This book had some freaky similarities to my own life. Everything from the relationship between Cath and Levi to the weather feeling like January in March (seriously, winter, stop).
I'm a shut in who would rather be writing than out in the world. I'm quite similar to Cath in a lot of ways. The main difference? She writes fanfiction.
I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a writing snob. I’m a snob because I’ve always looked down on fanfiction. Like, can’t you losers come up with your own material? Can’t you go live in your own world? But, as I started reading “Fangirl,” my thoughts started to change.
I’ve never written fanfiction, at least, nothing long, and nothing that I thought I might ever share. I’ve certainly journaled thoughts on books, and said what I thought should have happened. But those were always brief—nothing more than jotting down thoughts. I always wondered, how could someone be so dedicated to writing a story with characters that weren’t their own? And why would anyone ever think of sharing it?
Cath came along to teach me some things:
“The whole point of fanfiction is that you get to play inside somebody else’s universe. Rewrite the rules. Or bend them. The story doesn’t have to end when Gemma Leslie gets tired of it. You can stay in this world, this world you love, as long as you want, as long as you keep thinking of new stories…”
You can stay in the world you love…
That changed everything for me. The cynical part still nagged, why don’t you just build your own world to love? But maybe not everyone has a world… At least, not everyone has to build a world themselves, but everyone does have a home on some world…
So let’s say there are these worlds floating around. “Fictional” worlds. Like, the world of Harry Potter, or the world of Crossworlds. Cath found her home on Gemma Leslie’s world. Each person has a perfect world for them, but not everyone makes another world.
Yeah. This is how my brain works.
I don’t know if that even makes any sense. But if I didn’t have Crossworlds, I’d probably make my home in some other story world and settle down there forever.
Then I asked this question: Do I want people writing Crossworlds fanfiction? How would I feel about that?
The answer is, simply incredible. That would be fantastic. That would be like, an author milestone. That someone would love my world enough to not be able to stop thinking about it, and absolutely need to see on paper how they would change things, because my world feels like their world.
Okay, so I understand a little better now why people write fanfic. As a book lover, I can grasp that. But why share them? Why post them online for the world to see?
Now I kind of get that too. I love discussing books. I love the “should haves” and the “what ifs,” and that’s what fanfic is all about. Sharing fanfic is just a more direct way into that discussion. The fanfic writer shares their “what if?” scenario, sparking a multitude of conversations.
Writing fanfiction is also an excellent starting place to develop technical writing skills. Maybe you want to be a better writer but don't have a story or a world in mind. You can still practice with characters that aren't your own.
So, if you’re also a snob when it comes to fanfiction like I am, I hope this has helped open your eyes, and I would recommend reading “Fangirl” to understand even better (also, there's family drama, romance, and twins!). If you are a writer of fanfiction, I hope you forgive my snobbishness.
I will never “get tired” of Crossworlds, but someday, far off in the future, hopefully the literal minute before I die, this series will end. But maybe it will live forever in the minds of others, growing and changing in ways I never would have thought of.
Have all the fun you can in every world you love!