What I’ve learned from reading fanfiction. I Write: Decade Edition. 3rd round, week 9.
I’ve been having trouble writing fiction lately. For me, that means How to Train Your Dragon fanfiction. Since I have no story, I’m going to share a few things I’ve learned from reading fanfiction.
Running across a word I must look up, such as rubious, is a pleasant surprise. Finding words like rubious in chapters two, four, five, and eight means the author is trying too hard.
If given a choice between reading something ridiculous and something with ongoing grammar and punctuation problems, I’ll take ridiculous.
Authors inserting remarks in the story, such as “I love this character,” annoy me. Stick to the point.
The quality of the story is more important than the word count. Posting something, no matter what is more important than quality.
The rules of grammar, punctuation, and spelling matter. Each new speaker needs a separate paragraph has become my mantra. Also, homonyms trip up a lot of people.
The word “lemon,” as a term for sexual activity, is archaic. Everyone knows to use “smut.” Neither word is precise and can range from a peck on the cheek to X-rated content. I prefer “lemon.”
Quality will vary, but there are wonderful fics out there. Consider it a treasure hunt.
are some things I can’t read. Unfortunately, I learned this from reading them.
If your characters are going to change, give them time to do it. Going from weaker than a wet noodle to a great warrior with muscles on her muscles is unrealistic. Have a reason for the change.
Limit offering reasons such as witchcraft, wizardly, evil supernatural creatures, ancient relics, or hidden methods only the character can access. Make any use of these valid, not a way to prop up your story.
As a bonus:
My Immortal is considered one of the worst fanfics out there. The reputation is earned. I didn’t make it through the first chapter before I wanted to bleach my brain. Do not read it.
Thanks for reading, Whiskers