PARENTS AND FANFICTION Different views on a rather complicated relationship.
Welcome to Daedalus Twenty-Three
So you might have noticed that there was no D23 October. This is for several reasons. A) School started. AP Euro kills. B) our team of writers also started school. There will likely not be a D23 November, due to NaNoWriMo. In December we’ll either get back to once a month, or we’ll just go every-other-month to give our poor writers some time to actually live their lives. Lives? Imagine. It’s a shock, really. But real life affects FFN life way more than it should. Which is the theme of this month’s issue. Parents. You may play scary music now. If you’re not too scared, then happy reading! **note: Please do not submit articles via form, since a certain Theia 47 doesn’t forward them to me. Please email them instead to stormbrainFF@yahoo.com**
Comments, questions? See the D23 page on fanmortals.tk, go to the D23 t hread of Veritaville, or leave a note on storm’s formspring. (formspring.me/stormbrain)
Please note that the opinions expressed in the articles are those of their authors and not of the Veritas/D23 team as a whole. Anyone shoving us all into one category will be laughed at and ignored. That being said, your opinions on the articles are welcome. Feel free to PM the author or send Storm a message.
IN THIS ISSUE The Parent Problem What the parents think of FFN
Tips on Secrecy 6
How to keep your parents from finding out about your FFN
Why You should take FF seriously pg. 8 And other important things I’ve learned in college.
Green-Giffy’s interview of Koiko
Tips on Secrecy By Fishpony Before I get into the nitty-gritty stuff I’d like to point out that this is not a guide on how to lie to your parents. I don’t support lying to your parents. In my personal opinion I think that if you’ve joined something on the internet such as fanfiction your parents should know for safety reasons. Not everyone on the web is as nice as me. However, I also believe that what you do once on fanfiction, or just browsing around for that matter, is your business and you have the right to keep it private as long as you’re not engaging in hazardous behavior. Let’s face it, parents like to pry and make sure their baby bears are safe, if they see you on a forum there’s going to be some questions asked. If they don’t see anything possibly incriminating that situation can be avoidable. This brings us to the first and most basic tip:
#2: With siblings, less is more
No way am I implying that your siblings, no matter how old or young, are untrustworthy. They can be your best friends or your worst enemies/evil little harpies and the rule still is the same. Anything you tell them is going to get passed on to someone else or used against you. Chances are, if you tell a younger sibling you’re on fanfiction they will tell your parents. They may not be ratting on you; little kids think that the internet is the most cooliosis thing since Velcro sneakers and what do people do when they hear a particularly juicy piece of gossip? They tell someone, namely your parents. Oops. If you have an older sibling it gets worse. Have you ever heard the term blackmail? I bet you have. As an older sibling I can honestly say #1: Keep an extra tab open that if my brother joined fanfiction without my This is very important if your parents mother’s permission I would totally use that think you should use the computer for Educa- information in a split second, not even. And tional Use Only (E.U.O for short, because acro- then once you do everything they wanted you nyms are cool). Your other tab should be some- to do they still might slip up. Mums the word. thing fairly harmless such as Wikipedia, Google, or even the Microsoft Word Doc #3: Be vague but truthful you’ve been working on. So now whenever you hear your parents It’s no secret that if you overuse the coming simply click on the other tab. This also computer parents are going to get suspicious. works on nosy siblings, very helpful if you plan Maybe you are writing for fanfiction. Or mayon following tip number two. be you’ve *gasp* joined a social networking 6
Drawing by Moonrise
site that is slowly corrupting you and you’ve posted photos on your profile that will prohibit you from going to college so you’ll have to work at McDonalds for the rest of your life. Which one do you think your parents will be more inclined to believe? Hint: If you’re a teenager (which you should be if you’re on fanfiction.net) than they don’t trust you! So if your mother or father asks you, ―Why were you on that computer so long?‖ Give a generic but truthful sounding answer, ―Oh I was typing a story and kind of got carried away.‖ (This only works for nerds).
#4: Unsubscribe From the Forums This is the last but certainly not least tip on how to keep your life private. As anyone who’s ever been on Ghost Town knows, posting and forgetting to unsubscribe will kill your inbox. How does this involve your parents at all? Well here’s a completely true story that happened over the summer. My sister (Oceanmuse) did not unsubscribe from one of the Ghost Towns. We had left for vacation for a few weeks. Little did we know that there was no internet there except at my aunt’s house, granted my aunt’s house was only the one behind ours. Halfway through our vacation my sister asked our mom to check her emails on her behalf. To her disbelief she found that my sister had 1,704 emails. That little incident almost blew our cover. Needless to say, my mother knows all about email alerts now but she hasn’t really put two and two together about forums and fanfiction. *** So remember, keep up another tab, less is more, be vague, and unsubscribe. T.L.V.U, because acronyms are cool. 7
Why You Should Take Your Fan-fiction Seriously (And Other Things I’ve Realized in College) Mercury Grey There are a lot of cool things you get to start doing in college. You only have class a few days a week. You can join clubs for obscure hobbies or take classes for subjects and topics you'll never use again but find fascinating anyway. And by the time you've reached your senior year, when everyone is stressed out after realizing that the real world and life after college are coming to get them, you'll have to play parent to at least one roommate when they break down crying. At least, that's where I was Saturday night. And so, to talk my roommate out of her funk, I talked to her about everything I could think of. I remembered she was a Lord of the Rings fan -- I talked to her about my fanfiction, how it works and why I write it and why some of the other fanfiction out there right now isn't exactly top shelf. She looked at me with sincere interest and said "That must really help you as an English major, Merc!" I had never thought about it that way, but after a while, I realized she was right. Writing fanfiction has helped me as an English major because in order to produce well-planned fanfiction, we as writers take apart and analyze the original text to form an argument about the text's interpretation. When we take apart a text to write fanfiction about it, as we take apart a scholarly or literary canon text, we read it multiple times and gather evidence supporting our argument. While we do this, we pay attention to the author's writing style, how they form their sentences and how their characters speak. We research background information to see where the author might have gotten their inspiration, so that in the event that the text doesn't supply us with enough information we can make a best guess. Sometimes, we even read what other critics or other readers are saying about what dissatisfied them about the text. After we've written it, we proofread it, diligently and militantly, and finally send it out to our peer review board to see what they think of our arguments. The process of planning to write a fanfiction is, for me, at least, like taking off the back of a particularly complex clock. You watch how the gears move and what hammer strikes what bell to chime the hour. You look for blank space in the machine. All the elements of the clock, all the elements of the story, they all move to form one complete object. Fanfiction seeks to add an extra gear that either makes the clock run smoother or is simply there for ornament, another gear that has no direct purpose but at the same time doesn't make the clock stop running entirely. Some of my friends wonder why I take writing my fanfiction so seriously, and I usually tell them a variety of things: that it is my hobby, that it is a way to practice writing without being obligated to try to find a publisher when you’re done, or that it is good fun and a lot cheaper that going out to the bar on Friday nights. Now I'll start adding another reason. I write fanfiction because it's helped me become better at studying English literature and the English language. And that, friends, is why everyone should take their fanfiction seriously, why they should plan it out and research and proofread and give good, solid critique when it's asked of them. These are life skills you're practicing here. You could be practicing skills you’ll need in every English class you’ll take until college. Or better yet, you could be finding your career. Mercury Gray is a senior in college majoring in English with a minor in Secondary Education, and believes that years of serious fanfiction reviews are some of many reasons she will become a good high school English teacher. 8
Antrevine’s Annex For those poor souls who have not yet had the pleasure of meeting me, I am Antrevine, or Nanceh according to Theia. I am a fantabulous person who deserves your worship… just saying. This is my column, Antrevine’s Annex. It will be roughly 300 words and will range from stories I love, people I hate, kittens I’ve eaten and stuff that has been happening all over Fanmortals. This is the first of many of my columns, which I hope you will find humorous and entertaining, maybe interactive? If you have a message you would like to send me to put it in my column, or to nominate yourself as person of the month, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org! The topic of my first column will be the awesome new Halloween layout of fanmortals.webs.com! If you click on every page on our website, you will clearly see the fun, spooky and creative layout created by none other than…. Well, I don’t know. [edit by Storm: it was Theia.] In spirit if the season, nicknames have also changed on the C-Box. For example, Antrevine the Auror, Hana the Pumpkin Queen, Wintra the Mummy and so on. Be sure to get your nickname before the layout switches back! POLL: Did you like the change of theme? Email me your answers and comments! Yes, it was a fun surprise! No, I’d rather it stay the same Now a little about me for all those interested… My name Is Antrevine, I live in New York, I love cupcakes, I have traveled all over the world and I am failing Algebra. My dad is a publisher and my mom is an editor which basically means, grammar is in my blood. At least, I should hope it is. I try to be on FanFiction as much as possible, but with school it is hard. Look for me on the C-Box and feel free to send me a message! Final words: If someone would like to make me a banner for my column, I’d love you forever!!! Much love ^^
The Midnight Doe When I first got on fanfiction, I had no intention whatsoever to tell my parents about it. Some things, (or so I though) you don’t need to tell your mom and dad. Though now that I’ve been on a few months, when my mom asks me what I’m doing on the computer, every now and again, I’ll say fanfiction. But I never, ever tell her about the forums. She says “they’re too dangerous, and there are internet predators.” But to that, I have a strong opinion that I’ll never voice. Would internet predators take the time to read the books? Would they write fanfiction for the books? The answer, if you haven’t guessed it, is no. But would my mom listen to that? No. She’d just take away my computer. And for that reason, I’ll most likely never tell my mom about the forums and my fanfiction friends. Well, maybe when I’m an adult, or a famous writer or something. Maybe. Moonrise My parents know that I like to write; I’ve been creating stories since fourth grade. So it wasn’t such a big shock to them that I had an account on the internet to post what I’d written. Of course, I had to explain the concept of fanfiction to them. And, in doing so, I deterred them from ever reading anything on that site. But I guess that’s good, since they wouldn’t understand anyway (I can’t get them to even think about picking up Percy Jackson and the Olympians or Fullmetal Alchemist). So as long as the internet doesn’t take up too much of my time, they don’t care much about what I do on it. Which is a win-win situation, because then I, in turn, don’t make fun of the silly Asian dramas my mom frequently watches on that Chinese youtube site of hers (for the record, she agrees that they’re silly, but she watches them anyway), and tolerate my dad randomly singing ―The Banana Boat Song‖ (please, please don’t ask).
storm-brain I am one of the few people that have been blessed with (relatively) tolerant parents. I mean, it took awhile. I mentioned that I joined fanfiction sometime in seventh grade. But since I have a phobia of having my parents read what I write (I was literally hiding in the closet writing half the time for at least a year) I made it very clear that I wasn’t writing anything, even when I was really producing crap at an alarming rate. This is beside the point. I think my parents mostly trust me online. They’re going to let me meet a friend from Goodreads over Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, because of the Zoe thing, FFN has a bad rap with them— but at some point they’ll probably start trusting you guys again. Honestly, it bores them. They can’t keep the names straight, (Yes, Sella, and Sheva are very different people, Dad) and you can tell by the ―uhhuh‖s and the ―I see‖s that they don’t really want to hear about it. At this point, they’ve accepted the fact that their daughter is an antisocial weirdo and seem glad that I get at least some interaction. Even with my ―imaginary friends.‖
Mercury Gray I'm twenty-one years old, I've been writing fanfiction for seven years, and my parents still don't approve of my fanfiction account. No matter how many friends I make or countries I find I have new readers in, the fact that I have never meet many of my internet friends (and probably never will) is still something my mother is getting used to. However, they are still my parents, and I am still their daughter, and any time I want to read something aloud to them, they are my first critics and my biggest fans.
Hayley Barry What do parents have against FanFiction? It's not like it doesn't help improve our writing and social skills. We learn new ways to express ourselves and be creative; by writing fics and meeting new people. Most parents say that it'll 'Affect your studies' or 'ruin your eyesight'. But they fail to understand that the reason behind the escalating composition grade is, in fact, FanFiction. Authors get to wrack their brains and write fics. When they publish the fics online, a more experienced author tells them how to improve it, and so the original author gets better accordingly. The wide variety of fics also helps with learning new vocabulary and obtaining new styles of writing. Many fics are bad, but there a quite a few that are exquisite. All it takes is a bit of patience and the knack of noticing a good fic, and you'll find a prize winner in no time. Some parents still don't like FanFiction, even though it has all of these pros. You could always try to change their perspective. On FanFiction, people learn from their mistakes, and improve, thus acquiring new skills that might help them in later life. So why do parents think that FanFiction is no good? Apparently, my parents think that spending excessive amounts of time on the computer is unhealthy, which is true. But, after all, we are reading, writing, and proof-reading other people's work. So FanFiction really is helpful, but parents just don't see it. To them it's just a waste of time. If you really are in love with FanFiction, try explaining all of its pros to them, hear them out, and tell them why they're wrong. Chances are, they'll love it just like you.
11 Picture stolen guiltlessly from Google Images
Author of the Month: Kioko Green-Giffy Best known for her Percy Jackson fan fics "Invulnerable and Invincible," "Death's Dare" and "The Three Lives of Luke Castellan," Kioko is a veteran writer. Off FFnet, she can be found on her LiveJournal account, greenconverses, and she enjoys reading whatever she can get her hands on in her spare time, which is how she came across Percy Jackson in the first place. When did you start writing FanFictions? I started writing fan fiction when I was in the fifth grade, so almost ten years ago. Yes, I'm old. ;) I didn't get an account on http://www.Fanfiction.net for another couple of years though. How did you discover the land of the PJO Fandom? I discovered Percy Jackson over winter break over a year ago when I was looking for something to read. I nearly put The Lightning Thief back down after I read the first couple of pages, but I ended up buying it and after I tore my way through the rest of the series, I hopped on http://www.FanFiction.net to see what was in the section. What was your fist FanFiction? What was it about? My first fan fics were for the anime, Sailor Moon, and I had filled up a couple of notebooks with stories before I realized that other people out there were writing stories just like me. I published the first chapters on my Geocities fan site, but my first fic posted on FFnet were for Dragonball Z. How did it turn out? My first fan fiction was pretty bad. I had selfinserts, Mary Sues, implausible plotlines, unnecessary angst… you name it and it was probably there. I didn't realize it was bad while I was writing it. I didn't know the rules of writing or what made a good story, so I was just writing it for the fun of it. It was only when I looked back a couple years later and read through them again, some of the stuff I wrote made me wince.
publish a lot of my fics until a had a year or two of writing experience under my belt, so I was loads better by the time I decided to start posting things for other people to read. What are your views on the terrible situation of the PJO Fandom now? I think it's really disappointed that a series like Percy Jackson has such a lackluster fandom. I was really hoping the movie would bring more people with experience into the fandom – and it certainly has on Livejournal – but the FFnet section is still pretty crappy. It's just very disheartening to find maybe one or two readable stories a week, if that. Do you plan on doing anything about it? [Like making a guide, whatsoever.] I plan to keep writing. It's more important to have examples of good writing around for people to read than to have guides, which are fairly useless, in my opinion. You can tell people to avoid Mary Sues or cliché ideas all you want, but until you get a writer in there who shows others how it's done and what a good fic should look like, you're not going to get very far. Do you have any ways that can destroy your writer’s block? When I get blocked on one story, the easiest thing for me to do is go work on another story that I have no plans on publishing until I break the writer's block for the first story. Sometimes working on another story will produce something good, but usually it won't. I also tend to switch between writing mediums. If I'm writing on a computer and nothing's coming out, chances are if I switch to pen and paper, I'll start to produce something and that's always better than nothing.
Why is your penname Kioko? [Is there any special reasons?] I chose the penname Kioko when I was still in anime fandom. There's no particular meaning to it - I think I had picked the name for an OC that I made and Would you agree if somebody said that all first FanFic when I didn't use the name for the story, I decided to use sucks? it for my screenname. I've been thinking about changing No, I don't completely agree with that. Some people it to my LJ username so things will match, but I obviouscan churn out really great stories their first time writing ly haven't gotten around to that. fan fiction. It all depends on how experienced you are with writing, the rules of English, and if you pay attenYou have a Live Journal under the name of greencontion to the way stories are structured and told. I didn't verses, is there a special reason why the name is that?
Again, no special reason. I was looking for a username loves Luke and she lost him almost immediately afterward. that wasn't connected to a particular fandom so I wouldn't get sick of it so fast. I had just bought a pair of green Con- What was so interesting about when Thalia got her memoverse All Stars (which I still have), so I decided that would ries back? be a fun username. For me, the main theme of "The Three Lives" was true - that no matter how hard you try to forget or how many The stories/FanFics you post on your LJ, is there a differ- times it takes you to find that one special person, it will ence between them and the ones you post on here, FanFic- happen and you'll be happy. That's why I used the quote tion,net? from "The Princess Bride" in the summary: "Death cannot Yes, there is. I keep most of my M-rated fics stop true love; all it can do is delay it a little while." When LiveJournal-only. Usually I cross-post everything I write, Thalia gets her memories back, it's the moment when the but I decided that since Percy Jackson is a fairly young readers know that yes, she and Luke are going to get their fandom, I'd keep the more explicit stuff off FFnet. I'm be- happy ending from that point on. It's just one of those moginning to change my mind about that though, just because ments you wait forever to write, and it makes it so fantasI'm sick of there being very few well-written and realistic tic. M-rated fics in the section. There's also quite a few drabbles that I haven't posted on FFnet, mostly because they're Some people would actually think that Artemis isnâ€™t too short or I don't like them enough to cross-post. as forgiving, since Artemis tends to turn the girls who quit the Hunters into animals. Why would you let Thalia get How do you feel about winning the Veritas Award? away this time? I'm always happy to win awards! It's great to be reIt's important to note that Thalia didn't break her vow warded for all the hard work you put into a piece, and I'm Artemis freed her from it, and that's the difference between honored that readers chose my fic. her and Hunters who might have tried the same thing with a boy. Thalia had served Artemis faithfully for 500 years, How did you come up with The Three Lives of Luke Casand her reunion with Luke was her reward for that service. tellan? I think Artemis has nothing but the best interests of her After I read "The Last Olympian," I really wanted to Hunters in mind and when it comes to their happiness, write a Thalia/Luke fic because I didn't think they got she'll do what's necessary to secure it. enough attention in the last book... but that was kind of hard with, you know, Luke being dead and all. Then I reThe Three Lives of Luke Castellan was a very heartfelt stomembered the bit about reincarnations and the fact that ry; do you get emotional when you write other stories simiThalia was immortal, so I started playing around with sce- lar to this one too? narios and thus "The Three Lives" was born. Oh yes. I have a number of stories running through my brain that constantly break my heart. In fact, I was telling a Which three lives of Luke was the most enjoyable or memo- couple of my friends the other night about an idea where rable to write? the end result would be Annabeth's heart broken into tiny I cried while I wrote "Part One: Adam." You'd think, little pieces and just plotting it out made me tear up. Writbeing the writer and knowing what was coming, that it ing's a very emotional process; if you're not laughing or wouldn't affect you as much, but his death was very hard crying or getting angry about whatever you're writing, then for me to write. I also liked writing the scene where Thalia who's to guarantee your readers will? gets her memories back in "Part Three: Liam." Why was the death of Adam hard for you to write? Writing Adam's death scene was hard mostly because I had become attached to his character while I was writing it and killing a character off you like is always a hard thing to do. Thalia's reaction to it also hit him a little hard because it's a defining moment in the story, where she realizes she still
Critic Corner: Book Reviews
The Ranger’s Apprentice series By John Flanagan
Ranger’s Apprentice Book Two: The Burning Bridge
As reviewed by Willful Destruction (Des) and Aventine Hill (Ave) (review written by Aventine Hill)
There is only one thing I am able to find unsatisfactory in The Burning Bridge: There are nowhere near enough Halt scenes. This is ex(review written by Willful Deplainable, however, because book two sees struction) Will, Horace, his best friend, an apprentice warrior, and Gilan, Halt’s previous apprentice, travTo start off this review I eling to the neighboring country of Celtica to have to state the blatantly obvious: warn the Celtic king that Morgarath is stirring. this book is amazing. As the first Upon their arrival, however, it is apparent that book in the series, it has a lot riding on it to the Celts don’t need warning: Morgarath has capture people's interests and lead them to read- invaded Celtica and is taking Celtic miners. ing the following books. John Flanagan captured my interests immediately as a fantasy faGilan, Horace, and Will run into a mystenatic and I was not disappointed. rious girl in Celtica, an Araluen named Evanlyn, who tells them of the invasion. Although Book one follows the main character, she claims to be a servant, they sense there’s Will, as he goes from being the underestimated more to her story. That’s pushed aside, howevboy at Castle Redmont to apprentice to the leg- er, when they learn why Morgarath is taking endary Ranger, Halt. The conflict here in The miners, and his forces and Araluen’s come to a Ruins of Gorlan is that an old enemy, Morconfrontation that results in one, final combat— garath, is rising and imposing a threat upon the single combat, in which Morgarath himself facpeople of Araluen. The Ranger Corps must rise es against the most unlikely opponent, with all to eliminate the danger and it appears that Will the odds stacked in his favor. couldn't have found a worse time to become a Ranger. In fact, throughout all this, with a storyline that has so many opportunities to simply go Will is a brilliant character who some of totally wrong, everytime Flanagan manages to us can relate to, I'm sure, and Halt is the smart, play it out so that you’re not left asking, Really? witty, dry-humored leader. As mentioned beHe just did that? Desperate much? Somehow, fore, this book is amazing and I would always he always manages to know what he’s doing give it a five out of five. I, Des Verita-Rising, and then does it exactly right, and it shows. totally recommend it.
Ranger's Apprentice, The Ruins of Gorlan
Critic Corner: Book Reviews
Ranger's Apprentice, The Icebound Land (review written by Willful Destruction) The Icebound Land is the third book in the series and probably in my top three for favorites. In this book the Araluens have a battle against Morgarath's army and in the end Evanlyn (a character introduced in the second book) and Will are taken hostage by the Skandians and meant to be sold as slaves in their land of Skandia. The Skandians are among my favorite characters. They are vicious, sea-raiding, loothoarding, fighters who live in their cold, cold land of Skandia. In them John Flanagan has, once more, given us wonderful characters. In book three Halt is kicked out of the Ranger Corps – gasp! – and Horace, a warrior friend of Will's, leave Castle Redmont and his own apprentice training to ride out and help Halt save Evanlyn and Will. Chaos ensues. Book three is brilliant, interesting, amazing, wonderful, awesome, and a fantastic addition to the Ranger's Apprentice books. It is worth it to read every book up to The Icebound Land simply to read it. It is among my top twenty favorite books this year, and I recommend it to everyone.
Ranger’s Apprentice Book Four: The Battle for Skandia (Review written by Aventine Hill) 15
Book four picks up just a few weeks after the end of book three, and almost immediately shows Will and Evanlyn and Horace and Halt reunited. But even though they’ve finally found each other, a bigger problem fast comes into play: the Temujai warriors, virtually undefeatable riders from the Eastern Steppes, are invading Skandia with their sights set on conquering the Western world. Their superior battle tactics will allow them to easily overthrow the Skandians, and then to take control of their raiding ships, making everything else, including Araluen, susceptible to takeover. Next thing they know, Halt has agreed to assist the Skandians in defeating the Temujai by organizing their battle tactics, using his prior knowledge of the Eastern raiders, and Will, Horace and Evanlyn are leading a troop of archers into battle, with odds of three or four to one, in favor of the Temujai. While books two and three were amazing, they were both, in my opinion, building up to the end of book four, and I was not disappointed. The entire second half of the book is impossible to put down. John Flanagan comes up with the most amazing battle scenes, yet they never become so absolutely full of technical jargon that they’re impossible to understand. The Battle for Skandia was probably the best of them all, and that’s saying something. Why only two million copies of this series have been sold as of book nine, I know not.
HOW TO NOT BE KILLED BY NANOWRIMO Storm’s guide to surviving November. So I know that there are a few of you out there doing NaNoWriMo. Which begins today. This is why you should not be seeing me around much in the coming month. I greatly admire all you brave souls who’ll be taking the plunge with me this year. The water isn’t as cold as you think. However, it is a rather large block of time. So, some words of advice:
Have an outline. At least know where your story begins and ends. Since today is November 1st, or should be, anyway, it’s already too late if you don’t. So keep this in mind for next year.
Try and get ahead on the first day. That would be today. So what are you doing, reading D23? The beginning is honestly the easiest. You’re at the beginning, you have the I’m-a-novelist rush. Last year I think I wrote 3000 words on the first day— though it was a weekend day last year. But it’s always good to be going into Day 2 a few hundred words ahead.
On that note, it’s always good to be ahead. If you can set your daily goal count to be 1600, instead of 1666, you're good. Because if you got extra on the first day, you’ll soon have a full day’s worth of word padding. Always try and have a buffer. That way, if you have one of those evilkillerdaysofdoom when you have ten hours of homework, a lacrosse game, and a caffeine crash, you won’t be doomed. It’s a lot more stressful to be trying to come back than it is to try and pull ahead.
Don’t edit. I repeat. Do not edit. Want to change your main character’s gender in the middle? go ahead. Do that. But don’t go back and try and change all the other references. Want to add some mystery that has been alluded to previously, even though it has not, in fact, been alluded to previously? Whatever. That’s what December, January, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and October are for.
If you have writer’s block, just have a character blow up Macy’s. If you’re having trouble with character development, put two characters in Macy’s and see how they react. Even if there is no Macys in your universe.
Update your word count on the website whenever you're stuck. Even if it’s only ten words. Then you’ll feel like you’re making progress.
DO NOT GO ONLINE UNTIL YOU’VE REACHED YOUR TARGET WORD COUNT. I cannot stress this enough. Because once you get on, you’re trapped. And writing at 2am is not as fun as it sounds, especially if it’s a school night.
Use Write or Die, but remember that their word counter is different. 2000 words on writer or die is about 1700 words on Microsoft word.
Before you start writing, write the word count you need to reach on a notecard. That way you can just check and see how far you are without doing the math every time.
Don’t be afraid to write crap. Seriously. Don’t worry about spelling mistakes or character flaws. go into this expecting it to suck, and at the end, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Trust me. It’s not going to be perfect. It might not be anything you want to show your friends. You just have to get the words down. If you have a passage you hate, or a scene that you want to delete, just put it in italics and get rid of it later.
Give your character a name like Mary Alice Ellen Smith Johnson, and have people refer to them by their full name often. :)
The november issue of D23, featuring parents and FFN.