This is a creative forum for all ages.... and all skill levels.
I start with advice for writers.
If you are only a reader, scroll down.
If you are about to write a fanfic, please start by reading the rules for this forum set of threads. Your threads should be avatar related and at the very most PG-13 or T. Nothing rated R and definitely nothing rated X (save those two for June's Tavern: Iroh's Bookshelf). It is a creative forum for you to explore any ideas, dreams, or trials of stuff you would like to write from a story, to a play, to poetry. This is first and foremost YOUR free space.
Try to write clearly and coherently. Use the best skills you have with grammar in whichever language you choose to write in. There are several folks on this forum from other countries and who can speak other languages. Do not be shy to write in a language you are comfortable in. But also, if you wish to try your hand at English (if that is not your mother tongue), don't be shy there either. There is always someone willing to help you out.
Picture the scenes in your head as clearly as you can. Think about how the character would feel and act. Clearly identify who is talking when in your story, especially if you have lots of dialogue. Have a goal. This is especially important. Your story must be 'going somewhere'. If it isn't, then the concept is vague and you will feel like you are writing on and on and so will your readers. Eventually one or both will lose interest in your great idea.
To help your readers note which posts are story entries and which posts are commentary stuff, why not type your story in a colour other than black? This will readily identify story text to your reader.
There is a MODIFY button for a reason. It really is your best friend!!! Use it. If you feel changes need to be made, make them. If you need to correct grammar or whatever... well, I love the modify button. It allows you to edit.
Enjoy the praise and consider the criticisms. They should be helpful. If they are not, ignore them instead of getting upset. Everyone has an opinion. You do not have to agree with it, nor do you need to stop writing because one person said something bad about your efforts. Don't start a fight over it. That is just a waste of energy and time... and it will not help your reputation nor the quality of your writing.
If you are using another language in your story for names or concepts, be sure to provide a translation and to use the words in the right context.
If you are using something from someone else, quote them or provide a reference note as to where you got the sentence or picture or whatever. Otherwise it is plagiarism... which is stealing ... and illegal. (This can also get you failed in school, so be careful with this for your school assignments)
Most of all... HAVE FUN!!
Enjoy the fanfics! Please understand that these are the creative efforts of people from all walks of life and from all ages. Some writers here are barely 13 years old. Some are well... um... past 30. *blushes* The writing skill levels may vary greatly too due to someone's mother tongue not being English or that they are just barely in high school and are just getting interested in creative writing. Please be UNDERSTANDING! And... gentle.
Comment! The writers need comments. These comments give them incentive to keep writing. If you took the time to read the fanfic, take a wee bit more time and say something about it.
This is anything from praise to congrats to words of encouragement. It is wonderful to say: WOW! Tthat's great! Write more! It lifts the heart and soul of the writer and they will comply. As long as they have readers, they will keep writing. It is often no more fun if no one is reading or if no one is enthused by the story.
Try to say what you liked about the story. Write more that "WOW, write more." This way the writer can see where they caught your interest and can write with more of that style. Encourage them if they seem to be struggling, Show them what part of their last post was so incredible. Why does it make you say WOW? Your comments on why will help the writier know if they achieved what they intended. It will help them know if you noticed the plot twist or the little climax they put in.
NEGATIVE COMMENTING / CRITICISM:
This is also important. It helps the writer to improve. But... there is a right way to criticize and a wrong way. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion, just be sure that you state that this is your opinion. That way, the writer of the fanfic can choose to listen to it or ignore it at their discretion.
Bad criticism is when you comment and say only negative things about someone's work.
- "that was dumb"
- anything critical or especially repeatedly critical (meaning: inclined to find fault or to judge with severity, often too readily).
- don't gripe
- back up your criticism, why do you think this is incorrect or poor?
- "this is wrong, that is wrong"
- do not blast the writer with your personal biases, that is just discriminatory and cruel
Always balance your criticisms with something positive. If you said something negative about the story, find something that is good too. Or, make some suggestions for improvement.
You can always ask why the writer chose to write what they did the way that they did.
Be sure your criticism are well founded. If you are correcting grammar, be sure you are right. If you are helping to get a better focus or clarity to something, use questions to help the writer see that they were too vague somewhere. If the writer is using another language, let them. It might be useful for their story and often other languages help give the feel of the culture the story is taking place in. This is especially important for Avatar as it uses East Asian influences. So, expect a mix of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Tibetan and any other East Asian Dialect to pop up.
DO UNTO OTHERS, AS YOU WOULD DONE UNTO YOU.
If I come up with more advice or if someone has more to add or modify... Yay!
If I came across too much like a teacher... sorry... I am what I am...
EXCELLENT REFERENCE BOOKS!
- The Complete Guide to Writing Fiction and Nonfiction and Getting Published by Pat Kubis & Bob Howland (ISBN: 0131610198)
- The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White (ISBN: 020530902X)
- On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser (ISBN: 0060891548)
Lastly, Check out the Guide to Writing (Fan)Fiction thread based on the first reference book I mentioned.