It goes without saying that everyone who writes on here has to balance the time they have for such hobbies with a busy life of their own. The great thing about fanon writing, just like any other kind of fictional writing, is that it gives one a chance to take a break from school or work or whatever else occupies one's time and allow one's imagination run wild, taking them to new lands, like a leaf in the wind. To those who fully immerse themselves in their writing, or any other artistic discipline besides writing that this could apply to, they can begin experiencing a different persona when they do. But what if it went an extra step further? What if this side of us wasn't a different persona, but a different person?
On an ordinary weeknight I sit in front of my computer, surfing the internet. I believe myself to be alone, but then I hear someone knocking at the door to my room. I jump for a moment, wondering who that could be, if it was friend, foe or intruder. It turns out that it's a curious combination of all three. Like I'm looking into a mirror, I stare at my doorway and find my other self staring back. As if he were a ghost or a doppleganger, he looks the way I do and dresses the same way I do, but in every other way possible, he's completely unique.
"Hello Other Self," I ask, not knowing what else to say.
"Hello Normal Self," says my Other Self. "What are you doing?"
"Why aren't you writing?"
"It's been a long day," I say, and it had been. "I feel I'll relax a little longer and then turn in."
"Like hell you are," my Other Self steps over and shakes my chair. "You always complain on and on about not having enough time to write and now you have a perfect frame of time, and you say you just don't feel like it? Come, close Youtube, open up Word, and let the prose come from your fingertips."
When I sit side-by-side with my Other Self, he feeds creative ideas into my head in a supernatural kind of way. I always wondered where such random ideas came from before I discovered him. Suddenly, my tiredness melts away and I have new drive in my mind to write the next chapter of my story, reveal my next plot twist, and craft my tale to the best first draft of my ability. By the time I am finished, I only barely get to bed early enough to get a sane amount of sleep for the next day. My Other Self departs and I drift into unconsciousness, satisfied with the work I put in.
The next day, I wake up in time for a simple cup of yogurt, plus a to-go cup of coffee for breakfast as I walk out the door and drive to work. As I say hello to my co-workers and sit down at my desk, I notice my reflection in the computer screen while I'm turning it on. Then I realize it's not my reflection, but my Other Self.
"Other Self, what are you doing here?" I ask in a hushed voice, my eyes widening and turning to make sure no one nearby is looking.
"Just stopping by to tell me this new idea that I had," my Other Self tells me with the same enthusiasm as the previous night. "It's going to be great for your next story."
"No! You need to leave now. I have to work today. You're going to get me in trouble."
"I thought you wanted to write?"
"I do, but I can't now."
"Hmph!" My Other Self crosses his arms before fading into thin air once again.
Unfortunately, I'm not always at my computer at home when my Other Self comes to visit. I could be at work, out with friends, cooking dinner, asleep or out of town. He always tries to suck me into writing something, sometimes successfully, which can cause me to lose sleep by staying up too late or waking up too early. My Other Self, has no regard for other things in my schedule whatsoever, but he is equally stubborn in forcing me to accept his.
On the flipside of what happened at my job are times when I am able to write, but my Other Self, possessing the imaginative side of me, refuses to come along for the ride. When I get home, I try to approach my Other Self and write with him, but he cuts me off.
"You had your chance when I was ready to help you earlier," he shakes his head at me. "I have other things to do, too. If you want my help, you'll just have to wait until I have time for you again."
"What other things do you have to do? I only ever see you when you're with me and I'm writing." But by the time the words escape my mouth, he was gone.
And so I am left alone, ready to write, but with writer's block and unable to continue. While I've always been in favor of trying to master rules so that you know when to break them at the right time, my Other Self is far more of a rebel. And he comes up with many horrible things to do to characters in stories, which makes me wonder if that played a part in making him the way he is. Now that I think of it, I don't think I want to know what exactly my Other Self does when he's not with me. Yeah, I think I can let my imagination stop short of answering that.
Fortunately, I have a trick that I can play on him as well. Without knowing what to write, I sit down at my computer and start typing anyway. At first, I cannot think of sentences, let alone stories, so I write gibberish. After about twenty minutes of continuous typing, I hear someone at the door to my room again.
"Stop! Stop!" my Other Self yells in a panic as he enters the room once again. "Alright, I'll help you, just don't type anything else until I give you some ideas."
"I thought you had things you had to do?" I couldn't help but act a little smug at a time like this.
My Other Self narrowed his eyes. "Yeah...well, you're giving me a bad name, so I guess I have no choice."
This is nothing unusual, for the behavior of my Other Self is equally as unpredictable as the ideas he beams into my head. Since every writer has one, I often wonder what other writers' other selves are like. I'm amazed when I find that friends of mine who are also writers have better time management than I with their writing. Maybe their other selves are nicer to them. Or...maybe they've become so deeply into the worlds they create that their other selves eventually take over and become the dominant half. That would explain why many lifelong writers develop eccentricity after a while, and the very thought sends a chill down my spine.
So, next time you find yourself experiencing writer's block, look into the mirror and try to guess what your reflection is thinking.
|This review was conducted by the Fanon Review Squad and reflects our best judgment of writing and fanon authorship quality. Please don't take offense if the review wasn't positive. We always give advice!
Hey there, Mageddon725 here, reviewing Avatar: The Legend of Aang: The Red Revolt on behalf of the Fanon Review Squad.
Yes, it has been quite a significant amount of time since I last posted a review, and I do apologize for that. Fortunately, now that my summer class is over, I can get on with my last few backlogged reviews. Now, without further ado, let’s get started.
The plot takes place one week after the end of the Hundred Year War. It follows the adventure of the new Team Avatar, which consists of Aang, Katara and Sokka, as they help the new Fire Lord, Zuko, defend his nation from an unexpected and devious attack and betrayal. The story also follows the resurrection of the Air Nomad society and way of life and the final battle between Fire Lord Zuko and his sister.
When I read the description for this fanon, I instantly recognized the plot, as it has been shared by most of the fanons in the “after the war” genre. That said, I try my best not to judge a book by its cover; instead, I attempt to find out if the story can stand on its own merits. Does The Red Revolt do that? The short answer is…not really.
Story – 4.0: Unfortunately, this story falls into the same trap as many of the fanons set directly after The Last Airbender’s conclusion, and it does nothing to truly add to the existing story in an interesting way. Early on, they do find a character that does bring a little uniqueness into the story. However, the addition of said character brings in plenty of other problems, as I’ll elaborate on later.
Action – 2.0: The action scenes are few and far between, which wouldn’t be a problem on its own. Unfortunately, they aren’t very descriptive or riveting when they do show up.
Writing – 5.0: While not absolutely terrible, the writing lacks a lot of polish. Sentences are rather choppy, and verb tenses alternate often, sometimes within the same sentence. It lacks the touch of an editor, or at least a second pair of writing-savvy eyes. I would suggest having an experienced eye go over each chapter and get those errors ironed out.
Creativity – 3.0: While not a complete carbon copy of the ideas that came before it, there is little to distinguish this piece from any of the others. Each fanon needs something that really brings distinctive life to the story, and The Red Revolt falters in that regard.
Believability – 3.0: To be frank, most of the issues I have with this story’s believability have to do with a character introduced at the end of Chapter 2. It’s about to get spoiler-ry, so if you have such an aversion, look away now. At any rate, Aang and Co. meet Hokai, an Airbender who was Aang’s best friend 100 years prior. He reveals that he survived in much the same way as Aang, by essentially wrapping himself in ice. This part immediately threw me out of the story, and it’s safe to say I never really got back. Hokai should be dead; the only reason that Aang survived that was because of the Avatar State, which Hokai does not have. Hypothermia would’ve been the least of his worries. Regardless, the characters aren’t really believable in any sense, which only adds to the problems and issues this piece has.
Character Development – 2.0: Characters should be what makes the story work. The plot will work itself out, but bad characters slow a story to a crawl or crush it in its infancy. The Gaang in The Red Revolt act only as cutouts of what they were in the series, if that. They have nothing that adds to them or the story, and that is a shame.
Average Score/Final Verdict – 3.2: Unfortunately, this fanon fails to capture the imagination or distinguish itself in any real way from the menagerie of stories just like it, and the characters are just conduits for the story. They’ve got no life in them. My advice would be to seriously reevaluate why and how you want to tell this story. Then, get an extra set of eyes to look it over as you write.
Readers, I'm sorry that I must let you know of my resignation from the WLS, but the time for me to leave has come. I am no longer able or willing to keep up with the amount of work required to be a good editor, and I could no longer be a disappointment to you, my fellow staff members, or myself. I used to love this wiki. Specifically, I used to love this fanon portal. Unfortunately, however, the portal I used to know has been long gone. Now, fanon updates are rare and readers are rarer. If I'm going to write a successful story, it will require 100% of my time and energy on the portal, and I simply do not have enough spare time to dedicate to any other function. I am walking away to preserve my mental sanity and at least try to keep the portal a generally peaceful and calm place. I wish the best for the remaining staff, and I will continue to read and enjoy every issue heretofore I am sure. But for now, I must resign from my position as a member of the staff.
My dear fellow authors, I regrettably have to assure you that this is not a WLS-goof. The Laogai Inquirer can publish one crazy issue, I can be a psycho Dai Li-dictator editor one day and say "just kidding I love the WLS and want it back" the next, but when Mr. Rocks and I say that we can no longer be your editors, that means we really can't.
This would have been something I didn't feel needed an announcement, but as this does set our fanon newsletter up for some drastic changes, we thought it was worth a heads up. OR has his reasons for resigning, but I personally will say that mine are completely due to a schedule I just can't manage anymore. The truth is that I do still love our fanon portal a lot. I would love to do a lot of things, make the community as fun as it can be, throw contests and leave rambling feedback on writing, etc. But it's all just caught up to me. Crazy Agent Minn who doesn't sleep has become crazy agent who doesn't sleep and still can't finish anything on the wiki without taking at least a month. I have to be honest with myself and recognize that it's time for you guys to find someone who can deliver what they promise - when they said it'd be delivered. If we want to encourage activity to return to the portal, we need some active users to do it... And today, I'm of no help there.
In light of these changes, I personally encourage anyone interested in trying out the WLS gig not to hesitate to let Fruipit or ARG know. It has truly been a pleasure to serve you authors as one of your WLS editors, but it's time to see what we can do with a new and more active staff! I will still be around as an FRS reviewer and writer if you want to say hi. But for now, I sign off my last article as editor. See you guys around! -- Minnichi (talk) 00:01, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
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