There’s tons of bragging rights that come from being an author in my eyes, in whatever platform you’ve been published (yes, even if you write a little quip for a birthday card that’s only sold in dollar stores in remote areas of the world).
The problem is that when you tell people you write fan fiction (and, heaven forbid, on Wattpad), they are quick to discredit your authorial status for a manic obsession with someone or other because they assume that all of your “writing ” (“…if it can even be called that!”) is just a bunch of poorly-written, low tier, drug store paperback smut.
I mean, not that I haven’t written such things, but…alas.
As a writer, as an English student, and as an avid reader, I try my best to incorporate style and devices into my writing (most recently inspired by Bram Stoker, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Jonathan Safran Foer). I love employing irony and foreshadowing and metaphors, and I have a certain soft spot for wordplay and dialogue/banter. And, may I add, that I believe any form of parallelism in text, or if a text goes full circle, is the epitome of satisfaction in any work I read.
But, as a writer, an English student, and an avid reader, when writing fan fiction (and especially on Wattpad), sometimes I get a sense that people only read stories just to get smut and not an actual plot line. Which is unfortunate.
The difference between being a writer and an author is a thin one, and some characteristics don’t overlap, but for the most part, it’s the ability/choice of one to move forwards to publish one’s work on a public platform for others to read, no matter how large or small the audience. This, I think, is a very courageous step for anybody to take because sharing your work with the world (or even just another person) is quite nerve-wracking.
I used to be very ashamed of writing fan fiction, passing it off as a very small, side hobby and never really telling people what I wrote about. I started writing in eleventh grade, and then again in twelfth grade, and I’ve been dabbling in a few short works here and there but never really finishing anything because I lost interest – or, at least, that was my excuse.
Now I’m back with a sequel to my last story, Coalescence, because like Harry in the story, I feel like my story is still unfinished – that there’s more to be said and more to be rounded off and wrapped up.
Letters to Sperling, which is what the sequel is titled, focuses a lot on the concept of grief and how different people cope with grief, on life after loss, and on the power of memory in shaping one’s identity. Plus some other snazzy themes which will reveal themselves as the story unfolds. I can’t really say more here in fear that my wonderful masterpiece (“…if it can even be called that!”) will be spoiled due to my very loyal readership stumbling across this blog and reading this post (which is bound to happen as the days grow closer to my publishing date (May 29th! Be there or be square, my friends).
I’m thinking of publishing Coalescence and Letters to Sperling here, on WordPress, with minor changes to names and events because although I’m not a professional author by any means, I still consider authorship to be something that I’m proud of. And, since this blog tracks my high and low points in life, I might as well take a moment to bask in the rays of one of the only things that make me really happy – writing.
P.S. I really hope I make people cry again. Apparently I’m known for that – which I’m unsure is a good thing or not. We’ll see, I suppose; hopefully I’m not too rusty that my writing ability isn’t as impactful as it was in 12th grade.
Featured Image: taken by my brother, Melvyn Teo.