Fanfiction: How to Stand Out From the Crowd

@Danielle Paige explains the dos and don'ts of writing fanfiction...

 

Fanfiction. We’ve all heard of it, read it, and maybe even write some of our own, but it seems like an endless cycle of overdone story lines and obvious endings. However, there is an easy way to be unique and original! You can still turn your work into a diamond in the rough, shining it’s way through the crowd and catching the attention of eager readers. So here are my top ten tips: 

 

1. Stay away from cliché!

It’s so easy to get sucked into the ‘average girls meets international superstar and falls in love’. It’s been done over and over again, so make sure there’s more to your fanfiction than a predictable love story.

2. Bring on the plot twists.

Nothing beats a good plot twist to keep your readers hooked, especially if it interrupts the perfect little lives of your characters. Usually, the more dramatic the problem is, the more attention it attracts. Go on, do your worst!

3. Face up to reality.

Unless you know them personally, you cannot pretend to know how your celebrity would behave in real life. This is a great opportunity to make the character your own. Go against the impression that people have of your celebrity already. If they’re bold, make them shy. If they’re polite, give them a sarcastic streak. It will surprise your audience so much more if you completely alter the personality they portray.

4. Have a good character ratio.

There’s nothing worse when you’re reading a story and suddenly everyone falls in love with the same person. Not only is it unrealistic, but it’s been done so many times that it has lost it’s shock-factor. Love triangles are always fun, but love hexagons get a little confusing.

5. There’s more to life than you think.

It’s difficult to believe, but superstars have stay-at-home days too! Don’t get sucked into the routine of writing about touring, filming, and going to publicised events all the time. Think about the finer details, like going home to see the family, or visiting a little café somewhere quiet. Take note of what your friends and family do when they’ve got a day off from work, and use it as inspiration.

6. Study!

As much as it’s great that you’re using your imagination, it’s also helpful if you know some real details. If your famous figure is going back to their hometown, make sure you know what it is! Know a few of their interests, or at least the names of their parents, to give your fanfiction a touch of realism.

7. It’s not all about them.

It’s too easy to get wrapped up in writing about your idol, but don’t forget about your other characters. They need to have lives too, and need to also have a fundamental role in the story. Also ensure that you have enough normal characters to form a sub-plot that may (or may not) include your famous folk.

8. Pick a decent title.

Do not give away your plot on the front cover! If you can, stay away from using the names of your celebrities in the title, as this will make your work more desirable to read. Use word play, lyrics or quotes from the celebrity involved, but not their name(s).

9. Make a cover.

Despite what I said earlier, your readers will still want to know that your work is a piece of fanfiction. This is where your cover comes in. Your title should be clear, easy to read, and usually positioned around an image of the superstars that you’re writing about! If your title doesn’t reveal that your work is fanfiction, your cover definitely should.

10. Put your effort into it!

Always remember to enjoy your writing. If you don’t feel passionate about your work, it will always come across as flat and unexciting. Even if your story hasn’t found an audience yet, if you write it, they will come. Write for yourself – not for anyone else – and take pride in it as much as you can.

 

That’s all from me! I hope this helped you, and I look forwards to seeing lots of fresh, original fanfiction flooding the site soon! Also, if you have any further tips, be sure to post them below. Danielle Paige

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