Tips for fanfic authors
Here’s little something for all of you. It seems that some things about English grammar are a bit unclear to many of you and so I decided to write a little story for you to use as an example. Pay attention to the whole story – there might be some points that aren’t mentioned in the explanation part, but are still quite useful.
But let’s begin with some basic fan fic things…
Nazgûls by auntie Aish
Beta’d: atalante_star (thanks ^___^ )
Yes. I made few mistakes. This, in my opinion, emphasizes the importance of beta-readers. (I simply didn’t realize my errors before she pointed them out.)
Thanks also to Lolly for laughing at this (not in a bad way, I hope) and especially (huuuuuuge ones) to A-kun for helping me out with the grammar part (for example the three t-part in number 5 is written by him).
It’s only polite to thank those who have helped you.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Nazgûls or fangirls. That obsessed man is mine. Sort of.
It’s of course known that you didn’t invent “Lord of the Rings”; you can easily leave this out. If you use something else than LotR too, it might be good to mention that. This is also the place to tell that certain characters belong to you.
The evening was misty and cool. A dark figure stood still on a grassy slope, seemingly watching the two people who were talking further down. It turned its head when another cloaked shadow-like creature approached. (1)
“What is it, Reginald?” the first one asked, somewhat irritated by his companion’s whiney voice. (2)
“That guy – the one Witchy’s talking with – who is he?” Reginald queried, pointing at the people that Llewellyn had been keeping an eye on. (3)
“Don’t know… Maybe one of those weird men who are convinced that their dream job is a Nazgûl; they’re quite* persistent,” Llewellyn answered, “And never call Boss Witchy – at least when he might hear it!” (4)
“Okay, okay.” Reginald was quiet for a while, then continued: “But then again, rather them than those fangirls.” He shuddered, as did his friend. (5)
“Uh, you’re right. Sauron forgive me, but vile creatures like that shouldn’t exist.” (6)
Both were quiet* for a while, glancing around like a fangirl might just fall from the sky to attack them. Suddenly Llewellyn broke the silence. (7)
“Reginald, you’re wearing pink socks again, aren’t you?”
If a Nazgûl could blush, that would be exactly what Reginald did. He tried to pull his cloak down so that it would cover his feet, but didn’t succeed.
“I can see them. I can see your socks are pink. You know, we’re supposed to be wraiths, not some stupid elves! And you know perfectly well that a wraith does not use anything pink; not even if it happens to be his favourite colour!” (8)
This obviously would have gone on and on for Eru knows how long, if the one called the Boss hadn’t come there after finishing his business with the obsessed mortal. He halted and cleared his throat.
“Shut up! Both of you!” he yelled, having already had his share of morons for that day.
“But Reg has…” Llewellyn tried. (9)
“Didn’t I say shut up? You can have two guesses, and the first one doesn’t count.”
“Okay, Witc-” Reginald covered his mouth. (10)
“What did you say?” the Boss’ eyes were on poor Reginald, who looked like he wanted to evaporate on that very moment.
“I… I said… Erm… Uh…” he stuttered.
“I said: ‘okay, Wilfred’! I swear I said so! Please don’t make me feed the captured fangirls again! It’s someone else’s turn! I always feed them!”
1. Its. Possessive form of “it”.
2. Companion’s. Another possessive form. Remember to use the apostrophe; without it this would be the plural of “companion”.
A question: the question mark belongs inside the quotation marks, the following sentence begins with a small letter unless…
3. … there is a name or… Look number 5.
4. “Their” is the possessive form of plural 3rd person pronoun. “They’re” is the shorter form of “they are”.
The most typical way of writing dialogue: a comma within the quotation marks, following sentence beginning with small letter.
5. The sentence that follows the speech act but doesn’t actually relate to it always begins with a capital letter. The speech act is ended with a period (or three), a question mark or an exclamation mark.
Them = The objective form of plural third person pronoun.
Than = Word used to indicate comparison.
Then = Used to indicate a shift in time frame. “First I did this, then I did that.”
6. You’re. Shortened version of “you are”.
7. Were. The past tense plural form of “be”.
8. Your. Possessive form of “you”.
We’re = we are.
9. If there are three periods, no commas are needed in addition.
10. The sentence within quotations clearly ends before it’s supposed to. Hyphen can be used in cases like this.
* It’s a common error to mix these up. Be careful.
Thanks for this article! Too many mistakes in a fanfic can make it difficult to read, and I really appreciate it. Even though this isn’t a grammatical error, people should also remember that ‘weird’ isnot spelled ‘wierd!’