Rules on How to Create a Fanfiction
There are two procedures in which to write a fanfiction.
The first procedure is a standard, basic format and step-to-step guide. As a beginner, it is important for you to try and practice this procedure.
1—Starting the Process:
Pick a movie, book, comic, video game, manga, or anime to write for. There are other types of entertainment, but use some of the more popular ones as your stepping stone to being able to write for more complicated things. The chosen item does not have to be something you are at least somewhat fond of. In this example, we’ll use anime.
2 (optional)—Choosing the Genre:
Choose a genre for your fanfiction. For example: horror, adventure, romance, science fiction. The genre can fit in one or more categories.
**Note: Beginners should avoid reader inserts, which are written in the second person and are sometimes very tricky to master.
3: Do Your Research!:
In whatever fandom you’re writing for, there is this one rule that is ignored by many: do some research. Really. If you’re looking to write about the demonic butlers in the Victorian era of the anime “Black Butler”, then look up demons, butlers and their roles and duties, and the Victorian time period. Look up the time and the history. Find out what the current trends and the need-to-know things of the time. It will make your writing seem more believable. Writing for Hetalia, the anime that is famous for its personified countries? Good! If you’re going to write a World War II fanfiction, then look up World War II, commonly used battle weapons, regions that were heavily hit or involved in the fighting, etc. Or look up the countries themselves, finding as much information as you can about trends and culture.
4—Brainstorming and Creating a Storyline:
Don’t plunge right into the story—first, make an outline. Either come up with your own ideas or use a prompt to help you in this process. You can make it long-winded, but for starters, you can do a one-shot if you’d like. In the outline, put in your events and the descriptions you’d like to add, characters you will introduce, etc. If you want, you could even make a script—for this, see a play or book in the format of a script as your reference (eg: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, etc). Make sure that the events flow nicely and make sense.
**Note: I do not recommend for starters to add “smut/lemon/sex” into their first story. Light implications of these things can be made, but it takes time to train yourself to manage writing hardcore material. It just doesn’t work well with some.
5—Starting the Story:
Write a rough draft of your story on either the computer or on paper. Add description you think you might need. A computer works well for this—on Microsoft Office Word, you can read, reread, and put in what you think you need, whereas on paper, things can get complicated and you might end up drawing arrows and scribbles all over the page. You will want to see if you can read it without tripping up or being unable to recognize your own writing. Pay good attention to spelling and grammar.
6—Writing the Story:
The actual writing up and final draft of a story should be typed up on a computer, if for an online site (good old deviantART, for example) in order to submit it to your gallery. Also, on a computer, you won’t have to write and rewrite if you make a mistake. In order to type up your story quickly and accurately, learn to touch type. This skill helps you to type more quickly (without looking at the keyboard), and you can also keep an eye on what pops up on your monitor that may not be picked up by spell-check. Also, make sure that you do have a spell-check.
**Often Confused: “then” and “than” are two words that are often misused because of people switching them around and using the wrong word. “Then” is a measure of time (when), and “than” is a measure of bigger or smaller (bigger than/smaller than).
7—Editing and Finalising the Draft:
-You may find that when you’ve finished, you have doubts about the quality of your fanfiction. On the other hand, you might think that you’ve done perfectly and that you’ve nothing to worry about. Whatever the circumstances, find someone to edit your fanfiction. With two or more people looking over your story, there’s hardly anything that will go wrong afterwards. Tell them to keep an eye on spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. They’ll tell you what you want to and should fix.
-Try to keep characters in character. There’s a term called “OOC”—out of character, which means that the character you’ve written is acting unlike the original. This will sometimes annoy others, unless it’s deliberately OOC.
-If you’re a first timer, make sure that the story is solid. Don’t leave lines that go nowhere or have no subject or predicate. Watch the grammar, usage of words, and spelling. Look at your storyline and see if it works out.
**Tip: On the list of words to avoid overusing: also. Do not use the word “also” more than once or twice in a paragraph. Also, it sounds… not quite professional. And also, it seems like you’re just using it as a means to fill up space. Oh! And also, one last thing! … see the point?
8—Receiving Your Friends’ Critiques and Putting It All Together:
Once you’ve received feedback on your fanfiction, put do what you need to do. Fix it, add to it within reasonable limits. Once you’ve done all this, then reread it to yourself and proof it one last time. Research does show that it’s harder to read and catch mistakes on a computer than on a paper, so if you fell edgy, print out a copy and read it through, marking things with a red pen. You’re bound to be able to catch a mistake you didn’t see earlier on your computer.
And you’re done! … but read on.
The second procedure is more of instinct than process. This method is what you would use on a free-scale basis—you’re not going to be forcing yourself to write a fanfiction a day. Preferably, it’s not a starter’s choice of procedure, but feel welcome to have a go at it. It can be hard… This process is completely based on inspiration.
The waiting will probably be a while. Or it will come immediately—but chances are, inspiration won’t come by once a day. You may have to be patient for a very, very long time. You might even have forgotten about when suddenly, it hits you: an idea.
2—Write Down That Idea!:
Don’t wait for the time to write it down. Don’t even take a bathroom break before writing it down! You need to put down every single detail that your mind has brought to you. It may take up a whole page, but write it down or risk forgetting a brilliant though.
3—Looking Over The Idea:
This is stupid… should not be the first thing that pops into your head. Read the page you’ve scribbled down for a few minutes, thinking deeply of how this plot works out. Then, rate it. You’ll need to grade what could be the brainstorm’s product and see if this fanfiction will actually work out.
4—Now Put It Together!:
Almost definitely, you’ll know which fandom the idea goes with, since the idea would certainly be created to fit with the personalities and world of the fandom’s characters. If, upon the rare chance that the idea doesn’t have anything to go with, then choose an anime, manga, show, movie, etc. It should be something that you can work well with.
5—Handling The Rest:
Follow steps 2-8 for the first procedure.
And keep reading…
The Final Step—Now… You’re Ready to Publish to deviantART!:
deviantART has been waiting for your spectacular entry! Let’s now take the step to “publishing”, or submitting, your fanfiction to deviantART. Although you won’t be criticised for doing one or the other, there are two categories that you’re free to choose from: “Literature” and “Fanart”.
You might be thinking, “Why fanart?”, but don’t ask yet. Instead, follow these steps first, and go to the submission page. Then, click on the button in the first section you see. It’s a small, blue link labeled: “Enter Text”. This will allow you to copy and paste what you have from Microsoft Office onto your computer.
Now give it a “Mature Content” rating, or you won’t be able to publish to deviantART. Add tags if you want your story to be easily searched on the website, but don’t overdo the tags.
To choose the category, mosey on down to the “Categories” sections. Scroll down to find “Fanart”. If you click on this, go left into the next box and click on “Fanfiction”. Then choose the genre of your piece.
Click on “Literature”, located directly beneath “Fanart”. Then choose the genre of your piece.
Now, submit to deviantART!
**Tip: Careful with your formatting on deviantART. Be sure to separate paragraphs where necessary in order to allow your reader to skim through it easily. One "enter" button on a keyboard is not skipping a line on deviantART. Two "enter"'s will skip one line, whereas one "enter" will jump to the next line.
You’ve been published to deviantART! Congratulations! The only thing left to do now is to wait for other deviants to comment and give feedback on your fanfiction. From there on, take their comments and tone your skills. I promise you that which good practice and hard work, you’ll soon become a successful fanfiction writer!