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Thread: CHALLENGE: What Has Fanfiction Done For Me?

  1. #1
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    CHALLENGE: What Has Fanfiction Done For Me?

    Well, it’s been a bit too quiet around the GFD lately, and we can’t stand for that, can we? I am determined to give this place at least one post in March, hehe, so I’d like to take this time to announce a writing challenge that’s been in the works for a while.

    Some of the older members around here might remember the Fiction Junction challenge that went on about two years ago - I remember it because it was the first one that happened when I joined the boards. The one I’m talking about is here: How Harry Potter Changed My Life.

    We’re going to take that old challenge and give it a new and improved twist to fit up with GFD. Your new essay topic?

    What Has Fanfiction Done for Me?


    We’re all here for some reason. What is yours?

    Now obviously I’d like you to connect that with Harry Potter fanfiction, and that should be the underlying theme in this essay, but if you’d like to mention other fandoms within your essay you are welcome to. Just make sure to include HP as the main fandom within this. Think . . . how has MNFF changed my life? What has writing like this done for me? Be as creative as you like.

    This challenge should NOT be written in the same form as other challenges that you see here on the boards. Instead of submitting to the archives (don’t do that, hehe) I’d like you to send them to me via PM and I will post them here anonymously (as to garner maximum amounts of fairness). When the challenge closes I will then post a link to vote and a winner will be decided from that poll. Remember that this is an anonymous activity and as such your entries shouldn't be discussed with other MNFF members.

    Unlike other challenges this should be based off of real life facts, not fiction or other fanfiction. However I’m not trying to limit your creativity…you are welcome to submit letters, essays, or even poetry if you like

    This challenge will close at 5:00 PM on Saturday the 13th of April EST(-4GMT) - I'm not a time zone converter so please, please make sure to get your entries in on time. That’s just under three weeks so hopefully this is enough time to get lots of entries in as I know lots of you are off on spring break. The link to the poll will then be posted by the 14th and will remain open for one week, until the winners are announced on the 22nd.

    More information below:
    • Please keep your entries between 300 and 1500 words
    • Entries should not exceed 6-7th years ratings or warnings...I mean this with profanity more than anything. Anything deemed inappropriate will be blurred out by me.
    • The first place winner will receive 15 points - I am not sure whether I will award 2nd or 3rd place -it will be depending on the number of participants.
    • Every participant will receive 5 participation points
    • If you have any questions please shoot me a PM!


    PHP code: (to send me in your entry)
    PHP Code:
    [b]Name:[/b] (will not be posted)
    [
    b]House:[/b]
    [
    b]Title:[/b] (please be creative)
    [
    b]A/N:[/b] (if any
    Have fun!

    Lily
    Last edited by Padfoot11333; 03-26-2013 at 10:22 PM.
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  2. #2
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    A warning that this closes in about 24 hours and at this rate I won't be awarding a second place, let alone a third or participation points (just kidding on that last one)

    This isn't a hard challenge, really!!! Give it your best shot and let's get some GREAT last minute entries.

    LET'S GO!!!!

    Lilyyyyyyyy
    -who doesn't want to extend this challenge-
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  3. #3
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    And...
    CLOSED!



    I will start posting entries momentarily. I'm quite the lenient one, so if you send me your entry within the next few minutes I will still post it

    Thank you all for participating!

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  4. #4
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    Title: Portal from Reality
    A/N: This is my attempt at trying to put thoughts into words... Good luck at reading this >.>



    I think when you try to explain the notion of fanfiction, people instantly think of the cringe-worthy and poorly written side of it that you often find on FF.net. What they don't know is that you have sites like MNFF that work hard to try to ensure that all the fics posted on the site are to a certain standard. I'm personally glad for the standards on MNFF as they encourage me to constantly try and become a better writer and I have seen an improvement in my writing from some of the first stories I posted on the archives. I can only hope you guys agree >.<

    But for me, the improvement in writing skills is only the surface of what fanfic has done for me. When I first joined the site, I steered clear of all SSP fics and I refused to go any where near the D/A category because I was worried that they would be upsetting and that I would struggle to read them. However, as I got more involved around the forums through things such as the SBBC and QSQ panels, I was encouraged to read more and more of these fics and I'm really glad I did. I was thirteen when I first joined the site and at that age I was very narrow-minded about things. Reading certain fics made me begin to realise that actually a homosexual couple is no different to a heterosexual couple, that these are people just like everyone else and so why should they be treated any differently? When I look back at who I was and who I am now, I wonder how on earth I could have been so narrow-minded in the first place and that I dread to think what I would be like if I hadn't discovered MNFF.

    Writing and reading HP fanfiction gives me a way to keep touch with something that played a major part in my childhood. Harry Potter was always the book that I turned to when I wanted to get away from the things and the same is still true today. One of my most treasured possessions is the first edition copies of PoA, Gof and OottP that once belonged to my mum and then my own first edition copies of HBP and DH. I never truly understood the true brilliance of this series, I never appreciated just how clever a writer JKR is as I was too young to pick up on the foreshadowing and the little hints and clues that people on here were speculating about before the release of the final book. It wasn't until I came on here and read through the hundreds of ideas that people have about various characters, objects, events and everything else that I began to really appreciate the series. I love reading the different interpretations and characterisation of each of the characters as each author has a different take on the series.

    While I will never turn my back on the original series and I try to do a reread at least twice a year, I have found myself using fanfiction as my way to escape from reality for a little while. Whether I'm reading it or writing it, fanfic is my way to explore different situations and to find a way to try to understand things I never did before. The quality of fanfiction on this site and the amount of thought and research that goes into every single fic, especially those that focus on controversial subjects, is amazing. The fact that authors on here write about difficult subjects in both an accurate and sensitive way makes me wish I could be as good as they are at writing and helps me to focus on my own skills.

    Fanfiction has done a lot for me. It has taught me the difference between good and clichéd stories, it has broadened my mind to things that used to make me uncomfortable and it has helped me deal with things when everything gets too much by giving me an escape. I'm so glad I stumbled across MNFF one night when I was looking for an answer to a question I had as it has introduced me to some absolutely wonderful people and helped me become the person I am today.
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  5. #5
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    Title: Maker of Worlds
    A/N:


    Home. That’s what it feels like when I pick up a piece of paper, a pen, and begin to write. It’s where I belong, and blossom. It’s freedom to be able to express yourself, and I want to be free.

    Only it’s much, much better than that. Here, there are whole new worlds to explore and help create. Each builds on one another, and they all mix together. Yet each is an individual story made up of different characters and ideas.

    Growing up is easier with friends who help me with a thing I love to do. Even if some are made of paper, that doesn’t mean they can’t exist in my head.

    When ideas fill my mind and are about to burst out. That’s when amazing things can happen. It’s not what gets written on the paper that makes a story come to life, it’s what you imagine in your head.

    A story can tell about myself, or what I want to be. It can be whatever I wish. It’s a choice I make whether to write about life or death, pain or happiness. I choose what someone will feel when they read the words I’ve written.

    Reading is how I meet other peoples’ worlds. They create them, and I am free to enjoy them. That is the beauty of writing, the words will last forever and ever. Anyone at anytime can treasure them.

    Time does not make you imagination fade. In fact, it can strengthen it. What you imagine is up to you, and what part of that you put down on the paper is also your choice.

    Simply put, writing is a way of expressing yourself and making a world for others to see. You create your world, and I’ll create mine. They might intertwine or even contradict. All that matters though, is the thought and imagination behind the words. I am privileged to be a Maker of Worlds.
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  6. #6
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    Title: The Old Lady Reflects
    A/N:


    As you get older, it is easy for your life to become narrow. In your youth, the possibilities were limitless. You dreamed great dreams. "I will do this, and this..." Then, one by one, the responsibilities attach themselves to you like barnacles, big barnacles. Taking care of your children, then taking care of elderly infirm family members, then saving for your suddenly looming old age. You start hunkering down, drawing inward. There are no items on the bucket list. "Someday..." you tell yourself.

    But things that are never used or disturbed become dusty and covered with spider webs, almost unable to be seen anymore. It is time to break free and look back, through all the cobwebs in the brain, to half a century ago when you used to write, dumb stuff that you never showed to anyone and, somewhere along the line, threw away. It would be embarrassing to read it now, but it was important then, important enough to write.

    Then there were the stories that I never wrote down, except for the opening pages and the final page, the rest composed in my head, set in the American west of 1888, but full of scraps of my own experiences, lines of imagined dialogue inspired by my son at age four, bits of historical detail that needed research in those pre-internet days, expositions of my unfolding understanding of the adult world, rich with characters and events still waiting to be put to paper.

    Mugglenet Fanfiction carries me back to those times when I believed that I had something to say. Of course the characters are different now. Geologists in the newly-established U.S. Geological Survey in nineteenth-century Colorado are replaced by magically talented adolescents in twentieth-century Britain, but the process is the same. A lifetime of experiences and observations has made me who I am, and now I transform that essence into new stories with both age-old themes and fresh insights.

    Can I still do this? Can I master this craft? Isn't the time long overdue for me to set myself a new challenge? (Once it was learning Finnish. Harry Potter goes to Finland? Then it was preparing and delivering sermons. Harry Potter goes to church?) My style is different from some other people's styles, and I can learn from reading their works, but I also resist the compulsion to imitate them or to assume the differences automatically mean that their work is better than mine. I strive to be the very best Me, not a reflection of someone else, and to have faith that someone will appreciate the real me.

    Writing forces me to venture into new territory. I must be imaginative, building stories one detail at a time. I dredge up ideas, then keep dredging, or pull ideas out of thin air. What are the possibilities? Okay now, what are some more possibilities? I keep adding to the list, and suddenly connections materialize out of nowhere. People will think I planned it that way, but I didn't, at least not consciously. Maybe hundreds of links already exist, just waiting to be discovered. If I look hard enough, I will see them. I learn to have faith and start working. I learn to believe that the ideas and the links will come. I am spinning the straw of a random prompt into the gold of a worthwhile story. My life gains value as I write because without it these stories would not be possible. Jesus taught in parables, so why shouldn't I?

    The triumphs, tragedies, challenges, success, failures, and joys are universal experiences which happen to each of us and to all other people too. So we write our stories, pretending they happened to Harry or Fred or Luna.

    The skeleton of my stories comes from J. K. Rowling, but the flesh come from the ideas that are buried deep inside me. My writing becomes a way of communicating with my adult children. They know that there are things that Mom never told them, things Mom never talks about, that is, except in her fanfiction stories, through which Mom can share with them in a backhanded way that everyone tacitly understands. They read between the lines and understand more about what makes Mom tick, why she lived her life the way she did, and why their own childhoods were the way they were.

    My children know who writes Mom's stories, but to the rest of the readers of Mugglenet Fanfiction I am just an enigmatic pen name. It doesn't take much courage to hide behind this anonymity. If the story is clumsy or stupid, no one will know that I am the culprit responsible for manufacturing such dross. On the other hand, if the story manages to avoid being rejected outright by the mods, then hey, maybe it's not so bad after all. A few readers will write supportive and appreciated reviews, and the readers who find the story boring will kindly refrain from saying so. (That's the job of my hard-nosed beta, who calls a spade a spade and doesn't suffer fools gladly. Yes, that last sentence is a string of cliches, but it expresses how I think of her and her invaluable advice.)

    I do not feel competitive with the other writers who publish here (full disclosure: being a Slytherin, I guess there is a little competition), but they inspire me to improve the quality of my work, analyzing it sentence by sentence, phrase by phrase, and word-choice by word-choice. Maybe some people can dash off a good one-shot in a few hours, but I agonize over it. Scraps of longhand dialogue, scraps of action, and scraps of plot outline are scattered all over the tabletop. Once the story is printed off from the array of assembled hand-written scraps, the flaws glare out from the white paper like angry faces of little monsters. "Not good at this point!" "Not good here!" I go back and try to ameliorate all these rough, inadequate patches. Can I ever get it so perfect that my beta will find nothing to complain about? (Not yet.)

    The Harry Potter universe provides me with limitless scope for whatever I want to express--the settings, the characters (both canon and created), the eras, the topics, the moods--it all fits in there somewhere.

    And the readers are always there, even when my sentences are clumsy and imperfect. I like to think that the readers can see beyond my mistakes to discover what I am trying to say. Maybe some of them gain insight or support from a story I have written; if so, then I am giving back something of what I have received. Above all, the readers want me to succeed, and when I fall short they always give me a second chance, and a third chance, and a fourth chance.
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  7. #7
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    Title: Being and Becoming
    A/N:


    There is nothing big in the world of fanfiction that has irrevocably changed my life. There has been no grand epiphany in which I realise that this is how the world works, although I would argue that fanfiction as a whole has urged me towards that epiphany, farther than I would have come without it. No, it is the small things that I have learned over my years here at MNFF and various other fanfiction sites that have taught me things I would have quite dubiously learned otherwise.

    One of the most important of these things, in my opinion, is the amount of cultural diversity that MNFF has taught me. As someone who lives in a country where things are often taught on a slanted bias, learning only what we are 'meant' to, speaking to others who have grown up in an entirely different society is not only interesting but also very eye-opening. It's definitely something that I appreciate learning through MNFF.

    Speaking of others, I've never been the most socially adept, and when I joined the website at the end of seventh grade - a trialing time to say the least - getting to know people and bonding through fanfiction and other interests that we had in common was something that really made me feel a lot better about myself as time went on. The knowledge that I did have a support group - albeit a support group that I had never met - was something comforting, and fanfiction as a whole has given me that to a level that I would never have expected.

    But, most importantly, I've honed my writing skills to a point not quite at the level as some other MNFFers, but far above and beyond what they were when I first clicked on the fanfiction tab on Mugglenet's main site. I've learned how to use punctuation, grammar, and, in all reality, words, to an extent that I never really knew existed, and I have written things I am beyond proud of. Things that I never knew I had the capability to write.

    Before I found fanfiction and everything that came afterwards, I was a little girl that wanted to write. Now, I am a writer.
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  8. #8
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    Title: Rambling Untitled
    A/N:


    While I have not been involved in fanfiction nearly as long as many of the board's members, it has significantly changed my life. First through reading, and now through writing and the world it has unveiled.

    One day four years ago I was checking the main site's page for a link to a new trailer, when in the top right corner I see a link to something that said 'fanfiction'. Curious, I clicked the button, and immediately fell in love. I thought it was amazing how so many people had such brilliant ideas about the tiniest instances in canon, and I slowly started reading more and more. It took me two years to build up the courage to try to write something of my own. It was Jess's 'Vindication of James Potter' that finally convinced me to give it a try.

    Of course, my first attempt probably made the moderators cringe, and I received my first rejection. Then another. And then ten more after that. The notes I received from them were extremely helpful, and after a break I decided to try again. That was the first piece that was accepted, and I realized I had already learned two lessons: how to handle criticism and rejection, and to keep trying.

    To fastforward a bit, I joined the forums, looking for a beta. Of course, I saw all of the fun groups and decided I wanted to stay. I started talking to a few people in my common room, and then someone else talked to me through my email. I found I had a lot in common with her, and we became friends. Talking to her was so much easier than talking to even my RL best friend, and with a little nudging I met a lot of other people. Fanfiction hasn't simply helped with writing, it's given me the opportunity to learn and talk to so many different people, and it honestly helped me in real life. I am less afraid to approach someone for help, I can articulate criticism and praise better, and I speak my opinion more often. I have become so close to so many of you, and now I can't imagine not having you lot around.

    On the actual writing side of things, fanfiction has done so much for my writing. I recently found one of the earliest things I wrote, and I can see just how horrible my grammar was. Over the past few years I've been able to find a style and type of story I write, and hopefully can write decently, and I've learned that nothing is off limits to write. I have grown so much because of fanfiction, and though I still have a very long way to go, I see how far I've come.

    The most important thing fanfiction has taught me is to open my mind and not be afraid to write something completely out there or insane. I've read so many different things - from slash to cousin ships to nymphs and Neville - and I've learned that the sticky topics are the most amazing to write. I've seen so much beautiful words, rarepairs, and AUs that there's honestly not much I wouldn't be willing to read or write.

    So, thank you, fanfiction. It's been a truly amazing four years, and I hope more to come.
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  9. #9
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    Title: No Void, But One Full Of Meanings.
    A/N: I've sort of written a weird poem/summary thing as well as an essay. It's strange, but there's sort of a meaning to it in the essay.


    On, off, imaginary. The world is wide; the mind may wander.
    friends ships friendship friendship friendship friendship friends ships FRIENDSHIP
    A late night, face lit by pixel paperback.
    eurekaeureka eurekaeureka eurekaeureka eurekaeureka eurekaeureka EUREKA
    Unthinkable: thought. Unaccepted: accepted.
    freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedomFREEDOM
    Paper to pixel. A thrill: disappointment, encouragement.
    euphoriaeuphoriaeuphoriaeuphoriaeuphoriaeuphoriaeu phoriaeuphoriaEUPHORIA
    Thoughts to words; ink to paint; pictures to people; lives to dreams.
    Pixel to paper.
    finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finallyFINALLY


    A lot of people here say (in profiles and bios) that Fanfiction filled a void left by the fact that the books were all out, and the movies were no longer in the cinema. In a certain sort of way, I respect these people, for alas, I am not one of them. As a latecomer (I almost wrote newcomer there – how time has flown!) I finished the books at some leisurely pace and began to faithfully watch the movies on TV each Saturday evening, then started searching for my own copies of the books. I discovered Fanfiction at this time, when I was still trying to immerse myself in all things Potter.

    Thanks to the encouragement of a certain moderator, my first fic was accepted second time round. I am very thankful for that encouragement. Submitting a story still gives me a buzz, and I obsessively and impatiently check my emails for a reply until it arrives. Acceptance fills me with pride.

    Of course, writing Fanfiction has helped me in my general writing immensely. I don’t write OF, but I know I feel happier with creative assignments now. My essays have improved greatly from reviewing; PA has introduced me to poetry forms I would never have found myself. I know that MNFF has broadened my horizons immensely, and not just in literarily. Upon entering this online world, I would’ve shuddered at some of the radical ships I now ought to get writing, and at the same time, I have accepted areas canon which I didn’t like before through many wonderful stories. Fanfiction has also brought me into this community, and helped me make new friends, in real life as well as online.

    Fanfiction is wonderful. Greater writers than I bring characters to life from the pages in all situations, and it’s so lovely to read. I love Fanfiction as much as I do is because it did not fill a void: it staked its own claim. And how could I resist it?
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  10. #10
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    Now it's time to...

    VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!

    The link? HERE. The entries? UP THERE.

    You have one week from today...let's roll.
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