I've been a bit off-kilter as of late. Travel stimulates my brain too much and it's been difficult to concentrate. Now that my heads on straight, I need to earn my salary. I can't win, can I? :D
A little more than a month ago, I watched the movie, Unbowed, and I swear to the gods I had an epiphany. Naturally, since a black woman was wanted/desired, pursued and loved the way a goddess should be, I was completely captivated. As such, my first instinct was to immediately pull out a laptop and start writing fan fiction. This would have been a huge mistake.
It wasn't until the credits started rolling that clarity hit me with physical force. As a woman of color, writing fan fiction or fan FIX-tion is absolutely the wrong thing to do for one obvious reason: I don't have that luxury. We (people of color) don't have that luxury. If we don't tell our stories, no one else will. Our elders have significantly fewer days ahead of them than they do behind. When they die, so will our personal histories. No personal history = no identity.
As I've stated before, we matter. We have a culture. We have a history. We have stories. We need to tell them. Coming from a huge family replete with elderly people with long memories, I've heard hundreds of stories about my family's past and how we came to be who we are today. Hearing these stories shaped who I am NOW. I've also been encouraged by EccentricYoruba's China and Africa history lessons. There must be countless LOST stories within that history!
Oral storytelling is written in my DNA. Two peoples, from two different continents, gave me this gift. While it will never translate into flowery poetry (I will never be a prolific writer), the ability to weave/spin a tale is there and every single time I try to FIX a character's life using fan fiction, I'm wasting that precious gift.
Mildred Lewis wrote about her ancestors Cleola and Waka Mani and I can write about mine as well. I can string together the few facts I have and create a work of fiction and unleash it upon the unsuspecting public. I can also write blasian stories based on my own personal experiences.
This year I plan to write a blasian story for NaNoWriMo.
November is arguably the worst month for me to contemplate writing and it will take a small miracle for me to complete it; however, writing this blasian tale is my goal. At this stage, I have two options: to write about a black African woman "stolen" from slavery and a Lakota man (based on my family history) or to write about a hunky and somewhat hairy Japanese/Ainu commercial pilot and a budding cognitive psychologist with more than a few other special skills up her sleeves. One of these stories is much harder to write than the other.
Where does this leave me in terms of fan fiction? I'm not sure. Obviously, I can't swear that I'll never write fan fiction again; however, I hope to never feel compelled to do so. On the other hand, I wish to show my support for my favorite movies, especially those showcasing blasian couples. I need to review how I show this support though. From my perspective, I'd be of a greater service to Mika/Raizo or Cleola/Waka Mani or any other black woman/Asian man coupling if I wrote recaps or essays promoting the movie/couple. Supplementing a story that's already great or trying to FIX a Hollywood tale is a thing of the past.
What are your personal thoughts on the merits of writing fan fiction vs. original stories? Please understand that I have no intention of trying to talk anyone else out of writing fan fiction. If you write it, I'll read it.