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Old 01-28-2005, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Taking Your Writing to the Next Level

Taking Your Writing to the Next Level

A Warm Welcome to You

First off, I would like to welcome you to the Pokémon Elite 2000 Fan Fiction Guide, entitled Taking Your Writing to the Next Level, which has been planned, designed, and created by this forum’s greatest authors to help both new fan fiction authors as well as providing advice to both those of intermediate and advanced skills. No matter where you stand, this guide is meant to help you in the creation and beautification of your fan fiction and all your future writing.

As you probably already know, there is a reason why you write stories. You write because you want to, because you have an idea, thought, or experience that you want to share with the rest of the world. Or maybe it’s just with yourself, just so you can reflect on your own memories. However you want do it, constant practice can make you a master.

Every single person has the potential to become something great. And yes, every master starts off as a beginner. No one starts off knowing everything. You learn it through the actions and advice of others, as well as trying your absolute best and having that same drive to get up and keep going even when you’re knocked down. Becoming a great writer involves the same steps. The race is long, and in the end, you’ll find out it’s only with yourself. You race against no one, only your own will to constantly improve.

Writing takes time and skill to master, but anyone can do it with enough focus, determination, and the right attitude. Like in all things, no one was born with the skills to write. With the right dedication, you too can also join the many authors who have excelled to their highest performance. After that, it’s up to you to write down your dreams and ideas, and lay them out in just the right words so everyone can enjoy what your imagination has brought to life in its fullest potential. This guide can help you achieve that if read carefully and acted upon while you hone your writing skills.

Formatting Your Story

The first step toward understanding how to get your story on the forum for others to read and enjoy is to understand that the formatting of your story is essential to make your story look presentable for others to read. Having a well formatted story will look much more inviting for others to take a look at and will be easier on their eyes.

The best means to type a story out is to do it in Microsoft Word, which is vital, if not required, in order to write an outstanding story. Typing your work in MS Word gives you many advantages over typing it in the message box in the forum:
  • Allows you to view much more of your story as you type it out.
  • Catches spelling mistakes and many grammar errors, and allows you to correct them before anyone reads it.
  • Allows you to replace words with synonyms that will allow your story to sound much more powerful, vivid, and professional.
  • Allows you to save your work, and preserve it for later use.

Tabbing – Unfortunately, making indentations using the Tab key doesn’t work on a forum, so don’t bother using it to indent your paragraphs.

Paragraphing – To separate your paragraphs to make your story look presentable as much as possible, press the Enter key twice and the end of every paragraph, which will separate your paragraphs into blocks on both MS Word and on the forum.

Caps Lock – Only use this feature if someone in your story is shouting.

Forum Code – Though not required, I find it’s better to place forum code, such as that used for bold, italic, and underline, and many other formats while writing your story. This allows you to give certain words emphasis without having to backtrack after you’ve placed your written portion in the message box.

Character Limit – Note that the character limit per post for the Pokémon Elite 2000 forum is 10,000 characters. Write your stories with this in mind, and know that there will be points when you need to break your story into 10,000 character posts. I recommend writing with that limit in mind, and giving the end of every post a good and meaningful finish to keep the reader wanting more.

Copying and Pasting

In order to get your story from MS Word to the message box in the forum so you can post it, you need to copy (don’t cut) and paste it.

To do that, first, highlight the portion of your story that you would like to post using the mouse. Then, press and hold the Ctrl key and then press the C key. Doing this copies your selected portion. Now, return to the message box on the forum and make sure your cursor is flashing in the message box. Now press and hold the Ctrl key and then press the V key. Your story should appear in the message box and will be ready to post if this was done correctly.

The Preview Button

Always preview your story before actually posting it. This feature allows you to see how your story will appear once you post it. Once you press the Preview Button and you examine your story, ask yourself one question: “Is this really how I want my story to appear as everyone reads it?” If anything looks wrong, this feature allows you to go back to the message box to fix it before someone else actually reads it. Trust me, even master fan fiction authors make some mistakes from time to time that need to be corrected after proofreading their story.

The Preview Button also allows you to see bold and italic words as they should be. If any loose code fragments, such as a [/b] or [/center] appear, or if something looks bold and shouldn’t be, that means the other end wasn’t completed successfully or the code fragment was added on by accident. Definitely make sure none of these appear when you go to post your story, since they look pretty ugly and are often distracting to the reader.

The Birth of a New Legacy

”Inspiration is the seed of creativity, which then blooms into remarkable things.”

Where does inspiration come from? It comes from what we see, from what we hear and touch. Our surroundings give us the truth, but it is the “What if?” that comes to our mind that makes us want to think differently and begin to imagine what it would all be like if this “What if?” were to be “It is.” Because of this, we think in a new dimension, a realm where truly anything is possible. Writing a story is one of the means that allows us to tap into this precious resource called inspiration, and produce a legacy that inspiration gives birth to and imagination raises to maturity.

So, how does relate to Pokémon fan fiction? The most highly praised, the most outstanding and the most inspiring Pokémon fan fictions that have ever been produced all have one universal attribute. In all cases, the author of that fan fiction took a concept such as Pokémon, and pictured it in a completely new and original perspective. They took everything they knew about Pokémon, and thought of it in a way that breaks and shatters the boundaries of the ordinary, and then they dreamt a new realm where Pokémon is still thriving, but now they exist within the realm of the author’s imagination, a place where in fact anything is possible. What becomes of it after that is solely up to the author alone. Finally, in order to capture that realm so that it can be experienced by others, the author needs to become the translator from their own imagination to the words written on a page. I cannot stress enough how critically important it is to do this to the absolute best of your ability to retain as much of that imagination experience as possible when you write your story.

So where do most of these ideas come from? What inspires many of us to write a fan fiction about war, love, passion, determination and conquest? It comes from everything around us. We see movies, we hear songs, we play games, and we have memories of many experiences that we have dealt with ourselves that we look back upon. What would happen if we took bits and pieces of those past experiences and applied it in a whole new way to Pokémon? What would happen if we took a vision or experience from our dreams and made something new break the surface? We then begin to create, craft a new legacy by living a new conflict, taken by a drive and a desire. We create a new world, nothing like anyone has ever seen. Those who master this to the greatest of their extent and then translate it into carefully crafted and professional writing are the ones who will always write the greatest stories. There is nothing stopping you from doing just that.

The Planning of Your Story

The first step toward the creation of a quality Pokémon fan fiction is planning. With every fan fiction you write, time needs be taken out to think about how you want to approach and design your story, and by time I mean at least a week. The best novels and Pokémon fan fictions weren’t thought up at the very moment the author sat down to write it out. It’s often tempting to jump right into writing a story after an idea comes to mind, but it is essential to take the time to develop it further, and let it grow into something even more fantastic.

During the time you use to plan your story, there will be a few things that need to be considered, such as perspective and how your story is going to develop.

Perspective

The perspective of your story deals with the viewpoint that your story is going to use. You can only make this choice once, and it will affect how your story will develop. I highly recommend thinking hard about your choice unless you’re accustomed to a particular style already and you feel comfortable with it.

First Person

In this format, the story is told through the eyes of a particular character, the one who will have the most impact on the events that take place during the story’s duration. Making your story in first person also creates the illusion that you were the one who went on this adventure. If you decide to write a story in this format, you need to pretend that you are the main character going through the events in your story, such as their actions, their emotions, and their personal thoughts regarding what is happening around them. When writing in first person perspective, the main character is given more depth since now the reader knows exactly how they’re acting and what they’re thinking. However, the thoughts of other characters are left out since the main character cannot feel them, and the main character can not see anything outside their viewpoint.

When writing in first person, you should find yourself using sentences similar in style to this:

“I only wish there was something I could do about it.” I replied to Martin, who was looking downcast besides me.

We needed to get across the river, and I had no idea how to do it. I looked to see the river was constantly raging at a furious pace, and I just shook my head in frustration, trying to think of a way the three of us could get across.


In this instance, the author places themselves at the scene as the main character, and retells the story as if it really happened to them.

Third Person

Writing a story in third person gives the reader an objective view of the story, which means rather than looking through the eyes of a single character, they now look down upon all characters as a spectator. Rather than going deep into a single character’s emotions, a story in third person covers all characters at once, possibly both the protagonist and the antagonist. This approach can tend to do better if there are many characters, where as first person is meant for only a few.

When writing in third person, you should find yourself writing sentences similar in style to this:

”I only wished there was something I could do about it.” James replied to Martin, who was looking downcast besides him.

James knew he needed to get across the river, but he had no idea how to do it. He looked to see the river was constantly raging at a furious pace, and he shook his head in frustration, trying to think of a way the three of them could get across.


In this case, you can see how the first person example suddenly becomes an objective view of two characters, rather than viewing the situation from the eyes of one of the characters.

Last edited by Dog of Hellsing; 05-08-2010 at 06:27 PM.