Okay, so where do I start?


Richard Allan Fox
Aug 26, 2006
No, really. I tried several times now to begin this thread. I feel like I'm finally letting the world know that I want to write. Only, everytime I try, it just sounds silly or cliche; followed by the lame excuse of why I've never put pen to paper to write a story.

"Ever since I was a little boy, I wanted to..."
"My friends say I have a way with words, so..."
"I always knew I could...but never had the..."

Until now.

I want to write. So, I've begun to flex my writing skills in a bit of fan-fiction based on a game called EVE Online titled Incompetent. I won't go into the details of the story just yet since much of its enjoyment is dependent on game knowledge. However, the response to my writing so far has been positive at worst. I wouldn't say it is stellar, or spectacular. However, the folks who have repsonded to my writings have all given positive reviews, and continue to ask for more. I haven't told them yet that it is my first story.

Now, how should I take this? There is one guy I've noticed who drools over pretty much everything written on the EVE Library. So I give his reviews as little credence as possible. But the others are more specific in what they like about my writing, from character development to style and detail. One player has even donated considerable amounts of ingame currency (called isk) as an incentive to continue the story. The same person offered me even more ingame currency to write her backstory.

Is fan-fiction any less effetive of a tool, or medium, for a new writer to begin his quest? Should I take the positive reviews of the players lightly, or should I dive deeper into this and see where it goes? Where can this lead?
I never wrote fan fiction, but I day dream fan fics a lot. It has helped me by stimlating my imagination. It also has helped me with ideas because I look at something someone else has done, think, "that's cool", steal it, edit it until its unreconisable by legal standards, and use it.
And my opinion is: hey, anything that helps us pratice writing is a good thing. Just try brancing out some once you feel comfortable, okay?
Well, I think that writing is writing no matter what forum it is in as long as you are expressing yourself. There are a lot of people that write fanfiction and a few of them are professional writers. Usually when you post a story on one of the major sites like fanfiction.com if you ask for opinions of your writing people will be more than happy to give them to you.
I think your looking at it wrong. If you love to write, write. Who cares what other people like or dislike? People are reading it, and your creation is finding its way in the world, as all our 'babies' should.

Think about WHAT you want to happen, not WHY you want it to happen.
Well, I've throughly enjoyed writing the story, and to be honest, I did it mostly for myself. I just wrote what entertained me, and what interested me. Thank you for your thoughts. I'll pick through some of what I've written and post it tomorrow for a good critiquing. I'll keep the excerpts to parts of the story that don't rely too heavily on game knowledge.
MrFox said:
Well, I've throughly enjoyed writing the story, and to be honest, I did it mostly for myself. I just wrote what entertained me, and what interested me.

Which is exactly where you should start.:)
I'm with the others on this, if you enjoy doing it, then do it because writing is writing. Regardless of the form it happens to assume, I see no reason why it wouldn't help you hone your skills. FelineEyes has a very good point too, in that an idea can be borrowed, improved upon, and eventually modified enough to no longer be recognizable from the original. One of my stories actually stemmed from an urge to write fanfiction (I usually don't even touch fanfiction!) for an anime called Twelve Kingdoms. Now, it's evolved to the point where even a seasoned 12k fan wouldn't know any better. That is how many good ideas are born. :)
Where to start? There are two places.
One is in your head, thinking about your characters and story and sub-plots and settings and etc and so on.

The other is at the keyboard. Just start typing. Whatever comes out of your fingers and through your mind (though sometimes the writing will bypass your brain entirely, then you have runaway characters)

Try both. Sketching, drafting, making notes and then trying to mould the lot into a story. Or sit down and type, then when you get to the end trying to mould the lot into a story.

I'm the second kind, I can't do notes it's too much like work, back and forth researching, revising, following plot even when my characters don't like it. I sit and type, although I do often have a vague blur for an outline usually in my head. If I need to know the French word for monkey, I google it, and then carry right on typing.

Others I'm told, can't write a single word without having first written almost all the story in note form, with histories and whole sub-plots.

Try both. See which you like.

One word of warning, or encouragement depending on your viewpoint, fanfic has ready made characters and scenarios. If you stop and think about it writing from scratch can be scary.

Like third world pillaging Nike would tell you: Just do it.
Hey flynx, thanks.
I think I fall into the category of just bang a story out of the keyboard. Although, I do have a very crude outlining method, imo.

Infirmary: Kiyram, Meds, Graohm. Preparing Kiyram for the pod.
Crew Facility: Kiyram, Graohm. Graohm mentors Kiyram about her fears.
The Walk: Kiryam, Groahm, Meds, Chief. The three make their way from the infirmary to the gain access to the pod chamber. Double access required to open.
Into the Pod: Kiyram, Groahm, Meds. Kiyram's fears of entering pod finally surface.

This particular installment turned out to be 4500+ words, but most of the others I've managed to keep within a 2000 word limit without sacrificing plot or character development, etc. The reason behind the larger installment was due to the fact that it was the climactic part of the story, and I wanted to give the reader as much detail and mood to chew on as I could, but still keep the whole of the story at around 12000 to 14000 words. I'll probably go over 14k before the conclusion.

As far as the fanfic having ready made characters. The nice thing about this fanfic is that the players are the characters. It's not like writing a fanfic about Superman and Batman. Each of the characters in this fanfic are mine. Now I admit though, that the races and the settings have already been established within the game's prime fiction. But the characters are mine to develop.
air and light and time and space

"–you know, I've either had a family, a job,
something has always been in the
but now
I've sold my house, I've found this
place, a large studio, you should see the space and
the light.
for the first time in my life I'm going to have
a place and the time to

no baby, if you're going to create
you're going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
you're going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you're on
you're going to create with part of your mind and your body blown
you're going to create blind
you're going to create with a cat crawling up your
back while
the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment,
flood and fire.

baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don't create anything
except maybe a longer life to find.
-Charles Bukowski

This is what always comes to mind when anyone talks about writing. If you want and need to write, then write. Get the words out of your mind and down on paper. Never mind what little niche it fits into. It matters only that you wrote.
Agreed. Even if you aren't writing fiction, you need to be writing. Anything you write hones your skills. Going without writing, those skills atrophy. As Harlan Ellison was always telling people at workshops: If you're a writer, you don't find the time to write -- you MAKE the time to write.
That's quite motivational, thanks. I actually have the time to write now. Bucket loads in fact. I work for two days and then I'm off for two days. At least for the time being. I expect that to last for a month or so, and then it's 8 hour days for a month straight. I'm going to flex and hone my skills a bit more on this fanfic before I try to create something original. I may go ahead and write that player's backstory as well.

Thanks for everyone's input. I'm glad I found this site. You'll be seeing more of me, I'm certain.

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