Resource Fanfic Writer's Desk: Your Place for Writing Discussion, Questions, and Advice

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Luna_Nightshade, Nov 24, 2011.

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  1. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I think it would be a toss up. People who don't wash stink. I would think she wouldn't mind a washed person who doesn't have an excessive amount of artificial scents on them. Just like humans here on earth. I can't stand being around unwashed people, but at the same time a teenage male who used an entire bottle of Axe body spray on himself is just as nauseating.
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  2. Darth_Henning Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2007
    star 3
    Hey all,

    I'm new to the fan fiction section of JCF, though I have written elsewhere. Based on a discussion that occurred in the a literature thread earlier this week I've decided to embark on a rather ambitious project and was hoping for some input.

    To explain the idea first, its a re-write of the LOTF and FOTJ novels to remove the more illogical points, and instead focus on those plot ideas that make sense, and fit within the pre-existing character motivations. The rewrite presumes that DN, MF, Mercy Kill and the Korr duology remain unchanged in the post-NJO EU.

    Dark Nest will still conclude the joiner issue, and end with Luke establishing a new Jedi Council separate from the auspices of the GA Government. LOTF will then take a different direction: Rather than Jacen falling to the dark side, the series would instead focus on Jacen and Jaina serving as the focus of the Jedi supporting the GA against the Corellian Insurrection with with Han and Leia have sided. Luke and Mara will be focused on raising Ben and trying to find a peaceful resolution, and investigating the instigators behind this conflict. Hapes will be involved in some part of the resolutionn.

    FOTJ will be more similar to what has been seen, but split differently. Jacen and Ben will be tasked with investigating the dark power of Abeloth while Jaina and Jag lead the Jedi in the field with Luke and Mara against the recently revealed Lost Tribe. Han and Leia will be focused on quelling the slave revolts that are occurring across the galaxy. Meanwhile Raynar and Cilghal will be trying to solve the crisis with the crazy Jedi aided by Master Horn and others of the Council.

    Almost all the deaths will be cut, as will other issues which I won't get into here.

    So based from this I have a few question I'd like people to help with in this early planning stage:

    1. What should the series be titled? LOTF and FOTJ no longer make sense as the focus is very different, and while the subtitle will explain the rewrite, I feel the arc should have a title.
    2. What characters do you feel were under utilized in the series that you'd like to see more of for subplots?
    3. What from lotf/FOTJ actually worked in your opinion? Despite their flaws, some parts were good.

    I'll leave those as the initial questions, but since this is a fairly massive undertaking, if anyone wants to help out I'd love to hear from you.
  3. SiouxFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2012
    star 3
    Holy crap, you certainly don't lack for ambition on this! This is a BIG undertaking, and I wish you luck. '…I plan on removing the more illogical plots…' You mean there were logical ones? ;)

    1. Were it me, I'd still call it LotF…you're merely creating a different Legacy than the one we've been left with.
    2. Tenel Ka was TOTALLY under utilized…as leader of the Consortium she would wield sizable negotiating power...Tahiri and Pellaeon were totally misused, and I think Omas was turned into a cartoon politician. (Well, Denning did that with almost all of them, truth be told)
    3. I DO think that the Corellian secession was realistic in the first few books…but then it kinda disappeared, and the wrap up of the 'war' was pathetic. I've not actually read FotJ, so I can't comment on what worked in that series…although from what I've read here, even less worked for it than 'Legacy'. One question: if Centerpoint isn't destroyed in 'your' LotF, is Abeloth even an issue? Wouldn't she (it?) still be stuck in the Maw?

    Good luck with this…I LOVE talking 'SW' politics, so hit me up if you want to talk more!
  4. Darth_Henning Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2007
    star 3
    Thanks. Its definitely a long term project, but I feel ambitious this week :p

    I'm not sure what I'm going to do with Centerpoint specifically yet. That's one of the many plot points I'm going to have to review in outline format. Abeloth would probably still be a viable issue even without destroying Centerpoint somehow. I'd have to figure out how though.

    Probably won't be doing much this coming week, but in the new year I'll probably PM you for political input then. That's one area of Star Wars I've never had a terribly good grasp of.
  5. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Re-writing LOTF and FOTJ? That is ambitions. Perhaps you might want to break it up into smaller, self-contained stories, so you can try things out first? Sometimes if the job is too big it doesn't get finished.
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  6. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Those words are very true.

    Just ask my NaNo novel from two years ago.
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  7. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    What's the best way to go about finding someone on here to beta read a story segment? I found the beta reader index thread, but it seems to be inactive as the last several posts are requests for a beta with no replies.

    This is actually for an RPG over in the roleplaying forum, but it's a relatively long (~1,500 words) and rather fan-fictiony kind of post (actually, the whole game is fan-fictiony, but that's a different discussion). I normally just write things up and post them, but this post will represent a crucial plot twist and a major climax in my storyline that I've been building up to for several months, so I want to make sure that it reads well and has the intended impact on the readers.

    I can't provide much in the way of details about the plot here to protect spoilers, as a couple people who play this RPG do maintain a fanfic on these boards as well, but will be happy to do so by PM. I can say that it is a Jedi-centered post, entirely OCs, set in a slight AU in the 270s ABY. I need feedback within the next week or so, as I will need to post this around the 5th to the 8th of January.

    Is anyone here willing to help me? Any suggestions on what to do here?
    Last edited by jcgoble3, Dec 26, 2013
  8. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    The way probably most fanfic writers get their betas is by making friends with other fanfic writers or readers and then asking a friend to look at their story. Unless a person has a whole lot of time on their hands they don't sign up to beta on the index thread.

    You might want to PM one of your loyal RPG readers and ask them if they would like a sneak peek. If this is a crucial point in your story then only a person following your story would know if it has its intended impact. A beta who hasn't read the story probably could correct grammar and spelling, but might not know if it is reading well.

    I'll read it just to tell you what my impression is of the story, if you like. I am not a spelling or grammar beta. I don't have enough knowledge for that, but I can read your story and give you my impression as to what is happening and how I felt about what happened.
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, Dec 26, 2013
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  9. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    Thanks @Jedi_Lover for the reply and the offer to read it. I'll send you a PM shortly with the post and a little background info. :)

    As for having another player look at it, I hadn't thought of that. On one hand I'm reluctant to do so, because I really want to keep everybody guessing until it's actually posted. On the other hand, I could probably get better feedback, as you pointed out. I'll have to think on that for a day or two before I decide whether to do it.
  10. ThreadSketch Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2013
    star 3
    Hello all,

    I'm aware of the military resource thread, but I haven't been able to find information on something that occurs after warfare--a ceasefire. (I wouldn't mind knowing details about formal truces/armistices as well.) Is there a specific protocol for calling a ceasefire in battle, or is this flexible enough that an author can technically fudge it depending on the story? It would be the pits to ruin an intense, compelling scene just because of a glaring inaccuracy.

    Off the top of my head from history, I know there was a famous "Christmas truce" during WWI in 1914, but it mostly seemed to be an unofficial action done on the level of local ground troops deciding to fraternize because of the season. I'm more concerned with how a ceasefire and truce would take place between higher officers and/or heads of state immediately after a major battle. (I know, there's The Truce at Bakura I could look at for starters--although I don't have the book any longer--but the situation I'm thinking of is quite different from that story. There is no mutual enemy for the opposing sides to unite against; one simply wants to call it quits with the other, at least temporarily, but with a tense potential for a more permanent peace later on.)

    If there's a thread buried in here somewhere that addresses this topic, you can shove me in that direction, but otherwise I'd really appreciate your insight here.
  11. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    Is there someone that would be willing to help me with Britspeak and spelling for an original story?
  12. jacen200015 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2002
    star 4
    Any pull it together advice? I recently read an incredibly awesomely writtin piece of star wars fanfiction and afterwards as i was looking on my list of fics to see what fic i'll work on today, my work seemed so pale in comparison to the fic i had read, even compared to my earlier works. Resulting in not getting any writing done. *Sigh*
  13. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    I would say do what your heart says. If you need to wait a bit do it. If it says write do that. I am likewise striving to rediscover my drive to write.
  14. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Most people on these boards feel their writing doesn't compare to other more gifted writers, but they still write. Everybody has to start from the bottom and work their way up. Rarely is somebody born truly gifted. There are not many Mozarts in this world who can write a symphony at five, but there are plenty of people who can work at it and over the years can be fantastic in their field. Keep writing and don't let the achievements of others in anyway take away your enjoyment of writing.
  15. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Write and post it anyway. I don't think my writing compares to anyone at all, but it hasn't stopped me.
  16. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    Nobody is going to be able to write anyone else's story the way they would. That sounds kind of like a pointless saying, but it's actually one of the things that get me to write. There are stories that others might write better in terms of skill, but nobody is ever going to if I don't -- because they just wouldn't think of it. If I don't make that OC or that oddball canon-character AU or that really oddball original series, nobody ever will. It's one of the reasons I'm considering doing some original fiction even though I have no plans of being published and it's unlikely to have the audience of fanfic. It's probably generalizing too much to say that everyone who writes fiction has this hunger to see the stories and to tell them for themselves as well as others, but I think it's a really common reason.

    It's a wonderful thing to be able to bring a story from your mind to someone else's, using nothing but the printed/computerized word. Magic, in a way. It's also sometimes incredibly frustrating. Things are never quite as cinematic and self-evident as they are inside my head. I have to work to make this emotion or that visual come through, and tear my metaphorical hair out when it comes to tying together the threads of plot. I'm struggling with a bit of a tangle right now; just enough things going on that it's a challenge to bring it all back together and resolve in a satisfying way -- and that's just one chapter!

    One thing I've noticed, however, is that there is often something unexpected in the results when I go ahead and hammer out the story anyway. Even though the "special effects" aren't quite up to the budget I visualized before writing, there is something new and cool to discover. When I go ahead and do the work of making my daydreams into a story for others, there is a depth to the product -- imperfect and clunky though it might be -- that that supposedly perfect story in my head didn't really have.

    I definitely sympathize with the "but X, Y, and Z are so much better and have it all figured out." Part of that's just good old human insecurity that everyone has. Even the people who you really admire often have it. One of the writers that I read in another fandom has these fantastic stories that involve in-depth historical research, complicated plots, and fascinating characterization. She also writes a blog where she talks about her writing, and it has been very helpful for me to read. I see so many of the same worries, expressed by someone who I know is quite a bit beyond my current skill level.

    Part of it's just recognizing that you're not where you want to be, and that's actually a good sign. It seems like I saw an article a while back that said if you're able to see that you're not doing something perfectly, that actually means you're on the right track. And I think they're right. Nobody's all the way there yet, especially in something artistic like writing. It's a lifelong learning kind of thing. :)
    Last edited by Kahara, Jan 5, 2014
  17. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    What she Kahara said.

    No one writes fan fiction to be 'the best'. And yeah, sure, there will ALWAYS be someone better than you, and wanting to write as good that writer isn't a bad thing. It gives you something to work towards. Fanfiction isn't about becoming the next Stephen King, it's about telling the story that you want told. And yes, it takes confidence in your writing to put it out there, but you will never have that confidence if you never try. You'll never know how much you can achieve until you try. When I first started, I read this one author's fic and I thought it was the best thing ever. I recently found it again on another website and I found a bunch of typos, mistakes, awkward sentences and even some plot holes. That shows to me how much I've improved as a writer.


    I'm having some issues with confidence in my writing as well. I'm doing a diary of a OC, and I'm worried I'm stepping into Mary Sue territory (which we all hate). I probably am, I just don't want to go too far. My OC 1) is a descendant of a main character 2) has a troubled past (illegitimate child of Ben Skywalker) 3) survives a near death experience and 4) kinda suffers from "generic rebellious royal syndrome" (she shares Cade Skywalker's issues of "I don't wanna be a Jedi and you can't make me") and 5) she is intelligent (not overly-so for a force user). It's a diary from her point of view, so of course she thinks she's always in the right. Most obvious Mary Sues are blatant self-inserts, and it's not (IMO, anyways). I've found one "Mary Sue" test, but it was so freaking long. Do you guys have any suggestions of how I can make her less Mary Sue-like?
    Last edited by Briannakin, Jan 6, 2014
  18. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    @Briannakin I don't think she is Mary Sue. She is in a situation I wouldn't wish on anybody. She has a sad background and obviously a lot of baggage. She is young…so of course she thinks she is always right. I know my kids think they are always right. I think if she was a level headed, deep thinker, modest and well grounded she would be a Mary Sue.

    Now, my OCs are Gary Stus. LOL! Especially Mark. Talon I make him a little less Gary Stu-ish by having him screw up missions. I have him in trouble and when he thinks of the canon characters he is usually thinking of them in a good light. I think people dislike Mary Sues and Gary Stus not just because they are often written as all powerful, but because they have a tendency to make the canon characters look weak and stupid. I think if my OCs were showing up Luke or Ben Skywalker they would be disliked. Also, I think people have more problems with OCs that date or marry canon characters. I do write in OCs for various unattached canon characters, but I know that out there somewhere there are probably a lot of Ben fans that think he should be with Seha or Vestara or whoever and not some OC I made up. But there is no getting around that sometimes. I had Jysella marry one of my OCs (only because it doesn't look like the profic authors think the young Jedi should be married).

    That's just my opinion though. I am sure many people share different views.
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, Jan 5, 2014
  19. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    Honestly, I think it's the handling of those traits rather than the presence that makes it a "Sue" or not. Some people will always see Mary Sue in a female major character. If you test any of the canon characters, they would probably fail.

    Leia? A princess. A crack shot. Rebel leader. Astoundingly beautiful. Related to both Luke and Vader. Has a snarky romance with and eventually marries Han. Tragically lost her home planet at a young age. Oh yeah, leader of the New Republic for a while too. Did we mention that she's a great diplomat, kind, caring, independent, clever, and generally awesome? Okay, now we did. Almost nobody hates her because she's also got a reasonable balance of human qualities and the "Sue" traits come out gradually and in a logical manner. She's an interesting and well-rounded character (at least, when she's written well.)

    It kind of takes "Mary Sue" qualities to have a traditional fantasy or sci fi protagonist. You can write characters that fail the test and are fantastic, but if you're going for the whole "hero's journey" thing it'll flunk even if the character is actually pretty reasonable for the storyline that they belong to. It's just how the system works if it's used on a surface level. Of course, I'm still learning and happen to be writing a female OC as well, but I think the Sue possibility is just one of the risks of writing certain genres of story. Doesn't mean they aren't worth the risk, just that it takes some faith to put the story out there. Some people may think it's Sue-ish, and they may be right (or wrong, or right but only for some people.)

    Actually, I read a pretty interesting blog post to this effect recently. It's probably not one to post here, since the author doesn't always limit language to PG, but I can hunt it down for you if you want me to PM you the address, Bri.
    Last edited by Kahara, Jan 5, 2014
  20. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Sometimes, a character can be a Mary Sue when they are possessing of abilities that are unheard of in that region or that story's setting. Mary Sues are often very simply better than everyone else. Got a nigh-powerful canon character? Here comes Mary Sue to prove that she is even MORE powerful! A character is the last of their race? Hey, look, so is Mary Sue! Everyone also loves Mary Sue and she has an answer for everything! She is the multilingual prodigy who can talk down that race of warriors with ease! Tactical genius, that's our Mary Sue, with her high honors and accolades at such a young age!

    Granted, these are Classic Mary Sue traits, and I haven't even scratched the surface. There are varying degrees of Sue, and various types of Sue. Basically, if the character is unbelievably perfect in every way, shape, or form within that setting, possessing of powers and abilities that are unheard of within that story's setting, and are simply there to be better than the canon characters, you may have a Mary Sue.
  21. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    Research question: Has anyone ever seen a musical instrument very similar to Tionne's double viol? After much image searching, I've concluded that there aren't any common real-world lookalikes and that I should just assume it works more or less like a guitar/banjo type instrument. That kind of double body arrangement really seems to be nowhere in existence unless you count the way that violin family instruments narrow towards the middle. Now I wonder if it could be played with a bow rather than plucked (as far as I remember it's never described that way, but that maybe doesn't mean it's impossible... You can play a violin or cello by picking at the strings, after all.) Anyway, if there is some kind of closer counterpart that is just too rare to show up in the usual instrument family trees, I'd love to know about it.

    [IMG]
  22. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    The neck looks flat, so it might be plucked, and the way she's cradling it suggests that it's strummed and held like a guitar or sitar. Might have a sound similar to a sitar, or a banjo, or a cross between the two.

    Since she doesn't have it flat on her lap, and since the neck is long, it's most likely not hammered. There doesn't seem to be a foot for it to rest on, so it might not be held like cello, and it's far too unwieldy to hold like a violin. She probably holds it upright similar to a sitar.
  23. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Sitar! I always pictured that type of instrument when reading the books. I just couldn't remember what it was called. For some reason though I always imagined the sound being like a harp.

    Banjo…no. That has me picturing her playing the music from Deliverance for a Jedi Hoedown. Great…now I am imagining Corran Horn, Kyp, and Kam doing line dancing.
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, Jan 12, 2014
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  24. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I know a Jedi Master
    His beard is long and gray.
    Padawans eat it in their sleep
    They think they're eating Shredded Wheat
    It's always in the way!


    :p
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  25. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    [face_laugh] I shall never unsee the hoedown of the Jedi. And thanks for the information, both of you. I like the idea of it sounding like a sitar, since those have an interesting sound.
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