Discussion Feeling Competent to Write the Fandom

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by brodiew, Oct 22, 2008.

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  1. JadeSolo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 6
    Plus, if you use an OC, you don't have to worry so much about canon - if you don't know the tiny details of the storyline that involves the existing characters, you can pick another little corner of the world in which your fandom exists and start building from there.

    This, of course, works a lot better when you've got a sprawling galaxy to play with. It's a lot harder to create an X-Files story using only OCs because the usual focus of the show is on two characters. The easy way out of this problem is to include a throwaway line like "Bob met Mulder three years ago at a UFO convention and promised to help him carry out his work." And then you can continue the story of Bob's encounter with the moth men.
  2. Drabbi-Wan_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2005
    star 4
    That's going to depend on the length of the fic. If it's a drabble, maybe, but anything longer, and that would look more like an in-joke than an actual "this is X-Files fanfic" marker. Now a minor character from the show, even a one-episode character, would be different (so long as the character is fictional, created for The X-Files).

    You are right, though, about the difficulty in using original characters in Earth-based fics. With something like Star Wars, almost every element was invented; the settings, species (sentient and non), vehicles, and household objects are all unique to that fandom, so two random Bothans out in the middle of nowhere, and it's still clearly Star Wars. On the other hand, with an Earth-based fandom -- and let's use The X-Files as our example -- there are a lot fewer of these. The settings aren't often fictional, nor are most of the trappings. Even the main organization, the FBI, is real, so its presence does not make a story an X-Files fic. You do have a few locations, but mostly all you can use are characters and events, and to avoid the above problem, they have to have some prominence.
  3. SilSolo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 5
    FOr me, that really depends. Like I'm somehow comfortable writing Death Note, despite having only seen all of the episodes no more than twice, but struggle with Beast Wars, which I've watched over and over. As for Star Wars, that depends on the era and the character. I'm somewhat comfy in Saga, love to read X-wing stuff but can't write it, and most at home in YJK and beyond.
  4. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I had issues becoming comfortable with writing Twilight and Harry Potter. With Harry Potter, I found a storyline that fascinated me--Hermione's search for her parents after Deathly Hallows and just started working on characterization in the context of the plot. Eventually, I found character voices. With Twilight, I took a challenge--write a character meeting someone who is both famous and dead by the time the books start--and took a chance on what I observed of the characters from the books. The first story is very superficial and just plain silly at times, but then I got into things that made me study certain aspects of the characters.
  5. Lithiniel Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2006
    star 1
    I think it's safe to assume we've all started with SW or some other well-known fandom, yes?

    My first actual, complete fanfic was a DBZ one (I ended up with a trilogy, but never posted all of it), but thanks to my ex killing my computer before I could back it up properly, it's totally gone now. It involved a few OC's but they had plenty of interaction with canon characters.

    From there, I moved into SW. There's a whole series of misadventures that I might or might not import over here, based on a really long role playing campaign. The whole thing is OC's, but there are references to canon characters, and occasional interactions with them, since the whole plot runs parallel to the events of the OT timeline.

    Anyway, my point is, I never tried either of these before actually role playing in these fandoms. In your better-known fandoms, there are likely to be tabletop RPG games based on them, and that's a great way to get started. You don't have to actually play -- finding a GM/other players is difficult sometimes -- but the core rulebooks make great reference material. I know SW, Stargate, DBZ, and Firefly all have tabletop RPG's. (On a side note: I think the d6 version of SW is infinitely superior to the d20 version, but I might just be partial to that one since it's the first one I played.)

    As to other fandoms, I'd recommend watching/reading the series and seeing just how inspired you are. Some stuff is great to watch or read, but impossible to write. Some stuff doesn't translate well from a visual format to a written one. It just depends. Also, even if it is "just fanfic," do your research. I love Google. And Wikipedia.

    So, yeah, before I start really rambling....

    Brodie, if you do an NCIS thing, I'll definitely read it!
  6. mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic & New Movies Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    I have this problem with some of my fandoms... House being a big one. I can be very sarcastic (so I don't have a problem writing that) and my brother is practically House minus the limp and the medical degree and I still find that I am very nervous to write him. I think it is because he is such a strong character with a major personality and so it is easy to screw up. I've just gotten into the Brothers and Sisters fandom and would love to write some fanfics but I'm nervous to even try, again with the pretty strong personalties. (And a huge cast that are frequently together!)

    SW I obviously don't have a problem writing, Torchwood I don't have any problems, Firefly I didn't have a problem with. I think Sci-fi characters seem to be easier to write for some strange reason, at least for me!

    I think it also has to do with how nice people in the fandom are and how willing they are to help. I find the House fandom to be pretty mean overall and it kinda puts me off from wanting to write or at least share. B&S is very small and seems very nice, I feel a little better as a new writer for it.
  7. SithGirl132 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2005
    star 4
    I definitely have this problem.

    When I first got into SW, I wrote fanfic rather soon afterwards. But it's such crap that I wouldn't post it, though I like some of the ideas and I want to salvage it. It took me a long time and a lot of studying canon before I felt comfortable writing it! And I think a few others have mentioned this- though I'm familiar with a lot of eras, there is really only one that I do a lot of writing in.

    Lately I've had this issue a lot with Avatar- I have some great bunnies that I want to play with, but I don't think I'm going to be able to do a good job of it. The characters that my muse wants to work with the most are those that I have the hardest time writing. And they're the characters with the most complex personalities and will cause me a lot of trouble...

    Do people here think that some fandoms are easier to write in than others? For me, it was really easy to write for Dinotopia, Harry Potter, and Star Wars, and I have a lot of problems with several others that the muse really wants to write in.
  8. SilSolo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 5
    House is incredible difficult for me
  9. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    It's always seemed to me that, beyond the complex-thus-difficult characters like House and Jack Sparrow, it's easier to write is really established fandoms (like Star Wars) where there's so much and there are so many characters and storylines and such that you can do anything. I haven't tried it, but I wonder how it would be to write in a really small, barely-written-about fandom?
  10. brodiew Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2005
    star 5
    I just started Twilight and inexplicably feel that as I proceed, this could be a fandom I write in. Very weird. It just clicked. Does that make sense?

    I mentioned NCIS, which is a favorite TV show, but I can't make it work. With Twilight, I see an immediate gateway in which writing in this fandom is possible. Has anyone else experienced this?
  11. Drabbi-Wan_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2005
    star 4
    Wanting to write fanfic immediately? Sure. Probably the best example was The Secret Show. [I thought I'd told this story here somewhere, but I don't see it.] I'd never heard of the show before one Sunday evening when it happened to be on after another show I was watching. Nicktoons ran two half-hour episodes, and I immediately began looking online for more information. I wrote a drabble for it the next morning.
  12. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Yeah, that makes sense. I've never applied it that way, but daydreaming (or, fanfic in my head when class gets boring) works that way for me. For some it's really easy. For others, I just can't think of any good ideas to add to an author's world.
  13. Kriztin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2009
    star 1
    I felt very intimidated when I first began contemplating writing Harry Potter fanfic, probably because it's such a vast universe. But I took my time, re-read the canon books, read various fanfics, and found a couple of excellent sites where there was a lot of in-depth discussion about the characters and events. Over time, I just found that I felt like I'd gotten to know the characters and the universe better and felt comfortable enough to start writing in it.
  14. SithGirl132 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2005
    star 4
    I think it's been dependent on the fandom lately since I've fallen into a few new ones. I think I'd like to rewatch Avatar, especially the third season, before I'm ready to finally write in the fandom at all, and I want to finish all of Battlestar Galactica before I write in it; it would be nice to know how it all ends before I do anything with it. But other fandoms... Star Wars I was writing in very quickly, and the same with Harry Potter though that's gotten harder as of late.
  15. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I think it might also be dependent on the world. Star Wars, for instance, is SO BIG. Even Avatar has at the very least such a great and vast idea. There's so many places to add or change things, But Sharon Shinn, my favorite author, keeps my favorite of her books very character-driven rather than necessarily world-driven -- for instance, Summers at Castle Auburn is solely about one girl's experiences at court. We get very little of the world as a whole. So I can't think of anything to write, because despite the fact that it would seem like a world left so empty would be perfect for playing in, I know so little that anything I add would really just be my own world.
  16. SoA Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2008
    star 3
    I agree, the size of the canon-verse is really what makes it hard to jump into new fandom for me.

    I've been a Sailor Moon OC writer for many years. The Sailor Moon universe is pretty small, in the scheme of things, and every single medium you look at for it (manga, anime, musical, and live action drama) take a totally different angle on it. There are also huge sections of it that are never developed or even explained. I know that universe inside and out and I can count on it not growing any further. Since there are so many gaps, a fanfiction writer can take them and run with them pretty easily.

    I started writing Star Wars fanfic about 9 months ago and I'm finally feeling almost comfortable in the universe. And that's just in one single era around KOTOR. The truth is, I don't want to write about something until I know all angles of canon. I hate unknowingly violating canon. (When I set out to write AU, that's another story entirely.) The KOTOR era has mercifully few sources to get through, which makes it easier to get comfortable with, I think. Even though I've known the movies for far longer, I don't think I'll ever be comfortable enough to write in-depth Saga fics. There's just too much there to know.
  17. lioganda Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2009
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