Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by BMax »

Lordgriffin (and anyone else who wants to comment): How to do you think a writer should handle long term consequences (physical injury, mental and emotional illness, pregnancy, etc) or loss when writing a series of stories about a superheroine? If a story is a one-shot for a character, then having her suffer permanent effects at the end of the story is simpler. If the heroine has to return, ready for action, in story after story, I'm not sure how the writer deals with permanent consequences that result from repeated defeats by supervillains or criminals.
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Re: How to write a Fanfic #2

Post by Centurion »

lordgriffin wrote: My only disagreement, and it's not "universal" is about changing your style... I agree don't changer yer style for anyone, however, if the plot you chose calls for "more violence" or "more sex" you need to accommodate.

I once got to speak with Sci Fi great Andre Norton, she related to me that she had a much beloved character, but based on her plot, the character HAD to die, nothing else would make sense and anything else would seem contrived. She related how she delayed writing for weeks trying to find a way to save the character. In the end she ended up writing the character death, Ms Norton admitted to actually crying as she wrote the scene, but as she said, it was the only way to be faithful to my readers and the story, and it made for a very VERY powerful scene, even if she did not personally like it.
I see what you're saying. There comes a place in each of my stories where it COULD veer off into "Mature" territory if I felt like going in that direction. If the reader wants to step over that line and imagine what would have happened, that the reader's privilege. A few of my stories come close to the edge of my comfort zone as far as sex and violence. Presumably if I kept at it, that edge would get pushed further. But having said that, there are places I wouldn't feel comfortable going.

I personally couldn't imagine a story that "requires" the villain to win, or the heroine getting killed or violently raped or having her spirit broken. That's just not the kind of story I would want to tell. For me the whole point is coming up with an inventive peril to put the heroine in, AND THEN an equally inventive way for her to squirm out of it. I may not always succeed, but that's the point anyway. As I said to one person, if you assume the villain has unlimited resources, kryptonite and adamantium by the truckload, it would be child's play to invent an escape-proof trap. But so what? To me the heroine has to have the resourcefulness to win against seemingly impossible odds. That's why she's called a "heroine". This may seem "done to death" to some people, but it's what I like. :)

Plus I realize that a lot of people are in this just for the sexual fetish. For them the heroine escaping is literally an anti-climax (ha-ha-ha). But when I read a story like that, no matter how good it is I always feel as if I'm missing out on the best part.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by Void »

I agree with C - the only thing that is ever required is for the writer to stay true to the story they want to write. There comes a point when things have to go a certain way because you've set the story up such that anything else would be totally at odds with what people are willing to believe, but there's only very extreme examples of that kind of thing - 'heroine escaping peril' wouldn't be one of them. Wherever consensus lies for how a story goes is where a story is popular - I would never use that as an active reason to *not* do something. Just generally about LG's last point, I feel people should never hold back from something just because it is different, but I also feel they shouldn't do something JUST because it is different. It shouldn't be a decision-maker either way, and people should just do what they want to do - march to the beat of your own drum, as LG says.

It depends on what consequences to what actions you are talking about, BMax. In a one-off story, like you say, you often don't need to deal with the after-effects. In on-going series I assume you wouldn't be doing anything that effectively kills the heroine or her ability to be the heroine, otherwise there is nothing to come back to in the next story. So I assume you aren't actually killing her, or maiming her - and if you are doing those things, I assume the start of the next story would need to be a decent explanation for how she has returned to the fight.

So am I right in assuming you're talking more about emotional stuff? Losing a loved one, being abused, failing to save the hostages, having a baby? If so then, depending on what kind of character you've set up, I'd show it is something that has affected her, and it's something she carries with her. Often remembering it, dreaming about it, just generally having internal turmoil over it. It's heroic to carry the scars and the burdens, and keep on going. Some characters will get angry, some will get sad, some will go into denial, some will soothe themselves, some will look for aid, some will do all these things - it depends on your character. I can imagine some - pretty crazy - characters could just laugh it off. Of course, if you're telling a more 'campy' story, then you could just have her 'walk it off' and generally be unaffected by the whole thing. I do agree it gets harder with each successive event like this... More because it starts to discredit the heroine and take away some of the impact from the peril. My main counter to that is to make sure you build the heroine back up after each fall - try to keep the image that she really is the real deal. I've got a series of stories that has exactly this issue: serious heroine facing heavy peril and abuse in numerous occasions. In total honesty, it will always have the most impact the *first* time it happens. There's no escaping that.
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Re: How to write a Fanfic #2

Post by lordgriffin »

Centurion wrote: I personally couldn't imagine a story that "requires" the villain to win, or the heroine getting killed or violently raped or having her spirit broken. That's just not the kind of story I would want to tell. For me the whole point is coming up with an inventive peril to put the heroine in, AND THEN an equally inventive way for her to squirm out of it. I may not always succeed, but that's the point anyway. As I said to one person, if you assume the villain has unlimited resources, kryptonite and adamantium by the truckload, it would be child's play to invent an escape-proof trap. But so what? To me the heroine has to have the resourcefulness to win against seemingly impossible odds. That's why she's called a "heroine". This may seem "done to death" to some people, but it's what I like. :)

Plus I realize that a lot of people are in this just for the sexual fetish. For them the heroine escaping is literally an anti-climax (ha-ha-ha). But when I read a story like that, no matter how good it is I always feel as if I'm missing out on the best part.
Well Centurion, and this is ONLY an opinion, I have noticed almost ALL writers develop a "style" You can tell that is what the writer likes, and within a few pages you can say "Oh thats (Whomever)

When you DO try something you do not normally do I found you really rock the socks of yer readers :) It's very hard NOT to get into a rut where everyone predicts the outcome before they get to it in your story
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by tallyho »

BMax wrote:. If the heroine has to return, ready for action, in story after story, I'm not sure how the writer deals with the permanent consequences that result from repeated defeats by supervillains or criminals.

I personally think it's fine to reference them, either in a flashback sequence or simply explaining why she is acting in a particular way or doing a particular action. (Be it in motive or deed)
Like:-

' The twinge of pain in her right shoulder was a bitter reminder of the last time she had tried to stop him, but it was also a reminder of something else , a promise she had made to herself. Never again would she fail.'


Or,

'She recognized the signature of the bomb maker on the device before her...and she remembered. The faces, the screams, the tears. The blood. Her sense of impotence and shame as she could only gaze on.helplessly at the dead and dying. But thanks to that awful experience she now knew exactly what she needed to do'

Or equally instead of that last sentence you could have something like
'and she froze as the memory seemed to sap every ounce of strength from her limbs'.

So you can use the past encounters to explain the present situation and how she handles it/feels.

We are all products of our own experience, why should your characters be any different?

As someone not-so-great once said -

'Yesterday is my enemy, and today is his ally. And tomorrow I must fight them both, on ground of their own choosing'
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by lordgriffin »

tallyho wrote:
BMax wrote:. If the heroine has to return, ready for action, in story after story, I'm not sure how the writer deals with the permanent consequences that result from repeated defeats by supervillains or criminals.

I personally think it's fine to reference them, either in a flashback sequence or simply explaining why she is acting in a particular way or doing a particular action. (Be it in motive or deed)
Like:-

' The twinge of pain in her right shoulder was a bitter reminder of the last time she had tried to stop him, but it was also a reminder of something else , a promise she had made to herself. Never again would she fail.'


Or,

'She recognized the signature of the bomb maker on the device before her...and she remembered. The faces, the screams, the tears. The blood. Her sense of impotence and shame as she could only gaze on.helplessly at the dead and dying. But thanks to that awful experience she now knew exactly what she needed to do'



'Yesterday is my enemy, and today is his ally. And tomorrow I must fight them both, on ground of their own choosing'
Tally:

I am a bit surprised to see this post. I think I see what BMax was getting at, though it was just a fragment. How doe you getto believe a Heroine just bounces back 100% "Fit and Trim" when she is defeated time, after time, after time.....

I thought was you who had said...you get tired of the heroine being defeated, then just getting up...fracking herneck andgoing back to business as usual.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by tallyho »

That was my point - you use the experiences, not pretend they never happened. Whether you use them to show her gradually faltering so she gets taken down again because of it or use them to show how she has positively learned from them is up to you.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by lordgriffin »

tallyho wrote:That was my point - you use the experiences, not pretend they never happened. Whether you use them to show her gradually faltering so she gets taken down again because of it or use them to show how she has positively learned from them is up to you.
I still think it gets to the point that the story becomes pointless...

"Hey this is the 1,217'th time that Penguin has defeated Batgirl...but HEY...there she is up again...and man will you LOOK at that new bruise?
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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Just to offer a counter point, LG - because I think Tally gave a cracking account of referencing previous events from earlier stories - what would you do?

Tally's post didn't suggest the character was a 100% fine - it gave respect to her carrying the memories of what happened (I'd love to read T do more stuff in the tone of those examples he gave. I think it would be great if he did!). I'm not sure what you'd prefer in its place. Or are you trying to say there simply wouldn't be an on-going series - the story ultimately ends after the first episode? I'm just not certain what you'd have in its place - I'm envisioning you'd have the character cope less well, be weaker and less heroic about it all, and I feel such a character would be a poorer heroine than T's implied one. That's assuming you wouldn't have them simply giving up or being a jibbering wreck. I don't see anything wrong with T's offer, but I'm keen to understand what it lacks in your eyes.

Your issue with it falling flat after hundreds of times takes a general question and directs it to the specific case of the hundredth time... which is a very unlikely place for a series of stories to go, if you don't mind my saying.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by tallyho »

I was never suggesting you continue in the same vein ad infinitum- just that you can have a sour ending and still build on that for the next offering. Apart from anything else you'd get bored with the repetitive nature of your own stories the longer you keep at it.

But hypothetically I was showing how you could string a 3 or 4 parter together (or was trying to anyway!) where you can have her lose, then come back with maybe a hollow victory where the villain gets away or she loses again, then rallies a final time to either triumph or fail utterly depending on what the writer might want to pitch for . It's all in how you use the experience she has suffered - 'whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger' or 'its hopeless I can never defeat him, hes' beaten me again' sort of attitude.

This is gonna seem like a plug but I think it illustrates the point - at the start of my latest Grace sisters story in this section Batgirl is recovering from the humiliation of letting the sisters get away and suffering at their hands sexually - and at the beginning she is hesitant, nervous and scared about even investigating a break in, before putting it behind her, only to then lose confidence again when fighting them directly. (Nod to Dr Dominator9 for that idea) . Now at that point in the story I could have either had her collapse emotionally or become the heroine she once was. Which way I jumped was down to my preference for the story. But the point was it can be done. I am not saying the way I did was the right way, the best way or the only way, but it was a way

This is the third part of my story and similar, though different incidents happened in the other two, but mixing it up like this keeps it fresh. But its not something I can do to the nth degree, nor would I want to. Nor would anyone reading it want me to, more to the point! ;)

My examples in my earlier post were peril orientated (sorry fellas that side of the water, but it will be a cold day in hell before I drop the '-at-' :thumbup: ) but the same is true of any sexual danger, as I show above.

I agree with you LG - 100 versions of the same thing would be dull, but two or three with the scenarios mixed up a little so you don't know which way the die will fall, can work I think.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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Void wrote:Just to offer a counter point, LG - because I think Tally gave a cracking account of referencing previous events from earlier stories - what would you do?

Tally's post didn't suggest the character was a 100% fine - it gave respect to her carrying the memories of what happened (I'd love to read T do more stuff in the tone of those examples he gave. I think it would be great if he did!). I'm not sure what you'd prefer in its place. Or are you trying to say there simply wouldn't be an on-going series - the story ultimately ends after the first episode? I'm just not certain what you'd have in its place - I'm envisioning you'd have the character cope less well, be weaker and less heroic about it all, and I feel such a character would be a poorer heroine than T's implied one. That's assuming you wouldn't have them simply giving up or being a jibbering wreck. I don't see anything wrong with T's offer, but I'm keen to understand what it lacks in your eyes.

Your issue with it falling flat after hundreds of times takes a general question and directs it to the specific case of the hundredth time... which is a very unlikely place for a series of stories to go, if you don't mind my saying.
Hello Void:

If you been following the thread, you prob noted, Tally and I addressed a lot of this. I waited till today to answer, as I work for EMS and last night we were up ALL night.
The point I was trying to make was exactly what YOU (Void) said....for people to realize that the heroine losing hundreds of times (even tends of times) and having NO effect, is VERY un likely.

As I write these threads, many of you have come back to either "well some people LIKE to write that way" or "hey, that would be silly. What "Lacks in my eyes" is that understanding. Many writers who BELIEVE in "The heroine always escapes" do exactly that. Heroine captured, Heroin Tortured or raped, Heroine breaks free...Heroine Arrests villain, Heroine goes back to life like no big deal.

what *I* would do different is planning. I am NOT someone who wants to read Campy or a story that's not thought out, I have a great appreciation for the writer who "makes it work"

I mean lets face it Anyone can put a woman in some spandex...put a rope (painted gold) around her smile and say (in you best Darth Vader Voice) "I have you now"

Now I GOT it, sometimes I tune into the Comedy Channel. but SOMETIMES I tune into Thriller.... So...I have always been a fan of what i call "Catch and release.

Go ahead..HAVE your Villain capture and have his way with your Heroine..but instead of a cheesy way she escapes..why not have him take her uniform for his trophy room, grab her by the arm and shove her toward the door "get out...and do not interfere in my affairs again." As if to say...I do not even CARE if you know about me, come back I will do it to you again.... Have that event impact in SOME way, the way your heroine develops :)

Am I making sense or am I rambling?
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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tallyho wrote:I was never suggesting you continue in the same vein ad infinitum- just that you can have a sour ending and still build on that for the next offering. Apart from anything else you'd get bored with the repetitive nature of your own stories the longer you keep at it.

But hypothetically I was showing how you could string a 3 or 4 parter together (or was trying to anyway!) where you can have her lose, then come back with maybe a hollow victory where the villain gets away or she loses again, then rallies a final time to either triumph or fail utterly depending on what the writer might want to pitch for . It's all in how you use the experience she has suffered - 'whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger' or 'its hopeless I can never defeat him, hes' beaten me again' sort of attitude.

This is gonna seem like a plug but I think it illustrates the point - at the start of my latest Grace sisters story in this section Batgirl is recovering from the humiliation of letting the sisters get away and suffering at their hands sexually - and at the beginning she is hesitant, nervous and scared about even investigating a break in, before putting it behind her, only to then lose confidence again when fighting them directly. (Nod to Dr Dominator9 for that idea) . Now at that point in the story I could have either had her collapse emotionally or become the heroine she once was. Which way I jumped was down to my preference for the story. But the point was it can be done. I am not saying the way I did was the right way, the best way or the only way, but it was a way

This is the third part of my story and similar, though different incidents happened in the other two, but mixing it up like this keeps it fresh. But its not something I can do to the nth degree, nor would I want to. Nor would anyone reading it want me to, more to the point! ;)

My examples in my earlier post were peril orientated (sorry fellas that side of the water, but it will be a cold day in hell before I drop the '-at-' :thumbup: ) but the same is true of any sexual danger, as I show above.

I agree with you LG - 100 versions of the same thing would be dull, but two or three with the scenarios mixed up a little so you don't know which way the die will fall, can work I think.

hey Tally:

You and I are tracking, As i have said you want to write what speaks to YOU. So long as (Much like Physics) every action has a REaction. People tend to forget, in , sat "Roman times" Rape was a very normal EXPECTED way to PAY your soldiers. The women of the time may have felt extreme duress...but it seems few had all these extreme "Psychological Problems" the reason? there was no treatment and no social welfare....if you didn't get up and go on with life...you died.

That is not to say it was not traumatic back then....but what I am saying is..write give me SOME justification for what comes next..don't just assume it's no big deal :)
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by Void »

Makes sense, LG. It is a good point that no series of stories should ever start to look too formulaic - with a rough script being repeated again and again with no self-awareness that it keeps doing it. If something goes down with the heroine, it should always mean something to her and be respected in some way within the story - or the impact is much diminished - and I guess what that entails will vary depending on the character.

I very much agree that the peril should not always be ended with 'heroine escapes'. If you take your peril really, really far - and we often do in this genre - then it does reach the stage where the heroine breaking free is a ridiculous outcome. The villain letting her go or discarding her is a nice way to end it in some situations, and it is even more of a burden to bear for her given that she completely lost. Another interesting path is to have the heroine's defeat become the basis for the next story - she begins the next story as a prisoner in a dungeon, plotting her escape. Rather than a last-gasp victory at the end which comes over a paragraph, it can be a proper slog to regain her freedom given a story all of its own.

In any case, I think we see eye to eye that it should be given due respect - and the series of stories collapses if it isn't. I still like T's suggestion that the heroine carries the memory with her and uses it as a driving force to try harder... But that's maybe me just liking the character he was implying more than the actual technique.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by lordgriffin »

Void wrote: Another interesting path is to have the heroine's defeat become the basis for the next story - she begins the next story as a prisoner in a dungeon, plotting her escape. Rather than a last-gasp victory at the end which comes over a paragraph, it can be a proper slog to regain her freedom given a story all of its own.
I think another nice ending, worth mentioning, if where the heroine survives as the PRISONER of the villain, but out lives him. WW is immortal, a human male capturing her, baring any plot device, would die within the next 70 years, she'd still beher age.

There are lots of follow ups to that

The Villain's (Family) survives take pity (or discover her) and release her
One or more of the Villain's family "inherit" her
She just has no one to restrain her and goes home
She had become a Villain herself out of bitterness or maybe out of desire
She is changed and decides she wants to be free..but still likes the lifestyle....
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by tallyho »

lordgriffin wrote:. People tend to forget, in , sat "Roman times" Rape was a very normal EXPECTED way to PAY your soldiers. The women of the time may have felt extreme duress...but it seems few had all these extreme "Psychological Problems" the reason?
The reason was a lot of them were dead. If they'd have lived I'm sure they'd have had them! :whistle: :yes:
(sorry to be facetious but I couldn't resist that one! :D )
But even the ones that did survive, nobody asked them or if they did bothered to record it.

But you are right -like over here in WW2 we had vets who had gone through 6 years of hell, but they were just expected to, as the posters say 'Keep Calm and Carry On'

It became universally acknowledged as the 'British Stiff Upper Lip' in the 19th Century but the reality was nobody had any time to give a damn about your angst as they had problems of their own.

So as we both agree it boils down to how you want your heroine to deal with it - knuckle under or knuckle down

And thats what I was replying to Bmax's question - you can use and refer to the defeats rather than just start up as if nothing has happened, which way you go is up to you.


Some interesting points you raise in the post above about immortal-type characters out living their captors, not something I'd ever contemplated.
Not sure I'd ever go for something like that but a genuinely interesting notion.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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tallyho wrote: Some interesting points you raise in the post above about immortal-type characters out living their captors, not something I'd ever contemplated.
Not sure I'd ever go for something like that but a genuinely interesting notion.
Hey Tally:

Most people I have seen use the "Outlive the Villain" plot use it as a way to summarize and "get on with it"

You know after the Heroine falls...they say something like.

"For the next 30 years WW served her master. Unable to reach her magic griddle she reluctantly settled into her servitude, she mothered 4 children by him...but the day came when he lay on a bed..his breath coming shallowly, in the later years he had treated her kindly....and now as he gazed at her he smiles "Your still...so beautiful" as she heard his last breath.

She gazed on the empty corps...not knowing where the spirit was bound, walking 9over to the safe..it took her several days to get it open but as she wrapped her golden griddle around her and felt the rush of power return...she took one last look at where her life had been for the past 30 years...and then leaving his body to the scavengers she lept into the air..it would be nice to see home again ;)
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by tallyho »

lordgriffin wrote: " Unable to reach her magic griddle she reluctantly settled into her servitude
Magic griddle? Was she longing to cook some bacon? :lol:

Sorry, again that just made me chuckle (been out on the pop)

It must seem like I'm pretty anal about typos, but I'm not. I once wrote a very emotive piece about the tragic loss of human life in WW1 but unfortunately I mis-spelled 'COST' so I wrote a deeply moving piece with the title 'THE TERRIBLE COAT OF WORLD WAR ONE' :lol:

Ever since then I seem to notice such things :rolleyes:

Think this is a really great thread, lots to consider.
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HOW to write Fanfic for discussion 6

Post by lordgriffin »

Suspension of Disbelief, Cop Out’s, and Teasing
Section 1 Part 6

Ok, we have now dealt with your plot so far, and you should know the ending YOU want to go for, the next thing I think needs to be considered is, the Suspension of Disbelief. While it is true, you can make ANY rules you want, 2 things must occur, #1 you must JUSTIFY WHY you changed a rule…For example, Superman is weakened by Kryptonite, if kryptonite no longer affects him it has to be a DARNED good EXPLAINED reason. (in fact it’s easier to MAKE a rule then Change it, Hence it was easier to “Protect” Superman from Kryptonite with a Lead shield then it was to find a “cure”) #2 It has to pass the COMMON SENSE TEST (KISS principal) Example…I would like everyone, they next time they are making love in real life, to look right at their partner and YELL “I’m CUMMING!” or do it in the mirror and try to keep a straight face.

There is also what I call the “Wonder Woman Syndrome” this is where the Villain who has hunted Wonder Woman for DECADES, and when he finally HAS her helpless unconscious at his feet says “Ah ha! NOW I finally have you, and once I leave you here, unconscious unrestrained and take a nap I will come back and FINISH my revenge!” (see evil Overlord list)

The Wonder Woman Syndrome is a Cop Out… you set your readers up to BELIEVE something will happen, and then contrive a way to make it NOT happen, and frankly Cop OUTS are turn OFF’s…. (At least for ME)

Finally, teasing, this is not teasing like, hey I want to arouse you so you get more PLEASURE…this is teasing for the act of enjoying watching you squirm. These are the stories where, your heroine is captured, usually by a REALLY cool imaginative idea, but ALWAYS seems to escape, the bad guy NEVER actually wins. It is also, contriving something that would not HAPPEN…Guys, tell me the last time you were making love to a girl...and WANTED to pull out or stop… If you’re going to have the heroine get away, or not get pregnant...put some thought in, Villain’s CAN decide they do not WANT an offspring, but it has to make sense, not just be something because it bothers you as a writer.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by Void »

Yeah, I agree very much with your opening point there. A big pet peeve of mine is inconsistency or incoherency within a story. As you say, make any rules you want but you must live by them. In a story you can do anything you want: make any world with infinite possibilities - but once you've made it, it must come with a set of principles that the reader understands as the new laws of the world. As LG says, you can introduce new rules as the story progresses, but don't jar the reader by breaking the rules you established. Few things boot me out of a story faster.

I *do* agree about the common sense thing, even if the definition of common sense is changed to fit the new rules of the story. The big one for me is that people behave like people. It's awkward to go too far into this... but LG's actual example is something that happens in the real world - I don't need to imagine that, and I'm not even sure what about it doesn't make common sense!

I might like a deeper understanding of 'wonder woman syndrome'... But I agree a villain shouldn't just do something totally at odds with their own intentions. It's fine if the thing they do, no matter how unexpected it may be to the reader or how contrary it is to where the story was leading, is that they do whatever it is they planned/wanted, for whatever their personal reasons are, as long as it isn't obviously self defeating. This all goes back to suspending disbelief. Things ought to happen in the story that makes sense within the story.

I'm not sure I get the last point, though. Do you mean that if the heroine is captured, the writer owes it to the reader to go 'all the way?' I'm also curious how we are defining the bad guy 'winning', if that makes sense? The way you say it makes me think you mean it is an ultimate victory, meaning the heroine either dies, lives forever as a slave, or is purposefully released. Those endings are hard to offer (other than the last one, which is a very helpful plot device in this genre) because they terminally end the story. Good for short, bleak tales, though.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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tallyho wrote:It must seem like I'm pretty anal about typos, but I'm not. I once wrote a very emotive piece about the tragic loss of human life in WW1 but unfortunately I mis-spelled 'COST' so I wrote a deeply moving piece with the title 'THE TERRIBLE COAT OF WORLD WAR ONE' :lol:

Ever since then I seem to notice such things :rolleyes:
I'm not sure if this will get brought up in this thread, but it probably ought to be. You made a good point a while ago that there are general things people can do to get formatting right when they post up a story, and I think it bears repeating. My ultimate pet peeve, and the thing that makes me abandon a story regardless of how good the ideas are or how compelling the plot is, is if it's not been formatted or edited at all with a view to actually being readable. It is easy to write without imagining what your material will be like to read after it's posted, and the results of that complacency can often make the story look much worse than it deserves.

It's a massive cliché, but people should read their own stuff back, and if they don't like the experience then their readership won't either. I see plenty of stories that aren't double spaced, so are a block wall of text, or that has dialogue without quotation marks to signify that someone is speaking - or even worse, doesn't paragraph at all, not even between speakers. Even stuff that is done very well can still fall victim to the writer not bothering to edit it or check for typos and mistakes in their writing. If they won't bother to read their own story back then that's a turn off for me - the reader shouldn't be asked to do what they won't. This doesn't mean there should be *no* mistakes (if you're editing your own stuff it's almost impossible to leave no errors) but it does mean you shouldn't be reading an error every paragraph.

It's ultimately a small effort to try to check it and present it right - like you would enjoy to read it - and the difference it makes is just immense. I know for me - and I may have become a bit of a snob, I admit - it's a deal breaker for me when I read something.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by lordgriffin »

Void wrote:I'm not sure I get the last point, though. Do you mean that if the heroine is captured, the writer owes it to the reader to go 'all the way?' I'm also curious how we are defining the bad guy 'winning', if that makes sense? The way you say it makes me think you mean it is an ultimate victory, meaning the heroine either dies, lives forever as a slave, or is purposefully released. Those endings are hard to offer (other than the last one, which is a very helpful plot device in this genre) because they terminally end the story. Good for short, bleak tales, though.

WOW Void, thanks for all the Kudos.... on my last point, you need to remember my posting is in general and based on my previous postings..

So to answer your question, the point I was If you want to have the heroine get away, you cannot make your villain a white slaver who screws anything on 2 legs or 4....make your villain the Honorable noble foe who you can BELIEVE would say "No..you were a noble enemy, I will not have you end this way...

Does that make sense?
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by Ezekiel »

BMax wrote:Lordgriffin (and anyone else who wants to comment): How to do you think a writer should handle long term consequences (physical injury, mental and emotional illness, pregnancy, etc) or loss when writing a series of stories about a superheroine? If a story is a one-shot for a character, then having her suffer permanent effects at the end of the story is simpler. If the heroine has to return, ready for action, in story after story, I'm not sure how the writer deals with permanent consequences that result from repeated defeats by supervillains or criminals.

Well, if you plan on making a longer series try not kill the protagonist from the first episode. :laugh: You'll need side-characters that can save the heroine from her dismal fate and at least partially negate evil of its triumph, so that the struggle can continue in the next installment. The general guideline I usually like for a story that goes through several installments is:

a) the heroine appears to save the day, is at first in complete control of the situation

b) through dirty play and foul tricks, evil gains the upper hand and she loses badly

c) evil is about to win the day, the heroine is completely defeated and helpless, perhaps about to be the victim of something really terrible

d) side-kicks that are ordinary beings manage to save the heroine

e) if it is reasonable for the heroine to make a come-back, she manages to steal victory from the evil side. If not, the side-kicks do it while she is taken to safety/cared for.

f) the day has been saved, but evil is still at large and the protagonist must cope with the fact that she wasn't the hero that time.

There it is, but remember it's just a guideline, anything can be taken out or put in, depending on what you like to write about.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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@LG

I think I get you. Villains should behave consistently. If they are a seedy slaver who takes delight in perving up women, they wouldn't behave like a saint after capturing the heroine. Likewise, noble, honourable type characters wouldn't behave like a total sleaze in the same situation. All goes back to making characters and situations believable, I suppose. I wouldn't say the heroine winning necessarily entails anything that damages the story - but obviously you need that to happen in a way that isn't just the author obviously bending the world around saving her. I actually enjoy a good escape - I like the back and forth in the power struggle, and I quite enjoy the heroine coming back from the brink of defeat, provided it's done credibly.

@Ezekiel

Totally good point! I forgot to mention that one. A big, really useful tool in these situations is the heroine being saved by a third part - best of all if its a sidekick of some kind or a character that was a victim. It's all the more shameful if the mighty heroine is saved by a bystander or a mere regular citizen. Can also be saved by another villain - someone who wants the heroine for themselves, or has even bigger beef with her captor. I like this way because it covers you if the heroine categorically loses, and gives you a decent reason for her getting away.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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Anyhow, is it ok if I cry a little bit in my beer here? I've been stumped for months in what I believe to be the most ridiculous situation.

So, I've been working on the next episode of my series. Presenting it in reverse, I've nailed down the ending and the core of the episode (the action, peril scenes, all of that) but I'll be damned if I can come up with a satisfying intrigue :/. That is, I cannot for the life of me find a satisfying reason for the heroine to go where she goes and for the villainess to use the gimmick she uses. That aside, everything else is golden.

I just wanted to throw it out since it's been gnawing me for far longer than it would have been decent.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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Void wrote:@LG

I think I get you. Villains should behave consistently. If they are a seedy slaver who takes delight in perving up women, they wouldn't behave like a saint after capturing the heroine. Likewise, noble, honourable type characters wouldn't behave like a total sleaze in the same situation. All goes back to making characters and situations believable, I suppose. I wouldn't say the heroine winning necessarily entails anything that damages the story - but obviously you need that to happen in a way that isn't just the author obviously bending the world around saving her. I actually enjoy a good escape - I like the back and forth in the power struggle, and I quite enjoy the heroine coming back from the brink of defeat, provided it's done credibly.

@Ezekiel

Totally good point! I forgot to mention that one. A big, really useful tool in these situations is the heroine being saved by a third part - best of all if its a sidekick of some kind or a character that was a victim. It's all the more shameful if the mighty heroine is saved by a bystander or a mere regular citizen. Can also be saved by another villain - someone who wants the heroine for themselves, or has even bigger beef with her captor. I like this way because it covers you if the heroine categorically loses, and gives you a decent reason for her getting away.

I wanted to reply to BOTH Void AND Ezekiel:

The "Formula" you describe is a very good one, no doubt...(and prefacing this with Ezekiel's qualifier that anything can be CHANGE) one thing *I* like to do...is use the "Rescue" (or attempted Rescue) of the Heroine, as a way to introduce an ORIGINAL character.... Everyone fixates on the Canon character, the reason why (I believe) is the background is set... the hardest thing (in my opinion) with making your OWN characters, is the pages and pages of background that MUST be done to establish (for example) that this Heroine is a virtuous Virgin, and not a wild "Laura Croft" style sexually open "Liberated" woman. as throwing a Lara Croft on the bed might be seen by HER as a challenge and met with a smirk, where as Virtuous Virgin woudl have a completely different attitude.

If you use Originals to interact, save, attempt etc...you can fill in their background a little at a time while the FUN stuff goes on.

One word of Caution for Void:

I HATE when evil feeds on itself.... while I admit that often the "Bad guys" are easily seen as competing against each other to their own detriment..when you have a COMMON goal (say enslaving Wonder Woman) it makes ZERO sense that one side JOINS WW JUST to "one up" their rivals :)
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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@Ezekiel

Sounds like a dilemma! I feel your pain, most of my biggest problems come in not knowing how to transition from A to B. Good luck with it! I look forward to reading it when it goes up.

@LG

Yeah, canon characters are something the reader can climb on board with right away with no work required to establish/introduce them. If you can get through the pain with original characters, however, there's a lot to reward you on the other side. It's been my personal choice to go that way so far, but it is certainly far more work - for both reader and writer. I keep meaning to fire up a quick and simple WW or SG story but I've never found the time, and I can't make my mind up if I want to do them as XXX, R, or PG. The downside to canon characters is that they have a big following of people who knows everything about them, and that means it's very easy to get them wrong.

About your evil eating evil thing, it's very dependant on the context and the characters. Not all villains will want to enslave, or even defeat, the heroine, and those that do may not wish to share her, or they may have their eyes on a more important prize at the time. I agree it doesn't look good if it's just out of being petty, and I would probably also agree that you don't want villains playing the part of the good guys too often - but it has a useful place in the toolbox.
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Re: How to write a Fanfic #2

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lordgriffin wrote:
Well Centurion, and this is ONLY an opinion, I have noticed almost ALL writers develop a "style" You can tell that is what the writer likes, and within a few pages you can say "Oh thats (Whomever)

When you DO try something you do not normally do I found you really rock the socks of yer readers :) It's very hard NOT to get into a rut where everyone predicts the outcome before they get to it in your story
That's certainly true! I'm reaching the point now where I'm finding that it's harder to come up with new ideas and I probably need to push the envelope a little more. But I don't want to push it further than I feel comfortable.

My view is that women in general don't get off on power. A typical woman would only be a superheroine as long as she thought she was accomplishing something worthwhile. If she's captured and humiliated and generally treated like a slut every single time she goes out, she'd stop bothering. But a woman can put up with a lot as long as by the end of the story, the scales balance out. That's why it's so important for me that the heroine win or at least prevent the villain from winning. That's why I love writing scenes where the police or the public gush over my heroine and treat her with respect. The character has to feel that at the end of the day it was WORTH putting the suit on.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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One more thing about established characters: if you use Wonder Woman, Supergirl, or Batgirl, PLEASE at least TRY to have them act like the originals! It bugs me to read a story about Wonder Woman where the writer obviously has no earthly idea even what her powers are! This is further complicated by the fact that television and movie versions of these characters don't always behave the way the characters do in the comics, and you have a dilemma there.
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Re: How to write a Fanfic #2

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Centurion wrote: That's certainly true! I'm reaching the point now where I'm finding that it's harder to come up with new ideas and I probably need to push the envelope a little more. But I don't want to push it further than I feel comfortable.

My view is that women in general don't get off on power. A typical woman would only be a superheroine as long as she thought she was accomplishing something worthwhile. If she's captured and humiliated and generally treated like a slut every single time she goes out, she'd stop bothering. But a woman can put up with a lot as long as by the end of the story, the scales balance out. That's why it's so important for me that the heroine win or at least prevent the villain from winning. That's why I love writing scenes where the police or the public gush over my heroine and treat her with respect. The character has to feel that at the end of the day it was WORTH putting the suit on.
What a great reply Centurion. My comments are:

Progress at your own pace, but if your not uncomfortable...your never really departing from the main stream. There is a reason it's called "Going out on a branch"

As for your view of women getting off on power. I have found it helpful...from tome to time, to try and write from the female perspective. I also like to get feedback FROM women, what do THEY like.
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Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion 7

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Decide your characters Myths and facts
SECTION 2 part 1

Ok, if you are writing a fanfic, you should now have a clear picture in your head of what your ending of your story is going to be. You have decided whether you care about what others think of your story, or you just like writing for yourself and what your plot will be (at least one of the 6 plots I mentioned). Weather this is going to be just a wild group of incidents (Campy), or if it will actually be a logical progression of events based on the parameters you set (serious). This is the foundation, time to start putting up your walls.

Now this is a FANfic right? So let us decide if we will use CANON characters (these are the actual characters from your favorite fiction. These are like Wonder Woman, Batman, Cat woman) or whether you’re going to use ORIGINAL characters. (This may include Using a SETTING, such as Gotham City, but use your own CHARACTERS, OR it may be a completely original setting and just be in YOUR world where “Super Heroes” exist, so it’s STILL a fanfic from the standpoint of you are a fan of Super heroes)

I think I will hold off on the actual advantages and disadvantages of Original or Canon characters until next part, let’s first address some of the myths and facts of USING Canon characters. A police officer in real life will refer to a common citizen with no legal training (except the internet) as a “street lawyer” who proceeds from a little knowledge and thinks he is an expert. MOST writers and Admin (including myself) are Street lawyers. OR the Admin of a sight will, (usually barely able to afford) hire ONE lawyer, who himself is out to MAKE money, and not get sued. This guy will AUTOMATICALLY default to “DON’T use Copyrighted characters!” This is a quick, easy pay day for the lawyer, no research needed, no controversy, the Admin can’t afford him ANYWAYS if it goes to court… and “BINGO BANGO BONGO” the admin have an Acceptable User Policy backed by Law! (HORSE SHIT).

I can only speak to UNITED STATES LAW (Which is OK, because if you live in another country US law cannot touch you). Marvel Comics (example) CAN come into your country and use YOUR laws. Anyways; my source for my below statements are first amendment advocacy groups LIKE the ACLU and others who FIGHT for freedom of speech and expression)

FACT #1: COPYRIGHT law was DESIGNED (the intent of the law) to prevent someone else from PROFITING from your work. Well guess what guys…if you are not collecting MONEY for your story, you, the writer, are not violating copyrights.

FACT #2: You can NOT copyright NAMES, so you can make ALL the “Diana Prince” characters you want…However be careful. Wonder Woman is a REGISTERED TRADEMARK, not a name…however of you USE WW but do not make MONEY off it… See Fact #1

FACT #3 if you can SHOW differences between YOUR character and THEIRS, it is YOUR character. EXAMPLE: If anyone wants to do some simple, homework…There was a Cartoon out in the early 70’s by a Japanese director named “Tetzuka” Who Made up a Cartoon of KIMBA the white Lion. A lion cub who had 3 companions A parrot named Polly, a Baboon named Daniel” and a Deer named Bucky, and who was stalked by 3 bumbling Hyenas. 1994 Disney came out with The Lion King, A lion cub named Simba who had 3 companions a Horn Bill named Zazu a mentor who was a Baboon named Rafiki, and a wart hog, who was stalked by 3 bumbling hyenas who were the comic relief. (This will become important in a moment)

FACT #4: NO one, not the ACLU, not Disney nor Marvel or anyone else...WANT this to go to court! THINK about this…Neither YOU nor your POSTING site...has a lot of money. Let’s say DC decides to actually TAKE you to court and let’s say they win, they SUE your SOX off. #1 this is going to cost them a LOT of money, because IF they win, groups like the ACLU will lose a LOT of clout. #2 there is also the bad press of BIG BAD DC, suing poor “I have nothing you” (anyone remember napster?) But the BIGGEST reason they will never sue you is…IF they win, they are BOUND by their OWN ruling...meaning other companies (like in the example above in Fact #3) could Sue DC if any of DC’s stuff even RESEMBLED something they (or you) wrote…

Now let stake the reverse…DC Sues you and you WIN, ok at this point the genie is OUT of the bottle, with THAT ruling ANYONE would be free to write ANYTHING using ANY character, and there is NOTHING DC, or anyone else could do about it (A nightmare for them). So the stakes are VERY high here, and there is a big potential for the companies to lose lose.

So what can these big companies do (And they HAVE done and got away with)? Well they can send you a real official nasty looking official cease and desist order (Which is not worth the paper it is written on unless they want to take you to court to enforce it and we see in Fact #4 above, in all the years of fanfic not ONCE have they taken anyone to actual court). The Cease and Desist, is cheap and easy and it SCARES the hell out of people. A lawyer hits a button on a standard form letter, puts a stamp on and you get scared and stop...problem solved (for them) for the cost of a 40 cent stamp. They can ALSO slander you in social media (a latter section will discuss the need for a pen name) Trying to identify you or your sight and make out to the public how “these stories cause deviants to do bad things” or how “this person thinks rape is ok!” (Remember just because George Lucas thought up Darth Vader does not mean George Lucas supports using the force to take over the galaxy) It’s all hype but it can smart if you do not take some precautions (addressed in a later section) Suffice it to say for now. USE a pen name, and get a FREE AOL or Gmail or whatever account you ONLY use for your writing and NOTHING else do not even tell a friend it is you on THAT e-mail account. Just remember there is not even ONE SINGLE case where a writer or his site, where NO profit is made, that has been taken to court for theft of intellectual property, ever, globally. If it is SUCH a big deal, I wonder…WHY?
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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Yeah... No publisher will take on IP that you don't own, so you will never make money from copyright infringement, so you'll never really have to worry about threatening letters for whatever you write. It *is* something to be mindful of if you ever intend to try to sell what you're writing - because you won't be able to publish it if it concerns IP you didn't create or have permission to profit from. But for the purposes of 'fanfiction' - as LG says - you'll never have to worry about it. The continuing existence of this very site, and all the stories housed here, is living testament to that.

So, really, go nuts with whatever you want - *unless* you plan to try and get it published, in which case stick to creating something that is all your own. As LG hinted at, you can make something all your own that is essentially similar to an idea that already exists - just so long as you throw enough down that makes it a clearly unique character, even if it evokes immediate comparisons to wonder woman, or whatever.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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Void wrote:So, really, go nuts with whatever you want - *unless* you plan to try and get it published, in which case stick to creating something that is all your own. As LG hinted at, you can make something all your own that is essentially similar to an idea that already exists - just so long as you throw enough down that makes it a clearly unique character, even if it evokes immediate comparisons to wonder woman, or whatever.

Thanks void, but I will add one thing, If you want to, as you say, evoke immediate comparisons, PLEASE (I will discuss in another section) be CREATIVE, names like "Blunder broad" and "Got Gal' are CAMPY CAMPY CAMPY...no RL person would USE such a name... (Unless Campy is yer thing)
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Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion 8

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To canon or NOT to Canon, THAT is the question.
SECTION 2 part 2

Hello Readers, Ok, now that we have dealt with the whole “I’m scared to write canon characters” in the last part of this section, it is time to consider the characters for your story. This is NOT to knock original characters; in fact, if you can pull it off you’re a far BETTER writer over all.

Ok, let’s start off with “Canon” characters, also known as Copyrighted, or Trademarked. These are characters like Batman, Catwoman, Wonder Woman etc…legal considerations aside, there are a LOT of advantages to using a Canon character

• The character comes with an establishes history and background
• The reader easily identifies (and identifies with) the character
• There is a lot of support, such as artistic representation (pictures) for the reader to reference
• Inspiration for new ideas.

A canon character USUALLY allows you to get to the “fun stuff faster. Consider this; if I simply started out a story and said, “Jack tied up and raped Jill” If you’re a fan of rape the actual description of the scene might initially interest you… On the other hand if I say Batman (Bruce Wayne) is seduced by Cat woman (Selena Kyle), likely your neurons in your mind alight with activity and possibilities, knowing what a NAUGHTY (and Dangerous) woman Catwoman is, and what a Strong and powerful guy Batman is.

Ok Disadvantages of a Canon character:

• If you depart from the canon character’s personality, or lifestyle you MUST justify it
• The characters original creator(s) have already set down certain rules, you MIST follow or justify the change
• You may get EXTREME criticism from fans of the character that you “did not remain true” (even if you did or you justified well, likewise YOUR fans may become rabid about YOUR version)

When you use a canon character, the tradeoff is you must at least start with most of the character intact. There is a certain amount of “What if” you can get away with (for example you start a story asking the reader “What if Batman had decided to be evil”) and in fact the original writers DO that, but that’s also called “Justification”

In any case, you HAVE to stay mostly true to the character. My favorite example of this came from a fan who wanted me to write a “Harry Potter” story for him. He started this way (this is a QUOTE):

Hey! Could you write a Harry potter story for me, only THIS time have Draco Malfoy secretly be Harry’s friend, and Draco cast a spell…so he’s not actually a guy, he’s a girl, and he’s in love with harry, and he isn’t really in Slitheren, he’s just spying and Hermoinie and Ron and Harry know and they are all friends…

Well I mean COME on, what is LEFT of Draco Malfoy? At this point, why not just make a new character?

Ok, now let’s look at ORIGNAL characters. Let me start here by saying if you CHOOSE this option PLEASE take time to come up with a realistic NAME! Ok….will all due respect to the writers, and the venue they are in...would you EVER create a name for yourself like BLUNDER broad? Jungle titties? Got gal or She goat? And USE it in public? Just the NAME makes me hit the delete key (and some I later read and they WERE good but dumb) because you’re just screaming to your reader “I think yer too stupid to look for a QUALITY writer who puts more than 10 seconds into their character)

Advantages:

• You have a clean slate, you can write whatever you want give whatever traits you want…but be warned, once they are defined, it’s an established character and you must LIVE by your own rules or show Why those rules changed)
• You can expect far less criticism (but less interest at first too)
• Your creative genius can shine

Disadvantages:

• You MUST develop your backgrounds. Wonder Woman’s longtime nemesis is Cheetah. Superman, has Lex Luthor. It takes TIME to build this relationship. If you make an Original Character (OC) called the Queen of Swords, her being taken by a Spanish Army officer may be erotic, but not NEARLY as much as if she has arrested him twice before, and 3 other times he tried to get her only to be outsmarted by her. If you always have these characters defeated EVERY chapter, then they are not very good villains or heroines
• You must come up with great WEAKNESSES for OC. Yes weaknesses, it is not the SUPER powers or abilities that make any character interesting, it’s their vulnerabilities (both mental and physical) Take for example Superman. Without Kryptonite (A weakness) he fears nothing, nothing stops him…you have my friend? *yawn* or well…I just move faster than light, take away yer gun…NEXT please…Or Batman, would he be NEARLY as interesting if Batman weren’t willing to do some QUESTIONABLE things? (personality)
• Your readers will PICK your logic apart like vultures on an undead zombie carcass. Every decision you will make SOMEONE will go back and say “hey in chapter # YOU said…”
• You will need a REALLY great “plot hook” if you’re using all OC’s the reason being, the reader has no idea of the great action you have PLANNED…if they do not see something that grabs their attention in the first 3 paragraphs, you run the risk of them not reading further, to go look for something “more interesting”.

So, there are a lot of challenges with both, whichever way you decide to go. So which should you choose?

I tend to like to do BOTH, I start OUT with Canon characters, but as I write, I inject my own OC’s. So…by the time that Wonder Woman is a devoted Nazi love kitten at the feet of her Nazi master. The Queen of Swords has already had several encounters with other villains, has had a tryst or 3 with some lovers (evil or good) She has visited her family, gone to her job in her other identity, and you can actually LEAVE Wonder Woman to fade into a secondary character, as YOUR heroine (and villains) take over center stage.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by lordgriffin »

Void wrote:Yeah... No publisher will take on IP that you don't own, so you will never make money from copyright infringement, so you'll never really have to worry about threatening letters for whatever you write. It *is* something to be mindful of if you ever intend to try to sell what you're writing - because you won't be able to publish it if it concerns IP you didn't create or have permission to profit from. But for the purposes of 'fanfiction' - as LG says - you'll never have to worry about it. The continuing existence of this very site, and all the stories housed here, is living testament to that.

So, really, go nuts with whatever you want - *unless* you plan to try and get it published, in which case stick to creating something that is all your own. As LG hinted at, you can make something all your own that is essentially similar to an idea that already exists - just so long as you throw enough down that makes it a clearly unique character, even if it evokes immediate comparisons to wonder woman, or whatever.

Hope you had a VERY Happy New Year Void:

One thing occurred to me, with today's internet you do not NEED a publisher, there are some people who write for commission and will write canon characters...if they are SMALL time, likely they fly under the radar, but if they are making any real money, writing canon characters for commission, yea THAT one could get attention.

However I have also found, if it is kept quiet, and not put out on the internet "hey pay me and YOU can have a copy too" it is generally not a problem.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by tallyho »

With regards your last post on writing:-
I would mention also that you can have a recognized heroine and original villains or use your own heroine taking on an existing villain as options to introduce your original characters.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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tallyho wrote:With regards your last post on writing:-
I would mention also that you can have a recognized heroine and original villains or use your own heroine taking on an existing villain as options to introduce your original characters.
Great point Tally, I knew that but it was worth saying!
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by Void »

Happy new year, folks.

I take you point about writing for commissions, LG. It's a specific instance, but there is an opening there to take payment for your writing without getting published. Then again commissions come to you rather than visa versa, so you wouldn't sit down to write a canon character with the blind intent of doing so to make money. As a rule you wouldn't write anything copyrighted with intent to publish it - and as long as you don't then you can do so without any fear. This is actually a pro for writing your own IP - which is a nice topic shift to your last update!

I agree with your broad points - especially your opening points under each - though your point about people picking your logic apart applies to canon characters as well as originals. Canon characters are instantly recognised and understood, requiring very little effort on your part to establish and allowing you to get to the action without needing much effort - so they lend themselves very well to short stories. Canon characters also generally generate much more interest, partly because the reader also doesn't need to do much work to get into what's going on and also because people are already fans of these characters (especially Wonder Woman and Batgirl). It is by far the simpler and easier way to go. Its main limitation is that you have to stick with a predefined character and rule set, and you will be pitching to fans of the IP who will spot any deviation from how the character ought to be - so it's quite easy to get this wrong if you don't know the source material very well. You get that freedom to do your own thing and not be marked down for it with original characters, and there's a lot to reward you if you pull it off, but it is much more work and effort for both reader and writer to establish the character and get invested in them. There's a lot of slog, which isn't as interesting, and it's difficult as well as being a slow burn - but there is some pay off at the end with getting to play with any character you want any way you want to.

I'm partial to original characters because I get to do my own thing with impunity from 'getting it wrong' and I just generally like the creation that goes into it, but I'd be tempted to say canon characters are the best way to go, and I will certainly have a go at them in the near future (once I'm happier that I can do them justice).
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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One more thing about this topic - and I might draw some fire for this one. I'm not a *huge* fan of the big name established characters. If you compare them against the big name male characters (at least as concerns superheros) they all come off as weaker, less formidable personalities in my opinion - and my favourite thing about this genre is the clash of the strong personality being imperilled or defeated. The more recent representations of Wonder woman in the DC comics actually manages to reverse that trend a little bit (she is pretty bad ass, actually) but there is usually a vulnerability or a naivety about these characters that sometimes makes them a bit more like natural victims than natural heroes. It's more true of all their earlier, more classic, iterations than it is of any of their more modern ones, to be fair. Also I guess a lot of people probably really like that they are characters that combine being the hero with being the victim like that, with these mixed qualities playing off each other in the story, but it's a bit of a turn off for me and my personal tastes.

Anyways, my point here is that you might be able to do better with a strong, heroic personality than you would choose from the conventional roster of canon characters, and you might want to look at their more recent versions if you want to use them. Alternatively... take an established male character and gender flip them to being female - that would make some pretty interesting stories right there. As LG hinted at, you can always take something people recognise and do a tweak that people will get on board with quickly (like the example of evil Batman) so you could do worse in the personality stakes than writing a story about a female super man, female Iron Man, or female Batman (or whoever - they'd all be interesting).

Don't get me wrong, I like SG, WW and BG, and I've enjoyed loads of stories about them, but those stories defeat my prejudices rather than compliment them.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by tallyho »

For new writers I personally would recommend finding your feet with an established heroine first, you will learn a lot about writing and discover your own style / modus operandi. When I started I wrote out complete stories first and then posted in installments here, now I just write chapters as and when the mood takes me. I think for those starting I would advocate writing it out in full , then posting the chapters as that will allow you to check your use of canon with regards the established heroines in a more complete and consistent way.

Another possibility is to team up your new character with an established one like Bg, Sg, WW etc and then either ease your creation into the lead role so that they save WW etc or have them in a support role in the first instance but then as the lead in a follow-up story, perhaps when they are out for revenge, either way introduces your concepts but in a familiar framework which readers can relate to / accept fairly quickly.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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tallyho wrote:For new writers I personally would recommend finding your feet with an established heroine first, you will learn a lot about writing and discover your own style / modus operandi. When I started I wrote out complete stories first and then posted in installments here, now I just write chapters as and when the mood takes me. I think for those starting I would advocate writing it out in full , then posting the chapters as that will allow you to check your use of canon with regards the established heroines in a more complete and consistent way.

Another possibility is to team up your new character with an established one like Bg, Sg, WW etc and then either ease your creation into the lead role so that they save WW etc or have them in a support role in the first instance but then as the lead in a follow-up story, perhaps when they are out for revenge, either way introduces your concepts but in a familiar framework which readers can relate to / accept fairly quickly.

You know, Tally, Maybe you could address something that even has me stumped. That being, the current generations seeming total...terror, about using established characters.

I do not like to think of people different from most others, but this particular generation (The one younger them me I mean) Seem to be unable to be inspired by the characters we see.

I mean first off, I am always stunned how many of this "next generation" do not seem to realize that a TV (Telly to you) a Movie, or a BOOK even exist. I mean ok I get it if you have never read "Eragon" but even on here the number of people who do not even know a Marvel movie exists?

When I was a kid, we used to grab mom's table cloth, tie it around our necks, and jump off the bed yelling "I'm Superman!"

I suggest this to the younger generation today, and they seem to think the Copyright police are just outside waiting to arrest the offending 5 year old...

What's your take on all this?
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by tallyho »

I think its the lawsuit culture you have in the states and that is unfortunately spreading elsewhere. When you have to put 'May contain nuts ' on a packet of peanuts or 'Caution hot' on a takeout coffee, its not gonna end well.

I don't see it as all pervasive though and some people go for originality because they want to,(and good on them) but I accept that 'will I get sued?' thought is there for some people, but there are guys starting out who go for the big name gals.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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tallyho wrote:I think its the lawsuit culture you have in the states and that is unfortunately spreading elsewhere. When you have to put 'May contain nuts ' on a packet of peanuts or 'Caution hot' on a takeout coffee, its not gonna end well.

I don't see it as all pervasive though and some people go for originality because they want to,(and good on them) but I accept that 'will I get sued?' thought is there for some people, but there are guys starting out who go for the big name gals.

I can only Agree to that in part, Tally, I mean I have (recently) run into people who are afraid to write a female character, for fear they may be mistaken as gay (because they wrote a female character) Then there re the ones who are so on FIRE, they put male anatomy on EVERYTHING (including things like Doors, windows, and mouse traps (ouch)

I can fine 50 "Blunder Broad" stories, but just SUGGEST they say "Wonder Woman" and they flip out....what do you guys call them over there? nutters?
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by tallyho »

Oooooo I had such a strong urge to write 'Americans' in answer to that as a joke! :D (never overlook a cheap laugh is my motto! Well today it is anyway!)
But yeah 'nutters' covers it! ;)

Seriously I think its just a lack of confidence amongst some newbies to tackle much loved and well known characters, but to be honest I hadn't really noticed it as an issue myself, but that's probably down to my lack of attention!
As for some of the other elements you describe I'm at a loss really! :unsure:
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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tallyho wrote:Oooooo I had such a strong urge to write 'Americans' in answer to that as a joke! :D (never overlook a cheap laugh is my motto! Well today it is anyway!)
But yeah 'nutters' covers it! ;)

Seriously I think its just a lack of confidence amongst some newbies to tackle much loved and well known characters, but to be honest I hadn't really noticed it as an issue myself, but that's probably down to my lack of attention!
As for some of the other elements you describe I'm at a loss really! :unsure:
*Chuckles* yea Americans would have been appropriate :)
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by sneakly »

I keep seeing a lot of negativity towards camp. And I am going to call people on it. These are women in spandex clothes fighting other people in spandex. Ultimately, they will all look a bit silly in broad daylight or on a window ledge three stories up. The reason we accept and read the stories is that we suspend disbelief. That we accept the joker as a character and Batgirl as a heroine is because we choose to.

Much of what is put in these stories is completely unpalatable if you don't include the spandex and the unreality of it. There was a story famous in the early days of the internet called "agony in Pink" it was monumental in its brutality, because it in a brutal and humorless depicted the disassembly of the Pink Power Ranger. She was captured and when something was done to her it stayed done. The story stayed around for a few years, hopefully, it is completely gone.

Camp and humor can take a lot of the edge off these stories. Not that one, maybe. But, if I want Batgirl in erotic bondage/ deathtrap, It is important to me to make the story lighter and funner than it might otherwise be. I drop reading most stories when the heroine becomes nothing more than a punching bag for a man with an erection. I have written several stories where the heroine has been subject to various forms of abuse/rape. I never use those terms because they would interfere with the suspension of disbelief. Read some of the classics fetish stories, like Perils of Batgirl I & II or the O-Girl videos. Murder and sexual assault are right there, but the camp and glam gloss over the violence and making much more palatable.

Easy to say, harder to do....

I don't mean to offend, I know there are lots of views on a lot of things. This is just my opinion.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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sneakly wrote:I keep seeing a lot of negativity towards camp. And I am going to call people on it. These are women in spandex clothes fighting other people in spandex. Ultimately, they will all look a bit silly in broad daylight or on a window ledge three stories up. The reason we accept and read the stories is that we suspend disbelief. That we accept the joker as a character and Batgirl as a heroine is because we choose to.

Much of what is put in these stories is completely unpalatable if you don't include the spandex and the unreality of it. There was a story famous in the early days of the internet called "agony in Pink" it was monumental in its brutality, because it in a brutal and humorless depicted the disassembly of the Pink Power Ranger. She was captured and when something was done to her it stayed done. The story stayed around for a few years, hopefully, it is completely gone.

Camp and humor can take a lot of the edge off these stories. Not that one, maybe. But, if I want Batgirl in erotic bondage/ deathtrap, It is important to me to make the story lighter and funner than it might otherwise be. I drop reading most stories when the heroine becomes nothing more than a punching bag for a man with an erection. I have written several stories where the heroine has been subject to various forms of abuse/rape. I never use those terms because they would interfere with the suspension of disbelief. Read some of the classics fetish stories, like Perils of Batgirl I & II or the O-Girl videos. Murder and sexual assault are right there, but the camp and glam gloss over the violence and making much more palatable.

Easy to say, harder to do....

I don't mean to offend, I know there are lots of views on a lot of things. This is just my opinion.

Hey Sneaky:

Let me start by saying yes, you HAVE seen a lot of negativity toward campy, at least from me, but that is because of my OWN opinion that, I am getting TOO MUCH Campy. While YOU can suspend disbelief, I can not.

As I have stated before, if Campy IS your thing, I have no room to criticize. And far from arguing your point about spandex, I enthusiastically support it.

However you cover a lot of ground in your post. I remember "agony in Pink" and it is the opposite extreme (in my opinion) from Campy. I will soon post a section criticizing writers about exactly what you said.... Turning the heroine into a punching bag. It seems to me that NO one seems to be able to write middle of the road. Yes if the Heroine is fighting, the villain WILL fight back, but once she is helpless..you CAN find BETTER things to do, then to continue to STOMP on her.

I think the greatest point you make, is that you inject humor to "take the edge off" and that you do not use abuse/rape because they interfere with your suspension of disbelief....

Yes that IS you, and I think it is MANY who realize...your "suspension of disbelief" is not the ONLY one out there....For me, NOT using the terms, sugar coating them if you will, would crash my disbelief.

If you LIKE campy or DISLIKE serious, by all means write to what you like..I only asp people out there who DO have the desire to write what I call serious...to have the courage to WRITE it, there are many of us out there craving that.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by tmon »

As only a reader I prefer the WW, SG, BG stories because I don't have to read an origins story. Plus I started reading DC comics in the 60's and I always wished they were more R rated. I have a connection with these stories that I will never have with original heroines. Now how you treat them as long as it isn't permanent mutilation or killing the DC heroine off I'm fine with it.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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Yeah, the storied history of the classic characters, and their classic versions, will have a timeless appeal to some people. There is a x-factor about that which elevates WW, SG, and BG as being a bit of a holy trinity for this genre. I guess I started to get into this genre more because of heroines rather than SUPERheroines, so the allure of that historic sentiment was never there for me with those three. The Gail Simone BG and the new 52 WW are both characters I can really get behind. Jury's out on SG - though I think I like power girl, who is basically a more mature version of SG, isn't she? So they all have characters I'd like to play with (and I will, eventually) but they are always competing with every other personality or appearance that could go into a story, and that's a tough contest to win. On top of that I'm loath to pick up the characters if I don't have a full understanding of them and the ability to do them justice.

Anyways, I counted out the stories on the first page of the story forum and the dungeon story forum - and of the 88 stories, 61 of them concerned canon, established characters. I'm just throwing that out there... I don't think people are that scared of touching copyrighted characters - at least on this forum - and I think those that opt not to are doing it out of preferring the alternative, rather than anything to do with fear. Perhaps this problem is more pronounced elsewhere, but certainly here there is no shortage of established characters to lament. As a reader, I might be tempted to mourn the disparity going in the other direction, but actually I think we have a pretty even spread that caters to everyone's tastes.

The exchange between LG and sneakly illustrates how wide the range of tastes are in this genre - with directly conflicting notions of what breaks their suspension of disbelief. Some people will want clear fantasy; others will want believable reality. You can't make everyone happy, so just make sure you write a story that you're happy with. There is no taste you are more familiar with than your own!
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

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Void wrote:Anyways, I counted out the stories on the first page of the story forum and the dungeon story forum - and of the 88 stories, 61 of them concerned canon, established characters. I'm just throwing that out there... I don't think people are that scared of touching copyrighted characters - at least on this forum - and I think those that opt not to are doing it out of preferring the alternative, rather than anything to do with fear. Perhaps this problem is more pronounced elsewhere, but certainly here there is no shortage of established characters to lament. As a reader, I might be tempted to mourn the disparity going in the other direction, but actually I think we have a pretty even spread that caters to everyone's tastes.

The exchange between LG and sneakly illustrates how wide the range of tastes are in this genre - with directly conflicting notions of what breaks their suspension of disbelief. Some people will want clear fantasy; others will want believable reality. You can't make everyone happy, so just make sure you write a story that you're happy with. There is no taste you are more familiar with than your own!

Hey Well Said again Void:

I agree with you, in *THIS* venue, there is not as great a reluctance to write canon characters, rather my opinion HERE is that, we have another extreme, with EVERYONE flocking to what I call the "Big Three" (WW, BG and SG) My personal belief is always...too much of a good thing.... Which is why I like characters like "Wolvesbane" (From new mutants) Aurora (From Alpha flight) and Huntress.

and as we have not both said, Void, enjoy your feedback but write what speaks to YOU....just decide wich is more important, Yer readers pleasure, or your own.
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Re: Opinion on HOW to write Fanfic for discussion

Post by Void »

Those are cracking examples of characters I'd love to see more of. It surprises me there is so little stuff out there with Huntress - she seems a perfect character for this genre. It would even be cool to see more Batwoman.
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