How To Write Good Fanfiction – Plot

So yes, welcome to a new ‘series’ that I decided to do because, well, I don’t really know. Anyway. I had no guidance when I started writing fanfictions, sometimes felt a bit lost, and as a result have only really done one shots. Anyway, hope you enjoy the ‘series’, it’s currently a 7-parter and will be updated daily. 🙂

First up: PLOT.

Obviously, the story you’re writing is a fanfiction, so you already have someone else’s plot to, essentially, feed upon. You just have to make a new, sub plot.

A lot of authors write ‘oneshots’ (see below) where they just do a little plot. For example, in my most recent ‘Fairy Lights‘, Derek, from Teen Wolf, proposes to Stiles (er, also from Teen Wolf). This is just a little plot, and was only a few hundred words, but, obviously, yours can be much bigger – even a series, or longer one (see below)!

Also what a lot of authors do is ‘AU’s’, or alternative universes; I guess what I did above is, technically, an AU, but because it was still in the Teen Wolf universe, it isn’t counted as one. AU’s, in fanfiction terms, tend to be set in different times, places – for example, there was a Merlin fanfiction set in the modern day, with Merlin and Arthur going to high school.

So, for the subplot you’re going to make, all you have to do is think up another idea. If it’s a TV show, think up another demon they could face, or something that could happen – et voila, subplot! Now you’ve just got to write it.

To make someone read the plot, make it really good, you are going to have to use some original characters (see below of OCs). So, make sure you incorporate these original characters into your work – otherwise, it won’t happen. And you’re going to have to get these characters right – so make sure you brush up, as much as you can, on their background, habits, likes, dislikes, etc. And please get their names right, there is nothing more annoying. Sorry, got a bit sidetracked there.

Finally, make sure your plot is believable – well, as believable as it can be in the universe you’re writing in, anyway. For example, don’t be writing a, for example, Harry Potter fiction, and make Hagrid have rabbit ears or something (unless that is your plot, in which case, kudos to you). This kinda relates to the point I just made in the paragraph above – your characters are, essentially, your plot, so make sure you get them right, and the plot is sure to follow.

Oh, and make sure your plot is interesting – this applies to all writing. Because even if your characters are the most amazing, most colourful ever created, if the plot sucks, the entire story will collapse.

Hope that helped with ‘plotting’ with fanfictions. Questions? Hit me.

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Others in the ‘series’:

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Said Sirius Seriously

I, for one, am one of those who believe that everyone has read Harry Potter, so if you haven’t… Have fun.

That’s not even what this post is about, actually, so I don’t know why I started with that. This post is about using other words instead of ‘said’, because, let’s face it, that word is boooooooooooring.

I know some authors publish their ‘tips’ and say, ‘Only use the word ‘said’, otherwise it takes away from the story,’ but I think that using other words apart from ‘said’ is the one that makes it more fun.

So, what can you use other than said?

Well, here’s 3 for starters: chuckled, replied, asked. Now, don’t those look more fun than ‘said’? And if you really can’t think of anything other than ‘said’, add in an adverb, like ‘seriously’ (see title).

And I’m not saying that using the word ‘said’ is taboo – I mean, it can be used occasionally, I do sometimes – but please don’t make it every word used to, supposedly, describe the speech. Have you ever read Harry Potter? Though I love the books, so much, pretty much the only word JKR uses is ‘said’. Urgh. Boring.

Admittedly, it did never stop me reading them, but y’know.

So yes, that’s just a few ideas on what to do to improve your writing. If you ever do get stuck on more words needed in place of ‘said’, then why not Google it? There’s a whole world of words out there. Promise.

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Back Into The Writing Pool

WOW that was an awful title…

But yes, I am back into the pool of writing and publishing my fanfictional stories onto websites! Yay!

I find a buzz when writing and publishing fanfictional stories on the net, mainly because I tend to get a feedback – from at least one person – and because it’s just seeing your work out there, isn’t it? My original stories – not so much. But fanfiction? Oh, yes.

If you want a good feedback, though, I find that you have to get your fandoms right. For example, if you’re a fan of, I don’t know, Charlotte’s Web – well, sucks to be you, because there are 4 fanfictions of that on fanfiction.net. So, if you do write that sort of fanfiction, no offense, but you’re unlikely to get a readership.

However, if you’re part of the fandom of Harry Potter, for example – we are still reigning supreme on 664k (I admit, I did a little cheer when I read this. We have not been beaten by Twilight yet!). So you’re very likely to get a few readers – providing your summary is good, but that’s for another post.

Any other tips for writing fanfictions? Make sure you know where you’re posting it – some sites, like Archive of our Own, don’t tend to have as many OC (own character) stories, whereas Fanfiction.net does. Fanfiction.net supposedly doesn’t tolerate MA ratings, but AO3 does.

Oh, and make sure you know the characters. If you’re going to have OOCness (out of character-ness) then make sure you warn your readers – cause some don’t like it.

That’s as much as I can think of right now; I am very shattered.

Oh, one last thing – What did I publish?

I published a Teen Wolf fanfiction! 😀 Yay, first one published! You can read it here at fanfiction.net or here on Archive of our Own. 🙂

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Are Characters Even Human?

First, before you go ranting to me about how ‘It’s real for us!’, don’t worry, that’s not what this post is about (though, thinking about it, I might do a post on that…). This post is about how human characters are in writing.

What I mean is, sometimes when you read a book, it seems like that characters are, I don’t know, Minecraft ones, who can just go go go. They never sleep, or eat, or poop. I get that writing this such as these can be boring (or disgusting) but please – make them human.

‘BUT HOW?!’ you cry.

Simples.

If they’ve been up all night, say breaking into the library to do research, or sneaking out to see their partner, have them with huge bags under their eyes, and yawning at every break. If they’ve just been running from the bad guy, have them needing a drink and then, just a bit later, bursting for the loo. And remember, if they don’t sleep for three days, they’re not gonna be running very well on pure adrenaline.

And remember, people do eat – your character can’t live off thin air.

You don’t have to put in every time a character does something like pee or eat or sleep, but make it so your readers know they’re not super heroes. For example, you don’t have to write, ‘I sat down and ate a dinner of tomato pasta I had cooked for myself with grated cheese. I had a glass of orange juice. After I had finished my meal, I went to the loo,’ but perhaps something like, ‘I grabbed a bagel on my way out, eating it as I walked down the path.’ (And no, that is not how I write – I write much better (I hope).)

Just do enough to make them seem real. If your character manages to go for days without food or water without breaking a sweat, chances are, at least one or two readers will notice and perhaps question it.

So yeah.

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Which Witch is Which?

So, ’cause I can’t think of much to write today – and I’m too tired to do much else, plus watching Doctor Who (yay!) – I thought I would go through four very confused different types of words (if that made any sense whatsoever).

First up: which witch is which?

  • Witch – a being that can harness/use magic. Hermione Granger is one of these.
  • Which – ‘which one do you want’? Either or, mostly used in a question. Actually, I can’t think of a place that ‘which’ isn’t used as a question, apart from with that oddly named shop.

Second: They’re, there and their.

  • There – ‘ooh, look, Sandra’s over there!’ A place where someone or something is.
  • Their – ‘it’s their cat’. Object or person belonging to a group of people.
  • They’re – ‘they’re a bit weird, aren’t they?’ Shortened form of ‘they are’. Can be used as two words, but ‘they’re’ is more commonly used nowadays.

Third: too, two and to.

  • Too – ‘too much’. Pretty self-explanatory, too much of something.
  • Two – two things (2).
  • To – eg sending a letter to someone. Basically, a use of the word ‘to’ that isn’t one of the above.

Forth: it’s or its.

  • It’s – short form of it is.
  • Its – possession. If you’re not sure if it needs an apostrophe or not, then try splitting it up into two different works. If it works, it needs an apostrophe. If it doesn’t, then obviously it doesn’t.

So yes, I hope that that’s helpful! Any others? 🙂

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Rules Of Speech

One thing that really irks me (good word, ‘irk’. IRK.) in book or online story is when the rules of speech aren’t followed, or are done wrong. So, I thought I’d go through them now, because I can’t STAND it when they’re wrong. Sorry, this may be more of a rant. I apologise in advance, as I have already done so, apparently.

If someone is talking, and it finishes on a full stop with a ‘he/she’ after, then it is a comma, and the ‘he/she’ is lower case. For example:

“Wow, really interesting,” she said, sarcastically.

If someone is talking, it finishes on a full stop, and has a name or ‘I’ after it, it is still a comma. Example:

“Wow, really interesting,” Laura said sarcastically.

If this is the other way around (you’ll see what I mean in a minute) then it is still a comma, although the first word in the speech is a capital letter. Example:

Sarcastically, Laura said, “Wow, really interesting.”

Oh, and even if the punctuation is not a comma, it’s still lower case after it if it’s not a name! Eg:

“That’s awesome!” she declared.

Finally, if someone new is speaking, start a new line! Seriously, this is really annoying and hard to follow the story when someone doesn’t do this! So, even if it is only one or two new words in each line: DO IT!

Hope that helped, sorry it was so short!

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Effect vs. Affect

When I googled this for some defined rules, it was the second top, just as I typed in ‘the difference between’. And it’s no wonder why, with these two dicky words causing English students more stress than if they were designing a meal for Gordon Ramsay.

So, what’s the difference?

Well, I’ll tell you the difference.

In general terms, ‘affect’ is used as a verb (‘to affect’ something) whilst ‘effect’ is used as a noun (‘an effect’ on something). 

“But what if I can’t tell?” I hear you ask. Well, there’s two ways  I can give to help you out:

  • Read it aloud and see which bit fits better.
  • Ask an English teacher.

Though if English teachers are in short supply, reading it aloud is good, too. Try it both ways – normally, that works well for me, though if that still doesn’t work…

Try adding another word in place of it.

Like, if you think it might be ‘affect’ but you’re not sure, add another verb in it’s place, and see if it works (obviously it won’t make much sense, but it’ll be enough to tell you if it’s right or not).

So yes, I hope that helped, as I know ‘effect’ and ‘affect’ are two biggies that need to be distinguished. Should I do others (eg which witch is which, they’re, their and there) or not?

🙂

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Well Hi Newbie, Apparently I’m Your Writer

You know how it is; you’re just sat there, not thinking about anything, or perhaps you’re writing so furiously your fingers feel like they’re on fire. And then – BOOM! – a new character strolls into your head. Their name, much of their background, the place in the story – or perhaps their own story – is fully formed in your mind. And what can you do, but great them kindly, offer them a cup of tea/coffee/Butterbeer and say they can sit down.

Many writers say their story writes itself, and I know all too well how true that is. This time last year, I was doing NaNoWriMo as well, and I remember my character, Rosen, being far too headstrong, and a bit annoying really, running off where she wasn’t supposed to and crying over her father and brother who may have, er, died prematurely. So what can you do?

Help them along. When your characters write you into a plot hole, take a deep breath, give yourself a few slaps around the face with a large trout (Scouts who did JOTI-JOTA should get that) and get those motherfuckers out of there. You’re like their guardian, they’re angel who helps them with all troubles. Sure, you may cry when you kill their beloved goldfish and they are upset for days, but you are there for your characters, much like your best friends.

What makes a character is their background; why are they like the way they are? Their personality, characteristics. Your character relies on you to make sure your readers know that, and you don’t just let them karate-kick their way out of plot holes, before telling your reader that they’ve been doing martial arts from birth. Or they call their parents ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ 5 chapters before you remember to point out that they’re fostered (..unless that’s the story, of course).

Most of all, when your characters get you into trouble (maybe you’ve been staying up under the sheets to write and your parents have caught you, tut tut, or maybe you’ve just written yourself into an awful plot hole), whatever you do – DON’T QUIT ON THEM! Your characters need you, their creator, their author. Love your characters like yourself – because they’re all a reflection of who we really want to be. Believe in your characters, and that’ll reflect in your work. Make them real and readers will emphasize, cry when they do, make them believe they’re their best friends – but, most of all, it’ll make them remember you.

Sorry the advice in there is a little messed around, and I don’t even know if it’s useful. But I kinda hope it is. Good luck to you; and to your poor character! 😉

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Why I Like Wattpad

Well hey, glad to see I didn’t get any hate for the last one! That’s always nice. Not having hate, I mean, not having hate…

So, anyway, today are some reasons why I like Wattpad, to counteract the last one, cause, you know, the more I looked on the site after that, the worse I felt about it. I’m sorry, Wattpad *pats on head*.

Firstly, if you can get your story out there, it gives you a great readership. Many of the stories on there have thousands of reads (though these are added up chapter by chapter, not one read for the whole book). And, if you get a lot of reads, you can be noticed by actual publishers – I once read an article in SHOUT Magazine, and there was another in a different magazine that I can’t remember the name of where teens were found and had their stories published. There was actually (SHOCK, HORROR!) a good One Direction fanfiction, and the author was commissioned to write a boy band novel! How cool would that be, though, seriously. That would be fuckin’ awesome.

Secondly, there are a good array of books on there, if you can get past the shitty ones. I once read one called ‘White Lies’ which I quite liked, and then there was ‘Waiting’ and a collection of LGBQT stories that rocked. It offers a good, free read when you can’t afford books, too!

Thirdly, their mobile equivalent isn’t too bad. Alright, maybe it’s a bit dicky trying to look up your own works and edit them, but reading others is great. It’s basically the only place I read them!

Fourthly, this is a better place for longer books, unlike ones like FictionPress.com, or Fanfiction.net, as they have a lot of one shots and short stories. So if you actually want a good, long read: here is your place to go!

Finally, the Watty Awards get a really big hype, so congrats to anyone that’s won them! I don’t tend to really look at them, as I’ve never had any reason to, I guess, but yeah – and you could even get your book published from that.

So, those are my reasons why I like Wattpad, as opposed to don’t. Overall? I guess I have to say I’m 50-50. I’d use it and read stuff on it, but I don’t think it would be my favourite just yet! Next two days, I might evaluate Miss Literati, who knows?!

Find me on Wattpad!

Wattpad - I'm 50-50.

Wattpad – I’m 50-50.

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Why I Dislike Wattpad

First of all, before you carry on reading, let us just remember those who sacrificed their lives in wars around the world. 

"For your tomorrows, these gave their today."

“For your tomorrows, these gave their today.”

——————

Now, don’t get me wrong, I will probably use Wattpad a lot some day, perhaps in the near future, but I have to say, there are many things I don’t like about it (amongst the things that I do, which will be tomorrow’s post, no doubt!). Please don’t unfollow me over this, after all, I’m just voicing my opinions (damn I hate risky posts).

To start with, the amount of shitty stories on there is amazing, seriously. I’m not trying to be harsh, but someone using abbreviations such as ‘u’ in the place of ‘you’ makes my blood boil (not literally, cause that’s probably bad for my health). But many Tumblr users have probably seen the paragraph with the One Direction fanfiction about a girl called ‘Chloe’. Besides from the grammar, spelling and punctuation, there are many shallow characters and plots – and don’t get me started on the band fanfiction (see above line). I’m not saying that all of it is bad. Just some. But it’s that some that irks me.

Secondly, the covers you use on your ‘book’ make the difference in the world: unless you’re a popular author from another story, or you ‘advertise’ everywhere, then it’s unlikely to get read. Same with the title. But we’re not all photoshop wizards, and sometimes the best you can do is a crappy go on Pizap or using Wattpad’s own.

Thirdly, it’s confusingly set out, and clicking one thing might take you to another. After a while, I guess you’d get used to it, and find it a lot easier, but I have found when publishing my stories that it really didn’t work as easily as I thought it would. Disappointing for a website with such a lot of coverage.

Fourthly, the ‘stories you might enjoy’ thing just doesn’t work. I enjoy only one or two of the stories sent to me, and then only every few months or so. I get that Wattpad are trying to get their name out, but an article or a more bigged-up blog might do that better!

Finally, it took me about 5 tries to actually upload a story to their site, and now, just going back to it (I haven’t written anything worth publishing in a while, so haven’t used that part for a bit) I can’t actually find the part to upload a cover for it. Huh. Some ‘easy’ site!

So yes. And, coming up tomorrow: ‘Why I Like Wattpad’!

And coming up tomorrow: Why I Like Wattpad!

And coming up tomorrow: Why I Like Wattpad!

If you want to find me on Wattpad, click here.

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PS sorry for the negative post, my exams started today and I had to suffer through a rather depressing article on Glastonbury Festival. And I am not looking forward to History, Food Technology and Biology tomorrow…

PPS I was very scared about publishing this post by the way…