The Manifesto, Yay

SHORT MANIFESTO

 

Hi! I’m Anise. (waves)

I’ve been writing fanfic for a long time. When I started, I’d just had FOUR (count ‘em, four) original novels rejected. This was before Kindle, before Amazon, before any kind of realistic option to self-publish online… and thank GOD, I at least had enough common sense to not go old school and self-publish in print. (Unless you were writing niche non-fiction, that was almost always a BAD, bad idea.) Fanfic really brought me back to writing fiction at a point when I seriously never thought I would do it again. And I’ve come to realize a few things over time.

 

  • Fanfic teaches writing like NO other resource I know of. Authors who don’t write fanfic, who’ve never written it, and who’ve never been part of a fandom community have missed out on so much. I’ve seen this over and over and over again in F2F groups. They may be great technical writers, but they have rarely been taught how to tell a story. Fanfic writers get this (especially if they’ve been around long enough…) And it’s for one simple reason. We’ve been “writing” for about 7,000 years. We’ve been telling stories as long as we’ve been human. And the last “original” story was probably told by Ug the Caveperson in front of the campfire about 75,000 years ago. All writing is fanfic because all storytelling is fanfic, and as fanfic writers, we tell stories to each other. So are constantly perfecting what our brains have evolved to do—there are even theories that human consciousness itself evolved through storytelling! And we’ve learned how to tell these stories.

 

  • Fanfic communities are unlike any other in their quality of support and encouragement. We write together, read together, and cheer each other on! We’re united by a common love of writing, reading, and creativity, and while it all starts with a specific fandom, that’s really just the beginning. The ethos of fanfic communities is the key to supporting writers, creating a learning and growing atmosphere for all of us.

 

  • And, oh yeah… Your work in fanfic holds the secret to success with your original writing. THE secret and THE key. Understand, this doesn’t come first. The writing and the support come first. And it doesn’t work automatically; we don’t reach readers with our original fics simply because we wrote fanfic first. There will be MANY essays on this secret, based on all the time I’ve ever spent in publishing and writers’ groups, all the weird marketing attempts I’ve ever seen, all the desperate writers who couldn’t figure out why things weren’t working for them… all the techniques that failed… and the secret of what finally worked. No, I’m not going to tell you what it is right now!! Wait for the essays. And the podcasts. And we’ll all work it out together, too. J A big part of the secret is that “marketing” and “selling” have to come LAST (and it’s a whole lot better to never think in those terms at all.) That’s not what works. We are here to write and to support each other.

 

  • Finally, I want to help authors who are ready to go with their ofic work (or ononfic!) This isn’t something I’ve really seen before, especially in the context of everything else we do. Ofic authors will have their own page, links to find and buy their work, their own podcast, and so on and on.

But this is NOT self-promotion. I will say that I really need writers to not go over the top with self promos and to keep them limited on this site, and it’s BECAUSE we do this very labor-intensive thing that will help you. If you have writing ready to go/already published/about to be published, then help us to help you.

Apply for our help. There will be a special thread and an application process—we need to know if the writing’s any good and we need to be sure that authors are the real thing.

 

I have never seen this process really happen on another site, and I think it’s desperately needed.

 

I guess that overall, I have a dream. I want to do something a little different from what I really see any other writing site doing. More than anything else, I want a writing site that brings in all the strengths of fanfic, acknowledges them, and knows that the last thing ON EARTH or in the universe a writer should do as they move into original writing is to “leave fanfic behind.” We have to bring the strengths, the unique qualities, of fanfic and fandoms into our original work… and into sharing that work with a larger audience.

 

We are a community. We bring everything we are as fandom communities into original writing. And those are priceless gifts, indescribably valuable qualities, in every way imaginable. We have the potential to create something unique. And with your help… we can do it!

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