ivyblossom:

The Amazing Velvet Mace’s Genius Diagram about why some fanfiction stories are crazy popular while others, which may be technically better, are not so popular.
The original post is here, and I think it should be considered pan-fandom required reading. I bow to her genius. Everyone study this diagram and internalize it.
All hail Velvet Mace.

ivyblossom:

The Amazing Velvet Mace’s Genius Diagram about why some fanfiction stories are crazy popular while others, which may be technically better, are not so popular.

The original post is here, and I think it should be considered pan-fandom required reading. I bow to her genius. Everyone study this diagram and internalize it.

All hail Velvet Mace.



Source: writingbox

Anonymous asked: "I'm trying to write my very first one shot and I was wondering if you have any tips on how to write a one shot? I have a plot but I'm not sure on how to start it, so I'm asking you for help. Any ideas?"

*Googles “one shot”*

Well, I would imagine standards depend on a lot. Is it an original fiction one shot or a fan fiction one shot? If it’s original fiction, then I’d call that more of a short story and look for resources on how to write good short stories. If it’s fan fiction, then I’d read one shots from the fandom for which you’re writing to get a feel for what is expected. 

Fan fiction, despite its “anything goes” reputation, tends to have pretty strict tropes and expectations for its writers to follow, and only truly ambitious work even attempts to get away with breaking the mold.

Here are some resources on writing one shots:

But it seems like you have a question about how to begin your story, so here are some resources for that as well:

Fan fiction assumes a reader’s prior knowledge of the Canon (with a capital C) of that fandom. For this reason, many fan fiction writers gloss over what original fiction writers would identify as important to the beginning of a story. Sound strange? Think about it. Since the reader is already aware of Canon aspects of the story, character introductions and development, setting descriptions, and explanations of things like magic systems or future technologies all take a back seat to the plot. 

This can be good or bad.

The good news: Your audience is built in. They’re reading your story because they like the source material, and, assuming your fandom is of a certain size, you’re sure to have an audience. Some fans aren’t fussed about plot so much as they are interested in seeing non-Canon ships sail or different character perspectives on the same story or what House Katniss Everdeen would have been sorted into had she gone to Hogwarts (it’s totally Slytherin).

The bad news: As the fan fiction writer who is clearly taking plot into consideration, the burden is on you to create a plot so riveting that it can set your story apart from hundreds, maybe thousands, of others. You share characters and conventions and settings with many writers, including the original creator. That can translate to a lot of pressure on the plot where in original fiction that pressure to be creative and “original” is spread out among all of the narrative elements.

There are, of course, other considerations like “good” characterization, writing style, tropes employed, knowledge and application of Canon, etc., but I believe the real test of a fan fiction’s worth to readers is in its plot. The more intriguing the plot, the more potential it has to be popular in the fandom.

I am, however, excluding one shots that fall into the “No Plot, Just Sex” and “Total Fan Service” categories, as these type of one shots are pretty intensely focused on wish fulfillment and not so much on narrative merit. That is not to say they aren’t “good” or fun to read, they’re just not the focus of this post.

My advice? Worry about telling a great story and not so much about how “original” it is. After all, you’re writing your fan fiction for yourself as much as others. I think you should have fun doing it, don’t you? 

Thank you for your question, and I hope this helps!

-C


fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment:

cardofrage:

that-sounds-like-a-porno-wade:

I don’t know if anyone has ever done this before but, here ya go… The Different Types of Fanfiction! 

I probably left a few out, but these are the most common, compared to their base fiction’s canon plot. Enjoy! XD

The crack fic is enough for a reblog.

My favorite part is when authors write these themselves, and then you have a big, shiny, convoluted map that’s all canon.


Source: goodboydummy

bookshop:

Note: this post was originally made in 2010 in response to Diana Gabaldon’s epic rant about fanfiction. The original version is still being updated. I’m reposting it to Tumblr by request, but if you have any additions, please feel free to drop a comment at LJ so they can be added to the masterpost!

Dear Author of the Week,

You think fanfic is a personal affront to the many hours you’ve spent carefully crafting your characters. You think fanfic is “immoral and illegal.” You think fanfiction is just plagiarism. You think fanfiction is cheating. You think fanfic is for people who are too stupid/lazy/unimaginative to write stories of their own. You think there are exceptions for people who write published derivative works as part of a brand or franchise, because they’re clearly only doing it because they have to. You’re personally traumatized by the idea that someone else could look at your characters and decide that you did it wrong and they need to fix it/add original characters to your universe/send your characters to the moon/Japan/their hometown. You think all fanfic is basically porn. You’re revolted by the very idea that fic writers think what they do is legitimate.

We get it. 

Congratulations! You’ve just summarily dismissed as criminal, immoral, and unimaginative each of the following Pulitzer Prize-winning writers and works:

Read More

Also, check out this video from the PBS Idea Channel, suggested by afewnovelideas, for more on the fantastic history of fan fiction!


Source: bookshop

bookshop:

Note: this post was originally made in 2010 in response to Diana Gabaldon’s epic rant about fanfiction. The original version is still being updated. I’m reposting it to Tumblr by request, but if you have any additions, please feel free to drop a comment at LJ so they can be added to the masterpost!

Dear Author of the Week,

You think fanfic is a personal affront to the many hours you’ve spent carefully crafting your characters. You think fanfic is “immoral and illegal.” You think fanfiction is just plagiarism. You think fanfiction is cheating. You think fanfic is for people who are too stupid/lazy/unimaginative to write stories of their own. You think there are exceptions for people who write published derivative works as part of a brand or franchise, because they’re clearly only doing it because they have to. You’re personally traumatized by the idea that someone else could look at your characters and decide that you did it wrong and they need to fix it/add original characters to your universe/send your characters to the moon/Japan/their hometown. You think all fanfic is basically porn. You’re revolted by the very idea that fic writers think what they do is legitimate.

We get it. 

Congratulations! You’ve just summarily dismissed as criminal, immoral, and unimaginative each of the following Pulitzer Prize-winning writers and works:

Read More


onlyalittlelion:

As a professor, may I ask you what you think about fanfiction?

I think fanfiction is literature and literature, for the most part, is fanfiction, and that anyone that dismisses it simply on the grounds that it’s derivative knows fuck-all about literature and needs to get the hell off my lawn.

Most of the history of Western literature (and probably much of non-Western literature, but I can’t speak to that) is adapted or appropriated from something else.  Homer wrote historyfic and Virgil wrote Homerfic and Dante wrote Virgilfic (where he makes himself a character and writes himself hanging out with Homer and Virgil and they’re like “OMG Dante you’re so cool.”  He was the original Gary Stu).  Milton wrote Bible fanfic, and everyone and their mom spent the Middle Ages writing King Arthur fanfic.  In the sixteenth century you and another dude could translate the same Petrarchan sonnet and somehow have it count as two separate poems, and no one gave a fuck.  Shakespeare doesn’t have a single original plot—although much of it would be more rightly termed RPF—and then John Fletcher and Mary Cowden Clarke and Gloria Naylor and Jane Smiley and Stephen Sondheim wrote Shakespeare fanfic.  Guys like Pope and Dryden took old narratives and rewrote them to make fun of people they didn’t like, because the eighteenth century was basically high school.  And Spenser!  Don’t even get me started on Spenser.

Here’s what fanfic authors/fans need to remember when anyone gives them shit: the idea that originality is somehow a good thing, an innately preferable thing, is a completely modern notion.  Until about three hundred years ago, a good writer, by and large, was someone who could take a tried-and-true story and make it even more awesome.  (If you want to sound fancy, the technical term is imitatio.)  People were like, why would I wanna read something about some dude I’ve never heard of?  There’s a new Sir Gawain story out, man!  (As to when and how that changed, I tend to blame Daniel Defoe, or the Modernists, or reality television, depending on my mood.)

I also find fanfic fascinating because it takes all the barriers that keep people from professional authorship—barriers that have weakened over the centuries but are nevertheless still very real—and blows right past them. Producing literature, much less circulating it, was something that was well nigh impossible for the vast majority of people for most of human history.  First you had to live in a culture where people thought it was acceptable for you to even want to be literate in the first place.  And then you had to find someone who could teach you how to read and write (the two didn’t necessarily go together).  And you needed sufficient leisure time to learn.  And be able to afford books, or at least be friends with someone rich enough to own books who would lend them to you.  Good writers are usually well-read and professional writing is a full-time job, so you needed a lot of books, and a lot of leisure time both for reading and writing.  And then you had to be in a high enough social position that someone would take you seriously and want to read your work—to have access to circulation/publication in addition to education and leisure time.  A very tiny percentage of the population fit those parameters (in England, which is the only place I can speak of with some authority, that meant from 500-1000 A.D.: monks; 1000-1500: aristocratic men and the very occasional aristocratic woman; 1500-1800: aristocratic men, some middle-class men, a few aristocratic women; 1800-on, some middle-class women as well). 

What’s amazing is how many people who didn’t fit those parameters kept writing in spite of the constant message they got from society that no one cared about what they had to say, writing letters and diaries and stories and poems that often weren’t discovered until hundreds of years later.  Humans have an urge to express themselves, to tell stories, and fanfic lets them.  If you’ve got access to a computer and an hour or two to while away of an evening, you can create something that people will see and respond to instantly, with a built-in community of people who care about what you have to say.

I do write the occasional fic; I wish I had the time and mental energy to write more.  I’ll admit I don’t read a lot of fic these days because most of it is not—and I know how snobbish this sounds—particularly well-written.  That doesn’t mean it’s “not good”—there are a lot of reasons people read fic and not all of them have to do with wanting to read finely crafted prose.  That’s why fic is awesome—it creates a place for all kinds of storytelling.  But for me personally, now that my job entails reading about 1500 pages of undergraduate writing per year, when I have time to read for enjoyment I want it to be by someone who really knows what they’re doing.  There’s tons of high-quality fic, of course, but I no longer have the time and patience to go searching for it that I had ten years ago. 

But whether I’m reading it or not, I love that fanfiction exists.  Because without people doing what fanfiction writers do, literature wouldn’t exist.  (And then I’d be out of a job and, frankly, I don’t know how to do anything else.)


 Anonymous asked: Do you have anything about writing tips specifically for fanfiction?

Yes.

  1. Do whatever you want.
  2. Don’t try to publish it without editing out the copyright infringement.

Alternatively, you can check out our “fan fiction" tag.

Thank you for your question!

-C


Anonymous asked: This is probably a stupid question but… Is it alright to try and get a fanfiction published? Not like normal fanfictions but ones with a twist? For example, if it’s fiction, making it seem like reality?

Not a stupid question.

There are a couple of aspects of fan fiction writing to be considered here. The first is whether or not your fan fiction is based on copyrighted work, and the second is how attached you are to keeping your fan fiction in its current fan fiction-y state.

If your fan fiction is based on stories that are in the public domain (like Pride and Prejudice and Romeo and Juliet), then it is definitely okay to try and get them published in all of their wondrous fan fiction glory (see example).

How do you know if a piece of writing is in the public domain?

If your fan fiction is based on stories that are copyrighted (like Harry Potter or Homestuck), then you’ve got decisions to make. You can:

  1. Change all references to the canon of that copyrighted work in your story (major plot points, canon-specific character names, places, and objects) and try to get the updated version of your story published, or
  2. Give up on trying to make money from publishing your fan fiction until the work on which your fan fiction is based becomes part of the public domain.

Why is this an issue? Because making money of off copyrighted work is seen as theft of intellectual property. It may even be theft. Fan fictions are considered something called derivative works under United States copyright law.

Derivative Work: A work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications, which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”. (US Code)

For more on derivative works and fan fiction, read these:

Basically, writing fan fiction is fun and awesome practice for character and plot development, but it is illegal in the United States (where most people who write fan fiction are from) to publish copyrighted work as your own. If the fan fiction isn’t copyrighted or you happen to have the publisher/author’s express permission, then go nuts. Otherwise, avoid the law suit and play it safe by either removing all resemblance to the copyrighted work or by not trying publish your derivative works in the first place.

Thank you, and I hope that helps! If anyone has anything to add about fan fiction and copyright law, or if you have any corrections on this post, please message us. Also, if you have any questions about writing or publishing, hit us up!

-C

Bonus: For a very interesting examination of copyright law and derivative works, check out the four-part video series Everything Is a Remix by Kirby Ferguson. Also, Kagenoneko suggests Remix and Free Culture, both by Lawrence Lessig, for more on this topic.


This article titled The Cold Shoulder Given to Original Characters is geared toward Harry Potter fan fiction, but we think it pretty well answers your question. In it, HPFFHelp says:

Why don’t people trust original characters? Well, there’s an easy answer to that: they’re new, and people don’t like newness.

We read fanfiction to get more of the old, and even if people enjoy reading AU or Crossover fanfiction, there is a limit to their suspension of disbelief; there is an invisible line that authors dare not cross, lest they lose the reader entirely in their quest for uniqueness.

There’s a ton of good advice to writers of OCs in that article as well.

The same blog has another article called The Warm Embrace of Familiarity wherein they explain why they prefer Canon characters over OCs and describe some measures that can be taken by a fan fiction writer or RPer to believably incorporate Canon into their OCs, presumably to cushion the blow of “newness”.

Thank you for your question!

Do any of our followers have opinions on this subject that they’d be willing to share?