It starts with a penname
Selecting a penname should be something you won’t regret later. Maybe something personal to you.
Make it memorable. Lots of numbers can be confusing for a reader to remember off the top of their head when recommending your fic!
Creating accounts on platforms
AVOID GIVING OUT YOUR REAL NAME. Until you make friends in the fanfiction community you can trust, never give out personal information.
THIS INCLUDES: Last name, Social Security number, email, address, phone number, social media info.
If you want to use social media platforms to promote yourself, create one under your penname!
TERMS TO REMEMBER:
Rating: Like a movie, this sets up the reader for what your story involves.
K+ - appropriate for all audiences
T+ - Teen and young audiences. Some minor cursing or suggestive themes
MA + - Adult themes, such as violence, language, sexual, drug use, ect.
E - Explicit. These are used for extreme ratings.
Ship: The fanfiction ‘relationSHIP’ that you are pairing together. To ship something means you support the relationship.
Lemons: This is a term for intimate involvement of a sexual nature. Another term for it is “smut”
Trigger:refers to anything seen, read, or experienced that can cause a negative reaction within a trauma survivor's psyche, such as flashbacks or extreme anxiety due to exposure to something which triggers the memory of the traumatic event to replay within their minds.
Trope: refers to a conventional literary device or figure of speech in which elements within a story plot, setting, characterization, or 'behind the scenes' of a fanwork (or canon source material) are a common concept that audiences are already familiar with and can easily recognize.
OTP: One True Pairing
Plunny: Plot bunny (an idea for a story)
Cannon: To be set in the original plot of the story.
Beta: An editor/proof reader
Alpha: talks story ideas with you
Disclaimer: refers to the legal statement of ownership, or non-ownership, authors make regarding the use of canon characters, settings, premises, etc... Technically, disclaimers do not provide any legal protection against charges of copyright infringement, so it is not truly necessary to include them. However, they are considered a courtesy that is strongly encouraged, in that they do provide a valid defense against charges of plagiarism.
OOC: Out of Character
OC: Original Character
One shot: complete story in one chapter
Multi-chapter: Fanfiction with two or more chapters.
Mary-Sue: Put yourself in the story.
Drabble: fics ranging from 5-500 words. Small plot bunnnies.
Review: A comment left behind from a reviewer
Flame: Negative review
Het - male/female relationship
Slash - male/male relationship
Fem slash - female/female relationship
Hiatus: When an author has not abandoned a work, but has stopped writing it for the time being.
Headcannon: Where a reader gets an idea that they would like to think is ‘cannon’ to the fandom.
Prompt: A plot or idea to spark a story given from someone else.
For a full list of terms, you can visit: http://www.angelfire.com/falcon/moonbeam/terms.html
Okay, I’m signed up! Now what?
Now, you write.
What do I write?
Well, you need to pick a fandom, and, generally, a pairing. Pairings aren’t always required, but most people start writing fanfiction to ship their OTP’s. However, you can write a general fic under fandom without any romantic involvement!
Some things to consider:
- Your story should have a beginning, middle, and an end
- Remembering the "domino effect" can help with this: A domino effect or chain reaction is the cumulative effect produced when one event sets off a chain of similar events.
Two types of writers:
Architects and Gardeners
- Architects build a story from the ground up and plan ahead. They like to know the world before they write it.
- Gardeners start from a seed and see what blooms! Gardeners explore the world as they go and see what comes of it.
You need to know what kind of writer you are and what works for you.
Things to get you in the mood for writing:
- Quiet space
- Setting aside time for writing
- Discussing with an alpha
- Mapping out plot points or dialogue
- Going to the source material
- Fanart inspirations
Everyone is different, so what will work for one might not work for another. For me, it’s sitting in a bathtub. Doesn’t even have to be water in it. Find what works and stick to it! Writers are creatures of habit!
Some people like to have an entire story written before posting. Some like to write as they go. Both are correct. It’s whatever gets the muse going!
- Okay, now I’ve written and I’m ready to post. Now what?--
Now, you should proof read. Make sure the commas and periods are in the right place. A good way to do this is to have a second pair of eyes, called a “Beta reader.” Finding one can be difficult, so you should select one you can trust. There are facebook groups that offer help with finding beta services, and if you go to my website, I can point you in the direction of finding one that can work for you. ALWAYS GIVE YOUR BETAS LOVE! They put the effort in, don’t forget them! Same to alphas. A good example of how to do this is: A special thank you to LondonsLegend for the beta work! Thank you LightofEvolution for talking plot points with me and being my alpha!
- Normal paragraph indentions are used in books, but in the fanfiction world, it’s spaces between paragraphs. It’s easier for the reader to read on a mobile/from their laptop.
- Make sure that when you upload or copy and paste, your formatting carries over. Make sure if there’s an option between html and rich text format, you select rich text (A03 for example).
Summary: This should be a basic explanation of the all-around focus of the fic without giving too much away.
- Bad example: Harry is a werewolf.
- Good example: Harry finds himself cursed.
It’s a good idea to include what pairings you have in the summary as well.
- Choose a rating: Make sure you choose the one that works best for your fic. Don’t label it too heavy or too light.
- Upload a cover art if you have one.
Great! Now get back to writing!