For Old Times’ Sake

I’ve got to write and post more often… Bad, bad me…

At first, I thought I’d only get involved in the fanfiction exchange as a beta-reader, but since I’ve been kind of stuck in my original story, I decided to take part in it, for old times’ sake.

The story has to be at least 1,500 words, no maximum, and I have a month to write it. This sounds pretty easy… except I haven’t written a fanfic for about 10 years. Plus the one I have to write has to be un-canon.

Now, you could argue that any fanfiction is un-canon… which is true, in a way. But I’m so not going there now… lol.

So, I had an outline about an hour after getting the prompt. Now to write it… What if I can’t? What if I can, but it’s not good? Believe it or not, it’s my first time taking part in a fanfiction exchange. I’ve taken part in photomanipulation exchanges, so I know how it works, but still…

I’ve always believed that you write for yourself first. Here, you have to take someone else’s wishes into account.

I’m already more than 4,000 words into it, not that the word count means anything, and I’m not stuck (yet? *crossing fingers… and toes… so it won’t happen*). The story is flowing nicely… I’d forgotten how fun it can be to write a fanfiction, to make the characters you love yours if just for a few days. One of my friends goes back to writing fanfiction every time she’s stuck in her original story or she wants to hone her skill for the said original story… I think it’s not such a bad idea. Any thought?

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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Say, say, say…

I was on Pinterest a few days ago, and there were all those “advice for a beginner writer” pins popping here and there – yes, I fess up, I searched “writing” once, to see where it would lead me… Well, it led me to a few strange posts, that’s for sure! lol

There was one that made me go “really???”, bordering on “are you kidding me???”… The post was about using “say” in dialogues. “Say” and no other verb like “ask”, “whisper”, “reply”… and so on. According to the author of the post, it wasn’t professional to use any other verb but “say”. And, I was like, “Is he/she serious?”

I don’t know if it isn’t professional to use anything other than “say”, but I know it would leave me braindead if I did use nothing else. I mean, I’m sorry, but I like words too much to simply ignore them.

If you say something, you don’t whisper it or you don’t shout it… Language has a word for every shade, every word is a nuance. If I used only a few, it would be like writing in black and white, when I want to write with every color I know!

Let’s see…

“I love you,” she whispered, so softly he had to get closer to hear her. It was a mistake. He could now smell the floral scent of the shampoo that made her hair so soft and feel the heat radiate from her body, which brought back the memories of the night they shared months ago.
versus
“I love you,” she said.

To me, the first is more effective than the latter. Because if she says it, then he can hear her fine and he doesn’t have to get closer… and I seriously don’t know what to write next. In my humble opinion, the scene lacks emotions. To get the same effect, the same meaning, I’d have to write:

“I love you,” she said in a whisper.

Which would do, too. I mean, I’m not averse to “say”. I use this verb. But not just…

What do you think, as a writer or a reader, or both?

Falling in love again…

I’ve thought of another reason why I need to re-read what I’ve already written before I start writing again. It always takes me so much time to go back to a story that I need to get reacquainted with the story and the characters. I need to fall in love with them all over again. If it doesn’t happen? If the magic doesn’t work anymore? Well, I must admit it’s happened before… a few times. I just couldn’t keep on writing. Actually, I could have, but it would have been uninspired and mechanical. No good.

I’ll be honest and say it, even if I’m ashamed to say I’ve been a quitter far too many times, already.

I’m glad re-reading did the trick this time. I have too many unfinished stories in my drawers/computer folders as it is. They kinda look at me with their dead eyes giving me a reproachful look when I open one of the said folders. I can almost hear the characters’ voices echoing from the past, calling me back… It’s scary! I “gave birth” to them and I just stopped loving them. What kind of a “mother” does it make me? lol

Of course, I won’t get rid of any of them. I can’t. It wouldn’t be right. That’s not just how I am. And I may come back to one or more of them, in the future. Who knows? Maybe, one day, one of the voices calling will bring me back to its world and I’ll start writing it again.

But not this time, I won’t be a quitter. I know that the more you write, the easier it is to write. And thanks to my blogs and to my story, I’m experiencing it again.

Have you ever fallen out of love with a story or a character?

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Last Goodbye

If you read my blog post entitled Down memory lane, you know I was once a fanfiction author – a Harry Potter fanfiction author, I must add because I’ve never written any other. I guess all the mysteries and possibilities of the Potterverse did it for me. *insert shrug here* And you know too that the fanfiction site where I published my stories back then (12 to 10 years ago) was about to shut down. (And of course, if you didn’t know any of this, now you do. lol)

Well, HPFF, as we called it, officially closed down on Saturday, April 28th.

On that day, most of the friends I made on this site and I decided to go down memory lane together. Like me, most of them haven’t written fanfictions for years now (though I must admit I still love to read one every now and then), but HPFF was the place we met, the place most of us discovered about fanfictions (and learned to speak the fanfiction terminology).

We became friends 11 – 12 years ago, and only a few of us have ever met in real life. We live in the United States, in France, in the United Kingdom, in Ireland, in Australia, in Canada, in India… And all those years since then, we’ve been in touch. Sometimes we don’t chat for a few months, sometimes we do it every day.  Some were very young 12 years ago (13 or 14 years old). And yet… we were all serious about our writing skills, we all wanted to hone them, so we weren’t just supportive, we also provided constructive criticism to each other. And I’ve never written so much as I wrote back then.

It took meeting those nerds, like me, those incredibly creative minds to turn me into a more confident writer. Especially in English.

One of my friends told me, a few days ago: “I never knew English wasn’t your first language until way, way later in our friendship! I remember being amused that you were better at English than I was.” She was being modest – she’s better than I was/am in English. It’s her first language! But still, it’s one of the best compliments that have ever been given to me. Back then – and still now – I have many doubts and I wonder whether I’m good enough to write a whole original fiction in English.

Now you probably wonder why I don’t write in French. Well, I do, at times. But this story I have to write in English because my co-writer/fiance can’t write in French. It’s as simple as that.

So, you see why my friend’s compliment on my English was important to me, just as I’ve started writing again.

But back to the subject of my post… Even though we’ve been keeping in touch, like I said, most of us stopped writing fanfictions or stopped writing, period, and the creative energies have been running low. Or lower. But now we can talk about our original fictions, and I’m sure any of us could find a beta-reader anytime, just like in the good old days.

That day of reminiscing was wonderful and all those creative minds together again… well, it made me inspired to keep on writing. And it brought back the memories and the need to write fanfictions again. They are great if you want to hone your skills because you’re playing in someone else’s sandbox, in someone else’s universe, and you know it so well it makes things easier – and harder too because you have to stay true to canon.

So, yeah… I think I’ll take part in the fanfic exchange we’ve been talking about, just for old time’s sake.

The more writing, the better.

So long, HPFF. It’ll live on in every one of the authors who ever published there.

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