Fanart Tutorial: How to Add Color Depth to Images

April 28, 2016 // 0 Comments

Beginner’s Guide to Creating Fanart is a column by contributor Jae Bailey. In this column, Jae offers digital fanart tutorials and advice for aspiring artists. Welcome back for another fanart tutorial for beginners! If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2 yet, go back and do that before you dive in to Part 3. In both of those articles, you can find advice on what equipment you’ll need and how to use adjustment layers to digitally color your sketches. You may wish to review //

Why Doesn’t My Fanfic Have Any Reviews?

April 26, 2016 // 5 Comments

We all know what it’s like: you write a fic, you’re proud of it, you upload it, and then… crickets. It’s discouraging when no one seems to be interested in a story we labored over and that we’re excited to share. Our first thoughts are often that we’re terrible writers, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Here are five reasons why your fanfic might not be getting any reviews—and what you can do to fix that! 1) It’s a work in progress //

Creating Non-Canon Characters that People Will Actually Like

March 26, 2016 // 1 Comment

Poorly written non-canon characters (aka OCs or original characters) account for 99% of all the heavy sighs and eye rolls for lovers of fanfiction. Why is this? Usually these characters are used as insufferable know-it-alls or hyper over-powered panacea characters designed to solve all of the canon characters’ problems (aka make any story instantaneously boring). In the worst case, they are the equivalent of fanfiction booty calls, with about as much depth, personality or consistency. Despite //

Fanfic Tropes and Clichéd Plots: How to Keep Your Writing Unique

March 1, 2016 // 2 Comments

At some point in our lives we have probably all experienced it: the movie or book you were looking forward to simply didn’t live up to expectations. It was boring, it was predictable—it was cliché. Every step of the journey we knew exactly what was going to happen. It’s not all about predictability, however. If it were so simple no one would ever read a book twice or watch a movie more than once. No one would bother rebooting an old franchise or re-writing Pride and Prejudice. //

Fanart Tutorial: How to Digitally Color a Scanned Pencil Sketch

February 24, 2016 // 0 Comments

Beginner’s Guide to Creating Fanart is a column by contributor Jae Bailey. In this column, Jae offers digital fanart tutorials and advice for aspiring artists. Welcome back for another fanart tutorial for beginners! If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, do that first and then come back. In it you can find advice on which software and hardware to use, as well as general tips and links to YouTube tutorials, including a YouTube video that explains how to use adjustment layers to touch up //

Explicit and Dark Content in Fandom—Keeping Yourself and Others Safe

February 19, 2016 // 3 Comments

“Don’t like, don’t read!” used to be pasted into the summary or author’s note of every second fanfic on The phrase has recently fallen out of use—with good reason! In the age of dashboards, tags, and newsfeeds, the phrase seems comically out of step with reality. We all know what we don’t want to read but that doesn’t prevent us from finding such content while we’re scrolling through the latest fandom posts. Desktop and laptop //

Tips for Outlining your Fanfiction Novel

January 28, 2016 // 0 Comments

Some people find it boring to write from detailed outlines, because they enjoy discovering the story while writing. If you are one of these people, I have a technique for you too in this article! However, I can’t imagine trying to juggle plot, characterization, and writing style all at the same time. I’m also too much of a control freak to leave it up to chance. Additionally, if you only have a limited time to write, then a detailed outline helps you dip in and out of the writing //

Write Better Fanfic Using Romance Structure

January 24, 2016 // 0 Comments

The structure of romance stories traditionally looks something like this: Meet Cute Relationship Development Black Moment Resolution Happily Ever After The terms Meet Cute and Black Moment may not mean anything to fanfic readers, but they’re almost always present in well-written fics. The meet cute is when two protagonists meet for the first time or first see each other as possible romantic partners (this second option happens most often in the case of friends-to-lovers stories, though //

Why You Shouldn’t be Afraid to Post Comments

January 21, 2016 // 3 Comments

Any fan work creator will tell you there’s a very specific process we go through when we create a new work. We finish it, pretty up the formatting for web, shoot it out into the great yawning void of the internet—and then we wait. We watch the hits count up, and we continually refresh our inbox waiting for the most anticipated of interactions with other fans: comments. Whether you’re posting on (in which case they’re called reviews instead), Archive of Our //

How To Make Your Own Fanzine

December 17, 2015 // 3 Comments

Before the rise of the internet, people got their fannish content from fanzines—amateur, small magazines printed in small batches and distributed by post or in person, often at fan conventions (and sometimes, secretly!) You can check out the Fanlore entry for fanzines if you’re curious about the history of the practice, but in short, fanzines are the direct modern precursor to the forums, Tumblr accounts, and fanfic archives of today. As fans, we owe a lot to zines. However, zines are not //