How to Write: Fan Fiction
Are there characters from a book series that you can't wait to read more about? Do you love the characters from your favourite TV show so much that you wish you could join them on their adventures? Well, stop waiting for the next sequel or the next episode, and write your own! All around you, in books and TV shows, on billboards and the internet, story inspiration is up for grabs.
1) The Character Hunt
The first step when writing your fan fiction may be very simple or extremely difficult, depending on the range of your interests. If you have an absolute favourite character that you adore and love, then choose this as your main character. If you’re having a difficult time deciding between, say, the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson casts, then you can consider writing a ‘crossover’ which is a fan fiction story that merges the worlds of two or more different sets of characters.
This next stage will be relatively easy, hopefully, provided you’ve chosen a person/people that you are quite familiar with. If not, then now is the time for research. If you’ve chosen pre-existing fictional characters, then perhaps re-read the books or re-watch the shows or movies that they star in. If you’re short for time though, Wikipedia and fan sites are good sources for the most important details. In addition, if you have any friends or siblings that are hard-core fans, then they can most definitely help you discover all you need to know.
2) Building the Storyline
Now that you have decided on your main character(s) and know enough about them, it’s time to build your storyline. In the world of fan fiction, there are generally two main categories that stories fall into: those that follow the general storyline of the show or book, and those that transplant their characters into other worlds and lives, also known as an alternate universe.
If you decide to go with the general thread of the character’s life, then do your best to keep them in character. From there, consider which part of their lives you want to reconstruct. You can rewrite their backstory, or alter the events that have happened in their lives. One other alternative is to predict their future. Additionally, think about what you want your character(s) to do or who you want them to meet. Will they make a new friend or fight a mysterious nemesis? Or will they save a child from a burning building or throw a surprise party for an ill fan? On the other hand, if you decide on placing them in an alternate universe, consider the setting in terms of place, time period and the general environment. Are they students in a school or friends at camp? Also think about the personality of your characters. What kind of people will your new characters be? How will they develop throughout your story? Most importantly, what situation or dilemma will they come across?
As a final note, don’t be afraid to stray from the norm. You can place your characters into fantasy worlds with vampires and werewolves and faeries galore, or you can write them into a historical period or event that you know lots about. Although you are using pre-existing characters, feel free to explore and invent your own worlds for them to live in. Happy fangirling/fanboying!