fun fact about fic writers. every time they post anything at all, they slide into one of the circles of hell while they await a response and their brain turns into a endlessly echoing refrain that this time people have seen through the facade, and now know that your writing is pure garbage. 

this happens every. freaking. time. 


The Use of Fan Fiction in the YA Romance Snowsisters by Tom Wilinsky and Jen Sternick

Tom Wilinsky and Jen Sternick contacted me about their YA LGBTQ+ Romance Snowsisters that revolves around fanfiction, which sounds great! I love LGBTQ+, romance and fanfiction, so I’m sold!

Read below as they talk about their use of fanfiction in the book and how they explore what it represents:

Tom and Jen: Our debut novel, Snowsisters is being published February 15, 2018 by Duet, the YA imprint at Interlude Press. High school students—Soph, who attends private school in Manhattan, and Tess, a public school student who lives on a dairy farm in New Hampshire—are thrown together as roommates at a week-long writing conference. As they get to know each other and the other young women, Soph and Tess discover unexpected truths about friendship, their craft, and how to hold fast to their convictions while opening their hearts to love.

Jen: Snowsisters is about young women writers finding their voices. Soph is a poet who wants to learn how to craft her own unique style of poetry, and Tess writes fan fiction, which is so important to young writers these days because everyone who wants to write can use it to find an audience.

Tom: Jen introduced me to the fan fic world. I knew what it was, from Star Trek TOS, and an author friend of mine had told me the dynamic between Hugh Howey and fans of his Silo series, but I hadn’t read any myself other than the original Silo trilogy.

Jen: I’ve been in a couple of fandoms, including Dawson’s Creek and Glee, and have been eager to see the characters’ stories continue past the series, not to mention the highly creative ways that fanfic authors place characters in new storylines and in different time periods. I’ve also found it to be a rich source of LGBTQ fiction. I mentioned it to Tom one day when we were discussing who writes well. I gave him the names of a couple of fanfiction authors I follow.

Tom: But Jen mentioned something else, too, that fan fiction provides a means by which people can share their written work more or less safely by using screen-names and offering their work to a generally receptive audience. There’s a freedom to that which is appealing. Writers can get feedback on their stories and give feedback to others.  It’s also fun to have an audience.

Jen: I have read enough fanfic to know which authors I really like. Some are very talented at dialogue, others at setting a scene, still others at capturing tiny moments. I will often go to a particular fanfic story if I’m struggling with a piece of writing, to get a feel for how that author wrote something similar.Tom was intrigued enough to agree to co-author some fan fiction of our own.

Tom: We have both really enjoyed participating in fanfic challenges, which discipline us by offering parameters and deadlines. Ironically, these types of constraints free us to write more spontaneously and less self-consciously. We know we just have to get it out, without the time to labor over the work.

Jen: We’ve written fanfics on summer and holiday themes. We wrote one as a series of drabbles–short narrative pieces of exactly 100 words. The wordplay required us to tell a story in 100-word increments was fun for both of us. We did another challenge in all dialogue between the characters.

Tom: I love that type of thing. Readers can see it in Snowsisters in Soph’s sonnets, which follow strict formal structures.

Jen: Since Snowsisters’ Tess writes fan fiction, we excerpted her work over the course of the writing conference in our novel. In fact, it’s on the cover of the book! Tess writes fanfic from a fictitious television series, The Witches’ Circle, about a group of present day witches. Her story is an AU in which two young witches leave their coven and discover their power and their connection to each other.

Tom: We also explored the significance of fan fiction in Snowsisters by staging a debate among attendees at the Young Women’s Writing Conference.  We wanted to dispel the notion that fan fiction is a lesser form of storytelling because it uses unoriginal characters and storylines.  Fanfic is almost as old as fiction itself!  I say almost, because everything has to start somewhere–one story followed by the retelling and reshaping…

Jen: Through fan fiction, Tess is able to express her own beliefs about women and their relationships to each other. She also gets to put her writing out to a broad audience far beyond her small-town home in New Hampshire.  

Tom: Fan fiction enables Tess to go places she has never been and do things she has never done. More importantly, she gets to say things she can’t say at home. We felt strongly that we needed to take her writing seriously.

Jen: Just because she’s young doesn’t mean her writing isn’t important.

Tom and Jen: If you’re interested, you can find our fanfiction (in the Glee, London Spy and Hamilton fandoms) on tumblr and AO3 at neverhaveieverbooks.

Snowsisters is available now for for pre-order at Amazon, and Interlude Press, and will be in bookstores on February 15. Readers: Please be advised that there are trigger warnings at the beginning of the book regarding some of the content. We can’t wait for you to read it!


Howdy dear followers! They are now more than 2,000 of you, can you believe it?? So we thought that was something worth celebrating.

We’re so pleased and thankful for your attention and support, it’s been great interacting with you guys. But still…who are you? We’d like to get to know you a bit better!

Feel free to click the link and answer that (short) poll – there are no confidential questions, and anyway we’ll only use the data to share it with you on this blog.

See you around, and thank you all for being there!

salt-of-the-ao3’s 2000 followers poll







I think a big part of why I read way more fanfiction than books is that there’s just a hell of a lot less exposition

the first 10 pages of most books are always “these are the main characters and here’s some background on each of them and this is the setting etc etc” and it’s such a fucking hassle getting to the plot sometimes

fanfic is just like “fuck it you know all of this already let’s go”

That’s a really good point.

Same here but there’s actually a point here of well written exposition.
Take AUs for example. Even in the most complicated, as-far-removed-from-canon settings we get at most a single paragraph before the actual fic where the author gives us a quick rundown of the rules for that universe. The rest we are left to figure out on our own and it works.

We’re not spoon fed every trivial detail when all we want is to get to the plot. Everything that’s important is said at the moment it is important, not sooner not later.
Especially in long fics characters often take on such a unique characterisation that you get to know them all over again but the readers do so organically, in the situations that define those characters as they happen.
Same with looks. The fic author generally assumes the readers know what the characters look like and don’t spend paragraphs describing them, and only bring it up when it fits the plot.

I’ve read a few fanfics from fandoms I’ve never been in and surprisingly it still worked out. I had generally a good idea of who these people were, what they did where and why and how they worked together. 

Point is, if you’re a writer writing original fiction, pretend it’s fanfic and everyone knows your setting and characters already. That way you’ll only have to add a few details if and when your beta readers mention needing more information and chances are they won’t need a lot. 

Point is, if you’re a writer writing original fiction, pretend it’s fanfic and everyone knows your setting and characters already. That way you’ll only have to add a few details if and when your beta readers mention needing more information and chances are they won’t need a lot.

Bolding this fantastic advice. 

Reblogging for the next time I write something original.

This is brilliant. I do a shit amount of world building but been blocked for the past week worrying about details and stuff.

Remember: you can always add in revisions. You just have to write first.