I recently saw a post on tumblr that talked about why a lot of fan fiction focuses on LBGT relationships and that it was related to the idea that the minorities of writers and readers in fandoms are the ones who think more in terms of world expansion than world knowledge of their fandoms. This got me to thinking a lot about fan fiction and actual published works. There is definitely a lack of LBGT and POC main characters in many genres of fiction and so people take to fan fiction to create pairings or new characters. In actuality those people who write fan fiction and feel that there aren’t characters they can relate to, should write their own fiction.
When I think about publishing fan fiction I think about Fifty Shades. Before you stop reading this because of objections to Fifty Shades of Grey, just know I’m not commenting on the story and content of the book, just it’s publication. Without discussing plot, I will say I have read only some of Fifty Shades of Grey and the only comment I will make is that it is not very well written. I bring this up because so many people who write fan fiction might think that they aren’t a good writer or that they won’t have a story compelling enough to read. If you want to write you should write and that is it. If it’s a story you want to be told, chances are someone else is looking for it to be told. Create characters that you can relate to because everyone shares feelings and struggles with someone else.
For years I have read brilliantly designed characters placed in worlds that were already created and characters that were written out of character so that they were more relatable. If you write fan fiction, it is just the first step. Don’t be afraid to write something that you aren’t used to. Also don’t be afraid to do what E.L. James did and write a fan fiction and then change all the names. Send a story to publishers, self publish, get your story heard because any story that is important to one person will be important to another.
Have yourself be heard. Think about the characters you would want to read about and write them down. Think about the characters you’ve liked and make them better. Don’t be afraid to be the voice you have been looking for.