Writing FanFiction in an Anti FanFiction World

As of 6:02pm (PDT), Monday, March 17 on Archive of Our Own,  there are 65,004 Supernatural fanfiction pieces that run from 500 word PWPs to 100k epics across a spectrum of talent. There are some that everyone knows and loves and a few gems that no one has ever heard of. The variety is staggering, and it seems that there truly is nothing new under the sun when it comes to fanfiction, especially in this particular universe.

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So, I started writing this fanfic…

Seriously, though. I recently started writing a Supernatural fic, after about 9 months of refusing to touch the medium. Writing is difficult business, but picking up characters that have been so well established–on television as well as in the fanfic genre–seemed to me such an arduous task. I just did not believe myself capable of coming up with an original, canon-esque adventure for the Winchesters that didn’t already exist somewhere in great big world of Supernatural on the internet. I’m a very picky reader and an even more conscientious writer, and so I tread carefully through the massive amounts of fanfic and immersed myself into the world of SPN fanfic. I read story after story; canon, AU, Destiel, Sabriel. I explored the kink memes, the PG rated fanfiction.net posts and the NSFW LiveJournal goodies (you all know AO3 is my spot). I downloaded fics, searched Tumblr for fics, rec’d fics and read fics. And read and read and read…

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Then, the plot bug bit me. It itched. A lot. I tried to ignore it, but everywhere I went, I absentmindedly continued to scratch at this idea. I started with a short, fluffy gift fic for The Collectress at Christmas. I wanted to try my hand at the boys without committing to a long piece. So Dean and Cas enjoyed Christmas together, but it was pure fluff, no plot (not even porn) and quite fun to dish out. I initially didn’t want to share the story with anyone besides my angel, but she convinced me to post the story on AO3 to share with the fandom. Still, a few weeks passed and I couldn’t stop thinking about random interactions between these characters. Is this what an obsession feels like? When I recently traveled to Savannah, Georgia, I ended up penning another short fluffy piece for my blogmate that I posted on this blog just two weeks ago. I didn’t post that one to AO3, but it went to Reddit and came back with a few, sweet comments that gave me enough confidence to begin the ridiculous task of falling into the pit that is the SPN fanfiction universe.

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The thing is, while the fanfic community is tight knit and supportive, the rest of the world–well, not so much. For example, when the Collective gals first purchased our tickets to the November 2013 BurCon, ACollectiveMind.com had only recently come to fruition. We had a few regular readers, hardly any Twitter followers, and still were working out the logistics of Tumblr. I was searching for community and Destiel Network hadn’t been established yet, so I went to Facebook, the social media of choice for my personal use. I joined a BurCon community and posted a question on the page regarding fanfiction recommendations. Well, surprise, surprise, I received a response letting me know that this particular community was not the place for talk of fanfic and to please keep the Destiel comments to myself. OUCH. Ask my co-blogger, I got my little feelings hurt, plus, I just didn’t understand. Why wasn’t writing intricate, plot driven (and sometimes porn-driven) fiction considered a homage to the Supernatural universe by more of an audience? Season 5 of Supernatural gives a nod to fanfiction writers with Becky Rosen, who isn’t the sanest of characters, but she is passionate, she loves the Carver Edlund books (very meta) and has a good heart, even if she is mildly obsessed with Sam (but, who isn’t?). This tongue and cheek portrayal, while funny and spot on at points, borders on the harsh side of teasing when it comes to fanfiction. Not all fanfic is slash/wing!kink/gay angel butt love. And so what if it is?? Good writing is good writing.

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Not a single one of the 65k (and counting. 4 were added since I began writing this) Supernatural fics on AO3 has lessened the viewership of the television show. If anything, the high volume of interest via the internet, conventions and self-published authors has only benefited the show, which recently confirmed a tenth season. The fans have spoken–and published–anonymously on the internet, and yes, sometimes it involves gay sex between dudes that share a profound bond, but it really is quite beautiful. There are well-written tales expanding on the Supernatural canon, that explore the mental state of characters we have come to love. They are the stories in between the stories, the Monster of the Week episodes we missed. So why does much of the fandom have such a distaste for fiction based on already fictional characters?

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While there are some crazy, hardcore, fanatical, in-your-face, seriously tagging everybody for their ship type fanfic writers, I swear to Chuck, not everyone is like that. I have encountered so many talented, intelligent, thoughtful writers of fanfiction and so many well-written stories, well, I wanted to throw my trenchcoat in the ring, so to speak. These writers are educated, family oriented, service giving, changers of the world. These are fans of Dean and Cas and Sam and TFW–just everyday fuckers that write on the side and I LOVE IT. Fanfiction is just part of the fandom, folks, be ye warned. Let CloudyJenn into the writers’ room. She could write the shit out of a Supernatural episode. For that matter, so could the Collectress. Or You. Or me.

don’t let the plot bugs bite,

T.C.D.

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