Opinion: Why I Hate Fanfiction

I can’t say I’ve read much of it, if any, but I already hate it. But why is that? I would say if you have time to write, work on your own story, with your own characters. I know it may be fun to use pre-existing characters, but you’re not going to get better at writing if you use characters and settings that someone else has already created.

When I first started to get serious into my writing, I sat down and thought of all the aspects of writing I needed to get better at. One thing was length. My chapters started to die off after about two pages. So, I set myself a task; Write a book that is ten chapters long, focusing on ten characters, and each chapter must be ten pages long.

I named the book Bloody Cape, due to two reasons. 1. It was the name of a Deftones song I was listening to at the time, and 2. It gave me an idea.

The idea was a small town where a murdered child had been found in a box in a drain. The child was wearing a version of a superhero suit. The first chapter was based around three children who are playing on an abandoned tennis court and end up finding the child. As it was so long ago, I can’t recall all the characters, but I know one chapter was based around the murderer, going back to work and mowing lawns, one chapter was from the perspective of the newsagent who gets told about the murder by the customers who come into the store. Another was the police officer called out to investigate.

What I found was, I was automatically wrapping up each chapter after a few pages and I had to keep pushing, keep writing, until I reached ten pages, which was extremely difficult to do. I got through it, and ever since then I was able to predict where I want chapters to go and learn when they need to end. Some of my chapters now can be one page long, or over ten, it all depends on what you want to reveal in that chapter and its purpose. I can write length now and know I can do so, because I’ve done it. I know the pitfalls, i.e. revealing the point of the chapter too early. I’ve learnt to start a chapter way before the point, and slowly get there. It’s a book, not a movie, you don’t need to jump scenes, you can build them up.

My point being, if you have time to write other people’s characters, you have time to work on your own writings. Don’t waste your time. Practice coming up with your own characters, your own settings and your own plot lines. I fail to understand why you would spend an hour or two writing about the characters in Twilight or Hunger Games, when you could be creating your own world.

~Mitchell

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