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On Writing Fan Fiction (Rules & Advice)

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

  1. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    I think OCs work best if they fit into the plotline...which is such an outrageously obvious point that I hang my head at having made it...but many inexperienced writers will throw in OCs based on themselves or their friends who really have no purpose to the story other than to wave and the reader: "Hi! I'm the author's best friend! Aren't I cool? Hi So-and-so!" I've tried to make any OC I throw into a Muppet fic have a good reason for being there...and many of them are Muppets themselves, Whatnots or monsters or whatever. (Writing fic means never having to say, "Build me a puppet that looks like a crocodile with a cigar! We're only using him once!")

    WebMistressGina likes this.
  2. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    About the only time I suffer the "author OC" thing is when I'm writing a Hensonville fic, but the trope is justified (I tell myself) because it references a role-playing game where users live in weird conglomerate of a universe with multiple fictional characters.
    newsmanfan likes this.
  3. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Or as I like to say, "Build me a cigar smoking crocodile worthy of Mordor!"

    Yes, I do go about asking this of people; usually the Muppet, like, "get me a plate worthy of Mordor" or "bring me my phone worthy of Mordor."


    What? I am easily bored and equally easily amused.
  4. meepmuppaphones

    meepmuppaphones Active Member

    Is it okay if there is death (although it won't be gory, I will refrain from blood)? Also, I want adventure story elements, can I have things like big battles or stuff?:coy:
  5. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I think (and I can't speak for everyone) that death would be acceptable as long as you provide a warning at the beginning of the story about its content, so that people who don't want to read that sort of material can avoid it beforehand.
  6. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    LOL, we kill characters all the time. :)

    Still, since you can again get a small preview of text when you hover over a link, I choose to put my warning right at top, thus they don't even have to click and be blinded. :p
  7. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    *sigh* I am apparently the lone dissenting voice, but I am going to dissent, and my dissent goes something like this:
    Why on earth would you need to kill someone? If it takes a jolt like that to jump-start your story, maybe you should write something different.

    Killing off a character--especially one that doesn't belong to you--within a fandom that loves the character and doesn't actually know you from Adam seems like the worst case of grandstanding I can imagine. Is it not possible to tell you story without some sort of artificial sacrifice? And must you sacrifice someone else's characters to the bloody cause? If you do--and I'm going to advice you NOT to--then the payoff for the death had better be plenty huge. If someone's going to die, they had better be doing something pretty self-sacrificial or awfully darn heroic or you're just jerking the reader around by someone else's chain.

    Writing is a craft, an art, a skill that can be practiced a lifetime without ever achieving perfection. Let me stand in the gap here in defense of good, well-thought-out storylines that go somewhere, of characters that have purpose and of sacrifices that mean more than emotional manipulation on the part of the author, who often didn't have that much of a story to tell in the first place.

    Fanfiction has more than its fair share of emotionally wrenching stories that are emotionally wrenching just for the, um, enjoyment(?) of making the reader writhe. And, to be fair, readers flock along in droves--by the hundreds, at least--to wail and weep and moan in pretended agony because the character they have loved (at least enough to belong to the fandom and read the stories) has been (a) decapitated; (b) flattened; (c) tortured and killed or (d) all of the above. In my not-so-humble opinion, this kind of writing is the "reality show" of the entertainment world and it is often unworthy of the audience's attention even though it gets it. Does this mean that I think fanfic stories should be all butterflies and unicorns and everybody happy all the time? No! Of course not! But if our characters are going to suffer, let it mean something. Let it advance the plot--not replace it. Let it spice up the story instead of merely drowning out the bad taste of underdone characters. Let the story be a slave to the characters, not the characters be slaves to the story.

    Why don't you write a story about something that doesn't start out with the idea, "Well, I don't have anything much exciting happening in my story--I think I'll maim a major character and gain the audience's attention that way"?

    If you do write a weepy, emotionally manipulative story, then there will certainly be audience members who read it. Somebody reads everything here. Shoot, somebody reads everything they post on fanfiction.net, which means that people are really, really desperate for stories about the characters they already know and love. But why don't you try adding to the characters' stories--instead of taking away from them. I'm sure you--and everyone else who trolls these boards--has a good story in them. Write that one.

    (Who is getting off her soapbox and storming away)
  8. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Well, to add more to the complex nature of the answer, I say: Ru's right. However, if you're someone like me, who wrote an (attempted) epic about the destruction of the entire universe, having no one in danger at all defeats the purpose of describing the problem. If you have magic involved, it's amazing how you can rewrite the ending so that the universe is "properly restored" (and I'm not above using that trope, LOL). On the other hand, if you're writing a story JUST to kill someone off, it comes off more as a snuff fic (and something like Halfway Down the Stairs toys with it quite well, I think). So, in essence, I say: context is everything. Don't do it just because you can, but make dang sure you've set up a bigger plot point to justify any that happen.
  9. mostlikemokey

    mostlikemokey Active Member

    I think you can give an OC some of your characteristics if it's not obvious you are doing so. A little inside joke, so to speak. As long as your character also serves a purpose, that is.
  10. fictionalnice

    fictionalnice Active Member

    Very good advice, Fozzie Bear. And you do have some valid points. I hope I stay true to the characters in my own story. i tried hard to so I think I did alright. Hopefully...:eek:
  11. HandsomeFrog

    HandsomeFrog New Member

    I wanna write one. No idea who to write about though...
  12. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Do you have a favorite character? Take your favorite Muppet or two and go from there.
  13. HandsomeFrog

    HandsomeFrog New Member

    Floyd Pepper and Rowlf are two of my favorites.
  14. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I'd try to think of a situation that would bring out the personalities of those two characters. Perhaps Dr. Teeth hurts his hand and Rowlf has to become the piano player in the Electric Mayhem, something like that.
    LizAngie likes this.
  15. AlittleMayhem

    AlittleMayhem Well-Known Member

    I have an idea for a one-shot fanfic (good lord, I have too many ideas) that centres around poking fun at a particular book and sexual innuendo. Does any of those go against the forum's rules?
  16. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    I think it would be depend on the innuendo. I think some of us throw it in, but do it in such a way that it would probably go over a kid's, but an adult would be like, "ah! I see what you did there!".
  17. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    If your thinking of the, "50's" crowd, I wouldn't go there--at least not here.

    Jim was certainly not above innuendo (Frank was certainly below innuendo!!) and some of us mature folks do write more grown-up-ish stuff, and , but I would advise caution. IMNTBHO, Fanfiction.net is a better place to publish stuff if your intent is merely to titillate.
  18. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    :shifty: Heh heh heh...she said ti--

    :grr: *STOMP*

    AlittleMayhem and muppetfan24/7 like this.
  19. MissMusical12

    MissMusical12 Well-Known Member

    So, I'm planning on writing a Muppets version of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Is it okay if I put it in script form or does it have to been written how a regular story would be?
  20. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Personally, I - and I think others - prefer an actual story. I know some forums ban the script form because it's...well, the lazy man's way to telling a story.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I myself have a script series, but as a writer and reader, I'd prefer to read a story. You get more details and more visualization through a story than you do a script.

    And just asking - why do a Muppet version of a NBC? The story's been done (fantastically), so why remake it with another cast? I ask because I can't see a Muppet version of that and I mean in a conceptional way, like a nightmarish land where Kermit and Piggy live. Now, if you're thinking like idea or parody, such as one of the Muppets kidnaps Santa and they have to get presents out, I could see that, though wouldn't it be the same idea as the Christmas special (which, that's one that I haven't seen, so don't quote me on it)?

    Not to poo poo your idea (hope you know that!), I just like encouraging writers to come up with original ideas that happen to feature our favorite not-real-people. I could also be very cynical of new writers cause they always have the same idea or weirder ideas and then we get something like My Immortal and I'm always out to stop people from making another My Immortal.

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