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On Writing Fan Fiction (Rules & Advice)

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

  1. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Thanks! That's what I sort of thought, but it can be hard to tell with the nebulous category of monsters. I'm planning on writing a part in my story where Sweetums goes (back ?) to school, and I wanted to figure out the best level to stick him into. Guess he's off to college then!
  2. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    A Muppet going back to college? What kind of goofburger writes a story like that? ;)
  3. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Ha ha ha! Don't worry, I won't tread on your fic-writing toes too much. I don't think Sweetums and Scooter have the same major anyway!
  4. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I don't think Sam's family were mentioned anywhere else...in fact, I've always believed that whole interaction may have been Jim and Frank improving anyway! Its just so off the cuff and hilarious. "Boy or a girl?" "Yes..."
  5. kyunkyua

    kyunkyua Well-Known Member

    All right guys, I have a quick question. I'm in the middle of brainstorming for a piece with the cast of Glee as guest stars. Would wheelchair stunts seem too politically incorrect?
  6. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Wheelchairs can't be an insult in and of themselves. I mean, they can, but I don't like those kind of people, LOL. The Muppets are about celebrating diversity. Hiding what makes someone stand out (so to speak) in a group does not accomplish that.
  7. HandsomeGH

    HandsomeGH Member

    I'm writing a fan-fiction about Clifford and some other muppet characters. Named "Cliff-NOTES".

    I'm thinking of a main cast of something like this...

    1. Clifford

    2. Johnny Fiama and Sal

    But I get stuck on the third, fourth or so muppet.

    Any ideas on some good muppets to star in this series about Clifford and Johnny trying to make it big again?
  8. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Well, you seem to be going with a "Muppets Tonight" theme, so why not some of the others who came into their own during that era -- Bobo, Pepe, etc?

  9. beatnikchick300

    beatnikchick300 Well-Known Member

    Regarding OCs, I think another reason that they're not everyone's cup of tea is that they sometimes end up becoming Mary Sues (for those unfamiliar with that term, a quick Google search could explain it better than I could, though I think Ruahnna touched on it a bit).

    At the moment, my fanfiction has three OCs: Sabrina (Zoot's cousin, who becomes engaged to Johnny), Ramona, and Ashley. With OCs, just like any other character, it's essential to keep them at least semi-realistic, believable, and imperfect.
  10. miss kermie

    miss kermie Well-Known Member

    Ok, I have no idea if you've discussed these questions I have, but along the lines of OC's, kind of reflecting on Ru's synopsis, would having the OC fall in love with a single character, and have the character love them back, OK?

    And if the character realizes he needs the OC after she's gone... Is that too much?

    I am lost when it comes to things like that.
  11. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Speaking for myself, I don't mind an OC coming in and giving somebody the snuggles. I also don't usually mind pair-ups between known characters, although some of those push the limits of credibility. But what I want to see, truly, at the heart of every story is some genuine emotion and intimacy. If your OC shows up, does one star turn in the show and is inexplicably mooned with protestations of undying love, then I sortof don't believe in it. What made the regular character fall in love? What about the OC was lovable, charming or endearing? How well/how long do we know the OC--or, more to the point, how long does the regular character know them before topping headlong into ush-gush?

    But I don't want to be the OC police--really. (I want to be the "unrealistic angst" police! *sigh* But nobody asked me, so I'm trying to hush.) You should write what you want and let people decide to read it or not. Ultimately, that's how "real" writing works in the real world of publishing, and though it can be tough on the ol' ego, it's usually good for the ol' talent.

    Everybody has a story to tell--or several. And didn't Jim tell us to write our own endings? Well--there you go!

    Happy writing!
    newsmanfan and Slackbot like this.
  12. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    And here I go!

    I haven't gotten far into this, but I'm the kind of person who would want to do 'selective' aging. I mean, if you think about it, Scooter can't still be a 14 year old kid if he's capable of practically running backstage and (this is giving Scooter a lot of credit) working for Google and doing TED conferences.

    Personally, (and I believe you said it well, Ru or Slackbot. Now I can't remember:o )it's just weird to me to think of Kermit as a 50+ year old frog, just like it would be weird to think that Statler and Waldorf are no longer here (having died, you know). It's the same reason why I can handle some R and NC17 rated fics, but not others; it's the kid in me that says "no. I will not go for that."

    The ideas that I have in my head are telling me that Scooter's a bonafide adult and Robin's hitting pre-teen age, but everyone else is still middle aged if you will.

    Well, I've just started, but I'm pretty much thinking of staying within Muppet universe, with the non-con of Muppet Babies and Muppets Tonight. That being said, I am looking for an excuse to use Pepe in something, I don't know what, but he will be used! While I loved MB, MT was kinda so-so and did kinda push me to the Muppet Show (which is good! So kudos!), but Skeeter always rubbed me the wrong way (kinda like Lola did for Looney Tunes) so I highly doubt that I'll be using her in anything.

    I try to eat three times a day, making sure to have breakfast as it is the most important meal of the day.

    Oh. Ha ha:D I knew that. Well, first and foremost, I always try making friends with my food and...oh wait. Wrong topic. Um...haven't gotten to it, but I always thought that the talking food were just Muppets and considering that Muppets have eaten other Muppets....*shrug* I always saw a difference, even as a kid - there's food and then there's Muppety food. You don't eat Muppety food.

    On the topic of OCs, this one is tricky as 1. I'm almost loathe to read anything with an OC and 2. I have managed an OC in every fan fic series I've done. I know, kinda makes it a bit hypocritical, but hear me out. As someone pointed out, most OCs that people write are Mary Sues - a character that is better than any letter or Muppet in the world. They enter a room, everyone is falling over themselves to love them; they have super powers, they can heal the sick, raise the dead, make world peace, etc.

    Those characters I hate with an absolute passion.:mad: Now, for me at least, any time that I introduce an alternate character, especially ones that are going to be featured primarily along side the cast (such as the twins from Get Smart, the seven added characters in my ReBoot series, etc), I try to make sure that the OC isn't taking screen time. Basically, if I can see the story as part of a movie or TV series set within the original show and if I can get the readers to see that too, then I've done my job.

    It's not an easy job and I take great pains to explain why this person is here, why are they in this universe, and why you as the reader should care; I think this is what trips up people with OCs. They don't explain why an OC is in this universe, other than it's their character and because they love them, we should love them too. Believe me, my earlier stuff I can even tell that I could have done better; in fact, I rewrote one (am rewriting) story because the original was a near carbon copy of the movie I was basing it off of.

    The only thing I can say is let people read it and if changes need to be done, be objective, look at what or where things fall short, and think it through. Before we were writers, we were readers; I think many writers forget to think about their stuff in the terms of the reader.
    newsmanfan likes this.
  13. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    I think OCs work best if they fit into the plotline...which is such an outrageously obvious point that I hang my head at having made it...but many inexperienced writers will throw in OCs based on themselves or their friends who really have no purpose to the story other than to wave and the reader: "Hi! I'm the author's best friend! Aren't I cool? Hi So-and-so!" I've tried to make any OC I throw into a Muppet fic have a good reason for being there...and many of them are Muppets themselves, Whatnots or monsters or whatever. (Writing fic means never having to say, "Build me a puppet that looks like a crocodile with a cigar! We're only using him once!")

    WebMistressGina likes this.
  14. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    About the only time I suffer the "author OC" thing is when I'm writing a Hensonville fic, but the trope is justified (I tell myself) because it references a role-playing game where users live in weird conglomerate of a universe with multiple fictional characters.
    newsmanfan likes this.
  15. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Or as I like to say, "Build me a cigar smoking crocodile worthy of Mordor!"

    Yes, I do go about asking this of people; usually the Muppet, like, "get me a plate worthy of Mordor" or "bring me my phone worthy of Mordor."


    What? I am easily bored and equally easily amused.
  16. meepmuppaphones

    meepmuppaphones Well-Known Member

    Is it okay if there is death (although it won't be gory, I will refrain from blood)? Also, I want adventure story elements, can I have things like big battles or stuff?:coy:
  17. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I think (and I can't speak for everyone) that death would be acceptable as long as you provide a warning at the beginning of the story about its content, so that people who don't want to read that sort of material can avoid it beforehand.
  18. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    LOL, we kill characters all the time. :)

    Still, since you can again get a small preview of text when you hover over a link, I choose to put my warning right at top, thus they don't even have to click and be blinded. :p
  19. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    *sigh* I am apparently the lone dissenting voice, but I am going to dissent, and my dissent goes something like this:
    Why on earth would you need to kill someone? If it takes a jolt like that to jump-start your story, maybe you should write something different.

    Killing off a character--especially one that doesn't belong to you--within a fandom that loves the character and doesn't actually know you from Adam seems like the worst case of grandstanding I can imagine. Is it not possible to tell you story without some sort of artificial sacrifice? And must you sacrifice someone else's characters to the bloody cause? If you do--and I'm going to advice you NOT to--then the payoff for the death had better be plenty huge. If someone's going to die, they had better be doing something pretty self-sacrificial or awfully darn heroic or you're just jerking the reader around by someone else's chain.

    Writing is a craft, an art, a skill that can be practiced a lifetime without ever achieving perfection. Let me stand in the gap here in defense of good, well-thought-out storylines that go somewhere, of characters that have purpose and of sacrifices that mean more than emotional manipulation on the part of the author, who often didn't have that much of a story to tell in the first place.

    Fanfiction has more than its fair share of emotionally wrenching stories that are emotionally wrenching just for the, um, enjoyment(?) of making the reader writhe. And, to be fair, readers flock along in droves--by the hundreds, at least--to wail and weep and moan in pretended agony because the character they have loved (at least enough to belong to the fandom and read the stories) has been (a) decapitated; (b) flattened; (c) tortured and killed or (d) all of the above. In my not-so-humble opinion, this kind of writing is the "reality show" of the entertainment world and it is often unworthy of the audience's attention even though it gets it. Does this mean that I think fanfic stories should be all butterflies and unicorns and everybody happy all the time? No! Of course not! But if our characters are going to suffer, let it mean something. Let it advance the plot--not replace it. Let it spice up the story instead of merely drowning out the bad taste of underdone characters. Let the story be a slave to the characters, not the characters be slaves to the story.

    Why don't you write a story about something that doesn't start out with the idea, "Well, I don't have anything much exciting happening in my story--I think I'll maim a major character and gain the audience's attention that way"?

    If you do write a weepy, emotionally manipulative story, then there will certainly be audience members who read it. Somebody reads everything here. Shoot, somebody reads everything they post on fanfiction.net, which means that people are really, really desperate for stories about the characters they already know and love. But why don't you try adding to the characters' stories--instead of taking away from them. I'm sure you--and everyone else who trolls these boards--has a good story in them. Write that one.

    (Who is getting off her soapbox and storming away)
  20. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Well, to add more to the complex nature of the answer, I say: Ru's right. However, if you're someone like me, who wrote an (attempted) epic about the destruction of the entire universe, having no one in danger at all defeats the purpose of describing the problem. If you have magic involved, it's amazing how you can rewrite the ending so that the universe is "properly restored" (and I'm not above using that trope, LOL). On the other hand, if you're writing a story JUST to kill someone off, it comes off more as a snuff fic (and something like Halfway Down the Stairs toys with it quite well, I think). So, in essence, I say: context is everything. Don't do it just because you can, but make dang sure you've set up a bigger plot point to justify any that happen.

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