I have read plenty of great fan fiction in my life, and I have written some pieces myself, just because I loved some TV shows so much that I wanted the characters to live more through my writing. A lot of people love writing fan fiction. It is a creative endeavor that even has helped a few become consecrated writers. I am not one to reach for the stars, but I do think that writing fan fiction is a fun activity that will help you deal with the blue feelings after the last episode of the last season of your favorite TV show or anime aired, with no hopes of coming back. Here are my thoughts on how to start if you want to try your hand at writing fan fiction.
Canon and not-canon
Whatever happens in a TV show, a movie or an anime, as written by the original creators, is called the canon. It may sound grand, and it may be so, because it is what made you fall in love with the characters and the story line in the first place. Do you have an idea about what you wanted the characters to do at a certain point? Maybe you like to go a bit on the dark side, and have Frodo never return the ring, or make Spiderman kind of a baddie. The best part is that you can do everything you want in your fan fiction. Just don’t scream at the screen when others will comment badly on what you have just written.
In-character versus out-of-character
You can verge off from the canon at any point, but keep in mind a simple thing that will make your fan fiction successful. Try keeping the characters “in-character”. I know I mentioned a few strange things just before, but as long as you manage to convince your readers that the characters could do that thing or that thing because something that had happened and it is not mentioned in the canon, you have no reason to hesitate.
There are fan fiction writers out there who guard themselves against the proverbial rotten egg throwing – virtually speaking – by mentioning ahead that the characters will be a little out of character. Nonetheless, strive to make them believable and your fan fiction will be read.
A compelling story line
What I talked about are mostly technicalities, but I believe them to be the most important ones, so I now I will go right for the bread and butter of any good enough to read fan fiction: a compelling story line. Think of it in advance; what you want the characters to do, where and when and how. Write this outline on paper and think your fan fiction piece in advance. I personally hate it when fan fiction writers come with a great idea, they write one chapter and then they leave it to gather dust. I know most readers literally hate this kind of writers, so don’t be one of them. Be the one that people will love to read and you will be rewarded with some really great comments.