October 27, 2012

Perfecting Your Fanfiction

Yesterday evening, I took a look at the Pirate101 site to check the guidelines for submitting fanfiction, even though I had already sent on my first 1500 words. To my dismay, I had forgotten one key note: my fanfiction had to be submitted in whole!
I have to admit that I spent the first ten minutes of realization poorly, by complaining to my friends on how hard I had hoped for my fanfiction to get accepted, only to realize this fact. However, the thought eventually dawn upon me:

You wanted to submit your fanfiction early. How about finishing soon?

This little journal and guide will not only document my whirlwind four-hour adventure of finishing my first draft of fanfiction, but it will also be littered with tips and short memoirs, not to mention the occasional tidbit. I hope that you can learn a bit from my adventures and mistakes!
It was a dark and stormy night.

I'm not kidding! The rain was thundering down on my roof and I was writing by screenglow as the sky grew darker. I had about four THOUSAND words left to my plot, and I was determined to hit the big ten-thou before I went to bed.

My first scene was hard to pick up from - the protagonist had just woken up in a tough situation and had to make a deal with her enemy. However, a supporting personality was infiltrating the main conflict and was really confused on where the protagonist was. Meanwhile, the supporting main was looking for the protagonist, with no knowledge of the personality existing. Interesting, no? I needed to find a spot to pick up and continue writing, and fast.

Soon enough, I started working on an action scene, where I stumbled upon a rather large hurdle: working with a story rated E10+. No intense violence, romance, too much blood or gore, no swearing, and nothing to imply the listed and more. I had to regulate my fight scenes (since this was a pirate story) to a minimum of one paragraph of intense emotion, and the rest I had to base off of my actual battles in-game. I have to admit that it was really hard not to elaborate on those scenes, and now I'm even going back and trimming them.

At about the two thousand point, I had just about lost my mojo and was writing blindly. Looking back, I wasn't as bad as I had thought I was, though there are a few major kinks. I was writing in bursts of 20 words, then closed my eyes to think about the next burst. If you thought it was okay, think about how I normally write in bursts of 470 words each. Having roots in roleplaying early on, my posts would normally be in the 250 - 325 word range, maybe longer if I was setting a scene for the first entry. When I moved on to writing fanfiction and YALit, then my bursts grew to 400 - 500 words. My rate of writing decreased greatly, and everything became harder to write.

When I got down to under one thousand words, something absolutely unexpected popped up - I had finished my plot. I needed a new defining scene, stat! thinking about my own pirate's adventures, I decided to use The Black Spot tavern for my trial scene, including One-Eyed Jack and Destiny's crew, then One-Eyed Jack and Morgan LaFitte. Those ending scenes were sadly far form my strongest points, and will most definitely be rewritten.

To be absolutely honest, fanfiction became a lot harder last night than ever before. It pushed my capacity and limits, and my supply of pumpkin-butter cookies. I'm not exactly sure how I got through it, but after nearly five hours of continuous work, I wound up at 10,005 words and a day well spent.

The following is one of my fight scenes pre-editing. I haven't exactly looked at it yet, so some feedback would be greatly appreciated. I'll be sure to edit through the entire thing one of these days.


Deacon was accompanied by ten other marines, one of which twitched and another incredibly short.
Dysfunctional? Destiny coudln't help but wonder. She and the twitching one couldn't help but stare at one another for several seconds. The silence was broken when Karo fired a shot.
Detiny spied a lone buccaneer, armed with a gleaming axe. Destiny tiptoed towards it and almost immeidately the clockwork swung. Destiny scooted out of the way and tried to trip the clockwork with her spear. Its knees didn't bend.
"A buccaneer clockwork built for strength and not for agility. Of course!" Destiny growled and tried to pierce the armor with her spear, without any luck.
A beam of green shot its way past Destiny and singed a length of hair off, causing a strand to drape down Destiny's patched side of her face. A familiar face stared at Destiny with a resentful glare.
"That's for capturing me," Destiny got another blow to the chest. "And for drugging me after. You're welcome." Delaney began working on the clockwork, and Destiny hurried to find another when she ran face-first into Fin.
"Listen, pirate." Fin growled. "They're here for us. I don't care -"
"About Marcus and Joey?" Destiny locked eyes with Fin, and he nodded.
Amidst the coversation, four of the marines positioned themselves around Destiny and Fin, holding their weapons ready for the moment when the two would find out. Destiny took a tentative lance behind her shoulder, grinning. Fin grunted and the two began methodically slashing at the clockworks, trying to remove limbs and then rendering them useless by striking the chest. Once the two had successfuly taken down one each, more started to close in. Out of the corner of her peripheral vision from her good eye, Destiny noticed Twitch and Shrimp (the small one) stagger behind her foes. To her surprise, they took the back two marines by the necks and dragged them down. Taking a leap up, Destiny recognized a tail from under Twitch's coat, and a leg of Shrimp being quite human, besides a metal knee brace.
"REM!" Destiny yelled, striking another clockwork. Remmy dashed in from behind and backed Destiny and Fin up, while Sarah took the back. 
If you take a look at the labels below, you will see the title of this story; A Survivor's Word. Being me, I'm going to expand this into a trilogy at one point. In order:

A Survivor's Word
The Sky's Ransom
An Exile's Honor

I have a basic layout of what goes on in The Sky's Ransom, but I still have a bit of work on it - I still have to start the layout for Honor. Here's to a successful first draft, and to many more!

Keep Traveling!
Des




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