I was never as active or involved in the fanfiction world, I just used fanfiction to pass the time and fill out holes that I wasn’t satisfied with in the original stories. Imagine my surprise when I get an email telling me I’ve been asked to write something for TLYDF. I’ve read fanfiction before the Twilight series, but I started reading more Twilight fics while waiting for Breaking Dawn. Personally, that book did not satisfy me, but by that time, I’ve already found talented fanfiction authors who seem to really understand the characters and haven’t failed to please.
That being said, I’ve become quite picky and specific about what I read. Is it true to the story? Is it true to character? If it’s completely AU, is it a well-crafted story? Is it more than replacing the Twilight characters with clones who share their name and nothing else? The first AU story that I fell in love with was Starshinedown’s My Love Shall Ever Live Young. It has humor, romance, suspense, and the characters are not OOC in an obnoxious way. I’m always so happy to find a story I truly enjoy, and I try to tell the author what I really like about each particular chapter—certain lines that stand out, scenes that are remarkable, etc. I was introduced to Twilight by a fanfiction author I met through another fandom. We have similar tastes/views, so it’s no surprise that we have similar reading tastes. But once in a while, I come across another author who just seems to interpret the series/characters the same way I do, and we’ve gotten into lengthy discussions on the books and characters. Not only have I met brilliant authors, but I’ve met people I can actually share my thoughts with. People who know exactly what I’m talking about. ;)
Author's Blurb by Starshinedown
Whenever I post something new, be it a new story or a new chapter, I get a little giddy when I get feedback. I’m always a bit excited and a bit nervous. Will what I wrote and fretted over connect to readers? Are my thoughts on how to move the story forward (if it’s a chapter update) or how to build the one-shot shared? I have pieces on my hard drive that may never see the light of day, but for those that do get published and read, I want to know how my writing resonates (or doesn’t, as the case may be) with my audience. Feedback from my beta reader usually ends up directly incorporated into each posting, but what readers may not realize about me or my writing is that I take the feedback I receive via reviews, forum posts, and PMs into consideration when I write.
I don’t mean to say I change my plot or my ideas to conform to “suggestions” but that when I receive constructive criticism and thoughtful messages, I consider what is being said about the story, what strengths or weaknesses are pointed out to me, and work from there to improve my skill as I go.
One of my long-time readers, one who has commented thoughtfully on, I think, every chapter of My Love Shall Ever Live Young as well as the preceding one-shot, Aengus, is unpetitpoi, someone I look forward to hearing from each time I put a chapter up. She never fails to comment, and point out a particular part of the chapter that worked for her. It means so much that people are actually out there reading what I’m writing; it means that much more when someone cares enough to take the time to say “Hey! This line, scene, or section is one that I liked!” She’s a reader I’m convinced every writer would be lucky to have.
As an aside, unpetitpoi and I have talked, albeit briefly, about plagiarism, and was mighty impressed with her thoughts. She’s all win.