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Originally Created on 03-06-2005, 01:36 AM for a Power Rangers forum but may apply to any web site where stories are posted.

Writers: Point of Information

For beginners (n00bs):

A lot of beginners often come in with what they think might be a good idea for a new fan fiction story. They'll often post their story without asking for advice, and either get heavy criticism (this happens most of the time) or a little bit of praise (this rarely ever happens).

For those who ask for advice before posting an idea or story, there are many things to take into consideration. Is the story laid out in an outline before it is written, or is it thrown together in a hap-hazardous manner? Are your characters goals going to remain focused towards completing their objective? How long will each of the episodes be (in .doc, .txt, etc.)? Is the fan fiction a one-shot story? Are you using any of the official mainstream canon characters from any of the TV seasons? Are you using any canon villain characters from any of the TV seasons? Is your style, story line, and agenda material going to be accepted by the right audience?

***

Types of Fanfic Readers: (that I have seen on any web site; this may be edited)

1. I Read Everything Reader: This is the guy who is on the board solely to read everyone else's material. He may not be a writer, himself, but he just loves reading anything he can find here. He may never comment publicly, but he'll certainly let you know privately that he is either enjoying or disliking the material. Overall, most people on any board can fit into this one.

2. Brown Noser Reader: This is the best friend or fan boy of one of the writers on the board. He doesn't care about anyone else's material, as long as his friend's story is always right at the top of the first page in the fanfic section. And he'll often post one-liner comments just to put his friend's thread back on top if it's been knocked down a notch or four. Don't deny it, folks. There are a few of you out there.

3. I Need Ideas Reader: This is a writer who needs ideas for his own fanfic, therefore, he's reading your story so he can steal your ideas and call them his own. He may be a good writer in his own right, but he stoops to this dishonest level and doesn't give proper credit where the credit is due. He just swoops in and swipes your material for himself. Even loan sharks are nicer than this, folks.

More types are possible. Feel free to list any others, explaining what you think they are. If your comments are good enough, they might get appended to the main list.

***

Types of Fanfic Writers: (that I have seen on any web site; this may be edited)

1. The Nobody Writer: Most of you know this guy. He's the one who joins the board and one of his first threads is something that most of us are tired of seeing. The most common something is the dreaded Casting Call advertisement. His posts usually start with, Hi! I'm new here, and I have this idea for a new fic. It involves 4-7 cartoon/anime characters who fight this villain who is similar to Robotnik being crossed with Dragaunus. I need help with this, so if you'll just fill out this characters/villains/equipment form, I can get started on the story. Now do you know who we're talking about? I thought you might.

2. The Offsite Writer: Most of you know this guy, too. He's the one who writes a fic, then posts it elsewhere. Then, whether its minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/years later, he/she posts a link to the fic on the web site, like it's a new fic. This guy isn't so bad, and he might have good reasons for not posting the fic on the web site (i.e. the more people that visit his site, the more pop-ups can invade people's computers, etc.) Okay, maybe the reasons aren't so good.

3. The EverBetter Writer: I won't point any fingers at names for this one, but it will be apparent who is being referred to. This guy might have been on the web site since the beginning, has actually written some good fics in the past, though recently, his material has lost some of it's edge (factors that made his past fics fabulous!). So now, he begs/whines in other people's comments for people to read/nominate/vote his fics. And he doesn't just beg/whine one time, he repeatedly does this. OFTEN! And doesn't stop. This is related to the Attention Whore Critic (See Below). Also, this guy thinks his fic is better than everyone else's, and convinces others to agree with him. This is related to the Brown-Noser Critic (See Below).

4. The EvenWorse Writer: Dis iz da gye hoo rites awl hiss fiks inn dis soardt uv speld wurdz. Hee thingks dat hee iz da bom! Beztes riter ahn da hoal syte! An u noe dis gye, 4 shur! Hiz shoo syze iz hiz IQ levul! Onnest!

5. The Storyline Writer: This is someone who has taken a lot of time, offline, to carefully plot out where his fic is going to lead the readers. He cares about his creation, and doesn't let any pricks dissuade him from producing a quality fic for his audience. He never requests comments or nominations or votes for his fic. He knows it's good, and that's all that matters. He is usually the best damned writer on the web site, though rarely (or never) wins the FanFic of the Month. But he doesn't really care about that. His visual dream is his fic.

6. The Personal Enjoyment Writer: This is someone who just writes because it's fun, and loves making his characters do interesting things. If the story makes him laugh, then it's a success. He only posts on the board to share the humor with others. Comments and votes do not concern him. The world is your stage. Smile!

7. The Alternate Universe Writer: This is a guy who takes the original TV show characters from an existing cartoon/anime series, and sends them down a What If... road, making them do things to his whim, whether good or bad. There is a 50/50 chance that they will write either a good/bad fic out of this. This guy usually gets more comments than anyone else.

8. The Forever Writer: Not very original, but this guy wants to see more Forever Red situations, only with various colors in varied fics. (i.e. Forever Red, Forever Pink, Forever Blue, Forever Green, Forever Black, Forever White, Forever Puke, Forever Shit, etc.) And he just KNOWS that he can do a better job at this than the TV show did. Most of the time, he's RIGHT! He can do a better job. But some of the time, it doesn't go the way he planned.

9. The Timed Writer: This is a guy who writes his material offline, then when he gets online, he posts it. Then, he usually leaves for 24 hours. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. He does this so the readers aren't flooded with too much of his material at the same time. His fics can be the best the internet has to offer, but the members on the web site don't think so.

10. The Critic Writer: See Types of Critics Below! Almost ANY of them apply to this guy. And his writing isn't a fic at all, it's a novel of flames, bad comments, misspelled criticisms, and/or provocations to entice others to comment on his post! And he'll whine and bitch if you don't read it! He gets downright nasty, in fact. The moderators almost always have to step in to get rid of this guy... and he never learns his lesson. Even if banned, he returns as another named writer, with the same recognizable style.

11. The Slash Writer: This is a guy who likes to take existing TV shows or fanfics, preferably written by someone else, and either write up his own joke version of it as an actual fic (MST3000 style), ask permission from said writers if he can use your characters (then slander the way your characters would properly perform; KNOW THE CHARACTERS BETTER THAN YOU WANT TO!!!), or he'll ask to use your characters IF you agree to change an event(s) so that his fic will work (though the changed event will totally screw up your own months of pre-planning.) And if you don't give him permission, concerning the second two "what ifs...", then he'll dump his idea and just not write it and, in most cases, will either pout, or he will moan and whine that you were the cause of his not carrying through with his writing idea, as he morphs into The Attention Whore critic (see below.)

12. The No Grammar Writer: This is the guy who usually has a really good story to share, but refuses to add punctuation, quotation marks, or proper noun usage to the posts themselves. Readers often find it difficult to follow, and more often, can't tell where speaking stops and action begins.

AND, believe it or not...

These are usually (but not always) the stories that win Fiction of the Month on MOST of the web sites! ((WTF?!))

13. The Advertisement Writer: This is the guy or gal who thinks that they have a really good story, even though they are getting very few hits (reads), so... he/she goes to the most popular thread that's getting the majority of the hits, and he/she posts an advertisement to his/her own story in the popular thread. And sometimes, this person does this more than once. And usually in the very same day! This is extremely poor form and is an act toward stealing the popular writer's glory or thunder, as it were. And I've seen this done across the boards.

If the guy's/gal's story is as good as they think, it would be getting hits.

The main reason for the low popularity, that I can see just by viewing the story material, is that there seems to be either spelling errors, poor grammar and/or punctuation errors, or utilizes too many characters. And maybe, in some cases, all three. The story could stand to be improved, but the writer doesn't think there is anything wrong with their own story.

14. The Outline Writer: This is the guy who literally posts an outline of what the series is about, episode by episode, and then, considers that as the finished product. There is no actual story to read, per say, just the outline of what will happen. This is like posting the excerpt for every episode and then, not writing the episode. There is no dialogue, no action scenes, and no inner plots to move the story along. And most readers might/will ask: When are you actually going to write the story?

15. The "Deathless Prose" Writer: This writer is CONVINCED they are writing the GREATEST FIC OF ALL TIME. As such, they also believe they can get away with virtual murder. Sometimes it's harmless. Somebody wrote a story in which a character does something COMPLETELY off the mark. Painful for us, but not horrible. Some are much worse, however, because they write stuff that not only wouldn't happen in canon, but couldn't. Normally, it's NC-17 and pretty hardcore, trivializing a lot of illegal stuff.

16. The Mary-Sue-age: There's avatarism--and then there's Mary Sue and Gary Stu. They are better than all the canon characters, can always get their dream date, and yet still sound like eight-year-olds trying to order beer: completely ridiculous and juvenile. Chances are, most are really between 13-17 years old and are a step away from being a "Deathless Proser" and are frequently EvenWorse Writers, too.

More types are possible. Feel free to list any others, explaining what you think they are. If your comments are good enough, they might get appended to the main list.

***

Types of Fan Fiction: (that I have seen on any web site; this may be edited)

1. Canon Fan Fiction: This is a story or series that occurs within any of the official canon TV Seasons of cartoons/anime, using the official characters. When writing a fan fiction of this sort, please make sure you know the characters better than you think you do. Many critics will make derogatory comments if you get certain details wrong (i.e. manner of speech from characters, personal actions of characters, morphing sequences, etc.) Writing this form of fan fiction should be left to the established professional fan fiction writers.

2. Semi-Canon Fan Fiction: This is a story or series that might guest-star one of the official canon characters from the TV Seasons, who has to form a new group to fight a new evil. This one is a little easier to write, but you must still know the canon character better than you think you do. The other characters created for the story do not matter, as they are your property. But the official canon guest-star must remain as correct to his nature as possible, or you will be told by many that you have gotten it wrong.

3. Original Fan Fiction: This is a story or series that is completely original. It may borrow certain powers and/or aspects from existing TV Seasons or other fanfics (providing you give the proper credit to it's first appearance; or if you find out later that someone had the idea first, don't whine that you didn't steal it, but simply add a disclaimer, in QUOTEs where the item first appeared.) This type of fan fiction is even easier to do because you don't have to get things right. You only have to make sure that the story is readable enough to the viewers, so they are able to follow the general intent of the story itself. If the story isn't clear, you will receive comments, both polite and rude, telling you so.

4. What The Fuck? Fan Fiction: This is usually a one-shot story that details an event among canon cartoon/anime and/or fan-made cartoon/anime. Again, if you include canon animated characters, know the characters better than you think you do or you'll be told that you got it wrong.

5. Slash Fan Fiction: This is probably one of the least accepted forms of fan fiction permitted on serious web sites. Again, if you use canon characters from any of the TV Seasons, get your information correct. Critics for this type of story are highly unforgiving if you get it wrong. KNOW THE CHARACTERS BETTER THAN YOU THINK YOU DO!!!

***

Styles of Fan Fiction Stories: (If you know of more, mention them in the comments below)

1. Story: This is a style common to most novels you'll find in the library or in bookstores. It is usually well-written (we'd hope) and gives details important toward carrying the story along. The characters are fully described, at some point, and are very believable to the reader.

2. Script: This is a style that usually only appears in stage theaters, in Hollywood, or in high school drama classes. There is little to no detail given, though it is keyed toward moving the story along in a rapid, if not hazardous, manner. For the readers, this style may be hard to read.

3. Script-Story Combo: A few writers like to write like this. The settings, action sequences, and other story elements can be described in more detail, while dialogue remains separate from the main body of text. A writer may find this way a little easier.

4. Diary: In this style, the writer doesn't have to use spoken (quoted) lines, because the angle of this story would be as if you were actually reading the main character's diary. Spelling and Grammar isn't necessary here, either, because if you read any real diary, no one is going to correct their own errors and such because they figure that no one else will be reading their private log entries. This is perhaps one of the best open-ended writing styles.

5. Offsite/Follow The Link: This isn't a true style, per say, but has appeared countless times on most web sites. The author will write his/her fan fiction in either style 1 or in style 2, then instead of posting his/her story on one site, they will post it either on a site that they own, or a free web space site where they have an account. Then, they will come to the original web site and post a message about the story and a web link, intended so that the readers will go to their site and read it there. Funny that they don't have a way for fans to comment right there on their sites, as well. (Question: Isn't this the same as Advertising, therefore, should be listed in the Advertising Forum? *shrugs*)

6. Round Robin: This is an unusual style that allows everyone to participate in the story. (i.e. Thread Wars, etc.) Spelling and grammar are not important in this style of writing because no two people ever writes the same way. It may seem similar, but it isn't the same.

7. Spoken Text: This is a style of writing that has become more and more common across web sites. When the reader reads this style, the reader cannot discern easily who is saying what, because the " " sentences are stacked up, back to back throughout the story. (This is a problem if you have more than 2 people in any given scene, because there is no way to tell who is saying what, unless you have a Noun descriptor telling who said what.)

***

For critics:

No matter how cool you think it makes you, do not claim to be a professional critic whose job is to correct and torment the writers who are simply trying their best.

If you have favorite fan fiction writers whose material you read, stick to those and criticize those, for if they are your favorites, then surely, you'll only have words of betterment for them.

Before you criticize a new writer who you know nothing about, save for the one story you looked over, try writing the same story yourself, in the way you believe it should've been written. You don't have to post it, of course. If you can't write it, then you really have no right to criticize the new writer's material, no matter how bad it is.

When criticizing any writer, it is best to make sure you spell all of your words in your critique, correctly, or you'll be viewed as simply flaming the writer. No one hates seeing misspelled critiques more than the writer who is writing the fan fiction. And most times, the critic is a worse speller than the writer.

Types of Critics:

1. The Constructive Critic: This is the humble reader who has some professionalism to comment constructive and helpful changes to the writer's material in a correctly spelled manner. He respects the writer he makes the comments to, and is always helpful, and is never rude and demeaning. He is a joy to converse with, and others often look to him for advice.

2. The Brown-Noser Critic: This is the yuppy fanboy who is just so disgustingly in love with your fic that he will ALWAYS say good things about it, even if it's in need of revising, and will USUALLY harass and flame others who try to give you constructive criticism. Given a choice, this critic would sleep with you and wash your dishes with his tongue. Submissive little shit!

3. The Flaming Critic: This is Satan! Okay, I shouldn't say that... Satan is nicer than this guy. Hmm... This is... no, that's too vulgar... Okay... this guy gives the entire forum a bad name. Not just the forum, but the whole site! He has a set idea in his head, and can NEVER say anything nice about your material, no matter how much work you've put into it. He does NOT respect the writers, the moderators, the administration, or anyone else. He will ALWAYS claim that he knows what he's doing, but about 98% of the time, he's only posting because he sees something that he dislikes/hates, or even, because the writer he hates has posted something.

4. The Attention Whore Critic: is somebody who makes critiques a fanfic with a few words and then spends the rest of their post complaining that they never get any feedback for their fics.

***

While I am not perfect, this thread list covers things I have seen over the past few years of being on web sites. I'm not complaining, and everyone is entitled to write however they like. But over 90% of the fanfic writers definitely are some of the things on this list, as is their fans. As well as the Critics and Readers.

Did I mention that I sorta hate seeing the Hi! I'm new here, and I have this idea for a new fic in most journals?

No offense to new writers, but...

1. Everyone knows you're new here. (You don't have to say it.)

2. If it's actually a new, never before seen fic that's not been on any board before, then yes... It's definitely a new fic. (Otherwise, it's not new. Please don't say it's new.)

3. Sometimes it's better when posting info on your new fic to actually tell people how much you actually have done on the fic to be posted. This can be done in percentages (i.e. 25%, 32%, 81%) or fractions (i.e. 1/3, 1/5, 4/5).

4. Don't make a big production out of the teaser info you do post, because often, the fic doesn't measure up to what the idea's teaser portrayed to the readers. I've seen this happen across the boards. A new writer posts the plot/idea/teaser to the fic itself, then the actual posted story doesn't measure up, the writer gets very few replies, then quits/gives up writing that fic.

If you're a good writer and you know it, you don't have to please anyone but yourself. Writing is supposed to be fun. Make it fun for yourself, then post it to share with others. If they like it, that's great. If they don't, then don't quit because they dislike it.

Keep writing.

You can't really expect a gold cup award on first draft material. If you do win one (Fan Fiction of the Month, for example) using first draft material, then you've done something right.

Anyway, I just wanted to get that out to new writers. Don't surrender your writing efforts just because you aren't getting actual comments to your fic. What really counts, or should count, is the number of Topic Views your topic thread is getting. Number of posts really doesn't matter. Most of your fans may be Guests and not actual members.

This information chart is for entertainment purposes only.
It is not a guide for improving your writing skills.


It's purpose is to list all the things that everyone has noticed across multiple web sites. If you have something to add, then please, by all means, add the thing you've noticed into comments section.

This post of information for fan fictions is only a brief list of topics and explanations that writers may consider before posting a new story, or critics may consider before commenting.

Thank you for reading and please add more suggestions when needed. You will be credited for each added suggestion.
This information chart is for entertainment purposes only.
It is not a guide for improving your writing skills.


It's purpose is to list all the things that everyone has noticed across multiple web sites. If you have something to add, then please, by all means, add the thing you've noticed into comments section.

This post of information for fan fictions is only a brief list of topics and explanations that writers may consider before posting a new story, or critics may consider before commenting.

Thank you for reading and please add more suggestions when needed. You will be credited for each added suggestion.
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