Fanfic advice

Im trying my hand at fanfic writing. Anyone have any advice or examples to help me get started?

Ah, I’ll give you some advice.

  1. Make realistic characters. Give the characters personality, depth and make sure they aren’t this invincible characters who can do anything.

  2. Spelling and grammar are important.

  3. In terms of story, that’s up to you really. Sky’s the limit.

Do people write it in the forum, or somewhere else?
And I can make up like a new SPARTAN? Or planet?

> Im trying my hand at fanfic writing. Anyone have any advice or examples to help me get started?

You should check out the Community Writing Clinic thread I made. It was intended to be a forum for people to share advice, but it has turned into a bit of a monologue by yours truly. There are some tips there, so you never know… Maybe they’ll be useful to you. Oh, and good luck!

> Do people write it in the forum, or somewhere else?
> And I can make up like a new SPARTAN? Or planet?

You could write it here if this the forum where you are most active. Yes you can make up a new Spartan, just make them fit into canon (Spartan IV’s would be hard to explain). New planets…I guess, but you can’t really have characters like MC, Cortana, Grey Team, etc visit them since they never did in the canon.

> > Do people write it in the forum, or somewhere else?
> > And I can make up like a new SPARTAN? Or planet?
>
> You could write it here if this the forum where you are most active. Yes you can make up a new Spartan, just make them fit into canon (Spartan IV’s would be hard to explain). New planets…I guess, but you can’t really have characters like MC, Cortana, Grey Team, etc visit them since they never did in the canon.

Well, you could have them visit those planets… You would just have to be creative about how they got there… Or when.
As for where to write it, I find it easier to just write on my computer’s word processor, and then copy and paste to the forums. That way, you don’t have to worry about exceeding the forum’s word counts when you should be worrying about your story : ).
Funny thing with my word processor is that these forums are still a better writing program… Mine doesn’t even have a spell check!

Let’s see, a good writer usually has some kind of basic idea on what he or she wants to happen in their story. Now, you do not have to write out everything in an outline first, but it is generally a good idea to write out the plot in a simple one. Just keep in mind that things can change as you write, either due to characters going their own way (trust me, well made characters can and do get a life of their own in your head) or new plot ideas popping up midway through.

Another thing to consider is whether or not you want to stick as close to canon as possible. Fics that are written with little or no regard to canon are generally referred to as ‘AU’ or ‘Alternate Universe’ (my first two full-length fics, The Warrior’s Agena and Chains of the Past are AU, because I just had to have Johnson alive post-Halo 3. I also had MC and Cortana in TWA, but that was because I was ignorant to the fact that they were never found canonically at that time.) Though if you want to be technical, all fanfiction are really AU, as it really only takes one new canon source to make your story AU (for instance, I fully expect the upcoming Glasslands novel to completely AU my Zendou series and that one was written with the intent of being as close to canon as possible). That said, a good writer will expect and accept that his or her '‘close-to-canon’ work will likely be ‘invalidated’ by new canon material down the road.

If you want your story to be as close to canon as possible, do your research. Now, granted, what you are looking for may have limited info on (example: my stories are Sangheili-centric, and there’s little info on them in the areas I tend to focus on), so you’ll be forced to work with what you have. If you don’t care about following canon, the sky is the limit, so-to-speak.

As someone else has said, make your characters believable, but also relateable. Avoid the dreaded Mary-Sues (very basic description: Mary-Sues are author created characters that can do anything, has no faults, can win any guy/girl over. They are gods, basically.). Also, if you must have a canon character in the fic, do your best to keep them true to character, avoid making them OOC (out of character). On that note, and this is a personal petpeeve of mine, don’t write ‘unrealistic’ canon pairings (I’m talking about MC/Arbiter, Arbiter/Miranda, MC/Johnson, etc): it is a very rare author that can write such things well (and most authors tend to focus on the -Yoink!- rather than having a believable plot).

Lastly, to touch on something else other’s have said already, use proper grammar and spelling: readers won’t read it if they cannot understand what you are trying to say. Proof read, proof read, proof read and use a beta reader (or two). Beta-readers can help a lot in regards to finding errors in your work (both grammar/spelling and plot wise) and you may even learn a few things from them (I know I did from mine).

That’s all I have. Good luck!