Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Whatever happened to FictionLyn?

In Spring of 2000, my friend Aja sent me an email with a link to a website. It was my introduction to fan fiction and more specifically N'SYNC fan fiction. I began to read a chapter of a story about an ordinary girl who somehow met the group and one fo the guys fell for her and she for him and things happened. Drama and hilarity and romance ensued. Initally, I wasn't impressed. It seemed so contrived, so formulamatic, so ridiculous. I can remember sitting my/Garry's bedroom in Moraga, writing Aja a resonse that somewhat expressed that. And then I promptly forgot about FictionLyn.

About a month later, Aja came to visit me in CA and "No Strings Attached" dropped and we both went from N'SYNC fans to some form of fanatics, as did a large chunk of the 12-24 year old women of America. We bought tickets to their tour stop mid-June in Portland and by summer, I'd moved back to Vancouver and we were reunited. The summer of 2000 (Summer of N'SYNC Lovin' as I will forever think of it as) began. Aja met this girl online named Lauren and soon she became our third leg in our pop music loving tripod. When I asked Aja how she'd met Lauren online, she told me again about FictionLyn and this entire discussion forum linked from her website. All of these N'SYNC/fan fiction people hung out there and chatted about stories, pop culture, shared pictures of the guys and other various pop/celebutants, as well as their own personal lives and such. It was there that Aja and Lauren had connected and made plans to meet offline. Lauren was awesome, so I was quick to log on, sign up and discover that the world of fan fiction wasn't just this one chick who called herself FictionLyn. There were so many websites with all these people trying their hand at writing and living out a fantasy on paper - or rather, on the computer screen.

Of course, I had to try my own hand at it. I mean, I was in college to become a novelist. It was so up my alley. Yes, I had a website. Yes, it is still online (why, I don't know. I'm lazy.) No, I will not link it. And while it may not have had the following that FictionLyn did, where hundreds of girls waited with baited breath for the next chapter to be posted, I'd say my stories were pretty damn good. And at least five people were on my update email list.

The thing about FictionLyn was that she hid behind her pseudonym. Sure, she'd post on the forum, she'd respond to people's questions and comments, she'd even got as fas as to personally email you and if you struck her right, she'd even name a (minor) character after you (ME), but no one really knew her. Lauren not only was a fan and a phenominal writer herself, but she was also a moderator on the FictionLyn forum. She knew FL better than anyone that I knew and she still didn't know all that much. You have to remember that this was 2000. It was before 9/11, before Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, before camera phones, iTunes and iPods and everyone having their own digital camera. It was a time for avatars and homemade graphics, Napster was in it's hayday, and a whole lot of Photoshop love. We all hid, to a certain extent, behind our screen names, mostly because we didn't have the courage or the means to post pictures of ourselves. But she was FictionLyn. If anyone I knew should be posting at least one picture of herself on her page, it was her. And she did, occasionally, but they were generally pictures from her childhood - brown and faded and fuzzy - just how I imagine the 1970's were.

She was a mystery, which definitely added to her allure, but also made it easy for her to walk away when she was done. It also helped to support the fantastical world that her sagas (because, truly, that was what they were) created. Her stories, like all the really good ff stories, took these unobtainable, unreachable celebrities that we drooled over, dreamt of and dedicated hours of ourselves to and made them a bit more tangible. Well-built imagery could put you in that room with JC as he leaned it for that ever-so-sweet first kiss and make nearly grown women swoon.

FictionLyn wrote four or five stories. Painstakingly perfected sagas that she wrote drafts of and edited and typed up herself and posted. And then, she was done. She tried to move from fan fiction stories that included our beloved boyband to stories based entirely on the fictional characters she'd created to support her stories. I don't know if she ever finished that story. Her stories remained online for awhile, but they were taken down. FictionLyn faded away, as did the group of N'SYNC and the FictionLyn forum turned into a community sounding board for the diehards that never left and the newbies who caught on at the tailend of it all. I personally was sucked into my sophomore year of college and my relationship with Z and drifted away myself. I can't even remember how to find the forum.

I started reading Twilight this week and though I am only a handful of chapters in so far, I am enthralled. The feelings the author stirs up with her imagery and first person narration already has me twitterpatted and last night, as lounged in my bubble bath, I was there. I could feel what Bella was feeling and blush at the idea of a devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful boy staring at me. Rescuing me. Suddenly making an unbearable place interesting and somewhat worthwhile. Three chapters in and I am already sad there are only four books.

I feel that an amazing author is someone who can create a world that I would want to live in. And my favorites have all done that. I tried to explain this sensation once to Aja, but she didn't grasp what I was trying to tell her. And though I fancy myself a writer, I still to this day, have yet to be able to describe it. But between the imagery and the storyline and the setting itself, my favorites are the ones that make me want move in. Envelope myself inside it's world - regardless of what sorts my personal life is in. Lisa Carey does this nearly every novel of her's she's written. Judy Blume did it in Summer Sisters. And Stephenie Meyer is totally doing it with her Twilight series.

I never knew FL's full name. For all I know, she has a Facebook or a Myspace page. She could be married now, with kids and a dog or she could still be living with her cats, teaching school and hopefully looking for "Mr. Right". Does anyone know whatever happened to FictionLyn?


  1. im proud of you my dear, cant wait to see what you come up with. You have a way with words and you understand people...not its not just that you understand but that you can find the words to show how well you understand. Thats one of the many things that make you so wonderful

  2. Whether you know it or not, you have an amazing gift for words and a way to reach deeply into someone's heart. You reached deeply into mine, and that is saying a lot because when I left the fan fiction world...I left it for good. Someone sent me this link, someone who felt it would inspire me, and it definitely has.

    Where is FictionLyn? Somedays I look at myself in the mirror and wonder where she is as well. Where is the woman who wrote stories that even I can't remember putting down on the computer. I remember the hours logged and the passion, but there are times that I look in disbelief and wonder where it came from. A period of my life when creativity was an obsession and I couldn't get the words out fast enough.

    Now stories write themselves in my mind and I am fighting the struggle every day to begin true fiction or just to keep them replaying over and over in my mind.

    The keyboard scares me and I don't know how to get over that fear.

    One day I'll open that side of my brain again, and I only hope to have blogs like this to inspire me as you have. I'm very honored to have been the topic of this unbelievable writing piece.

    (Feel free to email at if you want verification that it's me.)

  3. Not even sure how I found this, but it's well written. And Lyn's comment is fantastic. She's really something, isn't she?

  4. well said. i dont think she'll (fictionlyn) everknow how MANY ppl she effected with her intricately laced words. I started reading fictionlyn in hs and waited IMPATIENTLY throughout my college days for an update. When she eventually decided to stop and take down the stories I was shocked/bummed/pissed she didnt finish the third story in the saga mainly because she left it at a point where the story could literally go anywhere and the characters could do anything, feel anything.

    I too was getting older, demands of a job and real relationships began to push in on my escape route, the fiction. plus, it didnt help that THE BAND BROKE UP! so like a good little reader I copy and pasted the stories on to my computer and hoped that eventually either Id come up with a satisfatory ending on my own, or FICTIONLYN would be back bigger and badder and better than ever.

    well, i really dont know how it happened, but FICTIONLYN has survived 4 different computers and a major crash and is still on my harddrive to this day. somehow when the computer guy would say "hey is this important?" i just never had the guts to say no. i hadnt read thru any of the stories since 2003 but when i started reading 'twilight' my 26 year old self did a little happy dance remembering where I had last felt the pull of a character that I wanted to be more than life itself. :)

    today, i work for a TV program that FICTIONLYN followed the guys to in the JT saga (it was one of the best parts of the saga!) i still smile when i see the episode!

  5. I remember when i was 17 and she anounced she was taking down her site. I stayed up all night downloading the chapters on my slow dial-up computer but it was worth it.. Fictionlyn was what got me addicted to fanfiction.

  6. I was trying to explain to a friend who FictionLyn was, as I'd just confessed that I'd written NSYNC fan fiction back in the day, and after googling, came upon this post. I, too, was a member of that messageboard, and still keep in contact with a person I met there. I often wonder what some of the other members are up to now, but as you said, it was back when everyone could remain anonymous. If you frequented that board, I'm sure I came across your posts, or you came across mine.

    I am glad I found this post, as it brought me back to the time in my life when I'd wait up for the updates. The excitement of NSYNC itself, combined with the personalities on that messageboard, left me fond memories of that time in my life - early college.

    (aka pizzagirl20 from the FC)

  7. Fictionlyn keeps a journal under the name stubborn_me at

  8. I'll never forget the moment I was introduced to FictionLyn, my sister told me about her and I soon fell into her path onto the JBB. It was like all us girls and guys, were a family through Lyn's words. I still have all the stories on a floppy(yes a floppy!) from when she shut down the site and I sometimes will go back and read the stories because it's memories of excitement when a new chapter was posted. I remember printing out chapters and bringing them to school to read during class and all my friends laughing at me histerically but soon enough I had some of them on the band wagon with me and my sister and our new "family."

    God bless Lyn with a gift and I hope her all the best from the past and from the future. Thank you for the years of excitement.


  9. Wow. Reading this amazing post and the responses from people and fictionlyn have taken me back in time, i'd guess by a decade. I have so many great memories from sitting at the computer for hours on end reading lyn's stories. I was so encompassed in the whole nsync/bsb world and to this day i miss it and try to hold on to it! After 13 long years i finally just got to meet the backstreet boys (4 out 5 of them hehe). Over the years i've never forgotten about lyn and had been hoping she'd been published!

  10. This post and these comments actually made me tear up a little. Brings me back to a really great time in my life (not that now isn't great...just a different kind of great) friends, nsync fanfiction, trading photos and videos through the mail...I loved fictionlyn's stories and she inspired me to try writing FF. This is sort of embarrassing since I'm not much older but in the last few years I've become a major fan of the Jonas Brothers and delved back into the fanfiction world and it made me remember fictionlyn and days gone by. Maybe I'm just emotional right now I don't know but it makes me happy to know other people remember those times too!

  11. Wow i did a search for "fictionlyn" cause something made me remember her stories. I used to stay up all hours reading them! I still have yet to read anything where i am lost in the story like that. I wondered what happened to her as if it was an old friend! It was sooo many years ago...i miss those days! That was a good time in my life, now i'm married and fixing to bring a baby into the world so i might be alittle emotional! :)

  12. I love FictionLyn's stories. I actually just finished rereading the one about Maitlyn. The others won't load though. Does anyone have them? I'd really like to read them again.
    If you do, my email is

  13. I'm sitting at my desk at work, it's 9:30 am and I had a complete random moment of "what ever happened to FictionLyn?" I'm really amazed to see that other people have had these same moments! It's mind blowing to me to see how many people her stories touched.
    I was in 8th and 9th grade when I became a die hard FictionLyn fan. I would stay up to extreme late hours to wait for chapter updates and to read every word carefully. I lost myself in FL's stories and remember being confused sometimes when watching Nsync on TV, wondering where Miranda or Lauren were.
    When FL told her fans she was not writing anymore I, like a post above me, stayed up all night printing out her stories. I have binders hidden somewhere in my parents house that are full of her writing. I'm now hell bent to find them this weekend and get lost again.

    Lyn- Thank you. Thank you for giving me an amazing memory of innocence and creativity when I think back to my teen years. Because of you, I wrote my own fiction. Because of you, I am now a die hard romance book nerd. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

  14. FictionLyn is writing and doing it well. You can find her on Facebook at

  15. As I sit here, awake, procrastinating on some grad school work late at night, I can't help but giggle at the 2-year-long string of comments on this post that one simple Google search revealed! :)
    I remember how much my friends and I loved reading Lyn's stories, and I remember making a few pals on the message board too (not to mention a few enemies!) and goodness gracious, was that really over TEN YEARS AGO?

    Glad to see everyone (including Lyn) is still out in the world and doing well. It's a shame Facebook didn't exist back then- or maybe not? ;)

    Erin (known in a long ago 13-year-old past life as CowboyTakeMeAway)

  16. I don't know if you guys know but FicionLyn is finishing up 'Maybe You'd Understand'! You can look for her as "fictionlyn" on Facebook. She has a yahoo mailing list where she mails out chapter usually every Sunday.

    I would guess just email her through FB and get on it if you're interested! Happy Reading!

  17. Reading this post & these responses dug up a whole mess of memories for me. I met one of my best friends through a chatroom discussing fanfiction & FictionLyn. A ton of my friends in college and myself used to spend our time writing our own fiction, but knowing it would never compare with how FictionLyn used to write hers. Now, we're all grown up, most of my friends are married with children and I'm in graduate school. I sometimes think back on life 10 years ago and how an update from Lyn (or any of you other former authors out there--Lily Chasez & JustinsLegalLady in particular) made my day. It's funny to me how we didn't have Facebook or Myspace as someone else remarked. We really were all anonymous, weren't we?
    or some of you may remember me and my best friend, Belle, as LovinRooNPoo, drama_alli, or danceshell :)

  18. For anyone interested still, I found this site earlier...
    FL is Currently working on a story which is at chapter 80 now. Im pleased that such a great writer is still out there writing.

  19. And here it is in May 2011, and I've just done my own "Whatever happened to FictionLyn?" search and came across this board. It really is amazing how popular and, really kind of important, her writing was. And it's funny to read these other posts and think about the similarities. I forgot all about that dial-up connection, how updates would take forever. I think it's amazing that other people have binders full of the printouts like I do. I remember trying to explain to my mother where all of her paper and ink was going! I want so badly to go back and re-read those stories again, but I know they'll consume all of my free time, just like they did so long ago! I think it might be worth it though. This is so amazing that there are other women who were just as in love with this writing as I was, and that is really cool to me. I hope more people continue to find this message board, too!

  20. Wow. Just wow. I loved those stories back in the day. I only read BOY and ISOK, but I still have those saved on my computer. I remember being in one of my college classes and daydreaming about what was happening in the story I was reading at the time.

    Betsy - I know exactly what you mean about the author creating a world that you want to be a part of. FictionLyn definitely did that for me. And she gave me some priceless friends and memories as a result of interaction on that forum.

    So FictionLyn, if you ever read this post again - thank you.

    And Betsy, I feel like I remember you just a bit, but the cobwebs in my brain are too thick. I really can't remember my username at the time, though, so I have no way to try to clue you in as to who I was.

  21. December 2011 and people are still googling FictionLyn! Thats so crazy...I happened to be bored and decided to read some Twilight fanfic (how surprising (not) that Twilight is what spurred several of us down this road!) and I started to wonder...hey, I wonder if I can find It's Only Me?! I am. So crazy and nostalgic. What a small world the internet was back then...

  22. I'm a little behind the times on this post, but i just googled her the other day because i remembered how great her stories were way back then. You can actually still read them at:

  23. Lyn- You were such an intricate part of my teen years! I can't thank you enough. I think about you and your beautiful writing every time I open a book. Thanks for the memories. I have yet to find another fan fic writer that can stand up to your talent.

  24. She's started finishing Maybe You'd Understand and emailing it. Details are here

    and shes on facebook too!

  25. FictionLyn contributed more to who I am today than many teachers, friends, mentors, etc. She was the one who had me sitting up til the wee hours of the morning *reading*. Now, years later, its commonplace for me to read all night. But then, falling in love with characters was something new, exciting and real.

    I as well searched "Fictonlyn" in Google and was so happy to see this thread. I met her once, went to Disney with a group, and the entire time I was so shyly-impressed. Like you said, in an age when everyone was hiding behind their screenname's, this woman was real, creative and became quite a role model for me.

    Thank you for posting this so I can revel in the past and what became a warm welcoming into all online friends and fandoms.


  26. I discovered the yahoo group last week and I read all 98 chapters in 3 days!! it was insane. i literally laid in bed until I was all caught up. now I'm patiently awaiting the next installment. I am thoroughly and completely addicted to these characters...Lyn, you are such an amazing and talented author. Here's the link incase anyone is interested.

    And to the original author of this blog post THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU because I was randomly thinking about FictionLyn and decided to google it and luckily all these amazing commenters led me to find the stories again.

  27. I thoroughly agree!! Thank you Google for leading me down this wonderful path of rediscovery, and to everyone here that helped to find the yahoo group. I can't wait to dive in!