What is Fanfiction?
Fanfiction is a fiction made by fans based on popular book series, anime, games - anything basically.
Where You Can Read Fanfiction
- Home | Archive of Our Own
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
- Wattpad - Stories You'll Love
Wattpad is the best place to read and share stories.
World's largest fanfiction archive and forum where fanfic writers and readers around the globe gather to share their passion.
I am by no means a talented writer by writing this. However, I've been reading fanfiction for years. Throughout my reading journey, I spot something that irks me. If I see these things, I'd just press back. I wouldn't even bother reading it. Well, I would read under several conditions I guess. For example, that fiction is the only fiction that features my favorite pairing. So, to prevent your potential readers from fleeing away, you can improve it by not making all these mistakes! I'm not trying to offend any writer/author in any way. But if you can improve it, why not? You can learn new things, right? Who knows, you might be inspired to publish your own novel one day so it's better if you are prepared beforehand, right?
These are the common mistakes fanfiction authors often make. I know there are a lot of teens aged around 13-15 writing fanfiction. That might be the reason why there are mistakes like these. Of course, they are still young and the fact that they have a will to write something is already great enough. It's better if you can improve it though.
I still remember the first time I wrote a fanfiction - it was horrible but that's a start. I was 12 at the time. First off, english is not my first language so it was really bad. Not to mention that I got zero reviews. Still, I was pretty proud of myself for some unknown reasons. I made all these mistakes I listed here too, I think. Perhaps, I still make it 'till these days but eh, at least I keep writing. I'm pretty sure Shakespeare didn't wake up creating a masterpiece like Romeo and Juliet. So yeah, don't be discouraged if your fanfiction didn't get any recognition. There's still a room to improve. So, these are the mistakes you should avoid when writing a fanfiction!
1. Messy Plot or Plot hole
Okay, I found this often. It's like . . . honestly, I didn't even know how to describe it. It goes from 0 to 100 real quick I guess. For example, there's a guy and he didn't like this one particular girl. Next thing we know, he is in love with her for no reason. The writer didn't even explain why. Another example is a story that forgets the past conflicts and just move on to another conflict. It didn't even address the past conflict. It's just gone, poof! Come on, I want to know what happened to (insert a character here)! It's just plain messy in general. Another example is plots that just don't make sense. It's so illogical that you can't wrap your head around it.
I'm not really sure if I managed to get the point across. You can plan it from the beginning to make everything fits in all the right places. Perhaps, the plots become messy because the author thinks of a very bright idea that sounds really good that actually doesn't fit in the story. Trust me, if that happens, you better stick to your original plot unless it makes sense. It might sound like a genius idea at the moment but no.
2. OOC Characters
What does OOC stands for? Some of you might be wondering. It stands for Out of Character. OOC is when some fans write a character that is not behaving the way that character would. It's like, you're reading about someone completely different, right? Since you are writing based on someone's else stuff and people are reading your works expecting to read more about that person's stuff, it'd be a disappointment. So yes, it's wiser to stick to the original characters.
3. Too Little description or Too Descriptive
Okay, going into too much details about buildings and scenery won't get you anywhere. It's a little tricky because telling too little won't make the readers imagine. It has to just be enough. Also, being too descriptive prevents the plot from moving further. Sometimes, a fanfiction gets too long even though it's not that necessary. So, why waste your energy?
Don't be too short either! It just has to be enough for the readers' imagination to roam free. Of course, like I said, perhaps some of you are new to writing so it takes some time. Just keep writing and you'll get a hang of it.
4. Point of View
Nope, I'm not talking about the 'first' point of view is better or 'third' is better. I don't mind them at all. I'm talking about the switches between point of view. I see a lot of authors switching between point of views way too often. It just kind of jumps around and the flow of the stories become messy. Sometimes, an author would change the point of view even though this certain character's part is only like, one or two sentences. I mean, what's the point? My suggestion is change the point of view per chapter. If you can make it more attractive by adding bold or italic when it switches. Oh, and please refrain from switching point of view when you just wrote like, a sentence in the perspective of some character. But, I don't know, it's all up to you guys.
There are exceptions of course. You can make it great with a certain writing style but it doesn't work every time. So, it's better if you stay consistent.
5. Bad Grammar and Punctuation
Okay, bad punctuation is a huge turn off. Please use marks such as dot, exclamation point and a lot more in the right way. As for grammar, it's still tolerable unless it's a mistake like:
"Your stupid." He says.
It's supposed to be "You're", Well, everyone makes mistake I guess. But it's better if you learn some basic grammar and punctuation before writing.
6. Author's Note Placement
Well, I like author's note but don't put it in the middle of the stories like:
She stared at him, expecting him to say something but instead, he just smiled at her. (AN: By the way, I really, really like *insert character's name* smileXD)
Just, no. Please. You just ruined the mood. Is it necessary to tell people you like his smile at the time? Imagine you're in the middle of watching some video and an ad suddenly pops up. Don't be a party pooper.
When we scroll through a whole bunches of stories, we are given a preview or teaser through summaries. It's your chance to grab readers through your words. Write a good summary. Refrain from writing stuff like, "NO FLAME PLZ." or "Please review!" or "Sorry, I suck at summaries."
First of all, it shows lack of professionalism. Well, on the other hand, you're not required to be professional I guess but for those who want a good story, they probably won't click. Secondly, if you don't get a critic, how are you going to improve? Also, it shows your lack of confidence. It seems like you're already expecting it. Be confident, guys.
Oh, and don't beg for reviews. People haven't even read it and you're already begging for it? It's not bad compared to the other two though. Authors need feedback. They want to know what you think and they love to hear from you. They need recognition. Trust me, reviews will keep authors motivated to do better. When I first got a feedback, I was so happy I can't sleep. No joke. For those who read fanfiction, try reviewing a fanfiction instead of being a silent reader. You're reading their stories for free after all. If you like it, why don't you show some appreciation? It takes hours to write a fanfiction.
Lastly, what are you apologizing for? Are you offending someone with your summary? No, right? So, don't apologize. Moreover, if you have no confidence in your summary, you probably don't have much going on in your stories.
So, there you go. This is written with no purpose of offending any writer. I might be a little harsh and I'm sorry if I offend someone. Like I've stated above, I'm in no way a better writer by writing this. I make mistake too and I want to improve. I know most fanfiction authors are young and they have potential. Keep writing and don't get discouraged. It'll come in handy someday. If you have more to add or there are some stuff you disagree with, tell me in the comments down below. What do you think about these mistakes authors make when writing a fanfiction?