At Leakycon we don’t say “I love you” we say “WE’RE WIZARDS WE’LL PARTY FOREVER TURN AROUND BRIGHT EYES HARRY I’M COMING HOME I...
I have a request
related to a post I just saw about cashiers asking “Did you get everything you need today” or somesuch
my request is this: when...
Title: Ewoks, Homosexual Stimulation, and Captain Picard
Fandoms: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse
Pairing(s)/Character(s): Topher Brink/Andrew Wells
Summary: Topher Brink and Andrew Wells meet at Comic-Con, and sparks begin to fly. Andrew’s totally smitten, but Topher refuses to accept that he’s not straight. Will Andrew be able to get Topher to open up before they have to go back to their separate lives? Basically, if you like adorable, nerdy boy slash, this is the fic you should be reading.
Read the first chapter here! If you like it, please add it to your favorites or something, because I probably won’t post about it after this.
I was scrolling down my dashboard this week, and I happened upon matthawthorneisamyth’s rant about fanfiction. I’ve heard views like his expressed many a time, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to express my views on the genre, and why I think it can be a very beneficial starting block for writers.
I will defend starting with fanfiction before moving on to original fiction until my last breath, because it is what motivated me to start writing. (Keep in mind that I used the word starting.) I have always adored trying to paint pictures with my words, but as a young child, I was completely incapable of creating characters with which to play. Performing this task, on top of coming up with a plot and wriitng well, was daunting and discouraging, so I didn’t do it too much.
However, one day in sixth grade, I stumbled upon harrypotterfanfiction.com and fell in love. Combining two of my very favorite things, writing and Harry Potter, was a dream come true for a twelve-year-old girl. I wrote fan fiction avidly from that day until my freshman year in high school, and I still write on occasion when a plot bunny decides to run around in my head.
Now I’d like to counter Matt’s idea that, although fanfiction might be good practice, it is something that should never see the light of day. I won’t lie to you: 95% of my early fanfiction was absolutely abysmal (as is any writing a sixth grader does, I think.) However, my stories garnered tens of thousands of reads, and dozens of reviews. I think most of these reviewers realized that I wasn’t a particularly good writer, but I think they also knew how young I was. So they basically told me, “Good job! Keep writing!” Some kind souls even took the time to leave in-depth reviews, telling me what I could improve and what I did fairly well.
These reads and reviews were the most encouraging things I could ever have received at that point in my life. If I had simply been sitting at home, writing original fiction and hiding it away on my computer hard drive, or even posting it on Tumblr, I’m not sure that I would have written with the ferocity I did in middle school. My fear that my writing might suck was overridden by the fact that my readers were waiting for chapter ten. To this day, I feel extremely indebted to these people who took time out of their days to encourage a little girl who was writing cliché stories about Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Writing fanfiction also has other benefits besides having a wide audience who is fairly tolerating. It has taught me to write certain types of characters that I had a lot of trouble with for a long time. It has taught me to plot creatively and keep character voice constant. And of course, the sheer act of writing hundreds of pages of the stuff helped me to improve my style, voice and general writing ability.
Of course writing fan fiction is not as nearly as difficult as writing original fiction. It comes with its own set of challenges (working with a pre-existing voice and style being the main one,) but it involves a lot of shortcuts. It requires less imagination and less work. However,
I like to think that most fanfiction writers write original fiction as well. Maybe this is being overly optimistic, but I feel like eventually, if they are serious enough about writing, they’ll think of something to write that doesn’t revolve around their fandoms. However, I guess we can only hope and pray that they eventually get the courage to break away and make something new.
I wrote this essay for a writing contest that Scholastic was holding based off of Libba Bray’s new book, Beauty Queens (which was awesome, by the way.) The prompt asked to explain why you’re a beauty queen, which in the novel means fighting for what you believe in and being true to yourself.
First off, full disclosure: by conventional standards, I’m no beauty queen. The one time I tried a fad diet, I was ready to gnaw my arm off by Day 3; I almost get altitude sickness every time I put on a pair of high heels; and I still haven’t figured out how to apply eyeliner without making myself look like a raccoon.
However, when it comes to working to achieve my dreams, I’ve got that covered. Ever since first grade, I’ve wanted to become a writer more than anything else. I was the kid who created makeshift storybooks and acted out soap opera storylines with My Little Ponies. As I grew older, I moved to working on a series of short stories about talking dogs and probably wrote enough bad Harry Potter fan fiction to wallpaper the Sistine Chapel.
Now, as an eighteen-year-old, I throw myself into every writing opportunity I can find. As a result, I was the managing editor for my school newspaper last year, and am currently a writer for Sweet Designs, an online magazine for teen girls. I attended a writing workshop at Michigan State University last summer, have participated in the Office of Letters and Light’s National Novel Writing Month challenge for the last four Novembers and penned many of the lyrics on my band’s debut CD over the course of six months. And that’s not even counting the secret stash of fiction that the light of day has never seen.
So when I chose my college this year, I took a chance and chose a writing school in Boston. In August, I’ll be moving from Suburbia, Michigan to a huge city where I will be pursuing what is widely considered an “impractical” major. Everyone, including my parents, think I’m pretty much insane. However, I have this nagging feeling that I’m capable of writing something that will have a positive impact on someone like so many books have had on me. I just can’t let that dream go without knowing I tried my absolute hardest to make it happen.
So although I think those yellow feather hair extensions look stupid and I think I’ll be able to squeeze into a pair of size 0 jeans somewhere in the near, well, never, I like to think that my mind, my intentions and my dreams are beautiful. And no matter what any fashion magazine or judging panel says, at least in some way, I think that makes me beautiful too.
Ever since the beginning of middle school, I’ve never exactly been able to fall into the “cool crowd.” I think walking around wearing a store name embossed across my chest is a waste of $30. I didn’t know the difference between eyeliner and mascara until my junior year. The most I ever do with my hair is brush it.
But that’s not to say I didn’t try to make my way into the cool crowd, because I did. However, sitting around obsessing about boys or celebrities, two of the most popular activities in middle school, always ended up bringing my nerdiness to light, not masking it. They wanted to talk about Brad Pitt or Cody Linley; all I cared about were the actors from Harry Potter and Wicked.
During freshman year, my past experiences made me terrified to tell people that I watched Star Trek: Enterprise every Monday night or wrote Harry Potter fan fiction in my spare time. I was largely timid, nervous and had a really hard time making friends. I played in my school’s marching band, but was embarrassed by it. I was a nerd in denial, and I hated every minute of it.
I don’t know exactly when I decided that hiding my nerdiness was pointless and responsible for a lot of my self-esteem problems. Maybe it was when my best friend first read the Harry Potter series and fell in love with it. Or when I started hanging out with my nerdy group of guy friends. Or when I joined Plurk, a social networking site a lot like Twitter, where I made a ton of friends who are the biggest nerds I know. Whatever the case, I made the leap and never looked back.
Now, I’m about two months away from graduating from high school, and I’m so glad that I “came out nerd” before it was too late. I wear my nerdy t-shirts down the halls with pride. I post pictures from the wizard rock concerts and Harry Potter conventions I attend on my Facebook, with tags and all. My friend and I even recorded a parody of the song “I Kissed a Girl” called “I Kissed a Nerd” that has received over 10,000 views on YouTube.
This year especially, my nerdy activities have abounded, and any embarrassment I had about them is gone. I played flute in my school’s marching, concert and jazz bands. I sang Spider Pig with the school choir. I competed with the quiz bowl team. I spent 12 hours scouting other robots at a regional robotics competition and danced on the sidelines. I was in my school’s production of Godspell and wore huge glasses. I was the managing editor for my school newspaper.
But beyond that, I’ve surrounded myself with people who get it and accept me for who I am, nerdy obsessions and all. My best friend and I spent the last three months of our lives watching the entirety of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in my basement. My friend Danny is currently working on catching all of the Pokemon in existence and loves playing Magic and World of Warcraft. Kris spends his free time making robots and could argue with you for hours about why Macs are better than PC’s. Katrina writes historical fiction and is working her butt off to get into an Ivy League school. They’re my inspiration to keep going and not to sweat it when a group of jocks laughs at me.
So please, if you’re one of those nerds who is still in the closet, believe me when I tell you that it’s worth it to come out. Don’t be afraid to read your graphic novels in class or talk about anime in your Facebook status. Don that Star Wars t-shirt, young Padawan.
It may be rough at first. If you earn the scorn of the uneducated masses, don’t let the Muggles get you down. Coming out here and now is the best way to make friends who will respect you for who you truly are.
Nerds unite! Live long and prosper.
I can count on one hand the number of things I have in common with my ten-year-old self. That girl scarcely made a peep and did her very best to avoid being noticed; today, my voice often threatens to break local noise ordinances, and I strut down the hallways at school carrying a backpack shaped like Super Mario’s friend Yoshi. Practically the only things that I have in common with that shy little girl are an aversion to porcelain dolls, my DNA and my love for the Harry Potter books.
For the past eight years, those seven novels by J.K. Rowling have impacted my life more than anything else. They have shaped my personality, aspirations and friendships to no end.