Fanfiction Writer firethesound on Slytherin Ambition, Fan Communities, and Drarry

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Fanfiction Writer firethesound on Slytherin Ambition, Fan Communities, and Drarry
Interviewer: Malory Beazley
Interviewee: firethesound
Date(s): August 29, 2016
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Harry Potter
External Links: Fanfiction Writer firethesound on Slytherin Ambition, Fan Communities, and Drarry – FAN/FIC Magazine, Archived version
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Fanfiction Writer firethesound on Slytherin Ambition, Fan Communities, and Drarry is a 2016 interview with firethesound. It was conducted by Malory Beazley for FAN/FIC Magazine.

"Part of our mission at FAN/FIC Magazine is to highlight amazing fan creators and pull back the curtain on their creative processes. For our very first interview, I talked to one of my absolutely favourite Harry Potter fanfiction writers, firethesound, whose fic All Our Secrets Laid Bare is one of the must-reads in the Drarry fandom. In the following interview, we discussed Slytherin ambition, writing by the seat of your pants, and what’s so compelling about the Draco/Harry pairing."


MB: Talk a little about your life as a writer. How did you become involved with fandom and fanfiction writing?

FTS: Well, I’ve pretty much always written stories. I think I was around 7 or 8 when I decided I wanted to be a writer. Fandom, I discovered a little later, when I was about 13-ish. I was poking around online looking for pictures to print out to decorate my school notebooks, and then holy cow! People have written all these stories! About my favorite characters! And I can read them all for free!! Surprisingly, I was well into my 20s by the time I put those two things together and started writing fic myself. I was stalled out on the novel I was working on and thought, well, fanfic looks fun… that might be a nice thing to try while I take a break from the novel. And it was very fun! So I just kept doing it.

MB: Most fan writers I’ve talked to have also started in their 20s, which I find quite interesting. What motivates your writing? What value do you see in fanfiction?

FTS: There is so much value in fanfiction. The fact that all of it is available instantly and for free. The fact that writers don’t need to get anyone’s approval to publish their stories. The representation of different gender identities and sexual orientations. The frank and open approach to sex and different kinks. But for me personally, the most valuable part of fanfiction is the community – how readers and writers and artists and reccers and commenters are all working to make this community awesome for everyone else. And that’s a huge part of what motivates me to write, just the love for these characters and this world. It’s a pleasure to share it with people who love it just as enthusiastically as I do.

MB: I love that scene. So, the final edit of [All Our Secrets Laid Bare] is nearly 150K words long. Can you describe what your planning and writing process looked like? How long did it take to finish? Any interesting tidbits on the cutting room floor?

FTS: Well, I wrote the first thousand words or so of All Our Secrets back in early 2009, and then stopped writing altogether pretty soon after. I picked it up again in March 2013, and worked on it on and off until December, then posted it to LiveJournal in January 2014, and then on AO3 in February. So… nearly five years in total, but only about 11 months of actual work. I’m a very seat-of-the-pants sort of writer in general, where I just start working and let the story go where it wants to go, so I tend to not do much planning when I write. But this story was more of that than usual. It was the first thing I started writing after a 4-year hiatus, and I went into it with the mindset of, “This is just a warm-up to get used to writing again,” so I pretty much just wrote whatever I felt like writing at the time. A good friend was reading along as I wrote it, so huge parts of it were very strongly influenced by her, because she’d say “I like this thing,” and I would go, “Okay, well I will write more of that thing, then.” I didn’t even figure out how it would end until I actually reached that part of the story. My final draft of it was originally about 130k, but (probably because of the lack of planning) I ended up adding nearly another 20k when I was editing. I do have a bunch of details and snippets that didn’t make it into the final version, but I’m still planning to do a sequel at some point, so probably most of them will get worked into that.