Friday, September 16, 2011

I suck as a writer...

...this is rather tongue in cheek, but then again...

So let's see...I've been playing around at this game of being a writer, pursuing the ultimate goal of being a published author for eight years now.

I started off writing fan fiction, took original fiction under my wing and continued to write fan fiction, and now I fiddle with my original fiction and bang away at the keyboard churning out quite a lot of words worth of fan fiction. (Some of my writing chapter mates who don't even know what fan fiction is don't write that much. *hee*)

I know my abilities and my limits as a writer. I know what I do well and I know where I need to work harder. Not that I do, 'cause it is *hard* work and most days I just don't wanna.

I am in the middle of an online class (I mentioned this the other day.) about sexual tension and how to get it on the page. It's been quite interesting and I'm learning something.

So yesterday I read this lovely piece of fan fiction. From first word to last, I was enthralled, gripped, and moved by this story. When I was finished, I was emotionally wrenched, but ultimately satisfied.

The scary part is that most books I *pay money for* do not move me that much. My theory on that is when I buy a book, the author has a finite number of pages to make me love her characters--not even the whole book. She's got maybe 1/4 to 1/2 of the book to really make the hero and heroine and their story grow on me. When I read fan fiction, I'm already invested in the characters. I've seen the show, or watched the movie, or read the book. The fan fiction author doesn't have to sell me the characters, though she does have to sell me the premise.

This story was a romance with a pairing that I hadn't been overly eager to embrace, but the premise was intriguing and so I began. I read all afternoon. All 57K words of it.

And when I was done, my thoughts were: "This was brilliant. Beautifully crafted and executed." and "I suck as a writer."

If a fan fiction author can write like this, then I'm doomed after eight years of being a student of the art/craft of romance writing. Of course, for all I know, in her real life, she could also be a proud member of RWA and have twelve best-sellers. (Though I don't think she'd still be writing fan fiction...)

The point is, I occasionally come across these pieces of fan fiction, as lovingly labored over as any best-seller, and I suddenly feel completely out of my league.

I suck as a writer...

(and, yes. I'd like some cheese with my whine, thanks)


Ruth said...

What fan fiction was it?
I came across your blog - you seem like a good writer to me :)

Regina Richards said...

You do not suck as a writer! But I know the feeling. Many of the books I read leave me feeling I can do as well as that. Some even leave me feeling I could do better. But every once in a while I run across one that is so wonderful, I am both grateful to the author for sharing her talent with me and absolutely depressed by the feeling that I will never be such a writer.

Jen FitzGerald said...

Welcome, Ruth! (I'm not sharing the fic as you are 16 years old and the fic is not appropriate for you. :)

Thanks, Regina! I feel a bit better and encouraged after listening to Tracey Wolff on Saturday.