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Oh. My. God.

**Updated with a link to Wicked Wednesday #200–The Best. I think this is the best post I’ve written on Delilah Night.***

If you can, I’d advise you to watch the video because I actually tell the story, but if you don’t, there’s a written version below.  They’re a bit different in a word or phrase here and there, so pick your medium.  Be aware that there are some NSFW moments (I’m talking about erotic fanfic), so headphones or no kids around are advised.

 

**I first told this at a Singapore Story Slam in September 2014***

In early 2001 I was a college senior.  I hadn’t written anything besides essays and research papers in years and I was feeling burnt out.  Around this time, an ex boyfriend introduced me to the world of online fan fiction, online erotica, and online erotic fan fiction.  I read through some, and my takeaway was “Pshaw, I can do that.”

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 4.14.07 pm

In Fall 1987 a tv show called Star Trek: The Next Generation began to air.  Wil Wheaton played Wesley Crusher.  Wesley Crusher was an obnoxious, know it all teenager –not even a member of the crew–who often saved the ship with his high school science projects.  He was not terribly beloved the adult fanbase.  I was 9, and I thought Wesley Crusher was the coolest, smartest person ever…because I’m a nerdy, bookish kind of girl, and he made it seem like nerdy bookish kids could rise up and be the hero.  By the time he stopped being a series regular4 years later I was 13 and my hormones had kicked in.  Some girls had Kirk Cameron, or Keanu Reeves, or New Kids on the Block, or Christian Slater as their imaginary boyfriend.  Me?  Wesley Crusher.  I had the Wesley Crusher ST TNG official trading card hanging in my locker.  But he left the show, and I stopped following his career because I was all about Wesley, not Wil.

Back to 2001.  The deadline on my undergraduate thesis was fast approaching, so naturally I decided that there was no time like the present to write some Wesley Crusher fanfic.  So I do.  It was worse than you’re imagining.  Yes, I wrote myself into the story.  Yes, I described certain attributes in great detail.  Clichés.  Clichés as far as the eye can see.  With 13 years of perspective, I can tell you that it was a truly truly terrible story.  But as a rank beginner, I had no idea how bad this story was.

I was really proud of it.  So I posted it online.

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 10.33.35 pm

I keep writing and posting erotica, as I really like it and  it’s a really good distraction from the big questions like “What the hell am I going to do with a degree in history?”

One day, about a year later, I log onto the website and there’s a message waiting for me.

“Did you know you’re linked on FARK.com?”

FARK.com?  What’s a FARK.com?    So I go to Fark.com.  It’s  a website-that lists dozens of links every day, each with a tag and a one line description.  You click on the link and there’s the content and a comment thread.  Remember how I said I hadn’t followed Wil Wheaton’s career post TNG?  Yeah, if I had, I might have known that he was really active in the online geek community.  Including posting and commenting on FARK, where he was so well regarded that he merited his own tag of “Wheaton.”

Wheaton: Idiot fangirl writes terrible Wesley Crusher fanfic (I don’t recall the exact one line description but close enough)

I click the tag and there’s a page with my story, and below it are HUNDREDS of comments.

The first rule of surviving the internet is NEVER READ THE COMMENTS.

So I’m reading the comments. While there are a few kind words here and there, the overwhelming majority are not.  But they’re mean in a 2001 internet way, and not in a 2014 internet mean way.

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 12.36.02 pm

 

So I’m scrolling, and I’m reading, and I’m cringing.

Then I see it. 

There is a comment from the verified Wil Wheaton account

Oh.

My.

God.

 

In that moment, I want nothing more than the earth to swallow me whole.   “No.  Nonononono.  Oh shit.  nooooo.”

I debate creating an account to try and defend myself.  To explain that it’s NOT ABOUT WIL, IT’S ABOUT WESLEY.  But I don’t.  Because while I was dumb enough to post the story online (which, meh, tons of people do), and dumb enough to follow the link on Fark.com, and dumb enough to read the comments, I’m not THAT dumb.

After a few days, the link is pushed off the homepage by newer links.  Then I requested that they remove it, and they did.  I survive the experience in relative anonymity.  Thank god for screennames.

In a twisted way, the fact that I could ever want to write another word of erotic fiction, even erotic fanfiction after Wil Wheaton found out about my story meant that I must really love writing erotica.  Which I do.  So I keep writing, and I get better, and eventually I become a professional erotica author.

As a writer, I can tell you that submitting a story to an editor is a nerve-wracking experience.  You never know what they’re going to say.

But there’s one thing I know they won’t say…

Oh.

My.

God.

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 12.31.17 pm

**A few postscript notes***

  • I can’t emphasize enough how BAD this story was
  • Fark took down the story when I finally thought to ask them to do so
  • I feel bad for any embarrassment it may have caused Wil
  •  “Oh. My. God.” is not nearly as bad as what he could have justifiably commented.
  • I’m over Wesley (because I’m 36 and ick) and no, I’m not writing fanfic anymore.  I try to keep my fangirling to characters like Josh Lyman from West Wing, or Sandy from Alison’s book’s Those Boys and Those Girls, or other fictional characters.
  • I did my best to scrub THAT STORY (and everything written prior to my published days) from the internet.  Please don’t try to go digging it up.   No one needs to see that.  There’s plenty of bad erotic fanfic (including Wesley Crusher stuff) for you to read now without finding my skeletons in the closet
  • I have a lot of respect for Wil and am glad for all the work he’s done on discussing things like net neutrality,  cyber bullying, and that it’s ok to be a geek and to own it.

wicked wednesday

 

22 Responses

  1. This made me laugh in a cringing share-your-pain sort of way. Love that you’re being so open about it. 🙂

  2. Even though I write about sex a lot, my few attempts to actually write sex have been so cringe inducingly bad, I’ve spared the world the agony of ever reading them.

    There is a world of difference between writing sex and writing about sex, and I’ll stick to doing the one I’m (questionably) better at.

    Katie xx

    • You’re totally right. I have trouble writing non-fiction, which is why I dropped out of my PhD program–it was too hard not to insert myself (pun intended) into my writing.

  3. Delilah, I LOVE this story! For one thing, it gives all those of us still wallowing in pre-publication hope, because after all, look at you now! Plus, it’s kind of cute, and horrifying, and definitely funny. I’m trying to imagine Wil’s face when he read it. I hope he took it as complimentary, if not at first, then perhaps later.

  4. It’s weird, so many people come to erotic writing through fanfic and I went the other way ’round. i do some Avengers fanfic in my (haha) copious spare time when i really just do not want to do my actual, paying work.

    Of course, these days, fanfic has 1) improved a lot and 2) is actually pretty damn common

  5. […] As a Sci-Fi fan, I leapt at the chance to participate in Coming Together:Among the Stars. While a fan of Lynn Townsend’s prior to participating in this anthology, I credit it as the catalyst to our friendship. If you read my story “Love is a Virus,” you won’t be surprised to know that I’m a huge Trekkie. (For the story of that one time Wil Wheaton saw my horrible TNG fanfic, go here). […]

  6. […] I recently spent some time with my “Literotica” folder of work. These are stories I wrote in my first few years of writing erotica, circa 2001-2003. I’ve talked about my horrible, cliché-riddled Star Trek: The Next Generation fanfic (and when… […]

  7. By the end of this I had a huge smile on my face. We all have our embarrassing moments, right? Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Rebel xox

  8. […] is "The Best"– for me, it's that time Wil Wheaton saw my Wesley Crusher fanfic. delilahnight.com/2014/09/15/oh-… […]

  9. I love how you shared this story, the embarrassment and all. I like the honesty and how we have or may all be there one day, and may not feel so alone in that emotion because you were considerate enough to share.

  10. Ahhh the things that come back to haunt us. I am rather glad that my early erotic fiction writing was done with pen and paper or on a word-processing computer that was no linked to the internet. The result is they are long gone into history.

    I can totally see how at the time this was skin crawlingly horrendous but I am glad to read that now you can look back on it and laugh.

    MOllyxxx

  11. I loved this. I think writing terrible fan fic (hello, Gary Barlow) is probably how a few of us got into the genre (I did!) and while it was awful, that’s a good enough reason not to regret it!

    • So many of us definitely do.

      If I had any free time, I would probably still write some. I totally ‘ship Barry from the Flash and Kara from Supergirl after their crossover episode last week. After the episode ended with Kara making a move on the guy she’s been crushing on, I turned to my husband and said “I need to write Barry/Kara fanfic.”

  12. This had me giggling and cringing with you.

    Velvet x

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