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Gungan to the left

From Bunny to Rabbit...
Or How to Get From Idea to Story

By : Anakin's Angel

Getting from your initial inspiration to a finished story.

"That would make a great fanfic!"

How many times have you uttered the above words? If you're anything like me, it's close to one hundred. It's what happens after the first inspiration/plot bunny bites you on the hide that counts. It may be your greatest story ever, or it may be filed away and forgotten.

I suggest keeping a notebook handy to write down these ideas when they hit, because no matter how many times you tell yourself that you'll won't. Scribble down anything, whether you end up using it or not, because you'd be surprised how far you can get with two lines of dialogue. Below you will find 5 helpful tips on how to get from idea to story.

1. Develop a very basic outline.
Who is in the story? Where is the story taking place? When is the story taking place? What will happen to them? These are all things you should think about before you even start writing.

2. Start Writing.
You don't necessarily have to start at the beginning, either. If a certain scene is screaming to be written, write it out! You can build around it from there. How do your characters get to the scene in your mind? What happens after that? Write even when you don't feel like writing.

3. Tear down, rebuild and rewrite.
Create a more detailed outline and find the plotholes that need to be filled. One of the many talented writers here at the Archive, Julie, coined a term for characters that don't really do anything. She calls them "Wallpaper Characters". They do nothing to further the plot, and can usually be written out of the story with little impact on any other character.

Also, don't be afraid to get rid of the scenes that just aren't working. Think of it as a director making their final edit. This was a tip suggested by Liz Skywalker, and something you will find to be very helpful.

4. Find a good, dependable beta reader...or two.
Someone who can objectively tell you what needs improvement. Listen to them, don't take offense at their suggestions; remember, you asked for the help. There is a wonderful list of beta readers here at the Archive, or you can find one on your own.

5. Find readers.
Send it to a friend, post it up at The Force.Net's Fanfic Forum, send it on to a mailing list. It doesn't matter how you do it, really. Readers are out there waiting to read your pride and joy! Also, being nice to your readers is a must. Respond to feedback, emails, and the like.

5.5. Repeat.
Keep writing! With each story, your writing will change and improve.

There are also some helpful writing tips posted here in the Archive, definitely worth a look. Above all, have fun with your writing!

Article Rating

Current Rating is 8.15 in 26 total ratings.

Reader Comments

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Author: Jane Jinn
Date posted: 7/6/2001 9:45:48 AM
Jane Jinn's Comments:

Very true. I particularly liked Step 2: Start writing. Even if you don't start at the beginning, at least you have something to look at and to build on. I can also attest that it's useful advice to write even when you don't feel like writing. You may start out slowly and have to force every word, but eventually, you do get so into it that it's hard to stop.

All in all, very good advice and a good article.

Author: Luke_and_Mara_4ever  (signed)
Date posted: 7/9/2001 9:32:09 AM
Luke_and_Mara_4ever's Comments:

All good ideas. Another thing to keep in mind is if you get ideas on the spur of the moment, it might be good to buy a mini tape recorder, so if you're somewhere where you can't write stuff down (the car, taking a walk, the mall, etc) you can get the idea down in some form.

Author: The Great Yoda  (signed)
Date posted: 7/12/2001 9:36:11 PM
The Great Yoda's Comments:

Kudos on step 2! I often come up with an ending for a story first an build a fanfic around it.

Author: Chocos_Ramabotti
Date posted: 7/22/2001 10:34:23 AM
Chocos_Ramabotti's Comments:

Excellent idea AA !! It's a great help !

Author: Mcily Nochi  (signed)
Date posted: 7/25/2002 4:50:06 PM
Mcily Nochi's Comments:

Very good article! I should have read this a long time ago!

I find that starting with a scene is very valuable. If I have a scene, even one late in the story, it gives me motivation to write and a standard to set my other scenes against.

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Comments to Anakin's Angel or post it in the Jedi Council Fanfic Forum.
Uploaded: Sunday, June 17, 2001

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