As you know, I have been trying to write a certain number of words of fiction each day. As you may also recall, I will be embarking, tomorrow evening, upon a rather lengthy flight to Strasbourg. It has been my experience that there is absolutely nothing which allows time to pass faster on a plane than becoming thoroughly-engaged in writing a story.
I was therefore grieved to find that I could think of nothing to write about. But thankfully, in this media-saturated world of ours, this is never as much of a problem as it first appears. Because there are literally thousands of perfectly developed characters and narrative universes just lying around waiting to be used at your leisure*. I am speaking, of course, about fan-fiction.
Now fanfic is a format which is much-maligned, although I don’t really understand precisely why. It is true that a lot of fan-fiction is virtually unreadable, but this is only a result of it being a medium with no barriers to entry. You might also complain that fanfiction is inherently derivative (and I do admit, I would prefer to work with all of my own creations) but so what? Virtually all fiction is derivative of other works; this is why there are identifiable styles of narrative associated with different time periods and cultures–precisely because they are borrowing from one another. I mean, I suppose that you could argue that you’re more limited in writing fanfiction than you are in writing purely original fiction in that the characters and narrative universe are already established, but I would argue that (1) creativity is not always a measure of quality**, and (2) there’s not actually anyone looking over your shoulder demanding that you abide by the conventions of the canonical source material.
More to the point, if you happen to be suffering writers’ block, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with leaning on the ‘crutch’ of extrapolating from a pre-existing work of fiction. So hooray for fanfic!
*So long as you don’t try to profit from them.
**Also, are you telling me that Milton’s Paradise Lost is a piece of garbage? It is, after all, in essence nothing more than an elaborate work of Biblical fanfiction.