Some questions about fan fiction

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by hux, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. hux

    hux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 25, 2010
    Hard Sassenach in Moist Aberdeen
    1 - do people find it easier to write using established characters or better to create their own - i want to start writing a story using new characters and even new species but is that considered uncool (in terms of possibly getting published cos fans don't wanna read about characters they've never heard of)

    2 - if i did want to get something published, how would that happen....what do most people do with their fan fiction (how did that woman who wrote 50 shades of grey go from twilight fan fiction to published author....what was the process....lets assume for the sake of this that my fan fiction is profoundly brilliant and not just self indulgent crap....what could i realistically do to get it published)

    3 - If people write using established characters, do most people set it after the events of the shows or in between episodes (does that require knowing star dates so that the story makes sense happening between events seen in the shows)

    4 - Does my knowledge of techno babble need to be consistent with what's been seen in the shows or can i just make it up......"modify the quantum deflector tubes and use a tachyon beam to neutralise the polaron reactors so we can by-pass the tetryon radiation array"...just how important is that stuff to the reader

    5 - any other advice would be welcome
  2. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006
    It's really just a matter of personal preferences. Some people like reading about canon characters others (like me) rather read about original characters. However fan fiction is best approached as a way to express your own interests instead of catering to your audiences as your chances for professional publication are slim to none.

    See above. I believe the 50 Shades of Gray writer changed her fan fiction (whatever it was? Harry Potter? Twilight?) into an original novel which then got published. Trying to get fan fiction published is almost impossible. But you would most likely have to write about canon characters and submit your work (via an agent) to the publisher who is most likely not accepting any unsolicited material.

    Up to you when you set your story. Again don't try to follow trends, write what appeals to yourself. Stardates and other established Star Trek tropes can help to make your story more authentic. No point writing a Trek story if it doesn't feel like one.

    How authentic do you want to be? A lot of technobabble is made up. But something sounding authentic or actually being scientifically accurate is more likely to impress readers (if they understand it). Obviously made-up stuff is likely to be a turn-off as readers may not take your work seriously or feel that you haven't.

    If you want to write fan fiction because that's what you think you enjoy doing, knock yourself out and writer whatever you think you'd enjoy reading. If it's good, people will read it. If you're looking to be a published author, use fan fiction as a way to hone your skills but start thinking about working on original stuff.

    Also, do a lot of reading. In my opinion, too many fanfic writers figure that they are awesomely talented without ever reading anything else. Truth is most writers aren't good at writing until they're well read.
  3. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 28, 2009
    The glorious Shetland Isles!
    I prefer to write with new characters as you can do anything you want to them, they can have whatever backstory you choose and whatever ambitions you set for them. So long as they are well conceived and written consistently, I think people get behind newly created characters. As for species, make sure they sensible and believable within the Trek universe.

    However, in terms of getting published I think that whoever publishes Treklit need established main characters. But if you're just looking to do fanfic as opposed to a published novel, get it posted here or at Ad Astra, you'll get lots of advice, encouragement and feedback.

    You need an agent, a thick skin and patience. Go looking online for details on how to get work published in your area. If its Trek you want to get published under there are a few rules you have to stick to. Check out the website of whoever holds the rights for it.

    Again if its just fanfic, then you can set it whenever you want. But if using established crews, etc, remember the timeline you're writing in and don't screw up continuity (Jem'Hadar attacks in 2366, etc).

    Tell a good story about the people in your universe. Use technobabble only where needed and don't make your work all about whatever deus ex machina will get them out of the situation in the nick of time. Technobabble would only be of use if you're writting about an SCE crew or science ship. Stick with what we've seen in canon and take it from there, too many techie words crammed together in a sentence will probably annoy quite a few people and make them switch off.

    I hope this helps. My advice, get writing and post stuff here for feedback, see what you do well and what needs strengthening up. Whether its original or established, 2266 or 2662, have good characters and a good story and people will come back for more.
  4. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

    May 26, 2007
    In many different universes, simultaneously.
    Technobabble is no substitute for a solid (or at least plausibly extrapolated) scientific explanation of whatever's going on.

    BTW, technobabble has been around for far longer than TNG, DS9, or Voyager. I remember a fanfic many years ago where some veteran crewmembers played a prank on a rookie crewmember and sent her looking all over the ship for a "left-handed Ellison framistantor." When Kirk got wind of what was going on, he ordered the Engineering crew (or whoever) to actually produce a working model and install it somewhere in the ship.

    I don't remember what they came up with, but it was an entertaining story (set in the post-V'Ger TMP era).
  5. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Sep 4, 2008
    Just around the bend.
    1,3,4, and 5 - pretty much do what you prefer.

    2. 50 shades started as Twilight Fanfic. When it became popular the author re-wrote it and removed all Twilight references before she took it to a publisher. You'd have to do pretty much the same thing with any Star Trek fanfic you write. Getting already released Star Trek fanfic published as ST fiction would be pretty much impossible. And from what I understand, the publishers of Star Trek fiction only request spec work. For more info, ask this same question in the trek lit thread*. The trek authors on tbbs don't come into fanfic forum to avoid litigation issues.

    *Do not discuss your stories/ideas in that forum.