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Joined 01-05-07, id: 1189420, Profile Updated: 09-10-12
Author has written 15 stories for Inheritance Cycle, Prince of Tennis, Bleach, Yu-Gi-Oh, Naruto, Supernatural, Lord of the Rings, Dragon Age, Legend of the Legendary Heroes/伝説の勇者の伝説, and Hunter X Hunter.

MysticLegend11’s Fan Fiction Writing Guide

The iron rule: Conflict is the heart of every story.

Conflicts come in all shapes and sizes. External conflicts, like Man vs. Man, or Man vs. Society create tension and an ensemble of characters, some canon, some original, and usually pushes the plotline forward. Internal conflicts, such as Man vs. Self, catalyses character development through complex interplay with external conflicts, which makes personal journeys touching, relatable, deplorable, and lovable, all at the same time.

Without conflict, fan fiction becomes pointless. The story then simply muddles on without a heartbeat, like shallow, although good-natured, fluff, or a forgettable, predictable vignette.

To make your story popular, choose a conflict that your target audience is begging to read (e.g. a popular pairing, a what-if decision), and introduce the conflict early. Make known who the protagonist and antagonists are, who the possible pairings might be, etc. Plan your story progression: exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution.

To make your story addictive, streamline and gather tension. Tournament organization is extremely addictive for that reason, because there will always be another opponent with more and more at stake. That analogy could also be applied to romance, warfare, etc.

Make the details memorable.

Think of “golden moments” of your favorite stories or movies: what makes them golden? Then be creative and create some of your own golden moments, and figure out the best way to set it up, whether it is a laughable joke, an embarrassing development, or a heart-lurching climax.

When I first think of a story, and I start planning it, I see glimpses of these small moments that really are the heart of the film, and then I work these micro-details by setting up a macro-plot. If there are too many, the story will feel too cluttered and forced. But without them, the story is entirely forgettable, and the reader clicks on the next link. Stephanie Meyer dreamed of a shockingly handsome man with an ordinary-looking girl in the woods, and that image became a springboard for the entire franchise.

Develop solid writing basics.

Learn when a sentence is a run-on or not, learn what dangling modifiers are, know when using italics is okay and when it gets too much. Become mature with your grammar and conventions. Do not try to appear cute by showing off too much knowledge of a foreign language or using too many exclamation points. If you do not understand something, google it. Ask people around you, and go through old-fashioned exercises.

After you have the basics down, experiment with different writing styles, different universe-appropriate vocabulary.

Some great authors have very purple, ornamental prose. Others are very simple and slick. Some hedge on imagery, others on metaphors. Some are very straightforward, while others ramble and run in circles. The best writers, however, are versatile: they can do all of these at the right time and at the right place.

Develop the ability to both tell and show.

Tell: She rode her bike down the winding neighborhood sidewalk at a leisurely pace. She had red scarlet strands in her hair, and mud streaks over her blue Keds. Every morning she did this, and every morning he would stare out the window, anticipating that maybe the next minute she would turn around the corner block.

Show: The gears in her bike turned furiously, powered by her youthful exuberance. The scarlet strands in her hair blew around her face like a fiery halo. After every soft rise of dawn she would follow the same concrete path, leaving a path of crushed autumn leaves in her wake. Nevertheless, every time a pair of dark eyes from a gray window would follow her around the same path, eyes of nervous curiosity and silent anticipation.

For most people, telling is easy. Developing the ability to show is much harder. Here are some tips: try using a wide array of subjects. The tell part had the following subjects: she, she, she, he. The show part: gears, strands, she, pair. What a difference! Try to not simply say what happens: rode, streaks, stare, anticipate. Instead add color to an incomplete picture by using sensory cues, and then let the reader discover what is happening on her own: exuberance, blew, halo, dawn, autumn, gray, nervous.

Use appropriate word choice based on the type and complexity of the genre and universe.

Reading widely and developing an appropriate, complex set of vocabulary is important. Remember what universe and genre you are writing for.

Modern: the blue-tipped feathers of the bird ruffled in the autumn wind; the driver slammed the brakes, and the Mercedes skidded across the pavement

Science fiction: the appendages of the teal pheasant creased from a sudden upward draft; the sudden break in gyration caused the wheels to screech across the concrete pavement

Fantasy: the gossamer plumage of fowl crinkled from the meadow's zephyr; the buggy whirled to a hurried stop, draining the karmic energy of the lapis lazuli

Notice the difference in diction even though the words fundamentally mean the same thing, just in different universes. This is magic at work, expanding (often borrowing) your vocabulary, which can only been done through reading and writing continuously. Analyze your favorite writer: if you were in the writer’s position and needed to express the same thing, what makes the professional so good at what he/she does? Are there specific styles and words that are more effective?

To write a solid action scene, pretend you are a sports broadcaster.

Action scenes are exciting. Imagine your favorite martial arts movie or the last sports game you were riled up on. Use lots of active verbs. Punctuate long paragraphs with some short sentences. Build the tension. Punch, kick, dodge around the forehead. Then slowly, ever-so-subtly, work to a CLIMAX! For me, action scenes have somewhat of a cinematic quality. Can you imagine what is happening like a movie? Then try to put it into words. Capture the excitement, pain, adrenaline, and emotion through the beauty of language as best you can. Vary your sentence structure, subject matter, and be concise.

Just keep writing.

Nothing will improve your writing like more writing. Listening to solid feedback will always help tremendously, which is why I recommend always having a beta reader, even if there might be a delay – in the end it is definitely worth it. But finding a beta reader who suits you is also extremely important: someone that is strict enough to catch errors and provide alternatives, but not too much of a hassle that you become discouraged from writing more. As a beta reader myself, I realized this critical mistake too late.

They say that to excel at a craft, you need to devote 10,000 hours, regardless of what it is: playing an instrument, programming a language, writing journalism, becoming an Olympian athlete, or writing fan fiction.

Best of luck to everyone, I hope this guide was worth your time. Send me a message for any reason at all – to comment on this, disagree, and I will be happy to discuss with you.

Sort: Category . Published . Updated . Title . Words . Chapters . Reviews . Status .

The Iceman Cometh! by stophoggingtheblanket reviews
When a new girl comes to Seigaku, the regulars start getting some... uhm... interesting ideas to brighten up Tezuka's life. TezukaxOC
Prince of Tennis - Rated: K+ - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 24 - Words: 44,656 - Reviews: 886 - Favs: 444 - Follows: 478 - Updated: 7/28/2011 - Published: 1/8/2007 - Tezuka K.
Deception's Imposture by Accidental.Enlightenment reviews
Tennis season is over. Fuji finds himself at a loss. In their third and final year of high school at Seishun Gakuen Senior High, there are no longer any club activities. The past is behind them, and college awaits. But Fuji needs help letting go. OC.
Prince of Tennis - Rated: T - English - Romance - Chapters: 2 - Words: 6,223 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 12/10/2008 - Published: 8/6/2007 - Fuji S.
And Then There Were None by kaIshekk reviews
A deserted island, ten little wooden monkeys, nine regulars. One by one, they are killed. Warning: Character death. Obviously.
Prince of Tennis - Rated: T - English - Mystery/Crime - Chapters: 29 - Words: 47,733 - Reviews: 321 - Favs: 89 - Follows: 32 - Updated: 6/27/2008 - Published: 12/19/2007 - Complete
Kirihara Akaya by Stormy1x2 reviews
Done for LJ's fanfic100 claim, a series of linked drabbles following the claim order. Posted 10 drabbles to a chapter. My take on Kirihara, following the anime but not the manga, as I haven't read it. Slightly AU. Mild shonen ai if you look hard.
Prince of Tennis - Rated: K+ - English - Drama - Chapters: 7 - Words: 29,881 - Reviews: 52 - Favs: 51 - Follows: 51 - Updated: 4/8/2008 - Published: 2/8/2008 - Kirihara A.
Changing for the Better or the Worse by alsdssg reviews
Marin was a petty criminal fleeing Dras Leona to escape punishment. Then she tried to steal food from a group of travelers staying in the caves on the plains. That was when everything got started. That was when she realized how many mistakes she made.
Inheritance Cycle - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 20 - Words: 71,810 - Reviews: 225 - Favs: 31 - Follows: 40 - Updated: 12/9/2007 - Published: 12/26/2006
Knee Deep in Sand by kc-archive reviews
Gaara & Sakura. Pre timeskip. On an escort mission to Sand, Sakura runs into someone she'd like to never see again. She just wishes she could actually BELIEVE that statement. Since when had he been so incredibly fascinating?
Naruto - Rated: T - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 5 - Words: 14,650 - Reviews: 159 - Favs: 306 - Follows: 122 - Updated: 10/18/2006 - Published: 7/31/2006 - Sakura H., Gaara - Complete
Frosted Light by xiamei reviews
Ice, though cold and unforgiving, reflects light most beautifully and profoundly. A series of independent drabbles.
Naruto - Rated: K+ - English - Chapters: 6 - Words: 1,294 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 4/9/2006 - Published: 2/6/2006 - Sasuke U., Naruto U. - Complete
Sort: Category . Published . Updated . Title . Words . Chapters . Reviews . Status .

To Live reviews
Kurapika heads back to his desecrated hometown to search for clues, and he stumbles upon the clan's most dangerous secret. KurapikaxOC
Hunter X Hunter - Rated: T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 1 - Words: 1,172 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 8 - Published: 5/31/2013 - Kurapika K., Kuroro L.
The Legend of Tsukuyomi reviews
Blackmailed, Sion agrees to make Fyona Froaude his queen. SionxOCxMiran, slight LucilexOC
Legend of the Legendary Heroes/伝説の勇者の伝説 - Rated: K+ - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 1 - Words: 367 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 7 - Published: 8/24/2010 - Sion A., Miran F.
Forgiveness without Retribution reviews
Due to the memory of her beloved parents, Elissa spares Loghain, but at the risk of losing the man she loves and everything they had fought for. F!Cousland/Alistair
Dragon Age - Rated: K+ - English - Angst/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 1 - Words: 3,141 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 5 - Published: 7/18/2010 - Cousland, Loghain M. T. - Complete
The Bonds that Twine reviews
MurtaghxOC He finds some solace after taking quite a beating from the Twins. Set after kindapping in Eldest. AU to The Bonds That Bind.
Inheritance Cycle - Rated: K+ - English - Romance - Chapters: 1 - Words: 1,048 - Reviews: 3 - Published: 6/6/2010 - Murtagh, The Twins - Complete
Panache reviews
Drabble about Kirihara and his... habits.
Prince of Tennis - Rated: K+ - English - Angst - Chapters: 1 - Words: 140 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Published: 12/24/2009 - Kirihara A. - Complete
LotR: The Abridged Version reviews
I happened to drop upon the set of LotR and give the characters some advice before meeting an untimely death by Gimli. Pure crack. LegolaxOC, implied GimlixOC
Lord of the Rings - Rated: T - English - Parody/Drama - Chapters: 1 - Words: 2,108 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 6/17/2009 - Legolas, Gimli - Complete
Destiny reviews
RubyxDean Dean hated it when that whore of a demon was right.
Supernatural - Rated: T - English - Angst/Suspense - Chapters: 1 - Words: 768 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Published: 5/17/2009 - Dean W., Ruby - Complete
Blessing of the Curse reviews
.GaaraxOC. He was once feared; she was once loved. He was done running from his past; she wanted to escape her future. He would become the next Kazekage, her the next feudal lord... assuming they aren't sent to Hell first.
Naruto - Rated: T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 2 - Words: 1,534 - Reviews: 2 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 5/1/2009 - Published: 4/26/2009 - Gaara, Kankuro
The Bonds That Bind reviews
MurtaghOC Jeannette is a servant to Murtagh, but as time elapses, she becomes entangled into a web of love, conflict, and hatred. RECONTINUED AFTER A YEAR-LONG HIATUS.
Inheritance Cycle - Rated: T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 25 - Words: 67,175 - Reviews: 178 - Favs: 48 - Follows: 50 - Updated: 12/8/2008 - Published: 1/12/2007
Project S632 reviews
Hanari Lain is Seto Kaiba's new assistant director, but as he strives towards divulging her every secret, he grows increasingly fascinated and obsessed. Then, all plans go astray due to a complication no one had foreseen: Noah. -NoahxOC, SetoxOC-
Yu-Gi-Oh - Rated: K+ - English - Sci-Fi/Romance - Chapters: 4 - Words: 7,007 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 7/23/2008 - Published: 6/28/2008 - Noa K./Noah K., S. Kaiba
Monster reviews
YuutaxOC, KiriharaxOC What happens when Kunimitsu Tezuka has a little sister? Why, the beginning of a monster legend, of course. Hey, a bit of one sided competition never killed anybody, right? Complete.
Prince of Tennis - Rated: K+ - English - Adventure/Humor - Chapters: 26 - Words: 87,887 - Reviews: 187 - Favs: 110 - Follows: 59 - Updated: 6/25/2008 - Published: 6/21/2007 - Tezuka K., Fuji Y. - Complete
Counting Daisies reviews
-IshidaxOC- While Ishida Uryu embarks on a hero's path of a grand and cosmic scale, he is surprised to find an unexpected person waiting for him at home, as well as comfort in the most normal teenage experiences. Complete. Please enjoy.
Bleach - Rated: K - English - Romance - Chapters: 4 - Words: 6,263 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 5/31/2008 - Published: 3/30/2008 - Uryuu I. - Complete
Moving On reviews
A one-shot tribute to KarinxHitsugaya. "Ever since that day, the day of the soccer game and hollow attack, he had stood there at every sunset. The same worn-out trail. The same chipped metal railing." And one day... he was gone.
Bleach - Rated: K - English - Suspense/Friendship - Chapters: 1 - Words: 1,377 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 5 - Published: 5/31/2008 - T. Hitsugaya, Ichigo K. - Complete
The Apocalypse: Inui's Love Potion reviews
It's the end of the world as we know it. [HorioxTomo, EchizenxEchizen, OishixEijixKarupin, MomoxKaidoh, SyusukexMizukixYuuta, TezukaxMizuno]
Prince of Tennis - Rated: T - English - Parody/Suspense - Chapters: 1 - Words: 4,419 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 1 - Published: 8/8/2007 - Inui S., Mizuki H. - Complete
You're Still Mada Mada Dane reviews
[onesided RyoSaku] I know that Echizen Ryoma will never acknowledge me, and I accept this. Excerpt from Ryuzaki Sakuno's Diary.
Prince of Tennis - Rated: K - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 1 - Words: 1,230 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 1 - Published: 7/19/2007 - R. Sakuno, E. Ryoma - Complete
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