Keep your fanfiction to yourself.

“You might want to keep your fanfiction writing to yourself. It’s sort of a curse word, you know? You don’t want to be labeled as a fanfiction writer.”

This is a message I received today. Friendly advice from someone who also wrote to tell me she loved Northland, my last novel.

Hey. Lady. First of all, mind ya neck. What I do in my spare time is none of your business. I’m stoked that you loved Northland, but you know where it all started for me? Fanfiction. Without it, there would be no Northland.

Second of all, telling an author she should keep her fanfiction to herself is like telling a chef not to advertise the fact that she cooks at home. Because the thing is, fanfiction is a hobby. We’re all entitled to those. And just because a chef makes mac and cheese at home doesn’t mean she’s gonna charge for it in a restaurant. Same applies to me; I might take a few more liberties in my fanfiction, but that doesn’t mean I’ll do the same in original fiction. I know there’s a difference between the two.

One is a part of a fandom. One is an industry.

I take my work seriously because I love it. It’s my dream job, and I’m lucky enough to be able to live off of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s research or editing or character development or marketing or formatting or sentence structure, everything I’ve learned started with fanfiction and the people I’ve gotten to know in my fandom.

My writing has changed a lot over the years, but no matter how hard you work, if you erase the beginning, you still end up with nothing.

I know there are writers who start with fanfiction and move over to original fiction way before they’re ready, hence the bad rep fanfiction has earned. But to assume we’re all like that is insulting.

If I were ashamed of writing fanfiction, it’d be like saying fuck you to every single reader who’ve encouraged me to publish in the first place. If it weren’t for them, I don’t even know what I’d be doing today.

I write what I want to read, and I will continue to do so, whether it’s original fiction or mac and cheese.

22 thoughts on “Keep your fanfiction to yourself.

  1. Sherissa Carruthers says:

    Wow, the nerve of some people. As one of your devoted readers of both FanFiction and original work I must say I’m very happy you dont keep your FanFiction to yourself. I’m also very happy that this forum exists to help talented people such as yourself develop your craft and gain the confidence to take the next step. I say be proud of where you started and never stop!


  2. Ivetee says:

    πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ» You can write whatever you want, you are free to do it, and you are great at it.

    Don’t mind some dumb comments.

    And thank you for all your ff, that we loveπŸ˜‰


  3. Cherish Renee Workman says:

    That hurts. I love your writing Cara, I own all of your published work. I would have never owned any of it if it had not been for your fanfiction being absolutely Spectacular. I want this Lady” who wrote this bullshit to you to show herself. I want to give HER a piece of MY mind as a reader. I am Extremely LOYAL to my authors, and I cant STAND when others talk shit about them.

    Love you forever Cara! You keep writing what you love, and I will keep reading it and loving it.


  4. Jamie Burris says:

    I’ve never responded to an update post from an author before. Ever. Never ever. It doesn’t matter if you write fanfiction or original work, I’m going to read it, buy it, reread it, and buy the sequels. I look forward to every one of your update post emails. Hope you never stop writing. I’ll never stop reading your fanfictions and buying your original work. You’re an AMAZING author.


  5. Heather says:

    I applaud your post and your words. Very happy you continue to share your FF stories, which I love oh so very much. I am even more happy you can provide for your family by profiting from your words.

    Sorry you have to deal with the negatives, but you handled it gracefully. BRAVO and thanks for sharing!!


  6. Mina says:

    I can’t believe someone will say that to you, but I’m glad you spoke out. I’m so proud of you Cara! WELL DONE! 😍


  7. Lisa says:

    Thank you Cara. You are such a talented writer, and so glad you still enjoy doing both! Still love the personal aspect of ff!


  8. Evelyne Henot aka Evelyne-raconte says:

    I’m hungry, can you give me more mac and cheese ? Oh, and I like some steack, or fish, or filet mignon, too… Seriously, i love your writing and your cooking. Keep going the good fictions and fuck the guests reviews. Thank you for sharing your wonderful imagination with us. I am a fan of GRAND. MERCI. !!!


  9. Farkas Krisztina says:

    Although I’m not a writer, I’m an active member of the fandom and a big fan of your work ESPECIALLY FANFICS! I would love you even more for this brilliant status if I could but I can’t. Go girl!! You rock. xoxo from Hungary. Kris


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