Our First Fanfic

by E.V. Jacob on June 12, 2012

“Simon and Jayne from Firefly get stranded on a strange/dangerous planet (use your imagination ;D). Simon becomes a BAMF and saves the day and Jayne! I just basically want Simon being all BAMFy and him and Jayne bantering. I LOVE ME SOME BANTER. Bonus points for Mal saying witty things. Because I love me some witty!Mal. (At the end of course when Mal comes to pick them up. LOL)”

– Melissa

So, I’ve officially written a fan fiction. This is a first for me – I never even thought I’d write a fanfic, but Attack on Ariadne is up, and so far it’s being received pretty well.

When I sat down to write this, I had a couple goals in mind. I wanted this story to:

1. Be enjoyable for both hard-core Browncoats and people who think Firefly refers to the glowing bug. A lot of my friends are long-time Firefly fanatics, but a lot of them are also people who’ve never seen a single episode of Firefly in their lives. I wanted the ones who are familiar with the show to be able to follow along with the story and the characters, while still being true enough to the overarching themes that fans of the show would identify with, and enjoy, the story.

2. Feel like an episode of Firefly. With the scene breaks, cuts to different characters, and overall interactions and stylistic presentation, I was hoping to achieve a genuine feel of the show. Even though the show never had aliens, (I just really wanted to write about aliens…) I wanted to make sure that characters’ reactions, thoughts, and behaviors were true to what the characters we know and love (or don’t know and love, perhaps) would do.

3. Be weird. This was just a chance for me to poke around in the world of the weird. I’ve never written about aliens before, but I’ve always had a rule that they can’t look too humanoid – I don’t want any of this Star Trek face-putty alien nonsense; I want freaky, creepy, never-seen-anything-like-this-before biological weirdness. Granted, I’m writing, so I can do whatever I want, whereas Star Trek had to be able to work with human actors to portray aliens, so I have much more freedom here, but still; it’s the kind of thing I think of.

Ultimately, it was a lot of fun. One of my favorite aspects of this whole writing exercise is that it’s really pushing my boundaries. I’m working in settings I’ve never considered, and characters I wouldn’t have chosen. It’s tough, but in that great way that makes you feel like you’re really growing as a writer.

For anyone looking to get started on writing, I highly recommend working with short stories. They give you a lot of great practice with writing, with creating story arcs, and creating a solid beginning-middle-end flow. You also get to feel as though you’ve accomplished something – novels take weeks to years to come to fruition, but a decent short story can be hammered out in a week, or a couple days, if inspiration strikes. Then you have something to share, to show others, to look at and say, “I did this!”

If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, do what I did: Make everyone else do it for you. Ask your friends. Say, “What kind of story would you like me to write?” Then work with the parameters they lay out – it’s a lot of fun, and it really works the writing muscles.

And, as always, write every single day. Even if you just scribble a random scene on a post-it note, write every day – it’s good for the writer’s soul :)

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