Crackin’ the Fck Down

Full disclosure. I’m thirty fucking one years old. I’ve been writing since I before I can even remember; there are legitimately construction paper books that I wrote in crayon from my late toddler years. So let’s say I’ve been writing for over twenty five years. When I look at it like that, I get depressed over how this has been my ‘dream’ for so long and I still haven’t accomplished it.

BUT. I am in general, a positive person that likes to blow sunshine up people’s asses, as my dad likes to say. Sometimes I tend to forget to blow sunshine up my own ass, so this is me getting out the hose.

I wrote my first novella at thirteen. It was absolutely terrible, but at the time it was the most epic thing that I’d ever done. It was called Last Dance, and it was about every kid in my class getting killed at a dance at school. It was a B-movie whodunit and it’s honestly a joy for me to go back and read, laughing to tears the entire time. Honestly guys it’s so bad. I remember printing it out with a cover and everything (I may or may not still have that copy in my filing cabinet), and passing it around for my friends to read. Though cringeworthy (ugh, tweenhood, you couldn’t pay me enough to go back to that), I’m kind of proud of the balls that my thirteen year old self had to be able to share something like that. If I recall, it got mostly good reviews.

Riding out the high of finishing a long work opened up a world of possibilities for me. I’d dabbled in short stories, original and fanfic, but nothing so long before. It started an addiction that carried well into my teens. In grade 9 geography class, while we were supposed to be colouring a map of Canada (literally, that was most of the class, it was bullshit), I was furiously writing a novella that I later submitted to my grade 12 Writer’s Craft class and got a pretty fantastic mark on. A friend and I spend our hour long bus rides to and from school in grade 10 comparing chapters in stories we were writing concerning us with celebrity boyfriends avoiding serial killers and kidnappings and the like. You know, all that dramatic stuff of fantasy for teenage girls.

I wrote a lot of fanfic back then, mostly JRPG’s, fantastical worlds with badass teenaged characters tasked with saving the world. It was a great way to flex my writing muscles and interact with people out there on the big wide internet that were into the same stuff as me. I go back and read them sometimes to remember how far I’ve come, and I just don’t have the heart to take them down.

Early to mid high school I was a part of a few roleplay forums, mostly Legend of Dragoon based, but a few original ones as well. This is essentially novel writing with a bunch of other people, and it was yet another way to explore writing. Throwing my carefully crafted character into a chosen world and seeing what happened was so much fun, and the rp rules kept a lot of tropes in line. Things like no godmoding taught us all how to avoid Mary Sue type characters that are perfect and can never do any wrong. It was great practice.

Grade 12 Writer’s Craft was a dream come true. My teacher was an eccentric lady with loud suit jackets and frizzy hair (no offense meant, my nickname was literally Miss Frizzle for a time as a teen), and she was morbid as all hell. I submitted a lot of weird ass stories to her and she always had positive feedback, the weirder the better. One of my good friends submitted a crazily morose story about a character creatively murdering all of her friends at a party, and this teacher graded it really well but added that she would have liked more description. There was literally description of the squelching of intestines being drawn out of a human body. Ah, that class was divine.

Post high school, I didn’t do much writing. I got up to some things, moved around, didn’t have a computer or internet for a time, and years went by in a blur before I really thought about writing again. I worked random factory jobs, and then thought seriously about getting into photography as a career. I had tried taking a course on ‘Creative’ Photography, but it wasn’t creative at all, and just caused me to hemorrhage money, so I dropped it. Problem was, I wanted to do art. It was discouraging to try to break into any kind of market because it was way easier to market wedding photography or kids or whatever. Essentially, becoming an ‘artist’ means becoming really good at marketing and business. Because that’s what you need to do to get your stuff out there, and seen.

This long road of realization brought me back around to writing when I started considering journalism. I quickly figured out that this wasn’t the answer for me, for the same reason that the photography didn’t work out. I wanted to write fiction. I wanted to create art, not write news articles. So I was back to square one.

Except enter the wide world of the internet again, in my early twenties, when self publishing started to become a thing. Or maybe already had been a thing, but I found out about it. Silent Pictures had been born in it’s original form, written entirely in the five weeks that I stayed in Vegas working for my Uncle that year. I did real estate stuff by day, took care of my little cousin before and after school and into the evening, and then after she went to bed I stayed up most of the night writing. It felt so good to get that original 62,000 words out, and it poured out of me like Niagara Falls. It was not very good, I’m not going to lie to you, and took a lot of heavy heavy editing to make the self-pub draft even remotely decent, but I was damn proud of it.

So I submitted to a self-publishing company (which at the time was paperback, and cost $15 per book for me to buy for myself, plus an additional $150 base price for formatting and just accepting my stuff), and got back a shiny novella, my very first published thing. It felt so real, holding that paperback in my hand, but alas, I was young, and had no idea what to do with it. In hindsight, it’s good that I didn’t, because in that form it absolutely shouldn’t have been a final draft. My dad bought one off of me for $20, and that was my very first book sale ever.

I kept writing things, started a bit of Celestial Starshower, but got distracted by other ideas. My best friend and my cousin are both into writing as well, and over the years we poked each other to try to keep the others on track with creative pursuits. But life gets in the way sometimes.

Fast forward to my mid twenties, and I got my hands on On Writing my Stephen King. This book floored me, his method and tips for the craft were life changing for me, and I charged full boar back into fiction writing. I finished a first draft of Celestial Starshower and let it sit (marinate, as King likes to say) while I took a red pen and knife to Silent Pictures. I got into KDP and did the whole rigamarole of getting a US TIN and listing an eBook of Silent Pictures that I was actually proud of. It wasn’t as intense as holding a paper copy of it, but I still like to go hold that original version in my hand for effect.

It was around this time that I discovered Jenny Trout’s blog during her recaps of 50 Shades of Grey and why it’s absolute shit. As she did these, and then started writing my favourite erotica series of all time, The Boss, and sharing her tips on self publishing and the like, I realized that being a writer in this day and age is a lot more than just listing a book. You need a platform and marketing skills if you don’t have an agent or publisher to back you. At the time, I remember feeling extremely self conscious, the fear of failing keeping me from really trying to put myself out there. So I pulled Silent Pictures, and wrote a bit here and there, but not as much as I should have. Though I did start blogging that year, so that’s fun.

I kept getting bursts of inspiration and writing a whole bunch, but then losing it again. It came in waves, but I always had excuses. I mean good ones, like the fact that I had to focus on working and sleeping because I had to pay my bills and shit, but still excuses. Writing Silent Pictures the first time, I think I slept 3-4 hours a night for five weeks straight, and not only survived, but I thrived. I was younger then, but still. When you’re passionate about something, you make it work. But it was definitely the passion that I’d lost.

Then I met my husband. I was twenty seven years old, had resigned myself to living the rest of my life with just my little dog. I’m going to get really lame here for a second, but when he walked into my life it was like a universal shift. He challenged me, brought new perspectives to everything I thought I knew about life, and inspired me to do all of the things I was afraid of doing. Our relationship progressed quickly, leading to moving in within months and then marrying just under a year after that. I was still blogging, kind of writing, but had started crocheting as a side job to my barista job and was more focused on crafting and healthy living than writing.

After our daughter was born, my universe shifted again, and my life was really for reals reals forever changed. I turned thirty, and had a little human clone to raise, and I took a step back to look at what I wanted for my own life. I knew what I wanted for her, confidence, happiness, security, the ability to follow her dreams. And I realized that to be able to show her that those things are attainable, I needed to have those things for myself.

Becoming a mother was something I’d never thought I’d ever do (nor had ever wanted to do before I met my husband), and it has turned out to be the most fulfilling and wonderful thing I’ve ever done. I’ve worked a lot of jobs in my life and the novelty always wore off quickly, once my brain wasn’t stimulated enough, or I didn’t feel like the job itself was a particularly useful one, I’d move on to something new and exciting. I always thought that it was because my favourite things (writing, photography, crafting) you can’t just go and get a job doing them. That my favourite things would always be a hobby while I worked a ‘real job’ to pay the bills. But when my full time job became mom, I realized that that was my dream job all along. It’s a 24-7 job with a shitty wage, but I’ve been doing it for over two years and I still love it just as much as the first day, if not more every day that passes.

Anyway. Upon deciding as a family that my job was full time mom, I still needed to address what I wanted to do for me. It’s always been writing. Always has, and always will be. But it was always a time crunch, right? Between toddler and part time job and family and sleep (haha jk what is sleep) when the hell was I supposed to write? I started writing on my phone, in google docs, so that no matter where I went I could access my stuff. I started critiquing on Critique Circle and learning and flexing those writing muscles again. I started writing random drabbles that will never see the light of day, just to get some shit out. And I started bouncing ideas of my husband, who not only is like 500% supportive of all of my creative endeavors, but is also a fountain of amazing book ideas. Seriously. I have pages and pages of notes of amazing ideas that have come out of his head. All of these things gave me inspiration, and soon forcing myself to write every day became needing to write every day.

In October of 2017 I started to track my daily word counts, with the goal of staying over 500 words per day on average. I knew that some days (like my working days) I wouldn’t be able to get much down, but other days if my daughter went to bed okay and I had an hour or two I could bang out much more. So I created a spreadsheet that I could plug in my counts (also tracking blogging words and critique words), to see how I did.

At the end of the year, my average from October 9th until the last day of December was 679 words per day, with my high day being 2925 words, and my total being 57,021 words. That’s almost 60,000 fucking words! In less than three months! Had I actually worked on a single work of fiction that would have been a submittable short novel right there. Alas, I didn’t, but it was an eye opener for me for sure. Hard numbers telling me that I can, in fact, do this. And that I do, in fact, have words to write. And that knowledge drives me.

And so, with a burst of self confidence and a determination to follow my dreams, I am cracking the fuck down and forging ahead to make it happen. Even if I don’t sell a single thing, I will still write, write, write. I will enter contests, apply to groups, if I ever finish a novel I’m happy with (which I will, dammit!), I will submit it, and not let myself get beat down by rejections. I will continue to interact with other writers, honing our craft together, and supporting each other.

My husband started a new job (yay!) and he’s on a batshit continental shift that is really hard to keep track of, but it gives him a lot more home time with the family, which is nice. And we decided that that also gives me one or two days a week that can be my ‘work days’, where I prance off to the library and sit in a quiet corner and write for a few hours. Treating it like an actual job, and not just something that I get to do when I have a few minutes. And that’s where I am right now. Well not right now for you, because this post is scheduled to post Friday morning, but right now for me. And it feels good.

No more excuses. I have the time now that I never had, I have the confidence that I never had, and am blessed to be surrounded by supportive friends and family who are also creative and excited and will also blow sunshine up my ass when I need it.

So. Cracking the fuck down. In the library with my headphones in, surrounded by literature, able to just write words. I’m going to go write some productive fictional ones now.

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The Stephen King Marathon – Christine

Buckle in, baby, this book is a classic ride.

christine

There are so many things that I’d forgotten about this book. I read it as a young teen, and then watched the movie, and all I remembered was a beautiful cherry red Plymouth Fury that was alive and killing people.

As with most King stories, there is so much more to it than that. It’s implied, though not actually confirmed, that the car is haunted (or possessed?) by it’s previous owner, LeBay. The protagonist, Dennis, speculates on this, but it’s left ambiguous whether LeBay is controlling the car, or if Christine is a separate entity. I guess by the fact that LeBay is possessing Arnie and can’t do both at the same time then it is him, but I kind of like to believe that it was Christine possessing LeBay (and in turn, Arnie). Because I like to think that she was alive and psychotic before LeBay even owned her. That she was the one to take his soul, make him into a twisted ghost corpse that would stay with her forever. And unimpeded, would she keep doing it forever to new owners? I like to think so.

I was surprised about the formatting of this book, as the first third is in first person POV as Dennis, the main character’s best friend. I mean I guess that makes Dennis the main character, as he’s the real hero of this story, but really the book centers around Christine, and as such, Arnie, the new owner of the car. The middle third is in omni POV, jumping around to what’s going on with all of the characters, or at least enough to tell the story while Dennis is laid up in the hospital with a broken leg. And then for the final third of the book, it goes back to first person as Dennis again.

It’s okay, I guess, and I like Dennis as a character. He’s well rounded, flawed but likeable, very real. But switching to third person was really jarring (and maybe that was the intent), and I couldn’t help but think why isn’t the whole book just in third person? What editor wouldn’t be like ‘Steve, what the fuck man, you can’t just jump POVs like this…’? I mean maybe his editor did, but then Stephen King can just do whatever he wants because he’s Stephen fucking King. He says in the afterword for Different Seasons that his agent kept bugging him to stop writing horror because ‘horror doesn’t sell’, and he just kept doing it and look where he is now. The King, right? So if he wants to switch POVs in a jarring way then he can just do that.

I still think it would have flowed so much better without it though. A lot of reviewers hate that the story is from Dennis’ POV at all, because he’s looking at the main character, and they’d rather be in Arnie’s head. And while that would be kind of cool, I feel like the mystery is better served not knowing what’s going on in Arnie’s head. Half of the creepiness is in wondering what the hell is happening to this kid. And in the middle section we get a bit of Arnie freaking out over his car magically repairing itself and such, but for the whole first bit it’s an outside perspective, just watching weird shit happen from the outside. I like it a lot. And it sucks that Dennis’ broken leg was such a major plot point for the end, because if he hadn’t have had to be in the hospital, then we could have just stayed in first POV the whole time.

Anyway. Formatting aside, I so much love this book. It’s definitely in my top ten King books. And if I ever see an old red Plymouth Fury, I will forever give her a wide berth.

For the Dark Tower fans: Nothing much here, though at one point Dennis has a memory of his Grandfather yelling at the TV about how a sports team ‘roont’ everything. I don’t know if King had already coined this term in his DT timeline (probably not), but I wonder if it came from his own Grandfather and the word stuck with him all the way to Wolves of the Calla.

Fear Factor: This book is creepy as fuck. You would think a killer car wouldn’t be that scary, but some of the scenes within are just mindbending. In that typical slow burn creepiness that is King’s specialty, some of the scenes just build and build and build and then your skin is crawling and you don’t even know why. One that really sticks out to me is when Arnie is giving Dennis a ride home and his face keeps changing back and forth from LeBay’s corpse to his own face. Uggghhhhhh.

christine

They so need to remake this movie.

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The Stephen King Marathon – Different Seasons Pt 4 – The Breathing Method

And just like that, we’re back to my favourite flavour of King.

 

This story is beautifully crafted and executed, and had me hanging on every word. You haven’t lived until you’ve pictured a headless woman giving birth, let me tell you.

It’s funny how I found the ‘stories within a story’ annoying in The Body, but here I loved them. I think because this Novella was about people telling stories, the pull of a secret club of men that share their most chilling secrets.

And the story of the pregnant woman was just made more intense by the fact that it was a man who seldom spoke telling it to the room. In a house that may or may not have doors to other worlds.

For the Dark Tower Fans: Stevens has got to be a traveler of worlds, right? It’s teased but not confirmed. I’m imagining him heading upstairs to one of the many long corridors and opening a door to see the desert that Roland travels to chase Walter. Perhaps Stevens is Walter…

Fear Factor: That epic underlying King creepiness woven into the fabric of the tale that builds and builds. When Sandra talks about feeling doomed I agreed with her, that feeling was there for me too. And the imagery during the penultimate scene was just. Gah. I very very much enjoyed this story.

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The Stephen King Marathon – Different Seasons Pt 3 – The Body

I can’t ever remember a time that I came away from a Stephen King book and thought… meh. Until now.

 

It’s not like it’s a bad story, really, the writing is solid and the characters are very defined and interesting. I just wanted them to do more, you know? I wasn’t really into Gordie’s stories and I felt like they took away from actual plot.

This is one of those rare instances where I feel like the movie (Stand By Me is based off of this story) actually flows better.

I don’t know I guess I just could have done with more going on for these characters. They were so interesting (especially Teddy) and I would have liked to see them doing more than listening to Gordie’s stories and wandering in the woods. 

I liked the little backstories and the scene with the dog was intense. I think maybe I would have liked it more had it not been attached to Shawshank and Apt Pupil. Maybe it would have had more impact on its own, I don’t know. Maybe in a few years I’ll go back and read it by itself and see.

For the Dark Tower Fans: Nothing to see here, though the four protags make a good little ka-tet on their journey to find the body.

Fear Factor: As with the other two novellas preceding it, the fear here is more uneasiness at the darkness in every person. The broken homes some of these kids come from, and the nastiness of the older kids that try to take the body at the end. Also Gordie’s description of the dead kid and his shoes is pretty chilling.

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An Exploration of Fandom – Part Two – Fabulous Fantasies

Just jumping in? Read Part One here.

So I reached out to a plethora of Facebook peeps who were very generous in sharing their wackiest fictional character love with me.

Yeah, this happened. <3

 

I was really surprised at the responses I got, not because of content (though Miss Frizzle was an amazing and pleasant surprise), but the amount of responses and the diversity in commenters. I was expecting more women, but I got some dude responses too. Most of them were purely spank material, but a few had genuine crushes comparable to the ladies.

This isn’t to say that some of the ladies weren’t into it for pure smut either. One great example was a Tony Stark attraction, specifically in the Iron Man suit with just his dick sticking out.

Jarvis, open my cock window!

Of course, this defies the stereotype that women are all into hearts and flowers and men just want to screw everything that moves, which is good. Because every person is a unique little snowflake. While one guy is saying he liked Lara Croft before Angelina but totally used the topless cheat, another is proclaiming his undying love for Hermione Granger. And while he loves Watson’s Hermione, he only finds her attractive as that character and nowhere else.

And while one woman told me about devouring the Wicked Lovely series and being so in love with Irial she got tattoos inspired by him, we also have Iron Man’s cock window. (Which honestly sounds more and more awesome the more I mention it.)

It’s been an interesting social experiment, and I can say that my preconceived notions of Fandom pertaining to men and women go deeper than gender. Age, sexual preference and identification, race, and environment all play a part in what we as individual humans obsess over.

I’m also finding trends in sex driven vs. romance driven fandom. The sex driven ones are usually the quintessential bad boys, usually villains but not always. Tony Stark is a ‘hero’ but kind of a douchebag, hence just sex in the suit instead of a long drawn out romantic storyline where he’ll be super out of character. Usually these characters have swagger and confidence and a lot of sexy qualities but aren’t the type of guy (or girl) you really want to think about a relationship with.

Another good example is Pagan Min from Far Cry 4. This guy is batshit insane. He’s a ruthless dictator that wears a bright pink suit and flippantly kills people for reasons that aren’t terribly warranted. Does he have a massive following of women that want to have sex with him? You bet your ass he does.

https://embed.tumblr.com/embed/post/v0I0USy9WrI_LsW3ycb8MA/150258049815?width=542&language=en_US&did=6cfdd6741bb2dcb06b9c1fa905c93571860006d2 https://assets.tumblr.com/post.js

Granted the Far Cry games are generally morally ambiguous as it is, with the protagonist tending to be a confused almost anti-hero. The choices given in the storyline tend to imply that there are no good choices because everyone has the potential to be good or evil, but still, this dude is pretty evil. Regardless of his tortured past (and of course it is tortured), he is loved by most FC4 fans intensely.

I get it, too. He’s such a fun and charismatic villain, and he’s totally hot. Don’t look at me like that, I know he’s animated. But for us crazy fans with our imaginations and headcanons, we see these characters in our minds as real people. Regardless of the fact that the PS4 engine provides real looking CG, I can easily picture him as a flesh and blood human.

And that’s the point of storytelling, isn’t it? To bring these characters to life. And oftentimes it’s not like a fangirl would actually want to be with a crazed murderous dictator (although sometimes you can’t be so sure), it’s an extension of entertainment. A safe fantasy in the mind that is controlled.

Some of these fan obsessions aren’t romantic or sexual at all, but just wanting to be in that world. One commenter expressed a love for the Secret of Mana characters, but just wanting to hang out with them. I had that with the Legend of Dragoon world. It was my first JRPG and I was obsessed with it as a teenager. I loved the characters (except Shana, fuck Shana) and wanted to be on the team of ass kicking dragon warriors that saved the world.

And while I did read a lot of erotica fanfic for LOD, it was between the canon characters (the Rose/Albert ship will forever sail in the sea of my imagination) and I just wanted to fight alongside them.

Can we pleeeeease have a remastered version of this??? Sony shut up and take my money!

I’m realizing that as I write these posts they’re not as structured as I wanted them to be because I keep rambling on tangents… but that’s okay. I’m not a structured kind of girl.

I think my favourite comment I got was from a lovely gentleman admitting that in his teens he would have traded five years of his life to be in a Roland/Susan/Cuthbert/Alain gangbang. Not only did this entertain me with gleeful laughter, it made me remember my outright love for Cuthbert in Wizard and Glass. I was fifteen or sixteen when I read that for the first time and totally pictured a Leonardo DiCaprio type boyish charm for him. Sigh.

And above is a great example of character vs. actor, because there was/is no visual representation of those characters at all. It’s all imagination and love for them because they’re brought to life in the mind.

Although it’s easy sometimes to separate character and visual. A friend of mine told me about her absolute adoration for Daniel Jackson in Stargate, because of the person he is. The actor, however is a total dickwad and she doesn’t find him attractive at all because he’s such an asshole.

Pictured: asshole

I will finish up here by adding that in the 90s there were feral tweens totally in love with Darien from Sailor Moon. And apparently we’re still feral because Darien got a whopping four mentions complete with heart eyed emojis.

Stay tuned for part three!

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The Stephen King Marathon – Different Seasons Pt 2 – Apt Pupil

I was listening to this story while in the shower, and when toweling off I hear hubby from the kitchen: “This is a fucked up story.”

And it is. It was the part where Dussander cooks a cat alive in his oven (which really turned my stomach, by the by, thank you King for the detailed description). When I started to tell him what the story was about, he got all excited and said he’d seen the movie as a kid. I had no idea it was a movie, but now I need to watch it because Ian McKellan is Dussander, oh hell yes.

So remember how I was saying Shawshank left me hopeful and content? All that was shattered by this disturbing-as-fuck story. The two main characters (I refuse to call them protagonists) are an old Ex-Nazi and a morbid teenage boy, both of which get off on death and pain to the point where they end up murdering people. 

Of course in typical King fashion he explores the depths of their minds, showing the humanness intermingled with the crazy, which makes it extra hard to swallow because I didn’t want to see the humanness. I didn’t want to sometimes feel badly for them. Though it was short lived, because they’re both so fucking horrible in the end.

I have a feeling that this one would have been Bachman’s book had he not been exposed prior to release.

For the Dark Tower Fans: Nothing glaring, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Walter/Flagg was responsible for the Holocaust. Seems right up his alley.

Fear Factor: Morbid teenaged boy torturing an old man, fantasizing about raping crying women during his sexual encounters, and killing people to chase his nightmares away? Old Nazi war criminal luring bums into his house to kill them, and getting off on roasting animals alive in his oven? Fear Factor indeed.

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An Exploration of Fandom – Part One – The Manic Pixie Fangirl

Chicks be crazy. And we know it, too. Well, most of us. But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about fandom. Specifically fanfiction, and exploring how and why women are so fiercely into it.

This is the first part in a series that I have been wanting to write for a long time. My disclaimer is that this is in every way an opinion piece, and in no way based on fact or assumptions on any fandom community. This is all strictly anecdotal. So enjoy my ramblings.

Firstly, I want to explore fangirls  themselves. I am one. Most females I know are as well. And I’m not talking ‘OMG PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES ARE LIFE’ kind of girls (though I am one of those too, want to fight about it?), I’m talking fictional character obsession. Where we see a movie or tv show and can’t stop thinking about a character when we close our eyes at night.

The kind of addiction that causes us to take to fanfiction.net in a desperate attempt for more story. And we read the cringeworthy self insert Mary Sue fics with author’s notes begging for gud reviows in the hopes that at least the sex scenes are good. (Spoiler alert, they usually aren’t.)

Just me? I think not. Go ahead and google ‘Harry Potter Fanfic’ and take a gander at what pops up. I’ll wait. Nice to see you again! How was that? Okay, try Walking Dead next. Have fun in that rabbit hole. Back for more? How about Riverdale? Like video games? Try Pokémon or Final Fantasy. There’s something for everyone.

I mean we all have imaginations, right? I asked a bunch of guys I know ridiculous personal questions about how they perceived fictional characters as teenagers, and the general consensus was that if the actress (or good cg render) was hot, she made it into the spank bank.

For girls, as is usually the case, there’s much more to it. My first crush was Fox Mulder. I am dating myself like a motherfucker, but I was old enough in the 90s to be watching The X Files when it first came out. But notice how it was Mulder that was my crush, not David Duchovny? Don’t get me wrong, I could stare at pictures of DD all day (that could be interpreted so badly), but it was the quirky open minded FBI agent that I was in love with.

Stfu that hair is still sexy.

 

Yes, in love with… I was a young girl that wanted to grow up to be one half of a kickass alien hunting FBI duo that also went on dates on the weekends. Because I’m romantic as fuck. I’m pretty sure my grade school diary had FOX with a heart around it multiple times.

Approaching my teen years, I got into Leonardo DiCaprio, as many 90s girls did (and still do, let’s be honest). But even then, as much as I loved my 26×36 poster of his face above my bed, the dreams were of being Juliet or Rose or that French chick from The Beach (who totally doesn’t sleep with him in the book because she’s not a total asshole, tyvm Hollywood). I didn’t know Leo as a person, I knew his characters within the realms of their stories.

But this is a Venus/Marsgument that is as old as time. Dudes are visual (tits) and chicks are emotional (her heart fluttered as his lips claimed hers, threading her fingers through his flaxen locks as their souls entwined forever etc.). So it would make sense that teenage boys go ‘just saw Tomb Raider, gonna spank it to Angelina Jolie tonight’, whereas girls go ‘just saw Walking Dead, what if I was Rick’s cool/pretty sister that everyone is friends with and I coax Daryl out of his shell and we ride off into the sunset together on his motorcycle?’

You laugh, but that shit is ALL over Wattpad.

So we fall in love with these characters, and  through the course of their canon storyline wonder about things, like how they would react in certain situations or who we’d rather see them romantically involved with. (I’m looking at you, Katniss!) Then when the story runs out it’s all headcanon from here on in, baby!

My favourite fanfics are the ones without original characters (with exceptions, more on that later), because in general OCs are blatant self inserts. And in trying to make these OCs perfect and likeable they end up being intensely unlikeable. (I’m looking at you, Anastasia Steele!)

But it is in these fics that we can see the depth of wish fullfillment in the people that write them. Where they fall in love with these characters and weave these fantasies in their heads and then write it down so the rest of us can enjoy it. Some we enjoy making fun of, because WOW, but some have such well written canon characters that it feeds our own imagination.

My favourite fanfics take canon and make it better. They stay true to the characters and the created world and give me the more that I’m craving. The best example I can give is The Debt Of Time by ShayaLonnie, a Harry Potter fanfiction epic that is over 700,000 words and 154 chapters. It centers around Hermione, and time travel, and soul bonds and friendship and it’s honestly more canon to me than Rowling’s work. I’ve read it more times than any of the Harry Potter books.

My bestie and I are DoT fangirls. We’re Potterheads, for sure, and united in that we are also united in fanfic. Because we always just want more of our favourite characters, more story, just more.

And as an adult now, while I enjoy reading YA novels, good fanfic tends to be more adult. What would make Harry Potter better? Swearing and fucking, of course.

On to Part Two here!

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