Any other fanfiction writers struggle with writing outside of fanfiction?

I’ve been writing fanfic for years, and when it comes to writing any other type of genre, I just struggle. I’m not sure what it is. It’s like it’s impossible for me to write anything besides fanfiction. Does anyone else have this problem, and if so, any tips on how to try writing in a different genre?


I don’t write fanfiction, but it can be hard to move on from a world you are used to. One way is to try and make the fanfiction I to an original. You get to keep some ideas, and use it as a basis, get other parts are flipped to a complete 180.


I hate to admit it, but yeah. Original fiction just doesn’t come as easily now that I’ve been writing fanfics for so long. It’s like fanfics are my new default and to deviate from that default.

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So much this!

I don’t really struggle with Original fiction at all, but it’s not hard to imagine the disconnect.

For me, writing original work feel likes I am sculpting out of very malliable clay. Whereas fanfiction is like sculpting with clay that’s sitting on top of a pre-formed face. It’s a lot easier to mess up when flying solo.

I’d say focus on exorcises in fanfiction.

  1. Staying in character. This was the best way for me to learn what it truly means to have a character stick to behaviors. Fanfiction is wonderful for that.
  2. Then, changing something about that character or the story. Maybe make Legolas and Gimli have a gay relationship. Something way out of the realm of the story, but not impossible to imagine. Or maybe Dumbledore is actually evil.
  3. Introduce a small, new aspect to the world. Maybe write a LoTR fanfic and add an extra ring, that when worn, allows the person to be impervious to a Ring Wraith injury.

The trick is to make these seem as natural as possible.

If you can severely alter the world or characters, you are ready for your own fiction.

Turning a fanfiction into an original can teach you a lot about lore, character building, and making it all fit together


Thank you so much! I found this to be very helpful. I’m going to look at some of my older works, ones that I’m not as proud of, and see what I can rework it to.

That’s what I was thinking. A lot of mine are about musicians, and I would imagine it would be a little bit different if I were to be writing about TV show/movie/book characters.

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I’m the exact opposite. I can write most anything, except for fanfic. I don’t know why. I’ve tried.

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:slight_smile: Fanfiction isnt so different from regular fiction, only the world is now shifted so it is a blank slate for you to draw on. Pull in inspiration for any fandom or place, but twist it to be your own


Can I join in the conversation?

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I improved on fan-fiction, And never give up on any other genres!

It inspired me to write original fiction based on Disney films.

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I agree 100% with you. When I started working outside of fanfiction, literally everything turned into some sort of fanfiction. It took a while to break out and I still struggle with it, but you just need to find a project that your so passionate about


I started writing fanfiction, but since I’ve moved on to my original works, I’m just really enjoying being able to build my own world and play with my own characters. I feel now quite the opposite of what you feel. Every time I go back to fanfic - I have an ongoing fanfic of almost 200k, which I still want to finish - it’s like I have to tie myself down again. The freedom is gone and I have to abide by rules other writers are imposing on me.

What @charlottemallory wrote is worth a ton! Try just shifting the characters a bit, make changes here and there until you feel comfortable enough to completely make the story your own. Which can ultimately lead to you rewriting your fanfic as an original work.

I think what happens to a lot of fanfic writers is that they have been doing it for a really long time, and then it’s hard to break away from it, to leave the comfort of a known world behind.


way too relatable.:blush::joy:

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Oh my. I just realized that I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words of both fic and general fiction. And while I have finished dozens of fics, ranging in length from flash to novel, I have never written a piece of regular fiction to completion. Not one.

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I do, I have book up called solemates but I couldn’t finish it because of intense writers block. However I don’t usually have this problem with Fan fiction.

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So, so hard.
Like I fail epically.

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I have a fiction/romance story I started in 2015 based off of a dream I had, and I haven’t written an actual chapter in over two years. Another fiction story I started writing hasn’t had an actual chapter in three years. I have writer’s block on those stories, but I also get it with my fanfictions. I usually will start a book, then get writer’s block and get inspired for another book, and then end up writing another book. That’s how I ended up with 38 published stories, 13 drafted stories with only 18 out of the 38 stories being completed. It’s a mess.

Same though omg

Thought I’d drop in with my two cents on the topic:

I think a big thing about fanfic is that the fandom already lives outside of you. There are people talking about it or there’s content to watch/read/listen to that can reinvigorate your love for your fic. It’s instant inspiration.

When you write fiction…well, it’s typically just you. You’re in charge of keeping your interest in the story. It takes more than inspiration. 98% of the time, you have to make yourself write it. You are creating something from thin air, something that has never existed before in this exact way. You have to be your own content creator and your own cheering section, which is the hardest thing.

For me, I have to love my characters so much that giving them an ending is absolutely integral. Like I owe it to them.