A Newcomer's Guide to Fan Fiction

Discussion in 'Welcome New Users' started by _Derisa_Ollamhin_, Jan 29, 2004.

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  1. _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    FanFiction For the New User

    Have you ever wondered what if Luke was turned to the Darkside by Vader, and together they overthrew the Emperor? Or... what if Qui-Gon lived, and trained Anakin himself?

    What about all those little moments in the movies or books that are just glossed over, and never really fully explored? How did Anakin propose to Padme? What happened when Wedge and the other Rogues met at the rendezvous point, only to find their leader, Luke Skywalker never turned up?

    Many of these questions, and a whole lot more, have been explored in the medium of fan fiction. Fan fiction, often called fanfic, is a universal phenomenon in speculative fiction these days. Practically every new show, book or movie that comes out triggers some ideas in the fans, and inevitably, some of them take to setting their thoughts or ideas down in the form of stories.

    Star Wars, being of such a mythic nature, has generated a large number of authors, and a larger number of stories: stories that have something for every taste, from romance to action and adventure, from Jedi vs. Sith to pilots in the NJO and beyond. Stories range in length from single posts (?vignette?) through to epic ?novel? series, in the hundred thousand word range.

    The forums here that host these tales can be kind of confusing to the newcomer, so I?m here to act as your tour guide to Fan Fiction on the JC. Hope you enjoy the ride, and perhaps find something cool to read, and maybe even feel inspired to write and post some of your own ideas.

    I hope you find this guide helpful, and look for updates on a regular weekly basis. Please feel free to post your questions here: I?ll answer them as best I can as we go!


    Forums

    The first thing to be aware of is that there are four separate forums with stories on them, as well as a single forum for writing/reading related issues.

    The oldest of these forums is no longer open for new stories: this is the Classic FanFiction Forum. This was the original home for fanfiction here on the JC. It has all of the older stories, some of which are being reposted to the newer, ?era? forums, and while no newer works can be posted in the Classic forum, the unlocked threads can still have feedback posted to them, as well as be updated by their authors.

    When the FanFiction forum got too busy, with many new stories, the decision was made to branch out into three separate forums, divided by era: Before the Saga, The Saga, and Beyond the Saga. (The Saga is defined as anything that would have taken place from the beginning of Episode I all the way through to the end of Episode VI: TPM to ROTJ.)

    Before the Saga is where you may find stories that take place before the start of the Prequels. From the Sith Wars mentioned in the novels and other resource material, to Obi-Wan?s training by Qui-Gon Jinn and their adventures as Master and Padawan: if it?s been written, it?ll be here.

    The Saga is the Forum for all the stories that would take place during the events of the movies, and would include most of the Alternate Universe stories about how things in the films might have turned out differently. This forum also carries stories that speculate on the events of Episode III. (The TF.N spoilers policy applies here, just like every other forum.)

    The Beyond the Saga Forum is for all those stories that take place after the events of all of the films, from Bakura to the NJO, and in some cases beyond even that.

    Have a look over these boards to see if any stories catch your eye. If you like the sound of one, click on the title and have a read through. Perhaps your questions will be answered!


    Feed Back

    One of the few rewards any of these authors reap is the reading of what their readers thought of their work. By all means, if you l
  2. Morgaine Ex-Manager

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2001
    star 6
    Great work, Derisa. Thanks for posting this. :)
  3. Skiara ~• Manager WNU •~ ~• RSA FFC •~

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2002
    star 10
    Very good work, Derisa! :)
    Maybe I should take a deeper look at FanFic. ;) :D
  4. Stridarious Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2002
    star 6
    [face_shocked] Whoa! Great work _Derisa_Ollamhin_! :D I better take this link and add it to the main "Adoption Info Pack" I send out along with Skiara's optional Adopters guidelines, as man this would help emmensely with any of those stranded Newbies up on into the forums and begin their training without any hassle, plus kinda helps those whom are training another user to know where to turn for advice or an explanation of one thing/item that they are having a hard time explaining ;) .
  5. _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Morgaine, Skiara and Stridarious: thanks for the welcome, guys! Here?s hoping this thread is actually of use to newer users. :)

    And now for this week?s topics: the lingo of fan fiction, and ?Up!?-ing story threads.

    Fanfic Jargon

    Like most other fan pursuits, the writing and reading of fan fiction has spawned its own vocabulary: words, phrases, and abbreviations that are used in reference to specific aspects of fan fiction. When looking for a story that matches your interests, a basic understanding of these terms can help you weed out material you are less likely to enjoy.

    As with most jargon, it isn?t that hard to get the hang of: the more you read, the more sense it makes. Here is a quick glossary of terms you may encounter on your initial forays into the forums. Many props to the posters of the first Fan Fiction FAQ for their work: I?ve followed their format and only expanded upon their original.


    General Terms

    These are standard bits of lingo specific to fan fiction, but often uniform across milieus, ie. a Buffy fan may employ a beta-reader and know what is meant by the term, just as well as a SW fan fic author on these boards. These terms are universal to fan fiction as a whole.

    beta-reader or beta ? an editor or pre-reader of a story, before it is posted, who goes over it with an eye to spelling and grammar fixes, continuity, plot or characterization holes or conflicts, et cetera
    feedback- the posts readers add to story threads, to tell the authors what they thought of their work
    plot-bunny ? fanfic plots or ideas
    repost- a story that is being reposted from the classic forum or another site to the appropriate JC era forum
    ?ship or ?shippers ? a specific relationship or pairing?s fandom: as in ?I?m a big Han/Leia ?shipper.?
    update ? a new post to an ongoing story


    Story Info

    These are terms you may see in the titles of story threads, which help define what type of story lies within. Use these to explore the type of story you think you might like.

    add-on or add-to-it ? a multiauthor story still requesting new contributors
    angst ? anguish, torment, fear, anxiety
    AU ? alternate universe: a what-if story that changes one pivotal moment in the films or books and explores from there, for example, what if Leia was raised on Tatooine and Luke was a Prince of Alderaan?
    canon ? drawing strictly on the events from the films and published novels.
    crossover or x-over ? mixing Star Wars with another movie, tv series or book
    H/C ?hurt/comfort, occasionally featuring a single character, as in Obi-torture ? Obi-Wan gets hurt and comforted
    humor ? lots of silliness
    OC- original character: a character created by the author of the story, as opposed to taken from the films or novels
    ]round robin or RR ? multi-author story, occasionally inviting more people to join in
    songfic ? a story based on the lyrics of a song
    squadfic ? fighter squadron stories
    vignette ? a very short scene or story: told entirely in one post

    Era Terms

    As I explained earlier, the fan fiction forums are broken up by era. When an author is posting their story and wants to narrow the era even further, they may include one of the following in the title:

    JA ? a story taking place during and involving events from the Jedi Apprentice books about Obi-Wan's youth before TPM
    JQ ? the same, except featuring events from the Jedi Quest books about Anakin Skywalker's youth before AotC
    inter-trilogy ? a story that takes place between the two trilogies
    Purge ? a story taking place during or referencing the Purges of the Jedi Order postu
  6. Stridarious Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2002
    star 6
    [face_shocked]

    *tunes his radio to the right station*

    Whoa this is great, I just thought that was all the info and you surpise me with all of this! Whoa, thats all I can say...whoa... 8-}
  7. Morgaine Ex-Manager

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2001
    star 6
    I think you should read a little more closely next time, Strid. She did write "Tune in next week..." :p


    Again, very nice work, Derisa. :) Even I learned one or two new things here. ;)
  8. Stridarious Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2002
    star 6
    Morgaine: "I think you should read a little more closely next time, Strid. She did write "Tune in next week..." 8-} "

    I couldn't help it, I looked over that section 8-} . Thus why I suppose I should read it all before hand eh? :confused: [face_laugh]
  9. _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    I Love Fan Fiction!

    :D

    Welcome back one and all, to the Valentine?s edition of the Guide!

    Today we?re going to talk about how to find stories that appeal to you, and then discuss the start of the creative process that leads to works of fan fiction.

    Since the variety of stories is immense here on the JC, it can be a little overwhelming for a newcomer to a forum to find the kind of stories they might enjoy. There is no easy way around that: the first dip into a pool is always the one with the most trepidation behind it.

    The key thing to remember is that you are not bound by any law to finish reading any story you begin. If something about it doesn?t appeal to you, head back to the main page and select another thread to read. No one need ever know! :D

    Even bearing in mind that unspoken truth, some potential readers are just swamped by the sheer volume of stories available. For them, I have a couple of ideas.

    Finding Fics

    If you have a specific kind of story in mind, ie: romance, with Jedi original characters, or action, with Imperial pilot characters, you can post that request in the Fan Fic Recommendation Service thread like this one, at Victory Base, which is the first of them. I started the Service to help members of my local Fan Force find their way over to the Fan Fic forum. (If your local fan force doesn?t have one, I?d be happy to help set one up for them.)

    Conversely, you could post your request here, and I?ll show you all how the Service works. Basically, the requestor posts their desired story material here, I go looking, using several resources at my disposal, and post the links and a brief summary of the story here for the requestor to have a peek at. If you tell me which stories they liked of the ones I linked, I can narrow the search even more, customizing it closer to your specific tastes.

    Another really good way to get your feet wet reading fan fiction is to have a read through the forums? Fan Fiction Newsletter. Story reviews make up a great deal of the copy, and if you like the way a story sounds, there?s a handy link right there to go and have a read through yourself. As all the stories have to pass through two reviewers, they do tend to be of a higher quality. Furthermore, links to all the previous issues of the Newsletter are easily available: if this method works for you, there?s quite a bit of good material to choose from there.

    Challenges, Fan Clubs, and Indexes: Great Sources

    Challenges, which run monthly on the Writer?s Resource Forum can be a good place to find an author whose style appeals to you. These are the Challenge threads to date: Blind Character, Word Awareness, Characterisation through Dialogue, Light, and End of the Empire.

    As well there are various character discussion and fan clubs, where oft-times challenges are posted, such as Obi-Wan: a character workshop, and Skywalker-Solo Revival Society.

    The Writer?s Resource Forum also features a number of indexes for stories featuring specific characters or formats. Examples include Jaina/Jag index, and Anakin/
  10. Stridarious Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2002
    star 6
    Looks good ;) :D . Especially along with these great colours! :)
  11. Katya Jade Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 7
  12. Eon-Wan-Mome_NT Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2003
    star 3
    I knew she had it in her! ;)

    Great work Master!
  13. Sologirl Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2004
    star 2
    This is great!

    I am currently working on my first fanfic ever and have been reading the stories here for about a year. I just officially joined! I am quite nervous about posting my first fan fic so this feedback thread is a great resource for me!

    Thanks!
  14. Amidala_Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2001
    star 5
    I finally managed to make my way to this thread!

    Fabulous job, Derisa :). You know I admire you for putting together this guide.

    Am [face_love]
  15. Stridarious Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2002
    star 6
    Yes, it has helped emmensely with Adoptions, I pray that more of these would be opened or allowed within this forum as so that Newbies get that better understanding of the termonology as well as the rules and ways things work of a forum before actually in fact posting there ;) .
  16. _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Well, that was sort of the idea, Stridarious! It is my hope other forums will take the initiative now that they have seen what can be done, and a few regulars from each with start up their own thread here to introduce newcomers to the ins and outs of their favourite places to hang on the JC. Feel free to link any interested parties to this thread as a benchmark for ideas and suchlike, or send them my way via PM if they need any help or advice in writing this sort of a Guide thread. It's my pleasure to assist with this sort of thing!

    Katya, thanks for your help and support. I'll miss yours and Morgaine's careful, consistent and considerate moderation style. :(

    Padawan Eon, there you are! I have an assignment for you... if you aren't careful, you'll find yourself put to work! :D

    Sologirl: it's great to see an actual new user in this thread! I hope I can be of whatever assistance you require in the writing and posting of your story, and that it leads to many years of fun and friendship for you the way it did for me!

    Amidala: you have been instrumental in this thread, just so you know: your outspoken support of cross-pollination of the boards has inspired and encouraged me in my meagre efforts. Thank you!

    So, slan all, and sorry about the wait between posts: I've been busy with a variety of other issues, but I should have the next update ready to go for next Friday. I wish I could edit the thread title, to show when there is a new post from me in the subject line, just like we do over in the Fan Fiction forums.

    Just a quick note for now, though. The above method of replying to individual posters (and bolding their names) all in one reply has become more or less standard in the Fan Fiction story threads. It allows every reader to feel appreciated, as they are named and their comments replied to, which has the added benefit of encouraging detailed feedback on a story. The more and better the feedback, the more inspired the author is to write, so it's a wonderful upward spiral, and everybody wins!

    More to come!


    *Derisa*




  17. Stridarious Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2002
    star 6
    _Derisa_Ollamhin_: "Well, that was sort of the idea, Stridarious! It is my hope other forums will take the initiative now that they have seen what can be done, and a few regulars from each with start up their own thread here to introduce newcomers to the ins and outs of their favourite places to hang on the JC. Feel free to link any interested parties to this thread as a benchmark for ideas and suchlike, or send them my way via PM if they need any help or advice in writing this sort of a Guide thread. It's my pleasure to assist with this sort of thing!"

    Very good idea may I also add. One which I wonder if any others will follow in. As Adoptions could use more of these types of threads, as well as advertisements within forums. Which was a discussion I brought up in Communications, however, many Moderators turned the idea aside... :( . Perhaps with your voice together we can get this idea implimented within each forum ;) .

    //Edit: Fixed a small mistake [face_blush] .
  18. RogueSticks Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2003
    star 3
    Amidala_Skywalker showed me this the other day and I told her then how terrific I think it is. It really makes fanfiction seem like the alluring, fun little world that it is. Really really terrific job on this, Derisa.
  19. JediNemesis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2003
    star 4
    V good thread here Derisa. Great idea.

    up :p
  20. Xaara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2002
    star 3
    Wonderful job, Derisa! This is both useful and well-written. I especially liked the dictionary of fanfic jargon - when I glanced down the list, I realized exactly how many of those words have become an integral part of my everyday vocabulary. Now I know why my friends keeping giving me all those strange looks... ;)

    Thanks for mentioning the Newsletter - it is the perfect way to find stories and to read about writing fan fiction. The rest of the links you suggested are also very helpful.

    Very well done. :)
  21. _3MD_PsychoSniper Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2003
    star 4
    2 things you frogot.


    Links
    Fan Fiction Writers Resource: This is a fan fic fourm purley for writers to ask help from other writers. If your not sure about a particular fact, like the correct personalites of the Solo kids then you can ask here (to bad NJO writers dont use this :p )


    Definitions
    you frogot a few Era's

    Era terms
    OT- the origonal Trilogy
    PT-Prequel Trilog
    YJK-- Young Jedi Knight's (a series that ends 1 year pre NJO that writs about the Solo twins, Lowabaca, Tenel Ka, and Zekk at the Jedi academy on Yavin IV)
    JJK- Junior Jedi Knights (a series about Anikan Solo and Tahari at the Jedi academy when they were younger.)
  22. _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Didn't forget them 3MD was going to mention them all in due time. Don't want to flood the Newcomers with information they can little use as of yet. :) Thanks for the bump, though! :)

    Slan all, I do have lots more to share on Fan Fiction and the wonderful forums here on the JC, so keep your eyes on this thread: there's more to come!

    If you are looking for some stories to read and haven't got a favouriate author, genre or era yet, here are some helpful links!


    Most Recent Challenges

    Writer's Challenge 5 Death and Dying

    Writer's Challenge 6 Action

    Writer's Challenge 7 When Galaxies Collide: the Cross-Over Challenge


    Some More Indeces:

    Index for Poems and Vignettes

    Wes Janson FanFic Index

    Young Jedi Knights Index


    Recent Issues of the Newsletter

    FanFiction Newsletter, Volume VIII

    FanFiction Newsletter, Volume IX


    Hope that helps!


    *Derisa*

  23. Jedi_Humaira_Blaine Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2003
    star 5
    Derisa, as a fellow fan fiction fan, ;) I'd be happy to help you. :D

    If you need updates, edits etc, just give me a shout and Pash will scoot over. :D

    I love this thread idea because so many newbies come here for fan fiction.

  24. _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Wewll, here's the funny thing, Humaira: they've been discussing in the Writer's Resource Forum the need for some liaising between FF and various other forums, and someone mentioned this thread, which reminded me I owed a couple of posts.

    I'm supposed to be writing up general how-to-write guidelines, as well as keeping the thread updated on challenges, indeces and the Newsletter, but then I get caught up in my own story, and write more on that (we're in the homestretch now, and I'm really excited about it, and so are my readers, so...this kinda took a back seat.

    Anyway, in my previous post, I took care of the second goal, but I will get back on with the meat of the Guide, now that I've been reminded I had let it slip for two months (bad writer, no biscuit!)

    Thanks for the offer of help, I'll put you to work soon enough! :)


    *Derisa*
  25. Jedi_Humaira_Blaine Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2003
    star 5
    You're welcome Derissa. :D

    First of all, good luck with the last part of your fic! :)

    Secondly, if you need me to edit the first post with updates for challenges, terminology etc...just let me know.

    All you have to do is post it in the thread and I'll add it to the first post or whichever post you would like to have it in. ;)
    Not a problem at all. [face_love]

    Just let me know when something needs fixing and I'll get to it. :cool:

    Edit:- Oh and I saw the thread about the tie-up with WNU. It was brought to my attention by beezel. :)
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