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Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Souderwan, Oct 1, 2005.

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  1. VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2004
    star 8
    I admit it, I'm a fan fic junkie! :D Yes, I've got about 7 or 8 stories going right now, and on all three boards. But it seems that I'm helpless against a plot bunny's wiles. [face_batting] I write vignettes when the mood strikes, or the plot bunny attacks, whatever. While I do write SOMETHING every day, I won't post it until I feel I've made it as good as I can. I won't post something just to say I've posted. I won't update a story until I feel the post is ready, even if it means a slight delay. I try to update all my stories at least twice a month, and there are many I'm pretty good at updating once a week most of the time. As for the writing suffering, I guess my readers would be the ones to know. :p

    I don't like arbitrary deadlines or requirements, and I think that writing suffers for it if we impose ridiculous constraints on ourselves. Then we're just churning it out like an assembly line. That's manufacturing, not art. But that's just my view of it. I know all of my work isn't great, but I can honestly say I've given it my best effort at the time. And I'd rather not post at all than to post something I felt I gave less than my best effort.
  2. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    I just realized that I didn't say my piece on this. I tend to be limited in how much I write. That's probably because I'm just plain limited! [face_thinking]

    I tend to write one novel-length story at a time. I think I'm pretty much a novel-length or vignette kind of writer. As such, I could theoretically do any number of pieces at once. I could write vignettes and epics simultaneously (or seemingly simultaneiously anyway) because the vignettes are over as soon as I'm done writing them and they don't take away my focus from what I'm doing with the epic. Of course, I turned a vignette into a series of vignettes which became a larger story and that forced me to back away from it until I was done writing the longer story. I realize that my brain just can't handle writing multiple complicated storylines at once.

    I think the answer to the question is really "it depends." Some people can effectively focus their energies on multiple stories at once and others can't do that.
  3. Art_Of_War Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2005
    star 2
    How much is too much?

    Fortunately, I've never run into this problem where writing for my other pieces interferes with the WIP I have going. Maybe I'm just weird like that...:p

    How many stories do you try to tackle at once?

    Only as many as the number of plot bunnies that are biting my ankles.:p

    Do you do a disservice to the other stories if you're writing too many?

    No, I don't think so because, at least for me, the process of creating a different story inspires the writing of another. So, instead of my works taking away from each other as it is, they support each other, pushing me onwards to finish them.
  4. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    *Walks into thread and clears throat*

    Ahem. Hello, this is Striker. Souderwan has given permission to run a workshop on how to write an effective crossover. this is a topic near and dear to my heart, and I hope I do it justice.

    Please bear in mind that I've never really done anything like this before, so I might fall flat on my face. :p Please feel free to laugh and point at me if I do.[face_blush]

    Anyway...

    A crossover is the blending together of two separate franchises, whether it be DC/Marvel or someone writing a quick HP/SW vignette on their PC.

    The crossover is regarded as the worst type of fan fiction to write. And although I?ve read some great ones, I have read some stinkers in my time. There are several ?reasons? why this can happen.

    Before I begin, there are a few rules that must be laid down.

    1. You cannot make fun of any suggestions. If someone wants Lusa to enter Dream Valley from My Little Pony, said person shall be encouraged an given any helpful suggestions you can think of!

    2. Please don't enter this thread and type out. "I don't like or read crossovers, but..." This is a workshop to help others out and answer any questions they may have. No negativity!

    3. No ST vs. SW. Note the vs. You can write about how they'd interact, but I will stop any 'Federation vs. the Empire' talk. I have seen entire message boards go down into flame wars from that ancient debate. We won?t solve it, we won?t try to solve it.


    1. It?s a hate fic.
    ?Oh, I hate Stat trek! It sucks! I?ll write the Death Star blowing up Earth and there?d be nothing that dumb Kirk can do about it!?

    If you hate something, why write about it? The most common are, of course, ST/SW fics. The two fandoms seem hell-bent on killing each other sometimes. In a hate fic, your hatred to the franchise you dislike can shine through and skew your writing. Some characters from the other side can become inadvertent Mary Sues.

    2. Insufficient Research
    Sometimes the littlest detail can ruin an otherwise great fic. It?s true for every type, but for crossovers, you?ve got two franchises to do research for. It can get confusing sometimes, figuring out who can go where.

    3. Too much bang, not enough buck
    Basically, too much action and not enough interaction. Sometimes, you?ve just gotta talk. And insights into your culture from an outside source can be very thought-provoking.

    4. Too unoriginal
    Not many crossover writers can think outside the box. What would Data?s presence on Coruscant do to the droids? Spark a revolution for equal rights? Could Federation tech terraform Honoghr?

    5. Too much ST/SW vs.
    This is a problem in and of itself. Think about it. Starfleet ships won? fire unless fired upon. And how long was Palpatine?s reign? 31 years if I do the math right. So 31 years out of roughly 25,000... And who says it would even be a star destroyer they?d first encounter?

    There are several ?levels? of crossing over. These aren?t cut-and-dry, but they?re good starting points.

    A. Galaxy/dimensional
    Usually done with Star Trek, Babylon Five, the Honor Harrington novels ETC. Basically, each franchise exists in their own separate reality/galaxy and the ?crossover device? is some sort of wormhole or hyperdrive malfunction. Usually the only way to do it, but it can get out of control very quickly. Usually, in this case, it?s best for one single ship to go through in order to start things off slowly and begin introductions for both universes.

    2. Both in same galaxy, but still separate
    Usually best for franchises where they?re either confined to a single planet or only a few systems. Known Space in the GFFA is only about a million systems, so there?s plenty of room to hide solar systems.

    3. Franchise is part of the SW universe, but retains elements that separate it
    This is sort of a gray area, but I?m including it for the sake of completeness. Basically? Macgyver as a rebel technician, or the Sailor Senshi as an obscure Force Order. Part of the GFFA universe,
  5. leia_naberrie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2002
    star 4
    edit: [face_blush] Didn't realize the topic had changed.
  6. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    I'd also add something. Don't assume the person reading the story is completely aware of both universes. You need to find a fine balance between boring your completely-in-the-know audience with confusing those who only know one universe.

    I've also read some great crossovers, true to both universes and yet intriguing as heck, and some that confused me because they assumed that the reader would know XY and Z...
  7. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    leia_naberrie-Heh. No problem. Happens to the best of us.

    dianethx-Good point! A fine balance must be kept between exposition and moving the plot along. You can't have characters pausing every 5 seconds, but the info must be put in there.

  8. SilSolo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 5
    Crossovers.... I think I've written in three different universes but crossing over... I think the most successful try was an SW/Digimon x-over that never got past page 2. I'll try the challenge, but for now, I'll have to put it off because I can't think of anything that lasts more than one word.
  9. MsLanna Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2005
    star 6
    Good plan, VERY good plan.
    You managed to get the workshop starteed exactley as I battle my frist cross-over chapter. The force is obviously with you.:)

    I hope to have it easier since the whole story is labeled 'humour'.

    Now I'm off to work on that dialouge....
  10. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    SilSolo-Well, now's your opportunity to restart it or start a new one. :) Digimon and SW, eh? Sounds interesting.

    MsLanna-Welcome! Glad you like the plan. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Do you have any characters in mind for the conversation exercise?
  11. Kidan TFN EU Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2003
    star 5
    I must say, the crossover i'm working on is the hardest thing I've ever written....I mean I got the characters into the second act, but I'm not entirely certain on how to get them through the second act and into the third....


    but I'm not sure how much this is due to bad planning, or just the fact that it's more humour based than what I usually write...

  12. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    Kidan-You have questions, concerns? Ask them! I'm here to help as much as I can... if I can.
  13. Kidan TFN EU Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2003
    star 5
    It's neither question nor concerns. It's just the franchise I'm combining with SW is a black-comedy, and comedy is hard for me to write....


    Like I said, the story itself, doesn't want to flow out. The first few chapters where I was just dealing with the SW characters, they flew just fine...but now that we're stuck in the midst of the story, where both franchises are interacting it's like...GAH!...:rolleyes:
  14. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    My problem with my current crossover (an HP/SW one) is that I have major plot bunnies that the writing just keeps coming, and coming and coming... normally, that is not a bad thing, but I think I'm starting to forget proper characterizations for the people of one universe and getting them mixed up with characterizations for the people in the other... and sometimes it comes out as just plain silly. It's not supposed to be a silly crossover fic, the one that I'm attempting right now; my other crossover is, and so I'm not really all that worried about it. :rolleyes:
  15. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    Kidan-I see. Well, good luck with that. And if you need/want help, just ask.

    Idrelle_Miocovani-Hmm, sounds like it's subconscious blending of the two. You see characteristics of one character from franchise A and superimose them onto a character from franchise B.

    You seem to have two options here that I can see.

    1. Double-check characterizations to make sure you're accurate.

    2. Run with it. People do become influenced by their peers, usually. I am an exception to that, somethwat. ;) They can pick up traits that others have. It could provide some comedy, if written right.
  16. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Is a cross-over strictly between universes? If I wrote a scenerio where Stephen Colbert (from Comedy central) was interviewing Vader, would that be a cross over?
  17. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    dianethx-Hmm, it sure would be a parody. ;) Well, Stephen Colbert, far as I know, doesn't exist in SW. However... I'd have to say no on that one. It would be more of a parody there.
  18. SilSolo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 5
    I've always wanted to see SW crossed over with Heralds of Valdemar, but I doubt that I'm actually going to see a whole lot of that since I don't think a whole lot of people read Mercedes Lackey and write SW fanfics. You won't see me post fanfics in this format, but this is how I write most of my stories in my notebooks.

    I should have something by the next post.
  19. MsLanna Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2005
    star 6
    Well, I'm having Fett and an OC appear at Hogwarts and first thing Fett does is shoot Lucius Malfoy. So the talk would be between those two and Dumbledore, with Snape, too becuase he's master of potions and the two are looking for one.
    Am I making sense?
    Now my main problem is Dumbledore,'cause I'm not sure how he'd reat to people being shot in his school, even if the culprit is under a spell.
    And I'm afraid to make the talk too long, get lost in details and bore the reader to death.
    What would the best way be to cut short a talk and supply info gotten there later?
  20. WyoJedi Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2005
    star 4
    Great stuff Jon!

    I have found with the crossover I'm currently writing that using an established storyline has really helped alleviate some of my anxiety. I have just taken the plot and added in my GFFA crew... it adds a new dynamic and twist to an already set matrix of situations.

    The biggest problem I have faced I think is keeping my characters fresh and not allowing them to transform into Mary Sues.

    Cheers,
    Wyo
  21. Drabba_the_Hutt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2005
    star 4
    Diane, if Colbert's interviewing him on his show, it is a crossover. With real-life personalities, the important part is whether or not they appear within the context of a media property. Basically, you can cross over with any show (or movie or book or video game), but not with real people out of context.

    MsLanna, just look to the books for that one. Harry was rarely ever in those meetings, so we only found out what happened afterward when he did.
  22. LilyHobbitJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 29, 2005
    star 5
    What a great idea! Crossovers certainly are one of fanfics greatest mysteries. Crossovers were the first thing I ever wrote and I really had problems with trying to write them in the beggining. A single story is hard enough to try and write about, but adding in a whole new universe is certainly complicated.

    One thing I've learned by writing my SW/HP crossover is to make it as believable as possible. If it sounds cheesy and unbelievable then chances are other people will think that too. The other thing that I think is valuable when crossover writing is to make sure you have a definite outline when writing one otherwise it might get bigger than you planned and then you're not able to finish it. I know this from experience.

    Just adding my two cents...
  23. VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2004
    star 8
    I would say a few things about crossovers.

    1) give your readers a bit of background info if you think there's something important to the story that they might not know. This can help readers not familiar with one of your fandoms and will encourage them to read.

    2) resist the urge to include EVERY single character from both universes, sometimes it works to combine two important characters into one. Most readers, especially if very familiar with both 'verses will get the connection.

    3) try and stay true to both fandoms as much as possible

    That's about it! :p

  24. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    Nice to see interest in this! :D

    SilSolo-I don't believe I've heard of it. Still, I'd read it. And I look forward to your post.

    MsLanna-Hmm, interesting... You are making sense. Although if I were you, I'd have Fett use the stun setting. ;)

    WyoJedi-Thank you! I hope that can help you. Hmm, that is a good idea. You can do a fairly simple segue into the main plot with minimal fuss. Although yeah, Gary Stus should be avoided.

    VaderLVR64-Thank you for attending my workshop. :) Also good ideas. Although like I said, the exposition must be balanced with moving the plot along. But what do you mean by combining two important characters into one?
  25. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    The advice about writing as if not everyone knows intimately the details of both fandoms is a very good one.

    Here's a point on SW that just came up recently:

    Fics based on fanfilms from Star Wars are not crossovers! They can be parodies, but not xovers!
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