Posted in essay, fanfiction, writing

Fandom Writing Starter Kit: Pre-Production

The work that goes into writing fanfiction is not often different from the work that goes into making original short stories and longer novels.  The main difference is that fanfiction has material and a world it is already based on.  Professional fanfiction is an actual thing.  The hundreds of Jane Austen continuations and adaptations alone could prove that.  As mentioned in an earlier section, the Aeneid is basically fanfiction of Homer.  But I don’t anyone would tell Virgil that he hadn’t put his share of work into that story.

There are different things people do before writing a story.  Some people have a scene or story so clear in their minds that they sit down and write the whole thing in one go.  Others need planning, and some need research to develop its unique elements.  The ‘pre-production’ stage of writing may include some of the following:

The Plot Bunny

The Plot bunny is not exclusive to fanfiction, though that is where I hear it most.  Its that spark of a story that is stuck in your head that you want to develop or get written down.  The what if voice.

I was once part of a college writing club and one of the members decided to draw a plot bunny once.  It was a drunk plot bunny because sometimes it seems like that idea is a little drunk at first, especially when its only pieces and you aren’t sure how to figure it out quite yet.

I actually have a file on my computer just for the random ideas, both fanfiction and original fiction, that pass through my brain.  Some will never be written.  Others will be picked up down the road.  Its sometimes useful just to get the general idea written out to clear out your mind and let you focus on the stories you are actively working on.

Sometimes carrying a notebook with you to jot inspiration or notes down helps too.

The Outline

Sometimes an outline is useful.  There are many different kinds of outlines out there, and maybe one day I’ll write a whole post just on the different kinds.  Some just do bullet points, others do outlines in such detail they could hand those notes over to someone else and let them do the actual writing.

For me it depends on the story.  Some stories, particularly short one-shots and 500 words or less drabbles (we will get into that next post) don’t really need an outline.  It is helpful if you have a long fic planned and need to meet certain elements along the way to the conclusion.

Outlines can also be helpful if you need to do research

Find out what is best for you.

Finding a writing nook

Well, that is a little misleading.  What I mean by this is finding a spot (or spots) where you can write comfortably.  Everyone needs different things.  I like to write with music, so I go find places to settle down where I can play my music.

Some people need fresh pencils, others need their laptop.  Find out what works for you.  If you are uncomfortable its not going to be a good writing session.

Once you find a spot, and know what you are writing, then its time to get writing.


One | Two | Three

Four | Five

Posted in essay, fanfiction, writing

Fandom Writing Starter Kit: The Disclaimer

You may have noticed amongyour travels of the fanfiction archives out there that many stories had disclaimers.  Sites that fanfiction only tend not to have them as its generally known that the site is a collection of trans-formative works.  But its important to know what a disclaimer is and why you should use one, especially if you are posting a site that is not purposely for Fanfic

A disclaimer is a message where the writer reminds whoever is reading of several things.  One is that it is done for enjoyment, not profit (fanfiction is primarily a volunteer/non-paid hobby).  Two that the writer is giving credit when credit is due.  Three, That the writer respects other writers enough to know how to source material.

So in more depth: Continue reading “Fandom Writing Starter Kit: The Disclaimer”

Posted in essay, fanfiction, writing

Fandom Writing Starter Kit: Lets Talk Canon

As I mentioned in my previous article, each fandom has a canon.  It depends on the fandom itself what is considered canon. In sports, their canon might be the rules and regulations that the sport runs by.  In a fandom such as Star Wars some fans may consider only the films canon, others might include the extensive extended universe tie in novels.   Game of Thrones fans might consider their canon either the show or the books, or attempt to meld the two.

There are other choices other then strict canon, such as fanon, semi-canon, Alternate Universe, and of course non-canon.

Continue reading “Fandom Writing Starter Kit: Lets Talk Canon”

Posted in fanfiction, general, writing

Writing deadines

I decided to try posting from my phone as I won’t always be with my laptop.   This app is new to me so I’m not sure how to access my drafts to give you the next part of my fandom starter kit series.   But I will talk about

Writing is my hobby right now but part of me wishes I could do it as more then a hobby.   To write professionally.   However that would mean being about to put out more then one book per decade.  I have many ideas but sadly not many get past the preproduction stage.

One of my goals this year is to stop procrastinating and get some stories done,  both in my original collection and in my Fanfiction group.   If I ever want to make it to being a credible author I must be able to finish something and not leave people in a lurch 12 chapters in.

One of my tasks this week will be taking an inventory of my works,  both in progress and completed.   Then making a list of stories that need finished.   Probably in order of how complete it is.

And I also need to find beta readers who can keep on me about deadlines.

So hopefully when next January comes around I can claim I finished a lot.


Unless Max decides I can not.
Posted in essay, fanfiction, writing

Fandom Writing Starter Kit: Terminology

Whenever you first start reading fanfiction, you’ll see various terms used to describe what you are about to read.  Its important to understand some of these terms, especially when you are posting your own stories.  People look for certain things when they are reading, and its always good to describe your story in a way that will make them understand what they are looking at.  Here are some multi-fandom general terms.

Continue reading “Fandom Writing Starter Kit: Terminology”

Posted in essay, fanfiction, writing

Fandom Writing Starter Kit: An Introduction

I started this series on Bubblews, but instead of a direct transfer, as I actually lost the copy, I’m starting a new.  So it’s  fresh version of an old post.

For those who are newbies to Fandoms in general, a fandom is a collection of fans who share a similar love for a show, movie, book, band, sports team, etc.  Although you often don’t hear people refer to sports as a fandom, it essentially is one.  Any time a group of people gather and enjoy the same entertainment, it’s a fandom.

Fandom writing therefore is fan created works relating to the be-fanned subject.  This is more popular in fandoms that are based on books, tv shows, and movies then other fandoms, but they still exist.  And it usually comes in two types: Meta & Fan-Fiction. Mainly in this series of articles I will be focusing on the latter. Continue reading “Fandom Writing Starter Kit: An Introduction”

Posted in fanfiction, ncis, stargate, writing

Ponderings: AUs

After school let out for the summer I decided to go through my computer and finish the unfinished stories and start getting them moved over to the “Look how much crap I have written” Disk.  I opened the NCIS folder, having decided to start there and realized I had six unfinished stories. All of them were AUs in the sense that Kate Todd never dies in my stories (except in the Doom Fic, which she actually only dies for a few minutes) but I wondered if I should actually call them AUs.  For examples, I shall list the summaries of these WIPs.

1. Dirty Deeds

Basically I’m writing a cliché.  Kate and Tony have a one-night stand the night before his wedding to Bianca (an OC).  Much angst is held because Tony is confused, Kate feels guilt and confusion, Abby and the rest of the gang are wondering why the hell Tony is getting married and Bianca has issues of her own.  AU because Kate is alive and Tony is actually getting married, but still staying close to canon.

2. As the World Falls Down

Kate & Tony (are you getting my ship for this fandom yet?) babysit Tony’s half-sister.  Kate has a strange dream inspired by Labyrinth and decides to make a move on Tony.   It starts off as a fluffy one-shot but Abby & Tim wanted their turn. So its more.  AU Kate but stays close to canon

3. The Christmas AU 1

Tony and Kate spend Christmas together during the great Snow-in. Canon AU

4. The Christmas AU 2

Jen, Kate and Ziva own a book store.  Ari is a patient at a mental facility where he is watched over by Dr. Leon Vance. Ducky runs a clinic with Gerald and Jimmy, Paula Cassidy a jewelry store, Cassie Yates a drug store, Tony a movie rental place and Abby a computer repair center.  Tim is a writer known for spending time at the book store.  I forget what I have Gibbs doing.  AU AU

5.  Untitled

Tony decides to take a job in LA for a few months to put distance between himself and Kate.  This is how She realizes how much Tony actually does within the group dynamic.  AU season 3

6. The One with a Casino

Jen owns a casino. Ari wants her casino, so he sends his best man Peter to try and blackmail and otherwise terrorize a stubborn Jen out of the casino.  Kate is a PI (partnered with Tony) and comes to work undercover to catch Ari & Peter in the act. Gibbs is Jen’s wealthy but retired boyfriend, Ducky and Jimmy bartenders, Ziva is head of security, and McGee is a frequent customer to the table where Abby is the dealer.

There is more (including, I think, a McAbby ficlet) but I will stop there. Especially since this is supposed to be a reading/writing original fic journal. But the point is most of those stick to canon in the sense that they have the same missions, the same things happen to people, but its altered slightly by the fact that Kate (and at times Jen) lived to see another season.  But then I also have the Casino and Bookshop fics.  If its AU to have Kate alive, what do I call fics where its not even in the same setting as the original product.

What if I have Rodney and John as professors at Atlantis University instead of who they are on the show?  Do I call that Au or do I have another label for it.  Or what if I write a fic where Vala never got off the Prometheus the first time?

So what I am asking my few readers is How do you define an AU and whats canon fic.

Posted in fanfiction, Pet Peeves, writing

The Author Note

I read tons of fan fiction in my free time. And over time I have come across some things that have made me want to bang my head against the wall.  Sometimes it was atrocious spelling (if its worse then my own, its really really bad, believe me), other times it could be the lack of capitals or punctuation.  And often it is the author notes.

Author notes are for the purpose of speaking to the reader about whatever it is your story that isn’t explained within the story itself, or answering a common question in reviews for the last trouble, or even making a note about the song you listened to or an excuse why its late. I usually include people who helped in the brainstorming and beta’ing of the story.  It belongs at the top and/or bottom of your chapter.

Where it does not belong is in the middle of it.  Over the last couple of months I have constantly come across stories where I’m into the story and get thrown out because the author decided to stick an author’s note into a paragraph.  I spend a few minutes glaring at said author’s note and continue on.  On occasion I have found fics riddled with author notes.

As a reader I am begging the writers:  Please keep the notes to the start or the finish.  If you feel you need to explain something, put an asterisk or a number ala footnotes and explain it later.  Or just explain it in the opening notes. 

When its in the middle of your story it throws the reader off.  Its like floating through a river and suddenly a rock appears.  Also, half the author notes within the story I have seen tend to be commentary rather then explanations.  If you want to do that, do a fic commentary like people do for television shows.   I find the “And he danced to the hokey pokey. (A/N: I love that song!)” to be greatly annoying.

Also, if you feel something needs to be explained, have another character explain it.

I don’t want to sound mean or make it sound like those who do this aren’t good writers.  All I am saying is that I have stopped reading fics before because of excessive internal author notes.  Keep them to the before or after area, and not the during, please.