Tips, Tricks, and Do's and Don'ts
Every writer may need help from time to time, whether its trying to conquer writer's block or creating realistic OCs. This Forum will have some tips, tricks, and some of the Do's and Don'ts centered around writing fanfiction.
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Hello! I am quite new to fanfiction and I've been researching information and how to keep characters from being mary suey and other things. I have one problem I don't know how to start my story. I've already jotted down quick personalities and looks for my main characters (leaving plenty of room for development) but I am not quite sure how to write a good summary or how to hook the reader in the first chapter.

7/23/2015 #1

I"m sure you will get way batter answer's then me, but I"m here right now so I try to answer you. as long you know what mary su is - character that too much perfect without any flew at all. you be okay. balance is the key here, and try to keep her as realistic as you can be. as for summery, try to say in a few words the start of the plot, and where it start, the time it start. on what it will be, in short words of course.

in one hand, say on what the story would be about. but on the other hand, try not to say too much or spoiler the reader. I don't really sure about summery myself. but when I search for a story, I want to know on who it will be about and a little bit on what. what am I getting myself into XD I hope it help. good luck!

7/23/2015 . Edited 7/23/2015 #2

Okay thanks! I'll try to go from there!

7/23/2015 #3

Hey there!

I hardly consider myself an expert on these issues (I still find myself struggling over them all the time), but here's what little help I have to offer:

If you haven't found it already, there's a lovely little guide that several people have contributed to a little further down in the thread called "How to Make a Good Summary". It's got just about every bit of advice I could offer, but here are a few main points I'd definitely focus on:

  • Be confident -- don't put anything like "It's not that good, but..." or "I suck at summaries, but..." you've got to be in love with your own work to sell it. Market yourself well, and let your readers be the judge of your content quality.
  • It can be a bit overwhelming to try and turn your entire plot line into just a few sentences. If you find yourself struggling to fit everything in and trying to fit in too many details, try sitting down with a sheet of paper instead (I highly recommend physically writing with a pen or pencil for brainstorming activities, there's just something about the action that makes it easier to focus and organize your thoughts) and then make a list of everything that you think needs to be included in order for a reader to gain a good understanding of your plot. When you've finished, go over each point and ask yourself if it's really crucial knowledge -- if you left it out, could a potential reader still get the basic gist of the story? If the answer is yes, cross it out. Do it over and over again until you've boiled it down to just two or three main points.
  • Definitely err on the side of "less is more". Often, what makes me check out a story is a summary that leaves a lot to the imagination. Make it mysterious and open ended so that a potential reader will wonder where you're going with it. Curiosity plays a huge role in drawing people in.

That's really all I can think of to offer there. If you'd like to send me a PM with a copy of your summary, I'd be happy to take a look at it and give you some feedback. I'm honestly not all that good at writing summaries myself, so I'm not sure how much help I might be, but I could at least give you an idea of how it comes across to me as a reader.

As for hooking readers in the first chapter, this is probably one of the hardest things to do. You can find plenty of tips with a quick google search, but figuring out how to implement them to your own story and characters and with your own style is a struggle on it's own. The general tried and true method is to start out right in the middle of the action. Depending on the type of story you write, you can do this several different ways (you could have your MC running for their life, taking someone else's life, finding themselves out on the street after having just been kicked out of their home, just coming out of a bad break up) but the main point is just to make it so that the reader doesn't know whether they'll be okay or not, so they'll want to keep on reading in order to find out! It can be a bit hard to keep up with that pace, though; if you start off with that much momentum, you'll want to be careful not to slow things down too quickly. That's probably the best advice I can give you in that area -- just make sure something important is happening, definitely stay away from "MC wakes up and goes about their daily morning routine" introductions, and definitely don't have your characters stand in front of a mirror and describe what they look like!

Ultimately, these are all things that you're just going to have to learn through tons and tons of practice. I can assure you that figuring out how to write an engaging intro, realistic characters, and a concise summary are all things that every single writer has struggled with and probably pulled some hair out over. I can certainly try to provide tips and tricks that have worked for me, but when it comes right down to it, you'll just have to do a bunch of messing around on your own and figure out what works for you! Don't get discouraged if your first several attempts don't quite meet your expectations -- writing is hard -- but just keep trying over and over again, you'll eventually start to get a feel for these things! Good luck!

7/25/2015 #4

Thank you so much! I've been writing down different ways to start my story (different scenes, points of views, etc.) because I'm still deciding everything and this really did help. As for the summary part, I might PM you it when I finish some different summaries I had in mind. Anyway thanks for telling me this and it's good to know I'm not one of the only people struggling with these things.

7/26/2015 #5
To really help you here, you'd need to tell us the tone of your story, what fandom is it for (phiineas and ferb, tokyo ghoul... atomic puppet and so on), what is the plot and what is the first thing you want your readers to see. once those four things have been established, it will be MUCH easier to help you.
2/3/2017 #6
I need help writing a fanfic because I have never do on before
4/21/2017 #7

hello i have come up with an idea for a fanfaction but i do not know how to start one and how to carry on with it gor aleast 200 chapters i am not very good at coming up with ideas and i am not very good at telling a story so i would be very greatful if u all could help me alot alot please thanks Emma

5/26/2017 #8

Just write. There's nothing else to it. Know where you want to go with the story and do it. If you're stuck, ask yourself what's stopping you, and resolve it.

2/4/2018 #9

Do you mean like, if your character is a fighter. Give him some limitations to make him not as op?

2/14/2018 #10
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