By: Lei'Lani J. and Lime Green Giraffe Technical Lead, Alyssa N.

Have you ever read a good book or watched a good movie and it left you wanting more? Maybe you weren't ready to say goodbye to the characters? Have you ever thought about adding more to the story? That's where fanfiction comes in. Fanfiction is a prequel or continuation of a story line written by a fan.  

Ready to try one for yourself? If so let us help you by giving a few tips.  According to Wikipedia there are several steps to writing good fanfiction.  

The first step to writing fanfiction is to choose what topic you want to write about.  You also want to figure out which character’s perspective you want to write from. Once you select your topic and characters you should then plan out what you want to happen in the story.  You should also gather as much information as possible about the fictional universe you are choosing to write about. So let’s say that you are writing a fanfiction based off of Harry Potter, you would want to collect as much information as possible about the Wizarding World, and then organize it into a fanfiction. It is also helpful to read other fanfictions within the same fandom. If you are having trouble with figuring out what you want the topic of your fanfiction to be about, ask yourself some questions like “What would be like if the story was told from this character's point of view?” or “What would the story be like if this character never died?” After asking yourself these “What If” questions you will find that you have a good topic to write about. You should also decide how accurate you want to be to the original storyline. After you finish planning your writing you are ready to begin your fanfiction. 

Once you begin writing you don't want to add to many details about the character or setting. You should just get to the point right at the beginning. Some descriptions are helpful, but too much is not likely to get many readers. You should also refer to some details that the original author talks about. You also need to stick with the main traits of your character. When writing you can't just suddenly change everything about the character you chose to write about. You want to make sure that your story is well-organized and includes plenty of dialogue and action. Your fanfiction can be anywhere from hundreds to thousands of words long. The choice is up to you.

Once your story is complete you can go back and edit your story. Make sure your spelling and punctuation are correct. Sometimes, it can be helpful to include others in editing your story - these people are known as Betas. Once these two final steps are complete you have a complete fanfiction. So go ahead and start writing the perfect fanfiction! 

(Note: there are several places that you can “publish” your completed fanfiction, but make sure that you include a disclaimer statement that your work is influenced by the original author, and that you’re not profiting off its creation before you do.)

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