I'm going to cover fan fiction now. It's probably my most bizarre hobby, if it is indeed a hobby still - and something that I really struggle at times to understand.
You see, there are a few things that I need to make perfectly clear from the start:
(a) I am not, in any way, shape, or form, a person who aspires to be a writer. I do not believe that within me there is The Great British Novel, bursting to get out. Therefore my writings have nothing to do with any progressions from serial fiction to novella to fully blown book.
(b) I have no interested whatsoever in becoming a TV or film scriptwriter, or having anything adpated for anything, anywhere. Nothing. Nada. Never thought about it until someone mentioned it to me a few years back. Nope.
(c) Whilst it is nice to daydream and think that one day a lazy DC executive would stumble across Jesse and Jade and suddenly I would be propelled into the limelight as the new J.M.DeMatteis, I have no real compulsion to write real comics. I am never going to send a specualtive submit to Marvel or DC or any wee little wannabe comic company. Not my scene
With that out of the way, the question is still there - why do fanfic?
At one time, I would have said that fanfic was what I did to replace the creative outlet when I wasn't roleplaying. However, for more time than not, I have been roleplaying regularly since 2000 and I have been writing all of that time. So thats a bit of a cop-out.
At other times I have claimed that I wrote my superhero fanfic because it was a backlash against the poor writing of some of my favourite titles in mainstream comics. Thats probably a little true - I always get a yearning to write The Avengers whenever I see the bilge that Brian Bendis produces passing as The Earths Mightiest Heroes. However, if that was so, I should be scribing madly in the wake of the truly mediocre 'House of Meh!' episode. But I am not.
Maybe it was because I liked to be part of that creative community, that coven of writers that was so supportive and critical at the same time. So willing to lend praise and feedback on your creations. So brotherly in their support for your real life woes. The continuity aspect of shared universe ventures really appeals to the comic geek in me, I know that - but those communities are still there and I am a voyeur on the borders at best - a memory of times gone by at worst.
So maybe in all that wordy soul searching the real reason was that I just wanted to tell a story - to see whether I could. I know that was certainly the case with Scarlet Witch, my first foray in the MV1 site. That was soon followed by The Crusaders and The Crusaders:Shadows - two books using the full pantheon of UK Marvel Superheroes at MV1. Quite good apparently. I then 'jumped ship' to pastures new, my dream assignment of The Avengers at MX. I have dallied with DC on Captain Comet (dire), Jesse and Jade (my fave), Stargirl (could have been good), Minuteman (another fave) and Batman (my best story IMO)
But it all stopped. I've tried, I really have - but there is something that simply stops me from being as explosive a creative talent as I have been in the past. I can get the initial idea - thats easy - but getting into that difficult third installment is always too much. I always falter - my mind is always dragged away into some other train of thought and the spark of creativity perishes.
Writing like this is something that I desperately want to do again. I can feel the need inside me to write - hell, writing these blogs is kind of like creative writing and it's almost as easy. Maybe I am done with the genre? Maybe I miss the spark of the community and the people within it. Everyone involved heavily nowadays seems so young and full of themselves...compared to when we were burning the trail. Hehehe lets not kid ourselves - we were just as bad!
I guess it's just waiting for the right idea to come along and the right moment to sit down and write to hit. And for me to stop playing so much bloody WoW!!!!!