Fan Fiction, Practicalities and Pitfalls

Hey everybody!  I’m still working on the final installment of A Hand to Hold, I promise. In the conclusion, we’ll find out why Miki’s mission was so important, and we may have another surprise or two besides.    This story isn’t going together quite as neatly as the previous two stories did (although neither of them was exactly tightly put together, either).  I’ve noticed my installments are running longer and longer, which means I’m running the risk of producing hopeless, windy rambles.  That’s bad news for a short story.  Anything longer than six installments might work better as a novella, and that seems like a lot of work for a piece of amateur fan fiction.

You’ll notice I didn’t say “mere fan fiction.”  I’m aware that some fanfics are superlative, and have enabled their authors to find success with their own original works.  I don’t presume to be reaching those lofty heights any time soon.  I imagine most fanfic writers are doing it for practice.  I know I am.

But why fan fiction?  I guess that for me, at least, it makes things a little easier.  Writing in the Elder Scrolls gives me two things:  a setting, and the bones to hang a plot on.  Anyone familiar with the Elder Scrolls will have at least heard of the regions described in the stories, and will know enough lore to understand what I’m building the plot around.  For me, I guess it’s kind of like riding a bike with training wheels – it saves me from stumbling on essential parts of fiction writing, and allows me to get better at the other parts, like plot and characterization.

Of course, there are dangers to this approach as well.  If I ever want to put together a truly original story, I’d have to learn how develop a meaningful setting, and how to hang an effective plot around it.  Eventually I’ll have to take those training wheels off, and that could be scary!    But if I want to write original fiction, it’s something I’ll have to do.

Oh, before I sign off, thanks for reading, and I hope all of you have a wonderful Holiday season and a great 2019!

One thought on “Fan Fiction, Practicalities and Pitfalls

  1. I love creating characters and I hate plotting, so Elder Scrolls fan fiction is perfect for me. But truly, when I started Elspeth’s story, I thought I could tell the whole thing in about 20 chapters. HA!


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