Character Sketches Part 1

There’s nothing I like more than finally getting to see a book character with my eyes and not just with my imagination. Whether it’s in movie form or fanart or official illustrations, I enjoy being able to fully picture a character. When I’m writing my own books, I like to picture my characters as well. Sometimes I find photographs of faces that are close to how I imagined theirs, but mostly I like to sketch them out. Today I’m sharing some of the drawings I’ve created of my characters. 🙂

Snow

Snow

This is Snow, my character from my novel of the same name. She started her life in a small town in the arctic. Her life completely changes when Finley (who is down below) kidnaps her. It turns out she is a very special girl because she’s a Katari, a rare member of a race that can control nature. Snow has the ability to create and control ice and snow. Physically Snow’s most outstanding feature is her eyes. All Kataris have unusual blue eyes. She’s rebellious, independent, and stubborn because she’s been different all of her life, but Snow also has a sweet, kind side to her. I’m planning on posting chapter one of Snow’s story shortly, so stay tuned for that!

Chibi Finley in his grey coat

Chibi Finley in his grey coat

Along with Snow, my other main character in the novel is Finley. He works for the government as a Katari trainer, and his mission is to bring Snow to Fall’s Hill so he can train her to discover her powers and to use them effectively. Finley starts out in the book as Snow’s arrogant and overbearing enemy, but, as the novel progresses, the relationship changes. I pictured Finley as tall with medium length brown hair. Like Snow, Finley’s eyes are his most striking feature, although his are bright green. He hates the cold which is why in my drawing he’s bundled up in a furry grey coat! He’s not actually this tiny in the book; this is his chibi counterpart. For those who don’t know, a chibi is a Japanese character drawn in an exaggerated, small, cute style. Shhh….don’t tell Finley I drew him so tiny and adorable. He’d be horrified! 😉

Myranda

Myranda

Myranda is my quirky Star Trek OC. She’s the niece of Major Kira on DS9, and after her parents are killed in the line of duty, Myranda comes to live with Kira. Myranda’s actually brilliant, being fluent in numerous languages and working at the station as a teenager. She hides her intelligence behind a mask of sarcasm, humor, and an outgoing and chaotic nature. The first thing you’d notice about Myranda is her flaming red curly hair. Her eyes are dark brown which she got from her Mom’s side. She’s a super fun character to write, and her voice is very unique. I also plan on posting my Star Trek fanfiction featuring Myranda soon.

Have you ever found or drawn pictures of your characters? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

 

 

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Another Award Post!

Last Monday, I posted my acceptance of two Liebster awards I had received. (You can find that post here.) Today I’m continuing last week’s theme by accepting another Liebster award, this time from Bessie Lark!

First off, I’d like to thank Bessie Lark for nominating me! I really appreciate it. 🙂 This Liebster has some different rules than the last ones. This time, I have to answer Bessie Lark’s eleven questions and list eleven random facts about myself. I have to display the Liebster award graphic on my site, and then nominate other bloggers with less than a thousand followers for this award.

liebster121

Bessie Lark’s eleven questions:

1. Do you prefer hot or cold weather, and why?

HOT! I really hate cold weather. I like wearing shorts and short sleeve shirts more than sweaters.

2. What type of writing do you enjoy the most?

I prefer to write fiction, especially sci-fi and fantasy. If we want to go even more specific, dystopian is my favorite sub-genre to write in.

3. What book did you most recently finish, and was it a good read? What’s next on your reading agenda?

I just finished The Copernicus Legacy: The Forbidden Stone by Tony Abbott. It was an amazing book! I plan to read either Taken by Edward Bloor or A Web of Air by Philip Reeve next.

4. Where would you most like to live (imaginary or realistic)?

I would most like to live in Middle-Earth, especially Erebor if everyone had lived. If I had to chose a real place, it would be England, Ireland, Scotland, Japan, or New Zealand.

5. Are you excited for college? Why or why not?

I’m not really excited for college. I’m a few years away from graduating high school, so college hasn’t really entered my mind.

6. Han Solo or Luke Skywalker?

How is this even a choice? Han Solo, of course! 🙂

7. What is your least favorite color?

Yellow. I don’t know why, but I just really dislike yellow.

8. How do you fold your hands (i.e. which thumb is on top)? Can you roll your tongue?

My left thumb is on top. And no, I can’t roll my tongue.

9. Who is your favorite villain in literature (or a movie) and why?

I often love the villains more than the actual heroes, as the villains tend to be more interesting and complex. While I’m sure I’m missing some, here the ones that come to mind as my favorites: Loki from the Marvel Movies, Khan from Star Trek, Darth Vader from Star Wars, Smaug from The Hobbit, Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes books, Cluny the Scourge from Redwall, and just because she was so much fun, Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove.

10. Who is your least favorite main character in literature (or a movie) and why?

*hides from all the Star Wars fans* Annakin Skywalker. I hated him. How can this whiny, obnoxious kid turn into Darth Vader? Ugh. For a runner up: Luke Skywalker.

11. Would you rather be Nancy Drew or the original Elsie Dinsmore and why?

Nancy Drew. I’ve read both series (well, part of them anyway), and I definitely choose Nancy Drew. I think it would be pretty awesome to be able to solve mysteries like that.

Now eleven random facts about me:

1. Once my nail polish has completely chipped off of one finger, ALL my nail polish must come off. I don’t why that is.

2. I enjoy archery and own two bows, one of which is a compound and the other is a recurve.

3.  My favorite foreign language is Japanese. I love listening to songs in Japanese, even though I can’t understand what they are saying.

4.  I love getting marshmallows, sticking them on a plate and heating them up in the microwave so that they puff up. Then I dip my finger in the gooey, hot marshmallow and eat it that way.

5.  I currently have 21 books, 7 CDs, and 1 audio book out from the library.

6. My favorite color is purple, and it is also the color of my headphones.

7. I have only been to a movie theater twice in my life. Once, when I was younger to see an American Girl movie and then last December to see The Desolation of Smaug.

8. The only accent I can do consistently is an English accent.

9. My favorite musical is My Fair Lady.

10. The latest I’ve ever stayed up was 6am in the morning. (from around 8am the previous morning).

11. While this is not about me, so to speak, I stuck it in here because it’s cute. My cat likes to sit on my shoulder and put her paws around me, essentially hugging my neck.

I am nominating the following bloggers for this award:

Jennifer K. Marsh

Ramblings of a Wayward Author

Teenage Writer

Now, my eleven questions for my nominees!

1. What was the last movie you watched?

2. What was the strangest thing you ever found left in a library book?

3. What is your favorite fiction genre to write in?

4. Do you prefer reading books or listening to them?

5. What is your least favorite food?

6. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

7. What prompted you to start your blog?

8. Are you a night person or a morning person?

9. What toppings do you like on your pizza?

10. If you could rewrite any book, which book would it be and why?

11. What color are your bedroom walls? What color would you like them to be?

Thanks for reading, and thanks again to Bessie Lark for the nomination!

~ Kayla

 

Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: March 7 – 13

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week!

Total Word Count for the Week: 5221

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Friday with 1098.

What I Worked On: I worked on editing Homeland and writing Hobbit and Star Trek fanfiction.

The Good News: I found an editing method that is going pretty well. The first chapter is almost edited!

The Bad News: I didn’t make my goal everyday. (I missed it by a couple words two days!)

Lesson Learned: I’ve been working on editing a chapter at a time. At first, I was reading through the whole novel, trying to find all the plot holes. That left me feeling really overwhelmed and stressed, so I copied chapter one into a new Word document and started editing that. I’ve really liked the way that’s working, and I haven’t been as stressed about editing just one chapter. My lesson learned is that I work better with a smaller edit goal in front of me. 🙂

Goal for Next Week: My goal for next week is 600 words again.

If you’d like to share your weekly wrap-up, go ahead and post it in the comments below!

~ Kayla

Character Names – Chakotay and Kes

Star Trek characters have some great names. From Jean-Luc to Jadzia, the names in the series are original and unique. In fact, they are so cool, I decided to feature two of them in this blog post! This set of Trekkie names comes from Voyager. I went with Voyager this time around since it’s the Star Trek series I’m currently watching. Feel free to use these names, but with fair warning: Star Trek had them first! 😉

Chakotay is a boy’s name created for Voyager‘s first officer who is of Native American descent and a former Maquis. The funny thing about this Star Trek name is that it’s not actually Native American. It’s just a name created by the writers of the show for the character. The name is supposed to mean “Man Who Walks the Earth But Who Only Sees the Sky,” but the meaning is made up as well. Still, Chakotay is a pretty cool name, made up or not. However, this name might be a little hard to use on a character since the name was created specifically for the Star Trek character. Of course, if you’re looking for a name with Star Trek connections, then Chakotay might be the one!

Kes is a character from the first three seasons of Voyager. She is an Ocampa and is telepathic. Also, in my opinion, she has the cutest outfits in the entire series, hands down. 😉 The name Kes is actually a very rare English boy’s name meaning “falcon,” although I think it still works fine for Star Trek‘s Kes. However, if you’re looking to minimize the Trek connection, I think it would be better to use it as a boy’s name.

What do you think of these Trekkie names? Would you use them for your characters or does the connection to Star Trek rule them out?

Live long and prosper!

~ Kayla

Quote of the Week

Today’s quote of the week is a little different. This week, I’m not quoting a famous author. I’m quoting a Star Trek character! This quote comes from Tuvok, a Lieutenant Commander on Star Trek: Voyager. The quote is from the episode “Worse Case Scenario.” In this episode, one of the characters, B’Elanna Torres, finds an anonymous holonovel, and it quickly becomes the most popular entertainment on the starship. Disappointingly, it doesn’t have an ending. Tom Paris volunteers to finish it with the original author who is revealed to be Tuvok. Things get a bit more complicated than that, but my favorite part of the episode is when Tom Paris and Tuvok discuss writing and the creative process. When advising Mr. Paris how to write the Janeway character, Tuvok quotes a Vulcan writer. When I heard the quote, I knew I would have to use it as the quote of the week since, even though from a fictional source, it is so true!

“A character’s actions must flow inexorably from his or her established traits.” – Lieutenant Commander Tuvok quoting T’Hain, Vulcan author of The Dictates of Poetics

Live long and prosper!

~ Kayla

5 Character Creation Tips to Learn From Star Trek

“To boldly go where no one has gone before.” This iconic phrase instantly brings to mind the Star Trek series. Phaser fights, new life, and new civilizations are also defining elements of this tv show. Perhaps just as defining are its characters. The writers of Star Trek were able to craft some amazing and memorable characters that feel truly real. Round, realistic, and relatable characters are a goal of every author, so I thought I’d share five things I’ve learned from Star Trek about creating great characters.

1. They have a backstory.

On The Next Generation Commander Riker is a good cook. Why? Well, we learn his mother died when he was young, and his father hated to cook, leaving young Riker to fix all the food. We learn that he lived in Alaska, and he had a troubled relationship with his father. The things that a person experiences makes them who they are, and the writers on Star Trek use their characters’ background stories to shape them and make them more relatable. Each character has experiences unique to them making them all the more real.

2. They have interests.

On Deep Space Nine, Sisko loves baseball, and has a baseball sitting on his desk. His love of baseball is referenced many times throughout the series, and there’s even a whole episode about it (Take Me Out to the Holosuite, one of my favorite episodes!). Riker plays the trombone and, as I stated before, loves to cook. Data has a cat, writes poetry, paints, and plays the violin. The fact that the characters have interests makes them more realistic, more like living, breathing people.

3. They grow.

Hoshi Sato, in Enterprise, starts off in the series as being frightened and unsure of herself. She’s scared about space travel, and doesn’t believe that she can translate or learn languages well enough in order to help the crew. By the end of the series, however, Hoshi is confident and brave, even taking command of the bridge, something she would have never done before. Data, too, grows and changes. In the beginning, Data’s much more like a robot than a person. By the end of the series, Data uses human phrases, writes poetry, and even sleeps. Just like real people, Star Trek characters grow and change, and through that, become much more real.

4. They have habits, sayings, and quirks that just make them, them.

Captain Picard’s “Tea, Earl Gray, hot,” and the way he tugs at his jacket are immediately recognized as something only Picard would say or do. Giving Picard a certain phrase allows him to have his own identity and personality, helping to create a realistic and round character. Giving characters a recognizable habit makes them more original and unique.

5. They have faults, and they fail.

At the beginning of Voyager, B’Elanna Torres has a temper and is full of anger. By the second season (I’m still watching this series!), B’Elanna has learned to control her temper, becoming a qualified chief engineer. When Wesley Crusher goes to Starfleet Academy, he makes a disastrous decision that ends up killing one of his fellow cadets, and then lies about it to cover up what he did. No one is perfect, not even the characters on Star Trek. Much like we 21st century earthlings, 24th century Star Trek characters fail and have faults which allows us to connect and sympathize with them.

From “These are the voyages …” to “to boldly go where no one has gone before” Star Trek is full of round, interesting characters with habits, faults, and interests. Now I have an excuse to re-watch some of my favorite episodes again! All in the name of creating better characters, of course. 😉

Live long and prosper!

~ Kayla

Peppermint Winter – Part 5

Even though Christmas is over, there’s still one more part in my Owl City fanfiction, Peppermint Winter, to enjoy. Last week, Arden gave Ben his present, and now it’s time to see what Ben received from his family!

I started my walk home, the scarf Arden had made me keeping my neck toasty warm. What a shame it was so strange looking. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. I certainly couldn’t wear it in public. I stamped the snow off my boots and opened the door. “Hey.”

“Nice scarf,” my brother snickered sarcastically. Trevor couldn’t even be pleasant on Christmas.

My grandmother greeted me with a hug. “Benjamin! Where were you? You weren’t here to say hi to me. I was so disappointed. And where’s your coat, young man? It’s cold out there!”

“My coat!” I snapped my fingers and dug out my phone. I hit Arden’s name.

Hey, Arden?

My grandmother watched me. “Kids and their cell phones these days,” she sighed and sat back down next to a texting Trevor.

Hiya! When I said I wanted to talk later, I didn’t mean this soon! Lololololololololol

Arden tended to overuse the “LOLs.”

I left my coat.

Oh, yeah you did! That’s right, I took it. Lololol Do you want me to walk it over?

Could you?

No problem! See ya in a few lolololol

I locked my phone again and sat down on the floor, since my grandmother and brother were on the couch. I heard the doorbell ring, and I jumped back up.

“Here’s your coat, Ben!” Arden handed it to me.

“Thank you,” I said, relieved to have it back.

“Who’s at the door, Benjamin?” asked my grandmother.

“It’s just his little friend,” muttered Trevor. “She’s as cool as  -45, uhhh, whatever.”

“-459.67, actually,” Arden piped up. She walked through the door, saw my grandmother, and waved. “Hi! I’m Arden Hart!”

“Hello, young lady,” my grandmother greeted her. “Why don’t you come in and get warmed up?”

“Thanks!” grinned Arden as she walked into the living room. “I’m not cold though. All the joy in my heart is ablaze, and it’s keeping me warm.”

My grandmother looked at her suspiciously, wondering if Arden was being smart with her. “Well, that’s a nice thought.”

“Yes, I love all this holiday cheer!” affirmed Arden in her usual enthusiastic way. “Heaven knows where it goes but it returns every year, and I am so happy it does!” she declared.

“Want me to take your coat?” I broke into their conversation. I was feeling uneasy with Arden there, not knowing what she might say next.

Arden unzipped it and handed it to me. “There you go!”

“Thanks,” I said.

“You must be Ben’s grandmother,” she turned back to my grandmother with a smile.

“Yes, I am,” my grandmother said, still looking at her with suspicion.

“My grandmother is in Iceland, since that’s where my mom’s from.” Arden started to launch into a story.

Just then, my mom and dad walked in. “Hello. You’re Arden, right?” asked my mom.

“Yep, that’s me!” she said, twisting around to see them. “I was dropping off Ben’s coat. He left it at my house this morning. It’s nice to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Sweet.”

“Nice to meet you, too, Arden,” my mom said pleasantly. “You can stay here while we open presents, if you’d like.”

“Sure!” said Arden sitting down on the arm of the sofa.

“Benjamin, start with this one.” My mother handed me an unwrapped brown box. “This is from your Aunt Kate.”

Opening the box, I found another wrapped package inside. I very carefully and gently ran my finger along the bottom of the package until I popped the tape loose. I slowly folded back the paper to reveal ten pairs of socks.

“Wasn’t that nice of Aunt Kate to get you socks. You know, Ben, you do need some new socks. Make sure you send her a thank you note.”

“Yes, Mom,” I replied, not as excited about the socks as she was.

“All right, then, here’s our gift.” My mom handed me a square-shaped package. Once again, I carefully tucked my fingers under the wrapping, popped the tape free, and started to slowly fold the wrapping paper back.

“You’re doing it all wrong, Ben!” Arden cried from her perch above me. “How can you stand to go so slow?” She slid down to the floor, leaned over, and ripped a section of paper free from the box. “You just have to rip it!”

At once I saw part of the word “Trek” on the box. I’d started collecting the DVDs of all the Star Trek series since I received my first set last year for Christmas. Usually I liked to carefully unwrap my gifts, but between seeing what it was and Arden’ urging me to rip it open, I quickly finished tearing off the wrapping. It was the entire series of Enterprise in a beautiful boxed set .“Thank you,” I told my parents gratefully.

“Here’s another one for you, Benjamin,” said my mom, handing me a soft-feeling present. I tore it open, now excited over what might be inside. “Socks?” I asked blankly, looking up at my mom as I held five pairs up.

“I saw you needed some more, Ben,” she explained. “so I thought I would wrap them up.”

“Thanks,” I said, sitting the socks to the side. I tried to feel grateful for the socks.

“Now you have to open my present, Benjamin,” my grandmother insisted from the couch. She handed me a box, one that could hold the complete set of Deep Space Nine. That would be a great gift. With that possibility in mind, I ripped off the wrapping and tore through the box. Inside were ten pairs of brand new socks. I just stared at them, trying to recover. Socks certainly weren’t as awesome as Deep Space Nine especially considering I had already gotten fifteen pairs of them. “Well, thank you,” I said to my grandmother, trying to be polite.

Arden startled everyone with an outburst. “Socks? I love socks! You can do so many things with socks. You are so lucky! You can wear them, of course, make sock puppets, use them as Christmas stockings, make a sock garden – which I did once, and it was really cool …” Arden chattered on about the usefulness of socks and the fate of her sock garden which she forgot to water.

“Here are some more socks for you, bro.” Trevor tossed his gift to me. “Mom told everyone you needed them. Guess you won’t anymore,” Trevor snorted with laughter. I unwrapped his gift and added five more pairs of socks to the pile.

“There’s another present for you, Benjamin! It’s from Grandma in Arizona.” Much like the package I opened before, it was a long box almost the exact same size as the previous one. Both grandmothers couldn’t have given me socks, could they? I couldn’t go slowly. I had to see if it was something different. I ripped off the wrapping and tore through the box to find ten more pairs of socks. Maybe I was still sleeping, and I was in some horrible nightmare. I pinched my arm hard to see if I was truly awake. Yes, it hurt and yes, I was awake.

“More socks!” cried Arden. “Can you imagine what we could make with all those socks? We could make a stuffed snowman, and I’ve always wanted to make those rice packs you heat up, ” continued an excited Arden. “You are so lucky!”

Forty pairs of socks. What in the world was I going to do with forty new pairs of socks? I was momentarily distracted as Arden’s phone dinged and vibrated.

She checked it and said, “Oops! I have to be getting home. My cousins are coming over. Thank you for letting me stay, Mrs. Sweet.”

I stood up, shaking off the bits of wrapping clinging to me and offered Arden her coat.

She yanked it on, and I walked her to the door. “Oh, Ben, I almost forgot.” She handed me something. “I told my grandmother in Iceland all about you, and she wanted to get you something for Christmas, too. Merry Christmas!” She skipped down the stairs and turned back towards me for a second, “Oh, and Ben?”

I nodded, “Yeah?”

“You should come over tomorrow. We can do something with all those socks!” She called as she ran across the snow back to her house.

“Sure,” I agreed with a sigh. At least I could get rid of some of those socks if I gave some to Arden to do whatever she wanted with them.

“Bye!” she called one last time before I heard the door to her house shut.

I looked down at the present in my hand. It was covered with red and white sparkly paper that looked like peppermint. I tore the paper, and crumbled it up and stuck it in my pocket. There, in my hand, lay five more pairs of socks, beautifully knitted by hand, I guessed. “Forty-five new pairs of socks. I ended up with forty-five new pairs of socks.” I muttered. I shook my head and sighed and walked back into my house.

Thanks for reading Peppermint Winter! Next week we’ll be taking a trip back in time to Victorian-era England so stick around! 🙂

~Kayla

Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: December 20 – 26

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week!

Total Word Count for the Week: 4256

Top Writing Day: Saturday was my top writing day with 1487 words.

What I Worked On: I worked on a new novel idea, a rough draft for another novel, and Hobbit and Star Trek fanfiction.

The Good News: I wrote every day this week, and I came up with that new novel idea!

The Bad News: I didn’t make my goal every day.

Lesson Learned: After not having a word count goal due to all the chaos these past few weeks, it’s been hard getting back into the word count “groove.” My “lesson learned” is that once you take a break from writing every day, it’s hard to get back into the habit!

Goal for Next Week: My goal for this week is 600 words a day, like last week’s.

If you’d like to share your weekly wrap-up, go ahead and post it in the comments below!

~ Kayla

Character Interview – Ben

Last Monday, I posted an interview with my Owl City fanfiction character, Arden. Well, I couldn’t interview Arden without talking to Ben! So, here is Ben’s interview.

What is your name? Any nicknames?

My name is Benjamin Thomas Sweet. Most people call me Ben, though.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

One day, my brother and I will take over our parents’ candy store, Sweet Stuff. If that doesn’t work out for some reason, I’d consider being a computer programmer, or if I ever get good enough, a professional hockey player.

Where are you from?

My family is originally from Arizona. We moved to a small town in Minnesota when I was a baby so I don’t really remember living there.

How old are you?

I turned 14 in September.

Do you have any siblings?

Yes, I do. I have an older brother, named Trevor. He’s not the nicest brother. He’s 3 years older than me and loves to play practical jokes. We’ve had a long standing war going on; however, lately we’ve come to a shaky truce.

Who are your parents?

Lori and Thomas Sweet. My middle name is from my father. My family owns a candy store called Sweet Stuff. We sell all kinds of candy and also make some of our own right in the store. My family has always been in the candy business. Actually, that might be where our family got our last name of Sweet, but no one’s certain.

So, if I came to your shop, what candy would you recommend?

I love our Wonderfills. They are delicious! They’re chocolate covered Oreos.

They do sound good! Do you go to school?

Yes, I do. I attend the same high school as Arden. We’re actually in English and Biology together.

What is your favorite subject in school?

History and math. I do pretty well in history since I’ve done a lot of reading on my own, and I’ve always been good at math.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I help out at Sweet Stuff after school a lot of times. I really like history, partially because my great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather fought for George Washington in the Revolutionary War. I can spend hours reading about the battles and learning about my family history. When I was younger, I watched Liberty’s Kids over and over until I had it memorized. I practice ice hockey a lot (I play for my school), and I like to watch Star Trek.

Do you have a best friend?

My best friend is a guy from my hockey team, Hunter. Oh, and Arden’s a good friend, too. I don’t know if I consider her my best friend, but she’s pretty cool. We do lots of stuff together.

Do you have any pets?

My family has a collie named Roxy. She’s 2 years old.  I also own a pair of angelfish. When Arden came over to see them, she said they had to have names, so I named the one Spock. Arden named the other Sophronia. Yeah, I know, strange name, but I told her she could name it.

What is your favorite book?

The Robot Wars by Sigmund Brouwer. I enjoy Sci-fi, so I really liked them.

What is your favorite food?

My favorite food is pizza. With pepperoni, of course.

Do you like to listen to music?

Yeah. Arden got me into listening to Owl City. I can see why she likes him. It’s like the songs are written about some of the stuff we’ve done together.

~ Kayla

Writing Fanfiction – 4 Things I’ve Learned

From Star Trek to The Hobbit to Sherlock Holmes, I have written a lot of fanfiction. I could create millions of fanfics and still not be tired of writing them. There’s something about getting to see how your favorite characters react to a situation or character that you’ve designed that is quite addicting! Since beginning to write fanfiction, I have definitely learned a few things. Here is my list of 4 tips that I’ve learned about writing fanfiction:

1. Study up on your fandom
It’s not easy to write a story about a world and characters you don’t know a lot about. It’s very important that you know what you’re talking about before you go and write it. For example, my OC (Other Character, which is a fan created, added-in character for those of you who aren’t fanfiction writers)for The Hobbit, is half-Elven. I created her before I read the books, so when I finally read the end of Return of the King, I found a list of Elf/human marriages. Of course, her parents weren’t on there. My story didn’t match the Middle-Earth lore. Oops. Of course, her status as being half-Elven was so ingrained in my writing at that point, I didn’t want to change it. If I checked before hand, I could have fixed it early on. So, in summary, do your research!

2. Use the source
If you’re adding in an OC to a scene, or simply writing the scene from another’s point of view, make sure your writing matches the canon scene. So, if you’re creating a scene from say, Sherlock Holmes, have the case you’re working from open and right at the part you’re currently writing to make sure the details match. When I write for The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, I always have the movie transcripts or the books open. This adds authenticity to your fanfiction and makes you sound like you know your fandom that much more.

3. Character Dialogue from the movie/book
This fits right in with the last point. Using character lines from the source material makes your fanfiction seem more like a real scene in the book/movie rather than fan concocted fiction. When I wrote my The Hobbit fanfiction scene, called “Of Ponies and Trolls,” I made sure that Kili and Fili’s dialogue matched the movie. For example, when Bilbo and Nerissa (my OC) walked up with dinner, Nerissa asked, “What’s wrong?” Kili answered with the dialogue from the movie, “We’re supposed to be looking out for the ponies.” When you add dialogue from the movie/book, make sure it’s in the right place. If he had said that line in camp when they weren’t “looking out for the ponies,” it wouldn’t have matched the movie and seemed as authentic.

4. OC characters
Some love them, some hate them. I personally like creating my own character and being able to feel like I have a part in the whole story. Besides, I really enjoy writing them in. Something I’ve learned about OC characters is to make sure they fit into the world they’re supposed to be living in and give them a believable backstory. When I wrote my Star Trek fanfictions, adding in my OC, Myranda, I gave her a backstory that fit into Deep Space Nine. Of course, the backstory was overly complicated and took years to explain, but it did fit. It made her seem like part of the Star Trek world, as if she belonged and was truly part of the crew.

There is my list of 4 things that I’ve learned about writing fanfiction. This is just a beginning, as I’m sure I have a ton more to learn.

~ Kayla