Jump to content
The Big Bang Theory Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Queenfisher

My Questions For Fan Fiction Writers

Recommended Posts

Hello~! I'm currently trying to write my own Shamy fanfic and I wanted to ask a few questions:

 

1. How often should you update?

 

2. Is it better to post as soon as you complete a first chapter or post after you've done a few chapters so you can post weekly?

 

3. Where's the best place to post? Fanfiction, Live Journal or somewhere else?

 

4. Things I should totally add in a Shamy fanfic.

 

5. Things I should NEVER add in a Shamy fanfic.

 

6. Other tips?

 

Replies are much appreciated :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello~! I'm currently trying to write my own Shamy fanfic and I wanted to ask a few questions:

 

1. How often should you update?

Maximum each week (but it depends of the length of your chapters

 

2. Is it better to post as soon as you complete a first chapter or post after you've done a few chapters so you can post weekly?

 

Better to post after a few chapters, I'm a fanfic writer too and that's so easy to stop because you "lost the inspiration"

 

3. Where's the best place to post? Fanfiction, Live Journal or somewhere else?

 

Fanfiction is great

 

4. Things I should totally add in a Shamy fanfic.

Please just try to be close to the personality and characters reality.

That's much enjoyable to recognize them at the first line :)

 

5. Things I should NEVER add in a Shamy fanfic.

I'm not a big fan of angst / rape / dark fanfic.

The only tip I can really give you is: Have pleasure to write then we'll have pleasure to read :)

Have a good day :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First if all, tell the story you want to tell, so don't worry about what you "should or shouldn't" include. I think that as long as you try to keep everyone in character and try to retain the spirit of the show, you can include what feels appropriate to your story.

As for how often to post, I would say that it depends on how long your story is, etc. I'm not a fan of endless stories that just go on and on like someone's diary. I think a story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. If you know where you're going and have that end in sight, it's fine to post as you go as often as you want. Just try not to leave your readers hanging. :)

Good luck!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello~! I'm currently trying to write my own Shamy fanfic and I wanted to ask a few questions:

 

1. How often should you update?

 

2. Is it better to post as soon as you complete a first chapter or post after you've done a few chapters so you can post weekly?

 

3. Where's the best place to post? Fanfiction, Live Journal or somewhere else?

 

4. Things I should totally add in a Shamy fanfic.

 

5. Things I should NEVER add in a Shamy fanfic.

 

6. Other tips?

 

Replies are much appreciated :)

1. When I started I was updating every three days or so. I've gotten busy and was stuck a bit on one section, as a result those updates have slowed down to one in the last three weeks (although. It's nice to have a chapter or five in the back so if you get stuck or busy, you can still publish.

2. I would recommend that you get several chapters ahead (the number of chapters is dependent on how comfortable you feel with how many you are ahead.

3. I recommend Fan Fiction.

4-5 I write Lenny, not Shamy, so I can't help you there. However I will echo phantagrae's comment about writing to tell the story you want to tell. They are your ideas, you have a passion for them. It's much easier to write what you want to write about, rather than writing what you are told to write.

Make sure you are meticulous in your editing. I can get a bit sloppy with editing and I cringe when I see some of the things I left out, left in, or forgot to punctuate.

Good Luck with the writing,

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Queenfisher :)

Have you read much fan fiction? I hadn't read any before I wrote mine and found that it was quite fun discovering how different/alike my fic was when I did go exploring.

If you want to get lots of hits, have a look at the ones on here that are popular and see if there's a common denominator and work within this paradigm.

Or, if your story's already taking shape in your head, then just throw caution to the wind and write it down.

I enjoy reading all sorts of Shamy fan fics; in character, out of character and alternative universe. I don't think there are any dos and don'ts or right and wrongs, just tell the story you've got and let the cards fall where they may. Don't beat yourself up about sticking to an update schedule, as a reader, quality is more important to me than regular updates.

I only know about the Fanfiction site, but I can say it's pretty easy to use and seems popular, so would recommend.

Remember to post on here too, I'm always interested to see new Shamy stories and rarely get the chance to go digging about anywhere else.

Go on, go for it! Will look out for your story. Have fun!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Queenfisher :)

Have you read much fan fiction? I hadn't read any before I wrote mine and found that it was quite fun discovering how different/alike my fic was when I did go exploring.

If you want to get lots of hits, have a look at the ones on here that are popular and see if there's a common denominator and work within this paradigm.

Or, if your story's already taking shape in your head, then just throw caution to the wind and write it down.

I enjoy reading all sorts of Shamy fan fics; in character, out of character and alternative universe. I don't think there are any dos and don'ts or right and wrongs, just tell the story you've got and let the cards fall where they may. Don't beat yourself up about sticking to an update schedule, as a reader, quality is more important to me than regular updates.

I only know about the Fanfiction site, but I can say it's pretty easy to use and seems popular, so would recommend.

Remember to post on here too, I'm always interested to see new Shamy stories and rarely get the chance to go digging about anywhere else.

Go on, go for it! Will look out for your story. Have fun!

 

Sorry, but this one bolded line stuck out to me.

 

I don't think one should ever write toward popularity, or, in this instance, toward trying to get hits based on what seems to be popular or what other authors have done.

First of all, that's one way to compromise the truth of your own story--and I assume you have your own story to tell--and secondly, it's also a good way to end up writing nothing but overused cliches.

 

In some ways it's impossible to avoid going over well-trodden ground.  If you're writing a story about something like Sheldon and Amy having sex, well, there's a bazillion stories on that subject, so you're bound to have some overlap or some ideas similar to something that someone else has written.

But you want to be as true to yourself and your own voice as possible.

 

Reading other fanfics before you write your story can be a blessing and a curse.  On the one hand, you can see about technical things like formatting, breaking up chapters, etc., but you can also psych yourself out with getting other people's stories or ideas in your head, or you can end up jumping on the cliche bandwagon and kind of unconsciously mimicing other writers or whatever.

 

We were laughing about the use of "burning" in many Shamy fanfics.  Someone's always burning from the other's touch or whatever.  While it's a perfectly good analogy to use, it's one that gets accidentally overused.

 

While you don't want to put yourself in a straight-jacket over it, you want to try to pick the best words for what you're trying to say or to depict.

 

I would recommend reading anything OTHER than fanfic if you're looking for writing help or inspiration or "how to write,"

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stopped reading fanfics when I wrote mine, because I felt it would be easy to end up copying other's ideas, intentional or not, and I didn't want to do that.  But I did read novels while I wrote mine, and I noticed that my writing was better and flowed easier when I was reading too.  Not sure why.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would recommend reading some shamy stories before you do your own, they are usually very inspiring

 

as for updating that's upto you, when I started mine I think I did 10 chapters within 2 weeks, I try and update as and when I can, im on a break at the moment and I will update next week at some point

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay Rachel you have to stop commenting after me... our avatars are too similar, lol!

 

I probably shouldn't give any advice on updating.  But, I will say that many times I felt pressure to update, but there would be something nagging me and I would wait so that I could read it one more time, and I was always glad that I did.  Don't update before you're sure you want to.  Yes, it's nice to have them coming quickly, but it's more important that you feel it's the best it can be and that you are happy with it before showing it to the world.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. How often should you update? There's no right answer for that if you're a writer. Your readers are extremely important to the process but you can't rush yourself because trust me, you will hate yourself for posting something if it wasn't ready to be published. Listen to your audience but if you can't update as often as they'd like, assure them that you'd rather post quality than quantity. Most, if not all, will understand.

 

2. Is it better to post as soon as you complete a first chapter or post after you've done a few chapters so you can post weekly? I know people who write the entire story before they post it and update every few days. That's a great idea, but it's not realistic for everybody. It's always good to be prepared before committing to a multi-chapter fic so you don't lose gas in the long run and ultimately leave your readers hanging for months on end, but again, it's up to you.

 

3. Where's the best place to post? Fanfiction, Live Journal or somewhere else? I've only posted on FF.net. I like it. :)

 

4. Things I should totally add in a Shamy fanfic. The possibilities are endless. Surprise us!

 

5. Things I should NEVER add in a Shamy fanfic. I refuse to answer this. Again--surprise us. ;)

 

6. Other tips? It's very obvious, once you've read some Shamy fics and start to write them, that this genre of fiction can be very clique-y. Don't be discouraged by this and don't let a flame review get you down. There's a lot of people (especially on this forum) that stress that fan fiction should stay in character, but I've said it before and I'll say it again: if we wanted strictly canon, we would watch the show. ALTHOUGH, some very IC and canon fics can be amazing reads. You don't get paid money to write for The Big Bang Theory, and until you do, don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. You get paid in reviews to bring the fictitious goods. "An imagination is a terrible thing to waste." Hope to see some of your stories soon. :)

Edited by tx-fictionqueen
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, but this one bolded line stuck out to me.

 

I don't think one should ever write toward popularity, or, in this instance, toward trying to get hits based on what seems to be popular or what other authors have done.

First of all, that's one way to compromise the truth of your own story--and I assume you have your own story to tell--and secondly, it's also a good way to end up writing nothing but overused cliches.

 

In some ways it's impossible to avoid going over well-trodden ground.  If you're writing a story about something like Sheldon and Amy having sex, well, there's a bazillion stories on that subject, so you're bound to have some overlap or some ideas similar to something that someone else has written.

But you want to be as true to yourself and your own voice as possible.

 

Reading other fanfics before you write your story can be a blessing and a curse.  On the one hand, you can see about technical things like formatting, breaking up chapters, etc., but you can also psych yourself out with getting other people's stories or ideas,"

On the contrary, I'd say knowing what goes down well can help a great deal. From what I can see the romantic Shamy is very popular, and I am myself enjoying 3 of these types of fic currently (you know who you are). Queenfisher, if your story is romantically inclined then researching the popular fics of this genre can only help you be successful. Also, how do you avoid clichés if you don't know what they are to begin with? Believe me, I thought my ideas were soooo original before I began delving into the Fanfic filter! LOL!

I must clarify here, that I'm in no way encouraging plagiarism, simply research, and the opportunity to steer your story away from over-used plot devices.

Phanta, I'm pretty sure that, as in life, popularity is the goal of most writers, fanfic or commercial. Unless you're trolling (or you're English journalist, Samantha Brick) most writers are looking for accolades or, constructive criticism at the very least. Having been 'Marmite' my whole life, and due to the nature of the line of work I pursued before becoming a Mum, I have skin like a rhino, however, most don't. Why is it wrong to seek popularity? Surely the more popular your work is, then the more pleasure it brings to a wider audience?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the contrary, I'd say knowing what goes down well can help a great deal. From what I can see the romantic Shamy is very popular, and I am myself enjoying 3 of these types of fic currently (you know who you are). Queenfisher, if your story is romantically inclined then researching the popular fics of this genre can only help you be successful. Also, how do you avoid clichés if you don't know what they are to begin with? Believe me, I thought my ideas were soooo original before I began delving into the Fanfic filter! LOL!

I must clarify here, that I'm in no way encouraging plagiarism, simply research, and the opportunity to steer your story away from over-used plot devices.

Phanta, I'm pretty sure that, as in life, popularity is the goal of most writers, fanfic or commercial. Unless you're trolling (or you're English journalist, Samantha Brick) most writers are looking for accolades or, constructive criticism at the very least. Having been 'Marmite' my whole life, and due to the nature of the line of work I pursued before becoming a Mum, I have skin like a rhino, however, most don't. Why is it wrong to seek popularity? Surely the more popular your work is, then the more pleasure it brings to a wider audience?

 

What I'm saying is that shaping your story so that it will be "popular" is kind of like writing by opinion poll.  Yeah, you can do it, but ultimately then you're not telling your own story--you're telling the story that others want.  That to me is like the old tin pan alley type of songwriting--3 minutes long with a hook, these three chords, something you can dance to, rhyming moon and June and spoon.

 

I think that if your writing is good, if the story YOU want to tell is good, then people will like it.  Maybe not everybody, maybe not even the majority, but readers with any kind of discernment will like it.  To me, it's better to be good than to be popular, to be true to yourself and your story than to try to imitate the style or content of others.

 

If we all read each other's stories and then try to write something similar, then we're bound to be writing essentially the same thing over and over and that's just not interesting.

 

If everyone tries to imitate Misophonia's style or her story content or whatever, then what's the point of that?  Just because her story is popular, is that going to make everyone else's imitation popular?

I would bet that none of the "most popular" stories were written with popularity as the goal.

 

"If you build it, they will come."

If you tell a real story, conceived in your own mind, then if it's good it will be worthy of popularity.

You know, Johnny Galecki just recently addressed the question of what it is that gives TBBT its high ratings and he said there's no formula for that.  If there were, every show would follow it.  It's a very common thing in TV and movies, as a matter of fact.  Some show or movie hits it big and then all of a sudden you've got 30 shows or movies out there trying to imitate them in hopes of having the same big hit.

When The X-Files became popular, all of a sudden shows about the paranormal, especially with a male/female lead, were everywhere.  Everyone was trying to cash in on TXF's popularity by trying to somehow imitate whatever it was that made it popular.  Most, if not all, of the imitators just didn't get it.  And it was obviousl that they were imitating.

 

For writers this is also true.  You don't want your story to be essentially just another imitator of some other popular story or style or whatever.

 

Be original and real.  Popularity isn't the best measure of a good story.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only advice i would give to someone starting to write is to know what kind of story you want to tell. Know how you want it to start, the basics of what you want to happen in it and have some idea of how you want it to end. I've always found writing out a little plan before i got deep into writing the story to be helpful as it always gave me a little idea of how long the story was going to be and helped me figure out what i wanted to happen from chapter to chapter. Of course as i start writing the story that plan changes. Things get added and things get taken away but i've always found it helpful so maybe you would too.

 

I also always write a few chapters ahead before i begin posting. It gives me a feel of how the story is going to go and takes the pressure off a little.

 

The only other thing i will say is that you should tell your story how you see it in your head. Dont feel like you should or shouldnt do something because of the comments people make about it. If you want to keep them in character then do it, if you want to take them completely out of character then dont let anyone stop you. I for one am not a fan of stories that go OOC, i feel that fanfiction is no longer fanfiction if you arent writing the characters in the show, but that is only my opinon. Dont focus on what you feel that others may think you should or shouldnt do, go with your gut, its your story so tell it. :)

 

Good luck with your story and have fun writing it, thats the most important thing after all :)

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple answer - write what you want to write... what's in your heart (sorry if that sounds corny).  I've written two FF's, don't know how great they are, but I loved doing it and am proud of accomplishing two "short stories", something I'd never done before.  The stories sort of took over when I started writing - almost like I was just a conduit for something.  Weird but enjoyable feeling.  I suspect it may have just been a lot of ideas floating around in my subconscious that found their release as I typed.  Again, I'm not trying to make it sound like important literature, but the stories were/are important to me.  Happily, some other people read them and generally liked them, which was very gratifying.  

 

As a result (and, boy, is this ever naive thinking) I want to try my hand at writing a romance fiction novel.  As a result, I am now reading romance fiction to get an idea of the genre, plus I picked up a couple of books about how to write romance fiction.  It may only ever produce one copy that I keep on my bookshelf, but it'll be mine.  it's a goal and excites me to consider doing it.  It will be harder than writing Fan Fiction, where the characters and backstories already exist.  But I got such an unexpected buzz from writing the FF romance ficiton that I have decided to try creating a romance story from scratch.  My creative side coming out in retirement.  And right now, with some other stuff going on that's not so great, this creative stuff is really important and positive for me.

 

Good luck.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My goodness Queenfisher, your fic is dividing opinion before it's even published! You are now the enfant terrible of Shamy fanfic all without a single keystroke ;)

I made assumptions re. your attitude to critics from your questions posed, sorry! My 'research' suggestion was answering questions 4 & 5, but of course it will be your 'voice' that determines how your fic is received.

How do you think you'll cope with negative feedback?

Do you want constructive criticism? Personally, I welcome it, and have in fact acted on advice given here (Phanta, I removed the 'Britishisms' and rewrote the offending line from your feedback, although I left the pubic hair in...ya boo :p ).

Popularity and originality are not mutually exclusive, I still recommend you have a look at what's out there if your direction is undecided.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like everything has been covered, but I thought I would add my two cents, nonetheless. (Forgive me.)

 

1. How often should you update?

 

I think at least once a week is a minimum if you are going to build and keep a fanbase. In the end, you should update enough that you are churning out chapters, but not so fast that you aren't editing and polishing the chapters to be as good as they can be.

 

2. Is it better to post as soon as you complete a first chapter or post after you've done a few chapters so you can post weekly?

I usually am a chapter or two ahead, but I won't publish until after I can be a few days from when I last wrote the chapter. I can spot more mistakes and issues that way. It's not a perfect system, but it works. Proofreading before posting is key.

 

3. Where's the best place to post? Fanfiction, Live Journal or somewhere else?

Any place you feel comfortable. Heck, post it everywhere if you want.

 

4. Things I should totally add in a Shamy fanfic.

Stick to the characters as much as you can. It's best to establish the characters at first by being as close to canon in their speech, behavior, and overall mannerisms as possible. Then, when the poop hits the pedestal, your readers will hang on for the ride. If you start with them out of character, readers have a hard time suspending disbelief long enough to get invested in your story.

 

5. Things I should NEVER add in a Shamy fanfic.

Shamy twins. Please. It's been done well. It's been done badly. But, for God's sake, it's been done. Move on.

 

6. Other tips?

1. Don't be afraid to take risks. In fact, if a story scares you, that is an even better reason to write it.

2. Handle criticism with dignity and grace and accept that it is impossible that everyone will love your story.

3. Spelling and grammar count. This can mean the difference between: "I helped jack off a horse" and I helped Jack off a horse."

4. When you fail, come back swinging harder the next time. No one gets it right on the first try.

5. Read, read, read, and read some more. Read published novels, read fanfiction, read other fanfiction, read more novels. Pay attention to how others put together stories, develop plots, draw characters, use humor, describe a scene, and utilize dialogue. Then, when you are done, write and don't stop.

 

 

Hope this helps!

Edited by Misophonia
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for all the replies! I wasn't expecting so many people to post :) I found all the tips helpful and I'll definitely consider all of them, the best advice coming from most of you being "write what you want and don't let people bring you down". Your posts have given me a great boost~! When I'm happy with what I've written, I'll be sure to post it in this forum :)

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I just started my first ever fan fic so not sure if this is your first ever or have yet to post, so I cannot offer any substantial advice haha. But pretty much everyone here stick to your story, I tend to not have idea's flow if I am listining to other people's opinon's on site's I have read too see how to structure Fan Fic's, if your not passionate about your story then the idea's won't flow. I have a started a Lenny one, have no idea if I am doing it right lol, but I well post when it's done so go easy on me ;).

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I wanna read 3ku's fic, too...

Queen, hope you update yours soon!

It'll be up on wednesday :) [Philippine time, dunno what day it is on your country hahaha]

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. How often should you update?

 

As much as possible but don't do it so quick that you give a half ass chapter.  If it takes a few more days to edit and perfect, it will better in the long run.  I would rather wait a couple weeks for a polished update that really works in the story than one someone rushed in to make a deadline.  If grammar is not your thing or think you may want a second opinion, use a beta reader from ff.net or ask someone here.  A lot of us are also beta readers on ff.net.  Crappy grammar, run on sentences or dialogue with different characters all mashed together can really throw the reader off.  Don't let the reader change your story however.  A good beta reader will help you clean up dialogue and give you  notes on how to improve your chapter, but in the end, it's your vision, not theirs.

 

2. Is it better to post as soon as you complete a first chapter or post after you've done a few chapters so you can post weekly?

 

I try to do a few chapters before posting, but I've also done it right away.  I like the former because you may see after a couple of chapters a better way to present a concept or present a character or situation and you can fix it before posting.  It can be done after, but it could be disconcerting to the reader who already started it.

 

3. Where's the best place to post? Fanfiction, Live Journal or somewhere else?

 

I used to be only at Fanfiction.net and other websites for specific shows, but FF has been deleting favorite stories of mine because of content I think recently.  If you post there, I would also post to a secondary place like LJ, AO3, or somewhere that has no restrictions.

 

4. Things I should totally add in a Shamy fanfic.

 

Humor, romance (without OOC syrupy pet names and dialogue), friendship.  A little OOC is okay, but don't go overboard just to fit a particular idea in a story

 

5. Things I should NEVER add in a Shamy fanfic.

 

Not big on super dark ones, but angst and drama is good mixed with some humor, as stated before do IC as much as possible, but a little OOC is okay.  Too much OOC, including drippy dialogue turns off most readers, but I can't speak for everyone.

 

6. Other tips?

 

Stay with your vision no matter what, but don't draw it out to the point that it goes past your original idea for a story.  For example, you write a Shamy story that is advertised about them having an issue that threatens their relationship, you write it, including maybe a wedding or some sort of conclusion that involves happily ever after, but then you go on and start another unrelated storyline to drag out the story.  The best fanfics in my opinion have a beginning, middle, and end.  You can always write sequels. 

 

Always have some sort of concept with a start, body, and conclusion in mind.  It doesn't have to be exact, but just general ideas, so if need to tweak something you can without dragging the story out and you don't end up making the reader nuts by changing something totally out of left field.

 

Always use the  page break offered in ff.net and other websites to break up different areas of the story.  It makes it easier to understand when the story shifts to a different location and flows better.  If you need advice on when to use it, as stated above utilize a beta reader or a friend who is good with English to give you a hand.

 

 

Edited by mphs95

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.