Contrary to what a lot of people think, fan fiction's a great way to get started. A lot of authors got started that way, myself included. I started out writing original fiction, fell into fan fiction, and then went back to original works. I'm still a part of a couple of sites and I love going there and seeing what's happening. Fan fiction's a great way for people to hone their craft, have some fun, and meet like minded people. It's a chance for people who wouldn't normally write to write and be creative. However, after several years in the fan fiction world, there's a few things I've learned. Here's one of them.
Change it up
Often you'll see the same thing written a million times by a million different authors. Is there safety in writing the same thing over and over? Is it a way to blend in with the crowd and not draw attention from people who may not like your writing? If you look at any particular fandom, you'll often see the same two main characters doing the same thing again and again. How do you get out of that pattern?
Change it up. Think outside the box and do something different. For example, I can't write straight up romance for shit. It has to have a twist or some crazy subplot. If I'm given a romance prompt, I can't do it. I just implode. My brain isn't wired that way. Instead, I take that prompt, hug it close, and run in completely the opposite direction.
So how do you change it up?
I'm going to get murdered for this, but let's take a current popular fandom.
Sherlock (For the record, I'm using the current TV series rather than the books).
Sherlock and John share their first kiss.
(Put your weapons down!! I write gay fiction. What else did you expect me to do?!?!)
Change it up
It happens just as nuclear war is breaking out and they only have minutes to share their innermost thoughts and feelings.
Change it up again
It takes place in a bunker and they're watching as missiles begin to launch towards their intended targets.
Change it up yet again
One of the missiles is heading straight for the bunker and no one knows if the structure will hold.
Of course there is! Ask yourself questions as you go along. What are they doing there in the first place? Were they trying to halt what was happening? Did they have answers? Could they have stopped it?
You can apply this to pretty much anything if you find you're in a funk and writing to a formula (like I am right now. Burn out ain't fun!). Most of all, make it fun. Writing's supposed to be fun and not a chore. And fan fiction's supposed to be super fun!!
Take care, have fun, and keep writing!