So my kids are currently hooked on the TV show Danny Phantom. My oldest, particularly, is a big fan, and has complained at length about it being cancelled.
A week or so ago, though, they discovered something new and amazing. "Mom," FutureStar said breathlessly, pointing at the computer screen. "Did you know there's something called fanfic?"
Uh-oh.In between making sure the site was okay, and giving strict instructions about which ratings they are allowed to read and which ratings are off-limits (WAAAAAY too young for slash, thank you very much), I had to laugh. Because the very first romance story I ever wrote was a fanfic piece.
And yes, I know this is a minefield. I thought long and hard about posting this, because I know there are many, many authors out there who hate fanfic with a passion. But for me, that story was a chance to rectify what I saw as a massive failure on the part of the network toward a show I really enjoyed.
See, the TV show ended the season on a cliffhanger, clearly preparing to come back the next year with the answer to the "will she or won't she" question they posted at the end of the episode. And then the network pulled the show from its schedule, leaving fans frustrated and irritated. Who does the main character end up with? The fiance at the altar, or the ex who showed up in time to stop the wedding? We'd never know, because the show was over and done.
So after stewing about it for a while, I sat down and pounded out my own ending, what I would have liked to see if the show had continued. It gave me a sense of conclusion, a way to reach that HEA I felt the programming directors had denied me.
It also gave me my writing career. Because after writing that story, I started really thinking about WHY that HEA was so important to me. Why I needed closure, why I cared about the characters finding love. If it was something that compelled me in fandom, why not when writing in my own playground? And thus a romance writer was born.
And when my kid pulled out a notebook and started plotting a Danny Phantom story, I knew that it held the same temptation for FutureStar that it did for me, all those years ago - a chance to explore the "what if?" left behind when a favorite show ended too soon.