luminous being (taylormercury) wrote in miracle______,
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[mod] A Useful Post of Useful Things

A Useful Post of Useful Things
Just getting started in the world of livejournal-based fanfiction? Wondering how a few things work, like how to link to your fics, or how to rate something, or why a summary might be important? This post includes useful links about useful and necessary things in the world of online fanfiction! So if there's something you've been wondering how to do, the answer may just be right here!

  • Need to provide a link to your fanfic but not sure how? LJ's FAQ how to add a link!

  • Not a fan of rich text, and want to know how people get their text to do all those different neat tricks? Basic HTML for formatting text!

  • Not sure how to go about rating your fic? Official (US) film ratings!
    This is a good basic guideline to keep in mind when rating your fic. But remember, stories are not movies, and words don't have the same immediate impact that pictures can have, so it's a good idea to stop and think for a moment about how you wrote your fic, the events/situations protrayed within it, and how you show them happening. Keep in mind the kind of language used to express things; harsh, violent, explicit language? Does it describe exactly what's taking place in detail? Is there violence, or sexual situations, or other kinds of adult situations (like drug use, explicit language, dark themes)?

  • It's a good idea to try and visualise your fic, and then decide from there how it would look to other people, and who you think should or shouldn't be able to read about it.

  • Not good at writing summaries? How to write a summary!
    Summaries are important things, they are what will sell your story to potential readers, and a lot of the time will be the deciding factor in whether or not someone will choose to read your fanfic. It's all about advertising yourself, in a short amount of words, outlining what your story is about, but not giving away the whole thing (or else, who will want to read it, if you've just told them what happens?) And this page explains the whats, hows and whys behind writing a good summary for your story.

  • It's easy to get right, but even easier to get wrong! Don't put those potential readers off by making a bad first impression!

    (It should also be noted that things like 'I suck at summaries, please read anyway!' do not make a good impression, and most people will be inclinded to believe that you also suck at writing fics. Leave insecurities somewhere else, preferably a personal journal! It's also not a good idea to ask for comments in this section, either. Proper typing/spelling always helps, too!)

  • Wondering how to improve your writing skills? fandom_grammar!
    It's a good community as far as actual writing/technique is concerned. If you're looking to improve your writing, learn more about English grammar and the way it works, or just want to learn about something you might not have known before, then this is the community to look through! There are posts about spelling/grammar, technique, writing tips, and all sorts! It's very informative, for those who are interested in how to use language to their advantage in writing.

  • And lastly (for now) I'd just like to run through quickly what a proper fic header is supposed to look like! All over the internet, wherever you might post fanfiction, the same kind of information is considered required and necessary! (And here at miracle______ we also ask that all fics contain full, proper headers).
    That information generally tends to be: the title of the story; the rating; the pairing (or subject/focus, if its not a pairing), a summary, and warnings if there are any.

  • Other information that can also be included is the author of the fic, the genre of the story (is it romance, angst, horror etc?) and any additional, necessary notes that you feel relevant to the understanding of your fic prior to reading.

    Information in the header should also be easy to read and identify. A good template to follow for one is this:

    Title: The Things That Go Bump In The Night
    Rating: PG-13
    Pairing: Donghae/Shiwon
    Summary: Donghae, a curious boy by nature, has always wondered what creatures make the bumps in the night, but his curiosity leads him into a situation even he'd never imagined.
    Notes: AU.

    That's just a basic outline however, and your header doesn't have to look exactly like that, different people like to format headers in their own way! As long as potential readers can clearly see all the necessary information, the layout of your header is fair game! If you're not sure, it's a good idea to look at other posts made to the community and see how other people do it!

    (I'd like to make a quick note about warnings, too. Things like 'un-betaed' are not warnings - and if they are, it's the wrong kind of warning and won't make people want to read your fic. In a similar vein, beta's are not always necessary either, I rarely use a beta myself, because I always proofread my own work. It's an excellent, and recommended, thing to do! You should always read over your own work a few times before posting, to catch any mistakes that you can!)

    (However, if you're writing in English and it is not your native language, or you know that you aren't particularly good at spelling/grammar, a beta in that case is a very Good idea!)

    And that brings me to the end of useful things you may want to know! I hope this provides some help to people, especially those who are new to the world of online fanfiction, and posting it to livejournal. If there's anything you'd like me to expand upon, or anything else useful that ought to be included, feel free to leave a comment!

    Happy writing :)!
    Tags: *useful links
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