Note: I posted this before actually publishing anything on Wattpad. Here’s the link to the story.
When I first tried to seriously write fiction, I did so on Wattpad. That didn’t work too well for a few reasons. Firstly, I think I just didn’t have the motivation to consistently post; you guys might realize this from my amazing inconsistency posting here, but you can get away with that on your own blog/website. From what I’ve read Wattpad requires constant and regular updating to keep your fans coming back for more. Secondly, Wattpad seems to be highly biased towards fanfiction stories, which mine were totally not. And lastly, Wattpad, being a seperate site, was hard to “market” to people. My Facebook network and friends didn’t seem to give two shits about finding a link and reading my stories. It just didn’t work out.
I should say I’ve never been a fan of fanfics either. I’ve never read anything from the genre, but the idea of them seemed to put me off. I guess I’m prejudiced for some reason. I love originality in the arts, and basing your story off a universe that was already created by someone seemed like a cheap and lazy thing to do. Obviously when I think of it now I do see there has to be some creativeness going on; even if the stories do take place in an already-created universe, the plot, characters, and everything else must be created by you. I also think fanfics in general have a laughable quality to them. Like for every good fanfic there is 99 laughable and poorly-written ones. It just doesn’t seem like a bastion of professionalism in my mind. There is also the issue with you only bagging fans that are already fans of whatever type of fanfic you’re writing: you write a Harry Potter fanfic no one will read it that isn’t interested in Harry Potter.
But obviously my mind has changed because I’m writing this.
I started playing The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind a few months ago because a friend was also playing the game. It wouldn’t hurt to also start a game, right? We’d talk about our in-game adventures and started joking about a certain character she was playing as, who she described as “chaotic neutral.” Her character, named Pip, didn’t actually give a shit about saving the world: Pip did whatever the fuck Pip wanted to do. And for some reason the idea of a fanfic was joked about.
It was one of those ideas that both sounded like a great idea to do, but also like a terribly dumb idea. The more I thought about it, the funner it seemed to try, but seriously thinking about it would lead me to second-guessing. Making a fanfic would be wasted time, right? Totally pointless, right? No one gets famous or published from writing fanfics, right?
I was also reading a shitton of Hunter S. Thompson around this time.
So drunk one night I came up with this gem of an idea: a reporter from the mainland in the Elder Scroll’s universe would “transfer” to the province of Morrowind to cover “news stories” or some shit. He’d roam the land and report back on the local religion, news stories, bandits, and whatever else he came across. He’d be a smart-ass and drink and be skeptical of everything. Basically like Hunter S. Thompson but in fucking Morrowind. See? It sounds dumb as hell, but at least kind of a unique idea. Over time I realized this guy could stumble upon chaotic-neutral Pip attempting to save the world while constantly being distracted and, well, it sounds fun.
Around the New Year I decided, “Why the hell not?” I could YOLO hail-mary a fanfic story on Wattpad and see what happened. As stated, the more I think about it, the funner it sounds to try. It sounds exactly like what I need to do currently. It being a fanfic, I don’t think I need to feel like I’m writing a masterpiece. I can have fun with it. I can post once a week which will give me a little project to tackle on the weekend. I don’t have to worry about all the worldbuilding bullshit that I’m too terrible and lazy at: the world is already made for me! And for a video game I love, I can really sink myself into the world creatively.
So that’s going to be my new project and I’ll plop a link somewhere when I get my shit together. I hope to continue the two stories I’ve already been working on here, but those are hard to make progress on.