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Editing Fanfiction Trash into Treasure – Writing Stream Recap

For the last stream’s exercise, we did something that we haven’t done in a while: edit auto-generated fanfiction.

To do that, we went to the website Fanfic Maker, put in some parameters, and then auto-generated an entire story. We read the whole thing, and then rewrote the beginning, trying to stay as true to the original intent/spirit as possible.

The original was very… unique. (You can read it here, just prepare yourself mentally first.) But it did have some interesting ideas, and a couple hilarious lines. So we did our best to incorporate them into the rewrite.

Here’s what we came up with:

Later, animosity turned to rivalry warmed to friendship blossomed to love. Walter and Mustacheo, the legendary former superhero and supervillain, were now married, and the world rejoiced.

Except for their adopted thirteen-year-old son, Walter Jr.

He lay on his bed, desperately covering his head in the thickest encyclopedia from his shelf. He was trying to drown out the sounds that his dads were making in the bathroom next door. Why did his bedroom have to have such thin walls?

“Mustacheo!” Walter scolded with a giggle. “Stop it. We can’t do that right now. Walter Jr. can hear us.”

“Oh who cares?” Mustacheo said. “If he asks, just tell him you’re helping me shower. He won’t suspect a thing.”

Walter giggled again. “Yeah, you’re right. The kid is an idiot, after all.”

Walter Jr.’s face burned red underneath his encyclopedia. His dads were always like this, making fun of him for not having any super powers. He couldn’t fly and lift buildings like his dad Walter, and he couldn’t invent evil machines that destroyed entire cities like his dad Mustacheo. But he did have the best grades in his eighth grade class. The blue and red “Best in Class!” ribbons hanging from the corkboard on his wall proved it. Shouldn’t that count for something?

Next door in the bathroom, the sounds were becoming too much to handle. Walter Jr. sighed, picked up the book off his head, and went downstairs to get something to eat. But when he reached the fridge, he remembered that today was the day the new National Geographic was going to delivered. He dashed to the door, excited for the upcoming article on plant intelligence, and opened it.

A woman stood on the porch, staring down at him as if she’d expected him. She was hidden beneath a black clock and her fingernails were long and brown. Her messy hair dangled out in front of her face, hiding most of her head except for a single glowing red eye.

Is it the best opening to a story ever? No. But it sets the scene/tone better than the auto-generated one (thankfully!), and it could be the beginning to an interesting story. The adopted, unappreciated son of a former super hero and super villain going on his own adventure? There could be something there!

I like this exercise because it shows you that your first draft doesn’t have to be good in order for your final product to be good. If your first draft looks like auto-generated fanfiction, that’s fine! What matters is then taking the next step, and rewriting/editing where you need to, like we did.

After that we moved on to today’s prompt, and chat voted for this image prompt submitted by Wil-Himbi: “Turns out the butterfly effect is real. Very real. Butterflies are actually super sentient beings who manipulate world events with strategic flaps of their wings. Wars wage between them that we are unaware of.”

As always, chat was on point with the suggestions. I love the explanations we came up with for why/how the butterflies are doing this, and the ending fits perfectly.

You can read our story here.

If you want to join us and help write a story by trolling in chat, or share your own writing for feedback, then we’d love to have you. We stream on Twitch every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 7:30pm-10:30pm (U.S. Eastern Standard Time).

And you missed the stream, you can still watch Rubbish to Published, the writing exercises, or the writing prompts on YouTube, or watch the full stream reruns until Twitch deletes them.

Hope to see you next time, friend!

Scott Wilson is the author of the novel Metl: The ANGEL Weapon, forthcoming November 2018.

Featured image: Pakutaso

Published inLivestream