Larissa Lopes is a best-selling, fanfic author. Her All My Love, Alec Brock Series, has characters that are based on some pretty cool real-life people, such as Bradley Will Simpson, Shawn Mendes, and Harry Styles for Alec, Selena Gomez and Camila Cabello for Linda, and there are even some 5 Seconds Of Summer inspired characters!
What we love most about books and reading is the fact that it’s a way to escape; it makes us feel like we are traveling to other worlds and living lavish lives as we get submerged in the story. It inspires us to try and create characters of our own, travel to places far away, and write a story others will love.
However, writing your very own fanfic can seem overwhelming, time-consuming, and ultimately stressful … we’ve all been there. You’ve got to remember though, writing is about expressing yourself and if you enjoy it, writing your fanfic will come just a little bit easier to you, and a few tips and guidance won’t hurt either.
“How to write a good fanfiction? How to improve as a writer? How to publish my story?” Since All My Love, Alec Brock came out these are the questions Larissa Lopes has been asked the most.
As a professional fangirl who also happens to love writing, I understand very well the urge to put into words the passion we have for our favorite artists. And there’s nothing better than to just do what we love and allow our creativity to express itself. But what if this hobby could become something more? What if you could turn your stories into actual books, like I did? Believe me, it’s not as hard as it seems…-Larissa Lopes
With the help of Larissa, we here at The Honey POP, are going to help you knock that writer’s block and writing anxiety to the curb so that you can get those thoughts on paper and bring your characters to life!
Now, let’s dive into these 5 tips that Larissa has written up herself to help you write fanfic’s that are out-of-this-world!
Finish Your Fanfic Before You Start Sharing It With Your Audience
I understand the appeal of posting each chapter as you write them, and having feedback from your followers in real-time. But, to me, that’s the biggest mistake a writer can make. Because unless you get to the end of the story, it’s impossible to properly edit it! And the biggest secret to writing a good story is this: editing it again and again until the story is ready to be read!
I like to think of it as a puzzle. Until you put all the pieces together, it’s impossible to tell if you didn’t make any mistakes in the beginning! Have you ever read a fanfic that made you feel like the story was taking too long to get to the interesting part? That’s a sign that the author probably skipped an important step in the writing process: the editing. And when I say editing, I don’t mean “reading the chapter a few times to catch typos and other minor mistakes.” I’m talking about developmental editing—making sure the story is coherent, and that every scene has a purpose and helps move the plot forward! Because if you bore your reader with unnecessary drama, or with scenes that are confusing or not essential to the plot, you’ll end up losing not only their interest in your story but also their trust in you as a writer.
And you should also consider very carefully how you want to share your work with your audience before you start publishing “pieces of your story” on the internet. Agents and publishers don’t usually pick up stories that have been previously shared somewhere else for free. So if you think your story has enough potential to be published as a novel, for example, make sure you analyzed your options before rushing into publishing.
Tell Us A Story
This is another mistake I often see in fanfics: there is simply no story to read! The whole fanfiction is just a bunch of scenes where the main character spends time with the artist until they fall madly in love with each other. And I write romance novels, so I usually like it when “falling in love” is the main plot!
But even if you’re writing romance, your story has to be more than that. If you want us to deeply connect with your characters, you have to make sure they have a backstory, a goal that they want to reach, obstacles to overcome along the way, and something important at stake in case they fail to reach their goal. Because that’s the reason we keep reading a story—the conflict! We need to see the characters struggling, growing from their mistakes, making difficult choices, and sacrifices … until they finally win (or not) the big battle in the end!
Make The Readers Feel Something
Talking about connecting with the characters …you shouldn’t just tell us a story, you should show us!
Whenever you’re writing a scene that is important to the plot, you should allow the readers to feel whatever the main characters are feeling through actions, conversations, thoughts, senses. If you use too much exposition—in other words, if you tell us what’s happening—the readers won’t have the same experience as if you’d shown us the character’s thoughts and emotions, or made them express themselves through dialogues, for example.
But more than just making the readers feel what the characters are feeling, you have to make them care about what’s happening. That’s why I said we need a backstory, we need conflict, we need struggles and growth! These things are important to induce an emotional response in readers, and hopefully make them start rooting for your main characters to reach their goals.
Write Real Human Beings
If you want your readers to care about your characters, make them real.
Humans are complex. We have deep thoughts, emotional scars, dreams, and hopes. And if you want your character to look like a real human being, you can’t make them one-dimensional.
I see this a lot in fanfics because often one of the main characters is a musician, so the author assumes their whole life is just that—music, touring, being famous.
How do they feel being apart from their family and friends for so long? What are their fears and insecurities? How has this career path changed their past relationships? What other things do they like to do or think about throughout the day? Give your characters flaws, hobbies, weird habits! The more complex you make them, the more interesting and real they will be to your readers!
Read More Books
This is the single best advice I can give you. Reading other people’s books (not only fanfics, actual books) will help you develop your own style, will teach you different writing techniques, will make you discover other ways to express yourself …
Since I started writing, I couldn’t read one single book without exercising my “writer’s brain.” It’s a little sad to be honest, because I feel like I can’t fully enjoy a story anymore. I’m always learning new things and paying attention to the writing—not only to the story. But it’s also the best writing course I could ever attend. Because if you want to learn how to be a good writer, you have to put yourself in the reader’s place and recognize in someone else’s writing how it feels to read a good story.
There you have it, Honey Poppers, we encourage you to consider Larissa’s tips and get creative! When you write that next published fanfic, let us know because we’re dying to read it!
Do you find Larissa’s tips helpful? Are you going to try and take a shot at writing your own incredible story? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @TheHoneyPOP. You can also find us on Facebook or Instagram!
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Featured Image Source: Bilge Zeynep for The Honey POP
Words By: Emily Defoor and Larissa Lopes