Do you ever scream at the TV or a book because the ending disappoints you? If so, try creating your own story! I don’t remember when I started to read fan fiction or my first fan fiction book; I just started by clicking around the Internet. Fan fiction opened a new world to me: it fulfilled my fantasies and replaced all my regret when stories ended. So, after joining Girls Write Now, the fan fiction workshop was the one I was most looking forward to.
The workshop started with the Opening Lines exercise. We were asked to describe the setting of one of our favorite books or TV shows; I chose the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes’s world was just like ours except Sherlock Holmes and Watson were real people, not the characters from the Canon of Sherlock Holmes. After all the mentees and mentors finished their Opening Lines, the guest speaker, Racheline Maltese, came and talked to us about her life in fan fiction. She is a performer and storyteller, and those experiences and skills have made her a wonderful fan fiction writer. She answered many of our questions:
- “Is there any future to being a fan fiction writer?”
- “Are we allowed to use other people’s characters in our own fan fic?”
- “Is it ok to write what we want?”
Racheline used her own experiences to answer our questions. She told us about her fan fic project that used Harry Potter. She also said it is okay to use other people’s characters, and that we should write what we want because fan fic is an ocean in which we can swim in any style.
Later in the workshop, we heard a few more examples of fan fiction, and we started to develop our own storylines. One of our options was crossover fan fiction, when two worlds come together to create a new story. I chose Doctor Who, another BBC show, and Sherlock Holmes. We started by writing five “What if…” scenarios. I wrote:
- “What if the TARDIS landed in 21st century London?”
- “What if the Weeping Angels sent Watson into the past?”
- “What if Watson gets kidnapped by aliens?”
- “What if Sherlock and the Doctor meet?”
- “What if there is a murder committed by aliens, and Sherlock and the Doctor solve the case together?”
I chose: “What if Watson gets kidnapped by aliens?” and continued developing the story with the Doctor and his partners Amy and Rory coming to help Sherlock rescue Watson. After we finished the storyline we had the chance to share with a partner. My partner’s story was that Superman saved a Russian family. She used very funny language and an animated tone to read the story to me — I loved it. After sharing we had to write a new story that used a new “What if ” from our partner. We decided to pick time travel, and so Doctor Who and Superman met in 1887.
The man stares at Superman’s face and looked at his clothing. “How can you be wearing Superman clothes? Did they even have Superman in 1887?”
“What are you talking about mister?” Superman asked with surprise rising in his tone.
“It’s DOCTOR!” the man said.
“Doctor? Doctor who?” Superman asked.
The doctor smiled but did not answer.
For me, this was perfect way to end the 2013 season.
- Unlike Xiao Shan, her mentor Alyssa had one of her first brushes with fan fiction at our workshop. Read her take! Plus, check out Racheline’s side of the story and the resources she rounded up for our workshoppers.