Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Girls and Their Secrets (No, not Victoria's)

by Julie Coulter Bellon

I’m going to confess something to you that only four other people on this planet know about me.

I write fanfiction.

What is fanfiction you ask? Fanfiction is writing a story with already established characters from a movie, books, games, cartoons, comics, or television shows. There is some really good Pride and Prejudice fanfiction out there, for instance, that tells what could have happened to Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. There is fanfiction for almost every television show you can think of up to and including Gunsmoke and Bonanza, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, MacGyver or even newer ones like Monk and Alias.

You can go to a site like and find a lot of fanfiction. Obviously some writers are better than others and you quickly find out which ones best match what you’re looking for in a story.

But here’s what I like best about being a fanfiction writer.

You can post a chapter and get comments on it. It’s almost like instant feedback. You also get a little following for your stories and I have to say, I have met some of the most wonderful people through my fanfiction writing. Plus, they beg me to write more and it makes me feel good. Like having my own little posse of fans.

Fanfiction chapters are generally shorter than normal novels as well, which makes it really easy to write and gets the ideas flowing and the writing juices going, if you know what I mean. Sometimes I just need that little extra oomph to get myself into the swing of writing for the day and doing a fanfiction chapter can really do that for me.

As you may have guessed, fanfiction is what I turn to when the novel is stuck and I need to just put it away for a while and do something else. Or on the days when I don’t feel like writing at all, I can put a little fanfiction chapter out there, get some love from my fans almost immediately and feel like writing again. Hey, whatever works, right?

And lastly, I love taking established characters in new directions and doing an original story with them, sort of like living out my own little fantasy of what television would be like if I was a writer for it. And yes, I stay true to my values in every story. In case you were wondering.

So there you have it. That’s the one secret I thought I would never tell. But I will never tell what I write fanfiction for–whether it’s a television show or movie or whatever. No way. No one will ever get that out of me. And if you are one of the four people who know, PLEASE don’t say anything.

A girl has to have a few secrets, right?


At 4/05/2007 6:01 PM, Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve said...

Fanfiction rocks. It does depend a lot on the community; sometimes comments tend to be too much opinion and not enough constructive criticism. And the fandom conventions! (As in, "gee, even though this character is a pretty decent guy in the show and we're never actually given a reason for the break-up, we have to bastardize him to explain why she'd pick this other guy over him.") They can get very tiring.

But the opportunity to take a character in a direction the original story can't? Priceless.

At 4/05/2007 6:10 PM, Blogger robisonwells said...

This is just a guess, but I'm thinking you write LDS crossover fanfic: "What if Nathan Steed came forward in time and married Shandra Covington?"

At 4/05/2007 6:39 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

I am just sooo incredibly crushed that I am not one of your chosen four!


At 4/05/2007 8:53 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Well, Julie blogged about this in July 2006 (on this very blog!) and the only fanfic she mentioned there was Scarecrow and Mrs. King, so that'd be my guess.

Googling can only help so much - I didn't want to have to use eye bleach for looking at Ann Coulter fanfics. (I also hear that I should stay away from Harry Potter fanfiction.)

My wife and I often re-write points on TV shows. Like, that was so out of character - what he should've said was...

Oh, and stricken from the record? Serena Southerlyn's final comment on her last show on Law & Order. I mean, what? (I'd mention it here, but I don't think you want that kind of traffic.)


At 4/05/2007 11:46 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

FHL, last year I had discovered fanfic for reading purposes (love reading it still!) and I was young and naive. I have now graduated into writing it and it's not Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Good guess though! :)

You don't have to google me. I don't write my fanfic under my own name. And I agree with you on the Ann Coulter thing. :(

Karlene, you know I love you!

Proud Daughter of Eve--Word, sistah!

Rob, you should write fanfic! I'd love to read that one!

At 4/06/2007 12:24 AM, Blogger Matthew Buckley said...

I'm a huge fan of fan fiction, and think it's a GREAT way to get young writers practicing the craft. Think about it, they already have the characters and setting, they just have to add the conflict. It's a great way to 'scaffold' the task of creative writing.

I have submitted one story myself, and it was a lot of fun. It was about a video game, so for those who have played counter-strike, and are particularly bored, you can check it out (shameless plug alert) here.

At 4/06/2007 2:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, fanfiction! That's where I got my start, too, mostly in Star Wars, but recently, also in 24. I even have one 24 fic up on fanfiction net, too. So, in which fandom do you write, Julie? I'm only asking because I can't wait to run out and read your stories. They are sure to be conspicuous by their overall high quality.

Melanie Goldmund

At 4/06/2007 3:46 PM, Blogger Jon said...

So, if you write 24 fanfic, do you have to commit to writing a whole day, or do you write just an hour at a time?

I guess you really know you've made it when someone has fanfic devoted to YOUR characters.


At 4/07/2007 10:03 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

I don't do fanfiction much anymore, except for little stuff -- I decided to do my own version of Hermione's S.P.E.W. declaration a few years back, since no one else had done one that I could find. I used to be really into it. It's a good way of getting things out of your system, trying new stuff in a relatively safe and stable writing environment (particularly for very large fandoms: everyone knows the "rules" for Star Trek, so when you try out your idea for a "locked in a closet with nothing but one poem and four hundred tribbles to keep you company as you try to call for help" story you don't have to worry about character set-up or anything.

In defense of Harry Potter fanfiction: there's a lot out there. FictionAlley.Org is more or less safe, and they rate their stories for content, so you can stay in the safe "G" rated stuff and never run out of things to read. FanFiction.Net banned explicit fiction (all fandoms) a few years ago. You're not likely to find bad stuff you weren't looking for, in my opinion.

At 4/08/2007 7:43 PM, Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve said...


Yes they did ban explicit fiction but I found that what happened was everyone with an explicit fic just labeled it rated "R."

Maybe you never read rated "R" stuff and in that case you're most likely safe from finding unwanted material. (And of course you can report things for being inappropriate for their rating.) However, sometimes "R" ratings give you a good, complex story on real-life themes. (I'm thinking of stuff like "Monsoon Wedding" which I almost didn't watch because of the rating but when I was done I had to guess why it had gotten an "R.")

At 4/09/2007 3:26 PM, Blogger marnie said...

I don't read fanfic or write it. Although I must say if anyone can do it Julie can. She's one of those people who can step into someone's story and write it as well (or probably better) than the original author. I know... because she's stepped into mine and has worked miracles.


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