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Author has written 25 stories for Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Unwind, Midnighters, Mortal Instruments, Hunger Games, Maximum Ride, and Harry Potter.
PULL has restarted with a new exclusivity factor. Hopefully this will allow us to keep it under control. All PULL information can be found here.
Next PULL Date: Friday, June 24, 2011
An Extremely Brief Summary Of Me:
Highschooler. Nerdfighter. Potterhead. Bookaholic. PULL admin. Obsessive reader. Commentarius fangirl. Freak. Saxophonist. Band geek. NaNoWriMo novelist. Computer addict. Political guru. Technology illiterate. Dog person. Latchkey kid. Writing lover. Younger sister. Older sister. Completely insane. Possesor of amazing friends. Nerd.
Look for a beta?
Drop me a line. I've been looking for some summer projects, though I will be working with xXIceShadowXx in a beta trade.
Now, the truths of my thoughts.
The Truth About Writing: None of us are experts. Hence why we're here instead of at publishing companies. So yes, there are going to be mistakes. And some stories are, inevitably, going to suck. We can't stop that. But that doesn't mean we should all just give up and post whatever crap we write in Study Hall without even looking it over. It doesn't mean we should all just scribble things because we're bored and deem them website-ready. And no, it doesn't mean that crappy writing is acceptable. Your story can be better! It's not even that hard! Here is a wonderful Fanfiction for Percy Jackson and the Olympians that will tell you everything you need to know about writing good Fanfiction. Although it is PJO specific, the ideas and concepts are universal.
The Truth About the Guidelines: They were written for a reason. Whenever you go to post a new story and the website tells you that you haven't read the guidelines, take a few seconds just to read them again. Does your story violate any of the above? If you post it, you risk getting reported. The truth is, if your story violates any of the guidelines, it doesn't belong here. There are some exceptions; people post lists or IM conversations and make it work, but they are rare. Please, please, please do not post chapters as separate stories. Use the chapter feature. Thank you.
The Truth About Titles: There are thousands upon thousands of stories on this site. I know you are never going to be able to come up with a completely original title. I sure as heck can't. But please, come up with your title on your own. And just check that when you search your title, there is not already a story by that title in the same category as yours. It would be greatly appreciated. Also, the more interesting your title is, the more people want to read it. It's true!
The Truth About Summaries: Your summary is the first peek of your story that people get. They will decide whether or not to read it based on your summary. Do not waste it. You only have so many letters. Describe your story. Say what it's about. And for god's sake, don't do any of the following:
The Truth About Author Notes: It is perfectly acceptable to have an author's note every chapter. However, if this is the case, your author's note should not exceed 200 words. And it should definitely not be longer than your story. (Yes, I have seen people do this.) It is fine to have an author's note at the beginning or the end, or even both, but you cannot randomly place them throughout the story. Your story should be completely uninterrupted. If you really need to say something about a certain part, use an asterisk and then place it in your author's note at the end. It is okay to ask for reviews, as long you do not desperately beg for them. However, it is debatable whether you want to do this or not (see The Truth About Reviews).
The Truth About Full-length Stories: You need a plot. I'm sorry, but you do. You cannot write a full-length story without having a good plot. The fact that this is Fanfiction means you have the characters handed to you, and character development isn't an issue, which means plot is the only thing you are worrying about. You just need a plot, okay? You just do. If you do not have a plot, your story should a) be discontinued. You're just rambling or b) give your story a plot. There really is no third option.
The Truth About Chapter Length: Your teacher will always tell you that there is a difference between quality and quantity. I'm not going to deny this; it's a hundred percent true. However, in order to get quality, you need a certain quantity. You cannot write an amazing piece that is only 200 words long. You just can't. You need more room. So please, every chapter of your story should be at least 1000 words. If it isn't, you should either go in and more information, such as description or history, or if you have enough of those, combine it with another chapter because not enough is occurring. Chapters consisting of less than 1000 words finish before they can even really get started. Your chapter should span more than one scene. But one scene should not span more than one chapter. If it does, you are adding too much description or history and you're going to bore your reader.
The Truth About One-Shots: They aren't just some little scene. That's boring. You have to put something more into it. Maybe a great description or a personal idea. You can't just put the characters in a place they've already been with no new description having them do something they've done a million times in the book and expect it to be good. The point of Fanfiction is to use your own ideas. So if they're in a place they've already been, they have to be doing something new. If they've already done this, they need to be somewhere new. Basically, something has to be different. Always. That may sound harsh, but it's true. Also, since oneshots, by nature, contain only one scene, they should follow all the rules of chapter length, as seen above.
The Truth About Song-fictions: Songfics seem to be the new in thing right now. I've written them. My friends have written them. They're everywhere. However, remember what I said earlier about the guidelines? Well, go read them. Now. Then come back here. Surprised, aren't you? I was. It was only recently brought to my attention by a reviewer that songfics are actually against the FanFiction rules. You are not supposed to have musical lyrics in your stories. Personally, I'm leaving mine on the website, but I won't be writing anymore. If you want to continue to write them, my suggestion would be to be absolutely certain that the story stands on its own. It's probably best to write the story to the music and then suggest the song without actually putting any lyrics in. Stating that your story was written to song and you recommend it is perfectly legal.
The Truth About POV: The letters POV in and of themselves should be used very sparingly. If your story is in third person, you generally don't need to write the POV at all, it should be blatantly obvious from the text. (Ex. Jace whipped around, crouched and ready to attack a demon but found only Clary, smiling at him). If your story is in first person, it is sometimes a little more difficult to tell whose POV you are in, but there are ways to reveal it to your readers without writing "Blah Blah's POV." For example, you could have something happen to that one character in the last chapter, and then pick up with the aftermath of the event in the next. You can also have someone call your character by name, their response will clarify their identity.
The Truth About Conventions: They matter. Don't think that they don't. If your story has correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization it is already about 10 times better than most writing on Fanfiction . Think about it like this: When you write an essay for English, do you use correct conventions? Who reads that essay, your teacher? Well, when you write for Fanfiction hundreds of people are reading what you write. They are judging you on what you write. If you want their respect, you need to use proper conventions. Incorrect spelling, no capitalization, chat speak, and excessive commas are huge turn-offs for a piece. Please, just use spell check. Just once. It only takes a minute, and it will catch 75 percent of errors. Then read what you wrote. Just once. You will catch anything glaring. And then you can post. For the most part, you will have correct conventions. That's all it takes, people.
The Truth About Betas: If you are writing a full length story, get yourself a Beta. It's going to make your story so much better if you have someone else to check your conventions and tell you what needs more work. Do you need more description? Your Beta should be telling you that, not a reviewer. Are your characters OOC? Your Beta can catch that. Is your OC a total Mary-Sue? Trust me, your Beta will notice. Just get a Beta. Most people are more than willing. Your Beta should not be sending your chapters back exactly how you sent them off, with no feedback other than "this is awesome." The point of a Beta is to tell you what needs work. If you're Beta isn't doing this, you need a new Beta.
The Truth About Reviews: Don't get me wrong, I like reviews. However, there is more than one type of review. There is the typical review (OMG I LOVE THIS IT'S AMAZING OMG OMG), there is the worthwhile review (This is really good because you did x y and z fantastically), and there is the review that actually improves writing (I like your story but I think you need to work on such and such. For example this part...). I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the first two types. They're are far easier to write. But there was once a purpose to the review button, other than just telling the writer how awesome they are. Constructive criticism, known as CC, was the original intention. To have other writers tell you how you can improve your story and let you know what they think you're already doing well. The get feedback. To improve. That was the original purpose of the review button. And that's the purpose I prefer to use it for.
The Truth About Flames: There is a significant difference between the CC review (which we just went over) and the flame. CC reviews are intended to be helpful. They give ideas of how to improve, why they think you should make changes, and also mention what you're doing well. They are often left by some well-meaning writer who is then reported and yelled at and ganged up on for flaming. As a writer, it's your job to be prepared for CC reviews; they are trying to help you. Please don't get mad at these people. Not everyone has to love your story, and as long as they are being respectful of you, they deserve your respect and gratitude as well.
The Truth About Truths: At this point, you're probably thinking that I'm a pessimistic jerk. I'm sorry. I don't want to come across as being mean. I wrote all of this to try to help people, because I honestly think there are a lot of people out there who only need a little push to become fantastically better writers. I don't want to offend anyone, and if I did, well, you just proved the point I mentioned in The Truth About Reviews. All the things on this list are things that I tell people they should work on in reviews. I think if everyone on FanFiction agreed that these things were important, we would be a much happier place. If you disagree with me, feel free to PM me and yell at me. I promise I won't be mad at you.
"I cannot live without books." -Thomas Jefferson
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