Fanfiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker. They don’t do it for money. That’s not what it’s about. The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They’re fans, but they’re not silent, couchbound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language.
—Lev Grossman, TIME, July 18, 2011
So here I am, sitting at my desk and thinking – surely there must be something I can write about that doesn’t involve how ill I feel? Especially since I’m finally entering the final stages and almost back to normal. Course that would require me to have had something of some interest happen to me this weekend, and it hasn’t. In fact, I’ve been actively avoiding doing the dozen and a half things I could have done on the sole grounds of lethargy…but did succeed in writing something last night. Nothing original, but did get back to writing the fanfiction I’d had to put on hold until the plush dolls were done. Wasn’t entirely sure how well it would be received since I was rusty for the fandom, but the comments have so far all been positive. Hopefully I can keep myself on track and have it completed in the next month or so – I hate leaving things unfinished for any length of time…which made me think about the other unfinished work floating on the interweb…
I always tell people I’m a writer, though that’s up for debate. Admittedly I haven’t written original in over 2 years. And certainly haven’t finished anything in over 7. But that doesn’t meant I haven’t been writing. What I do to keep myself tapping on the keyboard is fanfiction. Simply put, stories about already existing media, whether they be games, TV shows, movies or books. I started out on the Neopets website, then moved on to fanfiction.net – aka ‘the pit of voles’ writing stories for Final Fantasy 9. I dabbled in a few other fandoms after that, until the incredible event that was the 2007 Transformers movie popped into my life.
I wasn’t a Transformers fan until that movie – but I adored it so much I went to see it 14 times during its cinema run. The community, thanks to having been around almost since I was born, was friendly and highly interactive. As such, I started writing fanfiction, and just kept going. It took up a lot of my focus, pretty much being the only fandom I was interested in for a very long time.
However…Michael Bay decided to prove that the first movie was just a fluke. The second one was mediocre, and although I did enjoy it, the fandom started to die down. At this point I had 2 multi-chaptered stories on the go, and decided to put one aside and finish up the more popular one. That took over a year, and by the time it was done, my interest in the Transformers had waned to a teeny tiny trickle. The third movie, which I was relying on to re-spark my love, was a car crash that instead, snuffed the little last vestiges of enjoyment I had. I was moving on to other fandoms, and would be quite happy to leave it behind.
One slight problem. I still have that one unfinished story in this fandom. A story that is only 2 thirds of the way through. But I have devoted afternoons and evenings to continuing this fiction…and not a word came out. It’s just not there. I have no interest in the fandom – but the fact is this story is around, and people are waiting for the next chapter. There is nothing I hate more than a story that goes unfinished. I’ve fallen in love with other stories people have written, only to have them stop midway through to vanish into the ether. The idea that I might have to do this to my own work hurts me deeply.
But fanfiction is supposed to be fun. It’s not serious, it’s not for publication. Like the quote above states, it’s for one’s own satisfaction. There are other things I want to write – like my other unfinished fic for my much newer fandom – and even if I try to pull this thing out, there’s no way I can match the previous chapters without showing how much I don’t want to write it (I like to believe one’s passion, or lack of it, will always shine through one’s work). Think I may have to throw in the towel and accept that this is a story that will never see completion.