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. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
  2. gracesonnet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2014
    star 1
    Okay, so here's why my brain is kind of a jerk sometimes:
    1. I've been writing for as long as I can remember. I've written short stories and poems for classes, attempted and abandoned numerous novel-length works, and done National Novel Writing Month like 10 times (including as a municipal liaison). I also write professionally. I know how and why to just sit down and write something because you can't edit a blank page.

    2. I've read fanfiction off and on since I was a teenager (so we're talking like, 15 years now). I need to just accept this facet of my life and that it's a deep and rich genre full of great stories.

    2b. I've even tried to write my own fanfiction from time to time, starting with a New York Undercover story at age 13 (I had weird taste in TV shows as a pre-teen), some Buffy stuff, and then an attempted Star Wars story back in college. It was kind of awesome for the first few chapters, I won't lie, because: heck yeah, Obi-Wan Kenobi. He's awesome.

    So why, in the name of all that is geeky and writerly, can I not bring myself to write a Star Wars fanfic that's been percolating in my head for like, almost 3 months now?????

    I've jotted down character names. I've plumbed the depths of Wookiepedia, researching possible planets, established characters, cultures, languages, etc. I even told my writer's group that for our July meeting, I'd likely have a chapter of the fanfic instead of an edited chapter of the totally not-Star Wars, not-fanfiction, not even sci-fi-themed novel I wrote for 2013 NaNoWriMo (sorry, main character Lily. I promise I'll get back to you soon! You're cool). I keep bringing a notebook and pen, or my laptop to work so I can get started during lunch breaks.

    So why can't I actually, you know, write my story before it disappears?????

    Thank you for listening (reading)!
    Last edited by gracesonnet, Jun 27, 2014
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  3. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    The same reason I have plot bunnies that go nowhere.

    Darth Writer's Block.
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  4. pronker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2007
    star 3
    @gracesonnet you can't edit a blank page

    This is profoundly inspiring, thanks!

    And oceans of good luck on your writing. Maybe Lily will make an appearance in the fanfic?
    gracesonnet likes this.
  5. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    @gracesonnet Write in 2000 word spurts. That always helps me. If I think I have to finish a 6000 chapter I will feel overwhelmed. Also write what is easiest for you. I like dialog so I have the characters chatting and later on I will add descriptions of clothing and buildings or whatever. I sometimes write scenes that I don't know where they would go in the story. I highlight them and store them at the end of the story as scraps. I think what really gets people bogged down is the realization that their story will have to be over 50K words to do the plot justice. It is so hard to start writing a major project. This is why I never outline and I never know where my story is going when I start it. This way I can believe it may be a short story. :p

    What you can do is write some short stories of 3000 words or less. Maybe that will get your muse in gear.
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, Jun 27, 2014
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  6. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    @gracesonnet, there are tons of writing prompts out there on LiveJournal or Tumblr. Pick a few and just start writing. Or try writing stream of consciousness for 10 minutes first thing in the morning when you wake up. You're still half in a dream state and your mind is more open and less self-critical.
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  7. gracesonnet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2014
    star 1
    Wow, you are all fast! :) Thank you! Also, @pronker, I've seen some of your stuff on FFN. I didn't know you're here too! (I know, I'm a bad reader because I read all the time but don't even have a FFN account for leaving reviews. I would blame my anti-social nature...or I'm just lazy). I think my biggest hang-up is turning off that internal editor-- who's actually more like a bully because it has a one-track mind of "why are you writing? Your writing sucks. No one's going to want to read this. This is like, Mary Sue Meets All the Cool People or something. Oh, yes it is. I see at least one established character in here, who crosses the hallway at the same time as your original character. Ergo, it's a Mari Su. It's awful. You're awful. Your writing is bad and you should feel bad."

    I can turn it off to a certain extent during NaNoWriMo in November so I'm hoping that I can use the Camp NaNoWriMo in July to help me with this story.
    pronker, TrakNar and taramidala like this.
  8. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    Eh, my internal critic tells me that my OCs are Mary Sues all the time. I just tell myself that I don't care, either way. Que sera, sera, and all that. [face_laugh]
    Kahara, gracesonnet and Findswoman like this.
  9. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Mine just accuses me of writing weird stuff. "What the hell is it with you and prisons? Or crazy people? Or psych wards? Why are you writing this mindscrew? Oh my god... you didn't just write what I think you wrote. Oh my god, you did. You wrote a POV account of a transorbital lobotomy, packed with as much squick as you could cram in! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!"
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  10. pronker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2007
    star 3
    @gracesonnet Thanks for reading - FFN is fun, as well, unmoderated, but fun. The boards have much to offer, too, so away we go!
  11. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    When I'm having trouble getting started on one of my RPG posts, I schedule an evening a day or so in advance, tell someone else about that so it's harder for me to back out, and go to Tim Hortons that evening with my laptop and force myself to write something. I don't allow myself to go home until I have either a complete post, or 1,500 words written. In the latter case, I make a point of going back to finish it within two days.

    I think there are two major mistakes you can make with word counts:

    The first is deciding in advance how long a piece needs to be, and forcing yourself to stick to that number. I write until it stops naturally. Sometimes a post I thought would be a short 700 words ends up over 2,000 words. Other times the climax post that I expected to spend three days and several thousand words on naturally wraps itself up in a single evening and just 1,200 words. And you know what? In the world of fanfic (and fanfic-style RPGs, in my case), both of those are perfectly fine. It's okay to set a goal or target before you start, but do so with an open mind. Once you start writing, the story should dictate its own word count. Forcing yourself to add fluff when the story naturally wraps itself up early, and to cut out good scenes when the story is longer than expected, are both never good in fanfic.

    The second is setting a word count goal for a writing session (which is fine), and then treating that as a limit. Your goal is 2,000 words this evening? Great! But unless there are VERY good reasons for it, for the love of all things Luke and Mara :p do NOT force yourself to stop for the night as soon as you hit 2,000 words. If you struggled to reach 2,000, then stopping there is okay, as you probably need the break and would benefit from coming back to it tomorrow with a fresh mind. But if you're on a roll, KEEP WRITING! Sometimes I sit down at 7:00 pm hoping to write 1,500 words, and get on such a roll that I finally pack up my laptop to head home seven hours and 5,000 words later, when it's 2:00 in the morning and my brain is too exhausted to write any more. If you're on a roll and the ideas are coming faster than you can write them down (or type them in), no good whatsoever will come from forcing yourself to stop just because you've reached your goal for the session.

    I've made both of these mistakes before, but I've learned not to make them again.
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  12. Findswoman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    While we're on inner critics, mine has been so impressed with some of the work I've seen on this site that it's lately been saying things like, "Hey, pipsqueak! You're on a site full of excellent writers with distinctive voices who have packed years of research and personal experience into their writing. And you? You just string moderately-pretty-sounding words together with no real substance. Given the standards that have been set, what reason have you to expect that your feeble attempts will be given the time of day here?!"

    [face_plain]
    Last edited by Findswoman, Jun 28, 2014
  13. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    C’mon, @Findswoman. The Dank Well Sanctuary for Writers Who Feel Woefully Inadequate is full to bursting as it is. You know how hard it is to weep softly over the probable awfulness of that thing on page 17, the one that you are sure isn’t as great as you thought it would be and you will not be able to fix it until you have several more years of experience – look, do you have any idea how difficult that gets when there’s always someone’s elbow in your face? It’s wall-to-wall in here. We are like overstocked koi in a plastic kiddie pool.

    More seriously, I know the feeling. My maladaptive way of coping is to read my work with the idea that it’s someone else’s and see if it’s still poodoo. This is probably a little odd, but it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Most things are.

    @gracesonnet: Something I’ve tried recently that may work for you is to set aside a short period of time (say, 30 minutes) and take your writing materials somewhere out of the house (yard, library, Starbucks, wherever) to go write. Not every day and not as a “you must write for hours until you drop” thing, but just until you have a few notes scribbled down. The investment of time and going somewhere specifically for the writing seems to help. It reinforces to whatever runs my mental circuitry – some days, I would say that this person bears little or no resemblance to me-the-story-planner – that this is something important to me.

    In my case, I’ve discovered that a lot of my reluctance to write was about protecting free time. I wanted to write for all my free hours. Think of what I could accomplish! Ms. Brain was not happy with that idea and set out to sabotage me at every turn. As it turns out, the idea of losing forty whole minutes to writing somewhere outside is enough stick to prod the muse into working pretty regularly, while the guarantee that I will take some time for mindless entertainment (TV, games, etc.) is the carrot. Turns out that I need to be assured of that down-time to be able to write at all.
    Last edited by Kahara, Jun 28, 2014
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  14. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    Another thing that's been helping me plug along, particularly when I'm not that inspired, is the Nano "word war." You and a friend (or 2 or 3 friends or however many you want) pick a length of time to shoot for (10 minutes, 20, etc). During that time, turn off everything else and just write. Don't worry about word count (that's a Nano thing), don't even worry about how much it sucks. The important thing here is that you're writing, and exercising that part of your brain. Hopefully, it will inspire you to keep going.
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  15. Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2014
    star 1
    From my understanding of the EU caf is the Star Wars analogue to coffee. I've also heard of Vine Coffee in the EU and equate it roughly similar. For my take on these two caffeinated beverages I would assume caf is equivalent to everything from instant coffee to 'mid priced' stuff where vine coffee are the 'higher end' coffee beans and even espresso equivalents.

    Just wanting to sanity check.
  16. gracesonnet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2014
    star 1
    I haven't heard of vine coffee but that would make sense. And I've always assumed that caf is Star Wars coffee.

    It irks me that "flimsiplast" is supposed to be paper but I don't know why. That's a discussion for like, EU pet peeves or something though.


    Sent from a device using Tapatalk
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  17. Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2014
    star 1
    My first encounters with Vine Coffee were in the books Tales from Jabba's Palace and the Han Solo Trilogy.
  18. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    I've never heard of vine caf. Just caf. But that logic of higher end stuff seems valid.
  19. Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2014
    star 1
    taramidala, I think it was because vine coffee appeared only in a couple of mid-late 1990s era EU books that I can recall.
  20. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    And I read them. I just don't remember. ;)
  21. gracesonnet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2014
    star 1
    One of my friends still complains about Lando (I think it's Lando) enthusing about this amazing drink "called 'hot chocolate.'" I can hear his ranting now three towns over.
  22. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    That was definitely one of the more lighthearted, unintentionally hilarious, Earthisms that ever ended up in the EU.
    gracesonnet likes this.
  23. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    My favorite Earthism is the waterfowl of Naboo -- quack quack.
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  24. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    Ah, but ducks go back to the novelization of ANH. "What's a duck?"
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  25. gracesonnet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2014
    star 1
    Oh my God, while musing about my fanfic, I thought up a random, unrelated scene between Darth Vader and a captured Jedi who, not knowing it's the former Anakin Skywalker, is accusing Vader of just being Grievous 2.0. And when he protests, the Jedi's like, "welllll, if it looks like a [equivalent of a duck in Star Wars because I didn't know if there was one], sounds like a [whatever that is], and walks like a [seriously, do they have ducks in Star Wars?], then...."
    And then Vader gets all pissy and has to explain that he's a Sith Lord, okay???? but the Jedi's just not having it.
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