The Fanatic Issue

The Fanatic Issue
Penning the Perfect Fanfiction

Peter Parrish | 3 Mar 2009 13:17
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4. Wizardly Word Weaving
Words are vital. Your Dark Messiah-Bratz Ponyz crossover will not succeed without good writing. Good writing means choosing the right words. Gather close, prospective fanfic authors, because we are about to reveal the secret of successful writing: adverbs.

What makes a blockbuster sentence like "Hurriedly, the Prince of Persia stealthily made his way towards the eerily lit corridor; as he cautiously edged quickly forwards, he anxiously considered the prophecy which accurately depicted the tragically hued events to come" work so well? Lots and lots of adverbs. Instead of forcing the reader to deduce the actions and motivations of a character, you can use the magic of adverbs to just tell them.

Adverbs, in tandem with their good buddies, adjectives, are invaluable for creating melodrama. This is what will keep your readers flocking back. Your characters shouldn't just look at one another, they should cast long, lingering gazes. Sorrowful, mournful gazes, timeless as the wind itself. Gazes which maybe - just maybe - will pierce her enigmatic soul.

The level of melodrama we've just demonstrated would be suitable for, say, a mundane breakfast scene or workplace chat, but you should ramp it up a little for the really important events. Chapter headings like "The Shadows Linger," "Persecution" or the stalwart "Crossroads" are another excellent way to hint at something really deep without actually communicating anything of any importance.

5. Love and Marriage, Horse and ... oh God
And so, to love. Love is a delicate issue and takes skill to write well. Fortunately, we're here to give you the shortcuts. Once again, you have two options if you wish to add some romantic spice to your work: syrupy relationships written in the manner of immature high school crushes, or deviant porn.

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Slushy romance is easy. Use what you've learned about language to aid you here, but also consider making use of setting too. Think how much mileage there is in patriotic Banjo being posted to Afghanistan as Kazooie plays the role of his military wife. Remember what we've mentioned about the power of melodrama; lengthy internal monologues are a must. Litter them with angst, regret and insecurity, and you won't go far wrong.

Whether you like it or not, the mere act of penning a fanfic may attract a crowd hoping for some erotica. Yes, certain elements are only tuning in to your Shadow of the Colossus series in the hope that Wander will eventually shag Agro. That's just how it is. There's also a strong chance that some of your readers are getting off on details you thought were innocuous, like Agro eating too much and feeling a bit full, or Wander being lifted up onto somebody's shoulders. Should you decide to embrace the dark path of erotic videogaming fanfiction, our advice is to aim for the rafters. Choose characters with as many appendages as possible and go nuts. You're guaranteed to find an audience.

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Follow the steps outlined in this handy guide and you - yes, you - could soon be penning Daikatana: The Trilogy. No need to thank us. Your winsome prose will always be thanks enough.

Peter Parrish is a freelance writer. If this guide actually proves lucrative, he expects a commission.

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