How to Write Fan Fiction

Like most twenty-something geeks of the early-onset variety, I didn’t initially understand the true purpose of The Internet Machine when it came along (aka limitless perusal of porn). Instead, for many sexually repressed years, I was all about the alternative universes, the collective, anonymous nerdgasming, and the ‘shipping of OTPs [Relationshipping of One True Pairs].

So invested was I in the sometimes weird, always entertaining dream-plots of fan-fic writers that I even took it upon myself to contribute a piece. Or two. Or lots.

And being that fan-fiction is still very much alive and well (if you doubt me, just check out 50 Shades of Grey‘s latest standing in the NYT Bestseller List *shudder*), I thought I’d take this opportunity to not only introduce those of you who still haven’t gotten your epic nerd tickets to Nerdville punched, but to also give you tips on what to do when you get there:

1. Choose a Fantasy / Sci-Fi Universe to Pursue

This is tough for some of us. Sherlock or Harry Potter? Dr. Who or BSG? Twilight or *punch!* My advice to you is to pick the one that gives you the most wet dreams, nerdgasm-wise or, you know, IRL-wise. I mean. The whole point of fan fiction is to finally write out that hot and steamy scene missing from the original work, no?

2. Choose an Epic Username

Epic. Not generic, like your last name + plus first initial + age you were when you said a bad word for the first time. You’re a nerd. Everyone knows the #1 trait of a true nerd is their willingness to freak the eff out and go balls to the wall over something they love. So take note of the original work you’re writing about, as well as the central OTP, your favorite spell, etc. etc. Just because a username has “penis” in it doesn’t mean it’s hardcore.

For example: say I’m writing about Dumbledore and Grindelwald (sidenote: gay fan-fiction is HUGE). I want the site’s perusers to know this is a romantic (re: erotic) story, as well as the fact that it’s going to focus on the couple’s pursuit of the Deathly Hallows. Therefore, my username should be DumbleWaldLoveQuest3. …Or…something along those lines.

3. Don’t Hold Back On the Sex

If you want Harry and Ron to have at it like animals in the dungeons, then, for the love of jeebus, let them have at it. The fun part of fan-fic-writing is getting to be as ridiculous as possible. To reiterate: the sole purpose of fan-fics is to finally fulfill those previously unsatisfied fantasies you have about certain characters. So. Have at it. And who knows? You might get published.

4. Quantity vs. Quality?

This is a murky area. Chances are, when you’re reading through various fan-fics, you’re not going to find Twain reincarnate. Mostly what you will find is wordvomit, ad nauseum, as fellow nerds use the medium’s anonymity and availability strictly for uninhibited stream of consciousness. What REALLY counts as a quality fic is the knowledge of the universe it’s written in (aka how detailed and loyal it is). So make sure you know your shit. Readers forgive typos, but they’ll never forgive you for mistaking Albus Percival Wulfric Bryan Dumbledore for Albus Wulfric Percival Bryan Dumbledore.

5. Put Together a Playlist (or Several) for Writing Particular Scenes

For example, the playlist I dub “Spoon Songs” (aka songs a big spoon might play for their little spoon) is a big inspiration when I’m tapping the Love Maple for all its sap.

6. Have a Strong Password

Again, for many of us whose fan-fiction is just another form of a porn, the last thing we want is for a parent or friend or enemy to find it on our computers, unprotected, so they can later use it as blackmail. I’d tell you how to come up with a strong password, but then chances are you’d figure mine out and then everyone’d know about my collection of Emma Stone gifs.


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About the author

Vickie Toro

Hi, friend! I'm Vickie Toro. I'm the lesbian in Lesbros, the creator and one of the writers of BAMF Girls Club, and the Frumpy Girl who commiserates with your Style Ineptness. I'm a Potterhead, water-dancer, and overall TV junky. Also sports movies make me cry.

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