my journal for extra credit and I was VERY offended when my teacher suggested I try writing a romance novel. I thought all romances were the bodice rippers my Grandmother had. I didn’t really see that my Lurlene McDaniel novels were also romances.
Writing fanfic is what helped me the most in craft and learning to take critique. If I’m being truthful, the General Hospital message boards on the old AOL platform (think REALLY OLD tumblr) were the first places I ever let people read my writing (after the disastrous response from my teacher I dropped the story all together).
Fanfic gives you a lot of freedom to take some known quantities and to play with it. You can take the characters in different directions and work the story the way you want. It’s also one of the best places to get reviews. One of the things I liked most about writing Fic on the GH message boards was reading what others thought. I loved getting the feedback almost instantly.
Don’t be ashamed of your writing. Write what makes you happy.