On fanfic writing…

This is not aimed at anyone in particular, but more a collection of my thoughts on how to improve fanfic writing in general. (Particularly my own ;-). ) Gray's 10 Steps to Better Fic Writing: 1. Spell check. Spell check. Spell check. Use it. We all make mistakes but spell check can help eliminate some of these mistakes. 3. Grammar. Grammar. Grammar. 4. Use a good beta reader, not a suck up just wants to read your stories first. A good beta reader is like gold for fic writing. Take their advice seriously, even if you disagree with it. The point is to become a better writer, not massage your ego. Give props to the beta when posting final story as well. 5. Read Strunk and White's Elements of Style. (or something similar) 6. Avoid writing the Fic-that-will-not-end(TM). You know what I'm talking about: those pesky fics that are fifty something chapters, a plot that has wandered from one end of the 'verse to the other, and still has no end in sight. Further symptoms include: drawn out scenes that provide nothing to the story, overly long plot development, confused story lines, contrary story lines (e.g. writer in chapter 555 contradicts fact stated in chapter 111) and so on. Side effects: Loss of reader's attention, loss of writer's attention, and decreased reviews. 7. If you are writing about something you know nothing about, be sure to do at least some research so you don't come off looking like a fool in your writing. It's okay if you don't understand something completely, but you should know enough to pass a casual reader's test. A story can be beautifully written but if the driving factors are incorrect it can destroy the believability. Such a thing happened in a recent fic I read that had everything wrong on a subject that was critical to the story. I knew it was wrong because it's part of my chosen field. The email sent to them making suggestions on how to fix the errors did not go over well despite my assuring them that I liked the story aside from the mistakes. Worse was the fact that the information was readily available online in many forms ranging from grade school level comprehension to graduate level, so the writer had no excuse in this case. 8. When writing canon fic, please write your characters-- in character! 9. Keep expanding your vocabulary via dictionaries, thesaurus, etc. Doing so can add some great nuances to stories when applied properly. 10. Feedback - 'Tis better to give and receive. In either case, be honest with the writer. Encourage but make suggestions for improvement when appropriate.

2 thoughts on “On fanfic writing…

  1. 1. Spell check. Spell check. Spell check. Use it. We all make mistakes but spell check can help eliminate some of these mistakes.

    Along those same lines, I’d like to strangle people who misspell character names (ie. it’s Roslin, not Roslyn or Rosalyn; and Ronon Dex is not Ronan Dexx). OY! This is just a pet peeve of mine, but still… 🙂

    1. Heh. Agreed. I didn’t even think to include that since I’m such a nut on making sure I spell character names, place names, and the like correctly when writing fic.

Comments are closed.