fan fiction? If not, I recommend you sample some. I'll wait while you do:
Wattpad fan fiction
Fan fiction on iTunes
Fan fiction on Goodreads
Fan fiction on DeviantArt
Aw heck, just google "[your favourite fandom] fan fiction". B'lieve me, there's plenty out there. Rule 34c states, "If it exists, there is fan fiction of it."
Anyhoo, fan fiction are stories written in the imagined worlds of other authors. Frex, Harry Potter, Star Trek, My Little Pony and more. While much of it is written by some very amateur writers, some of it is amazingly well-written. Masterfully so. (More of my thoughts on fan fic.)
The one thing that unites these apprentices and unpublished pros is a solid love for the world in which they write. This love definitely shows in their work. Some of the best writing out there is found among the fan ficcers. These writers are writing the books they want to read. Granted, they're writing in the universes of books they already love, but writing more of the books that they want to read.
I had a brief conversation a couple of months ago with an agent. She was looking for writers who say about their own works, "It's the book I've always wanted to read."
Yeah. We've all got books like that. We've all got favourite books, ones we read over and over and over, of which we never grow tired. (Then we write fan fiction of it.)
But sometimes an author wants a particular kind of book. They want a book that scratches all the itchy spots. When the itch becomes too great, they write That Book, the book they really want to read.
I feel like that about Of The Dark. I feel like that about Her Endearing Young Charms and Let Sleeping Gods Lie.
They tick all my boxes. They quench all my thirsts. These are the books I love so much I had to write them.
Does that mean I write self-fan-fiction?
Her Grace can't wait to see what kind of fan fiction gets written about her stuff, and what kind of angles the fan ficcers (fictioneers?) will take. Meanwhile, go read others' fan fiction. It's fun.
P.S.: Happy EOFY, fellow Australians.