Book 2 is finally underway with the first two chapters being posted overnight. I know, I know, it’s a pretty naff title but I am sticking with a theme here. Not a great one, I grant you, but…. As always I am looking for the perfect playlist to compliment each chapter and this often slows down the creative process.
The aspect of this I find overwhelming is the email traffic that ensues as people who were prepared to follow Investing Elliot jump on board often bringing new fans and followers. Does anyone else find this process addictive? I seem to have the stats page permanently open on my iPad so that I can check the graphs. I have to own up to only being on FanFic.net since October so my addiction may be a little passe for most of you out there. SuperGeek is certainly hoping that it will wear off as I sit in bed on a Saturday morning with my laptop on, writing this blog and monitoring the iPad at the same time.
The nicest people appear in this world. People who add little smiley faces at the end of their posts, those who are prepared to offer encouragement and support, those who give advice or who thank you constantly for sharing your work. Again, addictive. But what am I learning?
Every link to a new writer helps me to better understand my own work. While I laughed at the blog from Rebecca2000, she also got me thinking about repetitive language and behaviors that my characters might be exhibiting, simply because I am not editing as I should.
I am also watching author behaviors – those who take care of their muse by posting a little every day, those who set regular times for updating stories and those who have stepped away from their stories for a long time and are thinking about coming back. Readers also offer checks and balances, questioning where characters might be going next, picking up on plot points and continuity in the dialogue or, simply saying what they like or don’t like about the relationships and motivations.
The upshot is that while I am writing these stories, the other participants in the process are also shaping and reshaping my work. This is no different to what happens in a classroom or a writers group, I guess, except that the voices are more diverse and the feedback is short, sharp and instant. What would happen in high school classrooms if this was the culture? If learners could submit their fanfic and subsequent reviews for assessment instead of sitting exams and writing essays? Then there is the permission to build an entire identity as an author that helps them address the power imbalances of ‘teachers as experts’ or, ‘I can’t write because I can’t spell’ or even, ‘that girl (and yes, it usually a girl) always gets the awards for literature so I don’t want her to read my work’ syndrome. Anonymity offers freedom in FanFic worlds.
How much fear and angst is eliminated because I am anonymous? Although I am not, am I, because Sasha now has a life of her own, her own google account, her own facebook page, an identity and friendship/support group of her own that actually feels better than the network I have in academia. Maybe I should simply become Sasha and be done with it.
I started this as a blog post and now have shifted it to a Musing post. There is more to be said about this identity work and participatory culture.
- My Thoughts Regarding Fanfiction Addiction (nicadiangelo.wordpress.com)