Welcome to day two of our Twific Fandom Celebration! We have another fabulous line-up of contributors who will help us remember our humble roots and then look forward to our bright Twific future. There ain’t a whole lot left to say now, so settle in for Spotlight Saturday.
When I was asked to recommend one story which meant ‘Fandom’ to me, I didn’t have to think long. Not so much because of the story, which is excellent regardless, but because of the author.
The stories we all love are the glue that bind the Fandom, but it is the writers and readers coming together, to build friendships and more, which constitutes what the Fandom really is. A community. A safe haven. An escape.
Prior to 2009 I’d never even heard of fan fiction, but once I discovered it, I dove in with gusto. First as a reader, and then in late 2010, as a writer. However, before I worked up the courage to post my own scribblings, I had to brave leaving reviews for the stories I was enjoying so much. The first handful I left, I never heard back from the authors.
Then one day I left a review for a lady who would end up opening the door and inviting me into the Fandom. Through her generosity, kindness, and steadfast encouragement to never give up, I found myself. I’ve built some amazing friendships with women all over the world and have since found the courage to really put myself out there—as a published author.
And it all started because of a story about a bad boy with a tragic past and the feisty, no-nonsense journalist that crosses his path in a diner—and grossly offends him.
L.J. Harris will take you on a journey of learning to let go, allowing yourself to heal, and most of all, believing in love when you least expect it. Told with all the raw passion in her soul, may I present HeartofDarkess’ Bad Boy Cullen.
Bad Boy Cullen: Bella was a successful journalist, but was unlucky in love. She craved to meet a bad boy. Enter Edward Cullen, a mysterious, charismatic loner…a bad boy with a traumatic past. M Romance/Angst Complete
Do you know the Masens?
What to say about this story.
I’d already found Marie through a group actually, on Facebook. We hit it right off and words cannot express the way she has found a home inside my heart, this woman.
I proceeded to read The Practice of Love, after getting to know the loveliness that is Belladonnacullen, some, which was, on its own, a fucking fantastic story to read. Deep, layered, fun.
But when I began to read There is a Light . . .
I knew. I felt it. This was . . . brilliance. Even from the first line.
“The story began a long time ago,” I explain, pushing my daughter’s long brown hair out of her face and behind her ear.
“How long ago, Mommy?”
I quickly do the math. Then I gasp. “Twenty-four years ago.”
“That’s close to a hundred, right?”
“Closer to that than I’d like, Little One,” I chuckle.
*goosebumps* I tell ya. But my favorite part? My favorite has to still be this one . . .
Chapter 5 “Some Girls are Bigger than Others”
“They say it’s supposed to rain for hours.”
He looked up at the dark clouds and arched his back and let the rain splatter across his face and splash onto his chest.
“I say fuck them!” he shouted to the sky.
“Fuck them!” the audience yelled back in a chorus. I lost myself in the screaming.
“They brought me a roof,” Edward Cullen said into his mic, swiveling around and shaking his head pitifully at his sheltered band member behind him. He turned back to the audience and kicked his combat boot through a particularly large puddle, spraying the front row of kids. “I say roofs are for pussies!” he yelled, tearing at his shirt so the neckline hung ragged and wet against his soaking chest.
This was a story of young crushes turned passion, older men, secrets and heart break but really, it was Marie’s soul. Every word of it. And I still cry with a lump in the back of my throat when I think about how Edward broke Bella in this one. But I smile when I think of how she built herself back up.
Jo FicFreak aka J.R. Richardson
There is Light: This was 1987; before the Internet, before Twitter, before Facebook – this was back when it was still possible for people not to know about things: big things – like bands, and little things – like G-spots. AH, ExB, with some other parings along the way. M Romance/Angst Bella/Edward Complete
While I can’t tell you which particular fic is my all time favorite, I can tell you this: Ethan Church, by dryler has been in my top five from the moment I read it years ago, and I have a strong suspicion that it will remain that way pretty much into perpetuity. I’m going to go ahead and lay it all out there, too. If I had it my way, every single person in this fandom would read this story. You won’t find a stronger recommendation from me… like… ever.
As the summary suggests, this is a rather AU ride, although as you read, you’ll find some very canon-compatible ties.
We start out in Phoenix, where Bella Swan has just been offered the opportunity of a lifetime. She’s a translator by training and trade, but for some strange reason, she receives a request from a man named Ethan Church, a reclusive and enigmatic author, who wishes her to pen his last novel – his own biography. At first, she’s resistant and she denies him, but one evening in her local bookstore, she finds herself unwittingly drawn and ultimately captivated by his words.
Bella devours his books, foregoing sleep, sustenance, and mental well-being. Something strange and maybe terrifying consumes her, making it impossible for her to say no when Church requests her again. So she says yes, and before she knows it, Bella finds herself in an old, crumbling estate in the state of Washington, sitting across from an elderly old man who calls himself Ethan.
Thus begins a routine. Every morning they meet and Church tells her his tale, taking her through the decades, all the way from his birth in 1918. Yet even as Bella listens and takes in his words, something is missing. There’s a mystery – something cryptic and unspoken – that she can’t quite put her finger on. Something about this elderly man and his story isn’t quite right.
Of course, Church isn’t the only mystery she finds – far, far from it. He’s just the beginning. For on a dark, stormy night, Bella encounters… him.
I think what this fic does better than almost anything else I’ve read is make me feel. Like truly, physically, feel. I feel the tugs that Bella describes in my chest. I feel the weight and the longing and the confusion. It’s difficult to describe, but as I read, I am Bella, and I’m desperate and mesmerized and aching.
For me, this story is a perfect example of what fic can truly be. It’s extremely well-written for starters, and a great example of where 1st person narration just… works. It’s mysterious and maybe a little heavy, but the mood that dryler sets up is unlike anything else I’ve found in fic. The plot is both unique and familiar, and while it’s fairly AU, for all you canon-ish people, I can’t imagine not finding this story completely enthralling.
Yes, I just said enthralling. Because that’s what I was the first time I read this story and what I am every time I re-read it: I am enthralled by it.
When I discovered fan fiction in 2009, I read a lot of one-shots or short stories – mainly vamp. The one I’m rec’ing is one of the first all-human fics that I still go back to again and again.
Tides of Fate by SparklingTwilight was one of the first human Edwards I truly fell head over heels for. That story came along at a time in my life that I needed the easy escape to the beautiful, fun, romantic island resort that she’d created. It’s the first of its kind, with all the things that have now grown to be cliché, but SparklingTwilight led the way first, causing not only me, but I’m sure a bunch of us to give writing a shot. To me, it’s a classic love story written by a writer who I think the fandom sorely misses.
Tides of Fate: After four years in a bad relationship, and two years of depressed seclusion, Alice and Rosalie drag best friend Bella on a tropical vacation designed by fate. AH OOC. Canon couples Romance/Humor M Bella/Edward Complete
I’ve chosen to celebrate Quiet Storm by SexyLexiCullen. It’s been a long while since I first read it, but it is one that has always stuck with me. I love mafia stories, and I love a dangerous, nearly sociopathic man. I’m sure that means there is something wrong with me, but at least I am in good company!
There’s a lot of angst in Quiet Storm and plenty of tense situations. Aside from the action/adventure side of the story, I love how real the relationship between Edward and Bella is. It’s not always fun, they don’t always work everything out, and sometimes they’re just obnoxious to each other. It’s not because of some contrived miscommunication you see in a lot of stories, but real life, real relationship issues.
I also love the way Aro is portrayed. His character is loveable and endearing. I like it when a fanfic writer deviates from the usual character traits. He’s one of my all-time favorite side chracters.
If you haven’t checked it out, go do so now! You won’t regret it!
Quiet Storm: “Two weeks. Two years. Who cares?” A lesson in love, crime, and passion. When two young lovers find themselves in the middle of the storm, can love conquer all? AH OOC Rated M Mafia fic Humor/Romance/Violence/Drama Canon couples Complete
Being asked to contribute a few words about my favorite story has been no small feat. Like most of us, I can’t pick one. There’s that story we love because it reminds us of our first boyfriend, or the one we read when we’re sad because it lets us cry. So I can’t play favorites.
I would, however, like to share with you someone that opened up a whole new world for me, the lovely and talented Jandco. She took my fic reading to a whole new level, showing me that our beloved characters don’t have to be vampires; we don’t need to stick to a script. They can drink scotch, lead brigades, and own islands.
She was also one of the first authors I ever had the nerve to speak to, proving herself to be just as lovely as her words, and ensuring I became a fangirl for life. Through my discovery of her work, I dived deeper into the fic world, finding subjects I’d not read about before and exploring new ideas, but most importantly, meeting people that have touched my heart and shaped my life. I’ll be forever thankful to this fandom for giving me so much, and Jandco’s stories will always represent the moment I found something I love so dearly.
Happy Anniversary FicSisters! Thank you for all the hard work you put forth to keep us up to date, keep us talking, and keep us reading!
Like a lot of others, my interest in fanfiction took hold after reading the Twilight series and feeling the need for something more…
Little did I know, the world I was about to discover. I started by reading mostly fics that served to expand the original story. That changed rather quickly.
The first All-human story I read, where the characters really stuck with me afterwards, was Boycotts and Barflies by vjgm.
It was funny, sweet, and romantic; basically everything I was looking for at the time. The iFic audio of the story was fresh, entertaining, and so well done that it helped make Boycotts one of my all-time favorites. I will also admit without shame that the character of Emmett in B&B was one of the inspirations for the way I write most of the Emmetts in my stories.
I’ve read a lot of stories during my time in this fandom, and while every single one has left its own impression, Awake in the Infinite Cold by quothme has left a permanent mark on my heart and soul, which is why it’s my favorite fic. quothme gives us a flawless love story set in a flawed world, leaving you in tears by story’s end. The intelligence in the writing, the intriguing plot, and the emotional turmoil are exquisite, making it one of the great classics of the fandom. This story is as stunning as it is gut-wrenching, beautiful as it is tragic. You can’t help but be pulled into the story, eager to click for that next chapter.
I have yet to come across another story that’s as haunting. It’s worth every second spent reading, re-reading, and recommending. It sets a bar, and for me, it is the bar.
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to come across a story that would irrevocably change my time here in the fandom. I not only found a new fic obsession, but an author who would—almost instantly—become one of the most important people in my life.
That story was Pocket Change by aWhiteBlankPage.
Jen has this amazing ability to create characters we can’t help but root for. We feel protective of them, almost, and react to their situations as though we’re experiencing them ourselves. They pluck away at our heartstrings and pull us through a range of emotions only the best writing can achieve. And the imagery—good lord. It’s some of the best I’ve read in my six years reading fic.
I know of three kind of change: the kind that jangles around in your pocket, the kind that happens slowly, every moment of every day, and the kind that blows you away in an instant.
After all this time, there is one thing that I know for sure: fast or slow, piercing or silent, change is nothing but a thief in the night.
My mother claimed to love change. Charlie feared it. And then there was Edward. Edward changed everything, but I couldn’t let myself keep him.
Pocket Change is an unforgettable love story from an unforgetable author. It is beyond beautiful, and if you haven’t read it yet, I dare you not to fall in love like I did.
Pocket Change: I know of three kinds of change: the kind that jangles around in your pocket, the kind that happens slowly, every moment of every day, and the kind that blows you away in an instant. Angst/Romance M Bella/Edward Complete
For me, there aren’t many stories that call to me. I have re-read very few—I can count them with one hand—and The Secret Keeper is definitely the number one.
Adventure, humor, romance, drama, horror, it has it all. The story story keeps you on high alert, there is not a moment to breathe, and before you realize it, you have read through the whole thing in one night. Good thing that there are sequels, because this story is simply amazing.
“Edward?” I asked fearfully.
In an extremely slow and careful movement, he spun his body until his eyes met mine. The expression he held was terrifying—even more frightening than the animalistic snarl he had worn back in the clock tower. His face was a mask of pure, absolute, despair. My first thought upon seeing it was that something terrible had happened to Harry, Ron and Hermione, after which my mind flew to the Cullens. Had something happened to one of them? And if so, what?
And then … the despair was rolling over me too like an unstoppable wave, pushing me under and stealing my air.
“Bella,” Edward whispered, his eyes full of fear and sadness, “I feel cold.”
I couldn’t understand what he was saying. The words made no sense—he was a vampire; he never felt cold. His skin was so icy that the air circulating him always felt warm, no matter what the temperature.
I waited for him to speak again—for him to explain what he meant—but before he even had the chance, a dark hooded figure hurtled through the hole that had been left by the giant, and forced Edward’s body back against the opposite wall.
A. E. Giggle does an outstanding job at merging the Harry Potter and Twilight worlds, while keeping certain canon aspects of each universe. This is a Bella/Edward story you do not want to miss. It’s the type of story that always cheers me up when I’m down, and the fact that is T-rated doesn’t even register. The excitement you feel with each chapter will be enough incentive to keep you reading. So, go check this amazing story out. You won’t regret it.
The Secret Keeper: When Bella is alerted to dangerous events unfolding at her old school, Hogwarts, she has no choice but to inform the Cullens of her true, magical identity. To put it simply… she’s a Witch. AU OOC Crossover – Harry Potter & Twilight T Supernatural/Adventure Complete
I couldn’t pick just one! The LolaShoes trilogy, my fic comfort food, came to mind right away. Died and Gone to Heaven, the one fic that makes me laugh, OUT LOUD, every time also jumped out at me. But there were two other stories that I also connected to strongly and for very different reasons.
Witty banter and smart dialogue. Check! A bright, strong Bella and a sweet and sexy Edward. Check! Sexual tension and awesome lemons. Check! Techversations by the bucket load. Check check check! Departures by TheFicChick has all this and more. It’s become my new fic comfort food, guaranteed to make me feel good.
Departures: “Every day for the rest of my life, I will wonder how kissing a virtual stranger goodbye can feel like a hello.” M Edward/Bella Complete
However, I still need to mention one more fic which holds a very dear place in my heart.
A Quiet Fire by Magnolia822 was the first Twilighted thread I started (back in the day) and is the most successful one I ever created. There’s angst and intrigue, hope and love. We spent over 200 pages of posts trying to figure out the mysteries and falling in love with these two broken people who, despite all the circumstances beyond their control that tried to keep them apart, still managed to reconnect. I will always think of A Quiet Fire with warmth and affection. Pun intended.
A Quiet Fire: “But true love is a durable fire, In the mind ever burning, never sick, never old, never dead, From itself never turning.” Ten years after a tragedy parted them, childhood friends Edward and Bella meet again. Can what was lost be recovered? E/B Some OOC Hurt/Comfort/Romance M Bella/Edward Complete
~The beauty of The Blessing and the Curse
“The room, which has steadily been growing lighter, darkened slightly, a cloud veiling the pale new sun. It was as though the shadows and ghosts of all those who had walked the Earth before them had pressed their hands to the outside walls of this room.”
When being asked to write about my favorite fanfic, I decided to start my little piece with a quote from the story. Silly, silly me…the preposterous idea of choosing only one! For you could close your eyes and press your finger randomly against your computer screen and find that whatever line you touched from The Blessing and the Curse is poetically masterful and quote-worthy.
The quote above is describing a room. You can only imagine how golden threads are spun into words when author, The Black Arrow, describes the passion between her tormented Edward and his conflicted Bella.
I remember the days of desperately waiting for TB&TC updates, but forcing myself to be patient because I knew this was writing where every line was carefully crafted which took time, and could never be rushed. I’ve always loved poetry and appreciated good prose, but I’d never seen them woven together so beautifully in writing that wasn’t prestigiously published literary fiction. Take that all the snobs that turn their noses up at the idea of fanfiction!
I’ve probably read Chapters thirteen-fifteen from The Blessing and the Curse several dozen times. It’s amazing to think that after all these years Curseward still owns me. The dark obsessive love Edward had for Bella in this story set the bar for me with every story that I’ve read since. There’s also no question in my mind that every time I work poetic visuals into my writing that I have the courage to do so thanks to The Black Arrow.
Although I spend most of my free hours writing and no longer have as much time to read, I will always love fan-fiction and feel gratitude for my life-altering experience from falling down its rabbit hole. There’s something extraordinary about finding your people and them welcoming you with open arms.
In fan-fiction land we share a love of story and characters, and a passion for romance. The idea that people write for pleasure, pushing themselves to try new things and take creative chances is extraordinary in this world of commerce and choices made by profit potential and not passion. I love when new authors rise up and find their place in the sun that shines brightly from appreciative readers.
I feel so lucky for all of it, and all of you. Thank you to The Black Arrow for The Blessing and the Curse, a story that thrilled and inspired me…you gave us readers a story we will always carry in our hearts.
The Blessing and the Curse: By pretending she is falling for Edward, Bella is fulfilling Esme’s dying wish. But sexy, possessive Edward can read her mind. Will she ever get into his? Can Bella forget the pain of her teenage years, and can she resist his relentless seduction? AH. Angst/Romance M Bella/Edward Complete
High Fidelity is the story that reminded me of what I always hoped fanfiction could be. It’s a story that will sneak up on you. It begins innocently enough, and in the expected fanfic manner: Bella is quirky, irreverent, eating cinnamon gummy bears (uh, oh…is this her signature treat? Cupcake-shaped caution signs flash in my head at this point). Edward is rude, aloof, hot. There’s a mix-up over a fender-bender in the parking lot. We’re in store for a romp of a beach read, right? Wrong.
This story made me jealous as a writer. The less I say about these characters and where they’ve been, the better. Just let IReen H get under your skin, layer by layer, until you’re holding this Edward and this Bella in your heart. She lets you taste what they taste, hear what they hear, feel what they feel…and feel, and feel, and feel. I’ve never wanted Edward to redeem himself more (and yes, he behaves badly). And I’ve never felt such empathy for Bella and her insecurities—or such admiration for her strength. The nods to canon are there—self-doubt, fights, flights, communication roadblocks—but they always feel organic to the story and true to the characters. The smoldering heat is there, too. Now that I think about it, this might be a beach read after all. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.
High Fidelity: Damaged Edward, damaged Bella. Two sides of the same scarred coin. When one side is up, the other is down. Language and lots of it. Lemons eventually. It’s a slow burn, slow and painful. Mature. AH AU Romance/Angst M Edward/Bella Complete
My entrance into the fandom was purely accidental. I literally stumbled into a fanfiction forum with no idea what it was. My curiosity changed my reading life.
The first stories I read were canon; ones that left behind the fade-to-black that made so many of us bang our heads against the wall. We wanted to know what happened next! YA audience be damned! There was an enormous contingent of women reading this story and looking for more. It didn’t take long for me to get hooked on the stories and like the addict I was, I started searching for the next fix of Bella and Edward. Things got a little crazy when I branched out into AU and I’m so very glad I did.
In my relentless search, I discovered MrsTheKing, otherwise known as Debra Anastasia. Debra’s stories were some of the first I read in the fandom, and I fell in love with Poughkeepsie. It has such a unique storyline, the characters are so incredibly well defined and flawed that it broke my heart. It wasn’t just about the love story, though; it was the brotherhood, the secondary characters, and the way Debra wove their stories into something beautiful and raw and pure. Like the tale she crafted, Debra’s voice is unique, and I couldn’t get enough. I awaited updates like a junkie. I understood, in a way I hadn’t before, how stories bring people together as they have in fandom community.
Beyond the story—which I can proudly hold in my hands—is an incredible woman whose generosity and kindness inspired me to post my own story. Debra’s beautiful words have touched the hearts of many. I’m so very proud to call her my friend and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
I don’t remember how I found the fandom, to be honest. Isn’t that awful? I was trying to remember, and I just can’t. It’s like it’s always been there in my life! And as for what made me pick Twilight, I read the books along with my mom, my best friend, and her mom when I was in middle school. The four of us would camp out in the movie theater for each and every film. We just loved it. It was one of the best, most innocent and fun times of my life, and the Twilight books played such a heavy role in getting me involved again in reading and then writing. It was just a perfect phenomena to get caught up in, and I’m so glad that when I’m older and have children and so forth, I can tell them about this and it be something from my generation I’m actually proud of, instead of embarrassed by.
I try never to read FanFics while I’m writing (just so I don’t steal phrases or anything like that by accident), but I remember this one standing out. It was called Dusty, I think. But it was so so good. It was good enough that I prayed my own writing would someday be as good.
I had absolutely no intentions of getting caught up in FanFiction. I only posted my story to get feedback, to see if my writing was decent.
Never did I expect to get pulled in. But a few days after I submitted the first chapter of my story, I had a Twitter (which I’d never had before and still don’t understand) and Facebook account–all so I could keep in touch with the beautiful people I was starting to meet.
When I posted Hollywood, it only got a few reviews–like, 10. And then along comes the sweetest woman, Nicffwhisperer, and tells me she’s recommended the story. At first, I had no idea what that even meant. But a few days later, when the hits on my story had spiked along with the reviews, I was amazed. Not long after that, I get a message from the precious VampiresHaveLaws, saying she’d love to help me out and be my beta.
And now? I’m completely consumed. I’m completely overwhelmed. Each day I’m baffled at how sweet and genuinely kind the fandom people are. I’ve already grown so close to them. This is like it’s own little world that’s not only an escape but such a comfort, too. I’ve gotten so much support and encouragement from these strangers that don’t even feel like strangers, and I’m honestly just blessed to be a part of this, to be included in any way.”
While you’re all sitting quietly, soaking up the memories, smiling at the successes and wiping a nostalgic tear away, please take a moment with us to say thank you to all of our contributors. We were seriously fangirling every time we received a “Yes” in response to our request to join us! Honestly, WhatsApp nearly melted with international FicSister glee! Thank you, one and all. We are in awe and feel very honoured.
Phew! So, with our final guest today we look to the future of fanfic, lots of bright new authors stepping into the spotlight building on the foundations of others…but allow us one more day of indulgence, as we pay homage to friends from way back when…the early, heady days where we all lost our hearts…
See you all tomorrow for Supermassive Sinday!