IWSG – July CampNaNo

Published July 6, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

I’m not sure if it was a good decision or a bad decision, but I think it was the only decision I could make.

I’m doing July’s session of CampNaNo.

Okay, that part is a good decision.  No question of that.

But the part I’m still not sure about is that I’m writing fanfic.  It’s the first fanfic I’ve written since…January of…2013? 2014?  Well, one of those two.  It was definitely in a January that I last touched fanfic.

I guess, looking at it that way, it doesn’t sound like a long time.  And compared to the twentyish years I spent writing fanfic (exclusively for more than ten of those years) it really isn’t all that long a time.  But I’d been proud of myself for getting away from fanfic and only writing original stuff.  (Even though much of my “original” material wasn’t really all that original, being based heavily — or entirely — on Greek mythology.)

So why am I doing something I said I wouldn’t do again?

I feel like I didn’t have a choice.  I mean, it’s been taking over my brain, so maybe if I write it all out, it’ll let go, and I can get back to the WIP that was already in progress.  Right?

The fanfic is to a movie I’ve posted about before, called Velvet Goldmine.  I’ve become quite obsessed with it, which is kind of alarming.  (Particularly since I’m a bit clueless about popular music, especially popular music from the years shortly before my own birth.  (Okay, when I put it like that, it shouldn’t seem surprising…))

On first viewing, what you take away from the movie is either the music, the costumes or the sex.  (I’m sorry to say it was mostly the third one for me…)  On another viewing (or another couple viewings), you start really picking up on the deeper aspects of the plot, particularly the — for lack of a better word — conspiracy going on in the background.

I am proud to be able to say that my fanfic is centered around the latter, not the sex.  (Um, but the sex is still part of it.  Because how can it not be?)

But I’m still kind of ashamed to be writing fanfic again.

And I’m not sure if it feels better or worse that I’m having to invent so many characters and locations.  All my previous fanfiction endeavors were based on sprawling JRPGs, or if you go back further in time, on the Star Wars trilogy.  (Back when it was still only a trilogy.  Yes, that long ago.)  Working from such narrow confines is definitely a new experience for me.

I think the part that really bugs me is that I have no one I can talk to about it, though.  I mean, okay, one of the people in my cabin for CampNaNo has actually seen the movie, but only one, and not terribly recently.  More importantly, I can’t drone on about it in the cabin board, because that’s not fair to the others in the cabin, right?  Also, it would be awkward, on account of there’s actually a very massive spoiler that I have to avoid mentioning, but which is integral to my plot.

See, as I mentioned in my earlier post about the movie, it’s structured like Citizen Kane, and it does follow that structure pretty well, to the point that the question the reporter is trying to answer does get answered.  And — unlike Citizen Kane — the movie’s not well known enough for the answer to have become common knowledge, so one can watch the film without already knowing the secret.  (This is irrelevant, but I think I figured out how Velvet Goldmine came about, initially.  I remember the DVD box for A Hard Day’s Night had a quote from a reviewer calling it “the Citizen Kane of jukebox musicals!”  By which it just meant “the best,” but the reviewer had phrased it in a flashy manner to make sure he’d get quoted.  (Cynical?  Me?  Never!)  But that comparison always bugged me a bit, because the two have zilch in common, apart from being really good and in black and white.  So I think that bugged someone else, too, and they were like “okay, let’s make a jukebox musical that’s actually doing Citizen Kane!”  That’s my theory, anyway.)

On the one hand, maybe I shouldn’t be doing this; maybe I’ve opened terrible floodgates that will drown out my original fiction.

On the other hand, my original fiction was never gonna get published anyway, so I’m not sure if it really matters.  Apart from the fact that if I tell someone I’m working on a novel, they’re impressed, but if I told them I was working on fanfiction, they’d be like “at your age?” and get all snooty.  Not that I go around talking to people IRL about my writing much anyway.  (In fact, I tend not to do much talking in reality in the first place.  Too much chance of other people hearing me and maybe even responding to me.)

4 comments on “IWSG – July CampNaNo

  • I think there are a number of valid reasons to write fanfiction. The first and most obvious is that it’s fun, and something you enjoy. Writing shouldn’t always be work. The second is to try different things, with established characters and plot, as a way to test out new ideas and ways of writing. If you write original work all the time it’s very easy to fall into the same tropes and patterns. Working with someone else’s background gives you a new set of rules to play with, and you might learning something new doing it. The third is a way to get your writing out to an audience. If you are a part of a community that enjoys a particular property, and they like your writing about that property, it will be much easier to convince them to come along and try out your original works, especially if it’s in a similar genre or theme.

    That last one may be a little hard to capitalize on based on the obscurity of what you’re working from, but the other points still apply. 🙂

    IWSG July

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  • Sometimes it’s good just to write. And I like that, by writing fanfic, you’ve got some constraints/rules to abide by. It gives you a strong sense of focus and probably makes it easier to write. I think the key is finding a way to develop your writing skills even further through fanfic. Think about Fifty Shades of Grey; that was Twilight turned on it’s head. And then someone took the Fifty Shades of Grey idea and wrote a book based on those stories on Wattpad and that got published. (Anna Todd’s book. Can’t remember the name right now.)

    Anyway point is: you have options. Use fanfic to your advantage. And don’t be so hard on yourself. If you want to get published, keep working at your writing, submit to publishers when you are ready, and maybe someday you will have a published book. Besides, with a blog, you already are at least self-published. 😛 🙂

    Best of luck with Camp NaNo! Hope you have fun! 🙂

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  • I still write fanfic. There are some stories you just really want to see your favorite characters go through, or some new characters you want to have experience your favorite world. Those plot bunnies will never go away until they’re satisfied. Enjoy it and good luck with camp Nano. I might have to try that one of these years.

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