In my teen years, I used to read a lot of fanfiction about anime characters. I remember spending hours online discovering stories and making sure I reached the final chapter.
A few days ago, I retook this habit and decided to read with different eyes. I realized that fanfiction is a type of creative writing with tremendous potential to cure a case of writer’s block. Here’s why.
Writing fanfiction means reimagining a story that is already told. It’s reinventing a character’s personality and placing him or her in different situations.
The beauty of this craft consists of giving the author full control of all elements involved in the plot. Creative direction is limitless, and the results can be really satisfying when sharing with an audience.
Fanfiction also relies on an important element: it is written just for fun. It can be a hobbie. It’s experimenting with existing characters and create alternate realities for them.
It’s hard to tell whether fanfiction authors are planning to publish books or take their writing skills to the next level. They just share their work and keep writing if they come up with more ideas.
What if writers took this same approach to overcome any kind of creative block?
When ideas are not flowing for your work in progress, it’s time to take a break and play around with existing plots and characters from any movie, book or anime. You don’t have to be obsessed trying to finish the story from your main project. Allow your mind to wander.
Nothing makes play more fun than some new toys. Seek out unfamiliar tools and materials. Find something new to fiddle with. (Austin Kleon)
So what about trying fanfiction whenever you feel stuck?