How to Keep the Thesaurus from Throwing Up on Your Work

December 13, 2015 // 1 Comment

Writers have a great many tools at our disposal—plot devices, narrative structure, figurative language, and more—but the most fundamental tools of writing are words. Choosing words carefully is a large part of taking your writing from good to fantastic—but spending too much time agonizing over the Thesaurus can also send your work from good to purple prose faster than you can say “Hemingway was a drunkard.” This is not going to be one of those articles that lists a couple //

The Art of Fanfic Feedback

December 2, 2015 // 1 Comment

Being friends with a fanfic writer isn’t always easy. Pages upon pages of instant messages about that weird idea that just won’t leave them alone, random texts in the middle of the night about the latest plot hole they’ve encountered, and hours spent coaching them through the ever-so-common “oh man, no one’s gonna like this, my writing is crap, I hope I’m reincarnated as a clam” existential crisis that all writers go through. No, there’s never a dull moment when you’re friends //

How to Strengthen an Established Character Through Fanfiction

December 2, 2015 // 1 Comment

It’s happened to all of us at some point or another. You stumble upon that perfect new fandom where everything is shiny and chrome except for that one character. Whether he or she is poorly acted, underwritten, or jarringly clichéd, the appearance of this character instantly poisons whatever scene he or she features in—what’s even worse, sometimes he or she is the main character. But maybe you kind of like this character regardless of the fan community railing against them. Maybe //

How Online Roleplay Crafts Better Fanfiction

November 30, 2015 // 1 Comment

A few years ago, I remember receiving a book as a birthday gift. It touched on a number of ways an aspiring writer can learn to create better fiction. As far as I was concerned, the guy was published, therefore he had to be a master at knowing and understanding how the written word worked. To this day, I don’t doubt that he is/was successful. The majority of his advice was sound: write what you know, brainstorm, edit. I could agree with all his advice without a problem. But as I read a little //

Top 15 Must-Have Books For Fanfiction Writers

November 28, 2015 // 2 Comments

For many first-time or beginner fanfiction writers, there is often an overwhelming passion to write but sometimes an equally overwhelming feeling of, “How do I do this?” or even “There seems to be so much to this whole writing thing, where do I start?” While jumping right in is often the first impulse, taking some time to assemble some solid writing resources will result in a higher quality initial draft and greater overall satisfaction with your initial attempts. Even if you’ve been //

Beginner’s Guide to Creating Fanart

November 22, 2015 // 5 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. Fan artists invest hours and hours of their spare time into their paintings, driven by their love of the source material. While some have always enjoyed drawing, others take to art to depict their favorite characters. U.S. TV producer Bryan Konietzko wrote in 2013: “I remember back in the Avatar days [2005–2008]… the //

Where Should I Post my Fanfic?

November 21, 2015 // 8 Comments

Gone are the days of distributing your fanfiction via printed fanzines, mailing lists, or Geocities pages. Today, we have modern conveniences such as archive sites, and if you’re not old enough to remember the uphill-both-ways-in-the-snow times, consider yourself lucky. This article is going to cover the pros and cons of three major archives:, Archive of Our Own, and Wattpad. Whether you’re just getting into fanfic for the first time or you’re an older fan looking for //

How to Choose a Tabletop RPG System for Your Fandom

November 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

Tabletop RPGs are another way to have fun with your favorite world. Most fandoms have licensed RPG properties, and licensed RPGs can also be a good source of extra worldbuilding tips that can’t be found in the original material. What do you do, though, if your favorite fandom doesn’t have one? Game design can be complicated, so it’s often easier to choose an existing RPG system and adapt it to your chosen world. I’m going to talk a bit about the process of doing so by //

How to Increase your Word Count (And Avoid Writer’s Block)

November 14, 2015 // 0 Comments

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is officially half over, and with the encroaching deadline comes the pressure to push your word count to new heights. NaNoWriMo is an annual online challenge during the month of November which challenges writers to write at least 50,000 words in exactly one month. The challenge is free to join, and it is open to writers of all levels. Check out for more information! Whether you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, or just working on your story, //

Why Mary Sues and OCs Are Hated (and Why They’re Not the Same)

November 5, 2015 // 9 Comments

I don’t really mind OCs in fanfiction. Even if a writer uses an OC as a main character, I’m cool with it—as long as the character in question isn’t a Mary Sue. Now, I understand that Mary Sue is a somewhat subjective term. If you ask ten different people what it means, you’ll get ten different answers: A Mary Sue is the author’s wish fulfillment. A Mary Sue is a character whose name and physical traits overcompensate for her lack of personality. A Mary Sue pushes //