Jocelyn's Other Desk

The writings of Jocelyn Smith, aspiring author, soon-to-be lawyer, once and future politician, all-around opinionated twentysomething.

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Location: Orlando, Florida, United States

I'm a lawyer in Florida, working on three novels, a screenplay, and half a dozen pieces of fanfiction at any given moment.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

End Of An Era...

I'm just about finished with my longest fanfic to date, my Harry Potter story, and it looks as if I will get it done and fully posted before Book 6 comes out.

There's always a bit of nostalgia when a fanstory is done. And especially given the running debate with certain published authors, I've been contemplating how it will be different when I finish my first original story.

I think the biggest part will be that in fanwriting, we get reader reactions and "returns," so to speak, as we go. I'm posting multiple times a week these days, and the story, my most popular yet, has nearly 4000 reviews and over half a million hits. On top of that, there are the random reader emails who just want to say how much they love the fic, or want to ask a question about this or that plot point, or (whee!) want permission to make fanart or write a sidestory based on something in the fic.

But now that the story is finished, that will end. I'm working hard to get the thing posted completely several days before July 16, when The Half-Blood Prince comes out, so Mum (my co-author) and I can enjoy a few days of reader response before the whole Harry Potter fandom goes into hibernation to read the Real Thing (including me, I might add.) And even if the sixth book weren't coming out, when a fanwriter finishes a popular story, she enjoys a few days or weeks of reader response, but gradually that tapers off. Now and then I get a review or email about an old story, but not much. When it's over, it's over.

For a book, that will be different. Finishing the story is when the interactive process begins. The effort of getting it published (gah, that'll be an adventure!), and hopefully, getting some critiques and maybe a letter or email or two. Or better. Maybe.

Which is "better," we wonder: fanwriting and getting your goodies as you go, or published writing, where the fans don't appear, if at all, until you're done?

Who knows? I'll let you know when and if I'm published (although I'm pretty determined to be.) But I think in the end, both have their joys.

And although I've still got a lot of work to do on Talassia and my other novels and Potomac Fever, I wouldn't trade the past year for anything.


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