#i've just been thinking too much and am somewhat stumped by all the new ideas i've got for sonic going forward
hi jyn! do you have any advice for someone who wants to get into fic writing? i've been a reader of squalor for a long time and i want to write my own stuff but i'm not sure where to start. any advice would be much appreciated! love your blog!!
Anonymous said: hi hi! I have been living the reader insert side of tumblr lately and really want to start up a blog that does the same type of thing, do you have any tips or tricks on getting your writing seen or venturing into this new territory? I’m just afraid I won’t be welcomed into the community y’all have built >< :(
Hello, sweet friends!
I apologize for the delayed response on these two asks. I’ve kept you both in mind and jotted down some notes over the past couple of weeks. <3 I certainly can’t claim any part in building this community, but I sure am happy to be here now.
While I’ve worked somewhat extensively in copywriting, content writing, and technical writing, my foray into fiction is extremely recent—until this February, I’d not written a scrap of it since I was in elementary school. I may not be the best person to ask for advice on developing expansive narratives or elaborate plots, but when it comes to getting started on shorter-form fanfiction, I would suggest focusing on the following:
Define your characters
Before you open up your ask box to the world, decide which characters you’ll write for and why. Write it down. What compels you to write for each of them? It’s a great opportunity to briefly explore your relationship with the character, and can serve as a sort of ‘guiding light’ to return to when you’re feeling stumped or uninspired. If you feel ‘meh’ about your reason for writing a certain character, consider if you really, really want to include them... or if you feel obligated to. First and foremost, you’re writing for yourself—because you enjoy it!
Flesh out headcanons for each of your characters. For example: What are their specific turn-ons? What do they call you? You could snag a smutty ask meme or the NSFW and fill it out for each character in your writing notes—you’ll start to see a more fully-developed, well-rounded image of them by the time you’re through. Consider how your narrative voice might change with each character, too.
Writing tips ‘n’ shit
Show; don’t tell. How can you communicate what’s happening in a scene without giving a court secretary’s transcript of the events?
Let your reader imagine things. Creating a rich, immersive environment is great, but don’t worry about describing the color of the upholstery of every single chair in a room unless it’s critical to the scene. Our brains are pros at filling in the gaps with our own detail. They have fun with that shit.
Make sure your smut is, like, literally… physically... possible. Yeah.
Evocative and interesting language is fun to read; flowery, flourishy language… not so much. Trim down your dialogue tags and adverbs where you can. They get cumbersome. Write the way you talk. It’ll sound more natural; I promise.
It’s good to keep your syntax at least somewhat corralled, but do feel free to play around with your semantics a little… as a treat. Fiction is supposed to be fun. Well, I think it is, at least.
Really think about what you’re saying implicitly
Reader-insert is a great exercise; you have the opportunity to flex your creative writing muscle without overtly describing reader-chan’s physical attributes… but sometimes *gasp* it sneaks in!
One way I see this pop up SO frequently in smut pertains to assumed whiteness/thinness. Consider the following (intentionally exaggerated) statements:
“Oh no you got the worst sunburn!”
“Your butt turned bright red after the spanking!!”
“Your cheeks were pink with embarrassment!!”
“He ran his fingers through your long, silky-smooth hair!!!”
“He threw you over his shoulder like you weighed nothing at all!!!”
Without ~literally~ saying any of it, you already know reader-chan is 1) white or light-skinned, 2) someone who does not have a ‘natural’ or coarse hair texture, and 3) relatively thin and/or small.
If you’re a white and/or thin author, there is nothing wrong with writing a reader-chan who can sunburn or be swept off their feet—but acknowledge that using these signifiers without openly noting them is effectively communicating who you believe your ‘default audience’ ought to be… and alienating everyone else.
I also fully realize that almost all M/F fics assume reader-chan is abled, generally heterosexual, cisgender, and at least somewhat femme-presenting—which I don’t mean to neglect in conversation, and am always open to chatting about if you’d like to.
Be extremely diligent in tagging your work with CWs and/or TWs. The only way people can avoid triggering content is by filtering out Tumblr tags and checking those lists before starting a fic. It’s a courtesy, but an imperative one!
Use Tumblr tags so folx can find your stuff! I believe the most common are: character x reader, character x you, character/reader, character/you, and character + fanfic/fluff/smut/etc.
Remember that the value lies in your creative efforts, not in the external validation you get.
Writing something because you’re passionate and excited and you have an idea bouncing around in your head that just neeeeeds to get out? That shit matters. It matters regardless of whether or not you publish it, whether five or fifteen or five-thousand interact with it. Your work still has value.
Join Discord servers and make some writer/reader pals! I met almost all of my bloggie friends through Discord, and I’m SO grateful for it. I just made a server today if you’d like to say hi!
I hope some of this is helpful and relevant to what you’d like to do. All my love and best wishes! xoxoxo
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