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On Writing Fan Fiction (Rules & Advice)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Fozzie Bear, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    I'm sure ALL of you (okay, maybe it's just dorky me) like to know where and when certain idiomatic phrases and words came into use.
    Sal: What's idio-whatsis mean?
    Johnny Fiama: I dunno, Sal. Sounds kinda sexy.
    Sam the Eagle: Out! Out of this thread!
    Ru: (ahem) Thank you, Sam. The best sight I've found for this is etymonline.come, and you can put in words of phrases to find out what they used to mean, or what they really mean, or why they mean what they mean. You get my drift.

    Also, when writing for Pepe, there are several good translation sites, so you don't have to bug your kids or friends for a Spanish textbook.
  2. BeakerSqueedom

    BeakerSqueedom Active Member

    A good warning on translation sites.
    Not all of them provide an exact meaning.
    Such as da Thesaurus...they offer synonyms which aren't exact in meaning.

    :) *Has seen it a lot in fanfiction*

    And when I read it, it seems like...O_O Huh? That makes nooo sense!

    But like Ruh said, you don't need to bother your pals/friends ect.
    on just how to say something in spanish.

    But it's better if you do. ;D

    Or, or, you could probably ask Eddie with ze spanish...
    He's usually helpful and offers his help most of the time with some of his fanfic picks. <3 YAY EDDIE!


    Eh, that's all for now.
  3. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    I'm sure there are Spanish speaking members here that would not mind helping with Pepe. The trouble with writing in Spanish is to not do it too much in case there are some readers who don't speak it...
  4. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    Here's something good I've learned:
    No matter if a character in a story is canon or an OC, don't forget to add detail about what they look like within the story. It draws in a reader better if they don't have to look up profiles somewhere, and it adds richness to a story.
    If a character is worth writing about, they are worth describing, even in simple ways :)
  5. Yva Minstrel

    Yva Minstrel New Member

    Hi everyone,

    this thread is fantastic! I have been writing fan fiction for over 15 years, mostly in other universes, but there are so many great tips here that it would make most people's head spin. I think that you folks have a great grasp of it, and when I eventually write a Fraggle Rock fan fiction, I will most definitely be consulting this thread for suggestions and reminders.

    The basic things I can only add is that all writers should pay attention to grammar, spelling, and formatting. I am a regular at a fan fiction site and I see so many people posting stories and they are poorly edited and formatted that it's not even funny. :( Many stories instead of looking like stories, either look like scripts, or (at best) outlines. This becomes very trying when one tries to read something and literally sits with a red marker making corrections of the work. I have actually been asked to beta read for people and I have spent hours (bordering on days) just fixing and polishing these people's work. I finally had to suggest that they run spell and grammar check before sending it to me, because of the fact that it is massively time consuming.

    Research and description are big things with my writing and reading, but it's not just visually stimulating, but the other senses are also a good thing to toss in. The best way I can describe what I mean about this is as follows: I once read a fan fiction where the writer was writing about a blind person. That is, said writer had her blind character doing all sorts of things that blind people could not do but that those with sight take for granted every day. When I suggested research, I got a not so nice response back about it being fan fiction and I shouldn't be so picky. Perhaps not, but I don't think the rule just applies about places, but it could also apply to the overall human condition.

    This gives me an idea for a Fraggle story, so I'm going to go and work on it, or at least try and compose a workable outline for it.

    All of that just for tossing out a few ideas here. :excited:

    But, again, this is really a great thread and a very useful one to boot.
  6. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    The same goes with writing people with leg disables. I have cerebral palsy and it is written so badly most of the time, as are other leg troubles. They normally act like it ether: 1) Doesn't 'count' as a disability unless you are in a wheelchair or can't get out of bed or are totally blind, or 2) Act like it is something you can be 'cured' of, normally within a year at that : P.
    One of my fraggle fics has a bit of a counter to these ideas in it (it is not cp but still). I actually don't think there are enough fanfics (or normal fiction for that matter) out there really that shows the balance of good and bad that having a disability really is...
  7. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    ... Well... what if you're writing a script?
  8. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Well, I think Yva's complaining of fics that look like scripts when it's not obvious that's what they were going for. Some fics seem to go out of their way not to go over 2 lines of text.

    And, sadly, they seem to be popular.

    I like the challenge of writing scripts. My fic has a couple as chapters as scripts, but it fits because an infomercial guy is the main character of the chapter.

    @Redsonga: A lot of my fics have characters with neuroses or even psychoses ... does that count?
  9. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    Nope, not for what I was ranting about at least:coy:. I've had this bee in my bonnet for many years now *lol*

    Some parts of my fics are scripty as that was the only way I could see them being:o..My fraggle fics are meant to be more than a bit movie like by nature :sympathy: ...Of course I do write more than two lines as well, so I would hope that makes up for it but...

    I dislike scripts fics where there are just people talking and you can't tell what they are doing or where they are doing it : p
  10. wwfpooh

    wwfpooh New Member

    Right. Descriptions relate characters to people.
  11. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    A few stories here (long ones that are very well liked) start with characters that are made by the author and they have no details about who the character is and just have a link to a profile (sometimes not even that) and it really puts me off reading a story:o
  12. wwfpooh

    wwfpooh New Member

    Me too. Yeah, you may already know what the character looks like and what their personality is, but it is still nice to have those things listed for the sake of story & for fans who may not know those things.
  13. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    It helps a lot more to have characters that only the author knows about detailed in the story to, and not just in a profile I think because otherwise the character just feels more like a collection of facts than a person :sympathy:
  14. Yva Minstrel

    Yva Minstrel New Member

    Yes, exactly! I have a friend who writes scripts, and attended film school to boot. I know what a script is supposed to look like and I've actually read a few. What I am seeing in some places is not even good scriptwriting, it's just an informal outline that looks likes a script, just doesn't read like one.

    What I have seen at some fan fiction places is sort of a mish-mash between trying to write a script and prose. The fan fiction site where I write and post does not allow scripts, and yet, there are people writing stuff that vaguely look like scripts and are posting it.

    And yes, you're absolutely right about some of the most poorly written stuff being the most popular. Sometimes that grates on my very last nerve. ;)

    I'm not saying that script writing is bad, but it is something that people either can or cannot do. I'm one of those unfortunates who cannot write scripts to save my life because I thrive on description. The thing is, scripts have to be written in such a way that a director would be able to decide where the dialogue was to take place. In some of these quasi-scripts I have seen, I couldn't figure out where the setting was, much less how to place the characters. So there are some scripts that are poorly written.

    So, thanks RedPiggy for catching on to what I was trying to say. :) I'm not complaining about scripts as that is an area of writing that I think takes a great deal of practice and time to get good at. My friend prefers scriptwriting, and I prefer prose, but we do talk about writing rather frequently.
  15. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Well, I know my take on this is probably off-center, because I rarely seem to find myself on the "typical side of things, but I don't usualy want a lot of description for characters I already know, and I don't necessarily want a lot of description for a character that is original--unless it's relevant to the story. Sometimes a little goes a long way. With fanfic, unlike any other type of fiction writing, there is already a known character (or several)--a character that doesn't belong to the author of the fanfic. As such, that character already has a look--either from the actor who portrays the character, or the created object (like a muppet or puppet) or from some other visual representation, such as comic book characters. Therefore, I don't need someone to tell me that Kermit is, for exampe, a GREEN frog--I'd much prefer they describe him to me in term of personality, i.e., "Kermit the Frog had not yet reached the level of arm-waving hysteria, but his scrunchy face and snarky tone said he wasn't far from it." Because I know Kermit, this is enough for me. If someone uses a character that I don't know very well, I don't mind looking them up--I'm two clicks away from where the story is posted if I feel like I NEED to see what they look like. If the author creates a character, then a bit more description in necessary, but I want just enough to create a picture of them in my own mind. I HAVE a good imagination--I don't mind to use it.

    With original characters, it's a little more problematic, isn't it? The author is often VERY interested in telling the reader ALL ABOUT the character created. The reader is not always as interested. I've seen many a Star Trek fanfic screech to a halt while someone took waaay too many paragraphs to describe what a character looked like, what they wore, etc., when those things weren't relevant to the story. I like it better when a character is slowly unveiled through action and interaction--I'm much more interested in whether their step is brisk or their tone firm than whether or not the OC has long, honey-blond hair falling in ringlets down her slim tan back that perfectly accentuated the cut of her jib, not to mentioned her state-of-the-art space suit that perfectly set off the irridescent silver eye-shadow that so complimented the dark grey of her eyes--except when she was angry, in which case they were VERY dark grey. Um, where was I?

    Oh! Oh yes. A good story-teller--especially one who does so with WRITTEN words, does research on the character and the character's individual traits so that they can inhabit the character believably. A GREAT story-teller can avoid boring the audience with everything they know, until and unless it becomes relevant to the story.

    That's my take on it--or at least my preference. Everyone else is cordially invited to express their own opinion!
  16. wwfpooh

    wwfpooh New Member

    I agree with that. Most of the fanfics I've read involve things I know a lot about (ex: The Muppets, Fraggles, The Titans & other comic characters, etc.) and so, definition of character's looks and overall personality aren't needed much (sans a breif overview in about a few sentences).
  17. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    I wasn't meaning to say I thought someone should go into paragraphs and paragraphs about a character but at least one paragraph or so in the beginning, and a line here and there, is not too much to ask as a reader, and it doesn't at all bore me as one. It is true the the internet is just a click away, but it is also true that a good writer I think, should paint a good enough picture of the characters to where I don't have to look up anyone :). It is their aim to show the world in words after all...I have a very good imagination, so I don't have to be told every detail of what a room looks like, but when a fan made character might as well be a stick figure or sock puppet with glue on google eyes, well, I just feel the need for more...This of course doesn't mean paragraphs and paragraphs but if the character is important to the story or the main character there should be a good amount I think :). And if the author is a good one it can even be interesting in its own right to learn about them, unlike the golden curled mary sues :).
  18. wwfpooh

    wwfpooh New Member

    Good points are being from both sides. Sometimes, a fair amount of description is good & sometimes, when you really know a character, no description is needed.
  19. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    Well, I always write my stories as if the reader was once a fan but needs help remembering what things mean and fraggles look like now and then, so I never go without some detail. I try to think "What if this was a movie and I had to tell everything that was on scene to a blind person?" and go from there...
  20. wwfpooh

    wwfpooh New Member

    And you do so marvelously. ^__^

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