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  #1    
Old July 1st, 2013, 08:09 PM
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I am new to fanfiction, and was wondering if anyone could teach me/ help me learn how to write a decent fanfiction. Also, would I be able to make a hack using my fanfiction as the storyline?
  #2    
Old July 1st, 2013, 08:15 PM
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To your question about making a hack using your fanfiction as a story, yes. People use their hacks to write fanfiction, so the opposite can be true as well.

As for learning how to write a decent fanfiction, you're going to have to be more specific than that. There are so many different parts to writing that there would be a lot to cover, and there's no handy step-by-step guide to really get started.

Or maybe...

Do you have an idea in mind for what you want to write about?
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Old July 1st, 2013, 08:38 PM
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I started a fanfiction on my own, but I only have 2 paragraphs done... I am really just writing whatever comes to my mind for the story. I also have one basic storyline for a hack I would like to make that could be developed on...
  #4    
Old July 1st, 2013, 08:49 PM
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All right. So you've at least started. That's always a plus!

Next question: what in particular do you need help on? Is it how to figure out what happens in your story? Writing good characters? Grammar and spelling? Getting the words to come from head to keyboard?

Since you have an idea and already worked on it for a bit, you might see what you're having problems with. If you have specific ones, those are easier to advise for than trying to cover everything.
  #5    
Old July 1st, 2013, 08:53 PM
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Spoiler:
Adraer walked out of his home in the middle of the night. He felt an unfarmiliar presence in the field. He spun to his left as he heard the cracking of a stick. “There's something out here,” he said to himself. Adraer slowly crept towards the noise. When the source of the noise was but a yard away, Adraer lunged forward, through the bramble, at the place where the stick broke. There was a mysterious figure sprawled on the bed of leaves created by autumn. Adraer leaned forward and lifted the it. It had a human-like shape, but was small, like a child. Adraer began to walk back towards his home. When he had walked about halfway back to his house, the figure made a spastic movement and hit Adraer on the head. Adraer stumbled, dropping the animal.
“Ri-riolu,” said the figure, as it charged Adraer. Adraer rolled out of the way, narrowly escaping the animal's attack. It leaped into the air, and plunged back at Adraer. Adraer ran to escape the blow. The animal hit the ground with a thump, and didn't move. Adraer slowly removed his shirt, and stuffed the animal into it. He tied the shirt up, and returned inside. Going back to his room, Adraer threw the shirt into his closet. Adraer went back to sleep.

The next morning, Adraer showed the shirt to his mother. His mother, being deathly afraid of Pokemon, shouted, “GET OUT! LEAVE THIS HOUSE WITH THAT HIDEOUS THING!” Adraer, very scared, ran away, to ____ Town. When he got there, he was still running. He ran into a man in a lab coat, and knocked him over.
“Hey, what'd you do that for?” asked the man.
“Sorry, I'm just in a hurry to get away from home,” Adraer said, while opening the shirt to show the man what was in it, “my mom was angry and shouted at me to leave the house with it.”
“Come to my lab with me,” said the man, “I think I can help you.”
“Ok,” said Adraer, following the man back to the lab.

That's what I've written so far... I think I need a little help with figuring out what happens, but more with writing good characters...
  #6    
Old July 1st, 2013, 09:56 PM
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With figuring out what can happen next, perhaps try the second post of the Plot Bunny Thread sticky. What's written there offers some advice on plotting out your story. Consider also how character may react to events, as that can help you continue with the plot. 'Okay, so my character might do this, which'll mean that that would happen, so...'

With writing good characters, there's a few aspects to it. There's physical appearance for one - knowing if the character is big or small, maybe some distinguishing features about them, and so forth, can help the reader visualise them better as they are reading. But another important - if not more so at times - point is personality - what the person is like. How they'd act to various events, how they act, and so forth. That's an important thing to build up.

However with those details it's important not to tell the reader facts, but rather show them that. For one, it's usually more enjoyable to read the latter, and two it can help the reader imagine how the character acts. Taking this line for a moment:
Quote:
His mother, being deathly afraid of Pokemon, shouted, “GET OUT! LEAVE THIS HOUSE WITH THAT HIDEOUS THING!” Adraer, very scared, ran away, to ____ Town.
You do a bit of showing in here - the fact the mother shouts in all caps and Adraer chooses to run away is showing, but otherwise the majority of this is telling. You state that the mother is deathly afraid of Pokemon, and that Adraer was 'very scared'. Better ways to convey that information is to describe what these character do, which can allude the reader to those facts.

If the mother is scared for instance, what does she do (besides shout loudly)? She could for instance turn pale, or stumble back the moment she sees the Pokemon. As for the boy, there's a lot of ways to indicate if someone is scared or not. Hunched posture, or shrinking away from what they are scared of, sweating/gulping/breathing differently, and so forth.

So in a way, characterisation has some things to do with description, because the latter can help give the reader a better sense about the former. That's not all there is to it too, such as if the characterisation of the character is consistent, and how that matches (or doesn't match!) the plot, and if the character changes during the story (ie character development). If Johnny goes on an adventure and remains the same at the end of it all, then that's not often going to appear realistic or interesting.


  #7    
Old July 2nd, 2013, 02:20 AM
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You're asking a pretty loaded queston there.

My two bits about characters:

Character need to be realistic. It's sensible for a hypothetical person to think like your character thinks and do what your character does in the fic, and "sensible" includes being consistent both with the character's other actions and thoughts and with the character's background and experiences. This is the core of characterization. I highly recommend that for main and major characters in your story, you make up the character's background story, whether you actually feel it necessary to include that background in the story or not. Then you just need to go psychological: how would the things that happened to your character in the past affect the way he or she is at the time the story happens?

Though avoid Mary Sue at all costs. Know their weakness and flaws. A flaw is something that makes a character less perfect. It can be anything from personality issue, appearance, lack of cleverness, anything. A weakness is something that makes a character less powerful. Maybe they have a bad leg, or are stupid, a sort of kryptonite if you will. A weakness is something that be used against you, a flaw is something that someone can judge you on.

Look at any great character in history, say Achilles. Ever heard of an Achilles' heel? Achilles was the perfect warrior. He was literally unstoppable. But he had one weak spot. His heel. One shot to the heel and he's down and out for the count, but that's not what ended him. Instead it was his own hubris (pride) that got the better of him. His heel was a weakness, his pride was his flaw. See how that works?

There are some things that I'd like to point out that most new writers have a hard time with.

1. Format

Fanfiction isn't written like a book. Fanfics are read online (mostly), which means your reader will be looking at a lit screen while reading your story. You want to make it as easy as possible for the reader to follow. Standard format for a fanfiction is to put a full space in between each paragraph. For an example, look at a story from an experienced writer and follow their lead.

2. Grammar

We're all human, and a good number of us don't write for a living. Typos happen and no one expects a fic to be completely grammatically sound. They do, however, want to read a work that is at least grammatically acceptable. Use spellcheck.

3. Dialogue

Learn how to punctuate and write dialogue. It can be confusing at first, but you'll be better for it in the end. Some people, like yours truly, can really get taken out of a story by bad dialogue, and especially bad dialogue punctuation. (Spellcheck helps a bit)

4. Avoid 'perfect' characters

Or Mary Sues. Avoid them.

5. Perspective

Perspective is how the reader associates with the story. There are quite a few different perspectives, but the main ones would be first and third person. The one most people used to is third person.

If you're new to writing just start writing in a perspective that is comfortable for you. Just make sure you stick with whatever perspective you've chosen throughout the entire fic. Tense goes here as well.

6. Reviews

Don't beg for reviews, it will do the exact opposite of what you want.

7. Get a Beta Reader

Even the greatest authors have beta readers. A beta can help you from simple editing, to helping you through the creative process. A beta will be an experienced writer that will take time out of their schedule to help you, and it's free!

Now a few tips on posting your story:

THE SUMMARY: Your summary is the way to attract new readers, it is what will make people want to read your story in the first place. A summary that says little or a poorly-written summary will turn people off.

IMPORTANCE OF FIRST CHAPTER: The first chapter is BY FAR the MOST IMPORTANT in the entire story. Especially when it comes to fanfiction. Trust me. I have one main story that's currently the seventh most reviewed in its particular fandom. The first chapter? It has THOUSANDS more views than any of the other twenty chapters. Most readers, if not enthralled by the first chapter, WILL NOT CONTINUE THE READING. It doesn't need to be the perfect most awesome thing ever, but it does need to have some sort of hook to keep readers interested.

Last edited by Phantom; August 16th, 2013 at 05:15 PM.
  #8    
Old July 2nd, 2013, 04:20 AM
Cutlerine
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You ask how to figure out what happens next, and how to write a good character. Those are two pretty big questions, and the short answer to both is that there isn't an exact answer.

Let's take 'figuring out what happens next' first. Some people plot their story meticulously before writing it; if you take this approach, there's no need for you to worry about figuring out what happens next. Others (like me) have a vague idea of where the story needs to end up, and of a few important things that need to happen, and have no plan at all for the rest of the time - which necessitates, of course, figuring out what happens next.

There's no one way to work out what it is that happens next, but you can start by asking yourself what's already happened. Has something happened that should define what happens next? For example, your character has found a wounded Riolu. So he's going to go and get it healed, presumably. And therefore something else is going to happen in consequence; I can't define what exactly, but you, knowing your setting, probably can, if you think about it a bit. The point is, by thinking about what the events you've described already might cause, you can start to come up with what happens next.

And, of course, if you really can't think of what happens next, go away and do something else. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, that approach works for me when I've written myself into a corner and need a way out - I go away and sew for a bit, or sculpt, or anything other than writing, and an hour and a half later, when I've completely forgotten about the story, an idea comes into my head.

In terms of characterisation, Phantom's outlined the basics (making sure the character acts consistently, like an actual person) and given you one method for making a reasonable character - that of coming up with their backstory beforehand. That's a good way of doing it, and probably one of the most reliable. (If not the most fun.) Just make sure that once you have that backstory, you don't necessarily shovel bits of it into the main narrative - remembering to keep in mind what bobandbill said about showing and telling; the character must act in accordance with their personality traits, but the reader's smart enough not to need to be told what those traits are.

I'll also say something about physical appearance here, since a lot of new writers seem to go totally overboard in describing people: it isn't all that necessary. Countless great novels have been written with hardly any mention of the protagonists' appearance except when they have a necessarily distinguishing feature, (e.g. a missing eye). That's not to say you ought to stay away from that sort of description, but it's good to keep in mind that readers usually subconsciously compose characters' appearances out of aspects of people they've met, whether or not you describe them. If you do choose to go for a more extensive physical description, don't dump it on the reader all at once; insert it piece by piece as each feature of the character's appearance becomes relevant. For instance, describing hair colour only when that hair is being brushed aside or cut, or describing eye colour only when those eyes are locked on the the protagonist's own and sending a chill of fear down their spine. (Or whatever.)

OK, that was meant to be short, but I rambled on and on like an adventurous cow. Sorry about that.

Anyway, here's some more general advice for writing: read and write. A lot.

No, more than that. A whole lot.

Aiming to improve certain areas - grammar, characterisation, etc - is good, and it will help show you how to go about crafting stories, but writing, like all skills, improves with use. Keep doing it, and you'll get better at it - perhaps not as noticeably as if you really strive to refine a certain area of your writing, but much more consistently. That's not to say you shouldn't try to think of your characters as realistic people, or learn how to punctuate dialogue, but none of it sticks half as well as when you put it into action; that way, all the various tricks you have to juggle when writing become natural. Eventually.

Also, reading. For a start, reading fiction is an excellent way of intuiting grammatical rules - I have never been taught grammar, for instance, and yet I know enough about it that I can teach (and have taught) non-native English speakers how it works. It also gives you an insight into how plotting and characterisation works, or even just show you a few nice little narrative devices. I almost never read a decent story, poem or play without finding at least two or three excellent tricks I'd never thought to use before.

That's not to say you need to look for these things specifically when reading; if you read enough, they'll make their way into your head without noticing.

This has been a much longer post than I intended. I have completely lost sight of where I started, and can only offer my apologies for its length and a hope that somewhere in here is something that's helpful.

F.A.B.

For information about A Grand Day Out, a bizarre short story in video game form, click here.
  #9    
Old July 2nd, 2013, 06:38 AM
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Okay. I worked on the story a bit, and edited the beginning.
Spoiler:
Adraer walked out of his home in the middle of the night. He felt an unfarmiliar presence in the field. He spun to his left as he heard the cracking of a stick. “There's something out here,” he said to himself. Adraer slowly crept towards the noise. When the source of the noise was but a yard away, Adraer lunged forward, through the bramble, at the place where the stick broke. There was a mysterious figure sprawled on the bed of leaves created by autumn. Adraer leaned forward and lifted the it. It had a human-like shape, but was small, like a child. Adraer began to walk back towards his home. When he had walked about halfway back to his house, the figure made a spastic movement and hit Adraer on the head. Adraer stumbled, dropping the animal.

“Ri-riolu,” said the figure, as it charged Adraer. Adraer rolled out of the way, narrowly escaping the animal's attack. It leaped into the air, and plunged back at Adraer. Adraer ran to escape the blow. The animal hit the ground with a thump, and didn't move. Adraer slowly removed his shirt, and stuffed the animal into it. He tied the shirt up, and returned inside. Going back to his room, Adraer threw the shirt into his closet. Adraer went back to sleep.


The next morning, Adraer showed the shirt to his mother. His mother turned severely pale, began shaking, and shouted, “GET OUT! LEAVE THIS HOUSE WITH THAT HIDEOUS THING!” Adraer, cringed, and ran away, to ____ Town. When he got there, he was still running. He ran into a man in a lab coat, and knocked him over.

“Hey, what'd you do that for?” asked the man.

“Sorry, I'm just in a hurry to get away from home,” Adraer said, while he opened the shirt to show the man what was in it, “my mom was angry and shouted at me to leave the house with it.”

“Come to my lab with me,” said the man, “I think I can help you.”

“Ok,” said Adraer, and followed the man back to the lab.

"Woah!" exclaimed Adraer, as he walked into the crisp and cool atmosphere of the lab.

"Let me see the animal you have caught," said the man, "dump it on this table, please."

"Ok," replied Adraer, gingerly pulling the animal out of the shirt and laying it down on the table.

"I've never seen one of these before. Oh, sorry for not introducing myself. My name is Professor Sycamore. I study these 'animals' called Pokemon as a profession. As you can see over there," said Professor Sycamore, pointing to a small table with three PokeBalls placed on it, meticulously spaced, "there are objects called Pokeballs. They are used to hold and capture Pokemon. That Pokemon you brought me is called Riolu. It is an extremely rare Pokemon that I have never encountered before."

I am sorry for attacking you, friend. I had ju-

"What was that?" asked Adraer, looking around. The Riolu on the table hadn't moved.

"What are you talking about?" asked Professor Sycamore, "I heard nothing."

Please listen to me.

"Okay," said Adraer. Professor Sycamore had a confused and slightly worried expression on his face.

Once again, I apologize for attacking you last night. I had just been attacked and I was scared. You saved me that night.

Suddenly, Adraer saw only black. He was running forward. He felt bushes and brambles brushing his legs, and branches hitting his head. He felt an animal fear, as though something was following him, but he felt a sense of having been here before. He heard another figure plunging through the foliage, in the same direction as he was. Adraer tripped on something, and was sent sprawling into a bramble. The figure continued approaching. Adraer felt a wind, and leaves began to hit him, cutting him like razors. Something began to walk over, and scared the figure away. Adraer fainted.

Adraer came back to the present, in the arms of Professor Sycamore. "Are you okay?" asked Professor Sycamore, "You began to make noises, and suddenly fainted."

Don't tell him what happened. That was for your eyes only.

"I don't know. I guess that all of these things that you have showed me blew my mind," replied Adraer. Suddenly, he remembered why he felt that he had been in the forest. He HAD been there before. It was the Riolu that was speaking to him through his thoughts. "Hold on," said Adraer. He walked over to the table with the Riolu on it. Adraer leaned over and whispered into its ear, "How can you talk to me?"

I can "speak" using my ability to control and sense auras. I can understand your speech, because the aura that you transmit says the same thing as what you are actually saying. I only am speaking to you because I can sense that you are pure at heart.

"Ok." said Adraer. The Riolu sprung up and stood on the table, looking around.
  #10    
Old July 5th, 2013, 07:26 PM
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I glanced over your story, and noticed that you tend to rush things along.

To start with, your main character just heads outside in the middle of the night. Why? Did he hear a noise? Did Riolu perhaps call out for help and Adraer was the only one to respond? Why would he do the (supposedly stupid) thing and head outside in the darkness where he's nearly killed?

It's the same with his mother. She takes one quick look at Riolu and kicks her son out of the house. Was that just typical motherly over-protectiveness? The way the story is written, it seems as if Riolu is still in Adraer's shirt, so how could the mother see what it was?

Then Adraer runs to the next town over (I believe so, since the story says that he ran to the town, and not just onto the streets of) and just happens to crash into the one person who can help him. It's a big coincidence that that happened to him. Personally, I love seeing my characters struggle, so if I was writing this, Adraer would have had to do a lot of searching, getting yelled at by people scared of Riolu, and other fun things to make his life painful before the professor entered the scene.

So just take your time and when you finish writing a scene, look back and see if there's anything that needs to be explained. Maybe it isn't important to know why Adraer's mother kicked him out of the house, but knowing just why the kid is wandering around in the middle of the field during the night could be.
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