Last month, this column saw the first half of my interview with fan fiction writer Jennifer Hutchins. This month will be the continuation of that interview as Ms. Hutchins tackles questions about community and her own writing.
6.) How would you describe the fanfiction community (or communities) that you belong to?
Very diverse, very fun (except when there’s wank being thrown around), and hell-bent on destroying brain cells. *grins*
Each one has their quirks. The Sherlock one is very, very stubborn. They can be bitter, irritating, and loyal to a fault. There can be infighting, and it can get ugly quickly. But if you look past the wank, the people are amazing and so kind and nice and generally pretty great.
The Bond fanfic community…well, we are just a bit bloodthirsty, and a few of us have an unhealthy obsession with guns, girls, and Q. Or Alec. Or James himself. There’s very little infighting – we accept that some people haven’t seen the Connery films, and we do not speak of Quantum of Solace. It’s just not done. We are a tight-knit group, and we tend to keep to ourselves.
The Marvel fans. Ooooooh boy. Um. Look up Farmer Clint, Civil War meme, and anything involving text posts. We are a loony group. Most of our fic pre-Winter Soldier is nothing but fluff and mostly about Tony Stark. Post-Winter Soldier is…oh, god, the ANGST. BUCKY NO. *sobs* There’s a very distinct delineation between Pre and Post CATWS. And then the Age of Ultron trailer came out and we collectively went batshit.
A new one I’m getting into is the Teen Wolf fandom, and so far all they ever talk about is knotting and werewolves and kinks and Stiles. I’m in love (despite only seeing the first episode), but I haven’t done any writing in it. I probably will soon, though.
7.) What’s the best way for someone to get involved with fan fiction or fan fiction communities?
Start writing! Really, it’s that easy. Get yourself a Livejournal or Tumblr or AO3 (right now, AO3 is having issues and might still be invite-only). Follow fandom blogs – great ideas abound there if you don’t think of something on your own. Join a writer’s chat on IIRC – The Antidiogenes Club and Rootcellar are great ones and are the ones I’m regularly in. Another one is Inner Circle. Put yourself out there, and you will make friends and get noticed.
We are generally very welcoming to the point of going a bit overboard sometimes, but you will be accepted! And don’t worry if you don’t get a lot of hits on your stories, or if you don’t get a lot of kudos or views: someone out there loves your writing and wants more!
8.) What’s one thing that you’d like everyone to know about fan fiction or its writers?
The writers – We aren’t the stereotypes. We are single, married, widowed, divorced; ranging in age from teens (though the chats are 18+ only for legal reasons, I’m completely positive there’s places for teen writers) to 50+; and hail from all walks of life. We may fangirl and obsess, but there’s more than just celebrities on our minds. We help each other through difficult times, and we are great friends. We are creative, wild, fun, and very outspoken. We will talk about anything. Anything. The works – I’m sure you’ve heard the arguments both for and against fanfiction. But I’ve seen some weekend writers churn out stories that knock any best seller right off its pedestal.
What fanfiction is: a creative outlet for people to explore different aspects of their respective favorites – whether it’s a alternate universe where everyone turns to werewolves or a sidestory about Mike Stamford and Molly Hooper, a ‘what if’ story full of angst or a ‘sex pollen’ porn story similar to something seen on shemale sex at tubev.
Fanfiction is a catalyst, a decompression valve, an escape from the world or a way to get into the world. It could be the beginning of something more – no less than four of my writing companions are published authors and have done so through fanfiction.
9.) What are you currently working on?
Oh dear. That’s a funny thing. Um. Everything.
A 007/Q/Aston Martin Vanquish Volante car porn story (because car porn is the best thing ever), a Steve Rogers/Natasha Romanov edgeplay fic, a Bucky Barnes and Little Shit story (for an ongoing series), the next chapter of my 007/ Q clubbing fic, a Bucky/Steve body worship story, a Ace!Steve/Sam story, a one-shot where Bucky is left with synthesia, and a fic where Peggy Carter passes away (which is more of a catharsis for me since I’ve lost my husband).
Oh, and a Kingsman/Bond crossover that’s been pecking at my brain since Valentines Day.
10.) How can our readers find your work?
I post strictly to Archive of Our Own: http://archiveofourown.org/users/a_xmasmurder
I warn you: it’s a mess. *grins*
Please do check out some of Jennifer’s excellent work! Do you write or read fan fiction? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter! And, as ever, keep fannin’ on!