Does writing fanfiction helps you become a better writer?
I'm very curious about this. I write fanfiction myself and I get a lot of critiques about my story and I also get Beta (person who proof-reads your story). Can that possibly benefit me or any fanfic writer to actually publish a book.
- IrusanLv 54 years agoFavorite Answer
The short answer is: Yes, to a point. It sometimes doesn't help with things like building characters or settings (these depend on your chosen plot, obviously), but it's a massive help in other ways.
Three big pros of fanfiction are a) ready-made characters, b) a ready-made audience, and c) preparation for handling criticism. The first two set you up to get a lot of notice and feedback in a short amount of time, because the characters you're writing about already exist and are already beloved by someone somewhere who wants to explore that character more or just keep that character alive if they die in the original story (it's worth noting that fanfiction and fanart for the original Star Trek series from the sixties kept that fandom alive and helped The Next Generation get green-lighted for production). Most feedback will be positive (if not useful), some will be neutral, some will be negative. In particular, it's important to be able to handle the negative like a grownup, especially if you ever plan to get an original work published.
When utilized as a serious tool, fanfiction is a good way for new writers to learn about consistency in characterization (because oh boy, if you step beyond some character's boundaries, someone will let you know) and character interaction. Once you have that down, you can focus on plot and setting and introspection and dialogue, and because it's fanfiction you're almost guaranteed an instant, interested audience. There's less effort you have to focus on "advertising," so you can focus on your writing.
When trying to grow through writing strictly original fiction, you lack these things. You can get by without them, of course, as many have, but with little or no feedback it's that much harder to improve. Personally, I didn't have a writing group to consult (this was before the Internet really took off, and where I grew up high-school football is more important than breathing, so there is no support for the finer arts), and as someone with social phobia I wasn't comfortable sharing something as personal as a totally original work anyway. Fanfiction was a compromise, because the things that were easier to change—characters, settings, etc.—would be more a target than the things I was less willing to change (i.e., my style).
That said, it's massively important to realize the pitfalls of fanfiction, It's possible to get so stuck on certain characters/settings/whatever that you can't create your own without making them carbon copies of the ones you've been writing fics about. And that's where handling criticism comes back in; you need to be able to look objectively at your work, but at least with fanfiction if you slip and blow up at someone it's not likely to lose you a publishing deal or make everyone in the forum think you're a diva and avoid you (which I couldn't blame them for, but it doesn't help with improving your work).
I've been writing for two-thirds of my life now. In all my years as an isolated writer, I didn't improve nearly as much as I did the first few months I began posting fanfiction. I have no choice but to credit it with the majority of my growth.Source(s): Twenty years of writing both original fiction and fanfiction
- 4 years ago
I think it probably does. Practicing writing is obviously key to becoming better at it, and by writing fanfiction that's basically what you're doing. Getting criticism and praise also helps as you know what you're doing right and wrong, and what to improve on. The only thing is that it's easy to get carried away with attempting to satisfy the readers' fantasies (and maybe your own) and then the actual writing skills can get kind of lost.
- 4 years ago
I think so. It obviously does not give you an overview of everything it takes to write a novel, as the characters are already built up and sculpted for you, that being one of the most difficult part of writing something. I wrote fan fiction from fifth grade to tenth grade, then I started writing my novel this year in eleventh. Fan fiction was the first thing I ever put time into, and even though it was garbage, it helped me practice. If people are reviewing you and helping you become a better writer, yes, it helps you progress. Don't rely on it too much because writing a fan fiction is FAR more different than writing an actual story. Try creating something of your own imagination one day, don't just stick to your roots.
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- MarliLv 74 years ago
All the answers I've read so far (12:25 pm EST April 25, 2016) are good ones, including Andrew's. Fanfiction is good writing practice for the beginner. Most kids who begin to write will write about the characters in the books or shows they love. I'm sixty, and I wrote my own fanfiction about "A Man for All Seasons" when I was thirteen. I learned a lot about the Tudor era from researching how to fit my character into Sir Thomas More's world. I'm still a fan of the era, though, much as I still respect Sir Thomas More, I would like very much to give him what for about harassing people whom he called heretics. I can understand his point of view and his alarm, but some of those heretics were my spiritual ancestors.
I also learned to appreciate my English literature and composition classes, because I could understand much better by writing my story the problems of how to write stories and appreciated how the writers of those classic novels made their works interesting.
I've also write fanfiction as an adult. Why not? It's fun, and it's a great encouragement to read the positive (and some of the negative but thoughtful) reviews. I write interviews with Sherlock Holmes' clients for my local Sherlock Holmes "club" newsletter, so I still write "fanfiction". It's interesting to do the research about the period and to dig into the character through close reading of the original stories. I know I don't write like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, though I do want to catch some of the flavor of the voice he gave the character who is my interviewee. I think it's a good stretch of my writing muscle to write them "as I read them out of the Canon" and not like I'd think or talk if I was in their shoes. Dr. Watson or Sir Henry Baskerville would not think like me or talk like me.
I agree with Andrew that it's a cheat to use another author's people. But I'll also say that seeing things through for example, Sir Henry Baskerville's perspective, or his enemy, Jack Stapleton's - or what I think is Sir Henry's or Jack's perspective - forces me to think outside my head. I mean outside my own limited experiences and prejudices. Themes, plots, even character types, are universal, or at least have roots in a society or a tradition.
Speaking of new stories written about Sherlock Holmes, it's become a Niagara Falls of publications. Manga. Other graphic novels. New pastiches. MX Publishing is almost exclusively publishing Sherlock Holmes pastiches and Sherlockian stuff. Crossovers. Not just the Sherlock Holmes of the 1890s but those in any other time period. Fanfiction gone wild.
- 4 years ago
Yes. It's mandatory that all great authors must write at least 25 fan fictions before they can write an official book.
- 4 years ago
I think that writing fanfiction in moderation does improve writing skills as you're able to hone your writing skills because you don't have to focus on creating characters and settings.
That being said, a huge part of being a good writer is creating interesting characters and places. I would suggest doing both fanfiction and regular fiction to improve your writing ability.
- Anonymous4 years ago
Writing anything makes you a better writer. It flexes your mental muscle. Can you replace words like walk or went with more descriptive words? Things like that make you search for better words or descriptions. Have at it and have fun. Having a beta gets you one step closer to publishing because now you'll be more confident when that editor marks up your manuscript. 😜
- 4 years ago
Yes it's useful practice for writing stories
- 4 years ago
Just like with anything, practice makes perfect. The best ways to hone your writing skills are by writing and reading. Reading expands your vocabulary and it allows you to sample different writing types. Writing in your free time, even just for fun, is an excellent way to practice writing and helps you to develop your own style. It is difficult to jump into writing if you have no previous experience. I also write fan fiction from time to time, and I love getting feedback, especially constructive criticism. Once you find your own unique voice in your writing, you should definitely look into authoring a book! Good Luck!