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Discussing writing fanfiction

 
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Mylie
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Joined: 21 Dec 2017
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:53 pm    Post subject: Discussing writing fanfiction Reply with quote

Ok so I thought it would be fun to have a thread about the process of writing fanfiction and the struggles, etc.

What prompted this is that I'm currently trying to write for the first time but also something Grace replied on a comment I made on her fic "Believing".

So... Grace... if you don't mind, I'd love to know what changes you would make now to your fic.

You don't have to answer if you don't feel like it, but I find the looking back on something you've written and wanting to make changes an interesting thing.
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Grace Newman
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Joined: 18 Jan 2017
Posts: 500
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mylie wrote:
What prompted this is that I'm currently trying to write for the first time


Aaaagghhh! This is so exciting. I am literally THRILLED to hear this!

Mylie wrote:
So... Grace... if you don't mind, I'd love to know what changes you would make now to your fic.


Haha, I will take any chance to talk about my writing. Smile

With Believing, my major problems are with Act II (Chapter 3). I knew I didn't like it before I posted it, but I just hit a wall and couldn't figure out how to make it better. I think my problem is that I was trying to hew too closely to the original structure of You're Welcome and I should have tried harder to completely take it apart and rework it. I feel like the conversation between Angel and Buffy is too rushed and that it all happens too easily. Granted, time is limited when you're trying to give a story an "episode" feel, but I know it could be better.

My major hurdle as a writer is that I cannot plot my way out of a paper bag. Seriously, I'm 15K words into a fic and I hit a part in the middle that I hadn't completely worked out and it was like running into a brick wall. I am in major avoidance mode. I'm taking a couple of weeks off from it, and when I go back I think I'm just going to skip the chapter(s) that are plaguing me, write through to the end and then try to fill it in. But it's really making me doubt the entire story...
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dcai0830
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Joined: 20 Sep 2017
Posts: 198

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grace wrote:
But it's really making me doubt the entire story...


No no... don't do that. There is good stuff there! I hope that skipping and working on the end works out for you. I think that's a good plan/strategy.

I will say for me, I learned never again to do a post as you go WIP. I have one of those up and I really hate it. I'm stuck in no man's land and if I could go back and change 100 things over I would. I think that I saw Ariaadagio talk about how she had basically drafted all of her fic of Some Say Ice and she would just go through and edit it before she posted as she went. So it was a semi-WIP. That seems like it makes more sense. I think, for me, I don't really know where I'm going until I get there and for long fics that's a problem. Because where I go isn't necessarily where I realized I wanted to go. But I give props to the writers that are so focused that they know exactly how the fic will go. I would assume there is at least an outline? Before writing and posting WIPs as you go.

The problems I have with my writing are the connective tissue. I think I've learned dialogue pretty well, I think I have my characterizations down OK (some better than others). But I struggle with stringing things together. How to get the plot from A to B without being clunky. And so I think I've learned I do better with less plotty fics. But it would be great if I could! Because I do have plotty fics I'd like to write (like the Darla pregnancy fic).

I also struggle in conveying actions through words. I think I lack the descriptive vocabulary necessary for this. And this is doubly diffficult when Angel is a character that conveys so much with his face and with his eyes. And I feel unequipped with the words to describe those small minute expressions because words fail me. So that's my current struggle.
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Mylie
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Joined: 21 Dec 2017
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grace Newman wrote:


Aaaagghhh! This is so exciting. I am literally THRILLED to hear this!



Don't be too excited... I'm struggling A LOT. I only managed to write a drabble so far and it still needs work. I'm not satisfied with it at all. But I do want to try to write something else.

Quote:


Haha, I will take any chance to talk about my writing. Smile

With Believing, my major problems are with Act II (Chapter 3). I knew I didn't like it before I posted it, but I just hit a wall and couldn't figure out how to make it better. I think my problem is that I was trying to hew too closely to the original structure of You're Welcome and I should have tried harder to completely take it apart and rework it. I feel like the conversation between Angel and Buffy is too rushed and that it all happens too easily. Granted, time is limited when you're trying to give a story an "episode" feel, but I know it could be better.

My major hurdle as a writer is that I cannot plot my way out of a paper bag. Seriously, I'm 15K words into a fic and I hit a part in the middle that I hadn't completely worked out and it was like running into a brick wall. I am in major avoidance mode. I'm taking a couple of weeks off from it, and when I go back I think I'm just going to skip the chapter(s) that are plaguing me, write through to the end and then try to fill it in. But it's really making me doubt the entire story...


I understand what you mean, but I still love what you did with that conversation. But yeah, I think the episode formula makes it so that you're more restricted in what you can do and how you can make some characters progress within the story. Makes sense!

I think the episode structure might be something I'd be into to help me start though. If you don't mind me using that idea... (not the You're Welcome idea, just trying to write an episode).
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Mylie
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Joined: 21 Dec 2017
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dcai0830 wrote:


I also struggle in conveying actions through words. I think I lack the descriptive vocabulary necessary for this. And this is doubly diffficult when Angel is a character that conveys so much with his face and with his eyes. And I feel unequipped with the words to describe those small minute expressions because words fail me. So that's my current struggle.


Yeah, I relate to this a lot. My vocabulary isn't developed enough. That's why I really wanted to read as many fics as possible before trying to write.
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Grace Newman
Chosen One


Joined: 18 Jan 2017
Posts: 500
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mylie wrote:
I think the episode structure might be something I'd be into to help me start though. If you don't mind me using that idea... (not the You're Welcome idea, just trying to write an episode).


You should totally do it! It certainly wasn't an original idea on my part. There are lots of stories out there structured like episodes. And Dee was the inspiration behind Believing, though I think she wanted a Season 5 AU where we got a Bangelier ending. Wink But since I'm still learning to plot, I decided to pretend that SMG was only available for one episode so I didn't bite off more than I could chew. LOL.

Dee wrote:
No no... don't do that. There is good stuff there!


You say that and I'm like...maybe that one scene with Xander was kind of funny. Pfft to the rest. Hahaha.

But, no, I won't give up completely. Not yet anyway!

Dee wrote:
And this is doubly difficult when Angel is a character that conveys so much with his face and with his eyes. And I feel unequipped with the words to describe those small minute expressions because words fail me. So that's my current struggle.


Angel is so hard to write! I totally identify with this. I think it's a whole lot easier to write from Angel's perspective than to describe Angel and write his dialogue from another character's perspective. If you're really struggling with a scene, you might try writing it from his POV. Smile

Dee wrote:
I think that I saw Ariaadagio talk about how she had basically drafted all of her fic of Some Say Ice and she would just go through and edit it before she posted as she went. So it was a semi-WIP.


Aria is 100% #writergoals!
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dcai0830
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Joined: 20 Sep 2017
Posts: 198

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You say that and I'm like...maybe that one scene with Xander was kind of funny. Pfft to the rest. Hahaha.


You are KILLING me smalls. You are super off base with your assessment. You have an incredibly strong start. And anyway as your watcher I won't allow you to quit. (that was said in my Wesley voice so feel free to not take me seriously lol)

Assume I always want an AU with a bangely ending lol.

But that being said sometimes a story works better if it leaves me wanting more. And Believing did that. It made me want to know what happens next. So that's a success all on its own.

Quote:
If you're really struggling with a scene, you might try writing it from his POV. Smile


Oooh good advice. I usually ending going the route of giving him alot more to say than he would in canon lol.
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Grace Newman
Chosen One


Joined: 18 Jan 2017
Posts: 500
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dee wrote:
You are KILLING me smalls. You are super off base with your assessment. You have an incredibly strong start. And anyway as your watcher I won't allow you to quit. (that was said in my Wesley voice so feel free to not take me seriously lol)

Assume I always want an AU with a bangely ending lol.

But that being said sometimes a story works better if it leaves me wanting more. And Believing did that. It made me want to know what happens next. So that's a success all on its own.


Thank you! I don't deserve you. You are too good to me. Smile

One of my mutuals shared her outlining process recently and I thought y'all might be interested: https://sunalsolove.tumblr.com/post/177435546674/can-you-write-a-little-about-your-outlining

It's pretty intense! But she's written like 9 novel-size fics now so she's got it down to a science. (She's primarily a Spuffy writer when it comes to BtVS, but there's no Spuffy content in the post. She's mostly writing for AOS right now and she uses an AOS ship as an example.)
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