We Talked To Fanfic Writers To Learn More About Their Writing Process And Their Viral 'Social Seryes'

Guys, it's harder than we think!
PHOTO: MARK JESALVA, ISTOCKPHOTO

Fanfiction or fanfic is a form of literature that's created by featuring book, movie, and real-life characters and writing different narratives for them. Some famous examples of fanfics are E.L. JamesFifty Shades Of Grey series (originally a Twilight fanfic), and the Harry Styles fanfic called After. But there are also fanfics about local celebs, of course! 

We've always been curious about fanfiction writers and what makes a certain fanfic go ~viral~, so we interviewed two writers, Gwy and Elynor, who have been writing fanfics for years! We asked them about their beginnings, their writing process, and how they react to positiveand negativefeedback! 

Gwy (who goes by the pen name @gwyomi) recently graduated from senior high school! She has been a fan of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla ever since they starred in the barkada teen series Growing Up (2011). "Sobrang kilig kasi ako doon so sumubaybay talaga ako sa kanilang dalawa. I also watched Mara Clara (2010) because of Kathryn." In fact, Gwy's already met them in person! 

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Gwy's latest works include Along España, which tells the story of Red (Daniel) from UST, who ghosts Avery "Avy" Hernandez (Kathryn), a vlogger and Lasallian. Two years later, Red has to interview Avy for a research paper and it's totally awkward but he doesn't want to fail the subject. Things slowly escalate from there! She also wrote By Mistake, another KathNiel fanfic, which tells the story of Lily (Kath), a student who mistakes her longtime crush Ivor's (DJ) number for a Grab driver's.  

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Elynor, meanwhile, is turning 19 this year! She goes by the pen name @aintyourbeetch and is a big James Reid and Nadine Lustre fan and has actually written several Twitter seryes about them, including Not Another Fangirl RomanceKiller Kisser (an ongoing series), and Not Another Loveteam Romance. The last title tells the story of Jaycee (Nadine), a journalist, and Dean (James), a popular singer—complete opposites who can't help but fall for each other!  

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Elynor first became a fan of Nadine and James when she learned that James was starring in the movie adaptation of Diary Ng Panget (2014)! "I was happy because I already liked him in Pinoy Big Brother (2010). [But Diary Ng Panget] was actually the first time I heard of Nadine. After I watched the movie, I started liking them but I only became a hardcore fan when they started doing On The Wings Of Love (2015)." Since she had friends who are also fans of the love team, Elynor has been able to meet James and Nadine several times already! 

How did they start writing fan fiction and social seryes

Gwy started writing fanfics when she was just 12 years old! "I used to read a lot of them, but I stopped because I don't want to accidentally steal ideas."

Elynor started writing fanfics also in her early teens, when she was 13. She started by writing ZeRrie (Zayn Malik and Perrie Edwards) stories but stopped when the couple broke up. When she was 16, that's when she started writing stories about JaDine: "I started writing JaDine fanfics On Wattpad when I was barely 16 and I still do now that I'm turning 19. I really love reading books in general but I also like reading fanfics. And as much I love it when books make me imagine things, I also like the fact when you're reading fanfics, you already have an image of how characters look like in your mind." 

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Social seryes, from what we've seen online, are stories told through a series of messenger screenshots, text messages, and tweets! According to Gwy, "Normal fanfiction is more about words, like narrations and dialogues. A social serye tells a story by using screenshots of social media accounts."

Elynor agrees! "A social serye or Twitter serye is more of a story told in a form of social media updates and conversations although there are still people like me who love putting narrations in them. As you can see, Not Another Loveteam Romance has lots of narrations. For me, a social serye is easier to do than normal fanfiction. When you're lazy but you still want to update, you can just make social media updates. But normal fanfics are not like that, especially if you're OC like me, whose each update has to be at least 1,500 words or more." 

What's the writing process like?  

Gwy wrote Along España within a week! "Normally, writing a whole fanfic would take me two months. I write on Wattpad. My process is simply just writing the whole plot first, 'saka ko na siya iisipin by chapter. However, social seryes are a lot easier. It will take a week or a month." 

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For Elynor, the writing process takes a bit longer. It took her five months to finish Not Another Loveteam Romance. "I'm really the kind of person who immediately writes whatever that comes into her mind and posts it without doing a proper outline of the story. So the updates depend on my mood and inspiration and along the way, new ideas still come and that's why I don't really have a specific time to finish a fanfic." 

How do they deal with fans AND haters? 

Having fans was a little scary for Gwy at first. "Natakot ako nang kaunti kasi baka dumami rin yung hate na ma-receive ko. Conscious kasi ako sa works ko. Hindi ko alam na baka may mali." It was also a lot of pressure when people kept asking her for updates. Gwy adds, "Minsan hindi na ako kumakain tsaka naliligo para lang matapos yung serye." 

Likewise, Elynor was overwhelmed when people told her that they loved her work! "I don't really think my fanfics are that good because I know I still have a lot to learn...There were times I felt pressured to update because there were some who would demand for another update even if I just posted a new one! I just tried to be more understanding and think that maybe they just like my work and can't wait for another update. But there are times that the reply just sounds too demanding that it pisses you off rather than encourages you to write more." 

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When it comes to negative feedback, Gwy takes it as constructive criticism. After all, "they're pointing out something for me to improve on." Elynor shares: "Maybe the JaDines are just too appreciative because I've never gotten any negative feedback on my works. But there was one time when some account said that I changed just because my work was starting to get more likes and retweets. I got hurt, of course, but when I think about it now, that was actually very funny!" 

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Would they be willing to write fanfics of other love teams, other than their OG faves? 

Gwy says that it doesn't seem likely for her, but Elynor is all for it! Elynor shared, "I don't mind writing for other love teams, I already started writing one, but it's still not finished. If given the chance and the time, I'd really want to write a fanfic starring Liza Soberano, Kathryn, and Nadine. It would be about friendship, self-love, and women empowerment. I'd like to write something that is not about romantic love!"

Elynor is sure that her idols haven't seen her stories yet. "Nadine is not on Twitter and James barely opens his account. And to be honest, I prefer them not seeing it. I'd just be embarrassed and paranoid about what their thoughts will be after reading it." Gwy, on the other hand, says: "Yes, si Kath, si DJ, alam nila. Sobrang hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala at nakakahiya kasi hindi ko na alam ano'ng mga pinaglalalagay ko doon!" 

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Their advice for those who want to write their own social seryes? "Just write what you want and not what others want you to write. Write in your own pace and ways. That's what I do," Elynor says. And for Gwy, "Mahirap siya, sobra. It requires a lot of free time pero masasanay ka rin. You will improve. Also, satisfy yourself first before you satisfy other people with your work." 

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*Answers have been edited for clarity.

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