Tips for Writing Fan Fiction: How to Edit Your Fanfic

Edit Your Own Fan Fiction!You’ve just spent a week bent over your keyboard typing furiously, visions of your Fan Fiction characters dancing in your head. It was all worth it, though because now you have a finished Fanfic on your computer screen.  It’s time to post…or is it?

Sharing a new story is exciting, but before you hit that post button, make sure that your fic is in tip top shape. There are several practical steps you can take to make sure that anyone who clicks on your story loves it; here’s what you need to know to edit your own story.

Take Some Time Off – The best thing you can do for your Fan Fiction is to step away from it for a day or so. If you don’t want to wait that long, grab a snack or some coffee and take a mental break. You are much more likely to catch any mistakes you’ve made if you step away from your work for at least a short period of time. If you are lucky enough to have a beta reader, send it off for another pair of eyes to look over. Remember, you don’t have to take your beta’s advice, only list to it. (More tips for working with a beta.)

Dissect Dialogue – Editing your dialogue is probably the single most important thing you can do to improve your story. Chances are you can cut it down. Less is more when it comes to dialogue, so look closely at the words you’ve written for your characters. Ask yourself if you can hear their voice in your head when you read the words you’ve written for them. Finally, make sure it is clear who is speaking in each line of dialogue, and always start a new paragraph with a new speaker.

Proof Point of View – Every scene you write should have a clear point of view. This means the reader knows from whose perspective the story is being told. If you head hop in a scene, it can make the story confusing and hard to follow. For this reason, you should make sure it is clear whose doing the thinking, especially if you are flipping between characters. (A common reason for this would be during a sex scene, where you want to account for both characters’ reactions.)

Read it Out Loud – Reading your story out loud forces you to slow down, and you’ll be able to catch any places where the text might be awkward. If you stumble over a sentence, take a minute to reword it. It’s also a good idea to read from a print out-this will help you to slow down and catch some errors you might have missed reading it from the screen. As a bonus, formatting errors will be easier to see as well.

Save the Punctuation for Last – Don’t bother with punctuation until you’re on your last read through. Chances are you’ll change more than one sentence, and you can clean up any errors you might have made on your last pass.  Need help with grammar and punctuation? I’ve got you covered with Write Better, Right Now!

Sum it Up — And here’s a bonus benefit: now that you’ve read through your story a few times, writing a summary will only take you a few minutes. Some writers choose a particular poignant quote  to use as a summary, but I recommend taking the time to write a few sentences that will hook a perspective reader into clicking your link. Writing “I suck at summaries” just doesn’t cut it. Think about how your show teases you into watch the next episode and do the same with your summary.

And that’s it, you’re done and ready to post! Easier than you thought? I hope so!

Tips for Writing Fan Fiction: How to Write Your First Sex Scene

How to Write Your First Sex SceneIntimate encounters are a huge part of Fan Fiction; nothing inspires the writer’s imagination like two characters with unresolved feelings for each other. Usually when it comes to a sex scene, coming up with scenarios is easy, but getting it on the page is a little harder, especially if it’s your first time.  Along with these tips, you can download a Sex Scene Worksheet to assist with planning out your scene.

Here’s your step by step guide to getting it on, on the page.

1. Who? – It probably didn’t take too much time for you to decide on the characters you are going to feature in your story, but take a few moments to think about who your characters are, how they react to each other and what they have at stake in your story. Understanding your character’s personalities will give your writing an extra edge, and readers will be drawn in by your authentic characterizations of the characters they love.

2. Where?-This is the fun part, so take your time and really think about the atmosphere that you want to create for your characters. Will it be fun and playful, sensual or full of fireworks? A night of lovemaking under the stars or in front of a roaring fire imparts a totally different vibe than in an elevator or against the wall just inside the apartment door. You are writing a fantasy so make sure to put elements into your story that will delight your readers.

3. What Kind of Sex? – When it comes to writing sex, it’s critical that you know what is going to happen between your characters. (This is even more important if you are writing a menage because you will have a lot of body parts to account for.) It will be so much easier to write the scene with fluidity if you know what is going to happen. So take a minute to map things out and decide who is going to do what in your scene. Things you need to consider are the type of sex (against the wall, oral, solo etc.) as well as who is doing what when. If you are planning on getting creative in your scene, make sure you do your homework. For example, if you have no experience with bondage, make sure you read up on it before you try to write it. (And other Fanfic doesn’t count!) Visit amazon.com and find some books on your topic–your writing will flow much better if you have a deep understanding of what you are writing and how it affects your characters.

4. Write a Rough Sketch of Your Scene – Don’t worry about this being bare bones, just get everything down that you want to happen. Forget about word choice, transitions and all that stuff. Just lay it out point by point. This will be the frame on which you will base your story. If it is easier for you, you can even do this as a numbered list. Use the details that you’ve laid out in the previous steps to build this frame. (Looking for more help in this area? 7 Tips for Writing Sex in Fan Fiction has an example of how to do this.)

5. Layer in the Detail – Close your eyes and imagine the scene that you’ve just sketched out playing before your eyes. Sometimes, I’ll even type with my eyes closed so that I can get an accurate description of the scene as it plays out in my mind’s eye. If you get stuck while you are writing, a good practice is to follow is Action, Reaction. So for everything one character does, have the other character react. This will bring intimacy to your scene. And don’t forget to work in drafts. You don’t have to get it all right the first time. Just take your rough sketch, and work on expanding it slowly, as if you are drawing a picture and then coloring it in.

Writing sex can be intimidating but if you take a few minutes to plan out your scene, you’ll find it much easier to get it on the page. Using this step by step approach breaks down the process into manageable chunks, and before you know it, you’ll have your story on the page.

(If you haven’t downloaded the Sex Scene Worksheet, do it now.)

 

7 Tips for Writing Sex in Fan Fiction

7 Tips for Writing Sex in Fan FictionLet’s face it, there is a ton of poorly written, cringe-worthy smut in the Fan Fiction Universe. Sex is an extraordinarily intimate act, whether in life or on the page, so you must be comfortable with your subject matter before you start writing. Take some time before you start to figure out what you’d like to write. The following tips will help to guide you through that process.

Do Your Homework — The first step to writing good sex, is to read it. You can read it any way you like-Fan Fiction, main stream Erotica, whatever floats your boat. This will help you get a feel for the language of sex-it’s not all dirty words. It will also help you to figure out what you like, what turns you on, and what you don’t like.

Plan Ahead — Determining the content of your scene before you write it will make an immeasurable difference in the success of your story. Some writers depend on spontaneity when they are writing intimate scenes, but it is important to remember this is fiction, and not real life. So take a moment, decide who is going to be in your scene, what is going to happen and who is going to be doing what to whom. It will make things a heck of a lot easier if you know what kind of sex your characters are going to have. Missionary? Oral? On the bed or against the wall? Making these kinds of choices up front will make filling in the details a lot easier. (You can find a worksheet to help you here.)

Characterization — Characterization is critical when you are writing an intimate scene. As Fan Fiction writers, we don’t always get to see our characters in vulnerable situations, especially if you are writing for a procedural type drama. This is when it is important to watch your show closely. Study how your chosen characters interact, and figure out what they aren’t saying to each other. Capitalizing on that subtext is the key to a great story, especially when you are planning on taking things to the bedroom.

Evolve — Unless you are writing porn, you’ll need to figure out what kind of a scene you are writing. Sex is the most intimate act that can occur between two people (or more if that is your cup of tea.) Sex changes people, and you’ll need to figure out how your characters are going to be affected (or not) by this interaction. Will this be a healing scene? Animal attraction? A mistake?

Progression & Layer in Detail — A sex scene has a natural progression -foreplay, the act, climax, closure-so you already have a map for how your scene should play out. Also, you don’t have to get it right the first time; you can start writing with simple sentences describing what you want to have happen, and follow that up by layering in the detail. Since you have an underlying structure, you can feel free to write without worry-the groundwork is already in place. Usually I just close my eyes, imagine the scene, and write what I see in my mind’s eye.

Because it’s usually easier to see things in action, I have included a snippet of a scene I wrote in first draft form and later draft form:

First Draft:

She followed him, unsurprised that they were heading for the bedroom; she’d seen the look in his eyes.
Later Draft:

She looked up at him before sucking lightly on the sensitive skin just below his ear, murmuring her assent as she allowed him to guide her into the bedroom, her limbs still tangled with his. She could see his desire for her so clearly etched on his face that it made her wonder where he’d hid it for so long.
You can see that the bones of the scene are there in the first draft, I’ve just elaborated on it in the later one. This is why I advocate writing in drafts. There is nothing wrong with the first sentence I wrote, but there is much more depth and feeling in the later draft.

Choose Your Words — “Dirty” words do not make a sex scene. As with all writing, the intimacy and eroticism of the scene you are writing hinges on how you arrange the words you use, so if there are words you are not comfortable saying or writing, don’t use them. Consistently is also important-choose one word for a body part, and stick with it. Avoid phrases like ‘garden of desire’ or ‘throbbing member of love.’ It’s also wise to avoid using ‘unghhhh’ or ‘cooooooooooming’ to indicate an orgasm. Saying she or he moaned gets the job done.

Endings — A good ending builds on the beginning of a story; it demonstrates how the characters have changed since the beginning. One way to accomplish this is to look at the reason your characters are having this intimate encounter, and then what has changed for them after the fact. Are they unsettled? Were they insecure, and now feel reassured? Answering the question that you set up at the beginning of your story is the key to a good ending. When you do this your reader feels connected to your characters and your story, and feels fulfilled by their reading experience.

If you find that you need some extra help with writing your story, you can use my Sex Scene Worksheet. Remember, readers want to be emotionally involved in your story, so take some time and consider the tips discussed in this article and you will surely write a story that will leave them begging for more.