On Writing Fan Fiction (Rules & Advice)

MissMusical12

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So, I'm planning on writing a Muppets version of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Is it okay if I put it in script form or does it have to been written how a regular story would be?
 

WebMistressGina

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So, I'm planning on writing a Muppets version of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Is it okay if I put it in script form or does it have to been written how a regular story would be?
Personally, I - and I think others - prefer an actual story. I know some forums ban the script form because it's...well, the lazy man's way to telling a story.

Now, don't get me wrong, I myself have a script series, but as a writer and reader, I'd prefer to read a story. You get more details and more visualization through a story than you do a script.

And just asking - why do a Muppet version of a NBC? The story's been done (fantastically), so why remake it with another cast? I ask because I can't see a Muppet version of that and I mean in a conceptional way, like a nightmarish land where Kermit and Piggy live. Now, if you're thinking like idea or parody, such as one of the Muppets kidnaps Santa and they have to get presents out, I could see that, though wouldn't it be the same idea as the Christmas special (which, that's one that I haven't seen, so don't quote me on it)?

Not to poo poo your idea (hope you know that!), I just like encouraging writers to come up with original ideas that happen to feature our favorite not-real-people. I could also be very cynical of new writers cause they always have the same idea or weirder ideas and then we get something like My Immortal and I'm always out to stop people from making another My Immortal.
 

Hubert

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After reading fan fiction for quite some time now, there's a few minor things I want to point out to writers regarding them that will make them more reader friendly:

For one, lately there has been so many tense errors in stories, making it harder for the readers to read free flowing. I recommend you pick a tense (in most cases it should be the past tense, unless your character is writing a diary entry taken place at the present time or something), and stick with that tense the whole way through. For example, I see so much of this (and this is just a random couple sentences I wrote up):

Kermit looked down from the balcony at Piggy. She is sitting there on the stage, bored. Kermit sighed. "Piggy, why are you still here?" he asks. She moaned.
When it should be:

Kermit looked down from the balcony at Piggy. She was sitting there on the stage, bored. Kermit sighed. "Piggy, why are you still here?" he asked. She moaned.
Another thing, so many people are making one, huge mess of story all in one big paragraph. Instead, it helps to break up the story into paragraphs and putting an empty line in between each paragraph. It doesn't matter if you indent or not, but it really helps readers to actually be able to read thoroughly without losing their place and such. Plus it looks a lot less intimidating when a reader first opens your story...instead of them seeing one big heap of story to read, they see it broken up. It's much more reader friendly.

One more thing, this one for readers: I remember that when I was new to this board, I needed all the encouragement that I could get to continue writing. I imagine that this is the same for most new fan fiction writers. So all I'm asking for them (and anyone, well established or not), is that if you happen to read their fic and like it, or might not like it but have some tips that you think they could use to improve it, tell them. It really makes the less experienced writer's day when someone comments on their story, even if it only says "More please" or something like that.
 

charlietheowl

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Another thing, so many people are making one, huge mess of story all in one big paragraph. Instead, it helps to break up the story into paragraphs and putting an empty line in between each paragraph. It doesn't matter if you indent or not, but it really helps readers to actually be able to read thoroughly without losing their place and such. Plus it looks a lot less intimidating when a reader first opens your story...instead of them seeing one big heap of story to read, they see it broken up. It's much more reader friendly.
Can't agree with this more. Spacing is your friend.
 

Redsonga

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On an old topic: I think death in a fic is fine, and if done well not a shortcut for drama. The topic pretty much went hand and hand with the happiness of Fraggle Rock as a two sided coin and a part of life :smile:
 

newsmanfan

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My only problem with death of anything but a minor, minor character in a fic is that amateur writers tend to exploit it soap-opera style, wrenching every last drop of possible pathos from it for the sheer love of making their readers writhe...those with sensitive constitutions, anyway. Those of us jaded enough to hate soaps will just turn away. It's a mark of bad writing. Look how many authors IRL publish crap like that: Nicholas Sparks is the worst offender, but there are plenty of others, whom intelligent readers refuse to bother with because after one such tragedy-mining-expedition it becomes trite.

Avoid death, in general...unless you can make it funny. :smile:
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SuzieChan

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Honestly, I find this thread to be really, really interesting! :smile: I've been a member of several different forums for quite a while now, but this is possibly the first time I've encountered a thread like this. The creator of this thread deserves a standing ovation - and this is no exaggeration.

I'm really happy that someone decided to create a thread that would compile all the rules, suggestions and advice for any potential fan fic writers to see. Especially that there are, unfortunatelly, people who could use some help on writing it...

And it isn't to say that all fan fics are bad: frankly speaking, I love fan fiction and all sorts of fan works in general. It's just that it can be sometimes really, really rare to come by a fan fic that could come off as being decent...

With that being said, I would like to ask for some suggestions and possible advice, on a matter that has been going in my mind for quite a while now...

You see, I've been thinking about writing a fan fic based upon "The Storyteller". However it's not really based on "The Storyteller" but one of the stories. More specifically it's "Hans the Hedgehog". It is an AU story in which the Princess comes to live in the Grovelhog's castle. I already have a few scenes worked out in my mind, which I eventually plan to write down.

Oh and don't worry, I have made it my priority to be as faithfull and respectfull to the source material, and write the characters in character (boy, did that one sound redundant :stick_out_tongue:): I really love this particular story, and I wouldn't even dare to attempt making it into something that would come off as being... should I say... "unreadable".

But the more I thought about, the more doubtfull I got... should I really write it down and publish it, or should I just forget about it?

My doubts mainly come from the fact that there actually aren't that many Storyteller fan fics out there. And as for "Hans my Hedgehog" so far I've only found one called "Farmer so Foolish" (go ahead and read it - it's really, really good!).

And beside, it may sound weird, but I'm also kind of scared what would people's reaction be. Especially since "The Storyteller" has been a part of so many people's childhoods (mine included)...

I really have mixed feelings for this one... Should I write it down? Or should I just give up on that concept?
 

newsmanfan

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Give it a shot. Sounds like you respect the story (and the series), and all the stories on Storyteller came from regional legends and fairytales to begin with, so it's not like you're ripping anything off, either! Heck, why make it a fanfic? (Unless you plan on using the Storyteller and his dog as characters.) Why not just write it and seek actual publication for it as a brand new retelling of an old tale? Nothing wrong with that at all.

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Redsonga

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My only problem with death of anything but a minor, minor character in a fic is that amateur writers tend to exploit it soap-opera style, wrenching every last drop of possible pathos from it for the sheer love of making their readers writhe...those with sensitive constitutions, anyway. Those of us jaded enough to hate soaps will just turn away. It's a mark of bad writing. Look how many authors IRL publish crap like that: Nicholas Sparks is the worst offender, but there are plenty of others, whom intelligent readers refuse to bother with because after one such tragedy-mining-expedition it becomes trite.

Avoid death, in general...unless you can make it funny. :smile:
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I'll have to respectful disagree :smile:. And I'm sorry but you are too late there, most of my fics deal with death in some why, and I'm far from a just starting out writer. Part of what drew me to Fraggle Rock was its ability to deal with death as well as very happy go lucky life on the other end as just a part of life. While it can be a soap opera thing, it's not like fanfic exists in a void unaffected by the tone of its source series' tone.

Edit: Don't get me wrong I don't mean to say death makes a story better, only that I myself don't do it for shock value. I just like exploring the big questions of life and death and Fraggle Rock is the one universe where I feel that is a unspoken theme. Again I don't mean any disrespect or to sound angry because I'm not. I just feel passionately about this as a fan :smile:
 
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