Discussion The Scribble Pad (Fanfic Writing Discussions)

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

  1. Lady_Misty

    Lady_Misty Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 21, 2007
    I used a thesaurus within the last month to find words that I couldn’t remember how to spell so I was looking for them that way and to try to spice up when characters were talking to add more depth.

    Some of my earlier fan fics I am quite fond of and others I am not fond of and there are ones that I cringe when reread them.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. Kahara

    Kahara WIP Month Winner star 4 VIP - Game Winner

    Mar 3, 2001
    Didn't have time to answer when the thesaurus question was posted because I was too busy looking up words for "calm". :p So yes, I search words all the time to vary them and try to get the right connotations. There's definitely something to be said for going with your first pick, but sometimes looking up synonyms gives you just the right word or phrase.
  3. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016
    So, when writing do you guys have outright fancasts for your OCs? I´ve seen this really becoming a trend with official SW Authors lately, from Claudia Grey giving us her choices for every new human character in her stories, to Mike Chen even suggesting voice actors in case of the nonhuman characters.
    Is that something you guys do? Or do you created your characters completly within your head?
  4. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Chosen One star 8

    Dec 7, 2014
    I fancast while reading any piece of fiction, let alone fics ;) I have a weak imagination when it comes to characters, so just slot in characters from games or films that best match the descriptions.
  5. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Admin of Comms star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    I don't spend too much time watching movies or TV shows (I'm almost always woefully behind on my streaming!), so I end up being pretty bad at knowing the names of actors and actresses, which is probably why I don't tend to fancast characters when I read or write.

    I do know that some of my favorite authors engage in fancasting. For example, Tamora Pierce has been pretty open with fans on how she bases the appearance of certain characters on various actors and actresses. She will often reveal which characters had appearances based on which actors in interviews.

    So, I think fancasting can definitely be a useful tool for authors to visualize characters as they are writing and potentially to share with readers as well to help some readers get a better mental image of a particular character. It might not be a tool I use a lot due to my limited knowledge of actors and actresses but I am aware that it is helpful for a lot of people.
  6. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016
    I kinda developed quite a list by now... for my characters (and one established charakter) at least:
    Ulrika Grau-Ruby Rose
    Elena Kyr-Brianna Venskus
    Ilona Malek-Ginnifer Goodwin
    Ethan Malek-Viggo Mortensen
    Victor Laric-Stephen Dillane
    Corvey Adrimetrum-Tara Fiztgerald
    Kaiya Adrimetrum-Cari Lowell
    The Regent/Maximillian Palpatine-Peter Capaldi
    But for most of them, the character actually existed for quite a while before I had an idea for an actor/actress. Some suggestions even came from my friends and I incorporated them because I felt "yeah, that fits"
  7. JohnLydiaParker

    JohnLydiaParker Jedi Knight star 1

    Jun 14, 2019
    When you're writing, what kind of stories do you write? Lots of little ones with lots of ideas, or a few big ones? Heavy on OC's, or mostly Cannon characters? Official universe, or lots of AU's? I'm of the "few ideas, but can turn out very long" variety, and can't really work from prompts. How about you?
  8. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Admin of Comms star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @JohnLydiaParker I tend to write a variety of stories. General stories focused on family and friendship as well as romantic ones. Angst but also fluff and mush. Usually my stories are more centered around characterization, worldbuilding, and themes than around action. I would say that I more rely on details and dialogue in my stories than on a fast pace.

    I write one shots but also some multi-chaptered works and some works that are basically collections or anthologies of one shots. One shots tend to suit the smaller scale of the stories I like to tell but sometimes my stories do grow in the telling. Mushrooming into multi-chapter works. I do enjoy writing multi-chapter works but I am a very inspiration driven writer who tends to discover the story as I write it even if I start with a vague outline of how I think it will progress so sometimes my fickle muse can leave me to half-abandon my in progress multi-chapter fics. I often bite off more than I can chew in terms of the number of fanfics I try to write at a time. Sort of like how I am always reading about fifteen books in different formats at various times.

    I mostly write canon characters. Usually because I want to explore some aspect of their personality or life in more detail than canon could. The canon characters I write could be minor or major but often there is something about them that makes me think there is a story there beyond what is in official canon material. Something that inspires me. A big reason I write fanfic is to spend more time with the characters I love and to explore them in interesting ways. I do write OCs though as minor characters or to fill in roles not established or fleshed out in canon. When I write OCs for me it is much the same process as with canon characters.

    I used to mainly write stories that were canon compliant but recently I have branched out into an increasing amount of AU’s in my various fandoms. I am starting to really appreciate the freedom I can find in writing AU’s and how AU’s can let me explore characters in different ways by delving into what might have happened if they had made a different choice at a certain point.

    Prompts and challenges are definitely a big source of inspiration and motivation to me so I often involve myself in them. They have sparked my creativity and caused me to write numerous stories I never would have otherwise. They also build my sense of community and allow me to interact with other readers and writers of fanfic in a positive way and I love that.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2022
  9. Vialco

    Vialco Force Ghost star 5

    Mar 6, 2007
    I’ve been doing a lot of writing in recent months. About three weeks ago I started outlining a story that I got inspired to write while dreaming.

    I’ve been writing fiction since I was a child, but often my biggest challenge is leaving my works unfinished. I’ve recently discovered that the key to combatting this is to outline the story from start to finish.

    Having such an outline means that the tale is fully envisioned and has a clearly defined structure. The few stories I’ve finished have all been visualized through this.

    This latest story is has a number of original characters and I’ve been learning a lot about defining character traits, interacting and exposition. In one of the upcoming chapters, I’m going to have a drastic POV shift and I’m still working out the mechanics of how that will work.

    The more I write, the more I realize how it truly is a form of art. Like other forms of art, there are different levels of refinement and complexity. I can see how my abilities have evolved over the years and I find that the more quality works I read, the more my own writing style improves.

    I feel such an amazing sensation whenever I create fiction. It’s akin to what an artist feels when they paint a great portrait or what a sculptor feels when they create a wonderful bust. Writing is creation of a different sort.

    I’ve come to realize that creativity is one humanity’s greatest gifts. We are all blessed with a unique spark of imagination and innovation, and it’s up to us to find a way to harness that gift and use it to make this world a brighter place.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2022
  10. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Chosen One star 8

    Dec 7, 2014
    This won't apply to Star Wars fics specifically*, but I'm curious nonetheless. While developing my current writing project (Gravity Falls) I stumbled onto the idea to set it in a defined, real place: Salem, Massachusetts. This was for a few reasons, starting with the autumnal vibes recently leading me towards a New England setting, since that classic Fall aesthetic is very pleasing. Once the general area was selected, I narrowed it down to something with historically 'supernatural' associations, ergo the Salem Witch Trials. This in turn has enhanced the thematic focus, allowing me to call back to the significant events of the past and draw new links, as well as lending an extra layer of verisimilitude. Researching the area helped develop a few more concepts and sprinkle in some local flavour.

    So, my question is, how common is this kind of thing? Taking a known, real world location, and writing around that. In this instance it's really helped cohere things for me, despite never having been close to visiting Salem. The next challenge is to try and ensure my descriptions of the setting ring true, more to the 'idea' of the place than any lived-in experience. I've done this a few times before (living in the UK means any US based stories already have that additional layer to begin with), searching up places with added resonance and workshopping ideas around. I've also done it with places I've actually visited too (Venice for example), which is similar though slightly easier to describe given an inherent familiarity.

    What I'm basically asking is do you guys work with real life places in your fics, and how does that shape your stories? Do you try to match reality or fudge the details and allow for creative justification (or the chance of any readers actually local to the places not analysing to that degree).

    *(I suppose you could do it with Star Wars locations too, via a deep dive into Wookieepedia or selective rewatching, but I think the real world is distinct enough to ask about this, since you can only be so 'inaccurate' about a made-up society :p)
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2022
  11. Vialco

    Vialco Force Ghost star 5

    Mar 6, 2007
    I’ve done this with some of my original works that take place in the real world. Some of the locations I’ve used include New York, Chicago, LA. With places like this, the locale is so well known that it’s pretty easy to research it and learn about the scenery.

    My personal writing style is to research as much as possible so as to create an authentic reading experience. This includes reading about Italian desserts, coffees, and pasta. Researching full ride scholarships and how they work.

    To answer the question, I try to incorporate real details while controlling the details that are within my power. The weather, the bystanders, freak events and the like. Google Earth is very useful in providing real-life images of these places and it’s actually quite entertaining to read about these locations. Makes the writing process educational in its own way.
  12. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Admin of Comms star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @darkspine10 Good questions! I would say that while most of what I write is set in a fantasy or science-fiction fandom, I almost always tend to draw on real life places, cultures, events (contemporary and historical), and people (often historical) for my inspiration.

    I have drawn inspiration from everyone from the Princes in the Tower to the White Rose. From Empress Matilda to Queen Elizabeth the First. Cultures I have pulled from include the ancient Romans and Egyptians as well as Japan, China, India, and the Inuit people of North America. I have set stories in locales inspired by everything from the Russian steppes to the tropics of Florida and Hawaii.

    I try to balance creative license and my imagination with realistic details drawn from my research. To me, the realistic details help make my writing more immersive and add an extra element of verisimilitude.

    For quick overviews of culture, history, and geography, I often recommend the CultureSmart and CultureShock book series that can be found on Amazon and other places where books are sold. I will incorporate facts and details from my travels into my stories and sometimes the facts or locations of my travels directly inspire my stories.

    I will often do things like look up names for the cultures I am inspired by so I can use them for any original characters. Or as another example when I recently needed a name for a tavern in a quasi medieval world, I researched the names of some medieval taverns in England and used one of those for my story.

    That being said, I do not think there is anything wrong with fudging the details especially in fanfic or taking the creative license to alter them. Sometimes I know that published authors might even change the name of real world places like stores/restaurants even if they live in an area so they aren’t directly writing about their corner mom and pop grocery shop or whatever. So I think even a person local to a place may choose to change the details or file off the serial numbers as it were.

    So I do not think there is a single right or wrong way to include real world details.

    Some of my readers have enjoyed the real world inspirations for details in my stories (some even have come to treat them like Easter eggs) but I have reached the point in my writing life where I am not
    going to be bothered by someone who wants to quibble over the details. If they are not enjoying my fic, they can just not read it and seek out something more to their taste.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2022
  13. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Chosen One star 8

    Dec 7, 2014
    That's interesting to me, since none of my readers have ever commented on those kinds of details before (usually general praise or discussion of character beats dominate). I'm not about to stop including real-life detail, because that level of realism both pleases me and tends to make my works more thematically coherent and textured, but it's interesting that it simply tends not to be something those dedicated enough to comment focus on.

    Glad to hear your take on the topic though :) I think the time I was most inspired to write anything was a fic I did based around a non-fiction book I read called 'The Phantom Atlas', about anomalies and illustrations on ancient maps. In a matter of days I had a fully formed story built on the influence of the book, that led to more exciting and varied action scenarios, a solid mystery hook, and even some emotional content in the last act. When you find a source that really hits you in the right spot it can be an incredible aid to your writing.

    Ironically though it's probably my least-read fic I've done, no comments at all even, which is a shame since it was the most fun thing to write I've ever done :p
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2022
  14. Vialco

    Vialco Force Ghost star 5

    Mar 6, 2007
    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only author who does this. Sometimes there’s a synonym that I’ve never even heard of that ends up fitting perfectly into the sentence.
  15. UltramassiveUbersue

    UltramassiveUbersue Jedi Knight star 3

    Nov 7, 2022
    I wouldn't say I base anything around particular real-life places, but I take elements of places and research geology, meteorology, etc until I have a good idea of how the logic of the environment works. I mean, any excuse to do a Wikipedia deep dive into groundwater flow patterns at 3:00am, right?

    *looks at time*
    *sighs wearily*
    Vialco, darkspine10, Tarsier and 2 others like this.
  16. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Grand Master star 1

    Dec 5, 2005
    I have been curious about the natural world since childhood, and over time learned things about the components that go into this complex system around us called the universe. As I favor science-fiction to sword-and-sorcery fantasy, I use that knowledge to construct settings or environments in my writing to generate plausibility. For example, I called the Stygian Caldera an absorption nebula to match what the Essential Atlas and Wook has provided. I then work out from that foundation when I need details or plot devices.

    Therefore, I try to match physical realities (e.g., why can't—what reasons are there for—a galactic-savvy community not finding Planet_X? How would a military task force move into planetary orbit as a unit? How would Alien_X associate with a doorknob). I extend this to the force, which I see as a natural phenomenon even as characters will treat it as a religious object.

    That I follow the Christian lifestyle, I do believe in the supernatural (in that supernatural is something not explained by natural law or acceptable to a prevailing theory). This may be off the spirit of these questions, but I felt it was needed given my proclivity towards science. My lifestyle and my education both might be evidenced in shaping my stories: I do not condone visiting violence on a people because they are of a different culture, religion, ethnicity, lifestyle, etcetera; or that they follow a particular political solution. This might shape the atmospheres in which my stories take place.
  17. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    I'm not looking for responses to this post, I just need to vent for a minute.

    You know that feeling when you do something and then completely, utterly regret it?

    I started posting a fic on AO3 a couple of years ago and didn't finish it until last year. By the time I actually posted the last chapter I hated the fic and how it turned out but I wasn't capable of doing any better and I really wanted to finish something.

    It got some nice comments and kudos and even some bookmarks when I originally posted it and when I updated it, but I hated seeing it. I hated the feeling of failure it gave me because it didn't turn out the way I pictured in my mind, the way I wanted it to. I tried making it anonymous and just ignoring it, but I knew it was still there. So I deleted it.

    And now, almost a year after I posted that last chapter and several months after deleting the whole thing, I really wish I'd kept it up, even just anonymously. I delete crap all the time, and it doesn't usually bother me, but this one does.

    At least I've learned a lesson from it all. If you don't write and post stories you don't have to worry about deleting them later. :p
  18. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 27, 2013
    I know you're not looking for responses but maybe some insight because I also deal with the You know that feeling when you do something and then completely, utterly regret it™ feeling. I don't know if this is a feature in AO3, but I wonder if there's some way you can select "View" or "Not available for viewing" if you have any hesitancy posting a story so that instead of deleting it, you can simply select that option and decide when you feel you are happy with it to share with the Internet again.

    But yeah, there are multiple things I want to delete because I don't like how it turned out anymore, but I'm also incredibly lazy and it's too much of an effort to delete the entire story so I'm mostly like "meh whatever, let it haunt the great Internets" :p

    And also you can totally write and just not post it, or you can write it and post it and delete it later, presuming you have a backup copy on your computer somewhere so when you're ready again you can repost it.

    Anyways yeah, sorry I gave a response but I'm also venting or something myself maybe. I don't know :p
  19. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 27, 2013
    Sorry for the double post, but I kind of have a question because I'm trying to write a thing after finally having some inspiration to write a thing.

    Has anyone ever done a crossover or has suggestions how to make a crossover/elements of a crossover between two different fandoms that is somewhat coherent but not entirely stupid? The thing I have in mind is of course a crack!fic but I don't want it to be OOC and it's kind of supposed to be like, "this could MAYBE happen if given the correct circumstances" instead of "this is actually pretty unrealistic and so and so would never say that, etc, so it's all wrong, etc."

    Anyways, as you can tell, I kind of forgot how to write a fanfic at this point so any suggestions from experience to be above would be appreciated!
  20. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    I wrote a Trek/Wars crossover for a Dare Challenge. It was maybe a little bit crack, but I think I kept all the Main Characters in character. Which I was honestly pretty pleased about because I'd actually never written Mace Windu before.
  21. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    I'm not sure I understand the question, but there is a crossover discussion thread: Crossover Writers Support Group. Many writers here have written crossovers.
  22. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 27, 2013
    I also have a Trek/Wars idea in mind but I'm terrified of getting the Trek characters wrong since Trek is kind of not my expertise.

    This is actually probably what I was looking for! Thank you!
  23. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Admin of Comms star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    A new topic as we wrap up 2022 and open 2023!

    Writer's Resolutions:

    Have you ever set any before for a new year? If so, how general or specific were they? What sort of things did your resolutions focus on and how did you measure success? Word count? Number of fics completed? Time spent writing? Or did you not worry too much about measuring success and just let the idea of your goal guide you?

    Do you think the resolutions you set (if you set them) are reflective of yourself as a writer or shape you as a writer in any way?

    If you do plan on setting any writer's resolutions for 2023, what are those resolutions and how did you choose them?

    I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts and experiences related to writer's resolutions:D

    My Own Writer's Resolutions:

    As for myself, I've set the occassional writer's resolution for the new year in the past. Usually those were quite vague and therefore easy to meet like "write more" without ever defining what I meant by more like by word count or number of stories produced or time spent writing (etc.) or "keep writing" which was even more easy to meet since it probably is borderline impossible for me to go a year without writing at least a word of fanfic at this point. And as long as I wrote a word, I'd technically be true to my resolution of keep writing.

    I think those sort of resolutions were reflective of my tendency to be a bit of a discovery writer (rather than someone who tends to do a lot of elaborate plotting and detailed outlining in advance) as well as a mood and inspiration writer with a notoriously fickle muse.

    But this year I am thinking of trying to challenge myself a bit more with more precise goals. Not so much in word count and numbers of stories written but in what sort of stories I write and how I will go about writing those stories.

    So I think I have pretty much settled on two main writer's resolutions for 2023:

    1. To experiment more in my writing. This year I had some really enjoyable fanfic writing experiences when I branched out of my comfort zone experimenting with more AU's and first person narration as well as some ST related fics when I think of myself as more comfortable with the PT, the OT, and the Before the Saga time periods so I would love to continue to experiment and hopefully grow as a writer in 2023. This also potentially meshes well with my discovery and inspiration/mood writer style so fingers crossed I will be successful with this.

    2. To improve at finishing my multi-chapter works and works in progress. I do often feel pangs of guilt about how many of my in progress, multi-chapter works get abandoned by the wayside, so hopefully this will be a good challenge and motivation to my muse to keep plugging away at these stories and not give up on them or the inspiration that first created them.

    As far as benchmarks of success go, I'd be really happy if I could finish 2 or more of my in progress, multi-chapter works in 2023, and if I could finish at least 2 new works where I step out of my comfort zone and experiment.
  24. Starith

    Starith Jedi Master star 3

    Apr 5, 2020
    My resolution is to try not to take months in between updates.

    And also draw and write better, but not that much better.
  25. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 27, 2013
    My resolution is to finally post a new fanfic I've been thinking about (yes, thinking about, not even bothering to write it) for the last year.

    Annnddd to read more stories.