Thursday, April 29, 2010

"So, you write fan-fiction, huh?"

I have a question.

So, if anything is possible, what's stopping you?


I read. I write. I have had an editor, a dear friend, named LiLa ("Lion in the Land") for about a year. She's been writing, too.

And she's published her first book under the name Nicki Elson called Three Daves, about a girl going to college in the 80s and meeting three guys, each named Dave.

She wrote this story, she shared this story with her friends, and then she published it, and now it's a book.

So, if anything is possible, what is available?


For LiLa, what was available that her story is now a book. It was real before, just for herself, then it was real for a select few thousands that read it and the select few hundreds that encouraged her writing, dozens of them at each chapter she published.

And now it's a book, and now it's real for the world.


But what does this have to do with the title of this entry?

Jennifer meets Dave, Dave, and Dave in college, and 80s music plays a big role in the story.

Sound familiar? Anybody go to and visit Lion_in_the_Land (note the user id)? Remember the awards and interviews she's had about an AU/AH story she wrote about Bella going off to college in Chicago in the 80s and meeting Jasper and Emmett and Edward?

Or Dave, Dave, and Dave?

Remember all those reviews she got? The ones that said: "OMG! Your writing is so good ..." and all that and "You should write a book!" and all that?

Well, she did.

Now let's look in the mirror for a second, my dear "so, you write fan-fiction, huh?" author(esse)s. Ever got that review or reviews that said, "OMG! Your writing is so good! You should write a book!" But you said: "Oh, I just write fan-fiction; I can't write a book, and who would read it?" and they come right back: "I WOULD!"

"Oh, I just write fan-fiction" as if that's bad? "I can't write a book"

LiLa did. She found a way.

Do you see that trail she blazed for you, me, and everybody? Did she do it for us? Maybe. Maybe not.

But the trail is there now, and it's real.

A fan-fiction authoress that we know and whose stories we've read is now a published authoress.

And to think she almost didn't do it, and just one little song gave her that whatever to put out that first chapter, and her very first reviewer gave her that sense of self that, hey, somebody likes my stuff.

Are you going to publish a book? Maybe. Maybe not. You now can see from LiLa that this possibility does exist for you, even if you've just written one chapter with just one reviewer saying she liked it. Because not so long ago, LiLa was right there.

So let's say you decide to publish. Great! You win. And the lives you touch with your story, now that it's a book?

You win. Big time. And this guy will be standing here with his mouth wide open and his heart fit to bursting, just so happy for you and for your success.

So let's say you decide not to publish now.

You can still win. Because somewhere, there's a LiLa you know whose story you love.

Review it.

Say to her how you love it. What exactly in that chapter makes you laugh so hard you puke or cry so hard you need cleaner for your keyboard? Say this to her. Encourage her.

Because then, she just may publish that next chapter, she just may comment that, hey, your review lifted her spirits, and it may just give her enough to finish the story, and maybe, maybe-maybe-maybe, publish it as a book, so you can hold it in your hands, and know that, wow, she did it. You know somebody who did it and were there with her during the creation of that book, chapter by chapter.

I came along after she finished her story, and she's taken the twilight version off of twilighted and ffn, but my congratulations to her, no: my admiration of her and her work is right here, right now.

LiLa is one of the stars of fan-fiction writers, and her success and the praise she receives is well-deserved. She writes from the heart, and that heart is joyful.

You know your own LiLa, my dear authoress, all you have to do keep encouraging her with your honest reviews.

Or, all you have to do is to look in the mirror, and take that step of pressing that 'add chapter' button, or of mailing off that manuscript to the next publisher.

1 comment:

Nicki Elson said...

Wow, all I did was say HB and I get a whole blog. :D Now, I could interpret this to mean "Holy crap, LiLa got something published? LiLa? Is this the same hack that put Hellsing vampires on an island with Twilight vampires, turned Jeff Probst into a sand zombie, and called it a story? That LiLa? Well man, then I guess anything's possible." Hehe. But don't worry, I won't.

I hope that fanfiction writers take encouragement from your blog. And we can leave the fanfiction off; anyone who writes fanfiction is a writer. Period. I have been asked so many times in the past few months if I belong to any writing groups, and I say yeah---fanfiction, that's my writing group. I can't imagine that there's any writing community out there that provides a better forum for complete creative freedom, honest feedback, collaboration, and the all important exposure. You never know who you're going to meet out there, and I was lucky enough to catch the attention of an entrepreneurial woman that appreciated the talent of writers in the fanfiction community so much that she started her own publishing company.

Let me tell you a little story about Three Daves. I wrote it before I'd ever even heard of Twilight. I sent it out to a few literary agents, got rejected, and figured "Oh well, it wasn't meant to be." Then, while the story was dying a slow death, all alone, on my PC, I discovered Twilight and became addicted to the fanfiction. Bada-bing-bada-boom, David, Dave, and Big D were resurrected as Edward, Jasper, and Emmett, and I had the time of my life. I got valuable input from reviewers, revised, improved, and fell in love with the story all over again. That never would have happened without fanfiction.

Then one day I get an interesting and unexpected e-mail from Omnific Publishing. Edward, Jasper, and Emmett get changed back to David, Dave, and Big D. I get valuable input from my editor (the lovely CJ Creel to whom the book is dedicated), revise, improve, and fall in love with the story all over again. And now I'm having the time of my life sharing it with people who otherwise would've never read it. :) So yeah, anything can happen, even to writers of fanfiction. (Even to writers of fanfiction who've become hopelessly addicted to emoticons. :P)