Of Cabbages and Kings
Looking for intelligent life at Fanfiction Net? We feature something for everyone: casual chat, serious discussion, debate, fun and games, and that delicious wank. Are you ready to play with the big dogs? Come inside, come inside!
New Follow Forum Follow Topic
Page 1 2 3 4 11 .. Last Next »
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

For now, this will be the omnibus thread for all discussion pertaining to writing.

2/6/2009 #1
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

First topic: When did each of you learn that such a thing as fanfiction even existed, and when did you write your first one? Was it published?

I first learned about fanfiction sometime in the mid-1970s, when i came across a paperback anthology of the best of Star Trek fanfiction issued with Paramount's blessing. My reaction was, wow -- new Trek stories, not just those warmed-over episode fictionalisations by some hack writer. The stories had more heart and spirit than the pro stuff, and I was hooked.

I wrote to some of the fanzine addresses listed in the back of the book (yes, it was all done by mail back then) and I subscribed to several newsletters. When Star Wars came out in 1977, I knew that there would inevitably be a fandom for that too, and I found my way in.

My first completed fanfiction was an absolutely atrocious SW hurt/comfort featuring Han, Luke and Leia. It is currently hidden behind some books on the shelf in my home office here, where is deserves to stay. I don't even want human eyes to see that piece of dreck.

My first published fanfic was a piece called Hunter's Moon in a print 'zine by the name of Twin Suns (1981). It's an interesting concept but not at all well-executed. From there, I branched out into Indiana Jones. I think I had around ten stories to my credit before I lost interest in 1990.

I got back into it in 2005 after reading my first LOTR fanfic and wanting to give it a try myself. I love the freedom of the word processor and the ability to post on the net and get almost immediate feedback. In the old days, it was about six months before your story saw print after acceptance, and it was another year before you got your reviews -- if any.

2/6/2009 #2
Aislynn Crowdaughter

When did each of you learn that such a thing as fanfiction even existed, and when did you write your first one? Was it published?

I always used to spin my own stories, mostly original stories developed together with a friend, long before I even knew that something like fanfiction existed. However, I did not really write within a fandom. These stories played in our original universe, and while they are unpublished, I am still in love with them.

I found my way into fandom much later, and over Star Trek, of course. I joined a fan club in Berlin in the late seventies, and visited my first con, a moderate one, since it was just a small convention herre in Berlin. I think I must have been fifteen or sixteen, or something. There, I met a women who lend me my first fanzine. It was a slash story about Kirk and Spock, and at first it completely boggled my mind. I mean, I had read Sondra marshak and Myrna Culbraith's "Price of the Phoenix", in German translation, and had adored it and loved it to pieces, and that story, while remaining strictly hurt/comfort, had undercurrents and subtext that wrote Slash in big, read, honking letters in my subconsciousness long before I knew the word for that. But still, to go that one step further took some getting used to.

Then, I had discovered the world of fanfiction and fanzines, and when I fell in love with my new fandom, Highlander, I hunted for it and for fanzines actively. I even wrote a few (badly written, and unpublished) stories and scenes, myself, which still sit in some forgotten folder in my flat. :)

But it was not until 1998, a year after I went online and discovered the Internet, that I began to write myself in earnest, and not until 2002 before I dared to publish my first fic. And it took until 2005 and my becoming enamored with LOTR, again by the movies, until I started to write my first serious longer story. The rest is history. :)

2/6/2009 . Edited 2/6/2009 #3
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I always used to spin my own stories, mostly original stories developed together with a friend, long before I even knew that something like fanfiction existed

My first stabs at writing were 'original', although after thinking about it, they were fanfiction of a sort. I had read Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi and was ever so fond of an old TV show, Riverboat, which starred Darrin McGavin and a very young Burt Reynolds. I fell in love with the world of antebellum steamboats -- it was my first fannish obsession.

I wrote an original series about a young apprentice river pilot -- Twain called them 'cubs'. Damn, I wonder if any of that still exists. I'd like to see how well I wrote at the age of twelve.

The main benefit was that I became interested in Mark Twain and read almost everything he wrote. His style of writing became my main influence.

2/7/2009 #4
Aislynn Crowdaughter

My first stabs at writing were 'original', although after thinking about it, they were fanfiction of a sort. I had read Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi and was ever so fond of an old TV show, Riverboat, which starred Darrin McGavin and a very young Burt Reynolds. I fell in love with the world of antebellum steamboats -- it was my first fannish obsession.

Nope, mine were - if anything - influenced by Robin Hood and Ivanhoe. My stories all were located in a fictional "Middle Age", set in medieval Europe, although the real history probably had just a fleeting resemblance to what hapened in there. :)

But I loved them, anyway.

My first (German) fanfic, if I think about it, long before I knew the term for it, was inspired by Karl May. I invented a Mary Sue female Indian chief who was leader of a (fictional) tribe, the most bloodthirsty warriors on the plains, and the most dangerous (of course). And also, of course, she was a better fighter than Karl May's main hero, "Old Shatterhand", and was in love with everybody's love and hero, Karl May's fictional Noble Indian Chief (TM), Winnetou. Who was in love with her, too.

I do not wish to find anything of these scribbles, again. I think I was about ten or twelve, at the time, and I thank the Powers that be even today that there was no Internet where I could have posted those "stories". I might have done it, otherwise. *blush*

2/7/2009 . Edited 2/7/2009 #5
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I thank zhje Powers that be even today that there was no Internet where I could have posted those "stories".

The internet age has wonderful benefits and the occasional drawback. (see above) With the print 'zines, there was always the zine-ed standing between you and utter humiliation.

However, the reason I began to, and have continued to, write with a pseudonym came from reading a review of a lamentably bad Star Wars fanfic that could well have been termed a flame. The author in question had our heroes walking to the other side of a planet in less than a day, for instance.

Reading that, I resolved never to have my ass handed to me in that fashion, and I reserved the right to simply drop out of sight and return as someone else if that happened. So far, it hasn't. I guess in this case a harsh review served as a warning to others not to repeat the mistake.

2/7/2009 #6
hixto

The author in question had our heroes walking to the other side of a planet in less than a day, for instance.

Someone has never read The Little Prince. lol

2/7/2009 #7
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Someone has never read The Little Prince. lol

Don't get me started on The Little Prince. I haven't read the book, but I hated the cartoon when my son was very young.

Antoine de Sainte- Exupery -- teaching innocent young minds bad astro-physics for how many generations now?

2/7/2009 #8
hixto

I haven't read the book, but I hated the cartoon when my son was very young.

There was a cartoon? I'll bet that really sucked.

Personally I love that book. I'd love to be able to see 22 sunsets a day. And an elephant in a snake's belly is still the only thing I can draw.

*spoilier* The book is not really about astro-physics.

2/7/2009 #9
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

There was a cartoon? I'll bet that really sucked.

On Nickelodeon. It did. The Little Ponce hooked his umbrella handle around a comet every episode and flew to another planet where he had an incredible trite and banal adventure.

*spoilier* The book is not really about astro-physics.

So I gather. But you'd never know it from that cartoon. I take it the original was some kind of parable?

Bottom line, if you can walk to the other side of a planet in one day, you had better not walk, because you'll be flying off into the vacuum of space. That's what I meant by bad physics.

2/7/2009 #10
hixto

I take it the original was some kind of parable?

Oh, yes, and a very nice one too. The translated text is on the internet if you ever want to check it ou.

Bottom line, if you can walk to the other side of a planet in one day, you had better not walk, because you'll be flying off into the vacuum of space. That's what I meant by bad physics.

Not necessarily. It depends on the gravity of the planet, not the size. And not even then if you had the technology to compensate for the lack of gravity, like they always do in sci-fi stories.

2/7/2009 #11
hixto

And to answer the original question, I never wrote anything but school assignments until I discovered fanfiction. I had no burning desire to write. With the way my current swapfic is going I can safely say I still have no burning desire. lol

But when I got on the internet and found people were posting their writing and I got to reading some of the things out there, I thought I could probably do as well. So I started several original stories. But I never finished them and they are languishing on a floppy disk somewhere. Then then I discovered FFN and AFF and, after reading the stories there thought I could probably do as good if not better. I didn't know there were real writers out there doing really amazing stories.

I didn't actually do any writing though until I did my first beta work and got so helpful that my author told me I should be writing my own stuff. I was betaing all kinds of fandoms in those days, even ones I knew nothing about. I didn't get so much as a thank you from anyone I helped. Then I offered to beta an LOTR story and the author was so nice, so grateful, and taught me so much about writing that we became good friends. She told me I should be writing my own stuff and I was hesitant, but it was so much fun helping her I thought I might try it one day. Then I read an article about Legolas that inspired "Fait Accompli", my first story. My author deemed it worthy of posting, so I put it up at AFF and FFN and got some nice reviews. That was back when adult content was allowed at FFN.

Even now it's not so much about the writing as the sense of community and the challenge of storytelling that keeps me in the fandom world. LOTR is so rich in possibilities, with so many great characters, that I have not yet tired of it, and no other fandom has sparked my interest like LOTR. I've meet so many great people along the way, not the least of which are Randy and Aislynn, that writing fanfiction has been a truly great experience for me.

2/8/2009 #12
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

And to answer the original question, I never wrote anything but school assignments until I discovered fanfiction. I had no burning desire to write. With the way my current swapfic is going I can safely say I still have no burning desire. lol

Well, I never finished anything until I started writing fanfiction. And I have a few unfinished fanfics on my hard drive that probably never will be.

Then then I discovered FFN and AFF and, after reading the stories there thought I could probably do as good if not better.

Blinding flash of insight, there. ;P

I didn't get so much as a thank you from anyone I helped.

O_o I am willing to bestow big sloppy kisses on your feet in gratitude for your consistently excellent beta work.

Then I read an article about Legolas that inspired "Fait Accompli", my first story.

Wow -- Fait was your first? It's impressively well done.

LOTR is so rich in possibilities, with so many great characters, that I have not yet tired of it, and no other fandom has sparked my interest like LOTR.

It's very exacting -- almost like writing fiction set in the real world, where facts can be checked. Unlike Star Trek or Star Wars, where you could just pull a new planet and culture right out of your ass and no one would say boo. I had that same experience with Indiana Jones, who existed in our real world with real historical facts and dates to work around.

I put it up at AFF and FFN and got some nice reviews. That was back when adult content was allowed at FFN.

Holy moly! I'm told that the stories with adult content were deleted all the way back in 2002. That makes you the grand old man of LOTR fandom! :)

2/8/2009 #13
hixto

Then then I discovered FFN and AFF and, after reading the stories there thought I could probably do as good if not better.

Blinding flash of insight, there. ;P

I don't know, I just saw I wrote "as good" instead of "as well". Maybe I'm not as good as I think I am (or is that "as well"? lol)

I am willing to bestow big sloppy kisses on your feet in gratitude for your consistently excellent beta work.

And that's why I like betaing for you. That and the fact it takes about five minutes, I find maybe two typos, and I get to read the really great stories first. *grin*

It really is more fun to beta in a fandom with which one is familar though. I like discussing the stories as much as I like reading them.

Wow -- Fait was your first? It's impressively well done.

It's the best idea I ever had and the best story I will ever write.

It's very exacting -- almost like writing fiction set in the real world, where facts can be checked.

I've always said Tolkien was a much better world builder than he was a storyteller. But the thing I like about it is, take or leave the facts, one can still come up with some pretty good stories and characterizations by building off what they know. Say, only reading the books or seeing the movies for example.

Unlike Star Trek or Star Wars, where you could just pull a new planet and culture right out of your ass and no one would say boo.

Which gives the writer a chance to do a little world building of their own. I would think that would be the fun of writing in that fandom.

Holy moly! I'm told that the stories with adult content were deleted all the way back in 2002. That makes you the grand old man of LOTR fandom! :)

Check the profile. I've been here since April 2002. I registered to post "Strange Shores". Of course that one has been "reinstalled" since then. The formatting here sucked then and it's not much better now.

2/8/2009 . Edited 2/8/2009 #14
EmpyrealFantasy

First topic: When did each of you learn that such a thing as fanfiction even existed, and when did you write your first one? Was it published?

Oh ho! I'll try not to be too long-winded...

Well, I never had the luxury of fanzines and the like. Hell, I didn't even know fanfic existed as something others did until about three and some change years ago.

I've been writing since I was in elementary school, though that was all banal kiddie things. My first fanwork was a joint Sailor Moon fic when i was 14 with my best friend Bryan, complete with self-inserts. Woe is me, thank god we didn't know about FFnet! I would be scarred for life. It was script format, Mary-Sue, self-insert hell. We were the Sailor Zodiacs, yo. :P

The thing that really got me into writing was a... well, it wasn't fanfiction and it wasn't original. About six years ago, I wrote a story (which sadly is on the internet, but no I won't let you read it because my good reputation would be slaughtered. If I could remember the password to the website I made it would be deleted) with that same friend about a Final Fantasy forum we had been a part of for years. It started out as a joke, but then it gained a rather interesting plot. The ideas were great (every person on the forum was a character, the world was a loose amalgamation of Final Fantasy worlds, the plot was interesting in conception) but the execution was awful. I knew basic grammar but sucked at composition. Badly. Bryan... well, he had great ideas, but he was one of those people who capped random words and added commas because they were neat looking. :P

All in all, it was awful. It is a WIP that will only ever be finished if I tear it to pieces and start over, which I might do someday. My friend Sher would like me to, as she was one of the leading characters.

It was pure coincidence that I stumbled over fanfiction while looking for a wallpaper. And when I saw how expansive it was...? Well, look at me now. ;) I've been steadily improving over the years, and though I still have a ways to go, I'm happy. I like the challenge fanfic provides, and the sheer amount of fun I can have reading what's out there. ^^

I'd dearly like to show Bryan my massive audience I gained, but we hardly write anymore... and I don't want to admit to him that I slash. :P He'd never let me live it down, and then he'd critique every gay sex scene I've ever written. Oi.

2/12/2009 #15
hixto

then he'd critique every gay sex scene I've ever written.

That sounds like fun. ;-)

2/12/2009 #16
EmpyrealFantasy

Hey, I'm more realistic than most female slashers. :P Thanks to knowing a (rather skanky in our teens years) real live (OH EM GEE! :P) gay male and having had to listen to details for about a decade, I at least know a bit more than the fangirls. :P

But he'd still not like some of the ones where I shoved reality to the side and let some rather impossible positions win... XD

2/12/2009 #17
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

The thing that really got me into writing was a... well, it wasn't fanfiction and it wasn't original. About six years ago, I wrote a story (which sadly is on the internet, but no I won't let you read it because my good reputation would be slaughtered. If I could remember the password to the website I made it would be deleted) with that same friend about a Final Fantasy forum we had been a part of for years. It started out as a joke, but then it gained a rather interesting plot. The ideas were great (every person on the forum was a character, the world was a loose amalgamation of Final Fantasy worlds, the plot was interesting in conception) but the execution was awful.

That would technically be called a roman a clef.

I won't be an asshat and try to wheedle it out of you. I still have some stories on the net (uploaded by people other than myself from their old print 'zines) that are . . . not at my current level of skill, to put it kindly.

He'd never let me live it down, and then he'd critique every gay sex scene I've ever written. Oi.

For those, I have a really good technical advisor. LOL

2/12/2009 #18
EmpyrealFantasy

I won't be an asshat and try to wheedle it out of you. I still have some stories on the net (uploaded by people other than myself from their old print 'zines) that are . . . not at my current level of skill, to put it kindly.

This story, due to my only writing half of it and not know how to write, was as bad as some of the worst shit out there on this site. No joke. :P It will never see the light of day again.

For those, I have a really good technical advisor. LOL

XD There are a few sites that I gently push the writers I know towards when they use fanon misconceptions and are being total women about gay sex. :P I lost what could have been my advisor a few years ago, so I'm fl;oating on half-remembered fact and the handy sites. D:

2/12/2009 #19
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

then he'd critique every gay sex scene I've ever written.

That sounds like fun. ;-)

LOL -- Iggy beat me to it!

2/12/2009 #20
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

XD There are a few sites that I gently push the writers I know towards when they use fanon misconceptions and are being total women about gay sex. :P I lost what could have been my advisor a few years ago, so I'm fl;oating on half-remembered fact and the handy sites. D:

I discovered the most wonderful site (complete with photos) and advice columns a few years ago. Unfortunately, I lost the link when GAFF shut down. :(

2/12/2009 #21
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

This story, due to my only writing half of it and not know how to write, was as bad as some of the worst shit out there on this site. No joke. :P It will never see the light of day again.

In my early days, I wouldn't have understood POV if it bit me on the ass. My grammar and spelling were always passable, and I'd read enough good literature to be able to copy decent style, but I was kind of like a dog trying to walk on its hind legs.

Interestingly, I just got a new book on writing. -- How Fiction Works. Rather than being a technical manual, it's kind of a series of essays on style. I'm relearning what I always knew -- that the great classical writers did things that my writers group tells me are 'mistakes'.

2/12/2009 #22
EmpyrealFantasy

That is one of my biggest peeves: people critiquing style just because it is different than their own. Everyone writes differently, and if everyone wrote the same it would be awful and boring. Yeah, maybe passive voice isn't a good idea. No, using about 50,000 adverbs and being flowery with adjectives isn't so great of a read either. But you can't just nix it all together, or else all reading would be dry and horribly bland.

2/12/2009 #23
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

That is one of my biggest peeves: people critiquing style just because it is different than their own.

*cough* I get that a lot on my group. "You need to get deeper into your character's head." (In a story written in distant third.) "You'll have to change this if you'd ever want to get it published." (Er, I have no ambitions to be published, and if I did, it would not be by the romance publishing houses this other writer aims to sell to.)

Yeah, maybe passive voice isn't a good idea.

Passive voice 1) can add a necessary variety to the sentence structure and 2) put the focus on that which you are writing about. Don't use it often, but don't eschew it completely. My even bigger peeve is the confusion of passive voice with the past continuous tense (John was washing his car) and the dislike for to be verbs altogether. My group will pounce on you for using the word 'was'. I'm sorry, but the great writers use it all the time without apology.

2/12/2009 . Edited 2/12/2009 #24
EmpyrealFantasy

My group will pounce on you for using the word 'was'. I'm sorry, but the great writers use it all the time without apology.

So... you aren't allowed to write in 3rd person past tense? O_o How in the hell else do they expect to accomplish it?

2/12/2009 #25
hixto

But he'd still not like some of the ones where I shoved reality to the side and let some rather impossible positions win... XD

Hey, I've read some of those. We can all dream, can't we? Literary license and all that.

That is one of my biggest peeves: people critiquing style just because it is different than their own.

That's because people confuse style with the technicalities and don't realize that there are times when the rules may be broken in the interests of style. It's all about telling a readable story, not just following a set of standard rules. Writing is not a recipe.

2/12/2009 . Edited 2/12/2009 #26
EmpyrealFantasy

Writing is not a recipe.

Thank god. I can't cook worth shit.

2/12/2009 #27
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

So... you aren't allowed to write in 3rd person past tense? O_o How in the hell else do they expect to accomplish it?

By substituting a more active form of description. A sentence like, "Joe's hair was greying and his clothes were shabby," would be forced into, "A shock of grey hair tumbloed down Joe's forehead, and he wore a tattered coat."

The past continuous, "When I came in, Grandma was sitting in her rocking chair," will be forced into the simple past tense: "When I came in, Grandma sat in her chair." "The wind was blowing" will be changed to "The wind blew."

All well and good, but I've started to find myself standing on my head to avoid constructions that I know will get me grief, and the writing ends up sounding just as cliched an stilted as that which they're trying to avoid.

2/12/2009 . Edited 2/12/2009 #28
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Writing is not a recipe.

Well, to hear some people tell it, we're supposed to force contemporary fiction into the literary equivalent of McDonalds. Or maybe a Banquet Frozen Entree. ;P

2/12/2009 #29
hixto

We should all make "was" our friend. It's a very useful word and there's nothing wrong with it.

2/12/2009 #30
Page 1 2 3 4 11 .. Last Next »
Forum Moderators: Thranduil Oropherion Redux militaryhistory
Rules:
  • Forums are not to be used to post stories.
  • All forum posts must be suitable for teens.
  • The owner and moderators of this forum are solely responsible for the content posted within this area.
  • All forum abuse must be reported to the moderators.
Membership Length: 2+ years 1 year 6+ months 1 month 2+ weeks new member