Advice, Please?

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unamariah
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Advice, Please?

Postby unamariah » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:33 am

Hi, guys! So, I'm planning a Modern AU fanfiction, and I was wondering if anyone had ANY advice? I mean, just general things you've learned from writing fan-fiction? Pet peeves, things not to do. Really, any advice would be so appreciated. :)

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WhoIam
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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby WhoIam » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:57 am

Go to the Popular Fanon thread in the Brick Meta section and read through it. Don't do any of that.
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Aurelia Combeferre
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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:58 am

I'll recommend to you ONE fic: "Smells Like Bohemian Spirit". It's M-rated though.
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unamariah
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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby unamariah » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:08 am

Okay...I'll have to read that thread. :D Thanks. And I don't think I'll be able to read that fic (I'm 14) but thanks for the suggestion. :)

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Aurelia Combeferre
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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:12 am

Okay.

Just....for the love of all that's good in this world, stay away from writing a high school AU. The characters just dont' translate as well there, and it's overdone.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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unamariah
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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby unamariah » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:17 am

Well, I actually wanted to write (what do you call it?) something set in the same time frame as The Brick, but I have trouble writing historical fiction.

Would College AU be okay? Basically, Combeferre and Courfeyac trick Enjolras into thinking he's going to a political rally, in order to get him to go camping. :wink:

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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby Gervais » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:11 am

College AUs were pretty well-worn, though there's nothing saying you shouldn't do them, of course. And that specific idea itself sounds pretty unique. :D
unamariah wrote:Well, I actually wanted to write (what do you call it?) something set in the same time frame as The Brick, but I have trouble writing historical fiction.

Canon-era.
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Acaila
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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby Acaila » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:53 am

AJ's suggestion of checking the popular fanon thread and avoiding it all is a very very good one actually! :D I'd definitely second that.

And this is a good general thread actually :)

My tips:

- If you want to write an AU, carefully consider why you are changing the setting, and why you choose the setting you do. At the moment, so many people are writing high school and college AUs because that's what they know about. Even more frustratingly, most of them relocate their stories to the US for no reason other than that's what they know. That doesn't serve the story or the characters. Have a reason for any places where you stray away from canon, and make that reason something other than "it's easier".

- Keep your characters in character. What I've always done on the rare occasions where I write fanfic is sit with the novel and flick between all of the relevant sections about that character, so that I am sure that I'm not inventing things or contradicting things that Hugo said. It's really frustrating as a reader to read fics that butcher the characters. A lot of the common problems with this are covered in the fanon thread, but things like writing about Les Amis, but having Enjolras as the only one that is interested in politics is just going to be frustrating.

- Don't skimp on research. This links into both points above really. This is a very rich fandom with a lot of material to work from. Make use of that and it will make your story immeasurably better. I promise, sitting on wikipedia reading about stuff that you never knew existed is a very good thing!

- Seek help. Beta readers are always good, and particularly so if you are new to writing in a fandom. A lot of the common mistakes can be avoided that way, as well as cleaning up the near inevitable expression mistakes. Abaisse is a great resource, both from existing threads and for any discussions you might want to start to help you as you go.

- Read good fanfic. Ask for recommendations, go away and read them, figure out what you like about how they were written. There are some really great pieces of work out there.

- If your fic involves shipping, you don't have to engage in "pair the spare", i.e. you don't have to have every other character paired up with another one. Make sure whatever you're doing is in character, and set up relationships rather than just announcing them. Equally, you don't have to write the same pairings that everyone else is doing. I love to find fic that is a little more original in this respect.

- When you post fic, make sure it has a good summary. And never ever apologise in your summary!

- When you post fic, ask for constructive criticism. Lots of people will just be like "Omg this is the best story ever!", even if it's really really not. Asking for constructive criticism will help you improve far more than overexuberant and often baseless praise.


All based on personal opinion of course, but that's what I would look for as someone who reads fic. :)
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unamariah
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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby unamariah » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:59 am

Well, I'm homeschooled, so I couldn't really do high-school AU that well. College AU, even though it doesn't exactly take place in college, is the only kind of modern AU I could think of that would work with my plot. :wink: And the location will be pretty general; whether it's in the French countryside or US doesn't really matter. :)

Thanks for all the advice! :)

Does anyone know any good fics I should look up, preferably Modern Day AUs? :?:

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Aurelia Combeferre
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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:05 am

"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Gervais
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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby Gervais » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:30 am

Beta readers are always good

I don't know how well you write, but for you in general (or anyone reading this thread), if anyone reads something you've read and offers to beta it, don't be insulted. It means they want to help you be better, and you have the potential to be better. :D (By the same token, lack of constructive criticism doesn't mean you're bad, just that the readers didn't have time, etc for a more well-rounded review).

And if someone offers to beta, it's generally a good idea to take them up on the offer. I've personally suggested to a friend not too long ago that someone just check her work once or twice before she posts it, and she agreed, but then didn't go through with finding a beta. And don't be afraid to ask for one yourself. :D

/soapbox
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unamariah
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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby unamariah » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:29 am

Oh, I love being able to have beta-readers; I frequently ask friends to read my work. In the case of fan-fiction however, I need a beta-reader who knows the universe and canon, not just good grammar. :D After I write on this fan-fic for a bit, I might ask for one of you lovely people to beta-read it. :)

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CeridwenLynne
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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby CeridwenLynne » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:49 am

I'm pretty open when it comes to fanfics--- especially those set in the present day. I do have a few pet peeves though.

1. Try to keep your characters personalities true to canon. Something that really bothers me is when Éponine is portrayed as some weak damsel in distress who needs to be rescued by Enjolras, Combeferre, Marius etc. Éponine is a tough gal who can take care of herself.

2. Make Enjolras and The Amis fight for something worthwhile and important. (Please no rallying the student body to support a losing football team who then goes on to win the State Championship)

3. Try to limit your OCs. The OCs should enhance not take away from the canon characters.
" He makes no vain sacrifice who fights for a cause. All here are ready to die so that our brothers may live as free men. Liberty... sweet liberty... come fight with those who defend you." ----Enjolras.

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unamariah
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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby unamariah » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:06 pm

Well, they aren't really 'fighting' for anything at the moment; Enjolras is working on getting his degree and Courfeyac and Combeferre and the rest of the Amis want to go camping. :)

As for OCs, I personally don't like them very much, so the chances of my story including an OC are very slight indeed.

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CeridwenLynne
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Re: Advice, Please?

Postby CeridwenLynne » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:51 am

I think it would be refreshing to read a fanfic where the Amis didn't fight for some sort of cause--- just let them be college students having fun and working on getting their degrees and such. I like your idea about a camping trip. :D
" He makes no vain sacrifice who fights for a cause. All here are ready to die so that our brothers may live as free men. Liberty... sweet liberty... come fight with those who defend you." ----Enjolras.


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