Behind The Minds Of Fanfiction Writers: An Interview With Kitteh

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You can check out all of the previous interviews from the series here. I hope you enjoyed, as much as we did, going behind the minds of Fanfiction Authors and learning how it all works.

Writing fanfiction is a job, it is a responsibility. It takes time, skill, and the ability to come up with plots for your ongoing series, one-shot, or chapter. In the realm of fanfiction, the authors can get a faulty rep. Some say that they aren’t real writers (whatever that means). Some say it is not actual writing they are doing. That it is simply just ‘entertainment.’

In any case, The Daily Fandom gives respect and pride to anyone who sits down and writes fanfiction. It is not an effortless task.

Kitteh: The struggle of Fanfiction Writers.

In light of that, we are going to be interviewing a set of FF authors. They have taken the time (and still do) to write these incredible narratives we read. We are doing these interviews to showcase the minds behind the fanfiction you guys read. How they went through the process of writing; when they started writing FF; and how they dealt with the backlash of people not appreciating their art form. Today’s interview is with the incredible Kitteh (Anna S.-Klein).

What Made Kitteh Start Fanfiction Writing?

The Daily Fandom: What made you start writing fanfics?

Kitteh: In all honesty, I can’t even remember by now? But I always liked writing, even had a few attempts of writing my own criminal story when I was 13 (don’t ask) and then things happened,  I found myself in a fandom and there were all these cool characters with endless possibilities and open-ended stories and it just started.

The Daily Fandom: How old were you when you started writing fanfics?

Kitteh: According to the diaries I haven’t yet burned to the ground for some reason, I was 13-14 when I first dabbled with something resembling fanfiction (it was Sailor Moon if anyone is interested). They were, ah, original. To say the least. Including original characters and canon divergence and all.

Do You Have A Favorite Story You’ve Written?

The Daily Fandom: What’s your favorite story that you have ever written?

Kitteh: I really can’t pin-point one story as a favorite. There are those I struggled with but were rewarding to finish, and there were others who flew from the beginning to end, they all were written with passion and joy and love, and each holds a part of me somehow and I do like them all.

There is one story though that is certainly the most special for me, for all the circumstances that accompanied the 9 months of its creation. My Discord fam might recognize the name — “and amidst the ruins, there was you.” The story and everything that accompanied the writing, it was a long, long journey not just for the characters, but for me as well.

As the story developed, and the world in the story evolved, I, too, grew as a person and as a friend and as a writer and it will always be special to me. The story taught me the value of the friends I made on the way, of their love and support. It taught me to remain humble despite the praise and remain grateful for what I have found within the fandom.

How Do You Deal With The Negative Stigma?

The Daily Fandom: What’s your favorite thing about writing fanfics?

Kitteh: How, in fact, limitless it is. Theoretically, you’re working with set characters that have already been shaped and given their own history – but fanfiction is such a vide space, with endless possibilities. You can create new worlds and place these already defined characters inside and watch them evolve in a way their canon story would never allow it because canon is limited at the end of the day.

Fanfiction isn’t. Fanfiction writers can take an open ending and spun it into hundreds of stories, each different and each wonderful and exciting. We’re dealing with a limited source, and fanfiction gives us so much freedom. It’s thrilling to see how far we can push the boundaries of canon, of how we can twist plots and characters alike. It’s a challenge I’m always excited to tackle.

The Daily Fandom: How do you deal with negative comments or unwanted criticism of your fics?

Kitteh: I haven’t received any negative comments or unwanted criticism, really? And while hearing constructive criticism is always a bit of a bitter taste — I try and accept it humbly because I know this is the way I will continue to get better and wiser and more aware of the impact my stories can have.

Kitteh: Comments Or Kudos?

The Daily Fandom: We live in a time where fanfics tend to get more likes or kudos as opposed to people leaving a comment or reblogging fics. Have these types of ratios ever made you feel discouraged or made you want to quit posting or stop writing fanfics? 

Kitteh: I’m not going to lie — there is no other feeling for me like getting a comment on a fic. It’s something tangible in a way and so insightful, it means the story made someone care for it enough to type even a few words. That said, the higher ration of likes/kudos never discouraged me to the point of doubting the sense of my writing — someone once compared those to applause after a sold-out concert and that’s exactly what it is.

I look at the high rate of kudos and I see people clapping around me. It’s incredible in its’ own, unique way. It’s as valid as a comment and sometimes, readers aren’t sure what to say and I keep that in mind. But they give a sign that they appreciated the story nonetheless and they click that little heart after reading and for that, I am grateful

The Importance Of The WinterIron Fandom

The Daily Fandom: How do you deal with the negative stigma that comes with fanfiction and writing fanfics? The word “fandom” in itself is sort of taboo; how do you keep the inspiration to stay writing and doing what you love? (Sometimes it can be hard to even say “I write fanfic” not knowing the response you’ll get.)

Kitteh: I honestly believe that I have been blessed by meeting people who either share my passion for fic writing or are simply amazing people who support me. Not even understanding in full what it is that I write. But they know it makes me happy, so they cheer me on. Whenever I feel like giving up, they remind me how much joy and happiness I find in writing and sharing my stories. (Yes, even those that make me go “how do you even English?” every second page or so).

I tell people I write stories, in general — because there are fics of mine that stray so far away from canon that they could be originals and there are those planted firmly into a canon timeline. I’ve grown out of this strange, irrational shame of writing fanfic. I am finally aware of how much hard work goes into it. How much love and devotion and how much of myself I put into it. And that? It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

The Daily Fandom: If you write for multiple fandoms: which is your favorite fandom to write for and why? 

Kitteh: I don’t write for too many fandoms at once, two or three tops. But for a long while, the Marvel — WinterIron part of it — fandom has been very special to me. It’s the first time in years I’ve been welcomed in a fandom, where I’m active and I create for it with joy and no pressure.

There’s a sense of belonging within this little fandom family of mine and I will love it with all I have, grateful for all the new possibilities I discovered within it. And  I hope I’ll continue to write for it as long as my fingers can type.

Where Does The Inspiration Come From?

The Daily Fandom: Is there a story you have that you would rewrite?

Kitteh: Let’s be honest here, my older — like early 2000s fics — make me cringe so bad it’s a wonder I am still standing upright. But they were a milestone on my writing journey and while they make me flush with embarrassment. They’re still a part of the road that leads me to get better and better. So no. I wouldn’t rewrite anything. Those stories made me who I am today, all purple prose and tacky descriptions and all.

The Daily Fandom: Where do you find inspiration for new fic ideas?

Kitteh: How cliché is the answer — everywhere? Because that’s the truth. It can be a quote I see somewhere, it can be a dream (not lying, “and amidst the ruins…” is dream-based), a song, a stray though, a nice stock picture.

I literally wrote a fic inspired by a meme picture of a coffee pentagram (“Steve Rogers’ and Bucky Barnes’ Home for Accidentally Summoned Demons” anyone?) Inspiration is everywhere and anywhere. More often than not, it smacks you right over the head when you least expect it.

Do You Have A Writing Process (And If So, What Is It?)

The Daily Fandom: What is your writing process? 

Kitteh: Writing process? Nope. Don’t know her.

And oh boy do I wish I was joking. I am a horror when it comes to writing because I am not a linear writer at all. I start with a scene somewhere in the middle (or at the end, to make it more fun) and I just… run around in circles with the story. Writing a scene here and there until I’m left with a canvas of splotches of words that I have to connect with. It’s messy and sometimes I want to slam my head against the desk. But this is the only way that works for me.

I write at any point in time, too. I always have access to Google docs — on my laptop or on my phone. And if I don’t, any piece of paper will do. Though I try to always have my writing journal with me. (Then it gets rewritten to Gdocs, undergoing editing.) Just in case I think of a line that will fit this fic or another and I can’t write it down in any other way. 

Kitteh & Her Love For Dragon Age

The Daily Fandom: If you could only write one ship or character for the rest of your life, which ship or character would you pick and why?

Kitteh: Oh why would you even… Well.  

As much as I talked about the WI part of Marvel fandom and how amazing this experience has been. My forever happy place is within Dragon Age. The one monogamous story I created with two of my best friends for that fandom and my beloved character, Aiveana and her weird, emotionally charged relationship with Anders?

That, for me, is something indescribable and whenever I go back to that story to add bits and pieces here and there. (It’s so long from being finished, but it doesn’t matter to me, what matters is that I can keep on writing them forever and ever.) It’s like coming home after a long, tiring day. There is nothing like it.

What Advice Do You Have For FF Writers?

The Daily Fandom: Do you have any advice for newbie fanfic writers?

Kitteh: Write. Keep on writing, keep on typing out the words even if they’re not in the exact order or they don’t make as much sense as they do in your head. Write and write and have fun, find joy in stringing the sentences, in watching the characters run away from your carefully planned storyline. Remember you’re writing for you and the simple pleasure of writing. You don’t own anyone your words. They’re yours and for you, play with them, have fun with them. 

Kitteh: Marie Kondo, Netflix's Tidying Up.
Marie Kondo, Netflix’s Tidying Up.

Be your own Marie Kondo — if they don’t spark joy, don’t force yourself to keep it. Take a peek into fandom life – it can be scary, but underneath that scary façade, you’ll find people who are like you and who will help you open your eyes and heart to new chances and ideas and a whole new adventure of your life. And most of all, please, be kind to yourself – you’re there at the beginning and with each next word, you’ll learn how to write faster, prettier or whatever it is you want to write. Don’t be your harshest judge, don’t pick apart every single sentence and word. Believe me. We were all there where you are now.

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