Have you ever been inspired to write fanfiction after reading or watching a story that captured your heart? Like countless writers out there, you probably ache to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) so that you can delve back into that fictional world that you love so much. But you may need some help getting started, which is exactly what this article is for.
Everyone has their own writing process. Some people like to plan every detail of their stories, while others like to keep their planning to a minimum and make most of their decisions about their story as they write it. Either of these methods is valid. As long as you enjoy the process, that’s all that matters. The tips that I will provide will be useful for both writers who plan out their stories in advance and writers who do not.
Firstly, if you’re having trouble with brainstorming ideas, start by thinking of two characters you would like your story to be focused on. Characters are an essential part of fanfiction – fans of the source material are eager to see their favorite characters again in fanfiction. The two characters that you choose could be from the same fandom, or even from two different fandoms. Maybe these characters are best friends in the original work that they are from, or maybe they’ve never interacted once in the source material. Either way, choose two characters that you find interesting. Of course, there will likely be other characters in your story that play supporting roles, but identifying two major characters will help you to find a focus for your story.
Now, think of the ways that conflict might arise from these two characters interacting with each other. Readers want to see the tension that results from two of their beloved characters causing problems for each other, whether these problems are big or small. Get creative – what is a potential scenario in which these two personalities could mesh in order to create interesting conflict? For example, in a Harry Potter fanfiction, Harry’s loyalty and Tom Riddle’s lack of empathy could clash when Harry goes back in time to save Hagrid from being expelled. How would Tom react to Harry, who is the complete opposite of him, and how would he deal with Harry trying to stop him from expelling Hagrid? Whatever happens, one thing is for sure – Harry and Tom will certainly not get along. There are endless ways to create conflict between two characters – pick an idea and run with it!
Lastly, make the characters come to life when you begin writing the first scene. Describe their body language, dialogue, and physical appearance, and make sure that these details align with the characters’ personalities. For example, maybe you would describe Tom Riddle’s body language by mentioning how he stands with perfect posture, which could be a sign of his confidence in himself. All of these little details are very important for helping the reader to envision the character as a real person. In addition, the narration can do a lot to characterize whichever character is narrating the story. Let’s assume that Harry is the point-of-view character in the first scene – how would he express what is happening from his perspective? For example, he might interpret everything Tom Riddle does in a negative light. The narration might focus on the fear that Harry feels around him or how arrogantly he feels that Tom’s dialogue comes across. Overall, these are just a few ideas that can help you with characterization in your first scene.
Those were a few ideas that can help you get started with writing your own fanfiction! The most important thing to consider when writing any piece of fiction, especially fanfiction, is the characters. If you portray the characters in a compelling enough way, you may very well gain some avid readers who will be glued to your story.