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Thing you've learnt from reading other people's stories


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I think what I've learned from reading other people's stories is how to get inspiration for my own…


For example, this one story I am reading is a distant prequel to two games in the series (Fire Emblem, for anyone interested) and tells about a canon war that took place there. Reading this story inspired me to write down some ideas about this war, about how it could have ended differently, and if different characters survived or died, if different characters fought or didn't fight…


This fanfic uses the canon version of events, but it gave me so many different ideas of what could have been…


There is also the different fandoms I have been introduced to just by reading the fiction of other people, but I can't name them off the top of my head…

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4 hours ago, onewiththewheels said:

Fire Emblem


Which ones? 

I personally wanted to write one surrounding the Black Fang from 7. I might, sometime next year maybe. Not too sure.

I learnt that it's necessary to maintain a proper updating schedule to avoid people losing interest in your story. I also learnt that it's nice to reply back to reviewers, to get even deeper insights into your writing (and also make a couple of acquaintances along the way :)  )


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My fanfiction followings are majorly from Beyblade, Naruto, Digimon and some Batman. And all of these fandoms are very old (I'm an old fart, I get it), but very large and popular. So I get a variety of fics from different ages (pre-2005, circa 2007, 2011, 2016) and each of them have some very interesting differences. And I've picked up a lot of lessons along the way. 


  • Write whatever you wanna see written.
  • Nothing is as prescribed, as you think. 
  • You know nothing, pyro snow.
  • Aim for the heart, not for the head. You'll kill your audience with the latter.
  • leave reviews, it might revive a decade old dead story LOL (the author spammed her readers a decade later with 15 chapters and was cackling about it on tumblr lmaslkdjansl) 
  • be a mary-sue lover living vicariously through your sue. because realistic female character development requires a suspension of disbelief so great, it's impossible for your puny mind to type
  • haters gonna hate hate hate 
  • long A/N's with conversation dialogue between you and the character you are about to murder, is probably not a good idea
  • don't be afraid to take creative risks
  • meme references
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9 hours ago, EricLightscythe said:


Which ones? 

I personally wanted to write one surrounding the Black Fang from 7. I might, sometime next year maybe. Not too sure.

I learnt that it's necessary to maintain a proper updating schedule to avoid people losing interest in your story. I also learnt that it's nice to reply back to reviewers, to get even deeper insights into your writing (and also make a couple of acquaintances along the way :)  )



Nice, you and I have a lot in common it seems!


I have all the Fire Emblems, a few hacks, and Terring Saga if that counts.


The ones I've played two completely are: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13.


I’m on chapter 2 out of 5 on Gaiden (loving it so far). I just started the first one, but I haven't gotten very far. Same thing with the fifth.


Unfortunately, I have no way to get my hands on Berwick Saga, and I’m waiting for both parts of Vestria Saga to be completed before I begin it.


I'm on chapter 8 out of 11 on FE4. On 14 (Fates), I've completed both Conquest and Birthright, but I'm about halfway through Revelations. I've also completed all Spotpass missions, and all of the DLC for Awakening, aside from Future of Despair, Roster Rescue, and Apotheosis (either path) on classic mode. I'm going to do that all again on the casual Nuzlocke mode, which I am about halfway through,


Also worth noting that I played through 6 and 12 completely untranslated at first, since I had no idea how to use an emulator. Playing through 4 and 2 translated at this point. Unfortunately, my only choice is to play through 3 and Terring Saga untranslated, because neither of the translation patches work on my computer (not like TS Saga’s patches and is not a mess anyway).


And I agree with you about the proper updating schedule. I mean, if you're a loyal viewer, if you'll hang on, but most won't. I usually put updates in my profile about what I'm doing (e.g. doing notes for another story or posting to another site) as a common courtesy for people were waiting for my stories. I wish others would do that though, because there's so many stories that just died with no explanation as to why…


And I also agree with you about review responses, it's really nice to have questions answered. And it is a great way to make friends. Not to mention that gives incentive to review in the first place…


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I've probably learned almost all my little tricks through reading fanfiction and some original stories, it's amazing how much you can gather just from one piece. I'll just bullet point some of them down lol.

  • Sometimes, describing the situation in full detail rather than focusing solely on the characters is more plot engaging.
  • Do not be ashamed to use flowery language! (just uhm, don't overdo it XD) 
  • simple writing can be the most heart wrenching. 
  • you don't need to describe your characters from head to toe in unnecessary detail.
  • a single phrase can be the most impactful ending to any chapter. 
  • DO NOT BE M E A N TO YOUR READERS, if you want to be do it in PM where you can avoid drama with everyone else. 
  • always try to love your characters (no matter if they're a dick) 
  • always do your research before writing about something specific q.q i cannot stress this enough
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  • 2 months later...
  • Administrator

Other things I've learned

  • Every author has their own unique style and thus should be respected
  • Write what you want to write
  • Keep chapter lengths consistent. Don't go from a 3000 word chapter to 10,000 words then 4000 words
  • Don't describe what a character is wearing unless it's a plot device. Mention it once in the story if they wear the same thing frequently
  • On that note, describe what is necessary for plot. Don't just throw things in there because it's fun
  • Don't brag about how awesome you are and put down other authors
  • Google is your best friend. Writing a court scene? Know how a court usually works for starters. Character taking a drug? Know about it
  • Don't be afraid to emotionally invest yourself in your material. Make yourself depressed. Make yourself angry. Make yourself laugh. The best stories are the ones that leave an emotional impact on you even if the technique isn't the strongest.  Many stories are emotionally dry - don't be one of those.
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  • 3 years later...

These are a few things which I've learnt from other authors.

  • Respect others' choices. Do appreciate them for what they've written, not for what they like. Everybody has their own choices, be it fanon or canon.
  • Don't look for characters while reading a story. Look for the content, but always feel free to read whatever you'd like to.
  • Don't keep bragging about your favorite characters and favorite couples all the times. Just mentioning that he/she is your favorite ship or character is good enough instead of enumerating on it.
  • Appreciate their work.
  • Let out the emotions if you feel like erupting them after reading a particular fic. Just feel free to do that!
  • Beautify an object, clothing or the atmosphere in a unique way. Look for alternative words instead of long sentences while describing something. Look out for synonyms as alternatives while using regular words. But don't waste too much time on descriptions. But medieval fantasies can be a exception.
  • Don't use "then" too often, especially in every first sentence of every paragraph.
  • Write in such a way that readers can feel the emotions of a character, i.e., clearly ensure that the reader is aware of a person's emotion. Do not make it vague. 
  • Instead of using too many OCs, just look for any other recurring canon character if its a fandom story. Utilize as many canon characters as possible instead of adding too many OCs and very few canon characters, Instead of too many OCs, just look for recurring characters in case if your fic needs many characters. Utilize the canon characters well except when you feel that a particular character won't suit the role due to her personality. 
  • Do not worry and feel left out or low if your choices are different from others or/and if your favorite ships or characters don't have so much of fics. You are always free to write whatever you like.
  • Don't make readers take advantage of you and rule you. Stick to your own decisions lest you get any help. Meanwhile, you can write fics which readers' have requested.


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  • Community Leader

That I suck at writing. 

Hahah nah, I'm not that insecure.

I've learnt how to write cute, emotional relationships from the good stuff.

I've learnt from the bad stuff not to echo them and how to avoid toxic BS in romance. And continuing about the bad stuff, I've learnt more people need Sex Education -_- If you're going to write a sex scene, it will take 'enlightened' readers out of the experience if the characters are doing 'certain stuff' without lube.  

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  • Don't assume the other writers know what they're doing - if you want to learn how to do something with grammar, check out a published book or a grammar book, don't rely on fanfic to teach it
  • Write what you want to read - not what you assume readers want to read, you'll get a more satisfying story
  • While reviews are fantastic, they're not a good indicator of what makes a good fanfic
  • While action is fun, don't use it so much that your characters don't have time to breathe.
  • Killing people off for shock value doesn't work for TV shows, it's not working for your fanfic either
  • Don't overwhelm with description, it just leads to people skimming bits and readers can and do often fill in the blanks themselves
  • Good dialogue will really help your story
  • Well developed characters can carry a story in a way a good plot with bad characters cannot. So don't worry so much about your plot.
  • If you're not enjoying a story, stop. Don't keep writing it out of some guilt towards the readers because they'll leave and they'll not spare you a passing thought.
  • If you're not enjoying reading a story, click the back button. Do not press review, do not add a comment, just move right along to something else.
  • You can and will desensitize your readers if you repeat the same thing over and over, they'll stop caring and you want your readers to care
  • Filler chapters are good in moderation
  • Soft fluffy one shots are also delightful after a crappy day, so don't beat yourself up if that's all you can create
  • There are no rules in fanfic so if you want to write long chapter fics, go ahead. You want to write nothing but OCs, go ahead. Fanfic is fun, it's a hobby, it's FREE, write what you want to write.
  • Generally speaking, if you enjoy writing something, there'll be at least one person out there who enjoys reading it.
  • There are no best times to update fanfic
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  • 6 months later...
  • Administrator

Some more things

  • Don't be afraid to write something disturbing and graphic
  • Words are powerful. Sometimes it might be best to write certain emotional scenes when you yourself are feeling pretty emotional about stuff
  • Don't try to change your writing to appease the masses
  • When writing sex scenes, refrain from writing 'MMH OHH YEAH BABY' and treating these scenes like something from PornHub. Get educated people.
  • Be careful with prose. Don't be overly descriptive with every single little detail. No one cares about that table. No one cares what the chair looks like. Just get to the bloody point
  • Know your setting. If you are writing a story and it's set in Brisbane, Australia, please research the place first. It does not snow here.
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