Writing Advice

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 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 NaNoWriMo.org for more information! Whether you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, or just working on your story, //

Transform Your Fanfic into Original Work Through Worldbuilding

October 29, 2015 // 0 Comments

Fanfic is a lot of fun and a great way to become a good writer. Some of us, though, might want to make the transition to writing professionally. This isn’t always as easy as E.L. James makes it look. One of the biggest issues with making the transition is that fanfic, by its nature, comes with a world already defined. The heavy lifting of worldbuilding has already been done by the original author or creators. And, of course, changing all of the names isn’t enough to change your //

Five Psychological Benefits of Writing Fanfiction

October 21, 2015 // 5 Comments

In 2009 I began writing fanfiction as a means to jumpstart my creative process. I was so in love with the characters of the anime I was addicted to (Yu Yu Hakusho, by the way) that I wanted desperately for there to be more of their adventures and world than the complete series offered me. Burning through the entire series in two weeks’ only left that hunger festering. I was writing the first draft of a novel at the time, in between jobs and attending college. When I could no longer fill my //

In Another Place, Not Here: Writing Exotic Locales

October 21, 2015 // 0 Comments

Ah, the thrill of travel! Exploring new horizons, indulging in unfamiliar foods, and taking in sights only ever glimpsed in a guidebook holds endless appeal for us humans. We’re explorers at heart, and even if you hate the expense and inconvenience of traveling, chances are you like to read about places you’ve never been. That goes double (and maybe even triple) for fanfic writers. We live and breathe our canon. Whether our stories are set in the shadowy halls of Hogwarts, the //

Seeing Is Believing: A Brief Explanation of “Show, Don’t Tell”

October 20, 2015 // 1 Comment

Far and away, the most common piece of writing advice given to budding authors is “show, don’t tell.” Don’t just tell the reader about the setting, the characters, or the story, show it to them. It’s solid advice. Seeing something is more fun than just being told them about it, but it fails to answer the next logical question: what does showing even mean? This is the roadblock that most beginning writers get stuck on, especially amongst the younger crowd, and they find themselves //