Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mining For Story Gold

So you know Fifty Shades of Grey?

Whether you’ve read it or not, you know what it is. A novel about an intense S&M relationship between an older man and a younger woman. The biggest book title of 2012. Mommy porn. Et cetera, et cetera.

But did you know this --

Fifty Shades of Grey started as a Twilight fanfic.

What the what? Seriously?

For the uninitiated, fanfic is short for fan fiction, or fictional narratives written by fans featuring the characters of their favorite TV show, movie, comic book character, etc. Some fans express their love for Star Wars by buying a Star Wars lunchbox – others write 150,000 word epic novels about Star Wars.

Fanfic authors don’t get paid for writing these stories and they certainly don’t have the copyright permission to do so, but it’s all good because it’s just for fun. It’s all for the love of the characters.

And that’s what E.L. James did. She wrote a Twilight fanfic called Masters of the Universe that was racy and soapy and posted it online to great success. Then she decided, “Hey, I think I’ve got something here,” so she took out the Twilight references, changed the names, and published it as Fifty Shades of Grey.

Boom. Bestseller.

Cue my revelation --

Story is story. E.L. James repurposed her fanfic to create an original novel. I can do the same thing with one of my fanfics!

Yes, I’ve written fanfic. Relationshippy tales based on The X-Files, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and more. Most recently I’ve written six or seven episodes of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis in my head. (No time to write them out anymore.)

In my Stargate fanfic stories, the characters have almost died of an alien virus, rescued an entire civilization from genocide, and saved the world several times. And of course they’ve fallen in love, broken up, gotten engaged, almost divorced – it’s a tangled shippy world in my head.

I have plenty of story to be mined. So inspired by E.L. James’s success, I’ve decided to take one of my favorite fanfic stories, remove the Stargate references, and turn it into a sci-fi romance novel. I already have the whole story paced out along with all the turns and twists. I just need to write it.

So that’s my goal for 2013. Write my thus far untitled sci-fi romance novel. (In addition to finishing more pilot scripts and getting staffed on a new show and writing, producing, and starring in a new short film, of course.)

I’m making this my 365 Project, meaning I’m committing to working on this novel every day. That’s right, every day. You can follow my progress by following me on Twitter. You might even see a few excerpts throughout the year on Fiction Friday – who knows? The galaxy’s the limit. Here goes!

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