FanFiction.Net

I am not quite sure how I happened upon FanFiction.net.  I think I was reading something written by someone else that I found at a fan site.  All I know and understand is that this web site kicked my long dormant writing needs back into high gear.  I had been floundering as a writer.  And as geeky and as wierd as this post may sound to the ‘normal’ reader and/or writer, I will be forever grateful.

I have written before about my long standing fixation with the television show ‘ER’ and how difficult it was to break a 10 pm Thursday night ‘habit.’  I have written about taking a 3 day dream trip to NYC to see ER’s Maura Tierney strut her acting chops on stage.  And I have written about how important writing has been to me since I was a child.  I think – somewhere in these posts – I have written about original aspirations to be a television writer.  I am ALWAYS rewriting things other people have written if they don’t turn out to my satisfaction…..or if I want to know more.  And that is the case with Fanfiction.net.

You can choose a television show, movie, play, anime etc. to write about.  You can continue a story line or character you are intrigued with or you can invent your own.  You can write the back story of a situation or character to round it out in your own mind.  You can post your story for others to read.  Readers can post a review of your piece….or not.  At any rate, the program records the ‘hits’ on your story so you can see of people are reading it. 

And THAT is very intriguing. 

I wrote seventeen pieces for the ‘ER’ section of Fanfiction.net during a  two and a half year period.   There are a number of other things posted on various fan sites that were part of writing ‘competitions.’  (Writers are given the same perimeters and a set time to finish and post a piece to be voted on or judged.  It was fun to see the different perspectives that evolved in that manner.)  I experimented with different styles of writing, discovered a lot about myself as a writer and had a tremendous amount of fun.  I gathered a small circle of internet friends who also wrote for ‘ER’ – people who gave me advice, support and lots of positive feedback.

All of my fan fiction stories revolve around this couple:

Abby Lockhart and Luka Kovac

Brought to life by actors Maura Tierney and Goran Visnjic.

Writing for established characters is as easy as it is challenging – especially when you are working with characters as well played as these two.  You can picture them in your mind because you have seen them on screen.  You know their verbal inflections, their physical cues, their emotions, their history.  The trick is to stay in character and make your readers see the same things you do.  And its tricky.

Abby and Luka had  lived a hard scrabble life in Chicago from seasons 5 to 14.  Co-workers, lovers, ex-lovers, attached to others, unattached, co-workers, friends, lovers again, parents together and finally married, seperated by an ocean, seperated by a blackout, together again.  Both were gone by the third episode of season 15…..living happily ever after far from County General’s emergency room madness.  My first piece however, was written after the  episode ‘All About Christmas Eve’ in December of 2006 in which Abby – in the last few seconds of the show – informed Luka that she was pregnant   The series then went on a holiday hiatus.

For THREE weeks.

Without knowing what their outcome was going to be, and extremely frustrated about that, I began the story, The Things We Do, and posted chapter one on December 22nd.  Reviews were favorable and people were reading it.  I posted another chapter.  Three months and twenty one chapters later, it remains the most popular of all of my Fanfiction pieces.  I am not sure why.  Its the one I stumbled the most on.  And yet it offers a blissful Luby life that definitely did not play out on the show.  That happy Kovac family – an AU or ‘alternative universe’  story line – has been continued in The Rules of the Road, A Camper’s Guide to Family Fun and Christmas in Croatia.

While writing The Things We Do, I began to realize that there was a relationship that I wanted to see on the show and didn’t.  And that was a friendship between Abby and Susan Lewis.  So I started the story All We’ll Ever Need – continuing the AU story of Susan Lewis, her husband Chuck, their son Cosmo and her niece Susie.  I was writing both of them at the same time. 

Susan, as brought to life by actress Sherry Stringfield, is fun to write.  I love Susan.  I love her smile, her laugh, her snarky sense of humor, her self confidence, her attitude…..and her hair.  Even when its messy it looks good.

Seriously.

Her niece, Susie, was last seen on the show as an infant and heard on the phone as a 5 or six year old.  I imagined her into an incredibly bright and beautiful 13 year old and she has evolved from there.  Their story intersects with the Kovacs in Camper’s Guide, Christmas  in Croatia and plays out side by side in Duplex

Back stories fill in some of the ‘holes’ that a television drama is unable to spend time with.  Lockhart IS Better tells the story of Abby’s first marriage to Richard, who has popped up on the show at various times.  Letters From Luka is how I imagined his life before showing up on a boat.  Its basically a series of letters to and from his parents in Croatia as he travels through the Great Lakes on a sailboat.  I kind of lost my muse on that one.  It still needs a clear ending.  Wild Cat  began as a piece for a competition and the first chapter is about baseball and the Luby baby’s first birthday.  It has evolved into the back story of Abby’s parents – Maggie and Eddie.  It also needs to be finished.  I was having trouble writing about bi-polar symptoms and needed more research.

Sometimes a character serves as a stepping  off point also.  In Primary Colors the back story of a little girl from the season 12 episode, ‘The Human Shield’ intertwines with Abby and Luka’s.  Juliette Gogolia, played ‘Sydney’ a kidnap victim that was central to the entire episode and brought the Luby love story back into play.  My ‘hook’ was the use of primary colors interwoven through each of the seven chapters.  There was something red, yellow and green/blue mentioned in each of them.  Kinda cool to write…and a bit sad.

Another minor guest character in the episode, ‘No Place to Hide’ – Ruthie Poole – became a central character for Abby and Luka’s story about their life after ER.  The show moved Abby and Luka to Boston, where I picked up their story in This Time.  I really enjoyed writing this because it was fun to have the family created by the television writers carry on with their lives.  It was a place to write about some resolutions.  Especially between Abby and her mother – a television relationship created between Tierney and Sally Field.  It’s their ending as I imagined it to be.

When I was struggling with descriptive writing, I started the story Just Looking.  Its basically a series of scenarios in a day in the life of Luka and Abby that uses descriptions and just the words ‘just looking’ ‘ throughout.  It is an ongoing challenge….and fun.

My favorite story – and in my opinion the best one – was the fifth story I wrote for Fanfiction.net.  I started it after the season 12 climatic ender – 21 Guns.  If you didn’t see it – it was pretty spectacular.  The ER is shot up (Quentin Tarantino style), Luka is strapped to a gurney with a tube in his throat and a pregnant Abby is last seen passed out on the floor in a pool of blood.  That’s where they left fans for the SUMMER!  Spoiler information was still weeks away and I was going nuts.  Seriously nuts.  So I began writing a possible story line.  In Heartache,  I did the unthinkable.  I killed their baby.

I think I was the only fan fiction writer to take the leap and do it too.

I put almost 28,000 words into that 23 chapter story and got a whomping 135 reviews.  This doesn’t count the private e-mails I received before I removed my address from the site.  People were ready to lynch me.  How dare I imagine such a  sad end for a BABY????  The first chapter is a heartbreaker.  Then, like most of my work, it evolves into a study of a relationship that has gone through the worst and comes courageously out the other side.  It brings Abby and Luka full circle at County General.  It has also received a FanFiction ‘Hall of Fame’ award….and I love it.

Seventeen pieces at FanFiction.net have garnered me 211,762 internet ‘hits.’  I have accrued 804 reviews and am still getting them today….four years later.  And I am writing my own – original – stuff again.  I am creating characters and building scenarios and writing descriptions and designing my own plots.  And I have FanFiction.net to thank.

The website  is a fun place to ‘hang out’ if you have time on your hands.  Or if you like to read.  Or write.  There are over 5,000 ER stories posted there.  Glee has almost 7,000, Charmed has 12,000, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has 39,000 and Punky Brewster has 4.  And there are more categories for movies and books plays, games comics and animes.  Some written stories are outstanding and others are not.  All of them are someone’s attempt to share ideas……and write.

Leave a review for the writer.  It really does make our day.

As for me, I really need to work on The Mouse and the Mayflower again.  I have my families from the Duplex at Walt Disney World.  I keep seeing the esteemed Dr. Luka Kovac wearing a pair of Mickey Mouse ears…..or a Goofy hat.  Gotta go write about it.

Titles are links that should take you to the web site for that story.  Enjoy!

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One Comment on “FanFiction.Net”

  1. Miranda Says:

    I LOVED (and still do) your fanfic pieces for ER. (I think this is my coming out as an official member of the Ryter Fan Club!) I struggle with writing a lot, so I don’t write, but it was always such a joy to read your updates and new pieces. “Heartache” was so emotional, yet so captivating. Every so often when I’m having an ER moment I think about one of our stories—one of these days I’ll have to go back and read sometime.

    I keep telling myself that I am going to write some fanfic one day, and then I look at my blog and realize I haven’t posted in over a month. And then the thought of writing even more goes away. 😛


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