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How to be a fanfiction writer

2024-04-15

Embarking on the journey of becoming a fanfiction writer can be an exciting adventure, especially for those who are passionate about a particular piece of media. However, it can also be daunting and confusing for beginners. Here are some tips that can help you make this transition smoother and more fulfilling.

Find Your Fandom

The first step to becoming a fanfiction writer is to find your fandom, or the community of fans for a particular book, TV show, movie, etc. This is where you will be writing about characters and plots that already exist. Passion is key here. Try to find a fandom that you feel deeply connected to and this will translate to your writing.

How to be a fanfiction writer

Being part of a fandom not only gives you access to ideas and inspirations but also helps you to engage with like-minded people who can provide feedback and encouragement. They share similar interest and passion, they become your first readers, and you might just make some lifelong friends.

Read Other Fanfictions

The next step is to read as much fanfiction as possible. This will give you a sense of the styles, genres, and topics popular within the fandom. Look at the popular stories and see what they do well. Understanding what already exists in your chosen fandom will give you a clearer idea about what your audience might want.

Moreover, you can learn a lot from other writers. Pay attention to how they structure their stories, their characterization, dialogue, pacing, and so on. All these will help to hone your writing skills.

Choose Your Platform

Next, choose where to share your writing. Websites like FanFiction.Net and Archive of Our Own are great places to start. Both provide a wide range of fandoms, are user-friendly, and have large active communities. The choice depends on the specific needs and preferences. For instance, Archive of Our Own is often lauded for its extensive tagging system that allows for intricate story categorization.

Alternatively, Tumblr and Wattpad are also popular choices, each with its own unique features. Wattpad, for example, is known for its social network-like system where writers can gain followers, whereas Tumblr's blog format allows for easy shareability of chapters and fanart.

Know Your Characters and Universe

Your story would be based on an already set world with pre-defined characters. Your readers are familiar with these characters, so it becomes imperative to maintain the essence of these characters. Study them closely, understand their personality, their motivations, how they interact with others, and how they handle various situations.

The universe or the settings of the story is equally important. It could be anything from a wizarding world to a space odyssey. Make sure you understand its rules, norms, culture, politics, geography, history, and so forth. This will add authenticity to your story and maintain the continuity and believability of your fanfiction.

Further Insights

Following these initial steps, writers can choose to explore specific genres, themes, or focusing on certain relationships or scenarios. As you progress, keep in mind the importance of maintaining character consistency, seeking constructive feedback, and respecting copyright laws and community guidelines in each platform. It's always a learning curve, so be patient with yourself.

Lastly, enjoy the process. Writing fanfiction is a creative outlet, a way to delve deeper into the stories and characters you adore. It isn't about achieving perfection, but to discover and express your passion and creativity. And who knows, you just might inspire someone else to write their own fanfiction.

FAQ

Q: Is it necessary to have a deep understanding of the original work to write fanfiction?
A: While it's not strictly necessary, it does help in maintaining consistency in the characters and the universe you're writing in. It can also prevent potential contradictions in your story.

Q: How do you avoid copyright infringement when writing fanfiction?
A: As long as you're not profiting from your work (i.e., selling it) and you're acknowledging the original source material, you should be fine. Always respect the intellectual property rights of original creators.

Q: How can I get more people to read my fanfiction?
A: Make use of the tags and categories on your chosen platform, and network within your fandom. Participating in fandom spaces, commenting on other people's stories, and engaging with your readers can help build up your audience.

References

FanFiction.Net. Available at: www.fanfiction.net.
Archive of Our Own. Available at: archiveofourown.org.
Wattpad. Available at: www.wattpad.com.
How to Write Fanfiction. (n.d.). WikiHow. Available at: www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Fanfiction.

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