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MaxRealflugel

MaxRealflugel

5/30/2012 2:30:05 PM
Things a Halo Fanfiction Writer Should Know: While the entire universe waits with bated breath for additional snippets of Halo 4 information, especially the campaign, I thought I would sit back, relax and then delve into the fan created culture that is Fanfiction. Anyone familiar with my own personal Halo exploits will know that I once participated in this shady aspect of fandom. And I say shady with good reason, because it limps behind other elements of fan worship, such as machinima, cosplay and fan-created artwork. Now this isn't because Fanfiction is particularly bad. In fact, some fan-made fiction is downright amazing and they garner a significant following of devout fans, all eager to read the next episodic instalment. But it's simply down to the initial, immediate visual appeal of other aspects of fan worship. Machinima allows budding directors, script writers and voice actors to hone their skills, whilst cosplay and artwork allows any fan to show off their more artistic side. They are all colourful, in one way or another. Fanfiction, however, is a single hairsbreadth slice of worship, presented as a two-dimensional aspect, commonly in the form of black words on white paper. To the naked eye it can sometimes seem bland and uninspiring. But more importantly, it's not canon. So why write it? After the conclusion of Halo 2 and the inevitable, agonising wait for Halo 3, someone on the bungie.net forums decided to take matters into their own hands and wrote a piece of fiction linking the second and third games. It focused primarily on the Master Chief's exploits on board the Forerunner Key ship and how he escapes. And I was immediately taken in. Unfortunately, I have no idea as to who wrote it or what the piece was called, but it was fantastic. The dialogue was natural, and the action seamlessly put together. In short, it was fluidic in nature and a joy to read. But it was also inspiring. Contrary to popular belief, people don't usually write Fanfiction as a means of getting a job as a novelist or as a screenwriter, they do it because they enjoy two things: the IP it's based upon and because they enjoy writing. And it's exactly because of that why I started writing Fanfiction, and then progressed to my own original fiction, with ambitions of being published. So without further ado, here's a few pointers: [b] 1. Don't Be A Nobber! [/b] This may seem pretty self explanatory, but pay attention to those words. Don't for one minute presume that you are the best thing since spray-on spandex. Treat your audience and the individual reader with respect. [b] 2. Keep It Grounded. [/b] While many of us do like to imagine last stand scenarios filled with countless Spartans, and even more Covenant dead, writing it, however is a big no-no. For one, it's unrealistic. And two, it makes for boring and typically one-dimensional narrative. Characters, even Spartans that never show their faces, have a personality. But if you're intent on only showing them fighting page after page, killing more Covenant soldiers than eighty-five Master Chief's put together, along with a plethora of explosions and gunfire and awful one-liners, then you may wish to consider shoving your head in a microwave oven for three hours, with the settings on mashed potato. [b] 3. Keep Your Characters in Character. [/b] It means exactly what it says. If your story centres on the Master Chief -- a typically stoic and silent character -- then don't have him jumping around shouting "-blam!- yeah!", whilst high-fiving Admiral Hood. It'll come across as cheap and shallow. John-117 is a forty one year-old Spartan-II soldier and a veteran of countless engagements. Treat him as such. But at the same time don't be too narrow-minded in your characterisation, copying him word for word, action for action as he is in the games. [b] 4. Show, Don't Tell [/b] The above title is an age old expression in the literary world. If you spend all of your time describing everything that goes on instead of simply moving things forward for the reader to interpret, then your writing will be about as colourful and exciting as watching a wall before the paint is applied. Allow the reader to come to their own conclusions. Show them narrative paths, but let them be the ones to explore and dissect them. [b] 5. Don't Overdo The Details [/b] Whilst it's always good to provide the reader with details, don't overdo it. Including a detailed description of Mjolnir armour is a great inclusion in any story, but don't go too far and include what Dulux rating the paint has, or the variety of pebbles on the surface of an alien planet, unless they are important to the story. [b] 6. Dialogue Matters [/b] Dialogue is one of the most important elements to fiction itself. If you avoid dialogue becuase you either don't like it or aren't very good at it then things might go pear shaped quite quickly. However, being crap at dialogue isn't all bad. The Gallery forum is a great place to practice it, along with every other element of writing. But when you do include dialogue, be careful. Use humour appropriately, shape dialogue to create tension, and don't be afraid to use a lot of it to move the narrative forward. But balance that with descriptive elements to keep the readers' mind from turning into a pile of melted crayons. [b] 7. Death & Loss [/b] One problem with a lot of fanfiction, and in some case with published fiction, is that any notable death or loss in a story is often forgotten about very quickly and the reader doesn't really care about them. Get the reader to like the character, so they feel a sense of loss. Not necessarily the 'cry your eyes out' type of loss but a definate sense of missing something. That way your character become valued and so do the one's surrounding them. Even fringe characters must die in way that impacts the reader. If you don't do this, your readers will miss your characters about as much as I miss using a hedgehog toothbrush. Ouch! MORE ADVICE TO COME

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