Before you read this, just make sure you understand that I am not making this because I think I have the "writing skills" to talk down to other people who are writing fanfics. I am merely providing a basis of how to put one together such that you will get people who wish to read your next installment, based on what I have done myself previously. It is a lot easier to finish one off if you are being pressured by (well i guess you can call them fans) to continue writing it. As well, you should be aware of how to keep yourself oriented and interested in order to finish off your work.
Okay, so, I see a lot of people are beginning to write fanfics lately. There's nothing wrong with being motivated to write them, but there are a couple of things you have to keep in mind Before you start writing one:
-You have to have an idea of where you want to take it. Try not to write a fanfic without the end in mind, because it will be hard for you to complete the story. The top priority in writing a story in pieces, is that you know when and how it is going to end, because it is extremely hard to maintain coherence when you could go anywhere with the next chapter. (I myself admit that I have had trouble doing this with my own fanfic, and I am making an effort to outline each chapter now.)
-Always make simple outlines to help write. If you plan out a chapter beforehand, you will be able to write it quicker, and you will avoid taking random directions that may be unnecessary.
-When you begin writing a fanfic, you need to ask yourself: what type of story is this going to be? It is important to decide on a level of writing (informal, formal, etc.) before you write. Your audience will want to know whether they will be reading a serious, structured story, or perhaps a light comedy that may include slang or things you would not typically see in a bookstore novel.
-You must decide on the point of view for your story. Is it first person? Is it third person?
Before you decide this, just take a look at the variants you have to choose from:
- tutorial on points of view:
-the most important part
before you start writing, is taking the time to stop, think, and ask yourself: "Am I writing this for those who wish to read it, or am I writing it simply to please myself?" Everyone loves to write a story about a character based on theirself, who destroys an entire army, but often things like that will turn off your readers. You want to have a group of interesting characters that people want to learn about, not a single character who experiences little growth throughout your story and is incredible in almost every way. I can't stress how important it is to think about this before writing. I originally wrote the first chapter of my own fanfic out of feeling like putting the epicness I saw in the Afterlife Brigade into words. When people demanded more from me, I decided to continue it. I have never been able to write a story for as long as I have with this one, and this is because I am not writing it for myself, I am writing it for others.
Writing for other people makes it all the more rewarding, so be sure thats what you are doing!While you are writing:
Ask yourself these questions-Am I willing to improve my writing skills?
- People often give suggestions on how to improve your story. You should always take these into consideration, and try to amend your story in this method to improve it. Don't say "I will do it next chapter", because that will result in a story that is incoherent. You want your story to flow, and the style should not gradually change (usually).When will I write each chapter?
- try to decide on a period of time which you will give yourself to write each new chapter. People like concrete dates for updates, so you have to work hard to uphold them, and you should make decisions on when they will be. Sometimes it is hard to write, but you must keep working through it. (Everyone is guilty of late updates occasionally, I know I am guilty of it.) If you can't put out a new chapter without it being a piece of crap, just let people know and get it out as soon as possible while maintaining your normal level of excellence. People are understanding if you needed more time to make the story good. Just don't completely ditch your dates.What do I do about writer's block?
- writer's block is just laziness. Make sure you make a simple outline of each chapter, and be realistic with what events you want to occur. You have tons of resources online to find that word you just can't remember --honestly, i spent 20 minutes searching for the exact word I needed for a standing position in which more weight is placed on one leg than the other. (The word was contrapposto)-- What if I suck at writing or have a bad vocabulary?
Spelling errors are inevitable. If you make some, people will likely notice and let you know about it. Just be ready to edit your work, it is your responsibility as the person who created it. The "synonym" tab on microsoft word is great, it can give you words you didn't even know to use to describe things in vivid detail.What do people enjoy within stories?
- Most people want to see more than just events happening in a sequence. To tell a great story, people want it to have some sort of thing to learn from it. There has to be character development, that's a big one. Characters need to learn something, or grow in a way, such that they are "round" rather than "flat". It is boring to read about a character that stays the same the whole story. Along with this, the setting should be established vividly. People want to know more than what town the character lives in. They want to know the environment the character typically is a part of, they want to know what is happening around the character, so they can become a part of it themselves and visualize events more realistically. I can't tell you how much I love describing setting, it makes writing so much more fun to be able to dive into the story and really be a part of it. Finally, you want to have some sort of conflict, of some nature, going on. Conflicts allow for characters to grow, and they set up a sort of idea of where a reader is in the story. You can have multiple conflicts if you wish, but typically a story has a final conflict that is resolved prior to what is called the denuemont
, or the typical end of the story that describes what ended up happening after the conflict was resolved.How can I make my characters interesting?
- This is hard. Characters are difficult to make realistic (especially in monster hunter fanfictions, since fighting with a sword the same size as the hunter isn't exactly realistic), mainly because it is hard to write about someone who is not the same as yourself. If your character has a different personality than your own, you may not know every single idiosyncrasy this personality has, since you don't live
as that personality. The easiest way I can describe to get around this, is having experience reading books. By reading books, you will see how other writers portray people, how personalities are made realistic. Understand that when reading a book, you should know more about the main character than anyone you know in real life. You are seeing into their mind, you cannot ever do that with someone in real life. That is a great advantage to you as a writer. Thus, the easiest way to become skilled at making your characters realistic in writing? By reading.
Don't get me wrong, if you know someone very well, you know how they will react to different things, and you can make people you know into great personalities as well. It's just that you will not be able to replicate their though processes in their method. You don't know what they will feel necessarily. But this doesn't matter, all you have to do is try, and be observant. In this respect, using yourself as a main character is okay, since you can make the character realistic in actions and reactions, and feelings and thoughts. But don't make them cooler than everyone else, that never makes for an interesting story.
Another method of making interesting characters, is by using archetypes
. Archetypes are typical characters that you see in stories, and you can manipulate their traits to suit your own characters' needs. Check out this wiki page for more information (see the part "jungian archetypes"): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archetype How do I keep myself interested?
- It isn't easy starting a new chapter. You sometimes don't know whether it will fit properly with the previous chapter, or if it will be liked at all. the easiest way to keep writing interesting, is by writing until you get to a good part. Once you get to the good part, STOP! Don't write any more. Take a break. Next time you start a writing binge, you will be motivated to write the good part. Keep that momentum, and write until you get to the NEXT good part. This way, you will keep your morale high. Feel free to jump into some vivid scenery descriptions or atmospheric interludes if you want to tide yourself through a boring part of the story (travel times, repeated actions), the audience usually likes these (but don't make them too long.)
Another way of doing this is by ending chapters in cliffhangers. I kind of find that this pisses off the audience (I get annoyed when something good is about to happen and then I am cut off.) I only do it occasionally when I find a good reason.
Another way to keep yourself motivated, is to listen to music while writing. Music (especially when matched with the current atmosphere in the story) really inspires you to provide immersive descriptions and always seems to help me come up with the write word to describe something. Listening to music while writing is kind of how I include musical scores with every chapter in my fanfic (although I usually choose the songs afterwards, sometimes the right one comes on in my playlist when i am writing a certain part and I decide to use it.)
Anyways, that should get you started (might add stuff if I forgot about it). Having this pinned would be badass.