Force, Fanfic, Flash and Flash

My upcoming sf/cop/farce novel, FORCE OF HABIT, began as a Star Trek (TOS) fanfic story, published in Devra Langsam’s fanzine, MasiformD. Fanfic, in case you don’t know, is fiction written by fans, using the characters and/or world of a copyrighted work.

Fanfic can be placed on a continuum running from “exactly like an episode the writer didn’t write” to “I’m wearing my mommy’s high heels and I am the STAR”. Mine was somewhere in the middle, leaning slightly to my mommy’s high heels.

Now, taking a piece of fanfic and turning it into original fiction is called filing off the serial numbers. And THAT can fall on a continuum running from “same car, no serial number” (changing all the names) to “run that sucker through a chop shop and give it a paint job” (keep the basic plot and your own characters and change as much of the rest as possible). Mine is so close to the chop-shop end, its origins would probably be undetectable to anyone who didn’t know. Sometimes I forget, myself.

Flash is flash fiction, occasionally defined as up to 2,000 words, but more often 1,000, 500, 100 or fewer (fewer, children–not “less”–“fewer”). I write it (see the Hot Flashes tab above). Love it.

Flash is also the design of a tattoo. If you go into a tattoo parlor, you can look through books of flash to pick the tattoo you want. I have no tattoos, because I have a very low pain threshold, but I love tattoos. I get fake ones sometimes. I just joined Second Life, and my avatar is going to get some. Free, of course, because, you know, it’s me. People with tattoos are usually good guys in my books and stories, because most of the people I’ve met in real life with tattoos have been good people.

WRITING PROMPT: Does your main character have any tattoos? What does he/she think about them? Write a scene in which he/she meets someone with a lot of multi-color tattoos.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Force, Fanfic, Flash and Flash

  1. Summer Ross

    April 7, 2011 at 10:04am

    Love the writing prompt- I’ll see what i can do about wipping a scene up later today!

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 7, 2011 at 5:18pm

      Summer, thanks for the kind words. πŸ™‚ Enjoy writing the scene!

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  2. Jane

    April 7, 2011 at 10:09am

    Hi. I like Fan Fiction, too. Especially when my Friend Fills me into the FanFic within my having to lift a Finger. Lets hear it for Rosie and Tetra.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 7, 2011 at 5:19pm

      Hey, Tetra, my friend! πŸ™‚ I will see you tomorrow, Lord willing and the creek does not rise. πŸ˜‰

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  3. Nancy Williams

    April 7, 2011 at 12:21pm

    Hi Marian:
    I’m not a tattoo person. It bugs me to see them, or I should say, those people who have an entire limb tattooed. I think it is because I’m an artist who loves purity of form.

    But I do like flash fiction. Until I started blogging, I didn’t think I could write short fiction. Now I know that my writing has greatly improved just from having a blog and forcing myself to think in short terms.

    I found a blog I think you would love, called Yes, another food blog #1134 on Alex’s A-Z linky.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 7, 2011 at 5:20pm

      Nancy, my entire family is like you. I don’t know where my love of body art came from! Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll be sure to check that out, if I haven’t already. πŸ™‚

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