Getting started... Looking for Advice...

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Marawannabe, Dec 27, 2001.

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  1. Marawannabe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2001
    star 4
    Hi everyone! I'm new here, and I want to get involved in writing Fan Fiction. I thought that I'd try to get some practical advice from more experienced writers before I jumped in and messed everything up though. ;)

    Any advice???
  2. Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2001
    star 4
    Judging by your posts, you're posting comments to fics you like, which is a good start. I've seen people post their fiction two ways: as they write it or posting installments of a complete piece. If you're not quite sure about a piece, you could find a beta reader to go over it before you post it.
  3. ArnaKyle Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 4
    Hi Marawannabe! It's great to see new authors, and especially nice to see that you're willing to take your time about getting into things!

    Did you have any ideas in mind for a story? I've written both types that Daughter_of_the_Force is talking about and this is what I can say about them:

    Posting installments from a finished piece: You undoubtedly can post more, and your writing won't be prone to swaying in the manner of what the readers want or expect. It gives you more time to do other things instead of writing.

    Writing as you go along: I've found this has been fairly successful for me, but you can't take a MAJOR reverse in your plot. You have to keep on track, changing your mind can be a bit difficult, but most of the time it's pliable. Writers Block may kick in, but everyone here is very understanding and won't be harsh about it.


    We have LOTS and lots of stories here, so don't be discouraged ever. You're almost always likely to get a few devoted readers. It depends what you like to write though, most stories fall under these categories:

    JA: Jedi Academy, focuses on Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and the gang from the series.
    Pre TPM/history: Tries to provide a history to the Jedi Order.
    Prequels: Spoiler or speculation stories about what will happen, or what happens in between.
    OT: Original Trilogy, focuses on events of the Star Wars trilogy.
    Missing Moments: Covers "between scenes" events, speculation or mentions.
    AU: Alternate Universe, "what if..." stories about a possibility.
    EU: Expanded Universe, runs during the books and novels.
    NJO: New Jedi Order, keeps us busy as we wait for the next book.
    Rewrites: Rewrites of the movies.
    One post: A short story or vignette.
    Beyond: These are set in the Star Wars Universe, but don't feature any "canon" characters. Basically a new adventure without the familliar faces.

    Of course, these can be combined, such as NJO AU, or OT missing moments, etc.

    Right now, the most popular it seems are Anakin/Tahiri stories. Romance, Action, Humor, we have it all! :) Oh, and if you're interested in Romance, Humor, or Short fics, there are support groups for all in Writer's Resource.


    Hope that helps and best of luck!
  4. ArnaKyle Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 4
    A followup:

    I forgot, you can also try 1st person, 3rd, or omnious 3rd person. 3rd is most frequented, but I've seen some very good 1st. I've tried all 3, it's all a matter of the perspective you want. 1st is only good if you're focusing on a specific character or two.

    Mary Sues:
    My biggest problem in my very first fic. Try and keep yourself distanced from your characters. Unless of course you want to admit your flaws and play up on them. But avoid the "shiny happy people" syndrome of making a perfect character. If you ever find yourself with a character everyone likes, who's always happy, he/she gets married, and has no flaws or bad traits, be very careful! Now that doesn't mean you have to make a character that everyone hates, is evil, constantly depressed, and dies, that isn't the case. Just keep things interesting.

    Clichès:
    These aren't too bad, and I don't mind them so much, but I like stories to be unpredictable. Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy loves girl, boy gets girl is getting into clichès. Once again, we don't have to have a Romeo and Juliette ending (that also being a clichè), but don't copy a format unless that is your intention. Plot twists are good. Stereotypes and clichès are bad, so get used to your characters first. I always find it best and easiest to get a feel for the character before I write them (the NJO guide in Insider is great for that if you're doing an NJO). Now, some clichès I think are welcome. Slipping in a 1138 or "I've got a bad feeling about this" isn't that bad, because George Lucas himself has done that in every Star Wars film.

    Beta Readers and "Masters":
    There are also beta readers available who can read your work, correct grammar, and give general input before the rest of the people do. Just post a request for one here sometime. As for "masters" that's an impromptu thing, but some of us RP a bit with Padawans and Masters in the craft of writing. Perfect example, Ishtar and Am are teaming up on angst. If you are interested in a certain sort of story, you can pretty easily find an author who's "mastered" the craft.
  5. Marawannabe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2001
    star 4
    Thanks so much for the explanation of the abbrieviations! I thought I had figured most of them out, but I was a little off on some of them. (Acrophobia player I am not :))

    I find that I do better writing in group or partner situations. I get writer's block relatively easily, (which kills me!) and that tends to frustrate readers.

    I love the Luke and Mara stories, and have a few ideas concerning them, but I haven't given it enough thought yet.

    I'm not new to fan fic, just new to SW fan fic. :) I'm trying to become familiar with people and the writing flow before I jump in with both feet. (A small miracle) Thank you both for replying!!!

    Any more advice?
  6. ArnaKyle Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 4
  7. Marawannabe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2001
    star 4
    Sorry, I just realized what a jerk I sounded like in that last post. What I meant is that I have done some fan fic writing in the past, (ever heard of the Left Behind Series? I write alot for that) but I haven't done any writing for SW, and I'm still relatively new at it all.

    The story I'm thinking about right now is a Luke/Mara/surprise guest Callista AU story. Has that been done? Or do I need to scratch that project and go on to something else?
  8. ArnaKyle Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 4
    Ooh, that might be cool. I haven't read any of the Callista books, but I do know the story with her. It's been done, but not a lot. There are a lot of options open there. :)
  9. Marawannabe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2001
    star 4
    Cool, I think I'll start working on that. I've got a basic outline, and the ending. (Most important part ;)) Do you recommend write as you go, or write it all first, and post in sections?
  10. ArnaKyle Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 4
    I think if you have a basic outline and the time, post as you go. It's nice to see what your readers think before you continue. Kinda makes you want to write more.
  11. Marawannabe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2001
    star 4
    Thanks ArnaKyle! (Where did you come up with your name?)
  12. ArnaKyle Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 4
    Arna Kyle is one of my fanfic characters that got buried (not literally, but that fic was a flop). If it goes in accordance with the poll I have right now, she might make a reappearance. :D

    I have so many plot bunnies, augh, can't sleep at night because I suddenly get a new idea. Guess I'm just cursed with creativity. ;)
  13. Marawannabe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2001
    star 4
    LOL, you too? I couldn't get to sleep last night until I came up with an ending for this story! Or a title, actually, but that was the easy part. ;)
  14. Marawannabe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2001
    star 4
    Ok, just in case anyone cares, my fan fic, A Little Fall of Rain is up on the fan fic story board. Ok, ok, yes, shameless plug, I know! ;)
  15. RisingAdela Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 25, 2001
    star 1
    I'm not really a experince writer but you can try to torture somebody. [face_devil] Everybody likes that! :D

    You can read fanfics about Obi torture to help you. Or you can put that the special guest turns out to be a sith.He starts torturing Luke to make Mara turn over to the dark side or something.

    Hope it helps.

    :cool: Adela :cool:
  16. Amidala_Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2001
    star 5
    I've got a few fics out there and I know a bit from experience (AHH!) that people get to notice your name and eventually click on any story you are writing or co-writing, almost automatically without thinking. If you start off with a first good post that draws them in, I guarantee that you should have some coming back. Also another good tip is to answer everybodies replies. It makes them feel more, hmm ... wanted at the thread, like they know you know that their there. An example of this would be:

    DragonVader: Thanks, I value you're opinion and I hope to see you here for the next post.

    PrincessLeia: Really? That's one of the nicest comments I've got so far. I'm happy you're so interested in this.


    Just that type of thing, in general, depending on their reply. Other than that, good luck! :)

    Am [face_love]
  17. Marawannabe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2001
    star 4
    Adela-- Thanks! I hadn't thought about it like that! Brings a whole new dimension in! hmmm

    Am-- Thanks! I'd seen other authors do the same thing. It's always nice to be included!

    Do you have any additional advice to start a fic out better? I always seem to have weak beginnings, and don't know how to make it more enjoyable.
  18. Amidala_Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2001
    star 5
    Well either action or romance draws them in. Also, the last sentence of the post has to be mysterious or suspensful, like something might happen. Though when I started the first part of my trilogy, I didn't do any of that. Bad Am! Anyhow, I checked out your fic and seems to be going very well. All I can suggest so to post often and keep your fic up on the boards, in hopes other people will notice it.

    Am [face_love]
  19. Marawannabe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2001
    star 4
    thanks! (I seem to be saying that alot lately) ;)

    One more question, how do I let people know that the fic has been updated in the title that they see on the main screen?
  20. ArnaKyle Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 4
    Oh yes...keep the last line of your posts interesting, you'll know when to stop it. This keeps people wanting to read more.
  21. Marawannabe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2001
    star 4
  22. Amidala_Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2001
    star 5
    Go to your first post and press the edit button, then change the subject line to whatever you wish and in turn it shall change the main screen :)

    Always happy to help! PM me anytime!

    Am [face_love]
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