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Thread: What do you struggle in Fan Fics?

  1. #1
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    Default What do you struggle in Fan Fics?

    I written this thread at another forum website, so I thought that I wanted to make this thread here.

    So, when writing Fan Fictions, what strucks out to you that you have problems with? The whole plot of the story? The way you write it or how it's going? Or the characters? I mean, what's that only weakness you have towards writing them?

    This thread's made to let others sought your reasons and try to relate them so they can help you. This can maybe help you get the idea of what to do when reading other comments.
    Last edited by Quilava42; 9th February 2013 at 11:06 PM. Reason: Updated Post


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    I struggle with writer's block. It's sooo annoying. That's why I paused my fanfic. So now I've learned to plan a few chapters ahead, because before it was all write-post thing without a good planning. I also have problems with my enthusiasm... Sometimes Im all fired up for a fic, and then I write two chapters. Proofread it then immediately post it. I also have far too many ideas dangling in my mind. I have a SAO-Pokemon crossover idea, a Team Neo Plasma idea, a Sinnoh Adventure idea, a search for Arceus idea. Yeah...

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    I struggle with having the attention span to write. And the stuff that goes between plot points

    Seriously, I have all the details and ideas of my 'Seekers of Light' fanfic(s) up in my head, I've drawn a map of the world with locations and character routes, and often when I'm bored I run through future chapters.

    The only thing is, I have all the speech and action ideas, but its the weaving all together that bugs me, and I know its important. For example, in Chapter 4 of part 1, the characters have lots of dialogue, but this is linked together with small actions.

    The fact is that after this, I had to write an entire paragraph about the surroundings of a Village before the next event began. Obviously i did it, but this is just a major niggle for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeekerofLight View Post
    I struggle with having the attention span to write. And the stuff that goes between plot points

    Seriously, I have all the details and ideas of my 'Seekers of Light' fanfic(s) up in my head, I've drawn a map of the world with locations and character routes, and often when I'm bored I run through future chapters.

    The only thing is, I have all the speech and action ideas, but its the weaving all together that bugs me, and I know its important. For example, in Chapter 4 of part 1, the characters have lots of dialogue, but this is linked together with small actions.

    The fact is that after this, I had to write an entire paragraph about the surroundings of a Village before the next event began. Obviously i did it, but this is just a major niggle for me.
    The same for me. Like I figured out like 70% of the whole plot of my main Fan Fiction, but I didn't have the inspiration to write it. It's like a chore to me rather than doing it for fun since I had some problems with the first chapter itself. And describing things is another weakness, since I either lack doing it in some parts or they are just wordy or makes no sense.


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    For me, it is finding enough time to sit down and write for an extended period of time. I have everything planned out (to an extent), but it's hard for me to secure enough free time to put it down on a document.

    Other than that, I'd say the most challenging part of writing fan fiction is keeping my plots and subplots balanced, while also ensuring all characters get their allotted time in my twisted limelight. I'm extremely cautious at which characters I use, because I need to know what they will do in the future for the plot.

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    I rarely ever have issues with characters, even if I get that nagging thought that perhaps one or two of them aren't developed correctly. But readers have said that's one of my strongest points, so I know it's not that.

    I do know that when it comes to action-packed moments, I tend to slow down and pick at it when I get the motivation/chance to write. I'm not entirely sure why it is I can't bring myself to really write an action scene longer than a paragraph or page at a time. It could be because I have no idea how to put it into words most of the time, or I'm just not a huge fan of action and fast scenes. When I do get it done, no one says anything bad about those moments, so I gather I do well in those areas as well, but I'm rarely ever satisfied with them.

    On a meta example, it's the whole motivation and just sitting down and writing depending on what it is I'm writing at the moment. I really enjoy writing, but of course, life has to call me back to reality from time to time, and it makes it that much harder to get back into what I was doing, and it takes longer to get it all back to normal. If I was actually being paid to write, I probably wouldn't have such a big an issue. But alas, fan fiction is a non-profit hobby that goes unappreciated in the real world except when it comes to writing essays and teachers gush over how it's one of the best essays they've read all thanks to practicing on fan fiction but they don't know that and probably never will *COUGH* sorry about that.

    So yeah. When it comes to the stories themselves, I don't really have a lot of issues, it's always the meta that makes me struggle.
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    I don't have any major in-story problem such as story writing or plot planning, but I have many external problems that are unrelated to the fic itself. Those are: writer's block, time management, environmental disturbance, or even meals.

    My parents are rushing me to find a job, so I was pressurized to end my NEET life as quick as even just by tomorrow. And as I get myself back into the real life's work, writer's block comes, then I must stop my fic for shortest few weeks longest few months, making me so irritating because I can't write anything. During the one or two hour breaks of every night where that is the real free time I can use for writing fic, that is the time where disturbance is the greatest. Disturbance from my parents, from my pets, from the TV sounds, etc.

    Long word short: Real life is my biggest problem of fanfic writing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OceanicLanturn View Post
    I struggle with writer's block. It's sooo annoying. That's why I paused my fanfic. So now I've learned to plan a few chapters ahead, because before it was all write-post thing without a good planning. I also have problems with my enthusiasm... Sometimes Im all fired up for a fic, and then I write two chapters. Proofread it then immediately post it. I also have far too many ideas dangling in my mind. I have a SAO-Pokemon crossover idea, a Team Neo Plasma idea, a Sinnoh Adventure idea, a search for Arceus idea. Yeah...
    Wow, this is just how I feel.... I'm a write-post kind of guy. I also have wayyyyyyyyy tooo many ideas in my mind

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    Starting the story, one of the hardest parts other than sticking to the plot (sometimes). It's much easier to continue than it is begin on a blank canvas. Even if it's continuing by starting a new chapter, you at least have a foundation at the very least. Making the very beginning is the tough part.
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    Deepening plots. I'm amazing at Pokémon-quality plots, or so I'd like to think but anything deeper is a no can do.

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    Wait what's wrong with posting right away? That's what I do. Is it more usual to write the entire story before posting any of it?

    My big thing is description. I usually write very starkly with much more of a focus on dialogue, so something like Obsession, where it's full of description...well, let's just say that's why there was more than a year between chapters 23 and 24.
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    Expanding on my earlier post, I have difficulty with the actions in between speech.
    If I write exactly what I want to, I'd just end up with a script.

    You see, when I say I have all of the ideas planned out, I specifically mean that I have all conversations planned out, and I can visualize battles and scenery.

    Effectively, my writing is me writing what is happening in a movie or anime, because I am simply trying to convert an image into words, rather than vice versa.

    As long as my work is getting finished, that's most of what matters. As for the quality... Well, that's up to you guys...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjack Gabbiani View Post
    Wait what's wrong with posting right away? That's what I do. Is it more usual to write the entire story before posting any of it?

    My big thing is description. I usually write very starkly with much more of a focus on dialogue, so something like Obsession, where it's full of description...well, let's just say that's why there was more than a year between chapters 23 and 24.
    I didn't say that writing and posting immediately is "wrong" for everyone. I'm saying that this type of format isn't working out for me. I lose inspiration far too often. Please don't get me wrong XD Everyone has their own form of writing.

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    the hardest part for me is trying to find different words to describe something else that I want to say instead of using the same repetitive words. I know I should use a thesaurus, but I can never get in the act to do it. I guess finding time to write the fic is also a problem and im frustrated about it. I'm pretty sure that finding time to write it and writers block is the most frustrating thing in fan fiction or any writing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aura Guardian Ash View Post
    the hardest part for me is trying to find different words to describe something else that I want to say instead of using the same repetitive words. I know I should use a thesaurus, but I can never get in the act to do it. I guess finding time to write the fic is also a problem and im frustrated about it. I'm pretty sure that finding time to write it and writers block is the most frustrating thing in fan fiction or any writing.
    Here is what JX Valentine told me, use words that you are familiar and understanding with. I mean, if you place random words, you will be confused of how it flows. I usually learn words in my English Class when it comes to defining words, like Labyrinth or Palatial which I found with a dictionary and sentences.


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    My biggest problem is syntax/the flow of sentences. They always feel too bland to me, personally. Also, description doesn't come as naturally to me as I'd like it to.
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    The fact that I find it hard to keep my mind on one mindset, and end up skimping on a story so I can get to a good part. When writing I have that thought that what I'm writing is awesome, but I look back and go, "Wow, this is crap." I guess my problem is that I have trouble making my ideas flow properly from my head to whatever the frack I'm writing.

    I also have aweful spelling and grammer skills, even though I am a huge grammer nazi to people. Hypocrite much?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilava42 View Post
    Here is what JX Valentine told me, use words that you are familiar and understanding with. I mean, if you place random words, you will be confused of how it flows. I usually learn words in my English Class when it comes to defining words, like Labyrinth or Palatial which I found with a dictionary and sentences.
    Ah alright then, I mean I do that, but at times it just feels like I need to put in a different word that can help improve my fic in some way

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aura Guardian Ash View Post
    Ah alright then, I mean I do that, but at times it just feels like I need to put in a different word that can help improve my fic in some way
    Tip: It's not how you say things; it's what you say. Sure, part of telling a good story is doing it in a way that grips a reader, but fic quality isn't always increased by word variety unless you've got a lot of repetition going on. Repetition, meanwhile, isn't necessarily solved by replacing single words. If you're encountering a lot of repetition issues, you may actually need an entire rephrasing instead -- as in, restructuring a paragraph or an image in order to go at details from a different angle or simplifying what you're saying to merge descriptions into one block. For example, if you're describing Jane going to the store, you'd cut out a lot of repetition by describing her opening the door only once. Some writers -- especially new ones -- sometimes feel the need to describe the door in heavy detail, and in doing so, they end up mentioning that she's leaving more than once. Simplifying your narration = boiling down your paragraphs to only what you need to convey.

    That being said, Quilava's got the basic point, but let me expand by explaining what I passed to him. It's okay to use different words, especially if you have no choice but to use similar words in a sentence or paragraph. The trick is that you never want to use words you aren't completely familiar with. That sounds like exactly what Quilava was saying, but what I mean is use a dictionary, not a thesaurus. Thesauri are great jumping-off points, but new writers get in the habit of using only them. Unfortunately, thesauri do two things that can trip you up. First, they usually give you approximate synonyms (words that technically mean the same thing or roughly the same thing but don't actually carry the same meaning in context, like the words "whispered" and "mumbled"), rather than exact synonyms. Second, they never tell you what each synonym actually means. If you find a word via the thesaurus, look it up and familiarize yourself with its meaning. Google it to find out how people use it in a sentence. Don't use it until you know exactly how it works. Otherwise, yeah, you'll end up using it awkwardly.

    And it doesn't even really take that much effort, either. Most of the time, you can find both synonyms and definitions via quick Google searches. Typing in "synonym" and whatever word you're trying to replace via Google yields you plenty of online thesauri, "define: [insert word here]" written into a Google search bar turns the engine into a dictionary, and, well, Googling the word by itself gets you examples. With a fast enough internet connection, you'll have a word, its definition, and how it's used in a sentence in under a minute. Yes, it's extra work, but hey, you're a writer. Writing isn't always just about sitting down and having your fingers cough up words. (Weird analogy, I know.)

    To answer the question directly, most of what I struggle with is finding the time and energy to write. My biggest fic is on an ongoing hiatus that started in August (not including chapter edits) because I just couldn't push myself to write more. Either I was working on a project for school until I passed out, or I spent all day running around until I passed out. When I did get a day off, all I'd really want to do is lie around and do nothing, and even then, I was thinking about something else. I'm hoping this year, I can train myself to have decent time management skills, but... *shrug*

    Then there's the lack of motivation brought on by a lack of confidence in my own writing, but eh, everyone gets that.

    And also, there's my habit of being repetitive at times. I can point it out in others' work, but sometimes, I proofread too quickly to catch it myself. Oops. (Hey, that's what a beta is for anyway, right?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Tip: It's not how you say things; it's what you say. Sure, part of telling a good story is doing it in a way that grips a reader, but fic quality isn't always increased by word variety unless you've got a lot of repetition going on. Repetition, meanwhile, isn't necessarily solved by replacing single words. If you're encountering a lot of repetition issues, you may actually need an entire rephrasing instead -- as in, restructuring a paragraph or an image in order to go at details from a different angle or simplifying what you're saying to merge descriptions into one block. For example, if you're describing Jane going to the store, you'd cut out a lot of repetition by describing her opening the door only once. Some writers -- especially new ones -- sometimes feel the need to describe the door in heavy detail, and in doing so, they end up mentioning that she's leaving more than once. Simplifying your narration = boiling down your paragraphs to only what you need to convey.

    That being said, Quilava's got the basic point, but let me expand by explaining what I passed to him. It's okay to use different words, especially if you have no choice but to use similar words in a sentence or paragraph. The trick is that you never want to use words you aren't completely familiar with. That sounds like exactly what Quilava was saying, but what I mean is use a dictionary, not a thesaurus. Thesauri are great jumping-off points, but new writers get in the habit of using only them. Unfortunately, thesauri do two things that can trip you up. First, they usually give you approximate synonyms (words that technically mean the same thing or roughly the same thing but don't actually carry the same meaning in context, like the words "whispered" and "mumbled"), rather than exact synonyms. Second, they never tell you what each synonym actually means. If you find a word via the thesaurus, look it up and familiarize yourself with its meaning. Google it to find out how people use it in a sentence. Don't use it until you know exactly how it works. Otherwise, yeah, you'll end up using it awkwardly.

    And it doesn't even really take that much effort, either. Most of the time, you can find both synonyms and definitions via quick Google searches. Typing in "synonym" and whatever word you're trying to replace via Google yields you plenty of online thesauri, "define: [insert word here]" written into a Google search bar turns the engine into a dictionary, and, well, Googling the word by itself gets you examples. With a fast enough internet connection, you'll have a word, its definition, and how it's used in a sentence in under a minute. Yes, it's extra work, but hey, you're a writer. Writing isn't always just about sitting down and having your fingers cough up words. (Weird analogy, I know.)

    To answer the question directly, most of what I struggle with is finding the time and energy to write. My biggest fic is on an ongoing hiatus that started in August (not including chapter edits) because I just couldn't push myself to write more. Either I was working on a project for school until I passed out, or I spent all day running around until I passed out. When I did get a day off, all I'd really want to do is lie around and do nothing, and even then, I was thinking about something else. I'm hoping this year, I can train myself to have decent time management skills, but... *shrug*

    Then there's the lack of motivation brought on by a lack of confidence in my own writing, but eh, everyone gets that.

    And also, there's my habit of being repetitive at times. I can point it out in others' work, but sometimes, I proofread too quickly to catch it myself. Oops. (Hey, that's what a beta is for anyway, right?)
    Okay, I understand and thanks a lot. This will definitely help me in my writing especially understanding this blasted thesaurus.

  22. #22
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    1. I never have the motivation to write.
    2. I have almost every plot point planned out to the microlevel. All that stuff that happens between those plot points? Not so much. I can't get my characters from Plot S to Plot T.
    3. I have no experience with action/fight scenes. So I decided to write a Pokemon fanfic. Smart. So smart. As it turns out, I hate writing them.

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    There are quite a few things I have problems with.

    >Sometimes I go into way to much detail. Like, I know detail is good an all and its really fun when I can take 3 paragraphs describing a characters reaction, but sometimes I go a bit overboard. Almost trying to put to much into a chapter. My english teacher told me this in 12th grade. She was amazed at the detail but said it was a bit too much.

    >I sometimes go off on tangents in my stories. That comes from trying to make it bigger and "better"

    >I try to hard to use bigger words to make me sound smarter. When I shouldn't because some people might not understand. It just makes me feel dumb IDK.

    >I'm bad at spelling and grammar. I don't know when to use ' where and when to use comas and what fragments are and what run-ons are and uhg, it gives me a headache.

    >I sometimes get writers block with a story, but recently that hasn't been much of a problem for me. But its kicking my sisters *** right now and I am laughing it up.

    >I take my writing far to seriously sometimes and I get hurt when someone says its bad even when I know it is and I don't know why i'm getting upset over someone telling me the truth. I don't usually speak out against them, I mean it is the truth and they took the time out of their day to tell me I suck, but it hurts a little on the inside. Same goes for all my art though.

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    I have trouble not repeating certain adjectives, most of the time I don't know when to use a characters name to describe an action or just use he/she/it.

    For example, if I begin a paragraph with:

    Regirock used its phenomenal power to push the boulder forwards

    It continued pushing until it managed to push it off the cliff.

    When it finally reached the cliff side, it went back to obtain another boulder.


    And then I'd use 'it' for the next few sentences, until I see the fitting time to use its name again.

    Another issue is that I don't usually plan my plots and stories thoroughly, something just appears in my mind and I work on it when writing.
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  25. #25
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    I struggle with:

    --Descriptions (but I'm getting better at this)
    --Too many ideas
    --Beginnings
    --Writer's block (may be a good ways in, get stuck on how to progress, and the fic dies as a result)

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