The Golden Rules of fan fiction story telling
1. Thou shall show, not tell. The most important rule for writing, for narratives in general, really. Any time you can, demonstrate, instead of simply stating. If you frequently find yourself writing paragraphs that go on for pages at a time, because you just have to explain the entire banking system or royal succession line in your AU, then that's a red light for you. Excessive exposition can ruin the pacing of a story and bore readers in a matter of minutes, because you're dumping a pile of information on top of them, usually way more than would be necessary to understand the story, and without enough context or investment for the information to be meaningful anyway.
2. Thou shall not bash. Bashing is the writing equivalent of a racist uncle rant. The performer's delusional; thinks he's saying a bunch of hard truths that everyone needs to listen, thinks he's calling things as they are, but for everyone in the audience it's just a fat, greasy drunk in a wife beater, spouting bullshit nobody cares about, shaming the family in front of the guests. It's pathetic. When you bash, you break reader immersion, you reduce characters to carboard cut-outs of their canon selves to fit your childish frustrations over the source content and worse of all, you leave your story one dimensional, boring and predictable.
3. Thou shall be aware of tropes and trends in your fanon. Of course, it's impossible to read even 1% of the stories in this website alone, but it wouldn't hurt to check out some of the top favorited or followed works to look for inspiration, to see what has already been done to death or what angle has rarely if ever been explored.
4. Thou shall either stick to your story or abandon it with gusto. Life won't wait for you to write 500k words at your leisure, I get that, but please, if you no longer have time to write it, or maybe you've just lost interest in it, please put a warning at the first chapter or in the summary. It'd take you all of 30 seconds to spare readers the frustration of finding out the story has been abandoned at the latest chapter.
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