Four Years of Fan Fiction

On this day, every year, I post some stats about fan fiction I’ve written; today being July 28th – exactly four years since I started writing it. You can view my stats for 2016 here, and 2015 here.

When I started, it was only Buffy fanfic, and it was only posted in a single place: Elysian Fields. After a year, I started sharing work to FanFiction.net and dipping my toe into other fandoms, also. Last year I decided to re-edit my back catalogue and stick it all up on Archive of Our Own. That is still a work in progress, as you’ll see below.

Total Words Written: 320,000
Words Posted to AO3: 100,000

On EF, I have left over 1,000 reviews totalling 50,000 words, and 84 people have favourited me.

130 people have favourited me on FF, and I’ve left 150 reviews there.
Total views to my FF profile page: over 10,000.

I have almost 500 ‘Kudos’ on AO3. Hits are over 12,000, subscriptions over 100, and 69 bookmarks (honestly, I don’t really know the difference between subscriptions and bookmarks, but I post the details here for reference anyway).

I’m not even going to begin trying to count how many reviews I’ve received, because it was in the thousands last year and it took me forever to total. Needless to say, though, I’m feeling pretty pleased with what I’ve accomplished.

Six Months of Books

Now that half the year is gone, it really is high time I got around to summarising everything I’ve been reading. I set myself the goal of fifty books this year, and I’m very pleased (not to mention surprised) that I’m well ahead of target with thirty-seven already down (74% of target, 13 books ahead of schedule).

Here is a breakdown of those thirty-seven books:

Poetry

Through a Hedge Backwards by Rene Greig, Reflections from the Enler by Alex Dempster, The Orchard by Isobel Gamble, The World’s Wife and Feminine Gospels by Carol Ann Duffy, Famous American Poems edited by Gene Baro, The Goose Tree by Moyra Donaldson, Undying by Michel Faber, Crow by Ted Hughes, and Stranger Baby by Emily Berry.

Audiobooks in the Dresden Files Series

Turn Coat, Changes, Ghost Story, Cold DaysSkin Game, and Side Jobs all by Jim Butcher.

Young Adult Novels

No Life But This and Spinning Thorns by Anna Sheehan, Terror Kid by Benjamin Zephaniah, Amoung the Ghosts by Amber Benson, Simon vs the Homosapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Life and Death by Stephanie Myer, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and Inish Carraig by Jo Zebedee (audiobook)

Adult Novels

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin (audio), As You Like It by Shakespeare (audio), Where Three Roads Meet by Salley Vickers, and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

Non-Fiction

Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (audio), The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck and Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight (audio).

Novelty/Gift Books

In the Garden of Happiness by Dodinsky, Doug the Pug by Leslie Mosier, and Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones by Bryan Cogman.

Other

The Female Line edited by Ruth Carr (poetry and short stories), and a novel-length fanfic.

*sighs a deep, contented breath* What have you guys been reading?


Want even more stats? Follow me on Goodreads here.

People Worth Promoting: Anna Sheehan

anna sheehanThe good people of Tumblr have declared today – August 21st – Fan Fiction Writers Appreciation Day, making this the perfect opportunity for me to put up part two of my People Worth Promoting series.

I want to talk to you about Anna Sheehan, a wonderful author (not to mention a wonderful person in general, and a great friend), who I met through writing fan fiction.

Anna has written a metric-shit-ton (actual measurement) of beautiful, twisted, character-driven words set in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe. Not only that, but she’s had three of her own original novels published, too. I’ve read the first one (A Long, Long Sleep – loved it!), and am about to start the most recent (Spinning Thorns – can’t wait!).

She’s so talented, and I can’t recommend her highly enough. So, if you love Buffy fanfiction, check out her stories here. And if you love Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, check out her novels here. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

Fan Fiction Milestones 2016

FanFic AnniversaryNow three years from when I started writing fan fiction, it’s time for another round-up of statistics. For comparison, you can see last years post here.

One thing that’s happened since my last update that I should mention is that I’ve joined Archive of Our Own.
So, I’m currently going through all my fanfic, re-editing and crossposting it there.

Basic Stats:

  • Over 8,500 Profile Views | Fanfiction.net
  • Received over 500 Reviews | Fanfiction.net
  • Received over 1,500 Reviews* | Elysian Fields
  • 107 Followers | Fanfiction.net
  • On the Favorite Author List of 99 Members | Fanfiction.net
  • On the Favorite Author List of 67 Members | Elysian Fields

I Have Written:

  • Over 270,000 words of Fanfiction for Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel the Series
    (70,000 in the last year)
  • About 5,000 words of Fanfic for Other Fandoms
  • Over 850 Reviews, Totaling 40,000 words | Elysian Fields
  • Over 150 Reviews | Fanfiction.net
  • 13 “Challenges” | Elysian Fields

I Have Currently:

  • 44 Completed Stories for the Buffy Fandom**
  • 6 Completed Stories for Other Fandoms
  • 42 Works in Progress for Buffy Fandom
  • 1 Works in Progress for Other Fandoms

Awards Since Last Year:

  • Runner Up: Best Beta | Sunnydale Memorial Fan Fiction Awards (Round 32)
  • Best Crossover (with a TV show) | SunnyD Fanfic Awards (Round 32)
  • Best Quickie Fic | SunnyD Fanfic Awards (Round 32)
  • 2015 Challange Month Participant | Elysian Fields
  • 2015 Holiday Fic Challange Participant | EF
  • 2015 Holiday Review Challange Participant | EF

*This is calculated to the best of my ability. There were a lot to count, and there might be a small degree of human error, hence why I’ve rounded numbers down.

**For this statistic, I’ve combined series and counted them once.

More Fanfic Awards!

Fanfiction Award Plaque Today, the winners of Round Thirty-Two of the Sunnydale Memorial Fan Fiction Awards were announced, and I was one of them!

I’ve been titled runner-up for ‘Best Beta.’ One of my stories won ‘Best Crossover (with a TV Show),’ and another story won ‘Best Quickie Fic.’

So, needless to say, I’m very happy! Thank you to whoever voted for me 🙂
Fanfiction Award Plaque Fanfiction Award Plaque

Fan Fiction Milestones

On this day two years ago – July 28th, 2013 – I wrote and posted my first ever piece of fan fiction. Since then, fanfic has become a big part of my life, both as a writer and as a reader. It’s my release for when my novel isn’t going the way I want, or when life isn’t going the way I want, and I find it generally good writing practice as well. So, I thought I’d share some statistics in celebration of the anniversary. Fanfic Award Plaque

Basic Stats:

  • Over 5,000 Profile Views | Fanfiction.net
  • Received over 1,300 Reviews
  • 77 Followers | Fanfiction.net
  • On the Favorite Author List of 60 Members | Fanfiction.net
  • On the Favorite Author List of 43 Members | Elysian Fields
  • My Most Popular Story – ‘After the End’ – has over 80,000 Views

I have written:

  • Over 200,000 words of Fanfiction for Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel the Series.
  • Over 3,000 words of Fanfic for other fandoms (Harry Potter, Crow, Serenity, Ten Things I Hate About You, and Once Upon a Time).
  • Over 500 Reviews, Totaling over 21,000 words | Elysian Fields
  • Over 100 Reviews | Fanfiction.net
  • 6 Challenges | Elysian Fields

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Thoughts on Kindle Worlds

As I said in a previous post, I write a fair bit of fan fiction. I also said I had no intentions of publishing it for profit, mainly because doing so wasn’t really an option. The copyright issues are unclear to say the least, and making money off fanfic is not why I write it. That said, I recently was reading about Kindle Worlds, and it changes things, slightly.

Now, Kindle Worlds has existed for about two years, and apparently there was a big uproar about it in the fanfic community in general, and on Tumblr in particular, when it was first announced. Don’t ask me why I’ve never heard about it before, because I’m as baffled as you.

For those who, like me, don’t know what it is, basically Amazon have a branch of the Kindle store specifically dedicated to paid, legal fan fiction. The catch is they only have permission to do this within certain “worlds” (i.e. fictional universes, or fandoms). Oh, and you also need a bank account in the US.

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The Addiction of Instant Affirmation

I would rather write one-hundred thousand words of fan fiction than ten-thousand words of “original” fiction. Is it because I have fewer ideas for original stories? Is it because I prefer the writing process with fan fiction, or that writing fan fiction is in someway easier? Nope, nope, and not at all. The key is motivation – let me explain:

Ten-thousand words of a novel is ten-thousand words of a novel. It’s not a complete novel. Unfinished as it is, no one wants to read it*. And, generally speaking, you shouldn’t want to show it to people before it’s ready anyway. Posting it online severely lowers your chance of getting it accepted by a traditional publishing house. While giving friends and family a sneak peak can be a blessing or a curse, and there’s no way to tell until it’s too late.

So, basically, you’re left with ten-thousand words to worry over. Is it good enough? Will people like it? Even if you’re certain you’re penning a best seller (which you absolutely can not be sure of) you have to slog on and go through the long process to publication. It can take years, and it can be demoralizing.

Fan fiction, on the other hand? Because it’s not for profit you can share it online to your hearts content and, when you do, your heart is indeed content. You get reviews, and compliments, and people boast about you on Tumblr**. To me that kind of affirmation is like a drug***, and that’s why I do it. The fans. The community. People placing value on my work.

 

…I would rather write one-hundred thousand words of fan fiction than ten-thousand words of “original” fiction. This is a problem, because I have a novel to write. Can someone start paying me for Spike and Buffy stories?


Recommended Video: A TED Talk on Self Control (It’s vaguely related, and very interesting.)


*I’m throwing generalizations around, here.

**Okay, so you’re not guaranteed to get showered in praise but I’ve found that – excluding a few haters here and there – fan fiction readers are lovely, and if you come up with anything half decent you will no doubt get fans/followers.

***Disclaimer: drugs are bad. The high doesn’t last forever, and the following slump can be crippling. Same goes for writer’s block, though obviously to a lesser degree. Haters do hate, and they will kill you slowly if you let them.

In Defense of Fan Fiction

In Defense of Fan Fiction Blog ImageThe bad thing about fan fiction is that anyone can write it, and the good thing is that anyone can write it. But isn’t that the same with any kind of creative work?

It’s true that while traditional fiction only allows writers to subject their own characters to a range of emotional ups and downs, fan fiction authors can – and do – take characters that you love like your very own and do what they like with them. But, then, so can you. It’s a double-edged sword, and I think it’s a great one – if that weren’t already obvious.

I don’t like the fact that all fan fiction is grouped together and looked down upon. Not when there’s so much variety, and not when a lot of what’s on offer is actually very good.

Some people tell me I’m wasting my time writing fan fiction, because I’m never going to be paid for it, but is it really a waste if I love it? I consider it practice, if nothing else.

In a sense – because there is no monetary motivation – writers of fan fiction are better than a lot of writers of traditional stories, because they do it for the right reasons. There are thirteen year olds out there who have written several novel length works and just given them to the world. I don’t find that a thing of shame, I’m impressed by it!


If you want to read more on this topic I suggest you check out this post, for a much better (more objective, less opinion based) defense of fan fiction than I could ever hope to write.