Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To Scratch and Scribble Part 6

We've all done it. We've jotted, we've scratched, we've scribbled. While some take the humongous plunge of creating entire worlds all by themselves, others are more inclined to have training wheels set before doing anything too big.

After my first novel debacle, I decided to try and train my brain to recognize good ideas. I've found TV shows and movies that I liked or have come to like and watched them. I was obsessed. Then I stumbled upon

Here is a site that takes everything you love about tv shows, video games, movies and anime and tells you to make up your own story or episode and share it with others. Millions of people were doing this when I discovered it in 2001. Have a different ending in mind for The Shawshank Redemption? Have at it. Feel like you could've written a better plotline for Indiana Jones? Go for it! Or maybe you're one of the many people who have their own draft of Scream 4. You'll find it on this site.

If writing is all a matter of exercising that literary part of your brain, I believe that writing fan fiction truly helps.

On that site, I wrote two fanfiction stories for one of my all-time favorite games: Silent Hill. It was the best. One story, involving an author traveling to the haunted town to write a non-fiction book, evolved and became more fluid as I wrote. I got nine chapters up. It was 14,000 words long. I ended it on a real nail biting cliff-hanger when Jack(the protag) and his friend Dan(someone who is trying to escape the town) have just read a secret incantation which brings the other haunted world to the town. They are sitting in Jack's previously beaten-up car with a zippo as their only form of illumination. The last line of the story went something like this:

The glow from the lighter flickered away. We were left in darkness, listening to the howls of the screeching demons. They were ready to feast.

And that was where I left it. On a cliffhanger. Haven't gone back to it since. Because, dear readers, that was when my brain started thinking for itself. Stories were forming all on their own. I became overwhelmed by the amount. But I stand by what I said. Try fanfiction first. It really helps to take stories in different directions and find out what may be on the other side.

What fanfiction have you tried? Would love to hear them.

"There's a time and place for everything, and I believe it’s called 'fan fiction'." ~ Joss Whedon

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