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On Writing Fan Fiction (Rules & Advice)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Fozzie Bear, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. DTF

    DTF Member

    You know, Skeeter, someone said it would have been nice at the end of my last EW parody to have Kiersten getting Elmo to say "I", but that's exactly why I didn't, what you say about making new characters too perfect. Since there's never been an episode where Gabi babysits Elmo (though * could have used her I suppose), I inserted a somewhat Gabi-like character based on my youngest cousin.

    However, like my real cousin she's very patient but can't alwys get Elmo to do what she wants, gets a little flustered with him, and tries really hard but can't quite get it right when trying to teach him to talk in 3rd person. And yet in the little time I have in those sketches, I try to make her 3-dimensional, too.

    I think when we insert people that we know, it's a little easier than if we'd insert ourselves, b/c we tend to have a more objective view of others. SS is unique b/c of the number of children on the street, you can probably get away with 1-2 OC's like I've done. But then, you have to balance it out - can you make them 3-dimensional enough, or just the fall guy for jokes - if the former, fine, but if the latter, well, an anything muppet can do thaat. Not to say that you can't - when the letter I in Dorothy's bowl turns out to be a French fry and Kiersten's one brother plucks it out and eats it in my next EW parody, tht's fine for one time, but don't make it a habit.
  2. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Active Member

    Research:

    Something else, too, is to do plenty of research. I'm refurbishing the Pigs In Space fan fic that I posted a LONG time ago...last year sometime, and re-issuing the 2nd Ed. soon. My original plan on that was to create a compilation (in order) of ALL the PIS from TMS, and THEN write the story.

    Instead, I wrote the story prior to the tape I now have, I've watched the tape, and I wanted this story to take place after TMS, but in its own expanded universe (if that makes sense), so I now have to re-work the entire story.

    The next story is planned to focus on Bear on Patrol, but I'm researching the precincts of New York, looking up maps, and compiling information because I want to know the area I'm working with (street names, etc.) to give the story more realism...plus, I want folks to be able to look things up on google if they want and find out more about the places I mention. I just think it'd be neat.

    I ALMOST set the scene in Memphis for BOP, but decided against it. I figured where they are isn't named in TMS, but we all think of Brooklyn or Mahnattan for that sketch instead. I've put out a call for info from folks who live up there for help, but no such luck.

    The suggestion here is to do RESEARCH! It'll help on wherever you want to write about in ANY kind of story. Always good to know your topic!
  3. Beth C

    Beth C Active Member

    Wow, there are some good tips in this post. Some of it I do already, just out of habit, such as research the net first when using locations I know nothing about and keeping the characters in character.

    I've found that it helps to have music playing in the background when writing the characters, such as Kermit's songs when writing a paragraph involving Kermit as it helps me keep him in character.

    Also using visual aids such as pictures really does help. When you are describing a location that was seen on TMS it helps to be watching the DVD's.

    Most of all, I try to visualize each scene in my head and then type down what I see inside my mind and get you to see the same thing.

    I'm hoping to get back to my own writing shortly, I'll probably do the Christmas one first before the Romance one. I've had bad luck in romance lately so it's hard to write a happy ending now.

    Have fun with the writing, if for no other reason than you can. :) It's fan fiction and supposed to be enjoyable!

    ~Beth C
  4. christyb

    christyb New Member

    I only have a few mins b/c I'm on my break but I wanted to say thank you for starting this thread! Also here's a few pointers I find helpful for me. (Hope it helps ya'll as much as your advice is helping me!)

    First off, reader don't be afraid to speak up! If there's something that's not quite right with a story tell us. I believe most other writers (like me) will glady appreciate any comments on how to better ourselves.

    Secondly, edit your story. I find it that before posting leave your story. Then go back and read it aloud. It helps you to see the story as your reader will. This way you can catch any mistakes that may have otherwise slipped by.

    Thirdly (is that a word?), thanks to all of you for your patience with my first fic. "Return To The Magic". I learned a lot and hope when I finish my next one it will be better and easier to read!
    SkeetScootSquat likes this.
  5. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Active Member

    I'm happy to know this thread has turned into a great resource for fan fic writers! Keep the advice coming, gang! Before long, we can publish a BOOK about this! HA!
  6. Gorgon Heap

    Gorgon Heap Active Member

    I find that OCs work best if they effectively fill a certain function that can't be performed by a regular character, and more importantly, if they can bring something out in the main characters. I introduced the character of Piggy's mother, Hortense, for the purpose of exposing Piggy's vulnerability, her low self-esteem, her weaknesses, to show the environment in which she might've grown up in, and what made her the way she is. Also, it places Kermit between a rock and a hard place, because since Hortense is so tough, tougher than Piggy even, it makes it very hard for him to stand up to her and come to Piggy's defense, though he does want to do so, at least when Hortense goes too far. When Hortense pinpoints Piggy's faults spot-on, the same faults that Kermit himself has trouble with, he's again in a difficult spot b/c he can't agree for fear of retribution from Piggy. I do think I went overboard with Hortense's meanness in the later scenes, and that her insulting diatribes got to be gratuitous, but overall I was pretty happy with it.

    My main point is that OCs should bring something specific to the table, a force to act on the main characters in order to show a side of them that can't be shown without the use of outside forces.

    David "Gorgon Heap" Ebersole
    SkeetScootSquat and Dominicboo1 like this.
  7. Gorgon Heap

    Gorgon Heap Active Member

    I just wanted to repeat something from the FR interview on "Marooned"- the episode added a new layer to the relationship between Red and Boober but their overall relationship remains unchanged. That is, the relationship doesn't suddenly change, but instead it grows while retaining the same basic characteristics.

    I find that that's a good way to do anything character-based: push and pull and stretch the characteristics of the relationships between characters without changing the relationship completely. It adds new dimensions to the relationships and the characters themselves.

    David "Gorgon Heap" Ebersole
    SkeetScootSquat likes this.
  8. Effralyo

    Effralyo Active Member

    Firstly, thanks to SkeeterMuppet already for a very mentioning me. I actually came here not with the tips yet (though try to find something to advice too), but just want to say - is your own naming of the unknown muppet characters allowed? I write a story about a "dratcher" (spirit of the courtyard) named Zeliboba - the central character of the Russian version of SS, and since the Two-Headed Monster acts there and I didn`t know his name, I called him "Two-Headed Owhice"; or, eg, Fat Blue in the other SS story I call "Franklin-Granklin"...
    SkeetScootSquat likes this.
  9. Effralyo

    Effralyo Active Member

    ..At last with an advice. After another re-browsing "What`s on the other side" ;)
    Certainly, it`s good when the line is written as gently as, eg, this one (as far as I recall):
    Very nicely written, but has an one TINY flaw. Thick fur won`t stick just from a little drizzle! - unless Beau moults, lol.
    In short, it`s important to count which character and in which surrounding do you describe. Count their appearance. Or you have a risk to get something absolutely confusing.
  10. Vic Romano

    Vic Romano Active Member

    On your quote, it doesn't say "thick" fur, just fur. Your actual post is very helpful, but a better example might be in order, that's a liittle too nit picky methinks.:)
  11. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    On (I think) a similar note to what Effralyo was saying, if you can, try to avoid describing eye movements that the actual puppets wouldn't be able to do. For example, it's very tempting to have Miss Piggy roll her eyes, Rowlf blink, Kermit open or close his eyes, and so on. But it's very difficult to imagine Kermit's eyes opening and closing when he doesn't even have eyelids. Instead of saying, "Kermit opened his eyes," try saying "Kermit woke up" or "Kermit looked at _____" It's kind of hard to do sometimes, but it's worth it to the reader.
  12. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    But, Yey! Beau can blink! And Gonzo can "Waggle his eyebrows."

    Just topying with ya, Toga. You have a good point.
  13. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Active Member

    This is what falls into "artistic licensing," really. We all know that REAL frogs can blink their eye lids. So, for the sake of realism to the characters a fan-fic writer might have him do something like that.

    However, it's also the "artistic license" to stay true to the puppet forms we all know the characters as--ie, being literal.

    Personally, in my story, I'd write Kermit as waking and blinking his eyes because I would hate to know he was sleeping with his eyes open all night. That's just weird to me to think of that, and gross considering what crawls around on us at night while we're sleeping, or rubbing his eyes on his pillow as he turns and tosses at night. Ouch.

    When I complete the re-write of my Pigs In Space fan fic and someone reads it with a literal mind about what they know from the show they will not enjoy the story. Likewise with my next Muppet fan-fic which will come way on down the road.
  14. Effralyo

    Effralyo Active Member

    Another good advice.

    It will look awesome when in some places instead of plain text, text, text, the story will go as a poem, returning then back to the text. E.g., like in my fanfic - 'The Little Indigo':

    -
    and then comes an usual text. Trust me, it will add more charm to any story...
  15. Effralyo

    Effralyo Active Member

    By the way, another very tenderly written line. UUUmmmm! Adore it. Perhaps it was the line inspiring me to create the Swallowers. :)
  16. Effralyo

    Effralyo Active Member

    Ah, yeah, adore it! (Hehe, the post duplicated... :))
    <Goes to wait for new advices and find her own>
  17. Gorgon Heap

    Gorgon Heap Active Member

    I think it's Texas, actually. In the James Coburn episode, Banana Nose Moldanado's wanted poster said "State of Texas" on it.

    David "Gorgon Heap" Ebersole
  18. Gorgon Heap

    Gorgon Heap Active Member

    I wanted to add a tangent to Fozzie's research comment: research the characters.

    The Muppet characters that we all work with are multi-dimensional and were crafted with subtlety by Jerry Juhl et al. It's easy to forget certain aspects of the individual characters, such as Boober's vocabulary or Kermit's dry, reaction-based one-liners or Sam the Eagle's closet ignorance on cultural figures, and when writing fan fiction it's good to know the full range of character traits at your disposal.

    David "Gorgon Heap" Ebersole
  19. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Good point. And be carefull, I think, giving characters lastnames, religions, etc, because fan's reading whill assume this to be the truth and thus perhaps fall into a trap in one of their stories. For example, I said that Grover gave the Fraggle Pebble back the next year, but someone missed that and would have sworn they saw Grover give it back in MFC.
  20. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Good point. And be carefull, I think, giving characters lastnames, religions, etc, because fan's reading will assume this to be the truth and thus perhaps fall into a trap in one of their stories. For example, I said that Grover gave the Fraggle Pebble back the next year, but someone missed that and would have sworn they saw Grover give it back in MFC.


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