Guilty Pleasures

My no-apologies guilty pleasure is fanfiction.

I discovered it several years ago, searching online for more information on an out-of-publication series. Soon enough I was sucked in to the delight that is fanfiction, and eventually reading it wasn’t enough. 

I began to catalogue my favourite series and novels and search out fics for them, and to date I have probably 40 or so different archives in mind. This came about after I learned ‘shipping’, the popular term given to when you like a particular pairing. I found fanfiction satisfied the want for various pairings that have never happened in canon and all kinds of themes and topics and universes. 

At first I felt a bit guilty, as if I was thumbing my nose at the author of the series. Your work isn’t good enough, I feared was the message. Finally though, I learned to see it as a way to explore another avenue or storyline within a fandom: for instance, did you ever wonder what might’ve been if Aunt Petunia had remained on good terms with her sister, and thus willingly taken in little Harry when Lily and James died? There’s a fic for that. That one pairing on the TV series who never actually got together (but should have)? Write them into fanfic.

Of course, with this came a need for standards, and now I’m quite a demanding audience – writer, too, for that matter. I cannot, will not abide a lot of spelling or grammar errors. For period pieces, the language has to be accurate, and the format is always a deal-breaker, if there’s a lot of bunched-up text. If I get bored in a multi-chapter story, I have a four-chapter rule: if I can’t get invested in it within four chapters, I have a tiny little red square with an X waiting to be used. 

And, eventually, the habit of reading and writing fanfiction spilled over to my desire to write original stuff. I began to scribble things in the back of an English exercise book, and began to wonder about ever getting my writing into a place where people might see and read it.

One day, a friend told me about a website where you could have a blog and post whatever you wanted, and here I am.

written in response to the Daily Prompt

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