How to write 'Good' fanfiction

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Postby Tom the Fanboy on Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:42 am

OK, SPOILERS in the stars as I explain the series continuity.

I use the word series because I was told that the BBC doesn't call the year's run of a specific show a season, they call it a series. As in "the series of episodes run in 2006".

Edit: I haven't seen any evidence of this on the wiki so I might have to stop. :-?

**********************
**********************
**********************
*NEW WHO started with Eccleston as the Doctor.
*end of Series 1 he goes away.
******Christmas Invasion
*Series 2 is the tongue-man David Tennant
*end of Series 2 Rose is ditched (yay!)
******Runaway Bride
*Series 3 introduces the brilliant Martha Jones
*end of Series 3 has the Master
******voyage of the Damned
*
*I thought (correctly)the Master was played by the main guy from Life on Mars.
*I was right! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Simm
*************************
***********************
********************

End of Spoilers!
Tom the Fanboy
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Postby Jbaum2 on Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:44 pm

Narf the Mouse wrote:If it's good, why don't you post it? There's a 'Good Fanfiction' thread on the second page, just waiting for posts...



Alright, I'll put up a link to the guy's profile in a minute.
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Postby DEBO on Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:09 am

Tom the Fanboy wrote:Stuff

Series, Season, semantics doesn't matter.

I actually missed those episodes when they were on TV (stupid scheduling, I've managed to miss the last 4-5 episodes of every season so far) so I'd only read the plot summary, and got confused, and excited. Really going to need to track down a copy of those episodes.

But typical BBC for you, shared writers, actors and even character names, combined with shows that both have timetravel leading to confusion.
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:47 am

15) It doesn't matter how OC the characters are, as long as Your Amazing Plot! can move forward!!!

16) People don't want to read the boring stuff, so just leave out all the story between the important bits. It doesn't matter; you can just explain that stuff halfway through the next chapter, if you bother at all.
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:14 am

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Postby DrunkenPrayer on Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:47 am

Tom the Fanboy wrote:
I use the word series because I was told that the BBC doesn't call the year's run of a specific show a season, they call it a series. As in "the series of episodes run in 2006".

Edit: I haven't seen any evidence of this on the wiki so I might have to stop. :-?


Yep it's series over here. I think it's because shows in the states tend to air at specific times of year (summer, winter, autumn, spring) hence the "seasons" moniker. Whereas over here we don't really do that and the series are much shorter, 16 episodes is the top end usually I think. You know that explanation makes complete sense considering I'd never thought about it before. If I could be bothered I could look up the airing dates for Red Dwarf, old Doctor Who etc to see if the theory works.

Oh and John Simms is excellent, I keep meaning to watch Life on Mars purely because he's the main character in Human Traffic, one of my top five films of all time.
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:39 am

17) Don't bother to figure out power levels. It doesn't matter if one character once moved a planet and the other could flip a compact car; clearly, Your Favorite must be a threat to anyone and everyone.

17a) And no, I'm not talking about Kryptonite.
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Sat Aug 11, 2007 12:16 am

18) We all know that women are weak and emotional, so take every opportunity to have them break out into tears and or jealousy.

18a) It doesn't matter how capable a girl is, she needs a man to rescue her. Its, liek, a uneversel lawe or somthinj.

18aI) The quickest way to render a woman helpless is to capture her. Simply grabbing her upper arm is sufficient.

As always, all 'gudliens' have actual examples.
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Sat Aug 11, 2007 12:54 am

19) Nothing says 'Feemal Empowirrment' like a Mary Sue. Remember, she must be beutifull, intelligent, couragous, kind and fall in love with a main character - And/or vice versa.

19a) Especially a main character who has never shown signs of wanting a love life.

19b) Or one who is with someone who is simply unsuitable. After all, it's up to You!, Yes, You!, to correct the 'Mistakes' of the Original Writer, who is clearly crazy/incompotent/stupid/mean.

19c) Having horrific things happen to her for absolutely no reason at all will enhance the story. Really.

20) Angst contributes to every story. I mean, a story needs intense emotion and angst is intense emotion, so every time you need to add tension, just rachet up the Angst!

Angst is to story like swearing is to humour.
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Postby John Allenson on Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:46 pm

Oh dear, I used to be one of the few men who wrote slash and I've seen far too many examples of bad fanfic. But remember Sturgeon's Law
90% of science fiction is crud but then 90% of everything is crud.

A few more suggestions. (And yes, I've read these as well.)

1/ No heroic character can have a gay/bisexual past. If they do then they are not really heroes. Every slash relationship must be based on a transcendance of the normative heterosexuality of the characters.

2/ WUV, TWUUUU WUV 1TP!!!! Nobody wants to read about a plot when they can watch two people who WUV each other talk about how much they WUV each other.

3/ Once you find TWUU WUV you become absolutely monogamous and cannot even feel a physical attraction for another person. Even if you're Captain Kirk or Brian Kinnehy (QAF USA)

4/ You can show your deep respect for Native culture by throwing in a wise Shaman. The best part is that you don't have to do any research about any actual culture.

5/ Every female character who might have a romantic interest in the hero is a BITCH!!!

6/ v53 1337 411 teh +1/\/\3 2 5l-l0\/\/ l-l0\/\/ 5/\/\47 u r.

7/ People get as bored reading 'X said' as you do writing it. Let them figure out who is talking. Better yet pull out a thesaurus and have "he said...she exclaimed...he replied...she inquired...he stated...."

8/ You know what the characters and the setting look like why bother telling the reader?

9/ You're not Japanese, couldn't tell the difference between Kanji and Kana and your only experience of Japanese culture comes from reading Naruto. Why not use a lot of Japanese terms without learning what they mean?

10/ No matter how much two characters despise each other in the canon you'll write a story where they are in WUV TWUUUU WUV.

-----------------------------------------------------
Enough already.

Crossovers can work quite well. What makes them fail is when the writer doesn't think through the implications of differing tones to the canons.

Example: Smallville is smuggly self-righteous and the world is essentially good with bad people being outsiders in some way. Angel was focused on the faint possibility of redemption in a corrupted world. The West Wing strove to be idealistic and realistic. But the three of them blended very well in Them Mean 'ol Landro Calrissian Blues where the token black male sidekick from each of the series got together in the White House cafeteria to talk about black characters in mainstream culture. Funny as hell.
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:11 pm

21) Nothing says great romance like two characters falling into sudden and overwhelming lust. Especially if it's totally out of character. I mean, it does save having to explain things and worrying about pesky things like personalities.
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:14 pm

22) Characters are interchangeable. Really.
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:34 pm

23) Once you've got everyone on the edge of their seat, cancel the fic. Or go on hiatus. (Guitly. Very guilty)
Last edited by Narf the Mouse on Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lunaroki on Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:00 am

Ooooo! I could do that! *wicked grin* Of course I know a bunch of people who would hunt me down and kill me if I did ... *whimper*
Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair;
Said Simple Simon to the pieman "Let me taste your ware."
Said the pieman to Simple Simon "Show me first your penny."
Said Simple Simon to the pieman "Sir, I have not any!"

Half-elves and golems and nymphs, oh my!
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Postby John Allenson on Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:03 pm

:( Unfortunately, I have done that. I got very sick a few years ago halfway through a Roswell/X-Files crossover and one-third of the way into an X-Man movie story. I haven't been able to write anything since.
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:22 pm

Try just writing a few sentences, then expanding them.
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:50 pm

24) The last thing I want to hear about is your sexual fantasies.
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:15 am

25) Some famous guy said that good authors steal from the best. So, 'lift' some scenes, re-write some names, and hey! You got yourself some great prose, and you didn't even have to work or be creative! Horrors!
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:12 am

26) When moving a key person from one fictional universe to another in a fanfiction crossover, it is important to take note of small changes that will happen...Like, 'Will this result in the destruction of all life on Earth?' and other such things.
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:56 pm

27) Wun gud wai of starting a romantic crossover is to have a romantic partner turn out to be evil or not care at all, no matter how unlikely. Who cares about respecting the original authors' creations?
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