A nother month goes by and I sift through my mailbag, wondering what literary treats I can post at my site for the oncoming update. There’s only one problem – the treats seem rare to come by these days. I wonder if it’s just me, maybe I’m being picky. I have no room to talk. Mine and my sister’s early works feel like a travesty now, compared to how we write today. We were, after all, just kids when we did them. We’re grown up now. I wonder if because I’m grown up, that’s why I frown upon so many of the submitted works that seem silly and so blasé. Many of them feel like they were written in five minutes flat without any thought or concern. Where’s the planning? Where’s the thought? Where’s the love poured into the characters that makes them seem real? It’s all so flat and careless. There’s no consideration, no time spent, no REAL effort. Week upon week I’m submitted with stupid script-style fanfictions which are supposed to be funny but they leave me cold. And I wonder, is this what the community has descended to? I swear if I see another ‘Zelda’s Sleepover Part 233033’ I’m going to go crazy. But then I feel bad because, after all, we all need to start somewhere.
I wrote my first Zelda fanfiction when I was around 12 years old. You can actually see it on my site at North Castle. I’m not the world’s greatest writer, popular perhaps, but not great. And I certainly wasn’t great back at that age. But I look at that story and compare it to what is submitted today and although it has plenty of faults, it’s still a story. A REAL story. It’s paragraphed, there’s description, there’s a proper adventure happening. There’s characters and they have enough substance to make them interesting. I suppose I’m biased because I wrote it but it just seems like it’s got more soul somehow. I can’t explain it, but these days, Zelda fanfiction seems so… empty.
Every now and then I get lucky and I get my teeth into a really great story. These opportunities are few and far between but I try to feel like there’s one decent read put up every update. Sometimes I get really lucky and put a few up in one go. Other weeks I’m left wondering “where did all the great fanfiction writers go?”. I blame places like fanfiction.net for the explosion in what I call ‘bad Zelda fanfiction’. These so-called humour stories that aren’t even funny. Why people even insist in putting Link and Co in such pointless situations is beyond my comprehension. Because of fanfiction.net, people who couldn’t write suddenly started posting stories and getting reviews where like-minded morons would praise them for their ‘efforts’ with the likes of ‘lol that was soooo funny write more!!’. So they did. But then the worst part was, they started submitting the same drivel to the fansites!
I voiced off about this before and my dear friend Lysia from Legends and Adventure pointed out to me that it was unfair to reject work just because it wasn’t very well written. She pointed out that not everyone was a great writer but it was always best to encourage fan creativity in any way, shape or form and that these so-called writers were ‘thrilled’ to see their work posted at their favourite site. I relented because I remembered how bad I felt when sites kept rejecting mine and Kirsty’s first fanfiction, The Dark Empowerment. Well it was ZHQ that rejected it. They did eventually ask to post it but at the time I felt so hurt. I realised that everytime I sent these stories back, I was hurting these people. So I started to post up the works regardless, only rejecting them if they were so poor, they weren’t readable. Even then I’d send them back with handy tips on how to paragraph, spell etc and inviting the writer if they could correct the mistakes, I’d post it. After all, everyone deserves a chance.
I’m not asking people to become amazing writers. I’m not an amazing writer. But I took care with my work. I tried to spin a tale that people would enjoy, and put heart into characters that made them come alive. So please, this is my plea to Zelda fans. Take care when you write. Think about what you’re writing. Would you buy what you’ve just written? Would you show it to your family, your teacher? Give the characters some soul. Make them come alive from the pages. Zelda is all about adventure, about age-old legends, passion, spirit, intrigue. Make your stories capture the feeling you get from the games. That’s what the fan community is all about after all. Expanding our ideas from the games. So please, let’s just all share our ideas in a constructive, creative way. All you great writers who have gone into hiding come back and let’s great some wonderful stories circulating the community once more. Make me smile when I open my inbox. It’s what keeps the fan community going, after all.
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This page was created by Juliet A. Singleton © 2005. All rights reserved.