Fixing Sonic Fanfiction

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Fixing Sonic Fanfiction

Post by LaishLife on Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:30 pm

Fixing Sonic Fanfiction:

First Step: Grammar and Spacing


I'll tell you this to begin with. I'm no fanfiction pro, but I do love to learn and I do love to teach!
However, instead of plainly telling you how to write good fanfiction, I'm wish to take examples from other local fanfictions (which will not be named for the sake of maintaining the tales of old sacred…things.)

Just today, I was looking for a good story to print out and read today because I would be terribly bored otherwise.
The following example will be used for all of the steps:

ORIGINAL EXAMPLE

~Tails outside Sonic's house~

"I know that something is wrong,I just think that Sonic doesn't want to tell anyone because it's something that he feels would make him look weak to the public..."Tails said,then he knocked on the door."GO AWAY AMY!!!!" came sonic's voice behind the door..."SONIC!!!IT'S ME TAILS!!!"Tails yelled back,then he heard footsteps and the door open alittle."What is it Tails?" Sonic asked from behind the door."I just wanted to talk."Tails said,then sonic opened the door alittle more."About what?"Sonic asked,then Tails hesitated for a second then said "I thought that every since the ARK inccident you've been alittle down,and i knew you weren't going to talk to Knuckles or Amy,so i thoguht you might talk to me." Tails smiled an innocent smile then Sonic sighed and said."Tails,there is nothing wrong,I'm just alittle down about it,ok?" Tails' smile faded then he said."You mean you're down in the dumps..." Tails paused."About Shadow....right?" Sonic's eyes widened then they looked sad..."Yes..." Sonic said in a sad voice."Then can I come in?"Tails asked,then Sonic opened the door all the way."Sure,I guess it would be better to talk about it rather then bottle it all up...."


My eyes started to hurt. Not only that, but my brain started to ache as well.
First of all, this whole exchange between Sonic and Tails was summed up in only one paragraph with no spots for the reader to breathe. Also, there are so many grammatical errors in there that a reader would have to reread nearly every sentence.
The writer didn't give himself any airtime either. The story idea probably came up in the writer's mind so quickly that he wanted to jot it down as fast as possible then post it without looking over his own work.

Spelling is also very important. It shows the reader that you know what you are doing and you can read. You will gain credibility when you take your writing a bit more seriously.

Here's a way to resolve this problem:

EXAMPLE WITH GRAMMAR REVISION

~Tails outside Sonic's house~

"I know that something is wrong. I just think that Sonic doesn't want to tell anyone because it's something that he feels would make him look weak to the public..."Tails said then he knocked on the door.
"GO AWAY AMY!!!!" came Sonic's voice behind the door.
"SONIC!!!IT'S ME TAILS!!!" Tails yelled back then he heard footsteps and the door open a little.
"What is it Tails?" Sonic asked from behind the door.
"I just wanted to talk." Tails said then Sonic opened the door a little more.
"About what?" Sonic asked.
Tails hesitated for a second then said "I thought that every since the ARK incident you've been a little down and I knew you weren't going to talk to Knuckles or Amy, so I thought you might talk to me." Tails smiled an innocent smile.
Sonic sighed and said. "Tails, there is nothing wrong. I'm just a little down about it, ok?"
Tails' smile faded then he said. "You mean you're down in the dumps..." Tails paused. "About Shadow....right?"
Sonic's eyes widened then they looked sad..."Yes..." Sonic said in a sad voice.
"Then can I come in?" Tails asked then Sonic opened the door all the way.

"Sure, I guess it would be better to talk about it rather then bottle it all up...." 



Second Step:  Logic.


Now, I want to focus in on something that every good fanfiction needs. I WAS going to write about Narration and Detail, but at the last minute, I felt that is more about just plain logic in writing. So to start, I will divide this piece into several smaller parts and dissect them carefully in my analysis.

~Tails outside Sonic's house~

"I know that something is wrong. I just think that Sonic doesn't want to tell anyone because it's something that he feels would make him look weak to the public..."Tails said then he knocked on the door.


First of all, the little intro at the beginning isn’t really needed. It’s a mediocre way to state the character’s location. If you’re an experienced writer, you’ll be able to describe where your character is more effectively without interrupting the story.
Putting “Sonic’s POV” or “Tails’ POV” or “This is a Sonails Fanfic~ ^^” at the beginning is the same as watching a movie with your friend, then pulling him to the other room to tell him the whole plot of the movie. I mean, I used to do this as well, but then I realized I could do better than that.
A better way to word this section is – instead of having that intro at the beginning – is doing this:

"I know that something is wrong. I just think that Sonic doesn't want to tell anyone because it's something that he feels would make him look weak to the public..."Tails said then he knocked on Sonic’s front door.

Now, the reader knows where Tails is. Also, why is Tails talking out loud here? There’s no one else around. Why not have him thinking it instead of saying it? Next section.

"GO AWAY AMY!!!!" came Sonic's voice behind the door.
"SONIC!!!IT'S ME TAILS!!!" Tails yelled back then he heard footsteps and the door open a little.
"What is it Tails?" Sonic asked from behind the door.
"I just wanted to talk." Tails said then Sonic opened the door a little more.
"About what?" Sonic asked.


Why are they screaming at each other? I know they are on opposite sides of a door, but… it’s a door, not soundproof glass. All caps and three to four exclamation points are not needed for this exchange.
I understand, I would be yelling at Amy too, but even if Amy were at the door, Sonic would never just scream at her to go away. He would probably open the door to see who it is, see that it’s Amy, and then spend the rest of the exchange worming his way out of the conversation.

Logic. Use logic when writing. Readers love logic, and they like it even more when characters maintain their canonized personalities.
You may have to do some extra research on the characters you're writing about, but trust me -- it's worth it.

Also, these are more like grammatical tidbits, but when Tails heard the footsteps, did he also only hear the door open? Because, as the sentence implies, Tails heard A AND B. A normal reader would be able to overlook that mistake, but still, how things are worded is important too.

And one last thing. When Tails says that he just wants to talk, “Tails said then Sonic opened the door a little more.” There’s a highly valued set of rules in writing. If one character performs an action, then the next action of another person is taken to THE NEXT LINE.
I call them all “The Next Line Rules.” which I consider the most important set of rules in writing. You’ll be surprised at how easily confused a reader can get if these rules are not followed.
Here is my edited version, assuming that Sonic still thinks it’s Amy at the door:

"Amy…I’m not really in the mood right now…" came Sonic's voice behind the door.
"Sonic, it’s just me; Tails.”  Tails replied. He then heard footsteps as the door opened a little.
"What is it Tails?" Sonic asked from behind the door.
"I just wanted to talk." Tails said.
Sonic opened the door a little more. "About what?" He asked.


Moving on now.

Again, I’m going to add another grammatical detail that I must have missed earlier.
"Tails hesitated for a second then said "I thought that ever since the ARK incident you've been a little down and I knew you weren't going to talk to Knuckles or Amy, so I thought you might talk to me."”
That can easily be broken into two sentences. A period between “you’ve been a little down” and “I knew you” and get rid of the “and” in between. Easy. I’ll leave the other stuff alone for now.

Sonic sighed and said. "Tails, there is nothing wrong. I'm just a little down about it, ok?"
Tails' smile faded then he said. "You mean you're down in the dumps..." Tails paused. "About Shadow....right?"
Sonic's eyes widened then they looked sad..."Yes..." Sonic said in a sad voice.
"Then can I come in?" Tails asked then Sonic opened the door all the way.

"Sure, I guess it would be better to talk about it rather than bottle it all up...."


“Sonic sighed” is sufficient for that first part. You don’t need to add that he’s the one saying the next dialogue. If they are smart enough, readers can already tell that Sonic’s going to be talking next because:
1.) He sighed.
2.) The action and the dialogue are on the same line.
Same for Tails when he talks next. Don’t need it in that case. And when Tails pauses, just say “He paused.” The reader already knows he’s the one pausing.
Same thing for the NEXT line.

Apply the Next Line Rules to everything in this part and it’ll be fixed. Think of it as a Dick and Jane book.

Writer is going to the next line.
See Writer go to the next line.
Go to the next line, Writer, go to the next line.
Next line. Next line. Next line.


You can tell how effective it is.

I'll be adding more to this soon, if I can.
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Re: Fixing Sonic Fanfiction

Post by Blazingshadows on Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:41 pm

Ok,  I just really want to thank you for this.  I haven't used the next line rule, and it would really make my fanfiction look a lot better.

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