How to Write the Best Fanfic
What To Write
To start off, you have to know what you're writing about. As a fanfic writer, I do not recommend crossovers, because that'll mess you up halfway through. Although if you can handle it and you can keep track of what you're writing, then go for it. For those who don't know, crossovers are fanfictions that contain the components of two media sources. For example, a story of the main protagonist of Percy Jackson crossing paths with the antagonist of Pirates Of The Caribbean would be a crossover because there are two media components mixing into one story.
Anyways, you have to know what media you're making a fanfiction out of. Most writers go for their favorites, but you can write about any as long as you know about it. It'd be quite a struggle to write a One Direction fanfiction if you didn't even know the band member's names. Once you've decided on a media to write a fanfic on, it's time to begin writing.
One more thing to note is if you're using OC's. OC's are Original Characters made by people who want to interpret a character of their own into the same story as their favorites. So, for example, in a fanfiction based around Harry Potter, someone may want to add in a character of their own and tell the story of their first day at Hogwarts or maybe their last. Whether you add your own character or not, you still want to connect with the character, however it's easier to do that with an original character than it is somebody else's character. Which is why I will demonstrate my method on how to connect with the character of media that isn't your own.
Introducing A Fanfic
Just like any other story, your fanfic has to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. However, because it's a fanfic, you must also have a disclaimer at the very beginning. Whether that be in the story's description or in the first paragraph, it has to be somewhere near the start. A disclaimer is to make sure readers know that you yourself are simply writing this fanfiction for fun, and not to make money off of someone else's fame and creation.
If you were to make a fanfiction about Shingeki No Kyojin (Attack On Titan), then you'll want to put somewhere in the beginning a disclaimer saying something like this:
I do not own the characters or settings of SnK at all and I am only creating this story for entertainment purposes
Simple enough, right? It's only simply to let readers be sure that you're not breaking any rules whatsoever. After you have the disclaimer down, it's time to make the actual story. You wanna remember to always be in connection with your characters feelings, which means you might make the character do something that you would never do. And depending on how much you know about your character, they might be unpredictable to you. To write it in the best way possible, you may have to disconnect from yourself and connect to the character who you're centering the story around. Get a clear view of who your character is, and you'll be able to write about them much easier.
Finally, you want to introduce a setting. Whether it's a setting from the media your characters belong to or a setting in the real world, you want to tell your readers where the story takes place. You don't have to describe every nook and cranny of the place, but you definitely want to give a clear picture. To describe something like an urban style city, you don't have to list the particles in the concrete sidewalk but you could say that the cracks in the newly developed walkway made it a bit of a struggle for some people to walk down it. If it's a smoggy city, you could note that there were collective coughs here and there due to the monstrous amount of smoke in the air. The importance here is that you list details that make a picture, not bore you and your readers to death.
Finally, after introducing your story, you can jump right in to the actual tale. Every story needs a conflict, even fanfictions. So, make sure you have that, and it can be stated either now or a little later into the story. You can also be direct with it and say something like, "the problem is..." or you could be indirect and describe how the conflict is coming into view of the protagonist. It's up to you, as the fanfiction writer. Although don't just randomize it, make sure it makes sense to you and may also make sense to the readers. Everyone has a different brain and a different way of interpreting things, so it's hard to tell just exactly how much of the story a reader will be able to understand.
To make a fundamentally in depth conflict, there has to be an action taken and a reason for that action. The reason can also be stated either earlier or later in the story, depending on how much suspense you want to build. For example, let's say the conflict you wanna write about is a criminal who's wreaking havoc all over a vast and innocent city. You could say, "This criminal was so ruthless that he destroyed buildings and murdered families for fun, and nobody really knew why." to be indirect about the reason until later on, or you could say, "The criminal was too heartless to care about the many people he killed and the things he destroyed, mainly because the emotional capacity to show sympathy that he used to have was drained from him thanks to the terrible abuse he suffered throughout his life." One way builds suspense, the other shows emotional escapades, but it's entirely up to you on how you write the story.
Now once the conflict and your protagonist meet, the protagonist is going to have to deal with it somehow. Whether it be running away or fighting to the death, the choice is all yours. Using the criminal conflict for the example, let me show you a way to do this. Imagine this; your protagonist is simply enjoying the luxuries of their own life, watching television or reading the news paper when they see something that says, "WARNING: HOSTILE CRIMINAL" in bold, capital letters. The image they see this criminal in looks similar to the imagery outside their window or in their location, so they look out the window or turn around and see the same person from a distance, terrorizing other people. What action do they take? Do they attempt to be brave and fight the evil being, or do they run away from there as far as they can, maybe to think of a plan to go against them with and suit up? That's all up to you.
Remember, though, if the character you're using is not yours, make sure the character does something that that character would do. If the character you're using is a cowardly, small person, don't expect them to fight a largely hostile criminal right away. At least give them a chance to become stronger. Just make sure their actions match with who they are.
Now that your protagonist has faced the conflict, whether it be efficiently or inefficiently, there's going to be a consequence to their action. If your protagonist chose to run away from the conflict, what
For The Music Lovers
I recommend the video above for those who like to listen to music while they write. Very tranquil beats. You may also want to look in to different types of music that relate to the type of story you're writing. For example, if you're writing an action themed one, go for something with a pounding and hard core beat. I am a person who likes kpop, so my recommendations would be songs like "Monster" by EXO, and "Not Today" by BTS. If you're looking for something more smooth in the moment, my recommendations would be "Boy Meets Evil" by BTS and "REALLY REALLY" by WINNER. Don't limit your writing playlist to just one type of music however, experiment with other types!
Has this helped you at all in becoming a new or better writer?
One Quick Note
If you're looking for a great community to meet other writers, write your own content, and get reviews from others, I recommend signing up for Silver Pen Writers. It's online, sign up is free, and you almost instantly get a review as soon as you write. The reason for this is that users are required to leave a review on someone else's content before they can make their own, to be fair to everyone. Thank you for reading!