It Feels Incredible…

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

-Maya Angelou

I took part in a fanfiction exchange, remember? Well, the deadline was yesterday, and I’m proud to tell you that I did finish writing my story on time. Woo-hoo! I am also proud to say that it’s a lot longer than I’d expected when I began writing – almost 14 000 words… It may not look like that many words to you, but I hadn’t written that much in such a short period of time in a long, looooooong time.

So, yeah, it feels good.

I’m sorry if I’m repeating myself, but at first, I really thought I’d better not get involved… I mean, I wondered whether I’d be able to imagine an outline, develop it and finish writing the story in time. What if I got stuck and I was unable to meet the deadline? If I can’t finish a stupid chapter, much less a story… how can I trust myself to be able to write a whole story in a month – even if the said story could have been only 1 500 words long, since it was the minimum required.

But I did get involved, and I DID IT! And it feels very good to know that I still have it in me.

Which makes me wonder – how do you feel when you finish writing a story? First, I always feel the need to take a deep breath – seriously, you’d believe I’ve been holding my breath ever since I started writing/typing the very first word. lol. I also feel proud and happy… and a little sad too. Proud and happy that I have done it, and sad that I now have to say goodbye to the characters and places I created.

Of course, since I’m talking about a fanfiction here, I didn’t create the characters and places. Still, I felt sad. I don’t like goodbyes. But then again, I had to write an un-canon pairing, and I’ve always felt uneasy about that because except for this time.

I. Had. A. Blast!

So the 14 000 words story could have well been four or five times that word count… but I had a deadline, and of course, I have to write my original story. And now I’ve just finished a story, I’m comforted in the idea that I can finish the one that really matters to me…

And you know what makes it even better? I wrote this story for a friend; it is a gift. There’s nothing like a gift that comes from your heart and mind/soul.


© AnneT

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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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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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Down memory lane

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Today, where I found comfort before, I’ve only found sadness.

You see, I decided to take a walk down memory lane and visited the site on which, twelve years ago, I posted my first Harry Potter fanfiction (and the next… and the next… short stories, novellas, and novels, ten in all).

Yes, I wrote fanfictions. Those were the first stories I wrote in English. I’m not just a Star Wars fan, I’m also a Harry Potter fan, and I wrote Harry Potter fanfictions during a few of the best years of my life. You may think writing fanfictions is a waste of time, but it was never a waste of time for me. And it was so much fun – I had a blast playing with JK Rowling’s “toys” if you know what I mean.

So, earlier today, I thought I’d take a walk down memory lane and visit HPFF… and I found out it will be shutting down in a month from now. It felt like a punch to my stomach. I started reading fanfics on this site before I ever had the idea of writing any of my own. Even though I haven’t published anything for ten years, I still visit the site every now and then, every time I miss the Potterverse, to read some of my old favorite stories.

Where am I going to go to get my HP “fix” now? I know, I can still read the books again, but it felt different… it felt like there was a lot more to the Potterverse. A lot more to go back to. I’ve always felt a lot more creative after immersing myself in so much creativity. Some of the authors on HPFF were so good…

So, yeah, it’s making me sad. You see, that site is where I met people who made me believe I could write in English, and not just short stories of less than a thousand words. That’s where I met authors of all ages – some are still my friends today. I beta-read for a few of them and they did the same for me. They introduced me to ships I had never imagined I would enjoy reading about… I was always more of a canon ships person myself.

Thank you! Thank you to all of you who made my HPFF experience such a great time! I’d love to write down your pennames… but I’m afraid I’d forget a few of you (and maybe you wouldn’t be happy to see your pennames here, lol).

It was back then too that I started doing photomanipulations.

I also met my fiance on this site…

I’m going to miss HPFF a lot. I’ve just started to back-up all of my stories and I hope all the great stories won’t just be deleted and disappear forever.

How strange… but it feels like I’ve just lost a friend.