Fanfiction is the term used to designate a specific type of fiction using the setting or characters of a particular universe, usually as a tribute. You can write about the characters you like the most, continue the original story, or change it completely. The target audience for this genre is restricted, but those who read what you create are also enthusiastic about the original work. This is a fun and creative way to express your love for a work of fiction, and the possibilities are endless!
Part 1 of 4: Exploring the Original Material
Step 1. Choose the basis of your work
the fanfiction ever is based on a work that already exists, and it is up to the author of the “fanfic” (as it is popularly known) to continue, expand or change the original story. Every type of work is honored: books, movies, TV series, soap operas, video games, anything that has a story. Choose a universe with which you are intimate. The most popular are the "Star Wars" franchises, "Harry Potter" and numerous animes.
Your choice will make the biggest difference in the story and its results. Some universes provide more specific approaches, but it's important to remember that the options are endless. Anything can be made from the original material, even if it means changing absolutely everything
Step 2. Read about the work of fiction's environment
Most fanfics involve science fiction and fantasy, like “Percy Jackson” or “Star Trek”. These are great options for taking place in complex universes, with a lot of potential to extrapolate the original story. Get on the internet and read everything you can. Even though the idea of writing a fanfic is to get away from the original, it's good to know how it works to change it appropriately.
Step 3. Read other fanfics
The best concepts for your story will come from the original work, but knowing how other fans of the series use this material is very valuable. Enter this site, read the stories that already exist on the topic and see how writers use it.
You might come across some fanfictions that are virtually impossible to read because of the poor quality. Try to remember that the people behind the fanfics are amateur fans learning to develop a plot, and skill levels vary a lot. It takes practice to write well and be patient to find something good
Part 2 of 4: Planning Your Own Story
Step 1. Decide your goal
As the fanfics are so versatile, setting some rules for yourself before you get down to business is important. Will the story be long or short? Some fanfics become books, but most are short stories. There is a whole debate in the fan world about the ideal length of a fanfiction. The length of the story depends on the theme and is usually decided in the creation process. However, it is interesting to have a clear objective before starting the plot.
- The shorter fanfics are called drabbles. They must be between 50 and 100 words, and the intention is precisely the challenge of writing a complete story in such a small space. You can start there to test your skills without investing a lot of time.
- There are fanfics called fluffy, or "cute", which are often light, romantic and cute. Furthermore, they are short (less than 1000 words) and approach the character from a mundane life, not fantastic.
- Some of the most elaborate fanfics have thousands of words. These are usually the most read - the reader believes the ending will be great, to justify the size.
- As the style of fanfic is essentially free, it is not necessary to write in narrative prose. It is possible to write in poetry or develop an illustration of the character's mental state in a particular scene.
Step 2. Imagine hypothetical situations within the original work
Most fanfics are based on speculation. Whether it's a sequel to the material or a different story, it all starts with the good old: “What if…?”. What if the character so-and-so died (or didn't die) at the beginning of the plot? What do you think happens after the credits go up? This is the kind of thing you should ask yourself when planning.
- Read the material again if you can't think of ideas. If that doesn't help, read other fanfics. Seeing examples from other fans can be quite inspiring.
- Some authors include themselves as characters in the plot, to interact with the originals. The name given to these characters is avatar.
Step 3. Try writing crossovers
Crossover is the name given to the fanfiction genre that crosses characters from different universes in the same story. There are no limits to what can be done between these worlds. However, many crossovers are bad because it takes sensitivity to mix different universes into one. Still, this is a very interesting style for creative writers.
- For example, mixing characters from Percy Jackson and Harry Potter can make a good story.
- Crossover is recommended when the writer cannot decide between one work or another.
Step 4. Think about the level of fidelity to the original story
Thinking about the position you will take within the story is a nice idea. Some fans make such a mess with the plot that the result has nothing in common except the characters' names (and look there). Others try to enlarge the original more faithfully. In general, no matter what you decide, try to remember that the best fanfics at least preserve the spirit of the work.
Think about the concept of likelihood. Likelihood is what tells if something is acceptable as real within that fictional universe. Describing Han Solo from Star Wars as a hero with a cape and sword is believable, but to say he's a fan of Chaves isn't
Step 5. Write an outline
A good draft can make all the difference in a fanfic. While this sounds too serious for such a fun hobby, knowing where the story can go helps to reduce writer's block, making production more fluid. Many works of fiction use a similar dramatic arc. They can be divided into:
- Introduction: The beginning should set the reader up reasonably well and show the motivations and actions of the main characters.
- Complication: Something happens to establish the protagonist as the plot hero. It is usually the antagonist who contributes to this, but not always. The rest of the story is usually the hero trying to establish order again.
- Middle of the plot: This part is where the world is most evident, the relationships between the characters are intensified and the stakes gradually increase.
- Climax: before reaching the end, there is a moment when the character faces the most problematic conflict, apparently indissoluble. You probably remember a lot of movies where this happens.
- Ending: the moment when the protagonist triumphs. It usually happens right after the decisive conflict and lasts until the end. A plot development followed by the final plot solution may occur.
Step 6. Refine the plot
Now that the outline exists, it will be easier to find out if the story works. Before starting, read what you've already written and find points that can be deleted or explored. The originality of a work usually surface during editing, which is the time to review things that are not in accordance with your taste. Remember that plot is the most important part of casual fiction. Even if your writing skills aren't amazing, it's possible to grab readers' attention if the story is intriguing.
Part 3 of 4: Writing a Masterpiece
Step 1. Introduce the action right away
You can bet that any reader of the story is as intimate with the universe used as you are. Describing details of the original story won't hold anyone's attention. Prefer to start with actions that will grab attention and make people want to swallow the next paragraph.
Of course, the description is important in establishing the situation, but the tendency is to overdo it at this stage - resist the temptation! Descriptions should be brief
Step 2. Make references to the original work
When you're hit by creative block or you start to get stuck in the continuity of the saga, reading and enjoying your favorite parts of the original work can help. You've probably already mentioned parts of the universe to comply with verisimilitude, but visiting it sporadically is also useful for recalling details. The best fanfics are generated by a love of the original and an inherent creativity. So, get into the healthy habit of always going back to the pages of the work to enjoy them again.
You'll get a better feel for how your work matches (or clashes with) the original at different parts of the writing process, especially when you read the main work again. As you'll think about her a lot to write the fanfic, it will be easier and easier to capture the details
Step 3. Be loyal to the characters
While the setting and the story itself can be freely changed, not all readers like big changes to their favorite characters. They are more than just images! Even if you must obey your creative instincts, since you've decided to change key aspects of their personality, change their names soon too. Keep in mind that changing a character's base is completely different from evolving it with the story.
An example of fanfic where a radical change of character works is the parallel universe. Inspired by the "Star Trek" episode set in an alternate universe, you can write a story that takes place in a mirror universe, where the characters are bizarre versions of the originals. Adding a beard or mustache to show off their nastiness can be fun, but it's not necessary
Step 4. Write every day
Creativity starts to flow when working on a project daily. Writing is a classic example of this, as you will be thinking about what will be written regularly. Choose a time for this every day and stick to it as much as you can. It can be at lunchtime or after hours. When you realize it, you'll have pages and pages of a job to call only yours.
- Many writers like to listen to music when they write, to get inspired by the ambiance. For example, for a Star Wars based fanfic it's a great idea to listen to the original soundtrack, composed and orchestrated by John Williams. This will help you enter the universe.
- Most fanfics are less than 1000 words, but it's recommended to try something longer. Longer stories give more opportunity to explore characters, settings and themes.
Step 5. Edit the job
This is a fundamental part of any written work. If you want fanfic to be taken seriously, accept that fact. Reread what you've written and see where you can improve, remove unnecessary plot parts, and add information that might help the reader understand something.
Showing the text to a friend can also be very useful. Get an answer before investing time in editing. Maybe he points out what needs improvement, especially those parts that just need a flourish
Step 6. Write consistently
Writing fanfics is first and foremost a learning experience, and you'll likely see it evolve as the work progresses. However, it is important that the reader feels linearity and consistency, whether in terms of narration or in the quality of writing. Taking the time to edit the beginning and level the story is a nice idea, especially if you feel that the story has changed too much throughout the plot.
Part 4 of 4: Publicizing the work
Step 1. Publish the story on a fanfic site
Fanfictions have a very wide fan base. There are several communities where you can publish what you've written. The best one is Nyah Fanfiction. There you will find an extensive list with different categories, genres and crossovers. Make an account and find the category where the original story fits.
- Another good option is the Social Spirit website, if you want to publish in more than one place. The best idea is to post the work in as many forums as possible to increase exposure.
- If you want to read stories about specific works, type the name of the work into Google with the word “fanfics” next to it. For example: "Harry Potter fanfics".
Step 2. Submit the work to publishers
No fanfic is written for profit, this is a golden rule of the community. Copyright protects authors of the original work from being copied or plagiarized, but some publishers are starting to like the idea of publishing fans' works. Although you need to choose a publisher who owns the writer's copyright, having your work accepted by them can mean a continuation of the story, as long as the principle of likelihood is respected.
Fanfic writers aiming for commercial success can simply change the names of characters and places. The “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy was originally a fanfic
Step 3. Connect with other writers
If you are starting to write seriously, the best thing to do is to network with others who are passionate about this art. The sites mentioned in this article will be great for this. You'll get valuable tips to improve your skills, and maybe even get help spreading your work - if readers like it enough, of course. The rule is clear: if you give feedback on someone else's work, you'll get feedback on yours too.
The best help will come from fans of the same series you used to base the work on
- Even if you're not interested in writing fanfics, reading them is a lot of fun.
- Fanfictions are not limited to narrative prose. You can write a poem supposedly written by the protagonist, for example.
- If you want to write fanfics for yourself, feel free not to follow any rules.
- If you are concerned about copyright, make a “Copyright Statement” at the end of the text.
- When the hero's dramatic arc looks a lot like most stories, comparing what you've written to the original will be very helpful.
- Many people prefer to write freestyle and unplanned, but this encourages writer's block, and readers may abandon reading. The ideal is to write in advance, with time to review and edit the document, and then publish it in parts. Small and intriguing bits are more interesting and captivate the reader.
- Fanfics are not registered, and writing them does not yield material profits. If you're looking for a more commercial universe, your best bet will be to write original content.
- The fanfiction style must comply with basic writing rules and criteria. So be concerned about the consistency of your story and double-check the grammar.