Poll: Which person would you like to see more of (or be introduced)? Choose a antagonist and protagonist. Vote Now!
Creating a good fanfiction is extremely easy. It requires only one element. Originality. First we must ask ourselves, what is originality? As stated by the dictionary.com app on my Ipad, Originality is the ability to express oneself in a independant and individual manner. Originality is not easy, but it is simple: Just don't do stuff that's already been done.
The First Law of Fanfiction: (a) States that every change which strengthens the protagonists requires a corresponding worsening of their challenges. (b) You can't make Frodo a Jedi without giving Sauron the Death Star.
Example #1: Dark!Naruto and Dark!Kakashi both permit a Naruto strengthened over canon - the first by turning one of Naruto's canon!allies against him, and the second by turning Naruto against his canon!allies.
Example #2: Harry gained all the knowledge of ancient Atlantis and has been through literally hundreds of Peggy Sue cycles in which he learns every possible twist of fate...but Voldemort, who unfortunately got to Atlantis first, still wins every time.
Read any book on writing ever and it will tell you that stories are about conflict; a hero too strong for their conflict is no longer in tense, heart-pounding difficulty. The Mary Sue is not defined by her power, but by her lack of an even more powerful opponent. I mention this (1) so that you know I know it and (2) because the First Law of Fanfiction ought to be in a giant banner on every fanfiction site. The most fatal temptation of fanfiction writing is to think of how much easier some character's life would be if they were a ninja. We are therefore naturally inclined to think up ways to solve our characters' problems for them, but must learn instead to make their lives more difficult.
All fanfiction involves borrowing the original author's characters, situations, and world. It is ridiculous to turn around and complain if your own ideas get borrowed in turn. Anyone is welcome to steal any ideas from any fanfiction I write.
I have joined the Review Semi-Revolution. Therefore, I state to leave at least one review on any fic of which I've read 15,000 words, regardless of the number of previous reviews, its age, or whether I have anything wittier to say than "Nice fic". On the theory that if I like it enough to read 15,000 words, I like it enough to leave at least one review.(This is halfway between the Review Revolution and the Review Counter-Revolution.)
Review Counter-Revolution: This states that a reviewer should review a fanfiction only if they have something to say and the energy (not to mention motivation) to say it. If one likes a story enough to add it to their Favorites, then try to make the effort to say why. However, you should not feel obliged to clog up ffn with white noise just for the sake of it, and don't turn reading fanfiction from a pleasure to a chore. It's meant to be fun.
Review Revolution: This is the vow that all authors who join the reveiw Revolution must make: I, (Insert Name Here), do solemnly swear to review all the fics I read, regardless of the number of reviews, its age, or anything else. I have joined the Review Revolution.
If you enjoy reading a fic, that's easy to repay; just leave a review - reviews make authors happy. But what if you learn something from a fic, what what if it changes your mind? A favor like that isn't easy to repay, but what can't be paid back can often be paid onward. Blog the fic or tweet it or tell your friends, and someone else will get a chance to learn.
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