Author has written 9 stories for Glee, Star Wars, Thor, Avengers, and Ranger's Apprentice.
My name is Katerinaki.
Occupation: I work for Disney. Yeah, I'm that cool.
Languages I Know: English, Greek, Spanish, American Sign Language, and a tiny bit of Mandarin Chinese and Sindarin.
Fandoms I Like: Star Wars, Harry Potter, Starkid, Lord of the Rings (anything Tolkien really), Ranger's Apprentice, The Avengers (movies), and Glee for now.
Pet Peeves: Lots of stupid spelling errors (the kind that are fixed with a Spell Check and character names), words that mean something else (there, their, they're, etc.), major mistakes in canon (Do the leg work, look up your names and get your canon facts right please)
*I would be happy to beta read for any of the above fandoms, so go ahead and send me a PM!*
Ways to “Spruce Up” Your Fanfictions and Get Better Reviews!
I’ve been a writer and reader of fanfiction for a little while now and there are a bunch of things that just get on my nerves and completely take away from the story. And they’re simple things. So here are a few things that you, as an author, can do to fix your fanfictions and get good reviews.
- One, compound word. Spell-Check. Seriously people, it’s a feature on most word processor programs and it’s a really good one! If you’re using Microsoft Word, hit F7. It will catch at least the basic mistakes and it will make all the difference. We’re not using typewriters anymore; there is no need for incorrect spelling. And please, at least get the character’sname right!
- Proofread. I am dead serious here, people. When you don’t proofread, it is painfully obvious because you have those spelling errors and other little mistakes that could be easily remedied if you just reread what you wrote. You’ll catch things like horrendous grammar almost immediately. Read it out loud if you have to. If something doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t.
- Have a plot. Or at least some sort of plan in mind. Don’t just go in, flying blind. There are very few authors in the world that can do that and actually be successful. I’m not saying you have to have a carefully laid out flowchart with each chapter planned down to a “T” and character bios and a whole bloody encyclopaedia. I’m talking about maybe a few notes or even just an idea stored away in your mind. Have some clue as to where you want to go, and I promise the road there will be much smoother.
- Stay as true to canon as possible. Fanfiction readers like the original stories. That’s the reason they’re on the site. Characters that are OOC or Out of Character typically don’t do well. It’s one thing to take a character and put them in a different situation. That’s fine. That’s what fanfiction is all about. But the character should react in at least somesemblance of how they would in the original story. It’s okay to maybe give a character more courage or make them darker, but don’t twist them beyond recognition. That’s not fanfiction, that’s original fiction and it’s not what most people are looking for on this site.
- Know the story. Don’t write a fanfiction about a series or a book that you have never read. And don’t use a movie unless you specifically say “movie-verse” or something. If you have read the story before, brush up on it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referenced my Twilight copies when writing my own fanfictions. My paperback of “Twilight” has more notes then Catherine Hardwicke’s (director of the Twilight movie, if you didn’t know). The stories are your references. Reread them if you have to. Just don’t guess. When in doubt, go to the source. Look it up.
- And the last tip for now, BETA readers are your FRIENDS! Every published author has had an editor read through their story, probably multiple times. It’s not a bad thing. As an author, you are attached to your story. It’s your “baby”. But you’ve probably been staring at it so long that you can’t really see what’s before you. You only see what you want to see and what your mind sees. But a reader isn’t in your mind. Beta readers are there to provide feedback. They are a third party that can take that necessary step back for you. They will see the things you miss and tell you when things are unclear or when you need to give more of an explanation. And it’s even better if you pick a beta who also knows the original story so that they can ALSO check your book facts. Notice I didn’t say FIX. You are still responsible for doing all the above before you send it to your beta. Just because they are your “editor” doesn’t mean you can throw rough writing their way. They are volunteering their time to help you. There are a lot of Beta readers out there. Don’t be afraid to just PM one and ask them to read your story before you post it. I’m sure they would be happy to.
Do these few simple things and I promise you will receive much better results. Part of the reason fanfictions get flamed is because the author didn’t do a single one of these things. They are easy fixes, they just require a bit more time on your, the author’s, part. But it will be worth it when the flames die down and the “Great job!”s start pouring in.
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