A Fan of Fiction
interview by Chaneen Hicks | art by Shannon Willings | Jan 24, 2017 | inspirited
Fan fictions, for those of you that don’t know, are stories about characters or settings from an original work of fiction and are created by the fans of that fiction, not the original author.
There are many difficult challenges that a writer faces in the modern world, writer’s block, a lack of motivation, perfectionism and it can be incredibly stressful. However amongst all the stress that is involved with writing, there can be some fun and inspirational moments for the writers and I wanted to know more about these moments so I decided to speak to one of my close friends.
Rayo Dreyar is a respectable fan fiction author on the site; quotev.com
She has published eight stories of varying subject on this site and at the moment Rayo only has a mere 78 followers that both enjoy her company and her stories. I’ve had the pleasure to read her unpublished stories and now have the pleasure to discuss just what goes into making her detailed fan fictions.
When did you first realise your love of writing? And if you remember, what caught your interest about it?
Ah… I first started writing when I was in primary school not too sure what age exactly I was but I was drawn to it because it enabled me to freely express what I was feeling without having to actually talk to someone.
How does writing make you feel? Does it improve or worsen your mood and if so, how?
Actually neither… My writing style actually depends on my mood more then anything. Depending on what my mood is like at the time of writing will depend on what gets written, as in what sort of scene develops in that part of the story. So if I’m upset it tends to be a more sad and depressing kind of feel that the story entails.
What would you say helps you with your writing the most? Is there anything specific?
Ah… probably coffee or chocolate helps me focus the most on my writing but also listening to songs. Some songs give me inspiration when I actually sit there and listen to the words properly.
What kind of things about writing do you love or like? Is there anything specific?
The thing about writing that I probably love the most is seeing how my character develops throughout the story. I like putting characters through different scenarios and seeing how they would handle each one and think about how that might affect them later in the story.
What are the things you don’t like or hate about writing?
The thing I dislike is getting blocks while writing or having a plan for a story but not being able to fill in all the blanks in between each event to help the story develop more. It annoys me as it makes my stories take longer to get completed and it leaves people waiting to read them.
Why do you want to write fan fictions? What is it about them that draws you in to write so intently about them?
Mainly I write fan fiction to see how characters would react if put in different circumstances then what they normally are or what would happen if I changed their persona and twisted the way they normally are to see if it suits them at all.
How do you choose which fictions to write? Do you choose them based off of what you’re interested in at the time? Or the most popular?
It depends on my mood really. So yeah normally it depends on what I’m watching or writing at the time. I never really keep up to what is the most popular anyways.
As a fan, why do you write about a world that you didn’t create? Does it make things easier? Is it more challenging?
Writing about a world that I didn’t create huh… yeah it is easier to write about their world rather than the real world because
for some weird reason I relate better to their worlds then I do this one.
I find it more challenging to write stories of my own when they’re based on places in the real world
If you’re writing about a fiction that isn’t finished yet, does that impact your story telling? How do you feel if there are dramatical changes in the fiction you’re writing about? Does it change yours at all? For example, if they killed a character?
Oh hell no! It doesn’t really effect me and my stories that much. If a character dies during the series that’s ok, as its just a story based on the series it doesn’t have to follow the storyline exactly and sometimes people like it when it doesn’t. However sometimes when I’m writing a story and finished it and then something else happens in the series and I feel like it should have happened in one of my stories I will make a second story and turn it into a mini series of stories
How do you manage to write your fan fictions when you feel uninspired?
It is very difficult to write when I have no inspiration. Very little writing actually gets done and I spend more time staring at a blank screen or rereading what I’ve already written.
What do you love writing about in the fan fiction world? The characters, the places, the events?
It’s a mixture between the characters and the events that they go through. Though sometimes I enjoy writing about the scenes too but more the characters is much more satisfying.
Where do you get the inspiration for your stories? Is it difficult for you to become inspired?
Sometimes I’m inspired from a picture I’ve seen or a conversation I’ve had with someone. Though music does it too sometimes. It’s not hard for me to become inspired but it is hard for me to turn my inspirations into stories sometimes!
Are they for adults or mainly a teen audience?
Ah… It’s a mixture of both really. My stories range from 15 years of age up to adults but definitely not for children.
How long do you think, on average, does it take you to produce a completed story? Do you notice the time go by as you write?
There is no specific time actually. Sometimes it can take days others months and some have been going for years now. I don’t really feel the time go by unless I hit a blank then I feel the time slipping by.
What, in your opinion, makes a good story? Do you struggle to apply these things to your own stories?
In my opinion the thing that makes a story good is relatable characters and circumstances as well as a good amount of detail and a fairly entertaining story plot. I don’t actually struggle to apply any of that to my story but sometimes I struggle to word it in ways that other people would understand it.
Do you think that being a writer is a gift or a curse?
I wouldn’t say it’s a curse or a gift really. Mainly because it is fun to write and express yourself in ways that you can’t with other people but at the same time being stuck with trying to word things right is a pain in the butt!
Could you describe what your ideal writing space looks like?
Ah… I don’t actually have an ideal writing space. As long as I’m comfortable and can think for myself then I have a writing space.
Do you ever write any non-fan fiction stories? If you do, what are they like? Do you enjoy writing them more or less?
Yes, I do write non-fan fiction stories as well. They tend to develop slower as I have created my own characters so I’m making up my own persona for them. I wouldn’t say I enjoy them more its about even, I just love writing.
Does the fan fiction topic enter your world in any other ways? Like in forums or even conversations?
Ah… Yes, in conversations it does indeed and there are some forums that I’m apart of where we kind of put forward ideas and see how they could play out or if they would even be possible to begin with.
How would it make you feel if someone decided to make a fan fiction based on your work?
Ah… I don’t know actually… I guess it’s no different to me making stories based on other peoples work. I wouldn’t really care as long as they’re not stealing my story word for word is all.
Do you have any hopes that your stories will end up like ‘50 Shades of Grey’ which originally started out as a Twilight fan fiction? If not, why is that?
My fan fictions not really no, well not at the moment I don’t but that’s mainly because I have original stories of my own that I would rather have published first before my fan fiction stories.
How do you think the creators of the fictions that you write about would feel about your fan fiction? Do you think that they would like it or not?
Ah… I actually have no idea. Honestly I would probably be embarrassed as hell if they read my stories. Mainly due to the fact that my stories aren’t for little kids and I know not all people like the kinds of things that I write about in detail. So yeah, not too sure how they would react to them.
How do you manage all of your ideas? Is it difficult or can you manage them easily?
I manage my ideas easily. I write down bits and pieces as they come to me, either on my phone or on a piece of paper when I have one handy
Is it difficult to write chapters at a constant pace? How do you manage to keep up?
Haha, oh god yes it is hard to write chapters at a constant pace and truth be told I don’t keep up, I never keep up but then again I don’t really have a schedule either so I don’t fall behind.
Is there pressure with publishing your stories online? If so, how do you manage to deal with them?
Ah… I don’t really feel pressured when I publish my stories online but I don’t actually want to keep my readers waiting forever for updates which unfortunately had happened with a couple of my stories.
What are some of the most stressful parts of being a writer? How do you deal with them?
I don’t really get stressed when writing but I guess from having talked to other writers the most stressful thing is trying to keep up with what other people demand of you. I don’t really have to deal with it because people just know rushing me won’t get anything done.
What are some of the things you like to do when you aren’t writing? Do these things affect your writing at all?
Sometimes I will draw when I’m not writing or paint. I actually make dream catchers at the moment while I’m not writing or I will do up old pieces of furniture or trinket boxes and restore them.
When you draw/paint, do you draw/paint anything to do with fan fictions and if you do, could you tell us why?
No, I don’t actually paint anything to do with my fan fictions as it is hard for me to take an image from inside my head and put it on paper. So I don’t really try to draw things from my stories or other fan fiction stories.
How do other fans of the fictions you write about react to your work? Do you get positive feedback from them?
Yes, I do get positive feed back from people who read my stories, some even ask for me to update stories more often and sometimes will enquire about where I’m heading with the story.
How do you feel about the fans that give you negative feedback and/or responses?
As of yet I haven’t actually received negative feedback on my stories, so I haven’t had to deal with it which kind of surprised me actually.
Are you posting your stories for the followers and favourites or are you posting them for your own reasons?
For my own reasons sort of, well actually its more so people can read them and have a good laugh or enjoy a good read like I did with books when I was growing up. For my own reasons as well as with the more people that read them and give me feedback it helps me as a writer to develop my writing style and do better.
If you write different fictions but could only choose one to continue writing, which one would you pick?
Ah… Good question its hard to choose between all the fictions that I write but honestly if I had to choose it would probably be one of my favourite anime that I write about.
Do you ever hear from your readers? If so, what are some of the things they have to say?
Sometimes I’ve heard back from some of my readers. All nice things actually, things like they love the storyline or they love how I show a different side of a character that isn’t portrayed in the series. Some of it is constructive criticism too, things like too many exclamation marks was one that I got one time and upon rereading the story I saw it was true.
Do people judge you for your writing? If so, how do they judge you and how does it affect you?
I have no idea if anyone judges me. If they do they don’t do it to my face so it really doesn’t bother me at all.
Who are your favourite authors? Do they inspire your writing?
Ah my favourite authors are probably P.C. Cast and J.K. Rowling. They kind of do inspire my work but not as much as watching anime does.
You currently have 78 followers, do you want more? Or are you content with the followers you currently have?
I’m content with the followers I have. This is mainly due to the fact that that is only on one site that I publish my stories but I publish my more “mature” stories on a different site.
What is your ultimate goal with writing fan fictions? Do you wish to become well known or not really?
Ah… I don’t really have a goal when I write them, other then to finish them which sometimes never really happens if I run out of inspiration.
Well, thank you Rayo, for giving us all a peek into the world of a fan fiction writer’s mind, it was a pleasure speaking with you and I hope we can speak again sometime about a new subject.