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NerdyMJ

Why?

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This is probably gonna be my last blog update on this site ever because I feel like a lot of the people on this site are judgemental and don't understand me as well as I thought they did. I mean, I came to this site thinking, "Writing is writing. They get that. No one is going to give a f*ck that I write fanfiction as a hobby". But then, you know, I wrote a blog update about my fanfiction and when I came back the next day there was a thread labeling fanfiction writers as "lazy plagiarists". So it's kind of hard not to feel like I'm being targeted or labeled as a plagiarist myself, and I feel completely devalued as a writer because of those people and I'm not gonna keep coming back to place full of people that make me feel that way. I am, however, going to try to explain myself because I feel like you guys really don't understand fanfiction at all and I just want to give you my perspective on it. So you could understand just a little.
Anyway, I said in my last blog update that I have been watching TMNT for more 20 years and that's true. I was obsessed with the movie, which came out in 1990, and the cartoon when I was a kid. Michelangelo was my favorite Turtle back then, and because I had social anxiety even back then, I didn't have any friends. So I pretended that the Ninja Turtles were my friends and I actually believed that they were real until I was 12 years old because nobody bothered to explain to me that they weren't. They were my Santa Claus.
Then when I was 12, I started to realize that I couldn't keep pretending that all the stuff I'd seen on TV in the cartoons was real because it wasn't. So I stopped paying attention to it and I started focusing on real life, and I realized real life sucked. My mom was a abusive gambling addict, my brother told people that he was an only child, my dad lived out of state, and my grandfather had stopped paying attention to me two years ago when he realized I couldn't use a wrench. To make things worse, I had become the family scapegoat and that it is an abuse term, but I won't go into what it means because most of you probably know it means and if you don't, then you can just Google it. The worse and worse things got, the more I started to feel like I couldn't handle focusing on real life all the time. It was too hard. I went to school in tears and begged my mom to put me in therapy, so they could put me on antidepressants. But she wouldn't.
At that point, I started focusing on my writing again. I had taught myself to write when I was nine and I started reading R.L. Stine's Goosebumps. I just kept writing and writing and writing and reading and reading and reading until finally something good came out. My teachers actually thought, for once, that I was going to become something when I got older. They thought I was going to be writer. So I came home and told my mom that I was going to graduate and go to NYU (because the Turtles lived in NYC) to be a writer, and she laughed at me. She said there was no way I was going to college even if I graduated. I wasn't smart enough and there wasn't enough money, she said. So I stopped writing at that point.
But twelve-year-old me didn't know what else to, except write. So I started keeping a journal and I realized I loved anime. Especially one anime called Rurouni Kenshin. I idolized the main character, Kenshin Himura, because he so cool and he was such a good person. I watched it religiously, and I wrote in my journal about how cool he was. Then my dad stopped speaking to me because I was an embarrassment, and my mom sold our PC, so all of my writing was gone and I didn't have a way to write other than my journal. Then our cable got turned off (again) because my mom wouldn't pay the bill. Then I didn't have Kenshin. But I kept writing in my journal, trying to make the best of things and I never forgot about Kenshin Himura. I wanted to be just like him. I wanted to be someone he could be proud of. I sort of made him into my father figure. Then one day after school, I came downstairs and my mom was home from work early and she had gotten my journal out of my backpack and she was reading it. She was reading it to my brother and his friends and my grandfather.
"Oh, Kenshin, oh, Kenshin," she sneered at me. "What is this garbage?"
And they laughed at me.
Then I didn't know what to write anymore because not even my thoughts were safe, and all I could think was, "If Kenshin were real, he wouldn't do this to me. He wouldn't ever do something like this to Yahiko, so there's no way he'd do it to me." And I stopped caring about what was real and what wasn't because I wanted my life to be the one that wasn't real, but I didn't know how to do that.
Months passed.
I had stopped writing again because I felt too violated to keep a journal and lacked the confidence to write an actual story. I didn't even my favorite anime to take my mind off how miserable I felt.
Then I made a new friend at school who told me about fanfiction. I didn't really understand it at first, though, so I resisted the idea of writing it. I joined the school newspaper and published an article on UFOs, but the editor said I couldn't be in it because I didn't contribute enough, which was true. I didn't really know anything about journalism. All I'd ever wanted to be was a fiction writer and journalism was sort of the opposite of that, and besides what do you print in a middle school newspaper, anyways? I thought about writing about the new Harry Potter movies that were coming out or TMNT, but that series was long since over and I was the only one that really still cared about it. Oh, and I was afraid of the other writers on the newspaper. So, yeah, I quit the newspaper.
Then my friend said, "You should write fanfiction. You'd probably be good at it."
So I did. I bought a notebook from the Dollar Tree and I started writing a fanfiction. It was about a young, girl samurai who ran away from her abusive family to live with Kenshin. I didn't post it online because I didn't have a computer, but I showed it to my friend and she loved it. Then she showed it to her friends and they loved it. They kept pestering me to write it and I did. I kept writing it until it was 210 pages and filled two notebooks because I realized I was actually good at writing. It just finally sunk in. It also gave me a way to feel closer to the characters that I loved. I could keep their story going. I could write my own ending. It gave me a sense of control.
And it gave me the courage and confidence to start working on original fiction, poetry, lyrics, etc.
But I actually lost that confidence in high school because I realized that it didn't matter how good I could write if no one wanted to publish what I wrote. So I stopped writing again, and I didn't start writing again until last year when I decided to go back to school and become a Literature Major.
Then, at some point last summer, I realized the story I was trying to write was really, really hard. I mean, it had always been hard before, but I felt like the character I was creating too complicated for even me to fully understand. I realized I couldn't just jump into the story. I had to research and keep researching, and I felt like that made me a failure because I hadn't thought of that before. I thought I could just put my "great idea" down on paper without even knowing how to write an action scene.
I decided to start another fanfiction, but it would have to be one with a lot of action and a complex character. I decided to go with TMNT because I'd been wanting to write a TMNT fic for a while. The big reason behind why that is because when I was a teenager, I realize how much I can relate to Raphael and he became my favorite Turtle. He has depression like I do, he has an overshadowing sibling like I do, and he feels misunderstood like I do. The inspiration for my OC, Mia Blake, came from the game Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I had a save file where the mayor was named Mia, and I decided to base the OC off of her. So I started to write my current fanfiction firstly as a writing exercise, because I didn't want my favorite version of my favorite character to be forgotten, and because I wanted that character to be happy.
I'm not interested in selling my fanfiction or making money off of it in anyway.
But the real reason I write fanfiction is because I'm really lonely, the only people I know how to relate to are fictional like Raphael Hamato and Lisbeth Salander, and I feel completely out of control in my own life. This helps. It gives me a sense of closure and for one blip of a second in their universe, I get to be in control and it helps me learn how to be a better writer. It makes me feel like I'm not absolute garbage, and I think those reasons are pretty much why a lot of people like to write fanfictions.
So, now, hopefully you guys will understand my perspective on fanfiction and why it's important, and why it shouldn't be condemned. If you guys ever feel like seeing my work on FF.Net, my screen name is NerdyMJ. I'm not telling you that so I can self-promote. I just want you guys to see how what I write isn't a joke. I put a lot of work into it, and I even started posting original fiction again on other sites.

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Comments

  1. TKent's Avatar
    hey NerdyMJ, I have to admit, I'm not sure exactly what thread you are talking about, but there is a fanfiction thread that was going a while back where there were just as many writers here that support fanfiction as those who don't. The world is full of different people and they are all entitled to their opinions, and the thing is, it is more natural for someone to respond strongly to something they don't agree with than something they do. I'm a small business owner and hear more often from someone who doesn't like our service. All the ones who like it are quietly coming back again and again because it works and they don't feel the need to say anything. If you take a look at the Hugh Howey interview in Author Interviews, you'll see he got his start writing fan fiction. And he is one of my favorite sci-fi writers. So although it may be hard not to, try not to take stuff like that personally. It's just like getting critiques on work, read it all, do you best to analyze it and understand it, then use what you can and move on. Here's hoping you continue to grace us with your presence
  2. Plasticweld's Avatar
    This is my take on this, having just gotten done reading all of the posts that you started since joining the site, plus your first chapter of your story.


    You need to write about something you know. You have obvious skills in my opinion, you do have a knack for putting together some nice sentences that describe characters and settings, and you do this well.


    The common thread running through all of your posts and most of your work is “What do you guys think?" and "Will this work?"

    It is obvious to me that you are a writer searching for a story to tell and you have chosen a genera that you honestly are not comfortable with.


    Before you throw in the towel, before you give up on the site. Try entering one of the LM competitions either in Fiction, Non-Fiction or Color of Fiction which already have an outline and story prompt. I think you will be surprised at how well you do.

    I would also encourage you to tell a short story that is part of your life, and share it in the Non-Fiction section of the site. It could be about your move from NY to FL. or about your parents anything you feel passionate about, that you know for sure how you feel.


    Putting some of your writing on the forum will let the other writers know who you are and make them much more receptive to your work. I would have to say the common thread among those offering you advice here is this “Just Write" I have seen that numerous times in the replies to the questions you have asked. The writers here have taken the time to respond to you, they too could also see some talent. I think in fairness to them and in fairness to the site you try their advice first and tell us a story near and dear to your heart...Bob
  3. John Oberon's Avatar
    I think you need to develop a thicker hide. If writing fanfic helps you in your life and makes you feel better about yourself, then by golly, write fanfic...LOTS of it, and damn the torpedoes. I would...and I wouldn't care a rat's you-know-what what anyone said about it. Who knows? Maybe you'll strike a societal nerve like Twilight or Fifty Shades and make a mountain of cash. Those two books were patently AWFUL fanfic writing, but people loved them. From your post, you appear to be a much better writer than either of those authors, so go for it!
  4. escorial's Avatar
    why..? a question we all ask at times about all aspects of life....you may not understand your strengths or your weaknesses but facing them head on may chip away at why.
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