As clearly evidenced by the very existence of this blog, there is a record of things I’ve written on the Internet, already. It may not bring in unbelievable traffic, but I don’t intend to delete this stuff—it’s apart of the World Wide Web for the rest of time. I’m pretty sure even if I tried to delete it, some format of my writings would still be accessible.
I say this because, while I write posts about things that I think about, as well as things that happen in my life, this isn’t necessarily recreational writing for me. While I enjoy typing up these posts, I’m referring to creative writing—fictionalized writing that comes from a part of my imagination that not a lot of people are privy to.
I started writing fan fictions in high school when I was into a certain music group. A lot of it was written down, and I only posted one in full on a forum site years ago. Other forum members seemed captivated by my writing and enjoyed the story, which certainly made Young Me happy. I still have that story in a folder on an external hard drive, and every now and again I’ll remove and add and rearrange parts to see how that changes the story as a whole.
There was a period where I posted fan fictions (works by fans of franchises, often featuring characters from said franchises, sometimes along one or more author-created characters), but those were short. Yes, there was a specific franchise I wrote for the majority of the time. No, none of it was sexy—I refused to write smut (dirty sexy time stuff often found while browsing fan fiction). I managed to get a decent following for the blog I ran, the sole existence of which was bringing requests to life. Sometimes I would make up stories from ideas in my head, but people on Tumblr would send in requests for certain character+situation combinations, and I would turn out a short story for everyone’s entertainment. That blog is still active in the sense that you could go back and read everything I’ve written up until the point life got too busy and I went into hiatus for an undetermined amount of time…hint: the hiatus is still going.
That didn’t mean I stopped creative writing entirely, though. For a while, I’ve been working on another fan fiction work, this time set in another franchise altogether. The key difference is that no one has ever read this one aside from me. It’s not even finished, but even if I remove the planning outline it would still be over one hundred MS Word pages. I reread and modify, change and shift parts to create more meaning and leave a more lasting impact, and since I’m the only reader it’s worked brilliantly so far. I do want other people to read it, though, which may lead you to think I wouldn’t hesitate to post the first chapter online.
Except…I am hesitant.
For one, the franchise at its center doesn’t focus on characters played by actors—it features actual people as characters. Since I don’t know these people personally, that means I have to determine just how they may react in certain situations because I don’t want anything to come off as uncharacteristic. Also, the fact that real people are characters in this work means that those real people could find it if I posted it online. A lot of people might jump for joy at the possibility of their inspiration(s) finding a written work starring them, but since there are several very personal scenes in this story I’m writing, I’d be self-conscious about the reactions to my creative choices. This not only involves the people-as-characters, but also fellow fans of the franchise. Seeing as being a fan of said franchise led me to begin writing this particular fan fiction in the first place, my attention to detail is also paid towards being genuine to the sources as human beings.
Now I’m thinking of just how I’d phrase the disclaimers at the top of each chapter.
This just goes to show that just because you’ve done something before, it’s not abnormal to be hesitant or nervous about doing it again. Even if it’s something you’ve enjoyed doing, new factors and circumstances present themselves all the time, making each instance different from its predecessor. I’m still on the fence about posting my current project online, but I know I’ve done something similar before with positive results. I’m not naive enough to think the reviews will be the same, but past experience has assured me that I’m at least capable of producing work that fellow fans can enjoy.
Moral of the story: It’s really your call, but if you want to share your colors with the world, wear them proudly.