Dr. Merlin's Guide to Fan Fiction
Curiosity, and yes boredom, had me query Google for fanfiction writing. I was curious what blogs might be out there for this field. Anyway, Dr. Merlin's was ranked number one, so I decided to check it out.
The author had many helpful things to say. Not necessarily stuff I didn't know, but it's nice to hear someone else say it. If I can't visualize a character doing something, then they probably shouldn't do it. If I think my character is the most wonderful in the world, he or she probably isn't. If I've been writing the same story for months my editing judgment is probably gone and I need a beta (I did that!). That's the sort of advice given.
There was also a section on Mary Sues that I enjoyed reading. I like reading info on Mary Sues, because they're my worst nightmare -- meaning I hope to God my stories, fanfic or original, never have one (the bad unintentional kind). The author's definition of a Sue was probably one of the best I've ever read. She didn't sound like she knew absolutely what a Sue was, just statistically what a Sue usually
is. Reasonal parameters were given to define a Sue making them easier to spot and avoid. I don't think I've ever had one, and I hope I never do.
Of course grammar and spelling are important, but overall impossible to catch all of them. I still find typos when I proof my chaps. -- which by the way ticks me off. I know the difference between their, they're, and their. I hate seeing them misused, so I really hate it when I do it; but I don't do for lack of knowing better. I type really fast, faster than I can think, so they slip inside. Sorry for the aside rant there. I was overcome with emotion. :)
One piece of advice I'd like to have taken would have been to write the fanfic in its entirety before posting. I actually did have that in mind when I first started, but I thought I'd lose my nerve. The whole reason for posting was to get less introverted about my writing, so chickening out would have been counter productive. I basically had
to post to bully myself into sharing. Basic outlines are good, but it's nice to alter the deal if the desire strikes. Like I've had to do. Not to mention any stories in particular. :)
I read an interesting guide today.