The coolest thing ever, ever, ever happened to me at Norwescon today.
Okay, first I should explain that I am drunk. I am more drunk than I have been in many years. And I have enough alcohol at home that I can hope to maintain this state for some hours to come.
Now back to Norwescon - I met pir8fancier
! Okay, I exaggerate, I didn't actually meet her, but I saw her on a panel about going from fanfiction writing to - uh - real writing, like being published. She is so cool. She was only going under her pen name. In real life she writes mysteries and gets paid for it. And she was doing that BEFORE she discovered fanfic, of which she has written TONS (as probably a lot of you know). So it would really be professional suicide for her publishers to know she writes fanfic. Including slash porn and even including Snarry (which is only not my OTP because Snupin is).
Anyway, I really loved the panel. They talked about following the rules of the originating author (which for J.K. Rowling is no underage sex), and about not taking criticism personally and about the best comments are not the ones that say "SQUEEEE!!!" but the ones that offer constructive criticism that helps one become a better writer. And about deciding whether or not you actually agree with the criticism. And that old adage, if you want to write a book, the first thing you have to do is to Start Writing!
(Time out while I make another drink of Kahlua, Baileys, vodka, cream, and coke.)
Like I said, Start Writing. Now, the focal point of the panel was how to make the jump from writing fanfic to being a published author (and especially, what not
to do). But I don't want to write original fiction. Never, ever had the urge, though I've been writing fanfic since I was in grade school. But I stopped, pretty much, putting fanfic up on line in 2003. Do I want to go back to writing? Hell yes I do! But I've always been too terrified.
The first piece of fanfiction I put on line was My Brother's Keeper
, a Discworld gen fic. I did not plot the thing out ahead of time, at all. I just wrote what came into my head at the time. I didn't know what was going to happen much before the readers did. But somehow it all came together as a story, and I received a wild amount of praise about it. I still get comments today on ff.net.
The next thing I wrote was Discworld slash, Vimes/Vetinari: Aftermath
. It was also super easy to write, and, in the audience of people who like those things, also got a lot of high praise. I wrote a short sequel called In This Room
which I am satisfied with, although it didn't get much circulation because by that time ff.net had passed their policy of no NC-17 fics and my relationship with them had ended bitterly.
I knew when I finished My Brother's Keeper
that there could be a sequel, and I started it, but then I ran into two major problems: First, I was absolutely terrified it wouldn't meet the standard everyone had already set for me. Second, the story knew exactly where it was going, and I Did Not Like It. I didn't want Vimes to commit adultery. It honestly sent me into a period of depression. But when I tried to change the storyline, I was either not being true to the characters as I see them or I was introducing a deus ex machina. In the end I didn't finish it (which is the second most important thing to do if you want to write), and in fact that was more or less the end of my fanfic writing days, though I am a rabid reader.
Honestly, the thing most responsible for switching me from Discworld fanfic to Harry Potter was the plethora of HP slash and my unrequited lust for Alan Rickman's Snape. When it comes to the original works, I don't think J.K. Rowling can hold a candle to Terry Pratchett. But I fell hard for the work of several Snarry and Snupin writers.
Which leads me inevitably to "why I'm not writing HP fanfiction." Good question. I've sort of tried, if posting two chapters in my own not-particularly-highly-read LJ counts. It's not that I don't have an entire story in my head. I'm just scared. There are so many HP fanfic writers out there that are So Much Better than I will ever
be. Also, it's not a short story. It's rather longish, as these things go, and I'm scared that if I start I won't finish it. The answer, in short, is I'm a coward.
This isn't an announcement that I'm going to start writing Snupin fics, although I just might. It's just I've got all this drunken happiness in me right now, and let's face it, I've been pretty short on happiness as of late. Like, I think the last really great thing that I experienced was meeting people when I went to see Alan Rickman on stage in New York.
Anyway, now that I have gotten all of that out of my system, I'm going to go read This Boy's Life