Tutorial: How to Write a Fanfiction

I was a fanfiction writer for nearly 4 years. When I was in high school, I wrote about 15 fan fictions, short ones, and long ones, and some of them were really popular. Although all of them were in another language, I believe there are some universal tips for you if you want to create your own fan fiction. Here are 5 of them, enjoy!


#1. Find a Direction

When you decide to write something, first, please consider the following questions. Based on which show, comic, or game do you want to create stories? Do you want the story to be long or short? Do you want your story to be a comedy, a tragedy, both, or neither?

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With the base chosen, next, you need to consider a basic story line. You may ask yourself the “what, when, where, who, why, and how” questions to decide how the story starts, who are involved in the story, what are their relationships, and so on. Planning ahead is always helpful for a new writer.


#2. Talk with Your Characters

After knowing what you would like to write, it is time to “communicate” with your characters. Think about their different tones, different ways to react to one event, or how each of them would interact with one another. Fanfiction is different from normal creative writing because all characters have already had their own personality and appearance decided in the original piece.

Writing a fanfiction is just like playing all the roles of your favorite characters in one play all by yourself. You need to understand them pretty well before writing, or you would face a problem called OOC (out of character). If you want to share your work with other people, avoiding OOC is very critical because you do not to receive too much criticizing from others.

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When I first started writing fanfiction, many of my works were problematic because the characters’ personalities do not fit their original setting in the anime. As a result, a lot of my readers criticized me about the problem. If you want to avoid too much critic from your readers, my suggestion is to really spend some time understanding your characters.


#3. Make a Plan

Now you have decided to start writing, so you need to know that writing anything longer than a school essay is a long-term work. It is more difficult to keep writing when the story is long, and there is no deadline waiting.

It is possible and normal if you lose your passion in the middle of the story. My tip for this problem is to make a plan for yourself, such as a writing schedule. You can set some daily, weekly, or monthly goals, and when you meet your writing goals, give yourself a treat to praise that.

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For example, since I have a lot of school work to do, my normal weekly goal is to write two chapters. If I finish this goal on time, I would buy ice-cream for myself as a prize.

Try your best to follow your schedule, but do not be too strict on yourself. After all, writing fanfiction is supposed to be a relaxation from the heavy work, but not another source of stress.


#4. Find a Group of Test Readers

Congratulations for your first several chapters or short stories! When you have finished something, try to ask a group of friends to read your works before posting them online. Listen to their comments and suggestions, and talk with your readers. Sometimes these test readers would tell you how they hope the story would go, and you may have even more new creative ideas.

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The test readers would also point out the places you have missed or mistakes in your work. You can explain and defend your work, but listening to different ideas is helpful for your writing in the future.

When you are confident enough about your story, you can finally post them on any website or forum that you like. You can even start your own website for fanfiction only; WordPress would be a great choice.


#5. Learn How to Deal with Different Comments

If you decide to post your fanfiction online, you need to learn how to deal with comments because they come sooner than you expect.

The good thing about comments is that you may find a lot of friends who like what you like, and are willing to talk with you about your work positively. One of my readers has become one of my best friends since sophomore year in high school, and we have become friends offline as well.

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However, sometimes commenters could be mean and rude if they do not like your work that much. They would write negative comments, and the word they use could be pretty harmful because they know that you would never found out who they are. If this happens to you,

If this happens, do not be sad or angry. In both the real world and the world of ACG, nobody has the power to force others to accept their preferences. However, if you want to write better in the future, reading the negative comments could be a process of learning. Although for most of the times the mean commenters make you upset, there might be something that you could learn and improve.


Here are my five tips for new fanfiction writers. Have you ever wrote any fanfictions? Which website is your favorite place to read or post them? I would like to learn more about fanfictions in the U.S., so talk to me.

By the way, if you are a new writer, I’d be really happy to be one of your first test readers. Feel free to contact me so I can read more great works from you!

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