I Finished My Fantasy Game of Thrones Fan Fiction (At Least One of Them)

About two and a half years ago, I was paying attention to the final season of a really popular fantasy series on television known as Game of Thrones. I had been interested in the series for a while, but I was getting obsessed with the season and the ending of the series.

It was a weird situation. The television series that was based on George R.R. Martin’s book series was about ready to be done even though the book series itself wasn’t yet done (it still isn’t lol). So, the decision of how the series would end would rest largely in the hands of two TV producers (henceforth referred to, collectively, as 2D) who convinced Martin a decade or so back that they would take good care of his life’s work.

And they had done an all-right job. I loved the main story, its grittiness and the twists and turns behind it. The production design was fantastic and put me into this world of Westeros, and the casting to a person was spot on.

To be honest, the entire experience made me fall in love with the whole fantasy genre. It’s a wild situation, because I live in a world that’s so technologically advanced it looks like nothing in the pages of Martin’s books or what I saw on the screen. But I was falling in love with the world, and admiring the stories I had previously read. When I was in late elementary school, I had discovered The Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander and now, thirty or so years later, I was actually combing bookstores for a serviceable copy of The High King to see if it still held up. (Reader, it did.) That led to me starting (but yet to finish) The Lord of the Rings and be foolish enough to dip my toes into the deep ocean of story that is The Wheel of Time series. I would have to say that the entire experience was enough to propel my interest in fantasy fiction – one I half-fear, half-thrill at, will be what dominates my fiction writing interests moving forward.

Anyway, with that much of an impact on my fiction fandom, I was itching to see how it would all end up. And I was more than half dreading it, as well.

Because I knew about television series endings. Hollywood is starting to take ending television series a lot more seriously than the bad old days when they’d try to carry on a series forever until everyone got sick of it and they just canceled it with no concern about whether they ended it in the middle of a story or right after they got to a cliffhanger. I liked that they were trying to be civilized and try and consider a series to be part of a longer stories that could be told in just a couple or a few seasons, rather than rambling on and on with no concept of a finite story or making sense (looking at you, Simpsons and Supernatural after Season 5 or whatever it was). British television has managed to do that for years (except for Big Brother, Coronation Street, Eastenders etc.).

Getting that ending just perfect, however… a writer has to stick that landing/that ending right. Because when you stick that right, it can cover up a multitude of missteps along the way and make everything right in the end. Most people know those series – The Sopranos, The Shield, The Wire, Six Feet Under.

But the ones who screw it up, the ones that just foul up the last things devoted viewers loved about a series – their infamy is eternal. There are so many that fit that category. Lost and Dexter are just a couple of many.

(And I’m still not over the idiotic way they ended the second Battlestar Galactica series. Ancient humans colonizing Earth? Forget that nonsense. They did Adama, Apollo, and especially Starbuck dirty.)

I was desperately hoping that Game of Thrones would be one of the former types of series – the one with a great ending that overshadows everything – rather than the latter, the ones with horrible endings that poison all that came before it in regret. Guess which one it was. Go on, just guess.

It did not work out, Readers. [Photo by Ann H on Pexels.com]

Yes, in May of 2019, what I was feeling was an overwhelming sense of… disappointment, sadness, and frustration, watching what unfolded across the small screen. And finally… I started thinking.

I knew that I could do better than what I was seeing. I knew I could turn out something better than these idiots, and I didn’t need a $10 million per episode or whatever budget they had to do it.

So, I dipped my toe into the waters. I thought, what if I had one more season to salvage the wreckage that was left at the end of the series. The result was a 40,000-plus word story I decided to call “The Reunion of the Pack.” I didn’t know where I could post it – I tried to set something up on FanFiction.Net and I did have it there for a time. Then I discovered Archive Of Our Own. I really loved how you could set up the stories into separate chapters, series, and also the tagging system.

I was happy with what it was. It wasn’t a perfect story, but I thought it did a decent job of salvaging the story and getting a nice enough ending to it. I got a decent reaction from it, based on the number of kudos that I received (the AO3 version of likes)… but I was still a little unsettled. Was there a way I could make a better ending for the story?

That’s when I thought if I had the chance to rewrite the entire final season… that would be something. It would be crazy. but it would definitely be something.

And then I started writing. I just thought that it would take maybe 40 short chapters, maybe 60,000 words at the most. I figured I would knock it out in a year at the most.

I’ve now not only finished that story, but added some other stories to it and it is now a series. It’s a series that now spans over 400,000 words and is likely to top a half million words sooner than later. It’s not something that I’m ever going to make money on it, because, of course, fan fiction. And I’m doing fan fiction on an author (George RR Martin) that has gone on record speaking out against fan fiction authors. (Personally, I think it would be hilarious if someone started doing fiction based on my work as long as they’re not trying to cash in on it.)

And, I’m likely not to publicize it here. By that, I mean linking to the story and so forth.

For one thing, I am considering eventually monitizing some of the stuff on the site, and maybe utilizing Substack. So, I wouldn’t want to try and do anything that might hint at trying to make money at that.

Secondly, I am a teacher in the public schools. Right now around the country, there are people who are trying to get books banned and teachers fired from their positions for either daring to tell the truth about history in the United States or teaching materials their parents consider too “difficult” for their kids to handle.

My students know I am an author and blogger. I have never promoted my book The Holy Fool to my students because the subject matter is definitely for adults, and adult situations definitely happen in it. I know some of them have even glanced at this blog, which I have no problem with. This blog is a writing-based blog for all ages, essentially.

However, the fan fiction that I do is also not aimed at children. I do not want any hint that I might encourage kids to read my fiction. If it had a movie rating, it would definitely be an “R” rating. I want to keep this separate from my professional education life, and I have no reason to stir up the waters, to be honest.

Besides, this experience has proven to me that I can enjoy writing for the sake of writing. All throughout the process, I never had to think about whether there would be a market for whatever this was, whether it would be easy to promote under a certain genre, or whatever it is. I just got to enjoy writing for the sake of writing, and I have gotten such a positive response for my fiction from the readers on AO3. I’ve also had the chance to read some writing on that site that is absolutely the equal of any that have been on my bookshelves.

So, what now? Although I will not likely put out fan fiction at the rate I have been putting it out over the past couple years, I will certainly continue to do it. There are a few other stories I want to wrap up there before I’m done, and I’m having a blast at it. I’ve gotten great feedback on my work, and I’ve gotten to talk to writers I never would have met otherwise.

So, this will leave a little more time for this blog – and perhaps some original fiction as well. But I won’t

What I’m Working On: Start of 2020 edition

If there is one thing that I don’t have a problem with, it’s ideas about what to write about, at least from a fiction perspective.


I always had writing ideas, some good, some rubbish, that I’d play with in my head, work out, prewrite a couple years before committing them to an electronic file or paper. That and a lot of other hangups led me to a lot of procrastination.

At the start of this blog, I let readers know some of the things I’ve been working on. I think that it would be helpful to keep anyone reading this blog up to date about those projects, but it also helps me organize what’s going on with me, as well.

These projects cover several different genres and subjects. I have to say that I’ve always considered myself more of a genre writer than literary (and if anyone can let me know what makes a novel “literary,” I’d appreciate a definition because I have no idea what it is). Actually, I always worried about telling a good story more than playing around with words or whatever.

My Current Projects

  • Project A: This is a book about a young man who is a football player and the son of a famous college football coach who is also obsessed with soccer. I first got the idea to write about what I thought the first American Lionel Messi might be like and it turned into one of the richest characters I’ve ever written about.
    STATUS: Revised, proofread, and now ready to be shopped around.
  • Project B: This is a short novel about a young teen who shoots two of his classmates during a psychotic break. After five years imprisonment, he is looking to rebuild his life with the help of his brother, but former high school classmates start turning up dead around him…
    A former NaNoWriMo project, this is one of the shortest books I’ve written, around 50,000 words. I want to make this one nice and tight, not much longer than it is now, which I think will be a good plan for a thriller.
    STATUS: In the process of a major revision/”second rough draft.”
  • Project C: For someone who never messed around with poetry, the idea of me putting together a poetry collection is a real trip. The poetry enthusiasts of Writers On The Avenue in Muscatine were so much into poetry that I decided, starting around 2010 or so, to give it a whirl as well.
    This has led me into some interesting areas, and has been a way for me to connect to where I grew up. A big theme in this collection is the Mississippi River, how I’ve experienced it, and what it means to me. I first got the idea of this project well before I knew I was going to eventually leave the Mississippi River area, but I think it’s going to have more significance for me as I move on to other places. I don’t know if I’ll ever return to a town on the Mississippi, but I’d love to move near a big river or lake again some time. (People leaving their homes for various reasons appears to be a reoccurring theme in a lot of my work).
    I had originally decided to try to put this out as a whole project, but some recent advice from a poet I’ve met has convinced me to try and get some of these out individually. So I’m going to start looking into those markets, with the intention of getting those poems published and thus generating interest in the larger collection.
    STATUS: A full collection is only one-half to two-thirds finished.
  • Project F: This is the fantasy project I was inspired to write based on my Game of Thrones obsession. The basic theme that I’ve been playing around with is this: So, I started thinking of a scenario, of a new fantasy world, where civilizations representing the concepts of magic, chivalry, and science and progress would clash and face each other. The more that I’ve watched Game of Thrones and what they’ve done right and wrong, the more this idea of writing fantasy intrigues me, and it’s the genre that really has my undivided attention at the moment. I’ve started to look over fantasy map building sites and think about what these civilizations would be like.
    STATUS: Early planning stages.
  • Project D: This is the second fanfiction project I took on inspired by the debacle over the last season of Game of Thrones. I’m basically rewriting the entire eighth season to how I think it should have gone. I’m well over 100,000 words on the project and close to halfway through what I think the story will be as of this writing. Obviously I have no interest in monetizing this whatsoever. One of these days I’ll have to think more about why this story snagged my attention. Maybe it’s been keeping me sane with all of the changes I’ve been facing this past year.
    If you want to read what I’ve done so far, you can read this project here on Archive Of Our Own (AO3). My profile name on AO3 is librarysquatter.
    STATUS: Writing in progress.

Here’s two other projects that I am calling inactive due to my attention on the previous projects and my blog, but I’m still listing them.

  • Project R: A story of a fictional indie rock band and its history from the early 1980’s to the early/mid-1990’s, my love letter, so to speak, of the indie rock that caught my ear so many years ago. This will likely turn out to be a trilogy.
  • Project W: A thriller, just the germ of an idea. But, it’s pretty intense, pretty heavy material. This might wind up simmering for a while.

I set a lot of lofty goals for myself last year, but those crashed and burned for the most part. As I look back on the goals I set last summer, I completed one out of my six goals. I’m writing, but it’s tough getting things done otherwise. I’ll be moving to a new community soon and wrapping up my affairs in the old one, so there’s no telling what I will be able to What I think I need to do is make my goals longer term and more realistic for both what I want to accomplish, what I can get accomplished in the time I have, and frankly, what my track record is in getting things accomplished with my writing up to this point.

  • So, my goals:
  • Project A: Begin querying agents and publishers: Sometime during 2020, hopefully beginning in spring/summer/fall 2020.
  • Project B: Finish major redrafting of the rough draft (more of a second rough draft rather than a more focused revision): ?
  • Project C: None at this time.
  • Project F: None at this time, but I would like planning for this to continue when I have the chance.
  • Project D: Finish by summer 2020.
  • Project R: None at this time
  • Project W: None at this time

Also, remember that I already have a book out if you want to read my fiction.


It’s called The Holy Fool: A Journalist’s Revolt. It’s a journalism thriller years in the making, inspired by my past career as a journalist (I never did anything like what happens in the book, however, the world of journalism just inspired me), and I’m so happy that I’ve finally gotten it published. Get to the My Work page on this blog for all of the links if you want to find out more about it and (possibly?) buy it. But, there’s other ways you can support it, too.

Anyway, that’s what I’m working on. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask.

Writing Journal 9.8.2019: Plenty of writing, but slow progress on the OPs (original projects)

This week I took a mental break from my original projects (OPs for short) to start back on my new hobby of fanfiction. It wound up taking up a good majority of my writing efforts this week.

I’ve recently discussed where I’m at or not with the recent projects. This week I did the most with Project S2, I guess I’m calling it, and Project B. (Here’s the full list once again.)

The one thing I might say is how I’m seeing FF as opposed to my OPs. Writing is a part of me, a part that is central to my identity as almost any part of me or my personality. I see my OPs as my art, the way for me to express myself creativity.

As for FF, I see that as more like a hobby than art. Obviously I don’t intend to monetize any of those writings, but I do want people to read them, enjoy them, and give me feedback on them. I love telling stories, even if they’re variations on those told by others. And it’s also another way for me to flex my writing muscles, which is good for me.

Three items:

  • I included another shot of one of my bookcases for the featured photo today. Give me a shoutout if you see one of your favorites
  • The stats for last week:

+10,863 words written.Days writing: 7 of 7.

Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 30 total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 7 of 7 days.

  • Long story short, more writing and less revising from last week, and I’m keeping things consistent.
    I’m looking for a good professional proofreader, especially someone who lives in Iowa. If you are one of those or know one of them, reach out to me – I’d appreciate it.

Deadlines Whooshing By: A quick report on the projects and deadline progress (Hint: not as much as I wanted)

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

Midweek post = before midnight on Friday

– according to me

OK, a couple of months ago, I set some “tentative” (lies) deadlines for some of the projects that I have been working on for the past year or so. (Check the link in the last sentence if you want an explanation of what those projects are.) Earlier this week, I promised to give you an update regarding those goals. Consider yourselves updated after this, everyone.

The Projects:

  • Project A, begin querying agents and publishers: Sometime in early-mid summer 2019 [LIES end of 2019].
    I think I was hoping for one more revision on this, and I did manage to get through that this summer. But I have not started making submissions. I need to figure out my method of looking up and setting up potential submittees, some sort of database. I also need to get a pro proofreader to look at it so I’m not missing anything. That has to be something I invest in, as well as copyright issues.
  • Project B, finish major redrafting of the rough draft (more of a second rough draft rather than a more focused revision): End of summer [LIES] 2019.
    I was honestly surprised recently I made more headway on this. I need to do a lot more on the revision, and I need to force my way through that and getting a proofreader for this shorter project. I still think it’s doable.
  • Project C, finishing creating rough draft poems: End of 2019.
    Got a couple of more poems, but I think I might start submitting poems individually after I find some possible outlets, especially local/regional ones.
  • Project F: None at this time, but I would like planning for the project to be well underway by the end of 2019.
    Can’t blow a deadline if you haven’t reached it yet.
  • Project S: Maybe posted by the end of the month 6.2019 (tentative) 8.2019 [COMPLETED]
    This got finished up in August and I was very much surprised at the positive reaction I got on the fanfiction sites for this. It will never be a paying gig, but as a hobby and writing exercise, it’s really intriguing to me.
    (There is now a Project S2 in the works. Yes, I am nuts.)
  • Project R: None at this time.
  • Project W: None at this time.

Forgive me, Internet citizens?

I’ll check in later.


OK, I Actually Wrote Fan Fiction

Saturdays on my writing Facebook and Twitter pages are #SciFiFantasySaturday. I usually post cool stuff I’ve read about the science fiction and fantasy genres. Growing up, they were among my favorite things to read or watch on television or the cinema. So, I figured I might post this tonight, even though I’m posting late again like the social media people advise me not to do.

As I mentioned previously, the final season of Game Of Thrones did not leave me happy. As a result of that, I found myself looking over several different fan fiction reinterpretations of that final season.

What I was impressed with was the volume of people doing this. When I ran across more than 4,000 examples of a particular type of stories, that blew my mind. I always read the cliches about fan fiction being the breeding ground of bad writing. But in a world where I keep hearing that writers and the written word are eventually going to die out, I keep seeing example after example of people who love to write and want to blend their love of why they’ve read and watched into their writing. Why shouldn’t that be encouraged as long as people acknowledge what they are doing and don’t try to profit from other people’s copyrights?

So, I finished Project S, my previously-named epilogue to the Game of Thrones TV series. I called it The Reunion Of The Pack. It takes place three years after the events of the series finale. It shows what happens when Arya Stark returns to Westeros after sailing around the world and learns how her family and friends have adjusted to the new order of things.

After posting on FanFiction.Net and Archive Of Our Own (AO3), I decided to let you know about it here. As on Reddit, my username on both FF and AO3 is librarysquatter.

It’s here that I will make a standard announcement that this work is absolutely inspired by the writing of George R.R. Martin and the writers of the TV series. I have no interest in monetizing this story in any way. I did it solely to entertain myself and hopefully anyone who reads it.

This process has inspired me to do a few different things. I now feel compelled to write a total redo of Season 8. This is not going to be a short-term or even a high priority project for me, but I am going to do it. I’ll likely post it on FF and AO3, but my question will be about format and timing. I definitely do not want to take away from my other projects like my original fantasy project, known as Project F.

But, yeah, this is a thing. Go ahead and read it if you’d like.

The Reunion Of The Pack (AO3)