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  1. WriterodLife1994
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    WriterodLife1994 Member

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    Writing fanfiction that's not written as fanfiction

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by WriterodLife1994, Aug 15, 2015.

    I right a lot of fanfiction, and it's an easier genre I think, for beginners because it allows for a lot of the mistakes that rookies tend to make, like not being all that descriptive or not giving enough background, because a lot of the time that stuff can be assumed in fanfiction, Fans of whatever the fanfiction is about will be able to picture someone or somewhere (as long as they are canon to the source material) just by naming them.

    But I want to write fanfiction that people can enjoy even if they aren't familiar with the material I'm basing it on... I want them to be able to picture it in their minds like a movie even if they aren't fans themselves (yet).

    How do I do that without boring the people who don't require all that description?
     
  2. VioletKnight
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    VioletKnight Member

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    You don't. Fanfiction is for fans of the work, or at least that's who you should be targeting.

    The material is out there, and there's probably enough information on wikis and TVtropes to let them get an understanding (although it depends on which work). If someone is interested enough in you, they can figure it out without you telling them
     
  3. rainy_summerday
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    rainy_summerday Active Member

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    I agree with VioletKnight.

    Also, people who will read your fanfiction will have probably read loads before. They get fed up with authors describing the appearance of the main character, believe me. There is nothing more horrible than to be told again and again that Sherlock has got curly black hair (BBC adaptation), or that Harry Potter has got a scar on his forehead. Fans will not enjoy your descriptive style.
    If you feel like training your skills of description, maybe have a go at surroundings which are not completely canon. Like a usually neglected room.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
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  4. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds like you might just be outgrowing the need to write fanfic and you just need to start writing your own. What's stopping you? Have fun with fanfic, and then also work on your own and have fun painting the pictures in your readers' heads :)
     
  5. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you ever googled "misconceptions about fanfiction," by any chance?
     
  6. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find myself on the other side of this argument. Kind of.

    I am not a fan of fan-fiction. For a couple reasons. One in my experience the plot tends to be more wish-fulfilment rather in genuinely good plot. Two I find it rude to write seriously about characters that aren't yours without permission. To be clear though I am not saying fan fiction is bad or the writers of it are bad just that it isn't my cup of tea.

    That being said I believe you can write it at a much better level. How? I think you answered your own questions. By having correct description and giving enough background information to allow it be stand alone, ext.

    Here is the thing. Because you might ask as the others have pointed out "Wouldn't that be an information dump and or annoy readers. Because fans know this and non fans might not care?"

    Well the thing is. I consider a good writer to be one that can weave there page so well that the reader is interested in spite of lots of information being given. Or a good writer being one that knows how to give the correct context. Whatever story we read, ever opens on characters we never seen before we opened the story. All those writers write it in a way that captures are attention without context. Because at the heart fan fiction like any fiction should be about capturing the character.

    And yes you can have some that obviously ties into the events of the original material and that fan fiction will need context to be liked but why cant the reverse be true? Why can't you write a story that isn't tied directly to an event in the original material and could be understood by anyone? If you do that and you write the characters correctly and well. You might just in-spire someone to look into the material.
     
  7. rainy_summerday
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    rainy_summerday Active Member

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    I do not quite agree with GuardianWynn. Of course, descriptions are important, too, but not in the way you would apply them in a novel. Descriptions are most useful for deviating from the canon, e.g. if your Harry Potter is anorexic, by all means, describe his appearance. However, you will not find the reader to be very patient if you go all out and describe in detail how many towers Hogwarts has got. Unless something horrible happened to one of them in your story.

    Evidently, everybody has their own take on a character, and then describing your version of the character is important. But usually, you have to start at some point in the canon, the point from which your story deviates from the canon. And there is nothing more annoying that authors which go into full description mode about something that you already have a clear picture of. At the very beginning of every fanfiction, you have got a character, which your readers must be able to identify as the canon one. That is one of the core principles imo.
     
  8. WriterodLife1994
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    WriterodLife1994 Member

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    I agree with GuardianWynn that fanfictions often have thin, off the wall plots that function more as wish fulfillment than anything else, that's why to be honest I'm more a fan of writing it than reading it. For heaven's sake most people on the fanfiction site I usually use to post my stories barely proof-read theirs. That being said, there are usually gems and diamonds in the rough to be found and I try my best to make sure my own writing falls in that category, to me that means writing it to where it is barely, propped up by the source material, by that I mean that someone who knows nothing of the television or books it is based on, could still like it and afterward might want to check out this material that I loved enough to write my own stories about. I just want to do it without boring veteran fans like myself.
     
  9. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    That isn't quite what I mean. Re-reading my post I didn't quite capture the meaning I meant too.

    What I mean is good writing writes description in a way that doesn't stop the story. So yes pausing and giving a full description would bore people that know what he looks like but it would also bore me. I don't want a story to pause and fully describe a character head to toe. Be it a novel with one thousand pages or a one page short story.

    The OP was saying that fan fiction relays on people knowing some context so they don't write context. I was trying to say good writing is about fitting context into the story in a way that doesn't pause the story. So it isn't about simply adding it. But adding it at correct moments in correct amounts.

    I am not that familiar with Harry Potter or at least not at great levels but if someone did a fan fiction of him at home with his family he doesn't like. They might skip the relationship expecting the reader to already know it. I think this is bad from both points of view. Skipping needed detail because you expect I already know it is I think bad even if you are correct. It is a missed story element based on fear of boring me. Good writing is about inserting that story detail without boring me. Describing that relationship doesn't have to be an information dump. One could as example since they are writing anyhow reference a new event that recently happened that explained the context of there relationship. A fan would recognize the characters through these actions and hopefully enjoy it. While someone new to the material could still recognize the actions on a stand alone basis and as such understand the relationship. I think this would improve be an example of good fan fiction. Especially if the style matched the material so well that a person could then read Harry Potter and didn't see any conflict with the fan-fiction and the real material.

    Does that make sense?

    Oh yeah I don't mean to imply that all fan fiction is bad either. Which is why I argue it can be good. I have created fan fiction(mentally. Never took the time to write it) but I knew it was wish-fulfillment; which was the main fun element but I realized as such it was more for just me. ;)

    My above passage I think describes a good way to write it stand alone while at the same time has an approach that won't bore veterans. Though remember fans like the original for different reasons. So your material may only have pieces of that. Meaning don't feel bad if not everyone approves. Some people like the mellow-drama family moments. Some hate it and are just waiting for the action. lol If that makes sense?
     
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  10. WriterodLife1994
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    WriterodLife1994 Member

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    That makes perfect sense... right now I'm actually trying to reboot a Criminal Minds/NCIS cross-over that I wrote back when I was a Senior in High School, now an incoming Junior in University, I look back and am flabbergasted and embarrassed by just how bad my writing used to be... (classic badly written fanfiction) So I'm trying to fix it.... I just don't want to over-fix it if you know what I mean. The shows are in the same genre so there's a lot of fan-base overlap, plus they're pretty natural cross-over candidates so there's a lot of cross-overs of these two out there... but that doesn't necessarily mean I can count on people knowing both shows well enough that I can just name drop characters and locations... which was one of my major issues last time along with some pretty glaring time-line wrinkles and some dialogue that sounded more like 17 yr old me than it did Gibbs or Reid or any of the rest of them for that matter.
     
  11. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol. Do you mean purple prose by over fix it?

    Also I love NCIS but I am not that found of Criminal Minds. NCIS was just fun. Criminal Minds always felt way too "preachy" for my taste like the guys needlessly being overly serious and or overly gritty. NCIS had serious characters and moments but it always balanced it with light heartedness such as when they were hoping for a case to get out of the sexual harrasment lecture. I mean you have to realize at that moment they were hoping someone died so they didn't have to attend a meeting. That is funny and really dark when you pause on it. I don't see Criminal Minds doing that. Not to say it is a bad show.

    Rather saying if you do a cross-over I would rather see the clash of these ideas than seeing them work together. Not sure if that is what you focused on previously. But an example I can so see Gips slapping someone in the back of the head and the Criminal Mind crew being like "What the hell?" lol.

    Also side note. My personal rant: I always felt Criminal Minds ripped off NCIS with there techy. It felt like they tried to do there version of Abby. There can only be one ABBY! MEW HA HA! Though in a cross over they would probably get along. lol
     
  12. WriterodLife1994
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    WriterodLife1994 Member

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    Actually, I don't know how much you watched of CM, but they have their own brand of hilarity... and yeah some of the dynamic is mirrored, but it's not quite as rip off like as it first appears, and absolutely Abby and Garcia would be best of friends, so would Reid and McGee or even Garcia and McGee... and in the story, (which I will post for review in workshop as soon as I've been here long enough) they are working together, but their different methods of doing things will come out in the course of that somewhat, it's just not the main focus because it doesn't make sense for the plot... the case is important enough to both teams that they kind of have to put their differences aside...
     
  13. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah. I only saw a little of Criminal Minds. So far enough. But then again, the reason I didn't watch more is because I didn't feel that balance. But maybe I didn't like it or saw bad episodes it is possible.

    In either case good luck on your writing. :D
     
  14. WriterodLife1994
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    WriterodLife1994 Member

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    Anyway, I want this fanfiction to feel like a cross over special that the network could have actually done, not just the musings of a nerdtastic fangirl
     
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  15. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    What are your favorite cross-over fics?
     
  16. WriterodLife1994
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    WriterodLife1994 Member

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    There was one of the same shows where both teams went on separate team/family bonding trips but ended up camping in the same area and from there hilarity ensues
     
  17. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Nope. But then I have no interest in fanfic. I prefer to write my own worlds and characters and have never had the desire to be restricted by the rules and set up of someone else's story.
     
  18. WriterodLife1994
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    WriterodLife1994 Member

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    Fanfiction is designed to allow for breaking those rules, you can do anything you want with fanfiction, although good fanfiction makes it plausible at least.
     
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