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Fan Fiction

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a TV/Movie junkie. There are certain TV shows that I plan into my schedule to watch every week (thank goodness for On Demand service from my cable company which allows me to watch CBS shows whenever I’m ready for them—like during my lunch hour!). I’ve even purchased the first two seasons on LOST on DVD—and watched almost all 48 episodes this weekend when I was sick. I have three different versions of the original Star Wars trilogy: the very original VHS versions, the re-releases from seven or eight years ago on VHS, and the re-re-releases on DVD. I have the theatrical release DVDs and the extended version DVD sets of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have the entire set of eight Hornblower movies on DVD. My movie collection (if you haven’t already guessed) is pretty well stocked (over 220 titles) and my queue at Netflix holds an additional 40+. (What can I say? I’m single and I don’t get out much.) I have DVDs made from old video recordings of TV shows I loved (and therefore knew were doomed to cancellation) as well.

I’ve mentioned before that William, the hero of my historical romance, was inspired by a secondary character in the Hornblower movies. I’ve also mentioned that this is how I get many of my story ideas. (Hero of my WIP, Menu for Romance, is based on real-life celebrity chef Tyler Florence, who was featured last night on Food Network’s Chefography program—yes, I recorded it.) What I don’t think I’ve mentioned before are my few forays into fan fiction.

When I was in my early 20s, I was addicted to Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. I loved certain characters so much (Worf, especially) that I made up my own stories for these existing characters—just for my own amusement. I never showed them to anyone, not even my friend who got me hooked on the show in the first place. Then, it was the Highlander TV series . . . although my interest in that show centered around Peter Wingfield as Methos—and several years later, PW would become the template for George, the hero of Happy Endings Inc.

Most of what I wrote as “fan fic” never went far—usually ten to twenty pages, and then it was on to characters and stories of my own creation. But then I saw The Two Towers and was introduced to the character of Éomer, portrayed by the delicious Karl Urban.

I loved that character (as brought to life by that actor) so much that I went to the books and studied him as I would have done if he were an actual historic figure. From the expanded knowledge of and exposure to the character as written by Tolkein, I fell even more in love with Éomer, son of Eomund, Third Marshal of the Riddermark. Then in the index, I discovered a passing mention of Éomer’s marriage to Lothíriel, daughter of Prince Imrahil (one of the secondary characters who is important in the book but omitted from the film version). The name of their son who eventually succeeds Éomer to the throne of Rohan is given—but that’s all.

For the last three or four years, I have written, off and on, the story of Éomer and Lothíriel as I see it, weaving Lothíriel’s character throughout the events leading up to and through the books, and taking them far beyond the end of the story as told by Tolkien. I’ve written about 60,000 words of this and for the first couple of years, remained very true to Tolkien’s world and characters. I even incorporated passages from the books where my events/story crossed over (no need to rewrite what he’d already told!). It has been my go-to piece when I have writer’s block, am in between projects, or just don’t feel like working on anything else.

I haven’t worked on it in a few months, but for the last half year or so, I have started diverging from Tolkien’s world and adding my own spin to things—changing it to my own story, my own world/setting, my own characters. It’s not anything I see myself recreating to pitch as a stand-alone novel of my own creation, nor is it anything I feel like sharing on the myriad of Tolkien fan fic websites.

I think I’ve continued writing it because I derive two benefits from it. First, it’s about spending time with characters someone else initially created—but I internalized—by continuing their story (as I see it). And second, I am free to write however I want—head hopping, passive voice, TONS of description, lots of adjectives and adverbs, long soliloquies and monologues by the characters, and long paragraphs of omniscient description of events or settings.

Have you ever written fan fic? Do you let anyone else read it? What benefit do you get out of writing fan fic, even if it is just for your own amusement?

  1. Thursday, March 22, 2007 9:20 pm

    I have written tons of fan fiction for the old tv western, The Big Valley. I used to belong to an online community where we posted our stories for others to read and enjoy.

    When I decided to get serious about writing, I had to exit that group. There’s only so much time in a day.

    Benefits: You get to write however you want. You get to work with established characters, so you focus on plot. It’s a pretty safe place to land for a new writer. You get to commune with other fooks who like what you like.


  2. Friday, March 23, 2007 6:50 am

    Wowzers. Your Eomer fan fiction sounds FABULOUS!


  3. Sunday, March 25, 2007 10:36 pm

    *raises hand* Oh yes!!!! If it weren’t for fan fiction, I never would have gotten up the gumption to finally let my own characters loose on paper.

    My first true fan fic love is the Hardy Boys. Yes, as in the children’s books. Frank and Joe. In fact, I’m Second Vice-President For Life of the Frank-ettes at the Hardy Detective Agency. I’ve posted *pulls up HDA to count* 6 stories to HDA: 2 short “filler” type vignettes that filled in parts I thought were missing from 2 of the books, one short story and 3 “full-length” stories. This past August, I had even read 98% of the library and there are so many wonderfully talented authors over there.

    I’ve also dabbled in Thoroughbred, created by Joanna Campbell, completing 1 full length story and 3-4 short stories. It was in that community that I first started posting any of my original stuff. As long as it involves horses, TB fans will read anything!

    I’m a firm believer in the power of fan fiction. I have learned so much in my dabbling and reading. It’s so very relaxing to play around in a world that’s already created and you can focus entirely on the fun stuff. I’ve learned a lot about crafting good dialogue and had the most fun dreaming up villains that are crafty enough to stay ahead of Frank and Joe, but still at just the right moment are stupid enough to get themselves caught. They have no extended family info either, except for one spinste aunt who’s their father’s older sister, so we authors are free to dabble in their background and see what we can come up with.


  4. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 9:48 am

    Oh. My. Word. YES! I’m a secret Eomer/Karl Urban fangirl myself … if you ever decide to let anybody read this, can I beg for a peek??

    And in my early teens, I wrote several installments of a YA adventure series that started out as Dukes of Hazzard fanfic … I don’t admit THAT to too many people! 🙂 🙂 🙂



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