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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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  1. Jaya Solo

    Jaya Solo Jedi Knight star 5

    Jul 12, 1999
    I think that challenges are a really good way to get started in writing stories. People that wrote for that challenge will probably read your challenge to support you, and you might want to consider doing likewise.

    I think that writing vignettes in general will get people to read your story just because it's by nature short.

    You don't have to write for every challenge, just ones that spark your interest. I did one recently and it sparked an idea for a new story. :)
  2. Arin_Atona

    Arin_Atona Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 10, 2004
    Thought I'd introduce myself, since we've *all* been noobs at one point or another.

    Name: Arin (pronounced "Ah-rin"), AA, Hey you. Yeah, I'll answer to just about any of them. Just don't refer to me as a girl or I'll have to smack you around (virtually, of course).

    Age: 29. I'm dead serious. Really. Stop looking at me like that.

    Board(s) you post to the most: Beyond is where the majority of my work is, but I'm actively posting/reading in everything but Classic.

    Types of stories you read/write: Anything character-driven with action, humor, or angst (preferrably all three). I'll read/write mushy stuff, too... as long as that isn't the primary purpose of the story.

    Characters you read/write the most: Reading: I'll infrequently visit stories with prequel-trilogy characters, but I prefer those from the original trilogy and beyond. I love good original characters, too. Writing: I'm an original character kind of guy, but I tend to make them interact with canon characters to make life interesting for all.

    Advice on how to get involved in the community: Just jump right in. It's easier to gain readers by writing some of the more popular genres and romantic pairings, but don't be afraid to do something unconventional.

    One piece of advice you?d like to give newbies: Don't start out by writing original-character epics. In fact, don't start out by writing epics, period. I did that. I'm still doing it. Start small with canon characters/pairings you can sink your teeth into. Work on your writing skills and getting a few loyal readers before trying something big/original. Even if you already have writing skills, having a few readers willing to stick with you through something original is a blessing.
  3. Alethia

    Alethia Jedi Master star 5

    Feb 13, 2005

    I believe its very hard to stop at every new story posted on the boards ... especially those written by a new author ... there are so many good writers and fics!

    Actually that's something that I do. Or at least, I try to. If the story looks interesting (or the author leaves no info in the subject line) then I usually click on it and end up reading it/attemtping to read it. And if I read, I review. I'll admit that it can take me hours, but I find it great fun... And you also meet a lot of new people.

    One piece of advice you?d like to give newbies: Unless you're new to the Internet, you aren't a newbie. Internet communities are largely the same wherever you go. When someone calls you a newbie, try and find out when they first started surfing. Could be they're the newbie, not you

    Interesting point... I've been posting in Harry Potter forums/ groups since March 2000 (which is also when I got into fan fiction, incidentally), so I guess that would make me pretty old. But basically, being new/old is irrevelant. We think it's important, because yes, people who have been here a long time do get reputations and therefore people know them. But that just means you should work on getting your own reputation and getting your name out there. And the way to do that is to post. I have (last time I checked, which was yesterday) 203 posts to my name and I've been here a little over two weeks. Now, I'll admit that I can get a bit obsessive sometimes, but the truth is that I've just been doing a lot of reviewing. I read something, I try to leave a post that contains more than 'I like this, update now!' and that's how I got the majority of my posts. It's quite easy to do that. And it's fun as well. And the authors really appreciate getting reviews. Newbie/oldbie isn't important. People really just have to bite the bit and go out and try and be friendly and post. People won't ever get to know you if you never post. Try to review one new fic a day. Or check out the Resource forum. And after you got a few posts under your belt, you'll feel like you belong.

    As for Challenges:

    Challenges can be great. One of my fics (an HP one) started because of a challenge and one of my original novels also started as a challenge. When you don't know what to write, they're wonderful for ideas. And because people who usually enter them themselves read the othre responses, you get readers.

    On the other hand, writing your own ideas is great too. You really ought to balance it out. Short fics are good to start out with. And I suggest before you start something, have an idea of where you want to go with it. Challenges are usually shorter and it's easier to end than a thirty chapter novel-length fic, especially when you runout of gas sometimes and can't get back into it for awhile. As a (very) sporadic updater (I haven't updated anything of mine in, oh, six months and some things it's been over a year)- this really annoys readers. And they often leave you. Which is a bit discouraging. So try to update fairly regularly. And in a Challenge, this is possible, because it's just usually a post or so (unless you're like me and span an epic out of them).

    I hope I'm making sense...basically, I think that you should try a few challenges to get your feet wet (especially if you're brand new to any writing of any kind) and then start on something that is purely yours. Challenges let you get to know the characters- which helpy you avoid OOC characters and Mary/Gary Sues- two traps that writers (new and old) don't want to fall into.
  4. RK_Striker_JK_5

    RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Jul 2, 2003
    Always will feel like a newbie, so...

    Name:Striker, Jon, RK.

    Age: My physical body is 26. My soul's age is near-infinite.

    Board(s) you post to the most: Beyond, EUC with a smattering in Lit.

    Types of stories you read/write: Hmm...

    I write:
    YJK and crossovers. Although I try my hand at original or little-seen ideas every once in a while.

    I read:
    Mostly YJK, although I'll click on a fic just for the heck of it once in a while. I've been doing that more and more lately...

    Characters you read/write the most: Hmm...part two.

    I read:
    The YJK mostly, with emphasis on Tenel Ka.

    I write:
    The YJk mostly, with emphasis on Tenel Ka. (Sensing a pattern here?)

    Advice on how to get involved in the community: Just go for it. Start posting and don't look back.

    One piece of advice you?d like to give newbies: If your story's languishing on page 90, don't give up. We've all been there. Just keep plugging away. Also, remember to repsond to everyone who's posted in your fic.
  5. vegemite

    vegemite Jedi Youngling

    Dec 6, 2004
    I decided to combine the two sets of questions....

    Name: Well, I'm not going to put my real name (yes, I am paranoid, I know), so you can call me vegemite or Captain Kirk. But, this being a Star Wars board, I'm pretty sure the latter won't go over too well ;)

    Age: 14, but 15 in a month!

    Board(s) you post to the most: I don't think I've actually posted at all yet

    Types of stories you read/write: I have some over at under the same name, and there's one humor, a couple romance/mushy, one tragedy. Mostly, I think I'm interested in mushy romance, HL type thing. I'm not erally into the prequels at all, just the OT.

    Why you joined the boards: A lot of my favorite authors over at had accounts here, and I came here and saw that there was so much more fanfiction here than there and that the response system for reviews was much better. Oh, and I don't have a beta.

    PS I signed up a while back but haven't yet jumped into the whole posting business....
  6. oldjedinurse

    oldjedinurse Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 6, 2003

    I believe its very hard to stop at every new story posted on the boards ... especially those written by a new author ... there are so many good writers and fics!

    Actually that's something that I do. Or at least, I try to.

    I'm so glad to hear that! It gives us Newbie writers hope... [face_dancing]

    Thanks for taking that approach.


  7. _JM_

    _JM_ Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 26, 2001
    Challenges. Why should you write them? Do they get more notice than other new stories?

    Whether they get more notice obviously depends on the challenge and depends on the new story. Some sorts of story and some characters are much more popular than others so if the new story is the ?right? type with the ?right? characters and the Challenge is on a less popular idea or characters then it might get less notice.
    Generally speaking though I would say that a Challenge response would have a better chance of not passing unnoticed as if someone reads one of a set of Challenge responses they are likely to read the others.

    Why you should write them is that it can be fun to try something new and it can also be useful. Everyone has their own set of assumptions which come out in their writing, their own way of looking at things, and sometimes by trying to think in terms of the challenge you can get a different perspective. So far the Gentleman?s Writing Guild challenges have provided good examples of this.
    It is just good to get out of your comfort zone, the sort of stories and images that come into your head automatically, and try to explore a different aspect of the GFFA.
  8. C3P0_R2D2

    C3P0_R2D2 Jedi Master star 2

    Jan 23, 2005
    I don't have anything to say about Challenges personally. I normally don't like the rules, because they limit my creative flow. But it is a GOOD way to get noticed.
  9. Jaya Solo

    Jaya Solo Jedi Knight star 5

    Jul 12, 1999
    But it's fun to find a creative way to bend those rules. ;) From a certian point of view I followed the rules...
  10. Jaya Solo

    Jaya Solo Jedi Knight star 5

    Jul 12, 1999
    Hm... so what's our next topic going to be?
  11. DarthDolly

    DarthDolly Jedi Youngling star 1

    Feb 10, 2005
    *waves* Hi there . . . I'm a newbie! Well, sort of. I've been lurking for awhile, and am no stranger to online communities. I don't see many other newbies here, but what the heck. This thread is great! (I don't think I ever would have figured out what "socks" are otherwise, lol) Anyhow, here is my info:

    Name: Dolly is my usual online nickname.

    What kind of stories you're interested in: Action/adventure and drama type stories usually. Romance as the main feature of a story usually bugs me, I don't know why. Obi-Wan with Qui-Gon and/or Anakin stories are my favorites. I prefer mostly pre-Ep.IV stories, though I like Luke and Leia stories too.

    Why you joined the boards: I got tired of lurking and wanted to post replies to all the great threads here! I've also decided to try my hand at writing fan fiction, and this seems like a good place for pointers and observation. Its kind of huge though, so I don't know about posting stories here.

    I do like the idea of Challenges though, you guys have some good points! Before I get started on a long story I decided to write a couple of shorter "warm up" stories, and challenges sound like just that. :)
  12. oldjedinurse

    oldjedinurse Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 6, 2003
    Welcome, DarthDolly! :D

    I checked in here as a Newbie on Feb 24th, but I've come a long way in a couple of weeks. Its a great community and I bet you'll feel comfortable posting your stories in no time!

    There's lots of great advice here.

    Have FUN! ;)


  13. Jaya Solo

    Jaya Solo Jedi Knight star 5

    Jul 12, 1999
    Welcome DarthDolly!

    Hm... how about this week's topic be: The Top Ten Reasons to get a Master/Adopter! :)

    They can be funny... serious... etc. :) Have fun!
  14. RK_Striker_JK_5

    RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Jul 2, 2003
    I know one reason. You'd have one reader automatically.
  15. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Mar 1, 2002
    Okay, I want to know that as well. I've never had a Master or a Padawan. What exactly do they do?
  16. Jaya Solo

    Jaya Solo Jedi Knight star 5

    Jul 12, 1999
    My top ten reasons to get adopted:

    1. You have an automatic friend on the forum.

    2. You get a spiffy title of ?padawan.? (Well, it depends on your master, but I?ve called all of my padawans padawan. ;))

    3. You have someone that can suggest stories that you may enjoy. Hopefully they?ve been around long enough to have read a few more stories than you have.

    4. You have a free beta. They may not tell you that, but you do. Just say, ?Can you read this for me? I?m kinda nervous about posting my story, and I?d like advice before I do.? And use your cute Newbie eyes. That?ll get them every time. ;)

    5. You have someone there to answer your questions. Don?t feel stupid about asking them stuff, even if you think it is. :)

    6. You have at least one reader for your story(ies). :) Yay. Maybe your master will drag along his/her friends to read your story too. Also, your master may have a master or other former padawans that can read your story too!

    7. You have someone to give you advice. This is similar to the beta?ing and answering questions, but you can also ask real life advice. Masters are cool like that.

    8. You have someone to listen to you whine. ;) I?ve listened to quite a few of my padawans whine about all sorts of stuff. ;) It?s pretty fun.

    9. You won?t necessarily have to learn by trial and error. Sure, there?s still some trial and error involved, but your master will hopefully tell you about all of the times he/she screwed up. (And you may have to listen to your master whine too.)

    10. You have someone to help cultivate your insanity? oh? wait? okay, I help cultivate my padawans insanity!

    Feel free to create your own lists now. :)
  17. oldjedinurse

    oldjedinurse Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 6, 2003
    Excellent question, Jaya_Solo!

    Hmmmmm. Let's see...when you are adopted by a Master:

    1. You have a friend on the boards.
    2. You have a friend who knows their way around the boards.
    3. You have someone to answer your Newbie questions.
    4. You have someone who will listen to your concerns and support you as you begin to write.
    5. You have someone to give advice on your writing (an automatic beta).
    6. You get an honest opinion about your fiction without posting it in public (if you're shy at first).
    7. You will always have at least one reader for your story posts.
    8. You have someone to try new ideas out on.
    9. You get [:D] and [face_love].
    10. You get to be a Jedi Padawan, for goodness' sake!


    ojn [:D] to my Master, tangled_sphere

  18. Jaya Solo

    Jaya Solo Jedi Knight star 5

    Jul 12, 1999

    Masters are those loving Oldbies that adopt a Newbie. The master then shows around their new padawan around the boards, giving the new padawan advice on what to read, but mostly how to write and get adjusted to the boards. I think that about sums it up. :)
  19. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrely Community Mod star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Jul 7, 2000
    Welcome DarthDolly. Interested in posting fanfic??? That's great, this is the place to be and find out all the info you need to know with the links at the beginning of the thread.

    Obifan are you? No doubt you find find a great number of like minds. :D

    Jaya Solo, I think the covered most reasons very well. I especically like the your number one as it's very true... instant friends are so very nice here.

    Diane, what exactly? That probably depends on the duo. I think the biggest things masters do for their padawans is to be their support in many of the things listed by Jaya. And the masters get those fabulous warm fuzzies knowing they're helping someone. :)
  20. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 20, 2002
    I know I'm repeating some stuuf, but . . . (in no specific order)

    1. You get an automatic friend who can introduce you to other people
    2. You get to be in someone's sig so your name gets noticed
    3. You have an reader
    4. You have an beta
    5. You have some to ask questions to
    6. Your master can lead you to some good stories
    7. Your master kmight recommend your story to his/her friends
    8. you have someone to bounce ideas off of

    I can't think of anything else right now.
  21. Jaya Solo

    Jaya Solo Jedi Knight star 5

    Jul 12, 1999
    Great ideas guys. :) Oh, come on, I know there are those of you out there that have benefited from the Master/Padawan relationship!
  22. DarthDolly

    DarthDolly Jedi Youngling star 1

    Feb 10, 2005
    Thanks for the warm welcome, guys! :D Great new post topic too, makes me want to get a Master. *heads over to check out the adoption board*
  23. Knight_Aragorn

    Knight_Aragorn Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 15, 2003
    Great topic! I've always kind of wondered about the Master/Padawan adoption process too. Very interesting lists... [face_thinking]
  24. Princess_Arulmozhi

    Princess_Arulmozhi Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 16, 2004
    Me late. Be nice and forgive me :)

    I suppose I technically am a newbie ( I joined November 2004, though I started reading fanfics two months before that) - but I don't really feel like one. :D

    Name: Princess Arulmozhi...called variously Princess Arul - or P_A (there're a lot of princesses here :) )

    Age: 25. (Sigh).

    Board(s) you post to the most: Before, Before, Before the Saga. I sometimes look into 'The Saga' Boards...rarely venture into the wide 'Beyond'. Mostly because I'm unfamiliar with NJO characters - but I'm learning to find my way around them. At least I know now what the J's and K's stand for. I think.

    Types of stories you read/write: Started with reading severe mush and angst, and hurt/comfort, re Obi-Wan - my first was a fic called 'Jedi Go Home' (Jan Jinn's, I think). I started on the first line and was pulled in before I knew what happened. Love humour...though it's a bit hard for me to find those that fit my taste. I do like romance ...not in huge, sappy doses, but those that leave a lot to my imagination :) Started out writing humour - or at least tried to (Yoda's advice notwithstanding ).

    Characters you read/write the most: Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. (Why isn't that surprising?). Tried out Anakin Skywalker once. Am considering writing him again. That *would* be a challenge.

    Advice on how to get involved in the community: What everyone's said so far. Jump right in - and you'll find your way around, soon enough. :). Commenting on fics helps too. A lot. Appreciation is There's nothing like knowing someone connects with what you write. Now *that* is a morale-booster. You end up with a floating-on-clouds feeling for hours, with this silly grin plastered on your face all day. This accomplishment is yours, and yours alone - and nothing can take it away from you. :D

    Having a Master wouldn't be bad, though. :) - considering all the advantages...

    One piece of advice you?d like to give newbies: Me. Advice. <grins>. Read, and read, and many fics as you can. I did. Eventually, when I broke the surface after weeks of exploration, I found the courage to write one of my own. :D

    Re, the challenges...>>>>>>Challenges. Why should you write them? Do they get more notice than other new stories?>>>>>>>

    Love challenges. The more constraints, the better. You never know what they can lead to - alphabets, weird words, exotic dances :D...It'll lead you where you've never gone before (Argh.). Plus they break the ice, they're short, and they really hone your skills as a writer. If you can write with all these conditions, imagine what you can do without any shackles. :)

    EDIT: oldjedinurse, lucky you, you've got yourself a very talented master. (On an aside, did you know that I almost pelted her with a bushel of tomatoes, once? For writing a marvelous viggie [face_laugh] )
  25. Smuggler_Shidakis

    Smuggler_Shidakis Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 26, 2004
    Welcome to everyone!

    Top 5 Reasons to Get Adopted (Because I'm sure some of mine have been stated already)

    1. Someone to ask all those questions that you're sure are stupid.
    2. Having a friend on the boards for support.
    3. Someone to help you get involved in social groups and discussion threads.
    4. Having someone brag about how great you are.
    5. The ability to brag about how great your master is.
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