Author has written 4 stories for Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Warhammer, Stargate: SG-1, Warcraft, Elder Scroll series, and Justice League.
Started reading fiction on here a while ago, then made an account to use the 'favorite/follow' function as it was much easier than bookmarks, then i thought i should probably start writing actual stories. Feel free to ask me any questions/give me suggestions on stories or profile, via either PMs or reviews if its related to a specific story.
Dont particularly mind anonymous reviews, ill try and address them in the next chapter of whatever story its related to.
Things I like:
Empowerment of characters, particularly ones who don't really get anything good in the story, particularly prevalent in Harry Potter stories, he gets abused for about the entire set of books/films and (whilst getting a bit of downtime) doesn't really progress, but continues going and doing the same thing aaalll the time.
Clichés, they work, otherwise they wouldn't be so popular, but in moderation, not loads, that just gets old, don't literally go through the TVTroups website (though it is undoubtedly useful) and put every single one of them into a story.
A good crossover, which makes at least as bit of sense, no use taking two completely different stories and putting them together, like Glee and Star Trek, just doesn't work
Well written stories, where you can see the author has gone through the in-universe information and properly put together the data into a plan.
On the subject of Fan fiction in general: What you've just written doesn't belong on this excellent site unless it is different to canon, otherwise i would read the book, likewise it's more of a documentary of a fictional character's years if there is minimal character development and actual original plot. Similarly, if you have a situation in canon you don't like...change it! It's your fictional paradise, you are God.
Things that I dislike:
Stories that make no sense. 'and then Snape gave Harry a big hug and they made magical oaths to go and do something stupid' or just stories where the plot makes no sense, its very irritating to find you've skipped a few paragraphs and you have no idea whats going on.
Authors who don't proofread, i don't mind some small grammatical mistakes, or the occasional 'he had lots of moneys and armours' or suchlike, but its very annoying when the author doesn't actually understand the language they are writing in. However, some authors do very well if they don't have English as a first language (VexMaster for instance, is I believe is of Korean origin and still writes excellent stories even though his stories are in his second language).
When authors don't write characters canonically. Particularly for Harry Potter fics, just to remind many of the US and American audience, as well as authors, British people don't use word like 'Mom' and 'Mad' its 'Mum/Mother' and 'Angry/Annoyed', or just when the character acts completely wrong, I understand you can take a 'Good' character and experiment with making them Evil, but if that's not the point of the story, don't put it in, you can have gradual changes, but not huge drastic ones, like a happy, cheerful loving Snape, Snape will never be happy, content perhaps, but that at the best of times, most of the information we get of him is that he's a spiteful somewhat petty man, who frequently emotionally and verbally abuses small children. Furthermore, in Britain and in such an institution as Hogwarts, tuition fees are not paid, that's for Tertiary education (College for US readers), rather than Secondary Education (High School).
As a subset of writing characters canonically, i hate bad character interpretations. Dumbledore stands out amongst them. He can go from Old, bumbling fellow, to powerful 'Light Lord', to somewhat paranoid, manipulative Chessmaster. The reason you cant write him as a crazed, cackling villianous, evil person is that he isnt. He is a combination of the various parts of his character. Just like Ron Weasley isnt just a loyal ginger bloke, he is a bit of a jealous prat. All character interpretations come from facets of their personality. Therefore, to an extent, if you write it correctly you can have any of the interpretations stand out from the others, (i.e. Perfect Lionheart's Dumbledore comes to mind.). The result of shoehorning a good canon character into being a villain or making a villain significantly more evil than in canon is Ron the Death Eater. And tends to make for terrible stories because the author doesn't take the time to justify it.
Random Homosexuality: Just because a character shows effeminate moments, or has a friendly relationship with a character of the same gender, it doesn't mean that they will miraculously deviate from everything we know about them in canon. Willow Rosenberg had 3 seasons of character development before it was established that she was a lesbian, it didn't happen overnight.
Too much sex. its okay in moderation, and I'm not prudish, it just gets boring if its every single chapter, which is why i don't always enjoy 'Character/Harem' fics, firstly, they're ridiculous toward the women, who, for the most part, are main characters and independent, it feels like betrayal of the plot and the emotional investment you'd put into the original story. Harems though are intrinsically silly in western settings, it could be a plot device in a Eastern location, or in a Muslim state, after all, the Prophet Mohammed, Peace be Upon him, had eleven wives.
Alternatively, you could have Mormon, who are also commonly polygamous.
Lastly, preachy fics, if I want to accept your views i don't want to find them when im going for escapism from my life in fiction on the internet, don't write a massive story when huge chapters are solely based around proselytizing about you're beliefs, particularly making analogues in your story to religious or ethnic groups, if i wanted to read a story like that i would buy the Daily Mail (Which for our international readers is a particularly bigoted and somewhat sensationalist newspaper).
(Note: after reading of TV Troupes, I have discovered this is known as 'Author Filibustering')
Obviously I dont own the franchises that i write about. If you think I do you are an imbecile of the highest caliber. Similarly if you think I've copied yours or some one else's story, tell me, if I have, I'll attribute the inspiration to them. If I havnt attributed and you think I've copied from another person, well, there's nothing you can do about it really,
In relation to my own story's portrayals of particular ethnic groups, its what im going to write, and ill probably be wrong if im not writing about a southern English middle class setting with relevant characters. Therefore, if in the process of writing i do misrepresent your cultures, i apologize, and would welcome native information on the matter. For instance, if i wrote a story set in Japan, virtually all my knowledge would be based on extrapolation of samurai films, a Google search and possibly an anime. So, if i say something wrong, tell me, and ill change it, (unless its for the purposes of something in the story, but i cant think of any reasons why this would be)
Some 'Rules of Fanfiction' to help aspiring writers and those writers already who might enjoy advice.
1. Don't break genre. This means if a story is a adventure story, don't write it as a romantic comedy just because you want to ship your preferred characters. It's incredibly jarring to readers. An example ive seen of this is (obviously) Harry Potter (given that its the largest proportion of Fanfics here), so, you've got Harry and Company wandering about, doing wizardly stuff, and that's all well and good, but they some enterprising person wants to represent the sexual tension between Harry and Ron, or some similarly ridiculous thing. Fine, have a bit of romantic sub-plot, but dont concentrate on it. The Harry Potter books are about Harry fighting Voldemort, not about Harry's relationship with Ginny.
2. Establish things early on. "This thing works like this, that other thing effects that, this character will act in this way because of this." Then, develop them through the story. This is especially important with plot points and with characters. Let us take Lord of the Rings as an example here: The One Ring, Sauron's horcrux, can turn you invisible, attracts Ringwraiths, lots of people want it, tempts people. That's about it. Then that gives the author more room later in the book to explain other things, like as a result of invisibility, it decreases sight range.
Character wise: It is my belief that all (significant) characters written are representations of the author themselves. Therefore, one character will embody the author's pride, another their independence, another their capacity for rationality, another their loyalty to (insert thing here). Remember, 'every man would be a tyrant if he could' (cant remember who that's from), all authors are tyrants, to the heroes of the story they are the villain, writing in all the obstacles.
3. Respect the Canon. If you're writing fanfiction, that means you read the book/watched the show, that means the creator was successful in drawing you in. That means (usually) the fiction makes sense and is enjoyable. Therefore, if Twilight says vampires sparkle, they bloody well do, however you might not like that. Dont change that without a very good reason and explanation to the audience. Otherwise someone picks up a story and the reader's all "What? Since when does that happen? This story's stupid, Ill just check my favorites to see if something's been updated".
This is why people get upset with 'revamps' of old concepts. Speaking of 'vamps', that can be the next example. I dont particularly like Twilight because to me, Bram Stoker's Dracula is canon. That means when i see a work about how sparkly vampires are chilling among us, and wandering about in daylight for no other reason than to sparkle, i get annoyed. It's also the reason people dislike the film versions of books. Whilst films can be useful to a first time viewer, they tend not to include the detail.
I watched the Game of Thrones series before i read the books, it was very useful to understand the basic concepts and get a mental picture of the characters/places, but between series 1 and 2 i read the books and, after coming back to the TV show, found that i had no idea who some of the people were or what was happening because the shows deviated from canon. One example was the producers changing a character's name so the audience wouldn't confuse them with another character. I can see the reasons for this, but i still sat up straight when they were introduced, as i was pretty sure someone's sister didnt magically pop up out of thin air (or water in this case.)
4. Watch the writing. First, punctuation and spelling, very important, likewise capital letters in sentences and appropriate use of the language. Author's notes and PMs not so important, as it's less formal writing, but when you get onto your story summary or the actual text make sure you look on those little red and green lines telling you to change something. Firstly this allows the reader easier reading, people wont read your story if its difficult, or written in some strange butchery of English (or whatever language you speak/write).
Also, watch your actual writing, I dont suggest any particular style, I myself use a 3rd person 'headhopping' style, which i prefer to 1st person stories. However, try not to get too descriptive. A character can notice the grain of the wood of a table in passing, but the story doesn't have time to describe the history of the table, how one makes a table, then the make up of the tools, wood, timber, forest and the home life of the carpenter who made it.
Likewise, watch the cinematics. Films allow us to have incredible cavalry charges and space battles, coupled with dramatic speeches from characters and cinematography for descriptive purposes. Harry Potter gives us 'jets of light', this is translated into film as a continuous beam of melting energy, like from a melting piece of plastic. It would be difficult to describe this in writing. Also, writing has to be adapted to the situation. For description or monologue use long, complex sentences. But for action scenes use short, quick sentences to show the fast paced nature of the situation.
5. Have a nice summary. Often the first thing I'll look at is the summary of a story, then, ill start to read the other parts of information, the pairing, the length, any author comments ("Crack Fic" or "AU Fic") The summary allows the potential reader a small glimpse of your story, keep it reasonably short, but long enough to encompass the general themes of the story.
One of the most effective summaries I've seen so far would be the Warhammer 40K tagline: "Mankind is besieged from all sides...in the grim darkness of the far future there is only war." This simultaneously promises action ('only war'), adventure ('besieged/grim darkness'), science fiction ('far future'), a sense of common cause with the protagonist ('mankind'). If I see a story with a length of over 80K words, (sometimes dropping to 50K if it's particularly interesting) a reasonably interesting premise/idea, and a good summary, I'll click it and favorite it. Then read it later. The reason i read 'Partially Kissed Hero' was only because it said 'featuring Harry with a backbone', which i found amusing, so added it as my first reading of a story on my new account.
6. Persevere. Though it may feel like a long slog of writing, once you've got your pacing right it's actually quite fun. Its like reading a familiar book but it being different, or like playing a really good game again but changing the ending to suit you.
On the other hand, if you are not enjoying writing, dont? or make the story better or something. What you shouldnt do is disregard reader's feedback in favor of plowing through your iron clad story-line, not deviating an inch and writing only to annoy other people with your recidivistory bile.
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