Ryan and Joel from work-in-progress KTWL. Art by Alice Oseman
…and I’m totally without shame.
I’ve always been a sucker for validation (or attention, if you prefer), to the point of I’m completely unable to keep a first draft of any writing project to myself. I usually send each chapter, as it’s written, to a friend to read. I write fanfic because I like getting comments at the end of every chapter I post, hoarding the words like some sort of greedy Attention Smaug.
I’ve always liked sharing the worlds and characters I create. I used to have epic conversations on MSN where my friends would ask me every tiny detail of the world I was currently dreaming up. I write because I want to share the stories I make up.
I honestly want to share my characters and their stories because I just adore them. I adore creating them, and I adore spinning their story. I spend more time imagining up their backstory than I do writing their novel. I have active tags running on my Tumblr where you can check out a WIP’s aesthetic.
I’m my characters’ biggest fan. And not just because they don’t have any others. For me, my characters are precious, but the sort of precious you want to shove in people’s faces, like an Instagram Mum’s perfect, smear-free offspring.
This is one reason I commission art of my characters. Publishing is a fickle beast, and I’m well aware than just because I’d give up my kidneys for my fictional dudes doesn’t mean anyone else will. But by seeing someone else’s interpretation of them, it feels like they get to break out of my head, just a little bit. It feel like I’ve made something worth expanding upon.
I love my characters, and I love my worlds. I am my own fandom. And I’m in deep.
Joel and Ryan from work-in-progress KTWL. Art by Xanuage