Whew. I finished a draft of a story today. It was exceptionally difficult to finish. It’s a fanfiction, for one thing, and I feel pretty embarrassed about that. What’s weird is that I have been writing fanfictions, and feeling embarrassed about it, since I was in seventh grade. Back then my fanfictions were based on Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series. I felt bad because I couldn’t seem to think up my own characters, and I also felt bad because my writing wasn’t as good as Enid Blyton’s. I started a ton of stories but didn’t finish any of them. If I could go back to that seventh grader I would just tell her to go for it, for heaven’s sake! I would tell her not to worry about quality because it’s the writing practice that matters. Stick with it and sooner or later, you are bound to come up with something fabulous.
I struggled again when I finished college. I was reading novelizations of the Doctor Who series and had learned that fans could write them and send them in for possible publication. In hindsight, that was an essentially impossible goal. But I had to set the goal so I wouldn’t feel like I was writing something with no purpose.
I didn’t finish the novelization – not even close. I went on to writing stories that people around me would respect. One day I would like to finish it properly and make it into a story.
This particular fanfiction that I just finished is something I started around 2008 or so. When the character River Song first showed up in the Doctor Who TV series, I was hugely impressed. She knew him, but being a time traveler, he hadn’t met her. So I wrote an adventure in which he knows her but she doesn’t know him. I had the whole thing planned out and laid out and it just sat there, half-finished. Now it’s a draft.
What will I do with it? Two possible options: post it on whofic.com or de-Doctor-Who-ize it, changing the character names and so forth, and try to get it published that way.
Either way, though, it was a huge accomplishment for me to finish a fanfiction. Thirty years after I first tried! Time to go celebrate.