|(My favourite novel character who I've written a lot of fanfiction about: Edmund Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia)|
I am a big fan of fanfiction (ouch, bad pun). Much as it can be a distraction to writers from actually creating their own original characters and plots, I know from experience that it provides both great practice in writing and can be a launching pad into the wider world of writing.
When I first started writing, it was because I loved a world called Narnia.
I wasn't a writer previous to this. I told my mother several years before that I didn't think I would ever like writing. She disagreed, and as mothers are, she turned out to be more than just right. Several years later, I discovered the world in the wardrobe and the four English children tossed into Narnia. Now I had something to write about. There were so many ideas- so many 'could have' stories dealing with the Pevensie children and Aslan and I threw myself into writing some of them.
I wrote dozens of Narnia based stories over the course of a year or two. And over that time, I grew to love writing for more than just Narnia. Now I was creating my own characters and stories. I had learned to love writing because I loved stories and characters. It had moved even deeper than a love for Narnia and now was a love for my own characters and stories.
Fanfiction was a launching pad for me into the love for writing that I have now. The wonderful thing I've noticed about fanfiction is that it takes characters (and stories) that people love and gives them a chance to explore those characters more fully. People who never thought they'd like writing realize that they can journey with those characters. There are few things more fun than taking an adventure with your favourite character. So people write fanfiction.
They fall in love with writing.
And through that, new writers are born.