Fanfiction can be a tricky thing to write, depending on the fandom. Fanfiction readers are often very picky people as to what goes into the story and what stays out. Some people can be very judgemental, which is why some writers (like me sometimes) are so afraid to post their stories. But I have learned over the past few years some things that have helped me become more confident in my writing, some that I have seen online and others that I have learned myself. Here are my 7 tips to writing fanfiction.
Be passionate about the fandom your writing about.
Seriously, if you aren’t passionate about the fandom you are writing about, then don’t bother writing about it. I’ve started various Doctor Who fics only to have no motivation or inspiration to write them. The same with Supernatural. Now I love both of those fandoms dearly with all my heart, but I just can’t muster up the strength to write about them. Will I possibly one day start writing about them again? Probably.
If your going to go AU or make a character OOC, note it either before your chapter or in the summary.
I’ve noticed people are picky about this. In my Harry Potter fic, some of the plot is a bit AU (alternate universe), so I mention it in the story summary. If a character is going to act a bit out of character (OOC), its best to state it in the summary before the chapter. That way people know that they aren’t going to be acting the way that they think they are supposed to be. Same goes for AU, put it in there so that people know that some things are going to be different than canon plot.
Note rating changes before chapters or in summaries.
Most of my stories start out as a T rating for swearing and then progress to M for when my characters start becoming sexually active. If its just for a chapter, I usually mention it before the chapter that its a rated M chapter and to only go on if you wish. M doesn’t mean sex entirely, it can also mean violence, abuse, etc. The T rating I usually use for when there is excessive swearing involved. My point is that if you’re going to either change the rating of the whole story or just a chapter, make sure you note it before the chapter starts in a note.
Try not to alter storylines to much.
If writing about a book like Harry Potter which has a definite story line already, don’t alter it to much. I have this problem because I write a Harry Potter fic where I completely added an original female character that directly impacts two major characters – Voldemort (his made up daughter) and Draco Malfoy (his girlfriend). When writing I have to be careful not to alter the story line to much because it will get to AU and drive people away. If you’re going to to do this, you have to make sure that you don’t alter the cannon story line to much.
Sex is great, but don’t overload it.
Seriously, if in every other chapter your characters are having sex, stop. Unless its specifically a smut fic, in which case go for it. But if its not, don’t. There isn’t a need to describe in detail every time your characters have sex. I don’t do it, and not cause I suck at writing smut. Because I know its annoying for me to read, so I don’t want my readers to have to put up with that too.
Keep fandom characters with their original personalities.
Don’t make Draco Malfoy a softie. Even in my story where he is a loving boyfriend he’s still a prick to everyone else. Don’t make Loki a good guy. Even in my story where he’s married (spoiler: in the next chapter he gets married) he’s still a jerk and his good old scheming self. Its okay to bend their personalities a little bit if the plot requires them to act like that to certain people, but don’t just turn them good just because you want them to be good. It won’t match the cannon story line and people will be drawn away from your story.
Just do it, damn it.
This is probably one of the most important things i’ve learned. With every chapter update I get nervous that people won’t like it, but I just learn to get over myself and post the damn update. Because I like doing it, damn it i’m going to write!
I hope thats inspired you to write your story. If you have a story, share it with me! I’ll add it to my reading list! For anyone who is curious about my writing, click here to see them and check them out!