How-tos

How to Interpret Your AO3 Fanfiction Data using Google Analytics

August 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

Tablet with data, charts, and graphs onscreen with a coffee mug in the background
You’ve written the words, you’ve developed the characters, now you’re ready to post your fanfiction online for the world to see. Most fanfic writers are perfectly content using the built-in statistics trackers on fanfiction archives like Fanfiction.net and Archive Of Our Own (AO3), but what if you want more? In our previous fanfiction data post, we showed you how to track AO3 fanfiction statistics using Google Analytics. But setting up codes to track your statistics //

How to Track AO3 Fanfiction Statistics Using Google Analytics

April 23, 2018 // 7 Comments

We all know the addiction — the insatiable pull of the “Statistics” page as soon as you post a new fanfiction on Archive Of Our Own (AO3). The checking and rechecking and refreshing, hour after hour, day after day. How many people have read my fic? Did anybody give me kudos? Ooh, a comment! Tracking your statistics on AO3 can provide a lot of basic information about how your fic is being received. Indeed, hit counts, kudos, bookmarks, comments, and subscriptions are all well //

How to Find the Best Fanfiction

January 4, 2018 // 4 Comments

Woman sitting on chair using black iPad
Let’s be honest for a moment. Although there are beautiful, devastating, mind-blowing fanfics out there, it is not a stretch to say that the majority of fanfiction is… mediocre. Fanfiction is not designed to be published professionally and is not held to the same editorial standards that regulate professional writing (nor should it be!). As a result, the majority of fanfiction is marred by spelling mistakes, pronoun overuse, run-on sentences, convoluted plotting, and improper //

Making The Switch from Fanfiction To Original Fiction

November 28, 2017 // 4 Comments

Many fanfiction writers come up against obstacles, AUs that just won’t work or a plot point that veers too far out of character. I have quickly realised, however, that these obstacles are nothing compared to the task of coming out of fanfiction and beginning to write original fiction. Points I hadn’t even considered about writing had suddenly appeared and I started to worry if I was completely out of my depth. I tried to search for anyone in the same situation and found nothing out //

How to Win NaNoWriMo

October 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

pink letters fall from the fridge to the floor
So you’ve decided to do it. Every November, during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, for short), hundreds of thousands of writers across the globe pledge their fealty to the writer gods and commit to writing a novel in one month. 50,000 words in 30 days. 1667 per day. And I’m not going to lie to you. It’s hard. Really hard. But you can do it. I know this because I’ve done it. In the past two years, I’ve gone from writing as an occasional hobby to punching out over half a //

How to Talk to a Beta Reader About Your Fanfiction (Before, During, and After)

August 11, 2017 // 1 Comment

Writers, by nature, keep a tight hold on their work. They obsessively craft and edit and rework until it’s just right (or, at least, just right now). So the thought of handing over your fanfiction to a beta reader for feedback can be, well, terrifying. There is plenty of advice to follow for how to be an effective beta reader, but what about some guidelines for writers? That’s where we come in. Here are some tips on how to talk to a beta reader about your fanfiction… without //

How to Be a Fanfiction Beta Reader

June 30, 2017 // 0 Comments

So you want to be a fanfiction beta reader? It’s a tough job, but if you take the right approach, beta reading can be immensely rewarding. Positive aspects include getting editing experience, discovering new authors (before they are famous), and giving back to your fandom community. But most betas will report it’s the relationships they build with their writers that makes beta reading worthwhile. Cultivating these relationships, like any other, takes open and honest communication //

Plot? What Plot? How to Write an Outline for Your Fanfiction

April 21, 2017 // 2 Comments

There’s a great debate in fic writing circles about whether being a plotter or a pantser is a more effective approach when writing fanfiction. Whether or not you have a penchant for research, however, it is undeniable that every story requires at least some design. Personally, I enjoy the freedom of sitting down in front of blank page and seeing where my imagination takes me… writing by the seat of my pants. However, I am also painfully aware that starting a fanfic without a plan can //

How to Finish Your Novel

January 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

So you’ve started writing a novel. Maybe you took the plunge after years of dreaming about getting your brilliant idea down in book form. Maybe you participated in November’s NaNoWriMo competition. Maybe you’ve unearthed an incomplete manuscript on your laptop. Whatever the case may be, perhaps the most important (and difficult) part of writing a novel is… finishing it. At this year’s Hal-Con, I attended a panel with the modern master of urban fantasy, author Charles de //

How to Cosplay on a Budget

November 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

So you want to cosplay but don’t have the budget for high-end Stormtrooper armour? Time to find a way to strut your stuff on a budget. At this year’s Hal-Con, I attended a panel presented by Canadian fan Polar Cosplay (aka Rebecca Graves) about how to make, care for, and improve upon costumes while staying within your budget. Get Organized Sketch out your costume design before you start shopping. It doesn’t have to look good. Making a diagram of your costume can help you visualize which //