The Benefits of Fanfiction

Anyone who has consumed a significant amount of media can tell you that there are no original ideas. Most stories merely borrow ideas from their predecessors. The fact that most stories can be categorized into a handful of core concepts proves that everything has already been done before. And yet, people keep writing stories. Part of what makes a story original is how it mixes its influences to create something new, even if the foundation is recycled. Then, there's fanfiction. Some stories are told so well that the characters and settings are adopted wholesale into a different author's new work. While this form of creative writing could be considered intellectual property theft (especially if the stories are sold without consent from the original creator), it can be used as a stepping stone for writers who want to improve their craft. Alternatively, experienced writers can find the weak spots in famous stories and re-write them to fix plot holes and character inconsistencies....
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What video games can teach us about writing (1/3)

Art inspires art. Sometimes a beautiful painting can give you an idea for a short story. Perhaps a beloved song is a jumping-off point for a novella. Maybe a great movie can get your creative juices flowing for a book of your own. Art can come in many forms, but one form most people don’t readily recognize is that of video games. I’ve already written about how games like Not Tetris describe my idea-collecting process, but recently I’ve played a few games I would consider artistic enough to pull some lessons into my own writing. Art inspires art. But, are video games art? Video games have come a long way from the days of Pong and Pac-Man. While these games were kept simple due to technical limitations, today’s video games no longer have these restrictions. I think one of the reasons why video games aren’t considered art is that most art is one-directional. You go to a museum to view paintings. You listen to music on your...
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