Poll: Readers of Dioscuri: Should I write the sequel, Katabasis? Vote Now!
Author has written 100 stories for Bleach, Hikaru no Go, Dresden Files, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock, Yu-Gi-Oh, Yu-Gi-Oh GX, Justice League, One Piece, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Get Backers, X-Men, xxxHOLiC, Pokémon, James Bond, Danny Phantom, Transformers, Tiger & Bunny/タイガー＆バニー, Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, Overlord/オーバーロード, Finder Series, Manhwa/Korean Comics/만화, Yuri!!! on Ice, Nurarihyon no Mago/ぬらりひょんの孫, Jasper Fforde, Avengers, Naruto, Good Omens, Avengers, Fate/stay night, Puella Magi Madoka Magica/魔法少女まどか★マギカ, Despicable Me, and Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir.
Title: The Crazy Scribe to the Stars, Keeper of the Great Library of Fanfiction (position still pending election) and overall great fan of anime/manga, complete bookworm, and somewhat psychic (never been landed in hospital...yet.)
The avatar is "The Dreamer" by Chris McGarth.
Welcome to my domain.
But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.""How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice."You must be," said the Cat, "otherwise you wouldn't have come here."
Resources for À la Vie, À la Mort:
Improving the Quality of FanFiction Posted: Resources
Decoding the Subtext (for Holmes X Watson slash)
Tv Tropes (for any pop culture references)
Useful Notes (Also from TV Tropes; useful, entertaining, and hopefully accurate. Anyway, a good primer on any cultural/scientific/historical/philosophical concepts to be covered in any story)
Superpower Wiki (Superpowers and how they might be applied)
Noah Lukeman: The Plot Thickens and The First Five Pages
Graphemica: special characters accepted in HTML.
Some (non-exhaustive) tips on How to Write Fanfiction
I know that new writers often get discouraged due to the lack of reviews. Here are a set of guidelines to help budding writers who actually read my profile.
1. Focus on what you want to write. Crack, angst, adventure, the choice is yours. Get a rough idea of how to start, and how to end. Everything in between will come in time, discussion, or the plot bunny hits you over the head with it.
2. Read up on your chosen fandom; in the case of crossovers, read up on both fandoms. This will not only give you a rough timeline to work with, but also help you plot where and when to set the story. The numerous Internet wikis are there for this reason. Research can also be done by trawling through 's various fics for ideas. Take note not to copy wholesale; authors can spot their work with scary accuracy. Do note that sometimes you might feel like copying wholesale from the manga script, that's only good as a connector. Use it too many times and people are going to ask if you're just writing the manga out in novel form for them.
Even if you want to write AU, it is a good idea to keep the wiki open, if only for character references or rough research. The only exception is if the whole series for the chosen fandom to date is in your possession. In the case where whatever you write is wholly fictional and has nothing to do with fandom, attach a warning in the summary or author's notes, or just put in a passing mention.
3. Title and summaries are important, if only to raise a flag that says 'hey, I'm here, read me!'. For help in choosing, refer to the wikis again or see Tv Tropes.
4. Tv Tropes help in letting you choose plot devices to use, as well as character development (in case of OCs). A Mary-Sue is about as off-putting as a no-good character, maybe even more so.
5. Character bashing is a fairly common phenomenon, but try to attach a warning in the summary, or the author's notes.
6. In the case of OCs, develop characters well. There are several forums to assist new writers in this.
7. With rated fics, it is best to attach a warning label in the author's notes. It is also good to attach a disclaimer and that you are working under the Creative Commons now and then. The only place this rule does not apply is Archive of Our Own; it is understood that almost everything there is fan-based.
8. Pay attention to basic formatting, double-paragraph (press enter twice) just in case. Basic formatting makes the reading experience better. The Document Manager exists for this as well. Many good fics have been ruined by lousy formatting.
9. You don't need good grammar to write fanfiction. However, basic spelling should be observed. Think of the reader who has to read through the mess.
10. (Specific for ) for line breaks, go to Doc Manager, then to your document, and click the symbol that's a single horizontal line through. There are authors who employ their own separators in the form of symbols, but I find that the line break is more useful and neater.
11. If you are choosing a part where you are writing in a language completely outside your sphere, attach a warning that says you used Babelfish/Google Translate for it. If you really want linguistic accuracy, either get a dictionary, or get a beta to read it over to correct. There is a whole section out for beta readers set up for this express purpose. The latter is really more accurate (YMMV).
12. Take a few days in between to post chapters. In the interim between posts, word usually spreads through people who favourite/alert/mention in passing/recommend about your fic. Do not fear if there are no reviews, or very few reviews in the beginning; it usually works out in the end.
13. For starting writers, I'd advise to keep chapters short. 2K-3K is a good starting length, then you can work from there. If a chapter is 10K words, and it's too long to safely read, cut it. It is also less pressure on both writer and reader to complete a chapter. Never mind if there are a lot of chapters; the story is what matters.
14. Use a different font for the author's notes, if you intend to attach them in front/behind/in between. There are eight possible combinations of fonts to use even with the basics, reserve one for your own use. Try a combination of fonts; for example, I use bold italics for my author's notes, and mostly plain or italics for the actual story.
On the subject of fonts, it is best to use plain to write most of the story, italics for flashbacks, letters and emphasis on words in literary technique, bold for highlighting volume (e.g. when character is yelling), and underlines almost never except for titles and other stuff (e.g. different languages).
15. For lazy writers, it is recommended to get a beta. They will ensure that you actually write it out. If you can't, or you think you don't need one, put in the effort to actually write.
16. If you're going to leave a fic alone and incomplete for a long time for any reason, attach a HIATUS to the summary. That way, people don't get their hopes up if you post an announcement in place of a chapter.
17. Take reviews seriously. If a reader takes the time to critique the work, then work on that improvement.
!7.1: The readers do not rule the story, nor do they write it. You do. You are free to ignore flames if it looks like the reader is being recalcitrant.
18. The number of hits you get immediately after posting a chapter is an indicator of how popular your fic is in the short-term. The number of favourites and reviews plus alerts is a long-term indicator. Reviews are accumulative and rare; unless the fic is ridiculously popular, few will reach over a hundred. Fics with reviews over a hundred are usually done by veteran writers with an established fan-base of author alerts and favourite author lists.
19. If you can wrangle yourself a place on the Fanfic Rec list on Tv Tropes, the fic is more or less made. Tv Tropes is popular for what it showcases, and the fanfic rec page is also a good reference for good-quality fics. Even better if you get a place on the Crowning Moment of Awesome; you'll need a warning to keep readers away.
20. Enjoy writing. It's all in the journey, not the destination.
21. For really long fics (100K) it might be better to divide the story into arcs. Mentally speaking, most adventure stories do this until it feels like a Monster-of-the-Week show. Either way, dividing a story into arcs can give the writer room to work with.
22. (Specific to OC fics) Unless it is really pertinent to the story, the background of the characters may be better told over a distribution of chapters (eg chapter 1, A likes tofu, Chapter 5, A hates traitors the most, etc) and then it is best to imply rather than outright state (unless directly confronted with the object in question eg chapter 1, A eats a plate of tofu in 3 seconds).
23. Keep in view
24. In the case of scenery, it's best to outline where needed. There are exercises for this in writing books, but I recommend books on writing by Noah Lukeman (surprisingly interesting for a book on how to write a story).
25. If you can't write scenery, read other sections to get a feel of the scenery. Draw a picture. Google a castle and describe it. There's this wonderful thing called an online thesaurus. For the budget-inclined, Google-fu is a wonderful skill of the future; now start getting to it.
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