I know what you’re thinking. “But, Amanda, fanfiction is retarded and there shouldn’t even be tips!” You would be surprised how often my friends online and IRL ask me how to write and post fanfiction. To me, it’s a writing exercise. When my original stories are frustrating me (like my NaNoWriMo novel), I turn to fanfiction for something fun and easy to do. You’d be surprised how writing about already developed characters can get your muse going. I’m currently 21. I’ve been writing since I was five and writing fanfiction since I was 9. I think 12 years is experience enough.
Most of this focuses mainly on posting fanfiction online (on ff.net, AO3, etc). So, here’s list of things that will help you be a better fanfiction writer in the fanfiction community:
1.) Do not, under any circumstances, say “I suck at summaries” or “This is my first fic so I’m sorry if it sucks”. No one wants your excuses. You’re setting readers up to think your work is mediocre. This goes for everything in life. It’s up to the readers to decide if it sucks. You will always think your stuff is horrible, even if it’s fantastic. So just write the best summary you can and stop there. Also, don’t beg for reviews. The whole “R&R” (read and review) plea is annoying and distasteful. People will review if they enjoyed your story. Begging like a child will only deter them from giving you feedback.
2.)Do not fill your A/N (author’s notes) with random bullshit. Keep your notes brief and to the point, preferably at the end of the story, unless you have to explain something before the readers start the story. Make sure to clarify the warnings (13-year-olds get on these sites).
3.)Find a proofreader or a Beta. It’s nearly impossible to proofread your own work. You will keep passing over your own mistakes because your mind won’t notice them. I’m guilty of this all the time. A few mistakes are not the end of the world, but an error in every other sentence is just a turn-off for any reader. Errors can completely overshadow amazing writing.
4.)Always clarify the pairing (if there is one). Even if you choose the characters you want to read stories based on, you won’t always come up with that pairing. Most readers are looking for their “OTP” or whatever. Narrow it down for them so they know what they’re clicking on.
5.) Know your vocabulary! Like every online community, things are shortened and abbreviated. You don’t want to look like an idiot, especially if you’re new to the fanfiction community. Here’s some terms you should know:
Slash, yaoi, m/m: A male/male pairing.
Femslash, yuri, f/f: A female/female pairing.
Het, m/f: A Heterosexual pairing.
Shipping: A pairing that you write/read/support.
OTP: One True Pairing; that one pairing that you ship more than any other.
AU: Alternate universe; taking the characters and putting them in a completely different environment/universe.
Canon: Facts established by the original source of the characters; ex. Kirk being the captain of the Enterprise is canon, Spock being a woman is not canon.
Lemon: Explicit sexual scenes.
Lime: Light sexual scenes.
Crack, crack-fic: A completely nonsensical and ridiculous fanfiction.
Drabble: Normally a 100-word fanfiction, though I’ve seen some with lower word counts before.
Oneshot: Instead of reading a multi-chaptered story, oneshots are self-inclusive stories that function much like short stories. Twoshots and threeshots (two-part and three-part stories) also exist.
Flame: This goes for any site, really. Flaming is leaving plain hateful, rude comments that harbor no constructive criticism at all. Do everyone a favor and just don’t do it.
Pre-slash: Pre-relationship between the characters of a slash pairing.
Plotbunny: An idea for a story that will simply not go away.
Fluff: Usually plotless, shorter fanfictions with lots of sweet affection.
Genderswap, -flip: Exactly what it sounds like; changing the genders of the characters.
PWP: Porn Without Plot
Smut: Shameless porn.
Headcanon: Every fan has this; your own personal canon or way your perceive parts of the show/whatever.
Dub-con, Non-con: Basically, rape.
MPreg: Male pregnancy.
OC: Original character.
Reboot: Completely rewriting what is canon, essentially “rebooting” what was created before.
Songfic: A story based around a song.
A full list of terms can be found here.
I hope this was somewhat helpful. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. If you have any questions, feel free to message me.
Good luck! (: