You would think that after fourteen years of writing I would learn to click that little “Save” button in the upper-left corner at least once per day.
Nope. My computer reset itself for unknown reasons and now I’ve lost a page of material. It’s only a page, yes, but that page represented a full day’s work. The words did not come easily, but I pressed onward, remembering that old adage, “If you write only one page a day, you’ll have a book by the end of the year.” So I wrote. And now it’s gone.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be too upset. This is only a fanfiction.
For those of you who don’t know, fanfiction is writing about characters, settings, or specific concepts from a pre-existing medium. The best example out there is Wicked, a prequel to The Wizard of Oz which was not created by the original writer. Others write love stories between Elsa from Frozen and Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians. That’s called crossover fanfiction.
So why the heck am I writing a fanfic? For one thing, it’s fun! For another, it’s good practice for when I don’t actually have anything to write, or if I’m stuck on a story and need to work on something else. Or if I realized that the setting of my urban fantasy series is completely unfeasible and I have to rewrite three entire books to make the story actually work (FRICK!).
More specifically, I’ve been writing video game novelizations. That may be the lamest thing I ever wrote. Even so, novelizing video games presents a certain creative challenge. You have to take mechanics that only work in a video game and make them realistic.
For example: how do you translate the final boss’s super attack which can destroy an entire universe in the cinematic, yet only take off about half of your HP? How do you incorporate those long hours of level grinding? How do you explain a character who can take a hundred bullets, then heal by just standing still?
Seriously, you try it!
But that’s why I like it: it’s a challenge. I’ve novelized most of Final Fantasy X and I have dreams for FFXII and Fable II. Currently? I’m novelizing The Legend of Dragoon.
Strange. I feel like I’ve come full-circle. The very first story I ever typed up, printed out, and called my own was a Legend of Dragoon fanfic. That was in 2002, the summer between eighth and ninth grade. It is now 2016, I’m 28, and I’m novelizing the game in my spare time. Probably because I still play it; it’s a great game. But it makes me strangely nostalgic.
Fourteen years. That’s how long I’ve been writing, or thereabouts. I’ve had some successes, but it’s been a slow, difficult battle, and I’m not anywhere near where I want to be yet.
But many have told me life is about the journey, not the destination. That’s why I’m writing these Creator’s Journey blogs: to document the journey. Successes, failures, struggles, breakthroughs, all that wonderful behind-the-scenes stuff that most people don’t know.
I hope it proves both illuminating and entertaining. Writing is not just typing out some words and hitting “Publish.” It’s a labor of love, a lonely, misunderstood life.
You don’t have to read these posts in any particular order. It’s just a weekly journal of sorts talking about writing as I experience it.
This week, I’m just sitting back, taking in the surrealness of writing fanfiction again. It’s been over a decade since I got some great reviews on Fanfiction.net. My stories were crap, but the encouragement spurred me on and here I am today, still writing, still struggling, still loving it.
Hopefully, you’ll start to love it, too.