A Study of My Fanfiction

For the past few days, I haven’t written a word of my WIP–but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been writing. I’m still unsure as to whether or not I should go ahead with the scene I was in the middle of or to skip ahead to when the Keegans reach Bristol. I’m really not sure what to do. On the one hand, the scene would show my MC teaching his daughters something, thereby building their relationship. On the other, skipping ahead to Bristol would move the action along.

In the meantime, I’ve updated both of the stories I’m currently working on on fanfiction.net.

They’re both in the same fandom, Downton Abbey, but are very different stories. The first one, Her Old Determination, is sort-of canon compliant. To explain, I need to SPOIL, so if you don’t want to know, don’t read:

Her Old Determination (11 chapters)
Basis in the TV series: On the season 2 premiere, Lady Sybil Crawley gets a letter, telling her that yet another young man she knew has been killed in WWI. With this news, Sybil no longer feels that she can stand aside and not do something to aid in the war effort. Her cousin suggests training as a nurse.

Lady Sybil Crawley

What About This Triggered a Fic? Well, a few things. One, Lady Sybil was my favorite of the Crawley daughters. She’s the most outwardly kind and sweet as well as the most progressive and liberal of her sisters:
she’s a suffragette, helps a maid find work as a secretary, and at the end of season 2, married the family’s chauffeur. I liked it in-show when Sybil became a nurse, but something about a girl who’d never attended school, held a job or even a volunteer position before wanting to become a VAD nurse—even after two years of getting bad news of friends dying–seemed like it could be expanded.

Current numbers of reviews/views: 17 reviews, 230 visitors (682 views)

Growing Into You  (3 chapters)
Basis in the TV series: It’s a future-set fic, technically, taking place in 1932. The only basis this has in the series is  that, in season 3, Lady Sybil, now married to Branson the former chauffeur, dies after giving birth to their daughter.

What About This Triggered a Fic? In season 4, we got to see some of Tom Branson, now the Downton estate agent, raising his only daughter. He’s quite a hands-on dad for the time period. I wondered what it would be like for little Sybbie to hit puberty. Also, gives me the chance to expound on what I think would happen to the characters in the 1930s.

Current reviews/views: 6 reviews, 392 visitors (842 views)

Season 4: Lady Mary with George; Tom Branson with Sybbie

Fantastic Things About Fanfic

1. I don’t need to describe the settings much, or the characters, or their motivations.
2. Let’s be real: I’m not trying for the quality of my “real novel.”
3. Instant reviews! It’s kind of great, actually.
4. Endings already written. Taking my sweet time getting there.

Things That Puzzle Me About Fanfic

1. The reviews are lovely, but why are they squealing? It’s really not that good.
2. At least I write in fairly literate English? Actually, the Downton Abbey section on ff.net is hoppin’ with very high-quality stories.
3. Why am I forging ahead with these stories and letting my “real novel” sit there?

5 thoughts on “A Study of My Fanfiction

  1. I think dabbling in other creative avenues is actually really good for our brains. The no pressure thing is really relaxing. Plus, people like stories. You're making them happy. ^_^And your stories have chapters! (squealing! Lol!) But really that's pretty cool. I'm not sure there's anything I would devote more than 5 pages to. I started a short story based on something I liked a year ago. It's three paragraphs long. And now I have no idea what's going on. o_O


  2. I agree with Krystal – it's great to try other writing directions. Although I've never tried writing fan fiction, I can imagine how freeing it must be. The characters are already somewhat set and you can simply take off with them however you want. It doesn't have to be perfect or great or anything – the perfect writing practice!As to the WIP, let your brain take the vacation if it needs it. There's no reason to force writing to get done. Plus, when you get back to it, you'll have a whole different view point, which usually does wonders 😉


  3. It's more like pondering with the WIP at the moment. Luckily, I am going away later this week, so I'll just take the outline with me and take some notes instead of actually writing. Maybe work on a blurb or a draft query.


  4. A lot of people enjoy fan fiction because they characters are already fresh in their minds. Easy to write quickly and enjoy feedback. Everyone reading has the setting/characters already ingrained in memory. All you have to do is write the story. 🙂


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