Resource FanFic Orientation Guide - Newbies Check In Here! - Interview with a Moderator, Part Ace!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Jaya Solo, Feb 21, 2005.

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Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Jaya Solo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 1999
    star 5
    Welcome:
    Quin22
    oldjedinurse
    Mirax_Corran
    Alphiriel
    Enheduanna
    pokey1984
    Alethia

    I'm so glad you're here!

    Since this has sorta turned into a social thread, I thought we might adopt topics of the week. If you have any suggestions for topics, or you have any questions that you'd like to be discussed, please PM me with your idea! :) This goes both to the Newbies and the Orientation Leaders! :)

    First topic: How do I get my story noticed?

    (Yes, I know that it's alreayd been discussed on other threads and in the guide above, but let's hear from both old and new users on this one. For the Oldbies: How did you overcome your lack of notice, and for Newbies: What current problems are you facing?)
  2. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    I've been on temporary hiatus due to Sithly issues on off board life, but I wanted to contribute to this very positive thread.


    Name: Paulie, or some people call me a plethura of vulgar things because I've always been passionate about issues.

    Age: Thirty-mumble

    Board(s) you post to the most: Saga/resource forum

    Types of stories you read/write: Prequal era Saga

    Characters you read/write the most: Anakin, Padme and OCs

    Advice on how to get involved in the community: Post, registration dates can be irrelevent. Jump right in, and add your voice.

    One piece of advice you?d like to give newbies:

    Don't be afraid to ask questions, if something isn't clear in the FAQ, just ask. If you have a question about say, 'is my fic over the line with nookie or violance', don't be afraid to ask someone who might know the ropes (Mods or otherwise).
  3. Jesina_Dreis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 4
    I started reading other stories. I'm primarily a pilot-writer, and those tend to be the stories I read as well. I was able to find some pilot stories, which was helpful. :) I also started reading stories that the few readers I DID have read, and found that there were stories I liked even thought they were outside the realm of my normal interests.

    I wish I'd thought early on to join the social and character threads in Resource... there are so many that just about every fanficcer should find one where they fit, and that's a GREAT way to get yourself and your stories noticed.

    Also, putting the characters involved in the subject line helped, I found. That's what people look for - names that interest them.



    Jes
  4. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Oldbie here.

    Overcoming lack of notice. A tough one.

    If you are relatively new and don't know anyone on the boards, you must put enough information in your subject line to attract readers. I usually scan for people whose work I know will satisfy but I also read new works if the story title is intriguing. It shows me that the writer actually thought about their story enough to title it well.

    If nothing else, make sure you have the major characters in the story title!!! We all tend to follow certain characters and you may get more notice that way. Some of the well-known writers don't do this but that is because they already have a following so they don't need to. Be aware that OCs do NOT get a lot of attention (although that is changing slowly) so your readership will be smaller in a completely OC fic.

    Also, if you are going to be writing a long story, be sure and put the update date in the title as well. If I'm on a board, I will first glance through the fic titles to see what ones have been updated recently.

    I'm sure I'll think of more things later.
  5. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Well, my first post on here was hte first post of my first story (not counting when I used my sister's name). I don't really know how I got readers; they just came 8-} And I read the stories of anyone who read mine.
  6. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    Name: Marian. Here on the boards I'm Idrelle or Idri :)
    What kind of stories you're interested in: Anything OT and forwards, and the occasional PT fic. Great fan of classic H/L banter!
    Why you joined the boards: I was bored during exam break and I just kind of stumbled in.
  7. Rose_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 4
    Oldbie I guess :p

    How do I get my story noticed?

    1. A good title is everything. If you have an eye catching title it's going to bring in readers, not to say mudane titles don't get readers (look at my stories, i pick the worst titles). I know one story i started reading just because the title looked interesting.

    2.Character Listing- put the main characters of the story in the subject bar. If you worried that a pairing you have might scare off reader, just put one of the characters in the story line. I wrote Jaina/Zekk stories when there was about three Jaina/Zekk authors. so instead of scaring people off with the Zekk part, I just "Jaina" in the title. I've gotten alot of readers wondering what Jaina was up to, and then when they realized Zekk was in the story it didn't matter so much. I haven't converted anyone, but there reading it regardless of the fact Jaina's with Zekk.

    3.EU Fanclubs- in the expanded Universe Forum there are fanclubs for every character. Talk to people who like the character your writing about, half the time their FF writers too.

    4.Story link in your sig- this is self explanatory really. If people find you interesting and read your sig there is an instant connection to your story.

    5.Update bar- If you update the story change the subject bar of the first post to reflect that. It's as simply as say "New post up 2/28/05" thats all you have to do. Then people know that you've updated the story recently. When i first came to the board i waded through pages of stories to fins stories that said "updated 2/27" only to find out that was 2/27 of the previous year. it's kind of a bummer to really like a story that nevers get finished, but it happens to all of us (even i have a story that i will never complete).

    6.Persistance- Now this might just be an observation of mine, but i find authors who post on a schedule get more readers than ones who don't. I post once a week (most of the time), and my readers know that on sunday my post is going up. They know exactly when to find new posts. They don't have to check into the story everyday to find nothing new. Plus i don't leave them waiting for months on end (most of the time) for whats going to happen next in my story. I'm not saying to kill yourself to post once a week like i do, But pick a day and tell your readers "I'm going to update this story on the third thursday of every month, or every other friday." Then it doesn't feel like it's so long between updates to your story, and it creates some sort of order. Plus I find as a writer, knowing i have to post every sunday is like a deadline to me, it makes me get the post written even if i don't feel like writing.


    alright i think thats all i know
    ~Rose~
  8. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    Welcome Idrelle_Miocovani. :)

    For the Oldbies: How did you overcome your lack of notice, -- Talk about doing things backwards?? When first coming to the boards I'd been a lurker. It wasn't until starting to post my own story that I even registered. And I wondered where the readers where? Lucky for my my daughter was already a member and replied to mine. The boards were not nearly as big as they are now and my fave kind of stories (JA) were all the rage at that time. so readers did trickle in. It wasn't until getting to know others, through reading their stories and chatting in the threads I made friends and found more readers.

    Why I relate this?? Only to suggest not to do it this way. :)

    It does take patience and persevernce and finding your niche, but you can come to find your best friends on these boards.
  9. Jesina_Dreis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 4
    Welcome, Idrelle.

    Yes, titles are very important! (This from someone who can't name a story to save her life.) People are usually willing to help you out there, and some people are really good at that.

    Also, definitely join the fan clubs listed in the Guide. They'll help you get to know people. :D
  10. C3P0_R2D2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2005
    star 2
    No white suit, I promise ... friends?

    Okay. Friends.


    Good ways are to put era up in a title. I normally, though not always, stick to YJK fics.
  11. Miana Kenobi Costuming & Props Mod - Retired Admin

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    For the Oldbies: How did you overcome your lack of notice

    You mean people actually have overcome it?? :eek: ;)

    In all seriousness, I'm not a very "well-known" author. I've written a lot, but they aren't exactly those stories with fifty-billion readers. :p However, here's my words of wisdom: don't get discouraged by it. Say you only have like one or two readers on a story: take that opportunity to get to really know those people, because faithful readers will stick with your stories through the years. :) (Plus, by the end, you'll have more inside jokes than you can shake a stick at). ;)

    So in conclusion:
    Never give up, never surrender! :D
  12. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    And always bring crewman #6 with you to the planet! Sorry, Galaxy Quest joke. Couldn't resist.


    Another thing. As you start to write stories, make sure that you put links to them, not just in your signature but also in your bio. I will often find an author I like and immediately go to their bio and read everything they've written! Help your readers to find your stories - they are out there....
  13. Rowan_Jade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2003
    star 3
    *waving*
    Hi! I think I'm too old to be a newbie and too new to be an oldbie so can I just be a mid-bee?

    Name Um, Ro works. YodaRo (yes I'm old and wrinkly).... insert name here _______

    Age Well, some have said older than dirt. I say, old enough to remember seeing ANH in the theaters the FIRST time it was there (waaaaay before it was actually called ANH). We'll settle for somewhere past 30 and not quite to dead yet :D

    Boards I lurk, um, frequent mainly Beyond, some Saga, once in a great while Before, EU, WJFC, DownTime...

    Type of story I read most Anything I can get my eyeballs on! I love anything that has to do with GFFA (with a few minor exceptions), I revel in my geekdom and want to expand my geekdom knowledge to the outer expanses! I'm always hyped up for a good humor but I'll take notice of many an angsty gut wrenching drama as well. Love my flyboys, can't get enough of them. Well, just say I'll read ANYTHING!

    Why does this suddenly feel like a rap sheet???

    My mug shot is top left corner of this post BTW :D

    I've been here for a terribly long time but I spent my first year or so in lurker mode, getting a feel for the place and just reading all of the AMAZING fics out here. After I poked my head into one of the fics I'd been frequenting that had finally moved me (literally) to tears, I felt compelled to tell the author how amazing her work was. I was PM'd by another reader shortly after and given suggestions on a few other things I might like to read. So I took that advice and now they can't get rid of me. I pop up all over the place now and give credit where credit is invariably due.

    I always said I'd never write anything but I was wrong. I've put a few challenge pieces out (fantastic way to break in, no commitment to a huge piece and you'll get wonderful and varied feedback) and one little thing that kept eating at my brain until I did something about it.

    Invaluable Advice
    1)Beta reader = the best suggestions you can ask for ,feed back, spell/grammar check and one guaranteed reply.
    2)DO NOT BE AFRAID TO POST SOMETHING!!!!We've all had to have a first post and once you hit the post button, it's done and you just sit back and bask in the glory! Check YOU out! You just posted something you care enough about to share with all of us! Thank you!!! [:D]
    3)Make friends, it's not hard to do. Find some regulars in an ongoing story that covers a topic you like and make friends. These people will be thrilled to death when you finally post something of your own and they will be glad to tell you they are excited!

    Well, I seem to have had a huge amount of nothing to say huh? We (readers/reviewers/writers/mods/lurkers) DO NOT BITE -(no matter what they tell you about me) please come enjoy with us! :D


  14. Miana Kenobi Costuming & Props Mod - Retired Admin

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    And always bring crewman #6 with you to the planet!


    Rock on! [face_laugh]
  15. Rosh_Penin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2005
    star 2
    Hi everyone!

    Name: Rosh_Penin works fine for me, but some AU people call me Matthew :D

    What kind of stories you're interested in: Nearly any type of story, as long as it's a good one! Particularly interested in Saga and Beyond the Saga (pre-NJO, though - I haven't read those books yet).

    Why you joined the boards: A burning desire to serialise the storylines of the Lucasarts games. :p
  16. Jesina_Dreis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 4
    AU people, eh? Never heard that before... Welcome, Rosh! Which games?
  17. oldjedinurse Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2003
    star 4
    Hello, Rosh_Penin, Diane and Pokey, Alethia, Idrelle and all my fellow Newbies. And thanks to the "oldbies" with great advice.

    Ro, you're not the only one who was in a theatre to see SW the first time around!

    Question: Any opinions/advice on whether a newbie posting in a challenge thread might be noticed more than with a regular posting?

    Just wondering...

    Mari


  18. Jaya Solo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 1999
    star 5
    OOOOOH. Oldjedinurse, can we get to your question next week? Challenges are easy ways to write a story. They're pretty short, you know what the plot line is already, and several people will read it just because they like the thread that made the challenge. It can help you improve your writing and yes, even get a little more noticed. :)
  19. Layren Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2003
    star 5
    Excellent topic Jaya.

    1) Be Sociable. If you join one of the social threads and start making friends (we don't bite!) chances are one of your new friends is going to read your story, especially if you have the link in your signature. But if you review a fic of someone else's, don't ask them to review yours in the review. That's considered rude. I made that mistake my first few weeks on the boards and later apologized to the author once I found out it was rude and luckily she didn't take offense.

    2) Don't be afraid to ask for help. All the people here want to help you -- we all want the same thing, to have our stories read. If you need a beta reader or someone to preview your story before you read it -- ASK! There are many people who would happily do so for you. It takes a lot of courage to post and we congratulate you for doing so!

    3) Use the preview button before you post. It's always helpful, especially in spacing mistakes. Space your paragraphs out. Since reading online is different than reading a book, take that into consideration. Putting a line or two between paragraphs makes it much easier to read and you're more likely to get a better response if you have a good presentation :D

    4) Check out the newbies thread and ask someone there to mentor you. Masters really are very helpful. I Remember how huge the boards seemed when I first joined and I was forever getting lost. My adopter was very patient and answered all of my questions for me.

    5) Have FUN! Remember that's what we're all here for!
  20. oldjedinurse Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2003
    star 4
    ...can we get to your question next week?

    Sure, Jaya. No hurry! :)

    Mari
  21. Rosh_Penin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2005
    star 2
    Hey Jesina_Dreis, many thanks for your welcome! I'm hoping to start with Jedi Academy and perhaps work my way back. Who knows, I may even branch out into TIE Fighter!

    The games will give me a strong central storyline to work from, allowing me to improve my writing skills and technique. One I've worked my way through them I'll hopefully be better equipped to deal with a few original themes.

    Plus, I get to write about possibly the most neglected Jedi Master of the EU - Kyle Katarn!

    many thanks for your welcome also oldjedinurse!
  22. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    Welcome, Rosh_Penin... Love that you also have AU people... being that I'm kinda one myself. LOL!
  23. Sara_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 7
    How did you overcome your lack of notice:


    I just kept posting and writing my stories, steadily. I only had one steady reader in the begining, and I will always remember her fondly for her support. My writing wasn't that expressive in the begining, and I found it very difficult to continue here. I felt that no one liked anything that I did, and that I couldn't compare to the other user's that had been here for some time, and had been writing. I would say it was the love I had for Star Wars, and writing stories, that carried me forward. I've been writing since Sept 2000 on this site because I learned to believe that I could do this. You must support yourself, and have that confidence built in what you're presenting. Even if you think it's not that good. It is good. Just because people don't reply right away; that's no reflection on you. Please know that. And if you think you require help with your writing, please check out the first page of this thread for a strong list of good resources. [:D]

    We love yeah, newbies. Remember that, too. If not for you, this place wouldn't have much ground to stand on. [:D][:D]
  24. Ace_Venom Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 3
    Technically, I'm an oldbie if you just go by registration date. I've only been absent for the last few years. I've been writing fan fiction for quite a while, so I guess I'm qualified to drop my two cents.

    But how do I get noticed? I just put that in the hands of the reader. Any time you do something creative, you have to risk that people will either not like it or not like it enough to comment i.e. just make a passing glance at something. There's actually nothing wrong with lurking and I like to believe that there are always more lurkers than commenters.

    In the end, it revolves around your ability to tell a story. You're going to attract followers, so there's really no reason to despair. If you're good enough, you may be like the Grateful Dead of fan fiction.
  25. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2001
    star 5
    Oh, a moldy, oldie here, posting.



    Name: MariahJade2

    Age: Over 40. :p

    Board(s) you post to the most: Writers Resource.

    Types of stories you read/write: I love a lot of differnt things but my favorite's are saga stories, OC characters, AU's, adventure and romance.

    Characters you read/write the most: I mostly like to write about Luke or OC's. I like the classic characters the most and Mara, but if a story is good, I don't stick to one era or character.



    Advice on how to get involved in the community: Reading stories and posting in them is the best way and one of the most fun. I've met so many wonderful people as fellow readers. Don't be afraid to read something you normally wouldn't think to try.

    One piece of advice you?d like to give newbies: Don?t worry or be too shy about posting. This is a very friendly place. If you're writing, get someone to beta-read for you before you post. A story with fewer errors will generally do better. Get involved in a round-robin. It's an easy way to get your feet wet and meet people, plus it's loads of fun. Most of all have a good time. :)
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