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Stephen Hawking

Fan Fic Writing Questions and Answers.

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This topic will be used for asking and giving answers to questions about writing fan fic.  Things such as what the correct word may be, how long a story should be, specifics about locations, etc.  We'll sticky it so it is easy to find.

Stephen Hawking started this topic as "Advice Please".  His suggestion to have a topic specifically for this has resulted in the change of title.  Thanks Stephen for the suggestion.  He was his first question:  

 

I'm having a go at writing a story, but need a bit of advice.

What's a reasonable word count, for a one shot?

Edited by Tensor
Change topic title and added an explanation.

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I wouldn't worry about word-count.  Just write the story you want to write.

If it turns out to be too long to post as a one-shot, you can break it up and still post it all at once.

 

Just write the story first, then see how long it is and go from there.

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I agree.  Write it the way you want.

 

I always think of something David Duchovny said about writing.  The story kind of tells you what it needs to be--a poem, a play, a novel, or in this case, a one-shot, a longer story.

 

I mean, a one-shot doesn't necessarily have to be only one chapter.  To me, the nature of a one-shot is that it is not an ongoing story, or one that is serialized.

In the case of a longer piece, it can still be a one-shot in the sense that it is a self-contained story that you don't intend to continue or write a sequel for, etc.

If it's longer and has to be broken up, you can still post all the chapters at once, if you want to whole story out there at once.

 

As long as it is a one-shot in concept, the length doesn't matter.

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I'm more concerned it's going to be too short, rather than too long.

 

ETA: I've got the story outline, but I'm struggling a bit over the comedy and jokes.

 

ATM it seems a bit dry.

 

The ending I've got. The beginning is OK-ish, but the middle is a bit bland.

Edited by Stephen Hawking

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I don't think too short is a problem. E.g. just recently I read 'the kiss cam dilemma' by chiany and it had less than 1000 words, and it was great. So it's not the length that counts;-)

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I'm more concerned it's going to be too short, rather than too long.

 

ETA: I've got the story outline, but I'm struggling a bit over the comedy and jokes.

 

ATM it seems a bit dry.

 

The ending I've got. The beginning is OK-ish, but the middle is a bit bland.

 

Get someone to read it for you privately and see what they think.  A good beta can advise you if it needs to be punched up or lengthened or whatever.

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I"ve written one shots that were 8500 words and one that was 1200.  I agree with what everyone says, the story is what matters.  

 

I cant wait to your AMY!  WOOHOO

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Never worry about word count, for example a few nights ago I wrote an one shot of about 900 words.

 

But I also read brilliant one shots even shorter then that.

So as long as you tell the story you want to, the number of words don't matter.

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SOOO... how's about that Amy story, huh?  If ANYONE will write her to perfection it will be you...

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I cant wait to your AMY!  WOOHOO

 

SOOO... how's about that Amy story, huh?  If ANYONE will write her to perfection it will be you...

 

I'm afraid I have bad  news.

 

While, technically, it is a Shamy story (in that it concerns Sheldon and Amy), Amy doesn't feature much in it, although she is pretty important to the story.

 

Do you fancy taking a look, and advising me on it?

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I'm afraid I have bad  news.

 

While, technically, it is a Shamy story (in that it concerns Sheldon and Amy), Amy doesn't feature much in it, although she is pretty important to the story.

 

Do you fancy taking a look, and advising me on it?

Absolutely!! I will be happy too. I am not good at grammar, but on plot points I can help or just general suggestions along the way.  PM me and I'll give you my email.  Although it's pretty easy: hazelra77@yahoo.com

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I've always liked the one-shots that are between 3,000 and 5,000 words, but I've read ones that are only a few hundred words that are really good. Let the story tell itself :-)

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Just to update you.

 

With each chapter I found it was getting easier to keep the story going.

 

Also, I'm deleting less.

 

In the first chapter, I would type whole paragraphs, then delete and start again. Now it's mostly just a few words in a sentence.

 

I've also noticed that, while it takes me a while (lots of thinking first) to start a chapter, t once I've started, I can pretty much zip through it, in one sitting.

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Stephen,

 

Yes, we have 24-hour supermarkets and they sell everything.  Just down the street from me is a Meijer which sells groceries, pharmaceuticals, and virtually anything else you might want to buy.  However, I wouldn't send your characters to Meijer as I think it's only found in our Midwest.  I don't know what sorts of supermarkets are found in Pasadena but I'm sure there are many.

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Thanks for that Patsy. I'm not going to name the store. I just need Amy to pick up some pajamas and a toothbrush, from a Supermarket, on her way to work on Friday morning.

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Another quick question, if I may.

Is it a checkout or a till?

You mean at a store?  It's called a check-out or a register.  The area is called the checkout, as in, "He pushed his cart toward the checkout lanes."  But the individual machine is called a register, as in, "He stepped up to the register with his purchases."

But really, the two terms are pretty much interchangeable.

Thanks for that Patsy. I'm not going to name the store. I just need Amy to pick up some pajamas and a toothbrush, from a Supermarket, on her way to work on Friday morning.

I wouldn't call such a store a supermarket.  I think most people would think of a grocery store if you say supermarket.

There are many 24-hr Walmart stores, which would be common in LA, that would carry pajamas and so forth.  Walmart, Target, or some other department store, would have the right connotation.

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Thanks for that. I'll go with Walmart.

Interestingly, in the UK, we'd call Asda (owned by Walmart), Tesco, etc. Supermarkets.

Having lived in England for a while, it can be a bit jarring to see the English terms in a story set in the Pasadena area. I give you credit for trying to get it right. Most of those type stores are called department stores. You could google "24 hour department stores in Pasadena" and you should get a listing of them, with the location if you need it. 

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You could google "24 hour department stores in Pasadena" and you should get a listing of them, with the location if you need it. 

I really need a store, en route between Amy's apartment in Glendale, and Caltech.

BTW. Whereabouts in England did you live?

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Lakenheath, for about six months.   If you give me about 10 minutes I'll get you a couple of stores in the location you want.

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Nope, the US Air Force. Well, since I was on a  RAF base, yeah I guess there was a connection there.  

 

Interestingly, there are no 24 hour department stores in Pasadena or Glendale.  However, depending on where in Glendale you have her living, there is one in Altadena, just north of Pasadena, easily accessible off the 210 (Glendale is West and Northwest of Pasadena).  She could then take either the Lake Ave or Hill Ave exits of the 210.  Hill ave is the Eastern Boundary of Cal Tech, Lake is near enough to the Western boundary of Cal Tech.  

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