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Discussion The Scribble Pad (Fanfic Writing Discussions)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Briannakin , Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Okay, so the act of transferring hardcopy typed at work, to my home PC, has generated three equally valid story titles:

    Sleeping Beauty, was what I was originally going to call it. Does what it says on the tin.

    The Princess of Renatasia, as I firmed up where to look.

    Operation Bizarre Rescue, as quoted by someone who cannot believe they are actually investigating a fairy tale.

    Which title do you think is better, please?


    Also, if anyone here has naturally.straight hair, that they have dyed, how many days was it before others were able to spot roots (UK term for the original hair colour growing out)?
     
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    The third one has a humorous undertone [face_thinking] But I like the second one, focuses on the heroine and the place sounds exotic :cool:
     
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  3. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
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  4. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I like #2 AND #3. I don't know which one would be better for the tone of what you're working on. Could you use the one you didn't pick for a different story? Or write the same story from a different POV? #2 sounds like a traditional fairy tale. #3 sounds fun and zany.

    Also, I've got straight hair and (alas!) now gray roots. It depends what type of hair dye I use. If I use the 'permanent' stuff, it's about a month before my hair grows out and the roots show. However, there is also 'semi-permanent' hair color; it gradually washes out over time. Lasts about 1-2 weeks. And there are those colored hairsprays for theater or costuming, they're a one-shot; they last until the next hair wash. So, since this is GFFA and their beauty products must have all kinds of capabilities, I suppose you could have the roots show whenever it suits you as the author. :)
     
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  5. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I'm for #3.

    As for the other question...takes about three weeks for my mom, who uses permanent stuff and is in her 70s. I don't dye my hair.
     
  6. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Sith-I-5 I like both 2 and 3; I think the choice between them depends on whether you want the title to emphasise the fairytale aspect of the story (#2) or the zaniness (#3) :p

    As for roots, they'll show faster if your character has short hair. I gave up dying my hair because the roots would show after just a couple of weeks when I started buzz-cutting it to 2.5 cm.
     
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  7. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    So it was here I erroneously posted this, I thought I had just mistakenly deleted this (meant for the 'A thread for art' thread) instead of posting it in the wrong thread. Sorry for the inconvenience [face_beatup]
     
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  8. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Thank you to all who responded to my queries.

    I think The Princess of Renatasia wins through!


    Gamiel - I really liked your artwork there.
     
  9. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    So, I had a reply typed up for you... and then my cat leaped on me. But basically, I understand the berserk muse... though not quite to your extent. My muse is currently happy in Mav's West Wing universe, and I'm having so much fun writing. I seriously haven't had this much writing fun since late 2015. Part of me wants to get back to Star Wars - I have 2 ideas for replies to challenges. I am currently debating between another WW diary for 2018, or making my SW AU OC idea work in diary (AND I REALLY WANT TO DO BOTH). Plus I do have a fic that I said I would turn into a series (though the muse completely went MIA). But I'm not sure if I want to go back to SW, or if I just feel obliged for some reason (I'm a loyal person, don't judge me).

    So, I agree with Ewok Poet (and I think I need to listen to her advice). Just do what the muse wants on any given day. So what if you don't get things completed (or, as in my case, drift off from your first fandom-love). Fanfic is for fun.

    If you have been wanting to try the DDC, then go for it. It is so much fun (says the person probably doing another 2 narrator entry next year).

    I guess my advice is to make a list. Then in that list, jot down all your ideas. That way, you won't lose them, but you also get to try your hand at everything you want to try.
     
  10. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Hahaha. I suddenly remembered a fic idea that had been spawned by a discussion in the Fifty Titles challenge, and I came on the boards to check the details before adding it to my list... to see that Briannakin was suggesting I make a list.

    The universe is telling me something, but what?
     
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  11. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    To make lists? :D
     
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  12. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014

    Wait. Wait.

    Are YOU the Universe?

    HALP!1!1!

    *jumps off the cage into the trash bin...mmm, rotten bird seed*

    Seriously, I have a list, too.
     
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  13. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Thanks :)
     
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  14. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    I should probably make a list. Maybe I will. Eventually. I'm lazy.
     
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  15. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    "Never underestimate the calming power of lists." -Ben Skywalker
     
  16. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Okay, not true. I made a RL list and it just freaked me out. I can feel my heart beating in my throat. :(
     
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  17. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    So, another thing that came to my mind this weekend is - DO EPICS SUFFER FROM LOSS OF READERSHIP, BECAUSE THEY'RE EPICS?

    I had a bit of "new epic angst" this week and the fact that my winning epic from last year, despite winning both that and the DDC competition, eventually had only one reader, was not helping.

    And...what did I do?

    I dug out the two longest recent epics I could think of - not counting situations where people posted, like, 100K words at once or had no readers at all, and not counting 2017 stuff because I was a plant. - and I did some math, which is normally an expletive, the m-word for me. Even though these two stories fared better than most other super-long ones, they too seemed to have lost a fair share of readers by the end and/or had people bulk-comment on a couple of chapters...or, well, a lot of chapters.

    So, any idea on why this happens? A couple of thoughts - keep in mind that they come from the resident nutjob. :p

    - tl;dr...not even trying.

    - Epic writers have delusions of grandeur in general. We think we're the next best thing since sliced bread.

    - People don't generally stick around, they come and go - either because of DRL or because they are around only when they're inspired to post themselves, when the new movies are coming out and blabla.

    - People lose interest in an epic because of the way it goes, characterisation, character deaths, plot itself...whatever, you name it.

    - There's a constant influx of new writers, but not new readers.

    - In addition to all of the above, a lot of people avoid OC stories like plague.

    - Something else. Specify.

    So, how could this be avoided?

    - MAKE EPICS SHORT AGAIN!1!!!

    - Commit, plain and simple. Your favourite writers? Follow their stories.

    - Provide a regularly updated e-book, complete with footnotes, there are people who read offline.

    - Aggressive promotion, aggressive tagging or some other unholy method.

    - An epic review pact of some sorts, similar to the Read and Review Tag Challenge. Perhaps even an epic review challenge.

    - Something else. Specify.

    Would love to hear from both people who write epics and those who stick to short one-shots and short multi-chapters. :)

    I obviously said a bunch of nonsensical things just to get the conversation started. And, yeah, when I say "people", I don't mean "everybody", "every single person" and so on. And this is not because of me and my epics, rather epics in general...and whatever other disclaimer needs to go here, because I'm not good with disclaimers and people tend to see what's not there.


    P.S. Yeah, I made a deal with myself to finish those two stories and did a super-stupid thing by reading epilogues to both, but that's unrelated. :p

    Oh, and I have to pee. Like, BADLY.
     
  18. Thorn058

    Thorn058 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jul 28, 2008
    I have a long WIP that I keep telling myself I'll finish just so I can have backstory and somewhat world creation within the world create by GL although I don't believe it is an epic. I have toyed with the idea of saying to heck with establishing my characters and doing this plot bunny that just wont go away but I come back time and time again to I need the backstory or at least the framework.

    I will confess to being one of those people who comes and goes as DRL allows and while I'd love to have time to really write again, I am not sure that if given the time I will sit down and start putting words to screen, paper or sticky notes. I have started posting again today so we will see how it goes.
     
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  19. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Consider also that perhaps some of the readers you had at the beginning of your story, that seem to have disappeared, might still be reading it, but are just lurking instead of commenting.

    Which is something that I admit to doing sometimes. Though I try to lurk less and comment more.
     
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  20. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Hmmm. Interesting topic.

    Yeah, I do think epics suffer from loss of readership. I agree with many of your points but I also think it is kinda unavoidable. Keep in mind, I am more of the vignette/short story type of writer. My muse just suffers from ADD and I think I have only ever written like 5 long-fics that have come close to the 50k mark and only 2 of those went over (and just barely), so I'm coming from that prospective, but I have read my share of epics.

    I think the number one issue with epics, is, as you pointed out, that people don't stay. Epics can take a LONG time to post, whether you are posting as you write, or posting once you finish it, a 100k epic split into 2k chapters is going to take 50 updates. If you post one update a week, that's still a year to post. Darth Real life bites all of us and sometimes you can't catch up.

    And, as you mentioned, people who do stick around can lose interest. I don't think anyone is at fault here. Using an example that isn't a fic, but I rage quitted the TV show Downton Abbey because I didn't like the direction of the story. And it is kinda awkward to do this with a fic (because we all want readers and we all know it sucks to lose readers), which can make people wary of even starting an epic if they are unfamiliar with the author's work.


    Is there something that can be/should be done to get more readers into epics - I'm not sure. I think certainty providing people with epubs of sections of chapters so they can get caught up offline can help. And breaking things up into parts in different threads and providing "recaps" may help. But people read what they want to and have time for. Kinda going to the OTP thread conversation, if your muse is having fun writing a 100k fic and you have motivation to keep writing it (whether from readers or your own personal drive to write that final scene) then go for it.
     
  21. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    As a reader the situation where I had trouble keeping up with an epic and eventually dropped out almost always had to do with a scenario where there was a big gap between two points when I read the story – either because there was a long hiatus on behalf of the author, or because I went away from the boards from a while. In both cases I needed to re-read the beginning so as to refresh my memory before catching up, and if what was posted was already the size of a novel I didn't have the time to re-read the whole thing, and then procrastination kicked in and... well, you get the picture. There's an epic here on the boards that I became interested in when it was already on chapter 25 or so (and those were long chapters too); three years later it's still on my reading list because I could never make the time for it. As a writer, I noticed this with my own magnum opus. It took me over two years to post the whole thing and there were two long hiatuses on my behalf during that time; after each one I had the impression that I was re-building my readership from scratch.

    So in addition to people coming and going, there's an element to be added to EP's list IMO and that's the fact that the author failing to update regularly makes it difficult for readers to keep up with the story.

    Another element I would add is that there's a difference between readers and reviewers, and the frequency with which people leave reviews ebbs and flows in a cyclical way. There are periods when the fanfic boards seem to go dormant for weeks at a time with very little traffic from reviewers (although not necessarily from writers) but I've never been able to pinpoint a pattern to that.

    As for readers dropping out because they lose interest, well, there's nothing that can be done about that. If I don't particularly like what I'm reading for whatever reason, I won't have any qualms about dropping out (unless I'm trying to encourage someone to keep writing in which case I'll push myself to read and review). As a writer I certainly won't change my plans for a story just for the sake of keeping readers; after all, there's a reason I planned the story in this particular way. If people don't like it, I guess it's too bad, but the story will still be what it says on the tin.

    I'm not sure I agree with the idea that people avoid OC stories like the plague. My impression lately is that OC stories are getting a lot of reader traffic, but then again we're such a small community here that it may have to do with the regular fanficcers and not be a general trend.
     
  22. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    So, you're in favour of scheduling, as opposed to letting everybody catch-up? I didn't even think of this, but it makes sense, to those who operate that way. I'm usually like "hope they stop for a bit, so I could catch up". :p
     
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  23. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    It doesn't have to be frequent scheduling (as in, once a week for instance). What I'm talking about is not leaving huge time gaps between updates. To give a ballpark figure, I'd probably find it difficult to keep up with a story that's updated less often than once a month – by the time the next update comes three months later, I've read so much other stuff that I forgot what this story was about.
     
  24. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    That does make sense, come to think of it...
     
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  25. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I think Chyntuck made a good point... as a new reader, it's hard coming in to Chapter 25 or 30 and trying to catch up, or there is a cast of millions, or it is based on the author's three earlier epics which were posted 6 years ago... if I downloaded it as an E-book, it might not be so bad, but the format of the boards, lots of short chunks with a hiatus in between, makes it too easy for me to lose track of what's going on and who is who (in terms of the OCs).

    I don't mind getting into an epic from the start, but if there are long pauses between updates, again, I lose the thread.

    For the boards, shorter stories and regular updates work better for readership. And OCs have always been a harder sell, even way back when. We have more OCs now than when I first joined, and the quality is high, which is a good thing!