Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Welcome to John Goode: The Evil that dares not be named

I love John for many reasons, not least of which is the insight he gave me into being a young, gay man, struggling with the uncertainties of a hostile society, on top of dealing with a hormone-laden body wanting to get out there and party! 

Welcome John.

The Evil that dares not be named


How I learned to write fan fiction and ended up loving it

I honestly think there should be a group out there for writer's of male love so that we can unburden ourselves with the guilt we all share. No not the guilt that we love seeing hot guys get it on, I mean duh! If straight guys can get off on two skanks making out in a bar then we are allowed to enjoy two hot ass guys trying to swallow each others faces if we want. No I am talking about the other shame we all silently bear.

We all love to write fan fiction.

Be it Harry Potter or Merlin or the Winchesters, we all have a desire to put our words in their mouth (and boy didn't that sound dirtier than I meant) and there is nothing we can do to stop it. I remember my first time, I stupid little piece that I tossed up on Livejournal in the middle of the night. Half drunk, coming off of another night of not being able to express my own story into words, I scribbled down a scene with Sam and Dean and just went for it.

It felt so good!

I was ashamed of course the next day, the harsh sun on your face has a way of bringing back the past night's mistake in a way you can't avoid. I ignored the story, wrote it off as a moment of weakness and some much earned experimentation that all writers go through. This didn’t mean I was a “slash” writer. I was just, drunk and lonely. That's all, nothing more.

Then I did it again.

This time I went further, bold from my previous outing I wasn't the shy, tentative little boy who stood there before. I went all at it, making the boys do things that no show would put on the air. They were my puppets and I pulled their strings hard, very hard. I got a few comments and was flush with victory and I understood instantly how addictive this lifestyle was.

I lost myself in it.

I wrote over 100k of Supernatural fanfiction in a year. Some sexual, some not. Some more inventive than others, but all of it squarely stories I wanted to see. I concentrated on them as kids, not sexually, but in general. I found since there wasn't much told about their childhood there was more of an open field for it. I didn't buy the “As soon as the cameras were off they were gay” kind of thinking that some writers loved. I liked writing inside the constraints of the told story and I liked it a lot. Soon I had no less than three actual verses out there, people commenting like mad for me to do another chapter of this or that and NOW.

I loved it since no one was screaming at me to finish my actual writing, this counted as something right? I mean SOMEONE was liking my writing?

Or were they?

I read other stories and I found the characterizations wildly out of place, the plots absurd and sometimes the entire story wasn't even recognizable as the show. Yet there were five times the comments that I had gotten on my piece and I couldn't figure out why. I knew I lived in a glass house so no way I was chucking the first stone, but I watched other writers and wondered “Why do people like their stuff so much?”

Which of course lead to “Why do people like my stuff at all?”

I stopped writing fanfiction, going cold turkey as it was until I could settle out what was wrong with my life. I had spent the last three years writing as many episodes of Supernatural than was in the first three seasons of the show combined. I had made a fake journal for Dean that covered his adventures from when he dropped Sam off at college to the end of season three. I essentially rewrote three seasons of Supernatural, not including the years before the show started. What had happened? Where was MY book? My stories? I went back and looked at what I had written and realized, I didn't recognize anything at all as my own.

My words had become Kripke's, my voice sounded more like Jensen Ackles than me. I had become what I had feared the most when I started. I was a fanfiction junkie.

I saw friends of mine, all of them fanfiction writers them selves, getting published left and right and yet here I was on a daily schedule writing words for characters I didn't make. I had to wonder, was I so greedy for praise that I would take a few dozen comments on a blog rather than actually try to write something original and take the chance? What was my end goal? Was I thinking that the CW was going to read one my stories and ask me on the writing team? Like I was some modern day Lana Turner just sitting there, waiting to be discovered writing in a Starbucks? I was stuck, I didn't want to stop writing my stories but if I was going to ever be a writer, I needed to do something else.

So a friend of mine shot me a link to Dreamspinner's anthology submission page.

Basically they print a quarterly anthology of stories all based on a theme. The one I chose was First Times and wrote a short story about a nerd who wanted nothing more than to be invisible in high school and how his crush on a local jock changed both their lives. It wasn't Sam nor Dean, wasn't supernatural, wasn't anything but plain old fashioned me.

And they bought it.

Here I am a year later, and the full novel based on that short story is coming out on Oct. 19th, the sequel is to be released December 7th and the third book is almost finished. I just got another short story published in the Christmas anthology that is based in the same universe but features different characters, and I have a feeling that they might get a book of their own sooner or later.

I am on my way to being a writer.

So, my point?

Oh crap I needed a point? Ok lemme try this one.

Fanfiction gave me the courage to write something and put it out there to be read. I had more than a few people bash me as a horrible writer, a waste of space and one person said I was hands down the worst SPN writer on Livejournal. And yet I still wrote. It gives you the sense of dealing with people who will and will not like your work and it gets you in the schedule of actually writing on purpose a lot. This is good, very good. If you can only write when you are “in the mood” then you have a problem because a writer has to be able to write when they need to, or else it is just a hobby. It is a muscle that needs to be trained and fanfiction as good of starting workout as any. But like with every crutch, it can help you walk and then stop you from walking properly.

You have to know that you are better than that, better than just writing someone else's characters. You have the ability to make your own worlds, characters, voices and even story lines. You CAN do it and you must. It is the only way you will take that next step. Trust in yourself and in your words, you are more than you think.

And then, when you are stymied, go back and whittle off a Sam and Dean story for fun. There is nothing saying that you can't enjoy in moderation. After all, you never forget your first love.

Hi, I'm John and I'm a slash writer.

(You say Hi John! Back to me)

Hi John.

So what are we writing today?

Blurb: Blurb

Kyle has worked hard at being the invisible student, toiling through high school in the middle of Nowhere, Texas. Brad is the baseball star at Foster High. Both boys are damaged in ways that the rest of the world can’t see. When they bond over a night of history tutoring, Kyle thinks that maybe his life has taken a turn for the not-so-lonely.
He finds out quickly that the promise of fairy-tale love is a lie when you’re gay and falling for one of the most popular boys in school, and if being different is a sin in high school, then being gay is the biggest sin of all. Now Kyle and Brad need to come to an understanding amidst the scrutiny of their peers or their fledgling relationship will crash and burn before it ever gets off the ground.

John Goode was found in the back of a garden shed originally, and lured out by candy, he was raised on Elm Street before moving due to a rare sleep disorder. After taking off with a few friends to find a dead body, he attended Sherman High School majoring in absenteeism. Dropping out of college to work at the Gap, he struggled on perfecting his karaoke version of "Conjunction Junction" before moving on. He worked several odd jobs, first as a clerk at a record store that was open till midnight, moving to garbage collector with his brother, and then he finally decided on being a convenience store clerk who complained a lot that he wasn't even supposed to be there that particular day. He lives with a talking cartoon dog or cat or three squirrels and has possibly ingested far too much pop culture over the years.

Or he is this guy who lives in this place and writes stuff he hopes you read. John discovered M/M erotica when he heard himself describing what he had done the previous night.

And contact information is and John Goode on Goodreads where my writing blog is:

1 comment:

  1. I'm another male writer of m/m who had a story published by Dreamspinner press. I also used to write slash and I'm proud of it.