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Old January 6 2010, 11:29 PM   #1
Cobalt Frost
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If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

At what point in the process of creating a fanfic do you stop "world building" and start writing? I ask because, as mentioned in my "Vignette(s)" thread, my WIP fic is rather disorganized. Also, I'm somewhat of a perfectionist in my writing, and I want everything to be "just so" before I actually start to tell the story. I have to have the background and such fully fleshed-out, that sort of thing, instead of picking a starting point and letting the characters tell the story.

So, what are your experiences/techniques when you start a fanfic? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old January 6 2010, 11:42 PM   #2
Trippy
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

Not necessarily just in fan fic, but writing in general, it depends on what the story idea is that you have, and what you as an author want to express. Some stories, the setting IS the story; almost as if the setting were a character. Or, is character development what you are aiming for? If so, I'd suggest unveiling the setting through the viewpoint of the characters, and both will be developed at the same time.

I have only written a few fan fics, and a few short stories, but I'm an English teacher, and am very familiar with what makes a good narrative
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Old January 6 2010, 11:43 PM   #3
KobayashiMaru13
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

Well, it just depends on your writing style. Noone can really say "this is how you write fanfic". Personally, I tend to forget about describing the characters' surroundings and let the dialogue tell you. But what i do actually do, i fit in as i go, some here and some there. But again, its all up to you and how you write and what you want. what ive read of yours, though, looks plenty good to me.

Hope I helped,
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Old January 7 2010, 12:08 AM   #4
RobertScorpio
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

I agree with Trippy.

For me, I just get an idea and run with it and let the world/universal it takes in grow from it. That comes from writing a serialized story, where I don't know where I'm heading; and just go.

But then some of our better writers have it all pre-planned and are, I think, writing some great stories. But i think whatever you're writing you have to be having fun doing so.

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Old January 7 2010, 01:00 AM   #5
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

For me personally, everything universe-wise has to be firmly set in stone, before I do any actual writing/posting. This is so that I get all the worldbuilding out of the way, and focus on the characters and story content.
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Old January 7 2010, 01:03 AM   #6
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

BolianAdmiral wrote: View Post
For me personally, everything universe-wise has to be firmly set in stone, before I do any actual writing/posting. This is so that I get all the worldbuilding out of the way, and focus on the characters and story content.
listen to this guy..he's the best..

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Old January 7 2010, 01:50 AM   #7
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

I tend to have some of the setting already taken care of...but then from there, I get a strong sense of the characters. By trying to see through their eyes, hear with their ears, understand their senses and the way they think about the world, I end up coming up with a wealth of information, some of it quite unexpected, but often kept consistent because of the characters themselves, and how those experiences shaped them.
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Old January 7 2010, 02:30 AM   #8
Rush Limborg
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

Often, because I tend to use already-existing characters and crews, any "world-building" comes with the writing of the tale.

However, there are times when, in order to create more original tales, I need to get a sense of what I'm writing about on my own.

For example, for my latest story, I needed an outline on Ezri's life--which didn't exist in canon or in TrekLit.

As such, I wrote up the beginnings of a biography on her. It's not even finished.

Basically, it's an "if and as needed" element, this world-building. For me, at least.
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Old January 7 2010, 02:41 AM   #9
RobertScorpio
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Often, because I tend to use already-existing characters and crews, any "world-building" comes with the writing of the tale.

However, there are times when, in order to create more original tales, I need to get a sense of what I'm writing about on my own.

For example, for my latest story, I needed an outline on Ezri's life--which didn't exist in canon or in TrekLit.

As such, I wrote up the beginnings of a biography on her. It's not even finished.

Basically, it's an "if and as needed" element, this world-building. For me, at least.
Totally agree here...my current story I had to rebuild the entire TREK universe it took place in..and it took a long time to do it...I have never had to do that before, and it was harder than I thought...

Rob
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Old January 7 2010, 03:04 AM   #10
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

My major challenge has always been not to confuse what I as the author know with what the reader knows, and attempting to transmit the difference in a smooth way. When writing, in Ancient Destroyer, the Tarsus 4 meeting between young Kirk and younger (though he doesn't know it yet) Uhura, I originally had Nyota's waylaid ship just passing through Tarsus sector. By checking an ENT synopsis for 'Mirror Darkly', I found out that canon-Hoshi was one of those who died on Tarsus. In an earlier story, I had the NX-01 vanish until 2286. So, Hoshi never went there. But this made for a reason 'Nyta' would visit--she and her husband bought a house there, thinking they would move. With an interest in linguistics and console tech, Uhura would hold Hoshi as one of her heroes, thus giving her more of a reason to be in that sector.

These are the kinds of thjings you have to keep in mind.
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Old January 7 2010, 03:09 AM   #11
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
I tend to have some of the setting already taken care of...but then from there, I get a strong sense of the characters. By trying to see through their eyes, hear with their ears, understand their senses and the way they think about the world, I end up coming up with a wealth of information, some of it quite unexpected, but often kept consistent because of the characters themselves, and how those experiences shaped them.
Firstly, thank you, RobertScorpio, for the very kind words... I really appreciate the compliment.

Nerys Ghemor has an excellent point here... once the major worldbuilding is done, the absolute BEST thing any author can do, is begin to explore the inner substance of all the characters, so that the writer can put him or her self in the character's place, when writing for the character. This will not only help the author identify with the substance of who the character really is, but that will show through, when the reader reads the story, because they will in turn get characters that truly FEEL fleshed-out and fully developed.
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Old January 7 2010, 03:32 AM   #12
Cobalt Frost
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

I appreciate all the comments!! Keep 'em coming!
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Old January 7 2010, 05:13 AM   #13
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

FleetCaptainFrost wrote: View Post
Also, I'm somewhat of a perfectionist in my writing, and I want everything to be "just so" before I actually start to tell the story. I have to have the background and such fully fleshed-out, that sort of thing, instead of picking a starting point and letting the characters tell the story.
I am the exact same way, in every regard, in relation to the quote above. Basically, if you just adhere to that, and do all your "pre-production" development ahead of time, and make sure everything is perfect as can be, you will do fine, and will be able to put out a product that is at least 99% of what was actually in your mind's eye.

I had developed, refined, and developed "Star Trek: Entomalians" over and over again for over 6 years, before I posted the first entry here on the Trek BBS, because I wanted to deliver nothing but the finest product I could to my audience. In my personal opinion, to do less not only cheapens the author, by making him or her appear lazy, but disrespects my readership as well.
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Old January 7 2010, 05:42 AM   #14
RobertScorpio
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

Graywand2 is one of the newer authors on here who really amazes me with his writing ability. He has done a great job on his take of Fairy Odd parents. I have kids, so I have seen the cartoon, and have "some" knowledge of it. But Graywand makes them a bit 'darker' and its fun to read.

His AVATAR (the cartoon) merge with Trek is a great read too. His ability to set the scenery and the motives of his charaters reminds me a lot of BolianAdmiral's style.

Bolian, have you tried reading Graywand's work? It is very eclectic, but very well done...

Rob
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Old January 7 2010, 06:39 AM   #15
Cobalt Frost
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Re: If I may, a question to the fanfic authors...

So most of y'all seem to work up a 'series bible', so to speak, building a foundation to base your stories on. I guess my biggest frustration (and I've been writing for long enough to know better) is that I know where and how I want my 'series' to end, so in addition to the foundation I'm trying to force a 'framework' to get things from point A to point B instead of saying here's the start, here's how I'd LIKE it to end, and letting the characters tell their stories and get there on their own. Heh. It's the journey, after all, not the destination, that makes a good story.

Thanks again, everyone: the thoughts and advice have been very helpful. This is a good discussion, I think; let's see what we can get out of it.
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