Standing in Another’s Shoes…

…and ‘seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.’ (Alfred Adler)

This, apparently, is all that the word empathy includes, as I discovered when I ran a web search on the above quote. A discussion of human sociability is not what awaits you in this write-up,however, but a dissertation of a humble, much-derided-yet-popular branch of creative writing : fanfiction.

Wait, don’t go to Google, I’ll save you the trouble. Fanfiction is the universe that has been spawned out of the obsession that certain books have aroused in the minds of readers across the globe, and which consists mainly of “stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator.”(Wiki) If you’re more interested in the history of fanfiction, click this. If you want to know what I have to say about it, read on.

I’ve always loved reading. Now, if you’re a bookworm, I don’t have to list out the reasons – you know them; and if you aren’t one – well, nothing I say is going to convince you that I’m not the greatest kind of fool, for preferring a book to nearly everything else in this wide world of ours. So I’ll move on: the natural consequence of my love for reading is my love for writing. It is natural; when the beauty and magnificence of the world have been unveiled before you in the form of words, to express yourself through the same means is instinctual.

A year ago, in an attempt to improve my creative writing skills, I began writing fanfiction. This, I figured, was better than trying to write a full-fledged story right off; I speak from experience, which is attested by the vast number of plots that litter my hard disk, all still in the sad, embryonic stages. Fanfiction, on the other hand, was a safe starting point – the universe was already there, so I could experiment to my heart’s content. How difficult could it be?

Very, it turns out. For what I wanted was to write stories that would be about filling the gaps left in my favourite books, and for that I had to place myself in the proverbial shoes of the author, and do all that which the quote at the beginning of this post implies. What followed was a lot of research into the time periods, lives and trivia surrounding those writers whom I’d idolized from afar,and now, I find myself appreciating those favourite works of mine all the more: for the styles that the authors employed, the subtle observations made, the adroitness with which different issues are presented and human emotions manipulated. It’s awe-inspiring.

As to my writings, I’ve written several small pieces on L.M Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series, because it’s one of my eternal favourites, and attempted lengthy stories set in the worlds of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and Frances Hodgson Burnett. You can read them here. If you do, drop a review or two, it’ll make my day. 🙂

P.S : The above is the explanation for my laxness in posting on this blog. If you’re frustrated with the pace that the pearls of wisdom  fall from my pen here [Hah, you say. A girl can hope, though, can’t she? 😉 ] ,head over there.



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