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Inner English Teacher

A Community dedicated to writers who love to write...about writing.

12/27/09 02:32 pm - sailorvfan10 - On Depression, Mental Disorders, and Various Other Things People Should Research Before They Write

Due to the sheer amount of fic I've seen where depressed people suddenly dress all emo and slit their wrists and EXPRESS THEIR CREATIVE YET HURTING SOULS, I think I will write an essay on how what the fuck, you've never been depressed in your entire life.

Let's make a comparison, shall we? WARNING: CONTAINS TRIGGERS.Collapse )

Up next is mental disorders. There are so many I can't (and won't) attempt to list them all. Anything that alters your mind is a disorder of your mental faculties, because you're not supposed to think/act/whatever outside of set boundaries set by society.

I am a perfectionist. I have OCD. I have the tendency to be antisocial. This isn't even a third of all the disorders.

And yet I see the same five in every fic. OCD, eating disorders, depression, schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder).

And they're usually not handled correctly.

One at a time, shall we?

This got a little long. May contain triggers.Collapse )

In short:

Dear fanfiction writers (hell, writers period),
Please, for the love of all that is sacred, research before you write. If you know someone who has whatever you want to write about, ask them. Talk to them. Go on Google and look for reputable websites. Medical sites. Foundations. Organisations. Specialty sites. Go on Amazon and find books. Go to the library and check those books out. Don't just go by what you saw in the latest episode of The Young and the Restless or House or whatever show you watch.

Because really, you have no excuse. And if you don't do your research? Not only are you insulting the people you're writing about, but you look like an idiot. A big idiot.

1/10/09 08:22 pm - sailorvfan10 - Titles, Beginning Sentences & Summaries

I dunno about anyone else, but I absolutely hate coming up with titles for fics. Especially when you just finished typing up a one shot and you stare at it blankly, for you can't think up a good title - or even a crappy one, for that matter. It seems that, no matter what you put there, it doesn't do the fic much justice in the least.

Sometimes titles come like a snap of the fingers - quick and easy. Torn, for example, was so easy to title because the eventual title one shot is based off of "Torn" by Seabound. But other times, a title just seems to elude you and you end up going through several before something clicks. "I Don't Love You" was the epitome of this.

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1/10/09 08:20 pm - sailorvfan10 - In Opposition to Outlines - Why I Don't Need Them

Now I'm a little (okay, maybe not a little) weird when it comes to how I write. Most people say that if you don't have an outline, you have no sense of direction in your writing. While most people might find that's the case with their novels and term papers and what have you, I don't have that problem.

Usually, when I have an idea for a story (be it fanfiction or original), I write it down so I won't forget (more so when I'm in a situation where it would be unwise to write, like in the middle of Geometry class or when I'm with company). Whether it's on the back of a paper napkin or an envelope or your hand or a memo on your cell phone, just put it somewhere where you won't lose it. And don't say, "Oh, I won't forget it." I've said that millions of times, and then when I got home and sat down to write the idea, I would always go, "Now what was that idea again?" and sit there for hours, maybe have a staring contest with the blinking cursor on OpenOffice Writer, screaming in frustration because dammit it was such a good idea and if I had written the thing down I wouldn't be in this situation!

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1/10/09 06:33 pm - sailorvfan10 - On Creating Characters for Fanfiction & Originals - Redo

Most people think that slapping a name and a description on a cardboard cut-out creates a character. I say "No," because it's a lot more complicated than drawing a stick figure and naming him Bob or Simon or Abdulaomblagada Junior. What's Bob's history? What are his likes? Dislikes? What do you mean you haven't thought about that? If you don't have that, my friend, then you don't have a character - you just have a stick figure named Bob or a cardboard cut-out named Jim. Cardboard cut-outs are not good - they are flat, they are two dimensional, they give me little to no reason to care about their problems.

I have created original characters for both fanfiction and original stories, and the process isn't as hard as people would think, but it's definitely not as easy as say, tying your shoelaces. There's a lot of things you have to consider, not just a name and age, but personality, looks, and backgrounds.

In this essay, I'll discuss how to create a character for both fanfiction and for originals, and as examples, I'll use two of my own: Alexis and Jacen. Aleixis's from an RP that belongs in the Fire Emblem fandom, and Jacen's from my novel.

P.S. This is meant to give advice and tips. None of this is Gospel, and if you find other ways of going about the character creation process, by all means tell me about them and use them.

Onto the essay now.Collapse )

1/9/09 04:45 pm - sailorvfan10 - Is Fanfiction Harder than Original Fiction?

Someone once told me that fanfiction is easier to write than original works. While I won't disagree with that statement, I must state why fanfiction is easier to write.

Any writer who's heard "writing is so easy!" knows that anyone who says that is a liar or has never written a story in their life. Writing, whether it's a poem or a short story or a novel or even an essay, is not easy. Essays and poems are easier to write because they're short and based on different criteria. Essays are judged on whether the argument was presented in a well-documented manner, for example. And then you move onto short stories, which are the same as fanfiction one shots--short, sweet, and to the point. But novels and multi-chaptered works? They are the hardest to write. They require a plot, a setting, a list of characters, a main conflict, and then several little "mini" conflicts that are resolved along the way but relate to the "bigger picture".

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