If you are reading this, you have clearly stumbled upon the magical and terrifying world of fanfiction. This is one of the many guides out there giving you tips for your story. I assume most people start these because they have writer's block or are bored, or, like me, are absolutely horrified by some of the stories you can find on this site. I'm not going to pretend to have a fancy degree in English, but I do read and write a lot. And, as Shauna Cross (author of Whip It) showed us, you don't need a fancy degree to write well.
It's not much fun taking advice from a stranger, so I'll talk about myself a little at first.
I live in Canada. I am teenage female, as are most writers here. I created this account for the sole purpose of attempting to improve the fanfics out there. While I am Canadian, I'm also Australian. I have a large collection of hedgehogs in my room and hula hoop dance. If you've never heard of hula hoop dancing, I strongly recommend that you search it on youtube right now. It's worth five minutes of your time.
While you may have found fanfiction some other way, I discovered it through a friend. A few years ago, I had just read the Twilight books and hated them. If you really like Twilight, please ignore my comments about it. Well, my friend told me to read a story called Bella Hale, which turned out to be much better than I expected. The writing style was quirky and entertaining, far superior to the crap Meyer was writing. The characters had much more depth. Things actually happened.
Excited by this, I ventured out of the Twilight section and moved onto Sonic the Hedgehog, another one of my great loves. I was deeply disappointed by the lack of humor and entertainment that was so apparent in Bella Hale. After a while, the Sonic writers began to fail me and seemed to write less and less interesting things. Although that probably came from the fact that there just aren't enough creative things you can do with such characters. Also, as I now realize, fanfiction writers are often hopelessly lazy and give up.
Once through my Sonic faze, another friend introduced me to the Percy Jackson books. I had already decided not to read Harry Potter fanfiction, seeing as I knew it would cause me great pain to see my favourite series be destroyed like that. Upon finishing The Last Olympian, I launched myself into this aspect of fanfiction. I clicked on the first story that looked interesting. After two chapters, I was close to tears. It was that painfully bad. In desperation, I click on another. It seemed alright. But then two characters began randomly making out for no apparent reason. The next hundred I clicked on were like that, too.
That is not to say that there's no hope. I have found a few diamonds out there, some of them getting the attention they deserve, some of them not.
I hope I make myself clear through this: The Percy Jackson fanfictions are making me weep for humanity. Since when did Annabeth get that romantic and sappy? Have you ever seen people come up to each other, then, with no build up or warning whatsoever, confess there love and start having sex? What did you read in those books that ever implied Nico had any kind of romantic interest in anyone? Why do you think Luke and Rachel are such horrible people? How did you get it in your head that you can figure out that you're pregnant two days after you had sex?
The answers are: Annabeth is not romantic and sappy (nor is her name a real name)
You have never seen anyone act like that.
You didn't read anything that implied that, and Nico is a depressed twelve-year-old with little control over his life. It's not that I don't like him. That's the truth.
Luke and Rachel act like regular humans: Luke wants revenge for being mistreated, which does not mean he would punch Annabeth in the face. Rachel really liked Percy, so she told him.
And as far as I know (seeing as I have no experience in this) it can take anywhere from three weeks to three months to realize you are pregnant. This is not Twilight, people.
So there you have it. This guide is meant to help you, but I will be brutally honest in the process. With any luck, I'll make even one fanfiction better. For a quick preview of what's to come:
-Actual Sections on Actual Problems!
-How to write a decent plot!
-How to make up decent characters!
-Lots more! (22 sections including this one, probably)
Before you cry over what you thought to be your masterpiece, let me point something out: Real, published authors have real, live editors. So it's okay to make mistakes. Though I have to say, this fandom seems to make more mistakes than any other. And so, in the words of our lord and master:
"This country has been sick, this country needs healing, this country needs medicine - in fact I'd go so far as to say that, what this country really needs, right now, is a Doctor."
-The Master (Doctor Who)
Sorry if you didn't get that… it's from a TV show, Doctor Who.