Chapter 1: Introduction
First off, this story is not meant to offend anyone. If you are someone easily offended, I recommend not reading this because I don't want to deal with hurt feelings, that's not what I wrote this for.
Secondly, this book is so that you can write better! Yay! So if you want advice and aren't easily offended, go ahead and read.
Thirdly... there is no thirdly. Let's do this!
Chapter 2: Word Choice
Make sure that you switch up your word choice in your stories. Especially for eye color. I'm tired of hearing about which gemstone color the character's eyes are. There are more colors than "ocean blue" and "emerald." That said, this can be used every once in a while, but every time you talk about their eyes, don't always use that gemstone. Switch it up!
Describing (mainly eyes):
Hard as stone
His/her eyes shone
Despair was evident in his/her eyes
_____'s eyes were warm and welcoming
See? You can easily change it up.
______ had a muddy orange tint
As yellow as the sun
A green that made my stomach lurch
As Green as grass
_____ was the color of lead
So there are some examples for you. If you want to use any of them, go ahead. Now I'll write two example pieces of what you should and should not do. The blanks are just where the story would change based upon what fan fiction you are writing.
What you shouldn't do
Wow this place I'm in so so weird. Oh btw I have blonde hair and ocean blue eyes and my boyfriend's name is ____ and he is hot cause he has emerald green eyes and brown hair. The place we are in is called ______ and I like it by its weird and I'm so awesome that I'm better than all of the characters and can do things that they can't do and that's far fetched and unrealistic but who cares and now I'm kissing my boyfriend. He's so hot and his lips are warm and I like him a lot. No I love him even though I barely know him and we just met.
What you should do
My morning in _____ started off pretty good if I do say so myself.
It began when my boyfriend, _____, gave me a rose. The rose was a beautiful scarlet shade, and he had taken the liberty to clip off all of the thorns. Truthfully, it had surprised me. Today wasn't anything special... right?
Then, when I had finished breakfast, my friend ______ told me to come with her/him, and I obliged. I was suspicious to say the least, as _____ could be, well, mischievous. Luckily, he/she hadn't burned anything down, and I could safely say that it didn't look like the zombie apocalypse, thank god. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to see a picnic scene spread out on the grass, still coated in dew. ____ was gone before I could ask him/her why there was a picnic in the middle of _____. Slowly, I had advanced and opened the basket delicately, and if I'm honest with myself, I was pretty scared. _____ had a knack for pyrotechnics. Apparently he/she hadn't used his/her skills, because all that was inside was a card. It was just simply plain white card stock with the words, "Remember out first date?" Written on it, in my lover's handwriting. It was positively adorable.
I had looked up and suddenly there was _____, my best friend.
"Oh, hey, _____. You scared me! Do you know what going on here?" I chuckled.
He/she laughed, "I do."
"That's not a very helpful answer!" A grin tugged at my lips.
He/she shook his/her head. "It's not supposed to be."
And with that she whisked me away to a very specific tree. I remembered this one. This is where ____ and I first kissed. We we're sitting up in it's branches and he almost fell, but I caught him. We had a good laugh about that. In the tree, in the very branch we sat on, was a card that read, "Remember? I almost fell out of the tree when you kissed me." And just as before, my best friend was gone. On the back of the card, it said, "Follow the trail." Follow the trail?
I scanned the area around me. What trail? Oh, that trail. Rose petals led into the distance, just as red as the ones on my rose that morning.
I did as the card instructed, walking past other trees until I came to clearing decorated in tea lights and rose petals. Chic, yes, but incredibly romantic.
And right in the middle of it all, in the clearing where we first exchanged the words "I love you," was _____. One of his knees was down on the ground and his other up in the traditional position to pop the question. And of course, he has a ring to go with it.
So there you go, the first real chapter. I hope I helped. Also, you can use anything on here, except for the example writing pieces. Happy writing!
Chapter 3: Writing Realistic
I've noticed that in most fan fictions, the main character is unrealistically awesome. Awesome is good, but too much of it is bad. For example: in Percy Jackson the character may be the daughter of a titan or invincible or something. With The Maze Runner, the girl solves the maze in a day, even though it takes the brilliant characters years. In Harry Potter, the character can do crazy magic that's not even written into the books. You get what I'm saying? It's just crazy and doesn't fit the book/movie.
Your character should be flawed, it's what makes them interesting. Plus, if you make the flaws relatable, your audience will be more emotionally attached to the character.
Let your character get hurt! It's not like they're so amazing that nothing ever injures them. They're human (most of the time).
Have the character struggle. They need to have problems, or there is literally no plot line! Let them be sad, broken hearted, and lonely. Their life shouldn't be perfectly perfect.
When their life is going poorly or they get injured, things shouldn't suddenly get better like you'll hurt them but you can't deal with them being hurt.
Being randomly tough, to where it's crazy. Like, oh, I lost a leg. No big deal I'll still kill this person when I need critical medical care. Or oh, I got a knife shoved into my shoulder. To be "realistic" I'll scream but I'll still get up and fight this person off and I won't cry.
Another thing is appearances. (I'll talk more about it in another chapter). But make them realistic! Some of my favorite characters have major appearance issues.
Personalities. This person needs to have little things that are bad about them. No one is perfect.
-------------------------------------------------------So there you go! Happy writing everyone!
Chapter 4: Plot Lines
When you're writing a fanfiction, it can be easy to forget about a plot. You may get so wrapped up in the romance that you pay no attention to the plot. This is easy to do, but it's not something that you want to do. It may be a fanfiction, but you are still writing a story. So why would you scrap the story?
Honestly, I find it hard to read fanfictions without plot lines. It's unbearably boring. But if a fanfiction does have a plot line, I'm all in. I want to see the characters face obstacles, I want there to be a turning point, and I love the sense of closure when I finish it.
I don't normally vote on stories. It's just a fact about me. I only vote on stories if they're really good. If a fanfiction has a good plot line, and a good writer, I will vote on every chapter. I'm not the only one like that, either. So if you lose the plot, you lose the votes. It's that simple.
So you need a plot line. Now what?
Now, you need to create a plot line.
And how do you do that?
You create. You're an author! You have a brain, use it to create an awesome plot line. But I can help you a little bit.
What makes an awesome plot line:
-It needs to be unexpected. Change it up! Cut the chic! Make the reader gasp when they read it! Don't do what all the other fanfics do, no matter how much you like the idea. Make your own idea, and make it better!
- Closure. Closure is when the story ends and you just have this feeling. It's final, it ended, but it's a good feeling, not a sad one (most of the time). Some good examples are the Harry Potter Books and the Percy Jackson books. The last books in these series have closure. To get closure you need to let the readers know that the characters are moving on with their lives! In the Harry Potter books-
SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED THE HARRY POTTER SERIES!
It ends with Harry at Platform 9 3/4 sending his kids off to Hogwarts, with his wife, Ginny. This let the reader know that Harry moved on and he has a life outside of defeating Voldemort.
Spoiler over. You can continue reading now.
That offered closure. Likewise, in the Percy Jackson Books-
ANOTHER SPOILER! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED THE PERCY JACKSON BOOKS!
Percy and Annabeth decide to go to college in Camp Jupiter and it let the reader know that he and Annabeth have a future outside of fighting Kronos and Geia.
Spoiler over. You can continue.
So those are some examples of closure. Closure is amazing... use it!
- It needs to have a turning point. A story is dry without rising action, turning point, and falling action. It just is. The characters must face a problem and then solve it, and have a resolution. Every book has it, and yours should be no exception.
So there you go. Now go use your beautiful brains and write a plot line. Happy writing!📚
Chapter 5: Appearances
One thing that is common in fanfics is that the appearances of the OCs are totally unrealistic (I have a whole chapter on being realistic). Normally, they describe the characters in the book/movie/show/anime accurately, so that's not the issue. It's the OCs (Original Characters).
They almost always have the following:
Ocean blue eyes
Wearing something stylish
Perfect make up
Plenty of jewelry
It's odd. I mean, look around your school, for heavens sakes, or your work place! There are other appearances out there.
What about brown, red, black, dyed (pink, green, blue, purple, etc.), gray, or orangish colored hair?
How about green, brown, or gray eyes? Or even colored contacts?
What about freckles or glasses or braces or acne?
There's is so much more than blonde hair and blue eyes! This is not to say this color combo is bad, in fact, one of my characters have this, but just be aware that there's is more out there.
It's like the forest. You always cling to one tree and are so content with it that you never know that there's a bigger, better one just a few trees away.
That's a bad analogy, never mind, just ignore that. But you get the point?
Make characters with other colored hair, eyes, skin, with little quirks to them, with normal clothes, human make up, and be... well... a person, not a little goddess that you sculpted.
Also, it's important that the reader know what the character looks like so that they can picture the character, but don't be like:
I looked on the mirror. I have brown eyes and pink hair. I dyed my hair. My clothes are a white tank top with a leather jacket and black leggings. I had flats on and my hair was half up half down. My nails had little white stripes on them and my make up was gray to match. I also had a silver necklace that was as feather. I finished looking and headed downstairs.
Now, I get it, you need to convey how the character looks, but you need to show not tell. Don't tell the reader what the character looks like, show it to them with your fantastic writing skills. Like this:
The mirror revealed who I was. Sometimes, I don't like that person, with all the acne and the braces. Oh and the glasses, that really makes me look "cool". The life of a nerd is never easy. Yeah, I said it, nerd. Not like the movie nerds with the weird teeth and glasses and polo shirts, like a normal nerd (if there is such a thing. Is there? Is there such thing as a normal nerd?) Actually, I hate polo shirts. Too uncomfortable. I dress like everyone else: T-shirt and jeans. And sure, maybe the shirt I am currently wearing has Pi on it but... Ohwho am I kidding. I look like crap today.
See the difference? It takes more time, but its worth it.
------------------------------------------------------ So there you go. My advice for today! Now go and make awesome character appearances! Happy writing, you guys! 📖📖📖📖📖📖
Chapter 6: Typos
It happens to us all. You post the story, confident that you wrote something awesome, and then... Ah! Typo! This is especially true if you type on your phone.
So how do you handle it?
Well let's start with if the typo has already been posted.
Step 1- Carefully read over your story and check for any more mistakes. Take notes on all of them so that you don't forget any and have the same problem all over again.
Step 2- Go and edit the writing and repost. The thing is, your reader will get notifications that you updated the story and it's annoying to get a ton of them, so you want to get all of the mistakes corrected in one edit.
Now, to prevent typos, just read over your writing before you post it again. Otherwise your writing will be like:
He can in close and kissed me right one the lips . It's was sweet and warm and passionate. God, I love him. He pulled back and I just gassed up my bro his eyes. His gaze was comforting by and warm. What is she unsent give to marry him.
But if you read it over, you could fix the mistakes:
He came in close and kissed me right on the lips. It was warm and sweet and passionate. God, I love him. He pulled back and I just gazed up into his eyes. His gaze was comforting and warm. What I wouldn't give to marry him.
Now, there's a fine line between carelessness and an accident. You shouldn't ignore mistakes and be like, "Oh well, the reader will just have to read through them." Fix them! They are really annoying!
Typos. Never fun to deal with. But they can be fixed! Happy writing, everyone! 💻💻💻💻💻
I cannot express how annoying it is when people use improper grammar in their writing. Like, a split verb and a comma splice doesn't bother me but when it's as bad as the example below, that's when I really get annoyed and quit reading.
i walk down the stairs to ate brick fast. Hi i said to my mom good morning she said back i smile i pores cereal and eats it
Like I get it, in creative writing it's odd to replace who with whom. That doesn't bug me, but when the grammar is really bad, it makes the author seem... uneducated. And they may be smart, but the reader won't know that. The only time I find it appropriate to use horrendous grammar is when a character with awful grammar is speaking. Like if it's someone in the book that talks like that, it's okay, that's a whole different matter. Is just the writing itself that needs to be somewhat accurate.
Grammar can be hard, is true, but it's worth it, trust me.
So here's the grammar checklist:
-Subject/verb agreement. It's very obvious when there is a subject/verb agreement error in a book, so make sure you don't make any of these mistakes!
-Capitalize I, this one is sometimes overlooked. This is one grammatical thing that everyone knows! (Or at least should know). Do not ignore it!
-Sentence fragments. Sentence fragments make your writing make no sense! They sound weird and so the reader has to reread it over and over until they realize what you're saying.
-No comma after introductory element. This just makes it sound like you were in too much of a rush to actually write.
Example of what this is:
In case you haven't noticed this sentence is wrong.
What you should do:
In case you haven't noticed, this sentence is correct.
-Misusing the apostrophe in its/it's. This one is very easy to do, and I'm even guilty of it myself.
It's is for when you are saying it is or it has
Its is for when it is possessive, as in the it owns something
-Missing Comma in a Compound Sentence. Make sure that you have the comma in your compound sentences. Once again, I make this mistake from time to time, too, but we all should try to avoid it. Here's some examples:
Don't do this:
She ran into the house and she grabbed her phone before her friends even noticed she was gone.
She ran into the house, and she grabbed her phone before her friends even noticed she was gone.
-Incorrect word usage. This one's hard. It is basically this:
Affect and effect
Gray and grey
Breathe and breath
Hanged and hung
It's and its
Excepted and accepted
Hear and here
Two, too, and to
They're, their, and there
You're and your
We're, were, and where
Then and than
Using one word or the other in the wrong context is what I mean, so here's a cheat sheet.
Affect vs effect: Use affect when talking about a verb, and effect when talking about a noun. You can remember this by RAVEN- remember affect verb effect noun.
Grey vs gray: Grey is the British spelling of the word, gray is the American. Remember like this: E- England A- American.
Breathe vs breath: breath is a noun, breathe is a verb.
Hanged vs Hung: hanged or hung can be used when referring to suspending someone by their neck, but only hung can be used when you are referring to a hanging item. You can say, "The man was hanged for treason," or "The man was hung for treason," but when you are talking about an item, only hung is appropriate. "She hung the clothes out to dry," not, "She hanged the clothes out to dry,"
I already talked about its vs it's in the fifth thing on the checklist!
Except vs accept: Accept is when you receive something, except is when you exclude something. Here's some examples: "She accepted the present," and, "The family all went to the beach, except Tommy, who hates seagulls,"
Hear vs here- Hear is when you process a sound. "I hear music," while here is about location. "The McDonalds used to be right here, until it was torn down,"
To, too, or two: To is when you are referring to a place. "I'm going to the movies." Too is referring to quantity. "There are too many leaves to rake!" Two is also for a number, but two IS the number. "There are two turtles on the rock."
They're, their, or there: They're is an abbreviation on they are. "They're learning about grammar." Their is possessive, as in they own something. "Their car is parked in the driveway." There is referring to a place or a thing. "There are twenty jelly beans."
You're vs your: You're means you are, while your is possessive, "You're very pretty," and "Your dog is cute,"
We're, were, or where: We're means we are. "We're going to the park today," Were is the past tense of are. "A lot of cars were sold during the sale," Where is in reference to a place. "Where is the ice cream?"
Then vs than: Then is a point in time. "Back then, we had to send letters!" Than is used in a comparison. "The blue dress looks better on you than the brown one."
If you need to figure out which word to use, just google the two spellings of the word.
These are some common mistakes on fan fictions. Grammar is important!
This is probably the most boring chapter yet, but it's important. I hope that this was useful to you guys! Happy writing! ✏️✏️✏️
Chapter 8: Writing The Romance ;)
Sometimes, when I read romance, I just look at it, cringe, shudder, and say, "It's too cliche!"
So how do you kill the cliche?
It's simple. You don't do what everyone else does, you create your own idea.
Another thing is that all kissing scenes are the same! The kiss is always "warm, soft, and passionate." He always kisses her first and she kisses back. It's alway "perfect" and it's always causes "fireworks" and "butterflies."
This kind of romance is cliche, stupid, unrealistic.
Now, the question is, what do you need for a great romance story?
-There needs to be characters that the readers love, and a main character that they have an emotional attachment with. Maybe they sympathize with the MC (main character), maybe they loved their personality, maybe they think that they're a lot like him/her/them, but there needs to be a link between the main character in your love story and the readers.
-Believable conflict. If your characters can't be together because one likes cake more than ice cream, you have serious problems. Go back and reread the plot line chapter.
-A happily ever after. Romance readers want a happy ending, it's just the way it is. It gives them that warm, fuzzy feeling that they love.
-Emotion. The readers crave feeling something! Let there be some dark moments! It will make the readers feel things! They want emotion!
-Keep the plot moving. Just like other books, romances get dull if there is no story progression. Throw some new events into the story!
-The relationship needs to be in the limelight. This one's hard because you want the romance to be at the center of the story, but it can't be the only thing that the reader hears about. Then again, you must keep the romance front and center. You need to find a happy medium.
-Physical attraction. Look, fan fictions don't need anything dirty to be good, but there has to be some level of physical attraction, even if the characters just kiss, hug, and hold hands.
And that sums it up. Good luck, you guys!
I'm glad this chapter is out there, because it's very important to fan fictions. Happy writing, everyone! 📇📇📇
Chapter 9: Stick To The Story!!!
Disclaimer- This does not apply to AUs
If you're writing a Fanfiction about something, then you must like whatever you're writing about. So why would you want to stray from the story? It's unbearable when people decide to just change what is actually in the story. Like, I understand if you are writing the story set in the timeframe of the books/movies/TV shows/ etc., so you need to alter the plot to add in your OC, but when you are writing and you change the plot for literally no reason at all, it makes the story so much worse.
For example, when you invent random powerful spells that do not exist in books (such as Harry Potter) it's really annoying. Now, there is a difference between being creative and completely straying from the original thing you are writing about. If you are just being creative, that means you came up with ideas that help the plot but still fit within the media you are writing about. If you're being creative, an example of this could be if the OC does something that is not mentioned in the books, but it still fits within what the original creator thought of.
This probably sounds confusing. Here, let me try to explain what I'm saying. Do not do the following:
-Create Random extremely powerful spells/magic/weapons or anything else. These are really unrealistic, and I have a whole chapter on that.
-Change the gender of the original characters in the media you're writing about. Unless your fan fiction is specifically about gender swapping, this is incredibly stupid. I've seen this a lot when the author wants the OC to be paired with a certain person in the story, but this person already has a romantic interest, so they just make their significant other a different gender so that there will be no competition for the OC. I hate it when books do this! Never ever do this!
-Make a different ending to the story than was in the original media. Unless your fanfic is specifically about having a different ending to the story, don't do this! This is dumb and the readers probably already like the original ending, so why would you want to change it? Stick to the story!
That's about it, people are typically pretty good about sticking to the story, it's just that when they don't, no one likes the story. But there are plenty of ways to still have a great plot (see the plot line chapter).
This chapter isn't extremely useful, but just make sure you guys "stick to the story!" Happy writing! 🗒🗒🗒🗒🗒🗒🗒🗒
Chapter 10: Plot Twist (Dun Dun Duuuuuuuuun)
Ah, plot twists. They bring the story to life, they leave your readers gasping in shock, and they LEAVE HOLES IN YOUR READERS SOULS! (See what I did there? That sentence did not go how you expected! Plot twist!)
But seriously, plot twists are key. There's three parts to every good story. The beginning, the middle, and the twist. Reading a plot twist is a momentous moment for any devoted reader of yours, and they'll tell all the people that take book recommendations from them and be like, "You have got to read this book! It has such a good plot twist!" But they won't tell the person what it is because they're good people.
YOUR ASSASSIN! DIE DIE DIE!
(*distant scream as birds fly away*)
But seriously. So what makes a good plot twist?
-It has to be sudden. Your reader needs to be like, "Woah!"
-it has to be unexpected. In the Faults in Our Stars-
Warning: Spoiler ahead. If you are not done reading the Faults in Our Stars by John Green, do not read on until you are instructed to do so.
The readers all thought Hazel was going to die, but Augustus died instead (*sobs*). This plot twist made all the readers cry, because they had mentally prepared for Hazel to die, but then Augustus did instead.
Also, when they went to visit Van Houten, and the story was all set up for him to be an awesome guy and answer Hazel's questions so that she could die knowing them, but he was just a drunken jerk.
Spoiler over. It is now safe to continue.
So your twist must be something that is surprising
-The story needs to set the reader up for something else, because then it becomes a bigger shock. Through out the story you need to make the reader think that something else is going to happen and then BAM! Plot twist!
And that my friends, is how to make an awesome plot twist.
I won't keep you any longer. Happy writing! 📜
Chapter 11: Song Lyrics
Warning: Expressions of seriously disliking things coming up soon. Read at your own risk. This rant may involve the word "hate" so beware!
I hate it when a story's like, "The song ____ came on the radio so I started to sing (insert song lyrics here). " or "I started singing. (Insert song lyrics here)."
That is so annoying!
Rant over, the rest is all normal advice.
Recap for those that didn't want to read my rant:
It's annoying when writers are like, "I started singing (insert all song lyrics here)." Or "my fav song came on! (Insert all song lyrics here)."
First off, no one actually reads through them all. They're lyrics, they aren't relevant unless you're listening to the song!
Second, if a reader doesn't know the song, then they are like, "Whaaaaaat...?" And any "effect" you tried to create is ruined.
Thirdly, it's really annoying. When you do this it looks like you don't know what else to write so you just pop in a bunch of song lyrics. Seriously. That may not be true! You may be a really talented writer, but then the readers will not see that through these random lyrics.
You can write about you character singing without putting in a bunch of random lyrics!
Here's an example of what you should not do.
My favorite song came on the radio. I started singing. "It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters
And make fun of our exes, uh uh uh uh
It feels like a perfect night for breakfast at midnight
To fall in love with strangers uh uh uh uh
We're happy free confused and lonely at the same time
It's miserable and magical oh yeah
Tonight's the night when we forget about the deadlines, it's time uh oh
I don't know about you but I'm feeling 22
Everything will be alright, if you keep me next to you
You don't know about me, but I bet you want to
Everything will be alright, if we just keep dancing like we're 22, 22
It seems like one of those nights
This place is too crowded, too many cool kids uh uh, uh uh
It seems like one of those nights
We ditch the whole scene and end up dreaming instead of sleeping
We're happy free confused and lonely in the best way
It's miserable and magical oh yeah
Tonight's the night, when we forget about the heartbreaks, it's time uh oh
I don't know about you but I'm feeling 22
Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you
You don't know about me, but I bet you want to
Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we're 22 uh uh ah ah ah 22 uh uh uh
I don't know about you, 22 uh uh 22 uh uh
It feels like one of those nights
We ditch the whole scene
It feels like one of those nights
We won't be sleeping
It feels like one of those nights
You look like bad news I gotta have you, I gotta have you ohh, uh, yeah
I don't know about you but I'm feeling 22
Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you
You don't know about me but I bet you want to
Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we're 22 uh uh, 22 uh uoh,
22 uh uh, yeah, 22 uh uhoo, yeah yeah
It feels like one of those nights uh uh
We ditch the whole scene
It feels like one of those nights uh uh
We won't be sleeping
It feels like one of those nights uh uh
You look like bad news I gotta have you, I gotta have you." I love that song!
(FYI 22 is not my favorite song, I just needed a generic song everyone knew.)
Now here's what you should do:
The radio had some static but it calmed down, in a sense. Soon the crackly sound of 22, my favorite song, came out. I love this song! Swifties for life! How could I keep from singing/screaming the words? Who could resist? Also, we seriously need a new radio. Mental note to tell mom about that later.
See? You still convey the message but one is so much more entertaining than the other.
I'm glad this chapter has been published because I can't stand it when books have song lyrics just thrown at your face. So anyway, happy writing! 🖥
Chapter 12: Chapter Lengths
There's not much to say about chapter lengths. There no secret code for how long a chapter should be. The Maximum Ride books have really short chapters, the Percy Jackson books have average chapters, the Harry Potter books and classics like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea have long chapters. Chapter length all depends on the content.
So, how do you know when to end a chapter?
The answer to this is simple: when you feel that you are completely shifting gears in your story, change the chapter. Not like paragraphs, I mean big shifts, but not as big as parts.
Truly it just depends on the author. If you love long chapters, write long ones. If you like is short and sweet, stick to smaller chapters. It's whatever you want. You're the author. That's the beauty of it!
Yay! Chapter lengths. I always find it hard to write long chapters, personally. I like medium and shorter chapters. I love reading long chapters but it's torture to write then. But that's just me. Happy writing, you guys! ⌨️
Chapter 13: Pictures
This chapter is mostly addressed to those writing their stories on Wattpad.
Most books on Wattpad have pictures in them. There is normally at least one in the designated picture section, and sometimes there's pictures scattered throughout the book. Now, pictures are awesome. They're fun, they can add to the story, and they help the readers get a better picture (hehehe... get it?) in their mind of what is happening in the story.
But they can be bad.
Especially with pictures of clothes.
I guess it's okay to put a picture of the main characters clothes in the designated picture box, but it makes it seem like you're not creative when you do this:
I put on clothes. Here's what I'm wearing:
(Insert Picture Here)
Then I went outside.
Now that outfit is adorable. It's cute, and I love the skirt, but this is not how you should use pictures.
If you're going to describe what the main character is wearing, do so. Don't be a slacker and use a picture! Describe! If you need help describing things, there is an entire chapter on word choice. You have no excuse.
Another short chapter, but it needed to be addressed. Happy writing! 🖱🖱🖱
Chapter 14: Cliffhangers (AHHHHHHH)
Cliffhangers are what drives the reader towards the next chapter. They're also what drives the readers to insanity. So they're good!
Cliffhangers will make the readers desperate to read more, burning in a fire of desire that you control! Mwahahaha!
The best writers always include cliffhangers between chapters, or if they're really evil (like Uncle Rick), in between books.
Cliffhangers are so much fun to write, and then you get to sit back and watch the crying emojis appear in the comments, begging for the next chapter.
Cliffhangers are maniacal, and make a great book.
So without further ado, here's how to write a cliffhanger:
-Make it take place at the end of a chapter or a book, not a paragraph. That's no fun for the reader or the writer.
-It has to be misleading. The story a must have the impression that the reader will have closure, but then they don't. This will add shock to the story.
-It must be at an intense moment. You can't be like, "Sam advanced with his butterfly net and swung! Did he catch the butterfly?" This is an extreme example, but you get the point. It has to be something the reader cares about, something significant to the plot. More like:
Sam closed his eyes and said a silent prayer. He was so high up, but if he didn't jump soon, Danny might drown. If anything went wrong... Well, he would prefer not to think about that. With a big breath held in his lungs, he jumped from the cliff down toward the inky sea.
See? There's a huge difference.
In case you're wondering what happened to Sam, he did catch the butterfly so he could give it to his mom. It got loose in the house and laid eggs and there was a huge incident that involved the exterminators, a butterfly specialist, and the fire department. Don't ask.
Also, Sam leapt off the cliff to save Danny, who was drowning. They both were rescued by the coast guard and went to the hospital. Sam injured his leg but was okay. Danny was fine, and they realized they were gay, fell in love, got married, and adopted 3 children. The end.
Good luck, you guys are going to write killer cliffhangers, I can feel it. Happy writing! 🗞
Chapter 15: Disclaimers
Alright, this is going to be a quick chapter.
Disclaimers are needed whenever you write a fan fiction because they keep you out of legal trouble. There's not much to writing a disclaimer, so I'll just give you the steps and move on.
How to Write a Disclaimer on Wattpad
1. Go to the description and hit enter a few times
2. Write the word Disclaimer with a colon after it
3. Hit enter
4. Write something along the lines of "Any characters such as _____,_______,______, and _____, are from _______ by ______. I own the plot line and the characters ______, ______,______, and _______. All other rights belong to ______." Fill in these blanks with the appropriate information
5. Hit save
And that's all. This chapter is mainly just to tell you guys that you need to have disclaimers, because if you don't you're technically doing something illegal. I'm sure that no one's going to arrest you, but better safe than sorry. Write your disclaimers!
Happy writing, you guys! 📇📇📇📇📇
Chapter 16: Warnings
Warning: This chapter will include things that take place in warnings. If you are afraid of reading on, then please move onto the next chapter. Thank you!
It's always a good idea to give your readers a heads up if something bloody, dark, sexual, has strong language, offensive, disturbing, or just a spoiler is coming up. Your readers will greatly appreciate it because it will save them from whatever is coming up. I generally would put a warning in the description, but that's just me. Just make sure that you use warnings!
Why do we need warnings?
1. If something bloody is coming up, some readers may feel unsettled or sick after reading it, and they would rather skip it all together
2. Dark things like suicide, cutting, depression, death, or even life events that are painful for people can upset people, and I'm sure you don't want to be that mean to your readers. If so, please visit the cite below.
3. Some people just do not appreciate reading a book happily, and then boom! Clothes are coming off and you are reading things you never though you would. It would be nice if you made note of sexual scenes in your book in the description, just so readers know what they're signing up for.
4. If a scene is coming up that includes strong language, make sure the readers know. Some people will be okay and keep going but some won't, and that okay. Good, even. It's just that swear words can offend some people.
5. Offensive content. If you're planning on saying something that might even be remotely offensive, let your readers know so that they can avoid that if need be.
6. Disturbing scenes such as torture scenes can be too much to stomach for some. These people would greatly appreciate a warning.
7. The worst of them all is when spoilers appear out of no where. I once read a book that was completely unrelated to Charlotte's Web, but it spoiled the ending where-
Warning: Spoiler ahead. If you have not read or finished reading Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, skip until the next bolded lines.
Charlotte dies! The saddest moment in the book was ruined because someone couldn't keep their trap shut!
Spoiler over. You may continue reading safely.
And that made me so mad! Please use warnings if spoilers are taking place!
So now the question is simply writing a warning. You can use this to help you:
Warning: ______ is ahead. Skip until the next bolded text to continue if you _______.
Make sure you bold it. Also, once the spoiler is over, write something along the lines of this:
_______ is over. It is now safe to continue reading.
Also make sure you bold that. This makes it easy for the reader to go on.
Anyway, just make sure you guys use warnings. As always, happy writing! 📁📁📁📁
Chapter 17: "Dialogue," The Author Wrote.
Dialogue can be tricky. There's many elements to dialogue and this chapter is going to go through some of them.
-Punctuation. I know, I know, any bullet point that starts with the word punctuation is bound to be boring. Boring, yes, but necessary. Just bare with me. Under the grammar section I have a post about dialogues punctuation, and I have one at the start of this chapter, so you can use those. If you're ever unsure, just google it. But this is more just me telling you that you have to use punctuation and you have to indent every time there is a new speaker.
Don't do this:
I walked towards my best friend lucy hey lucy do you want to go to the mall I said yes said lucy went went to the park.
You'll be surprise at how may fanfics do that.
Do this instead:
I walked towards my best friend, Lucy. "Hey Lucy, do want to go to the mall?" I asked.
"Yes!" Lucy answered, so we quickly went to the park.
Notice how I also used different word choice in the second example. I have a whole chapter on word choice: go read it!
-Said is not dead. I'm sure you've heard the opposite before. But the writing sounds unnatural if you never use "said". Pick up a book on your shelf and open it. I'm sure the author used said way more that you thought they did when you first read it.
-Keep it fresh! After a while, dialogue can become dull. You know what I mean, your reading and it's just dialogue that's not really important an it's not interesting. Make sure that if you're using dialogue, you're making it entertaining to the readers.
-Changing it up. After awhile, not matter how diverse you make your word choice, using dialogue like this:
"I love you!" He whispered.
"What?" she inquired.
"Oh, nothing!" He replied.
"Are you sure?" She asked.
"Y- yes, I'm quite sure!" He stuttered.
"Matt, please tell me," she begged.
"I just asked if we had homework," he answered.
"In what class?" She laughed.
"Math," he supplied.
"Yeah, we have 25 problems," she sighed.
"Oh okay. Do you want to work on it together?" he offered.
"No, I have to meet my boyfriend. Sorry!" she apologized.
That was probably a lot longer than it needed to be. But still, you get the point. Switch it up. Throw in some actions, separate it with the speakers name, and if you're really bored of the dialogue, do if like this:
"Give me the stupid book, John!" Max snarled.
John held it up even higher. "You what it? Come on, little bro. Reach for it!"
"Give it back!" Max felt his face grow hot and his eyes and nose sting, "I said give it back!"
"I don't think so."
"Give it back now!"
Max lunged and kicked John where it hurts, grabbing the book as it fell. He darted off to finish off his nightly reading.
What I wanted you to see in that example was when there was no speaker attached to the dialogue. This is a powerful technique, but you cannot use too much or the reader will get lost and not know who's speaking.
So, yeah, change it up!
-Make new paragraphs. You will not believe how many people write like this:
"Hey, Jordan," I smiled. Jordan looked up and met my eyes. "Oh, hey Lila. What's up?" I slumped down beside her and brought out my book. "Nothing much, I just finished this book." "What book is it?" She asked, craning her neck to look at the cover. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." I answered. Lila's eyes lit up. "No way! I love that series!" I laughed. "Really?" "Yeah! Here, I have the next one with me. You can borrow it!" My eyes widened. "You're letting me borrow your book?" "What are friends for?" The end.
Guys, this is improper grammar (read the grammar chapter) and it is so confusing to the readers. When there is a new speaker, you need to make a new paragraph. By new speaker I don't mean a new character or a person is new to the chapter or something. Here, just look at this example:
"Hey, Jordan," I smiled.
Jordan looked up and met my eyes. "Oh, hey Lila. What's up?"
I slumped down beside her and brought out my book. "Nothing much, I just finished this book."
"What book is it?" She asked, craning her neck to look at the cover.
"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." I answered.
Lila's eyes lit up. "No way! I love that series!"
I laughed. "Really?"
"Yeah! Here, I have the next one with me. You can borrow it!"
My eyes widened. "You're letting me borrow your book?"
"What are friends for?"
That's how you properly do it. Please make new paragraphs, because it makes you look like an idiot when you don't do this. Relax, I'm not calling you an idiot, I'm saying it makes you look like an idiot.
Dialogue is important to any story, so make sure you do it right!
Happy writing, you guys! 📕📗📘📙📔
Chapter 18: The Story, The Readers, And You
One important thing to do as an author is connect with your readers. If a reader makes an effort with you, you have to put in effort as well.
Here's how you can connect with the readers:
-Comment! If a reader leaves a comment, reply to it. It's not that complicated.
-Authors notes. Now, I'm not much of a fan of authors notes, but if you have them, ask your readers questions. Engage in both the story and the people. Now, I don't have authors notes in stories. I do in this book because this isn't a story, it's just some advice, but they are still useful tools.
-Post messages. This one's tricky. You should post messages to connect with readers, but you don't want to post too many, or it gets annoying.
-PMs (Private Messages). If you get a notification that says that someone followed you or added your story to their reading list or something, maybe you could PM them just to say thank you. I've done this a couple times but eventually it got to be exhausting. But maybe you could try it, and see if you like it.
-Make friends. Now, I'm no social butterfly, but I find it easy to connect with people over the internet. You could try being online friends with other people in the Wattpad community. It's actually pretty easy, and these people are so much more fun to talk to.
As always, happy writing! 🗃🗃🗃🗃
Chapter 19: Your Responsibility As An Author
As an author, there are things that you need to do, and things you need to make sure you don't do. This is your responsibility as an author. The following are your responsibilities.
-Keep your promises. If you promise your readers a chapter by next week, you need to deliver. And if you're sitting there like, "I know, I know, but [insert excuse here]." Then that's a problem. The only time this is acceptable is in extreme circumstances such as, but not limited to death, divorce, cancer, and extreme injury. It's not appropriate if you lost your phone. Don't lose it! It's also not appropriate if your "busy". You will move mountains so that you can do small, trivial things, but when it comes to upholding a promise to your readers, you can move your schedule, you just don't want to put in the effort.
-Continue the book. I get it, sometimes school is an obstacle, but you can do it. Don't end the book or put in on "hold" for forever simply because of "school." You can do better than that. Sometimes people quit writing books because people are being "mean." Now, if people are actually mean, that's one thing. But if they're asking you to update, that's not mean, that's them loving the story and wanting more. Don't quit on them!
-Take responsibility for your actions. If someone comments that there is something offensive in the book, listen to them. Use your own judgement as to what is actually "offensive" but be considerate. If you need to, change it and apologize to the reader.
-Make sure your readers know what they're signing up for. If you need to, include warnings (I have a chapter on that, just saying) before certain things happen.
-Answer questions. If a reader comments a question on your story, answer it! They want to know! Help them out!
Happy writing! 💾💾💾💾
Chapter 20: Choosing A Story Type
So, you want to write a fanfiction of some sorts. But there's lots of kinds, so what do you choose? There's imagines, fan fictions, texts, social media, art, your thoughts on the topic, companion books, and more. It can be slightly over whelming, so I'm just going to break each one down, right here, and right now to help you make a more informed decision.
Imagines are so much fun to write! It's basically a collection of all those daydreams you have about the character. They're also great for quick writes, so your readers have something to read if you're not updating your fanfic (if you have one). I highly recommend a book of imagines, but if that's not for you, that's okay.
Fanfictions, aka fanfics and fan fictions, are more difficult than imagines, texts, and social media. They require a plot line and basically all of the other elements that I talked about in previous chapters. That said, fanfics are awesome! They are more time consuming, but they are usually more interesting than imagines, texts, and social media. If you want to write a fanfiction, go for it, and if you get stuck, hopefully this book can help you out!
There are some fanfictions that are basically a series of texts between characters. These can be interesting, in small dosages. Texts are a good way to exhibit communication between characters and reference fandom jokes. If you want to write texts, just make sure that they are interesting.
Ah, social media. The books where your favorite characters discover Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Musically, Vine, or other social media apps. I'm going to be honest: these books are rarely interesting. You need to keep it fresh and enticing. I wouldn't recommend writing this type of fanfic, but if you really want to, go ahead. I'm going to publish a chapter on this pretty soon, so read that when it comes out.
Fan art books are always so cool. Sometimes I'm scrolling through them and I'm like, "Wow. Dude, I could never draw like that!" And if you have a cover art book where you sell cover art, this is a great way to be noticed. I've always held respect for art books, partly because I can't do art, but if you can, you should do this kind of book. I say, go for it. As for all of you not artistic people, like me, maybe you should try one of the other books. That's my gentle persuasion, take it or leave it.
There are some books all about how the author feels about the story they are writing about. They share their opinions, some facts, their ships, and stuff like that. These are really fun to read and write, but be aware that if people don't agree with you, they may lash out and be mean in the comments. You have been warned.
Companion books are books that are about the media that the author is writing about. For example, a companion book about the hunger games might have a chapter on ships, one on theme, one on the weapons, one on the tributes, one on the districts and some others. These are awesome books! I love reading them and I'm sure it would be fun to write one!
So there you go. There's more types on books out there but these are the ones I thought of. Good luck everyone, and happy writing! 📓
Chapter 21: The Rules of One Shots
Rules. We all hate them, right? You can't do this, you can't go here, you can't say that, blah blah blah. I hate most rules just as much as you, dear reader, but sometimes rules need to be in place. (Oh god, I sound like my mom.)
1. Information does not carry over! This ones a big one, that's why is number one. This one is also a teeny but complicated. In fanfictions, information shared in one chapter applies to the chapters after it, because it's a book. You don't need to restate in every chapter that the OC has brown hair, for example. One shots are different, though. When people read one shots, they typically go to the chapter section when they click on (or tap on) a book and only read the ones that sound interesting. Because of that, if in your first chapter you state that your OC has green eyes, for example, that does not apply to the other one shots. In the second one, you need to restate that your OC has green eyes, or just never mention eye color. One shots are not like chapters. Another example is that, say in your third one shot, your OC and a character get married. In the fourth one shot, that's no longer true. Either you need to say that you are married or maybe the characters aren't married yet in that one. They are all separate little stories, not one big one. But wait! Here's where it gets tricky. If you have a part one and a part two, information does carry over between each one shot, and readers need to read both to understand what's going on. That said, you may have two one shots, part one and two, telling the same story that have different endings. In that case, information doesn't carry over because readers get to choose which ending they like best, and read that one. I told you it's complicated. If you have questions, comment and I'll reply!
Numéro deux. Title your one shots! So this ones isn't really a rule. This is more of a suggestion to make people like you more. If you title you one shots, people will understand a bit more about them when they are deciding whether or not to read the book. Titles may make the reader say, "Hey, that sounds interesting! I'll read it!" So, obviously, that's a good thing! Title your one shots, people!
3. Don't make them all the same, for crying out loud! Please, I beg of you, for all that is good in the world, make them different! This may seem obvious to some but I can tell you there are one shots that are all the same. Listen, mes amies, listen! You are all at least somewhat smart! You can think for yourselves! Come up with new ideas! If everyone writes a one shot about something, don't write it again! Your whole fandom knows about that kind of one shot, so supply the fandom with something new! They deserve it! Especially the Percy Jackson fandom/ the demigods, they've been through a lot! And the Potterheads... and the Tributes... and the Runners... authors are evil. And yes, there are some terribly abused fandoms that I did not mention, don't get all up in arms about it. Cry a river, build a bridge, and get over it.
So there you have it, the rules of imagines. I'm learning French, can you tell? Happy writing, mes beaux lecteurs! 📃📃📃📃📃
Chapter 22: Text Stories
I'll be honest with you: I'm not a fan of text stories. I find them dull and I don't get as much entertainment out of them as a book. So if I were you, I wouldn't write one. If you seriously have a passion for texts, then go download that new Wattpad app, Tap. I tried it out and I wrote two stories, I didn't like it much, though. My username is the same thing as my Wattpad one, just FYI.
Anyway, if you really want to write a chat story on Wattpad, then I guess I'll give you a few tips.
1. Plot line. There has to be some sort of plot, people. Like come on! I don't want to read boring texts, if I want to do that I'll look at the texts between my mom and I. So go read that plot line chapter and figure out a story first.
2. Text language. Alright, so yes, these are texts, but no one texts like this:
Boyfriend😍: omg boo do u wnt 2 go on a date tnght??? I got rsrvtns 2 go 2 that new place. Lets go their, k!!!!!! 😍😘😄😚😙😗❤️😻
Me: Kk, what 🕒 shld i 🐝there??
Boyfriend😍: i rlly dnt care, babe 😭😋😜😝
Me: k, c u they're
Ugh! No one uses that many abbreviations! I'm pretty sure that one of those isn't saying what I want it to say, too. So simple ones like brb and omg are okay, but please use restraint!
3. Emojis. I love emojis. You love emojis. We all love emojis. But too much of a good thing is bad.
Use this example:
Boyfriend😍: omg boo do u wnt 2 go on a date tnght??? I got rsrvtns 2 go 2 that new place. Lets go their, k!!!!!! 😍😘😄😚😙😗❤️😻
Me: Kk, what 🕒 shld i 🐝there??
Boyfriend😍: i rlly dnt care, babe 😭😋😜😝
Yeah, no one uses that many emojis unless you are sure that the character you are writing about would use a ton of emojis since its in their personality. We all know Leo Valdez would go emoji crazy. So just use good judgment!
So those are three things that are always annoying in chat stories. Everyone please remember that if you really want to write text stories, wattpad isn't the best place to do it. Go do it on Tap!
Alright, I'm too tired to write a note. Happy writing! 📠📠📠📠📠
Chapter 23: Social Media
I couldn't find anything good for the picture, so I threw a random quote up there. Enjoy!
Warning: I was in a poor mood when I wrote this so if you are easily offended, please proceed to a different chapter. Thank you!
So anyway, social media stories. They are really annoying. I'm sorry, but they are. I don't find them interesting, or entertaining, and they are always bad. I don't read them, but I guess some people do.
My word of advice: don't write social media stories.
Sure my opinion is just one out there, but it's a valid one.
But of course, some of you aren't gonna listen and you want help writing a social media story.
Fine. But I'm not happy about it.
1. Have a plot. I'm not even elaborating, just go read my plot line chapter.
2. The usual titles are crap. "Harry Potter discovers Facebook!" Or "Divergent Social Media Profiles!" These are terrible titles. Choose something else, and I've got a chapter on titles so don't even get me started on that.
3. Please make it interesting. Don't just make it stupid, make it funny or intriguing. I shouldn't even have to say that but I know I need to.
Guys, your time would be better spent writing imagines or a fanfiction. Don't choose the easy route since it's easy.
I hardly even tried on this chapter because not many people write social media books, but I guess I needed to discourage social media book writers. Anyway, happy writing! 🖍🖍🖍
Chapter 24: Art
My AO3 readers, this doesn't apply to you.
I have a certain respect for people that make art and "sell" it on Wattpad or just have a collection of art. That is not only because they are good at it but because I am a crappy artist and I always will be.
So let's start at the basics. There are two basic types of art books on Wattpad: marketing and gallery.
Marketing art books are when people make cover art for other people's book for a "price." This price is normally a follow, votes on all their stories, and some recognition. Some person looks through the art and says, "Woah, they're really good. I want them to make the cover art for my book!" So this buyer will PM (Private Message) the person who wrote the art book and say that they want this person to draw something. They buyer will give some details and a story summary so that the artist can be better informed, and if the buyer already knows what they want on the cover, they tell the artist. The artist PMs back as says that they will make the cover, and tells them the price. Then the buyer either accepts or declines. If the buyer accepts, then the artist designs the cover and PMs them when they're done. They'll say, "Here it is. Do you like it? If not, I can redo it." And when the buyer is satisfied, they screenshot the cover and put it on their book.
So how do you make a marketing art book?
1. Design your own cover. Make it really pop so that people know that you are good at making covers.
2. Start designing random covers to post so that when people start reading they know that you can draw and recognize your talent.
3. Publish chapters. To publish a chapter, go to the picture section and put one cover in it. Then put a description in the text area. Don't put more than one cover on each chapter, that takes away from them and makes it chaotic.
4. When you get requests, never decline. Always accept them to grow your business. Even if it's a stupid request, do it. The only time you should decline a request is if it includes something sexual, violent, or profane.
5. Do requests and post the covers you make in your chapters. In these chapters, be sure to put info about the book that you did it for and the author in the text area
6. Be happy! Just kidding. I'm not the kind of person to put be happy at the end of a list. But be happy anyway.
Is a marketing are book not good for you? That's okay, really. Maybe you would like a gallery art book.
A gallery art book is when you post your art for fun so that people can look at it. Does that intrigue you? Then here's how to start a gallery art book.
1. Make art! This part is the fun part, but the hard part.
2. Post chapters. Put pictures of the art in the picture section and write a bit about it in the text area.
3. That's it. Just keep posting, and you'll get tons of comments saying how awesome you are! 😉
Good luck you awesome people! Happy writing, or drawing! ❤️💛💚💙💜
Chapter 25: Titles
Titling a story is hard. It is! I know it is because I've done it. Well it's hard to help you guys figure out a title since I don't know what you are writing about, but I'll do my best. Truthfully, that picture may be even more helpful that the chapter!
So here is what makes a good title:
1. It makes the reader curious. If you tell them what happens in the book in the title, it's not a good title. Make the reader interested in what you're saying. "Hook" them.
2. Is your book funny? Make a funny title! People will look at it, laugh, and realize that you're funny and they want to read a book with humor!
3. If your book is scary, choose an ominous title, let it linger over your readers like a knife to the throat!
4. Romance titles! Try naming it something symbolic of the relationship between your characters. Do they bond over a cup of coffee? Name it The Coffee Cup! Do they first kiss under the oak tree? Name it The Oak Tree's Magic. I dunno, never mind, those are bad titles. I'm not the best at romance. But you get the point!
5. Action/Sci-fi/Fantasy. I love these books! For these, one worded titles work well. They need to be something meaningful, something that makes the reader go, "That sounds good!" As they scroll through Wattpad.
What I do is I try to find some beautiful word that means something symbolic for the story or I make the title really artsy. It takes a while but it works!
The one thing I will say is that if you are titling a story, don't summarize the story in the title. That's what the description is for. For example:
Falling in Love with the Bad Boy
Loving the Business Man
Learning at an All Boys School
There are many more examples, just don't do that.
So here's some title help. I'm not super helpful as far as titles go, but I tried. Happy writing, you awesome people! 📗📗📗📗
Chapter 26: Technology
Technology is great. Phones, IPods, tablets, laptops, computers, kindles, and more are great. Who doesn't like technology?
But there's a catch. Technology doesn't exist in the settings of some books/movies/whatever. So don't include technology!
Here's some examples:
1. There's no technology in Harry Potter. They have magic and owls, not to mention the no muggle items at Hogwarts rule.
2. There's no phones in the Maze Runner. They're kids in an experiment, not teenagers hanging out and playing Flappy Bird.
3. Demigods can't use phones. It lets monsters know about them, remember? Don't use phones when you're writing a Percy Jackson fanfic.
4. There's no phones in Fairytail. There just aren't.
5. There's no phones in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Don't mess with the logic. Just don't include phones
6. There's no phones in How To Train Your Dragon. They send messages via terrible terror.
7. Phones don't exist in OUAT. Well, they do, but only in the outside world. In Storybrooke, people talk face to face. There's no phones in Neverland or The Enchanted Forest or Wonderland.
8. Guardians don't have phones!
9. Mable and Dipper never used phones in Gravity Falls.
The general trend is: if it's fantasy, there's no phones. Most of the time.
If there's no phones in the original media, don't include phones. It doesn't enhance the story: it ruins it.
Also, if you are writing imagines and you really want to make a cute imagine where the girl shows the guy that has never seen a phone what it is and he is fascinated, and she giggles at him: don't. Please don't. These are not cute and they're not nice, they're stupid. I completely HATE these. If you want her to show him something, have her teach him a skill that could fit the story.
For more information on a similar topic, look at my Stick to the Story chapter.
Happy writing! 🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂
Chapter 27: A/N. It's A Chapter About A/Ns, Not An A/N. This Is Confusing.
A/N stands for Authors Note, and these are really handy. They easily convey a message to your readers, even if they're not following you and sometimes they're essential to the story. Personally, I don't normally read A/Ns unless I really like the book or author, even if it says, "Important, Please Read!"
The only thing that can be bad about an Author's note is what the author chooses to say.
Omg guys, I'm so sorry this chapter is short! I'll write a longer one next time! Byeeeee!
This might be an okay note, but if all of your chapters are super short, then you really can't say, "sorry it's short!" Because all your chapters are short and you just sound desperate.
Here's another one:
Omg guys I haven't updated in foreverrrrr! Sorry, it's just that I have had a lot of homework and also school and also my grandpas dying and my cat ran away and my mom and dad turned into aliens so sorry🙂😗😍😉😌☺️😃😃🤣😂😏😩😤😣😖😋😋😋😋😋😋😍😋😍😍😘😄😘😄😛🤣😄🤡😜😝🤣😜😔🤓😄🤣😋😛😎😤😩😠😮🤒👿😰😰🤒☠️💀😵😒😑
Let's admit it, you could work around your homework. And school? Trust me, if you truly care, you can make room. If you can rearrange your whole schedule for a date (who am I kidding, this is Wattpad) or for some social event, you can write. And that many emojis? Seriously? Also, your fake sob story is super overrated.
Now, of something truly tragic actually happened to you, I'm sorry. But the people that make up these sob stories need to stop.
Also, don't interrupt the middle of the story! If you're writing, don't ruin the mood of the writing with some A/N that's probably not important anyway.
So what should you do for an Author's Note?
First, be honest. It's not that hard.
Second, don't fill it with slang or acronyms like lol or omg or k. Remember, this is still a story. Treat it as such.
Thirdly, don't waste your reader's time. If it's not that important, don't include it.
Fourth, don't make up excuses. This one is hard because we naturally want to use an excuse. Don't say "I'm sorry but _____!" or "it's just that I had to _______!" Or "look, I did _______, but it was totally important!" No. Don't even tell them why you didn't update, just say that you didn't update, you're sorry, and you'll try to do better. Avoid words like but, kind of (because it wasn't "kind of", it was very certain, own up to it), and don't get snappy with your readers. It's your problem. Deal with it. 😎
I hope you all can write better A/Ns now! Happy writing, you lovely authors! 🔏🔏
Chapter 28: Covers
My lovely AO3 readers, this doesn't apply to you. Love you guys.
Don't judge a book by it's cover.
We've all heard that, right? But we all do it anyway. I mean, who doesn't? So in this chapter, we're going to talk about what makes a good cover.
1. It needs to be eye catching. Don't make a boring old cover that looks the same as all the other ones, make a unique one, make it pop so that when people are looking for a book, they'll say, "Oh, that one looks good!"
2. It should have the title on it. This is an obvious one, but you have no idea how many people don't put the title of their book on the cover and just have a picture. This is really dumb, guys. What kind of book doesn't have the title on the front? Just because you are not a professional writer and this is a fanfiction online does not mean you can just slack off. Don't you want to try your best for your readers? (If your answer is no, then maybe you shouldn't be writing a fanfiction in the first place).
3. Put your username on it. Don't put your real name, because then people won't know what profile wrote it. This is Wattpad, here we have usernames. Use them!
4. Make your cover tame. Don't throw a thousand designs on it, or else we will lose the title among the picture. So make sure you use restraint.
5. Make your readers feel something when they see the cover. Don't let your book just be another one in the crowd, have emotion in it.
6. Stay true to what you are writing. Don't include a picture of a farm on the front of a book about the city! That is an extreme example, but make sure the title really fits the book.
7. Avoid cliches. For example, almost every book about some sort of hot business man has a picture of a hot business man on the front, or maybe his tie and had dark colors. If you are writing about a hot business man (which, you shouldn't be, we already have way to many books on that. Find something new!), don't make your cover the same as all the other ones! Don't follow the trend! Also, almost every finance book has a piggy bank or a stack of money on the front. So don't do that! Do something else for a change!
8. If you're not happy with your cover, change it! Keep looking until you find that perfect cover!
Now, some people follow these general rules, and their covers are great. Then there's the people who don't. Here's what you should not do on your cover:
1. Make it really cluttered and nuts.
2. Have a picture of a random girl from the internet on it. That is something that I really don't like, and I don't read books with randoms girls from the internet on them.
3. Don't poorly crop a picture of a girl from the internet and edit her into a picture from whatever media you are writing about. Most you you can't edit them and they look crappy anyway, and those that can edit them, still don't. It's better if you just have a picture on there.
4. Don't have a random picture of the character you are writing about kissing someone. Save the romance for the writing, the cover doesn't need it.
5. Don't make a collage of your fandom on there. It's impossible to look at everything and it looks dumb.
So the question comes to mind: how do I go about actually making a cover? Well, personally, I downloaded the Wattpad Cover app on my phone (I always do this on my phone, so I would recommend you doing this as well) and make it there. It's free and it works. Here's what I do when designing a cover:
1. Think of a title. Make your title interesting! I will publish a chapter on titles soon, so you can use that.
2. Go to Pintrest or google images and find a picture for your back ground. Like I said, make the picture interesting but not full of designs so that the title can still be read.
3. Screenshot it!
4. Go to your photo library and crop the picture so that nothing but the image is showing. If you don't know how to crop an image, google it, because it differs for each type of phone. For the most recent update on an iPhone 7/7s, go to your library and select the picture. At the bottom there will be a bar with little icons (if not, tap the picture and it will show up). Tap the icon with the little lines and circles, then tap the icon at the bottom that looks like a rectangle. You can then move the little box to just be over the picture, then select done. If something goes wrong, hit cancel and try again. If you have questions, comment and I will answer them.
5. Go to the Wattpad covers app and hit images and select upload an image from library and select the picture you cropped. Then you can hit the text icon and put in words. If you hit it the first time, there will be big words so that you can put your title there. If you finish putting in the title, you can hit it again and it will say By: YourUsername. If you guys have questions, comment and I will answer.
Now this is where it gets tricky. Try just simply adding your cover to your book from either Wattpad or from the covers app itself. If it doesn't work, don't freak out, mine is weird and won't do it either. Here's what I do:
1. Screenshot your cover
2. Crop it so that the tools are hidden and just the cover shows
3. Go to Wattpad and into the place where you upload the cover
4. Instead of "Import from Covers App", hit "Photo Library" or whatever it says. Then select the picture of the cover and it should work.
If that doesn't work for you, comment and I'll try to help you as best as I can. Worst case scenario, contact Wattpad Help.
Happy writing, my lovely authors!
Chapter 29: Videos
AO3 readers, this also doesn't apply to you. Sorry!
So you're writing and you decide for some reason that you want to put a video into your book. I don't strongly encourage this, but I guess you can.
So here are some guidelines for videos:
1. Don't make your videos dumb. I know, I know, this is incredibly obvious, but really, there are so many stupid videos attached to books that I feel like I would have failed this chapter if I didn't include this.
2. Don't make your video essential to the story. Let's be honest here. Most people don't watch the video unless they are incredibly devoted to the story. They just don't, so then people will be confused and not know what's happening. If you're thinking of saying, "Watch the video or you won't understand!" In bold at the top, that won't work either. People will probably still ignore it. It's better to write what you want the readers to know in your story. It's not like that's the point of being an author or anything...
3. A music video can be included, but most people won't watch the video, just play the music and read at the same time. So if it's essential to watch the video, please reread the last point I made.
There isn't much to say about videos, just know that people have limited attention spans and so most people are not going to watch the video.
Also, if you are going to include a video, put it in the designated picture/video section at the top, not in the middle of the story. That's really annoying and interrupts the reading.
Good luck finding that perfect video, and happy writing! 📠📠📠📠📠📠📠
Chapter 30: Music
I promise, AO3 readers, the next chapter will be relevant for you!
So if you want to include music in your book, I guess go for it.
Basically, this chapter's purpose is to give you some information about music in books. So here we go!
1. Most people will not listen to the song. Sorry, this is just fact. And no, putting in bold, "Make sure you listen to the song!" Won't help. I know, I know, you don't believe me, but it's true. And I know, I know, it's not fair, but people are stupid. You'll be a lot happier if you accept this. Because of this fact, don't make the music essential to the story. It can add to the story, sure. But if someone didn't listen to the song, they should be able to easily understand what's going on.
2. If you do include music and somewhere in the story you put, "Start the music here!" In bold, you need to know this. Most people (if they decide to listen to the song at all) will have already listened to it and it will be confusing. That may just make them give up. Just FYI...
3. If your music could be offensive, vulgar, or has poor language, include a warning! (I have a whole chapter on this).
4. If people do listen to it, they probably won't watch the video itself. Most likely, they'll read and listen at the same time. Make sure that you know this and if for some reason you need to change your music or something, do so.
5. Please, don't include the song lyrics in the writing.
Pretty please with a cherry on top!
I'm begging you!
I have a whole chapter on this, too. The lyrics are dumb and SO annoying. Do NOT include them... or I will hunt you down and kill you.
6. You need to understand that not everybody likes the same music as you, so don't be upset if for some reason someone doesn't like the song you selected. Be chill about it. If they're truly a jerk, then I will eventually have a chapter out about hate comments and messages.
That's really about it, just make sure you know what's up before you include music in your book.
I've missed you, you amazing authors! I know that everyone says this, but I'm going to actually try to update more because god knows that some people need it.
Anyway, happy writing my beautiful authors!🗑🗑🗑🗑🗑🗑🗑🗑🗑🗑🗑🗑🗑🗑
Chapter 31: False Promises
What kind of author makes false promises to their readers?
A crappy kind. End of discussion.
I don't care if you had "homework" or if you just "didn't have time". Because we both know that if you really tried, you could have done something. If you can move your whole schedule just to go hang out at Starbucks with friends, you can update your book.
And when I say update your book, I don't mean an Author's Note making excuses and pretending that you're sorry. Make an update. And if you do update, don't write a crappy chapter just to get it over with!
You are an author, act like one! Your readers deserve better! Do you want to be mean to your readers? Of course not! (If you did want to be mean to your readers, you should visit this sight: www.betterhelp.com).
So don't make false promises to your readers.
Anyway, as you can tell, I was in a poor mood when I wrote this. Uh... happy writing, I guess. 📮📮📮📮📮📮📮
Chapter 32: Haters Gonna Hate
Warning: This chapter includes content concerning cyber bullying, uses hate language, suicidal behaviors, and more dark themes. It also contains the "B" word- a minor swear word, but a swear nonetheless. If you are sensitive to these subjects, please do not read this chapter. Thank you, and have a nice day!
Hate comments and messages can be really detrimental to a new author- or even an experienced author's self esteem. It can also discourage their spirit and persuade them give up on writing. It can even lead to some serious consequences. So in this chapter, I am mainly discussing four things: sending hate, receiving hate/coping with it, seeing hate on Wattpad, and I will give you some encouragement.
Before I get into my focus of the chapter, we all need to know the difference between constructive criticism and hate. The key word is constructive. Constructive criticism is a message to the author that nicely critiques the writing. This type of feedback often identifies a problem, explains what is wrong, and gives a suggestion as what to do differently. But the user will not say anything mean. Actually, they will probably be very nice and explain that they're not trying to be mean, they just want to help the writer improve. Hate, on the other hand, doesn't help the writer, it just hurts them. Make sure you know the difference.
Now we can get into the four topics of today!
Why? That is my question for all you haters out there. Why send the hate? Does it make you feel better afterwards? Does it make the writer happy? Is anybody benefiting from this? No! All hate does is make you more angry and the writer sad.
If you don't like the book, don't read it! Why would you read the book if you don't like it? You are not being chained down by a kidnapper with a gun and being forced to read it or die! That means that you have a choice: to read, or not to read. Don't bring everybody down because you are a downer.
Not to mention that hating on people like that is cyber bullying, and can have huge consequences. The person that you are being unkind to might give up and never write their bestseller because of you. Maybe that bestseller would have been your favorite book, but you never got to read it! Or maybe you could cause extreme emotional damage to the author. You have no idea what their life is like. Maybe writing is their only anchor is a storm, their only escape from their circumstances. I know that writing is my escape, and many other people's, too. You could make them give up on life, causing them to commit suicide or self harm or any number of terrible things. SO DON'T DO IT!
Now, this is a message to anyone sending hate via private messages (PMs) or comments, if you need to insult other people to feel better about yourself, then that is your problem, not theirs. Your self validation should not bring anyone down.
Receiving hate/coping with it
So you're scrolling through your notifications and you are delighted to see that someone has commented on your story. So far, you've felt pretty good about it and you're happy. But then you open the comment and it says something mean about you, the story, the writing, or the characters. This can really make you feel sad and you probably will get hung up on what this person says. Don't, because it's probably not even true, trust me. If you still think that it may be true, then this is for you: we are our own worst critic, meaning we will take something negative and convince ourselves that it's a problem... when it's not. Trust me on this one, the comment probably isn't true.
So what should you do when you see this comment? Here's the steps that I would take:
1. Determine if it is constructive criticism or hate. If it's constructive, listen to it and try to improve your writing. That said, if you truly love what you have, don't change it for anyone else. If it is hate, proceed to step two.
2. Report it. This person is bringing you down, and most likely, a lot of other people. Reporting them can make them stop and save some people in the future that would have been hurt by this person later. If you need help reporting it, just comment and I'll help you out.
3. Analyze the comment. Is there anything positive that could help you? Anything at all? I find it helpful to pretend you saw this comment on someone else's book instead of your own. Do you see this person as correct or just mean? If there isn't anything positive (most of the time there isn't), then move on to step four. If there is something positive, edit your writing. Unless, as I stated in step one, you love what you have. If you love your writing, then put your foot down and decide that you aren't going to change it.
4. Shake it off! Like the title says, hatters gonna hate. You just have to realize that you are awesome and what some idiot on the internet isn't going to change that.
Seeing hate on other people's books:
I see hate a lot on people's books, and when I do, I have a procedure that I follow. I recommend that you do it as well.
1. Decide if the comment is constructive criticism or hate. If it's constructive, it's fine, so keep reading. If it's hate, then move on to step two.
2. Reply to this person's comment. Let them know that what they did was out of line, mean, and uncalled for. Also, tell them why they're wrong. List some things about the writing that are really good because it is likely that the author will see your comment and appreciate someone that can give the support when they are feeling down.
3. Report them. Let the website you are on know that this user is being a jerk, because that's against the rules and it will discourage them from being mean anymore.
4. Keep reading the awesome story that you fought to protect from haters.
My Words of Encouragement
Remember this, my lovely authors: the people online who find their self worth in being a jerk are not worth your time, so don't stress over them. They're simply not worth it. You are better than that, don't let them define you. You could have a really amazing future in writing, so don't give up. Keep striving to be the best you can be, which I know all of you reading this are already doing, or else you wouldn't be reading a book called How Not to Write Fanfiction when you could read something else. You are all amazing, beautiful (or handsome, not assuming any genders here), talented, stellar, fan-freaking-tastic people. So to send you on your way, here are some quotes to encourage you!
"Don't try to win over haters; you are not an idiot whisperer
"They hate me because it's easier than beating me."
"Attention all haters: You don't like me? News flash! I don't live to please you!"
"You want to be at my level? You better know how to climb."
In conclusion, don't hate, and you're awesome!
Hey, all my lovely authors. How are you guys? I'm sorry if you are getting hate, and I hope you never have to use this chapter. You are all fanta-bulious (that's the crossbreed of fantastic and fabulous, you are both)! Happy writing! :) :) :)
Chapter 33: GIFS/Pictures
A/N: I already have a chapter about pictures, but this is just adding on to what I said there.
I'm so sorry AO3 readers. Skip this one.
Gifs and pictures are frequently added by Wattpad writers to make up for something they are too lazy to write about. Admit it, most of the time the picture is there so that you don't have to do so much work.
You have all at least considered, "Instead of describing the outfit, why not just put in a picture? Everyone does it..." And if you had a brain between your ears, you quickly silenced this thought and wrote because no, only slackers do it and you should not be a slacker.
DON'T BE A SLACKER, IT WILL GET YOU NOWHERE!
It's not like writing is the entire point of being an author or anything.
The only times a picture of gif is appropriate is when it is used to enhance the story, not be a substitute. If you fully describe something but also include a picture that is enhancing. Not describing something and just putting in a picture is being lazy. See the difference? If not, get glasses.
If you want the truth, when I start reading something, it doesn't matter what the writing is like, if I see a picture or gif that is used as a substitute, I stop reading. Why? Because that author is not one I want to grow attached to because they are lazy and they will not pull through. This means that they will write crappy chapters just because they're too lazy to try, will not update, and might give up on the book and leave me hanging. Is that the way you want to be with your readers?
That said, I am not saying you should never use gifs and pictures because they are great when used properly. Here's how you can tell the difference between when you are using them properly and incorrectly.
Here's some examples of enhancing the story:
I described the clothes, but I also add a picture.
I described the dancing, but I also included a gif.
I told the reader what happened, but also added in a short clip about what happened so that they will have a visual representation.
The readers already know what my OC looks like because I wrote about it but I also included a picture so that there is no confusion and visual people are going to be able to understand better, rather than just the writing.
Now here's some lazy examples:
I included a comic to fill in a gap in the story.
I used someone else's edit so that I won't have to do anything in the story.
There is a picture of clothes for the readers to see.
A picture of a flawless girl who is completely unrealistic (see: Writing Realistic, Chapter Three) so that I won't have to tell the readers what she looks like.
Instead of actually applying myself to writing a chapter because I want to go do something else instead of be faithful to my readers (see: Your Responsibility as an Author, Chapter 19), I am just going to stick a ton of pictures in to tell the story for me and only write a couple sentences.
Do you guys get the difference? Pictures and gifs are supposed to be extra and not essential to the story. A reader should be able to ignore the pictures/gifs and still read the book with ease.
Also, if you are going to include gifs and pictures, there is a special spot for them. Do not put them in the middle of the book, because that interrupts the reader when they are reading and that makes some of us very mad. So please put your gifs and pictures in the designated box. That is what they are there for, after all.
Be sparing with how many pics and gifs you use, too. A thousand of them is really annoying, so just keep it to a minimum.
Also, about half of the people will not actually look at them, even if you tell them too, so just be prepared for that. That is another reason why they should not be essential to the story. If you are sitting there saying, 'Well, if they don't understand, it's their own fault," You need to rearrange the way you see the writer/reader relationship. You serve the reader, not the other way around. Deal with it.
Alright, I hope I was helpful, you guys. I really am sorry I haven't updated much, and I've been procrastinating (I know, it's hypocritical). So, here's another chapter. Happy writing!
Chapter 34: The Writer/Reader Relationship
Warning: This chapter includes ranting, frustration, and the cold hard truth (and I mean COLD and HARD truth). If you are sensitive to frustration or ranting, or you can't handle the truth, please skip this chapter. Thank you.
Many Wattpad authors seem to have a very warped view of the writer/reader relationship. I'm going to put it simply: you serve the reader to every degree and with as much effort as you can give. Not the other way around. You. serve. the. reader. YOU SERVE THE READER! YOU SERVE THE READER! GET THAT THROUGH YOUR HEADS! You know, sometimes I wonder why I even try to get this point across because I doubt the majority of you are even listening.
I'm not going to beat around the bush, I'm here giving you facts- as harsh as they may seem. No, I am not being "mean" or "rude" and I am not "just offending you". You are an author, this is incredibly important, so sit down, shut up, and listen. (For those of you lovely readers that actually listen instead of being arrogant spoiled brats, thank you. My anger is not directed at you, so you can just ignore my ranting and just pay attention to my main points. Once again, thank you for being good people). The rest of you need to pay attention to this though because this is vital, and if you ignore it, then you are the one in the wrong.
This is what you should do:
-Update when you say you will, NO EXCUSES. I am certain that you did not have that much homework (except finals week. That is the only exception, I get finals, but on a day to day basis, you need to get a grip). Admit it, most days you have some free time that you choose to use on something else. So "homework" does not cut it. I am also sure that you're not that busy. Just "not having time" or "I've been busy" is a weak, lame excuse. If you can rearrange your whole schedule for up to weeks to go do something fun, you can surely make time to update for your readers, you're just not putting in the effort. And if you're reading this and you're like "Ugh, fine, I guess I'll update...", then don't go write a crappy, short chapter. Your readers deserve better than that. If you don't think that you can make updates on time, then the solution is simple. Don't make promises about updating and let your readers know that your updates will be slow.
-Honesty is the best policy! Don't lie to your readers, it's mean! Don't mislead them, either. One of the worst things you can do is lie to your readers, whether it's about an update, or a chapter, or a character (not plot twists, I mean like if you say something about a character in an A/N but don't follow through with it). If you make a promise or even if you don't say I promise, you need to come through, or that's on you.
-Canceling a book because of "school" or you "just aren't into the fandom anymore" is pathetic. The only time you can cancel a book because of school is when you are in college and you are studying to be a lawyer or a surgeon. The rest of you, suck it up, buttercup. And if you are still canceling a book, post a chapter about it! Don't leave the readers with false hope and then never come through, that's a really jerky thing to do. And comments: haters gonna hate! (I have a chapter on that, go read it if you haven't). If a couple of people, or even a lot of people are saying mean things, without any constructive criticism, delete their comments, don't read them, or block them. Don't give up on the people that love the book just because someone else doesn't.
-Don't be a freaking slacker. Don't be a slacker! Don't be a slacker! DON'T BE A SLACKER! DON'T BE A SLACKER! DON'T BE A FREAKING SLACKER! Your readers deserve better than that! Just because you're lazy, that means that your readers should suffer? What kind of mentality is that? That is not fair! If a doctor was too lazy to properly diagnose you, you'd be mad, right? Well it's the same thing! Don't be a freaking slacker!
Look, guys, I'm not trying to make writing a chore, here, because if you make it that, your writing will suck. And it will be clear that you put no effort into anything and that you're a lazy jerk that can't bother to think about someone else rather than themselves. But don't let my anger make you bitter towards your readers. Your readers are your support, your lifeline, if you treat them right.
If you want to read further about the writer serving the reader, here's some articles I recommend:
-Why Great Writing Serves the Reader, Not the Ego- Hailey Reissman (Article)
-Great Writers Serve Their Readers- Jeff Goins (Article)
-Writing to Serve Readers- Maribeth Impson (Book)
Once again, sorry for the very angry rant, but I am very mad at multiple authors who's names will not be stated, so please don't be upset. Almost all of you are lovely and amazing and I love you, it's just that you need to remember what the writer/reader relationship is. Good luck, and happy writing!
Chapter 35: Canons and Headcanons
Canons and Headcanons (Boom! Hahahaha... get it? Cause canons explode things and "canon" is in both of the words? No? Okay...) are awesome. Trust me, I know. For those of you that don't know what a canon or headcanon is, here's a brief summary:
Headcanon- A headcanon is a theory that a fan has that they believe is happening in the story. For example, they may think that one character is in love with another, or that something would happen after the media ends. It's just a prediction, and there is typically evidence behind it, but nothing has fully confirmed it. It's a canon that's still just a concept in your head, get it?
Canon- A canon is an idea that was a headcanon but it was confirmed. Something may happen in the media to confirm it, like character A and character B do get together, but the producer of the media may just say that it is true. Like, a person may have a headcanon and the creator of the media may be like, "Yeah, that's right" on Twitter or something.
So when something "becomes canon", that means that a headcanon has come true, and the whole fandom is going to freak out.
So that's what canons and headcanons are. Some Wattpad users decide to make books full of canons and headcanons. These books aren't really books because they have no plot line. They're fun to read off and on, but readers don't get super devoted to them like they would a story. So if you're thinking about making a book of canons and headcanons, I'd keep that in mind. You probably won't get as many reads or devoted fans. Not to discourage you, of course! If you love writing headcanons, go for it, do what makes you happy! But if you're looking for fame among the fandom, this is not the way to get it. Try a fanfiction or a companion book.
But it's not the fans that matter, really. If you are writing out of passion, follow your passion. It's worth more than anything a few online readers can give you.
So anyway, I don't have a whole lot to say on these, just that if you have a picture to go with your headcanon, put it in the designated picture section. That's what it's for.
If you are using a headcanon or canon someone else wrote, give them credit or at least say it isn't yours. Don't plagiarize. Plagiarism is for people too pathetic to think of their own ideas. Don't be pathetic, be creative. I'm going to have a chapter on plagiarism up soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
So, anyway, good luck and happy writing my lovely authors!
Chapter 36: Companion Books
Fair warning: I'm really energetic today and might be overly happy in this. You have been warned.
Show of hands, who here has read a companion book before?
Great! For those of you reading this and saying, "What the heck is a companion book?", here's a handy dandy explanation for you!
Okay, let's say an author named... oh, I don't know... Bob, writes a book called Cuddle the Cat. Well, a person named... uh... Joe, reads it. Well, Joe loves Cuddle the Cat and is a bit of an author himself. Well, Joe might decide to write a book that is about or related to Cuddle the Cat, but it is by him. That, my friends, is a companion book.
Here's a couple quick examples because I'm useful like that!
-The Science of Harry Potter by Roger Highfield
-Inside the Maze Runner: The Guide to the Glade by Veronica Deets
-The Hunger Games Tribute Guide by Kate Egan
-Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them by J.K. Rowling
-The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan
So that's what a companion book is. Personally, I like companion books. They can bring something new to a story I love and continue expanding on something that I love. So, if you are thinking about writing one, I encourage you to! They are so much fun to write and you'll have a lot of fun doing it.
So, with that fun intro, here are my tips :)
Tip 1: Go Deep!
If you're writing a companion book, go deep. Don't skim the surface. Explore things like symbolism, the author's purpose, the theme of the book, and deep messages. The book wasn't written for the heck of it, find meaning. Can it be difficult? Yes. But will it set your companion book above all of the others?
Tip 2: Stay true!
Stay true to the story! Don't say anything that contradicts the original book. If you love the original so much, why would you try to change it? So just make sure what you write is still correct according to the book you are writing about.
Tip 3: Have Fun With It!
Don't feel all uptight and worried about your companion book! Let loose, have fun with it! That's the whole point. If you aren't having any fun writing it, no one will have any fun reading it.
So those are my pointers for you guys! Good luck, and happy writing!
Chapter 37: Tropes (You Want To Read This One)
Hey guys, it's been forever. But honestly, I didn't have any advice for you. But today, we're talking about fanfiction tropes.
Don't know what a trope is? No problem.
Trope- A common theme or idea (especially in movies, books, or other forms of media).
Aka it's stuff that frequently happens in a story.
Some fanfiction tropes are really great and some aren't, but I'm not here to give my opinions.
I read an article (I'll include the link at the end) about fanfiction tropes and a survey that was taken of over 7,000 fanfic readers about which tropes they like and don't like and I'm here to tell you about the results and start a few chapters about each kind of trope, how it should be done, what to stay away from, what to do, that kind of thing. But for today, we'll just talk about the statistics and what the readers want.
What are the most popular genders/sexualities to read about?
Anyone who's been on Wattpad long could probably guess that gay ships are the most popular.
Ding ding ding! You're right, you win a thousand dollars.
Second most popular are hetero ships (male x female).
Third are the lesbian fics (female x female), and fourth is poly ships (three or more people in a relationship, can be all one gender or mixed). Last were the nonbinary ships (which is kind of a blanket term for people in the gender queer community such as trans, gender fluid, people that do not identify to any gender, and more).
So if you're going for popularity, a gay ship will probably boost your reads.
I hear your next question, what kind of plots/scenarios do people like most?
Well, let me tell you in list format since that's easy!
-Friends to lovers
-Injury/hurt and the other person/people comfort the hurt person
-Huddling for warmth
So now we know what tropes fanfiction readers love. But what about the ones they hate? After all, there are always some situations that we don't like our favorite characters being put in. Well, thankfully, I can also list the tropes to stay away from!
The most unliked trope is easy. Underage... activities. That's just gross.
The next is also gross, but mostly just disturbing. The second most hated trope is non-consensual sex/rape between the people in your ship. That kind of thing is illegal, for starters, and morally wrong on so many levels. It's not a funny situation for you to play with in your fanfiction.
(Rape as a plot point meant to be very negative and not fetishized is ok as long as you are respectful with the way you treat it. This is a very real issue- keep that in mind).
The third is incest. That's just creepy guys.
Eating disorders are next on the least liked trope list, followed by major character deaths, mpreg (male pregnancy), slavery (now that's just messed up), bullying, self/self (a relationship with another version of the character's self, like in time travel or duplication or something like that), and centaurification.
How about ones where people are divided? Well, the following tropes are a 50/50 as far as popularity goes.
-Band/pop group AU
-Omegaverse (if you don't know- don't ask)
-Dubcon (where it's unclear or unspecified if consent is given)
-Cinderella moments (as in unexpected makeovers)
Now you know. Next category because why the heck not?
Tropes readers care about the least:
-Meticulous canon compliance
Just in case you want to read another boring list and haven't stopped reading at this point because this is a really boring chapter (sorry), the most beloved AUs are canon-divergent AUs, present-day AUs, fairytale/folklore/mythology AUs, magical AUs, college AUs, spy/secret agent/assassin/hitman AUs, historical AUs, retail and service industry AUs, soulbond AUs, and coffee shop AUs.
But what are the most hated AUs? The zombie, omegaverse, band/pop group, rentboy/prostitute/escort, sport, hollywood/pornstar/reality TV/modeling, pacific rim fusion, high school, AU hopping, and apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic AUs.
No surprise, the most popular fanfic tone is fluff. Then it's angst, PWP, crack, and darkfic.
Now you know! Don't shoot the messenger and remember that every fanfiction can be great no matter what trope or tone or AU you use if you write it well. I love you all, happy writing!
Here's the link to the article: https://medium.com/fansplaining/five-tropes-fanfic-readers-love-and-one-they-hate-7384337248c
Chapter 38: Trope One- Underage
No. That's illegal. And pedophilia. Children can't give consent.
Chapter 39: Trope Two- Rape
Don't do it. Rape is real, and promoting or fetishizing it is completely wrong. In the United States, 1,000 people age 12 and over are raped every year and many have depression or PTSD, potentially leading to suicide. Think about that next time before you decide to make your smut a rape scenario.
Those that include rape in a story as a way of raising awareness and don't make it out to be sexy or something like that are alright in what they're doing. But if rape in your fanfiction is a plot point, be sensitive and include warnings in the description of your book and before it takes place in a chapter. You don't want to accidentally trigger someone.
Chapter 40: Trope Three- Incest
Chapter 41: Time For Something Happier. Trope Four- Fluff!
Fluff! Aww, I love fluff. You love fluff. We all love some high-quality fluff.
Honestly, you can't go wrong writing fluff, but here are some ideas to make your readers smile :)
Fluff Plot Ideas
1. Watching a scary movie together and pretending not to be scared but eventually giving in so person A laughs and cuddles person B until they feel better again
2. Person A teaches Person B how to drive
3. Person B being super excited for Halloween and convincing person A to do a couples costume with them and go trick or treating
4. Arguing about which flavor of ice cream (or frozen yogurt) is best so they go to an ice cream parlor/shop/stand and try every single flavor and even mix some to make new flavors until they decide that a certain really weird combination is the best and give it a funny or really long name. Throughout the fanfiction, it reappears. For example, person A gets person B some when person B is sad or for the wedding reception, they can't pick a cake so they decide to make the desert their ice cream flavor.
5. Being stuck in detention together because the pulled a prank on a teacher they hate
6. Going to a petting zoo and person A is nervous around the animals but person B loves petting them and helps person A get over their fear
7. Person A accidentally forgetting person B at the grocery store so person A makes it up to them through cuddles and kisses
Awww I just keep imagining my OTP and smiling.
Happy writing guys!
Chapter 42: Trope 5- Slow Burn
Ooooooh, I love a good slow burn fanfiction.
A slow burn fanfiction is one where it takes a long for the main characters to get together, touch, kiss, etc. They need to be very well written and executed with care. Readers wait on the edge of their seat for that moment when the story reaches that peak of intensity.
Slow burns are my undoing and unhealthy obsession. If you want to write a slow burn, go for it. But there are certain ways you should and should not go about it.
-Take legit forever. I don't want those main characters to even brush shoulders until chapter 45. The longer you draw it out, the more anticipation in the readers.
-Keep the tension going. If the tension isn't building, your readers will get bored. You need to grow the romanticism, the longing, the emotional angst, and the sexual tension (even if you're not going to have anything explicit)
-When your characters finally do kiss, it needs to be a big deal. The kiss itself should be drawn out. I'm talking breathless conversation before, flickering eyes, glancing at lips, super aesthetic and tense
-If you're going to have sex in your fic, that's cool (as long as there are warnings, of course, but we already covered that in chapter fifteen). But it's got to be well-written sex. And, like everything else in this kind of fic, the sex needs to be sensual and slow.
-Once your characters are together, you still need to be simmering it leisurely. There should be big gaps between important stages in their relationship.
-Once your characters are together, you still need to be building that tension
-Include angsty issues throughout the relationship. They need to fight, tears should be shed, misunderstandings should occur, etc. This builds the tension that you all know is so essential to a slow burn.
-Throw your audience a bone here and there. They'll psych out and love you, plus it will keep them engaged for another ten chapters. For instance, your characters bump into each other and freak out like, "Oh my god it touched them!" or one gives the other a small gift that they are both overly excited over.
-Rush. That's the whole point of reading a slow burn.
-Let the tension/chemistry down. You have to have it, and it needs to gradually increase.
-Make it easy. Slow burns are about the relationship being complicated. You need to explore the depts of that
-Write it like a normal fanfiction once your characters are together. You need to preserve the same tone that you had earlier
-Pick a ship that you can't flush out. The dynamic between the characters needs to be intricate enough for you to delve into it.
The most important thing to remember is that slow burns run on tension. A slow burn without growing tension is just boring. Also, this needs to be emotional. There needs to be depth to the relationship and to the characters.
Slow burns are great, and they're a super way to deeply explore and develop a character. Slow burns can't be held together with romance alone. Develop side characters, subplots, etc.
Good luck, my lovelies. Happy writing!
Chapter 43: Let's Take A Quick Brake From Tropes and Talk About Sex
Warnings: Sex, sex stuff, language, you can guess what's in this
So. I'm pausing the trope series I'm doing to teach you guys about writing smut because god knows some of you need it. You know I love you, though.
I'd consider myself pretty good at writing smut. I have multiple accounts (no you'll never know what they are- no one may know that I own some of those) and not to toot my own horn, but my smut fics are pretty popular. Actually, that is to toot my own horn. I'm awesome.
Anyway, here's Sex Ed 101
Now when a man and a woman love each other very much...
Jk, there's gay sex too and sometimes they don't love each other they're just super horny.
When you're writing a smut fic, do not, for the love of god, use any of the following words (cringe warning): moist, damp, squishy, slimy, penis, orifice, quim, discharge, flaccid, flaps, queef, smegma, seepage, splooge, ooze, squirt, appendage, anus, spew, suckle, bulbous, slurp, mushy, milky, gooey, saggy, cumming, girth, gush, or gyrate.
Those are some of the worst words in the English language (not just my opinion, I researched polls of people's least favorite words) and major turn-offs for many people. If you don't know what some of those words mean, don't Google it.
Some people also really hate the word panties. Personally, it doesn't bother me, but I wouldn't be doing my civic duty if I didn't urge you to use underwear instead.
Here are some fun alternatives:
Moist, damp- Wet, soaked, drenched, maybe dripping, but some people don't like that, either.
Squishy, mushy- Soft, smooth
Slimy, gooey- Slick, smooth, slippery
Milky- Liquid, cum (get over it this is a sex chapter you can read the word cum without panicking)
Cumming- Coming (Is cumming grammatically correct? Yes. So is coming, and it's a less ugly word/more visually appealing)
Penis, girth, appendage- Dick, erection, some variation of "himself/myself" in place of a noun, I think the word manhood is stupid but it works, length, member
Orifice- Opening, entrance, mouth, some form of vagina, ass, back, front
Quim- Vagina, entrance, opening, front, I also don't like the word womanhood just cause I think it's dumb but it works, pussy, some form of "herself/myself" instead of a noun
Discharge (noun): Please don't. There's no reason to include this when you're trying to be sexy.
Discharge (verb): Release, come, finish, orgasm, climax, peak
Flaccid- Limp, relaxed, unaroused,
Flaps- Folds, sides, some form of vagina, lips, labia
Queef- This also shouldn't be used when you're trying to be sexy. That's super not sexy.
Smegma- Ew. Also shouldn't be used when trying to be sexy. No one wants to hear about that, especially when they're reading smut
Seepage- Seed (although I still don't like this one), cum, precum
Splooge, gush, spew, ooze, squirt (yes, even the verb)- Release, spill, empty, flow, pour, run out, stream, splatter, drip, leak
Anus- Ass, asshole, back, entrance, hole, butt, bum (I think that one is dumb too, but whatever)
Suckle- Suck, blow
Bulbous- Erect, bulging, large, big, sizable, aroused
Slurp- Lick, suck, drink, lap up
Gyrate- Move in circles
You guys have no idea how important word choice is during smut. Use just one wrong word and you'll totally kill the mood. So be careful which ones you select.
Also, this should go without saying, rape is not sexy. Rape is not smut. Calling it non-con doesn't make it okay.
Place warnings before a sex scene.
Now, many writers skip over the dialouge and barely include any. But the best smuts have communication between the partners throughout. You can do a lot with this to match your theme or kink or AU or whatever else you're using. But not boring dialouge or just a bunch of stuttering, it should be sexy.
That's another thing. Don't overuse stuttering. That's really annoying to the readers.
Here are a few great phrases to really build that sexual tension:
-"I dare you."
-"What's in it for me?"
-"Is that the best you can do?"
-"I know you can do better than that."
-"I won't go easy on you."
-"Watch your mouth."
-"You better take that back."
-"I'll show you."
-"Look at me."
-"How do I look?"
-"Don't touch what's not yours."
-"You're in trouble now."
-"Oh, you're in for it."
-"Take off your clothes."
-"On your knees."
-"What did you just say?"
-"Could [he/she/they/name] make you feel as good as I do?"
-"If you _____ one more time..."
-"Tell me again."
-"Then do it."
-"You better shut your pretty little mouth or I'm going to put it to work, darling."
-"You're so sensitive."
-"Don't leave marks."
-"I'll do what I want."
-"You've been a bad boy/girl..."
-"I'll punish you."
-"You heard me."
-"I want to feel you."
-"I need you."
-"Shut the door."
-"You taste good."
-"I want to taste you."
-"You like that, don't you?"
-"Say my name."
-"Does that feel good?"
-"Shut your mouth."
-"I want you."
-"What did I just say?"
-"I thought I told you not to move."
-"You're really bad at hiding how turned on you are."
-"You fascinate me."
-"You look good in my clothes."
Whoo! is it hot in here or is that just me? Lol, jk. Anyway, that was an exciting adventure. Now on with the advice.
Also, remember that the scene leading up to the sex can be just as sexy as the sex itself.
If you want to write it rough, I suggest using some of the phrases I listed above. If you're going for tender, I'd write an aesthetic sex scene.
Little things make a big difference. Fingers curling, eyes shut, a gasp, a glance, these are all good stuff for sex scenes.
Okay, well, I'll wrap it up. If I think of anything else, I'll add it later. I love you guys, happy writing!