Using Fan Fiction As A Writing Exercise

Fan fiction is the practice of writing stories for your favorite TV shows, movies, books, etc. These usually use the worlds, characters and norms created by someone else. This is perfectly legal as long as you don’t claim it as your own and  try to sell it. Writing is like anything else. If you want to get good at it, you have to practice. One good way to do that is to borrow characters from TV shows, movies or books.

That’s right. I’m talking fan fiction. There are sites on the web where you can post your stories, as long as you post a disclaimer stating you don’t own the characters.  There are sites where you can post your fan fiction stories for others to review and critique.  I keep my fan fiction in my cloud storage. I view them as practice. So you won’t find any of my fan fiction on those sites as I view them as practice and not worthy of posting.

Like I said, I view fan fiction as a good way to practice writing. When I play in someone else’s world, I have a set of ready-made characters and worlds to play with. All I need to do is create situations and problems for the characters. So fan fiction becomes a good way to practice plotting stories. That’s it’s value for me. That can be its value to you as well.

Fan fiction also provides ready-made settings for you as well so you can focus on practicing plotting a story. It allows you to sharpen your plotting skills. That makes it invaluable to me, at least. Websites such as let you post your stories for review and critique, which is also helpful. All you need to do there is create an account and follow their rules.

Writing fan fiction allows you to spend time with characters and places you know and like. At the same time, you can sharpen your own plotting skills. Whether you write from an outline or off the cuff, writing fan fiction can be fun.

It can also allow you to make some changes in the characters or develop new ones that can take over the story. When that happens all you need do is revise the copyrighted materials and turn it into an original piece. It’s magical when that  happens.

So pick a TV show, movie, book or whatever. Then give those characters a new adventure with all its accompanying problems and rewards. Enjoy the writing. Post it to fan fiction sites or not, it’s your choice. Just don’t try to sell it as your own work. Go ahead, play with someone else’s characters and have fun. You never know where you will end up.


I am not one who is comfortable talking about myself but here goes. I enjoy writing, family history, and reading. I decided to do this blog because I wanted to try something new. I decided to make it a weekly blog because I wasn't sure that I could keep up with a daily one, and monthly seemed like I was writing a magazine. I think I did ok with my choices. You'll notice that there are not a lot of graphics on my site. That's because there are graphics plastered everywhere on the Internet and those sites sometimes take forever to load. This blog is a place where you can kick back, relax and be ready to be amused. At least I hope I willbamuse you. This blog is on a variety of subjects from my ficitional cat agency, the FFL, which is monthly, to instructional blogs to editorials, which are my opinions only. I admit that I don't know everything and could be wrong -- I frequently am. Now, stop reading about me and read what I have to say!

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Posted in General Opinion, Writing Techniques

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© Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den, 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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