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If you don’t know by now, I am a fan of Wattpad.com. Not only is it a great place to find new favorite authors, but it can be a great way to open the doors for a new writer. One of my favorite aspects of the system is the ability to write fan fiction. Without worrying about copyright infringements or legal repercussions, you can embellish on your favorite fictional landscapes. Here is why I think this is important for new writers.
Why Every New Author Should Write a Fan Fiction Piece
Fan fiction is when you take something you’re passionate about that already exists and write your own spin of it. For example, my first published story on Wattpad was a “what if” regarding the Dominion War in the Star Trek universe.
It’s not that I can’t come up with ideas of my own. I just enjoy taking an idea and running with it. But I also believe that it can be of great help to those who are new to publishing their own works.
Practice, Practice, Practice
A lot of new authors get stuck on trying to come up with something unique. While you’re waiting for that next great idea, why not get in a bit of writing practice? Essentially, this is the primary reason why I started writing on Wattpad to begin with. Not only does it give me a chance to actually offer my writing to the masses, but it gives me a chance to work on my style.
I am a firm believer in “practice makes perfect.” The more you learn and grow as a writer, the more powerful your work becomes. You can’t expect to step onto the stage and take the limelight from day one. This is especially true for those who have no formal training, such as myself. I am constantly learning new things and exploring my potential through this practice.
It May Be Easier to Get Started Right Away
I would love to write a unique piece that I am renowned for. But until I can come up with my own original work, it’s fun to take an existing story and give it my own spin. For me, this is much easier. Take my first story, for example. Although I had to think about how things would unfold if the story was changed and how it would affect that universe, the foundation was already there. I just built new walls around it.
For me, it’s easier to dive right into fan fiction only because I get passionate about some of the story lines. One of my favorite things to do is to think of how an episode of Deep Space Nine would be different if something else happened.
Gives You a Chance to Explore Possibilities
I’ve found that I generate ideas for my original pieces when I write fan fiction. In fact, the exploration of space led from my Deep Space Nine piece to “Predator and Prey.” While I can’t say that everyone can embellish their own works while coming up with ideas for fan fiction, it’s what works for me.
Writing fan fiction also gives you a chance to experience a story line that you want. There are many shows and movies that I would have loved to see a different take on. Wattpad gives me that platform in which to create something I would have liked to have experienced. Cross-overs that would have been cool, character developments that were never seen, or alternate universes are just a few of my favorite ideas.
Wattpad allows you to publish your work right now. Although you don’t get paid for the piece, it can be a great way to test the waters. Curious about whether or not people would like your work? Do you have a story you need to get out? A lot of us write for the sheer love of it, and Wattpad gives you that soap box.
The developers of the system give you all kinds of ways to promote yourself. Before the day is over, you may have a story up and sharing it on social media. You can start working on your own reputation as an author before you go to bed tonight. For those who relish in instant gratification, this prospect is quite attractive.
While you don’t get paid for posting your work, Wattpad is still a free system to use. Many published authors use the platform to market their books by delivering “teasers” to readers. This means you can use it as a great way to market yourself and your works.
This is aside from the fact that you don’t have to worry about legal issues regarding intellectual property.
You’re No Different From Hired Writers
In reality, most of the television shows you watch hire a wide scope of writers. It’s this cadre of people who make characters come alive on the screen. Writing fan fiction on Wattpad gives you the same abilities, just without the paycheck. That’s not saying how you couldn’t become popular from your ideas, though.
Many people have found new careers as a writer thanks to Wattpad. From publishing deals from major houses to movie expansions commissioned by studios, you never know who your story will attract.
Making Sense in the Story
Although you have quite a bit of literary freedom when writing fan fiction, it still needs to make sense. This may be one of the more difficult aspects to consider. For instance, you wouldn’t want to rewrite how technology works in the Star Trek universe. Something like that has potential to upset fans.
Make sure you try to stay true to characters, places and things. One thing I like to do is create new characters to put into those stories. How would this person react to the same scenario? What kind of an impact would this new character make in the lives of others?
You Don’t Have to Be Original to Start
Although you might experience a greater following by creating something unique, you don’t have to be original to start on Wattpad. With more than 40 million readers, the odds are great that you’ll attract fans that appreciate fan fiction. Those followers may be more receptive to a unique piece later on.
Personally, I enjoy writing fan fiction. For me, it’s a way to stretch my abilities and grow as an author. Keep in mind that I am still relatively new to this whole publishing thing. However, I can see the value in things like writing fan fiction. Explore who you are as an author and find your own path. You never know what you can accomplish until you try.