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:iconespada-kitsuki: More from Espada-Kitsuki


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November 28, 2012
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The Rules and Commandments of the Fanfiction Writer

1: Thou shalt use correct punctuation, grammar, spelling, and pay heed to the rules of the English language; thou shalt never use shorthand.

That’s right, folks. The things that bug people, although they may seem minor to you (or because some people are just too lazy to put their effort into the grammar, spelling, etc) are huge to other people. For example, would you want to read this…
“U SHOULD USE CORREAFCT, PUNTUATOIN GRAMMAR SPELLIN N, ENGLSIH’
It is the same, basic format as the first commandment, but does it impact you the same way? Do you prefer it to the cleaner version? I didn’t think so. For texting, format and spelling like this are fine. But what’s important, even on dA, is that you put pride and effort into what you write. We don’t ask for perfection. But we do ask for you to try to improve yourself. Isn’t that what dA is for? To show off your art and then improve? Remind yourself that many people will be reading your work. The point is, if you use correct grammar, people are more likely to be able to read your pieces.

2: Thou shalt not be cruel in your commenting to the author—otherwise known as flaming.

When you write to someone, don’t try to discourage them. Don’t try to make them miserable. Remember that people on dA are, as stated above, here to improve. It’s practically impossible to improve when you’re actually trying to flame them and to bring them down. Instead, use constructive criticism. Imagine yourself in that person’s spot, and try to think to yourself: “Would I like to be spoken to this way? What kind of feedback works for me?” and there you go.

People have also posted my work and degraded it in forums, dissecting every bit apart and saying that my work is just plain bad. Don’t do this to other deviants, fellow friends! People should not be discouraging to others who are struggling to improve!

3: Thou shalt not lash out at the person committing the flaming.

If you lash back at the deviant, then they will surely be getting the reaction they want. That will only reinforce the flaming. If you reply brashly, then you’ll also pass off as immature, which certainly won’t be good for your situation. So instead, ignore the person doing the flaming. You could block them or delete the comment. Just don’t give them a reaction they’re aiming for.

4: Thou shalt credit the work of others.

Whether it is copyrighted or not, if it is a song by Taylor Swift, or a picture found on Google Images, always credit it or, even better, cite it. If Himaruya drew a picture of America and England you’d like to use as a preview image, then cite it! If Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a song you’d like to use for a song fanfiction, then cite that as well! It’s better to take the time to credit the creators than to be banned or suspended from dA because you were reported for stealing copyrighted material. If it is the work of another deviant, link to their page or directly to the material. If you can, provide the link to the song or the website from which the item was acquired. Don’t take risks!

5: Thou shalt use only the languages thou art familiar with.

In other words, don’t go to Google Translate to copy and paste whole sentences and paragraphs. I’ve tried it before, and often it doesn’t get the wanted results. If you’re writing a fanfiction using the language you learnt fluently, you might particularly want to focus on the dialect of a certain area or the usage of words. If you’re using Google Translate, you definitely won’t get those results. Plus, it’s as good as a machine. It doesn’t interpret things that humans do, and will confuse the meaning of a word for another—which, in another language, will make a great difference. So if you speak French, use French. If you don’t, then don’t use it. This goes especially for Hetalia fans; I’ve seen whole paragraphs pasted off of Google Translate, and trust me, it doesn’t get the right effect if you speak the language they’ve used inaccurately.

6: Thou shalt thoroughly research your work, minding the time period, usage of material, certain trends, etc.

I particularly like to write for the Victorian era, being the Black Butler fanatic I am. So what do I do? I go online or into books to research what I write. I look into the clothes at the time, the popular things, the industry, and transportation. So I know that girls of that era aren’t going to inherit tons of land and money from their parents. Instead, what I would do is find a more realistic way with supporting reasons to incorporate that prospect in instead of just sticking it in there. And if you’re writing for a certain anime, manga, movie, or book, then go read/watch it! Takes notes! Be thorough! You can’t be too careful in this field!

7: Thou shalt be mindful of the audience the work is being displayed to, following the rules of deviantART.

If you’re going for plain, hardcore material, slap a warning on it. You’re not going to submit it with a “No Mature Content” rating and present it to five-year-old children. It’s just not done. And be sure to put it into the correct categories, as dA’s rules state to do. That way, people will be able to find your work more easily and won’t chide you for not submitting correctly either.

8: Thou shalt not come up with completely unrealistic ideas and present them with no supporting facts, reasons, or storyline.

Now. What I’m talking about here is the fanfictions that have no ideas or at least made-up facts to them, no background, and absolutely no storyline. These fanfictions are just rants and drabbles. When writing a fanfiction, one must at least create a believable or supportable storyline, as short as it may be. A one-shot or a drabble should have a theme, at the very least.

9: Thou shalt not plagiarise.

Never, ever steal someone else’s work! You could be banned or suspended from any site you take part in if you happen to do so. If you borrow someone’s work or include it in your own, then you must credit it to them.

The tenth and most important commandment: thou shalt love writing fanfiction and have fun!

Writing fanfiction is a pastime, a hobby, and a passion. Writers should always love doing their work! Hey, that’s why we write!
Hey~ I've seen so many fanfiction works out there that I can't even count them... but just how many of us pay attention to quality? Effort? Good work? Sure, humour and drabbles are one thing, but poor quality...

And I have very few problems like that with all my good friends here on dA. Your writing is lovely :heart:.

I base all this off the 10 Commandments of Christianity, which I happened to be raised with... pay no heed to me.

Black Butler and Hetalia fanfiction requests are still open for free! Do not hesitate to ask for a fanfiction! I specialise in reader-inserts.

... and I own nothing, nothing that is copyrighted and listed in my commandments. I do not own Himaruya or Toboso (although secretly I would like to). I do not own any person listed in the commandments. I especially have no control over Hetalia XP.
Add a Comment:
 
:icongamera68:
gamera68 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I've had number 9 happen to me!
Someone stole my original fan-fic idea word for word and claimed it as their own.

They were reported immediately and banned from FF.

Their 'friend' PM'd me and said it was a joke afterwards.

I didn't find their 'joke' very funny :iconmad-plz:
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I've actually had an instant in which someone thought I plagiarized.
Turns out they thought my Quotev and I were separate persons. But thank God for that!

... "Jokes" don't particularly revolve around plagiarism very well. I wonder if it'll be "funny" when you do that for a report in college.
Reply
:icongamera68:
gamera68 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I see.

No they don't and I was NOT happy about it.
True as well...
Reply
:iconsherlymate:
sherlymate Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
ahh i wish fanfiction authors could read this.... i've read so many stories where they were filled with misspellings, and they were ooc, and research wasn't done... but the spelling and ooc-ness drove me crazy!
:P
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

And OOC-ness, I deal with sometimes for the purpose of certain fanfiction (for example: 2P!characters, although I don't necessarily enjoy 2P versions), but in my opinion, research in a "must" in most cases.

And grammar and spelling... I won't even go there. Too important to skip out on.
Reply
:iconsherlymate:
sherlymate Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
same here, it depends on the story, if its good, i won't mind the ooc too much, same with spelling and grammar... but poorly written stories, i just look for another one :P
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
True. Excessive "messiness" is what causes readers to miss out on fanfiction with great plots and storylines. Mistakes, grammatical errors, etc.
Reply
:iconi-love-doitsu:
I-love-Doitsu Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Student Writer
B-but Google translate is okay some times!/shot/
No I'm just a lazy ass hole and I dont want to write in English~ it makes me want to tear my hair out 0д0
Anyway this is really helpful :iconfangirlzplz:
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, Google Translate is acceptable in a few situations, for maybe a simple sentence or a word or two like: "Hello" or "How are you?"

Perfectly acceptable. :)

And I'm glad you enjoyed this.
Reply
:iconyoudoos:
YouDoos Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012
Hmm, would the insertion of Japanese, or generally in the actual cases of application, 'Weeaboo' words or phrases in stories clash with rule number 1 and possibly number 5? I mean, some instances seem fine such as certain suffixes, names, incantations and so on because it is suitable due to linguistic differences. However, more often than not the author seems to just throw in terms such as 'baka' and 'teme' even though there are suitable English alternatives that do not cause grade 3 English teachers to weep at night. I realize it's all informal with no actual set standards, I just find it annoying considering I have the 'English' filter on, not the 'Weeaboo' filter. Or maybe I'm just an elitist twat who should get off his high horse.
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't believe that you're an elitist at all. Although I do like to use Japanese terms in my journal and in some of my writing, in all cases, I tend to put them in italics or a set of quotations. Altogether, I try to avoid using it and actually find it a bit annoying, since I prefer write from either an English or American perspective, and I don't think that random Japanese terms should be thrown in without a good reason at all--perhaps because it fits a certain character, or a similar, solid reason.

I really find that I have little to no respect for weeaboos, because they make such a great deal out of Japan and anime (particularly the anime) to the point that it's an obsession, and they don't know half the things about Japan's culture itself. A lot of fanfiction writers also pretend they know what they're talking about when it comes to Japan--they don't. This also clashes with rule 6: Research your work.

Not meaning to insult weeaboos or anything, but that's what I have to say on the matter.
Reply
:icongamera68:
gamera68 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I completely understand your rant about the whole Japanese catch phrases and whatnot's, as my fan-fics are based upon Japanese manga series. I have read several fics where a certain character in the manga translation adds ~ desu to the end of nearly every sentence.

Is it really necessary to portray the character the same way when writing her dialog in English?

No, I strongly believe it seems out of place and completely unnecessary.

The same with honorifics ie: -san, -chan, etc... just no.
Or using Japanese terms when addressing parents Okaasan is one example. Really? In English?
Or other terms that most readers have no idea what they mean, without a translation note at the end of the chapter.

*sigh*

/End of rant....
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
... for the first example. Wow. Desu is not necessary at all, and the idea of someone including that after every one of their sentences tells me they either don't know what "desu" means or they think that it's cute. "Desu" is not one of those pieces of Japanese that are acceptable in English fanfiction.

However, I have to agree with the deviant I originally responded to in regards to incantations, suffixes, etc. It may or may not be because I am very partial towards Japanese honorifics if they are used correctly. I am actually guilty of the usage of those in quite a few of my fanfiction, and after a few years weaving in and out of the fanfiction community I've learnt what looks and sounds pleasant in a sentence and what doesn't, and I think that's what I base my writing upon most. However, in an original (perhaps published) story, I would never include the use of those suffixes unless the situation drastically calls for them.

But because this is anime and most of the fanfiction I read using said suffixes gives me the proper atmosphere to build upon in that world (such as Bleach and Death Note, both of which take place in Japan), I will often approve such use of honorifics. However, I will not approve of such honorifics in fanfiction for Black Butler, Hetalia, etc. Since those should be primarily English-based (BB is in England, Hetalia is international). As quoted from the PPC wikia:

"Japanese honorifics are one of the few pieces of Japanese that are acceptable for use in English language fics, as long as they are used correctly. If you can't use them correctly, or are not sure of how a particular honorific is used, then you should leave them out."

This is how I personally feel.
Reply
:icongamera68:
gamera68 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I see. Thanks for the explanation but I still refuse to use them n my fics.
Reply
:iconmgonz46:
Mgonz46 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very Useful! I'm on my first fan fiction and I can see that I need to fix a thing or two. :iconsweatplz:
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, these aren't a strict set of standards. Feel free to experiment and mess with things a bit, although I feel that these rules should be at least vaguely followed.
Reply
:iconmgonz46:
Mgonz46 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh ok
Reply
:iconkaitobunny88:
kaitobunny88 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
This is most definitely a thing.
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you :heart:
Reply
:iconvioletalexander:
VioletAlexander Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Useful!!!! People need to use this for sure! Not many but...quite a few, heheh...*shivers*
I can deal with a few spelling mistakes/errors because of typos and maybe a missed spellcheck but...
When the whole thing seems to be written in a different language because of mistakes...*dies* It's so tragic!
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yup, I thought I'd write this since... eh... some of the fanfictions I see on dA are... *shivers* frankly, kind of... scary.
Yes, of course. I get a few little typos in my writing all the time, so... I tend to be happy with a fic that has many 7 errors in it... 10...
*dies with you* Tragic indeed!!
Reply
:iconwitchgender:
witchGender Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Student Artist
Thank you! This needed to be said!
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, yes... *shivers* It needed to be said very much... I only hope those who did not know these rules will pay attention more to their writing.
Reply
:iconwitchgender:
witchGender Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Student Artist
Me too.
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, you're online! ... What time is it in your time zone?
Reply
:iconwitchgender:
witchGender Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Student Artist
7:33 am, but I'm sick so I can't go to school.
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoa... then we must be in the same time zone. It was around 7:33 when I was on this morning.
Reply
:iconwitchgender:
witchGender Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Student Artist
I'm in California, you?
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
...?! Me too!
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconwinddragontiamat:
WindDragonTiamat Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, you shouldn't limit rule #1 to English, that is a thing that must be considered in any language. I also don't write fanfictions in English, because I think that I don't know well the grammar rules, so I prefer to stick to Spanish, that is my mother language.
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, well, I mean to say "English" as in grammar and the structure of a sentence and all that... but certainly correct grammar and sentence structure are welcome in all other languages. This was veered towards the American fangirls... since we can get a bit out of hand.
Reply
:iconshadowrunner240:
Shadowrunner240 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012   Writer
Hear, hear!

Finally, someone has put my thoughts and annoyances to paper (er... internet)! I've tried explaining to people about things such as this, but they never listen! -headdesks- I've almost completely given up on the world, but you made it better!
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, yes. Yes, yes, yes. The tragic of those who have completely terrible grammar on all fanfictions... I'm particularly unhappy with Commandment 8, since so many people... disobey it...
Reply
:icontymestalker:
Tymestalker Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
11: The OCs of thine shall not run rampant over the existing characters of the fanfic's universe ;-)
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Correct, indeed!! I am writing a "How to Create an OC" guide, and that's right in there. ;)
Reply
:icontymestalker:
Tymestalker Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
[link] Just a short take from me. I write in fanfiction and I have to be really careful about OCs
Reply
:iconlennythynn:
LennyThynn Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Student General Artist
This I love.

Especially no. 5 and 6. Artists should go pay heed to those, as well. Maybe I like them so much because I myself do truckloads of research on anything I draw or write, and tend to cringe when I see others haven't.
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!

Yes, 5 and 6... I do believe a good fanfiction can be a well researched one. Since sometime I write for Hetalia (the whole anime and manga basically revolve around... ah, slightly warped history) I have to be careful.
Reply
:iconlennythynn:
LennyThynn Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student General Artist
You're welcome!

True!<3 But it's not only historical facts that have to be well-researched, the general personalities and personal histories of characters have to be well-known to the author, too. Things like pregnancies, sprains, injuries, sicknesses, cooking techniques, etc.(I could go on and on), those have to be well-researched (or have personal experience of) as well, to give it authenticity.

People also tend to forget that research does not have to be confined to text and internet, they can ask the people around them for information, too. Who better to ask about the various experiences of living a childhood through WWII than your own grandparents? Or asking your mother what it's like to take care of so many children with chicken pox... or even asking that one friend what it feels like being so very scared of spiders, and what exactly is it about them that creeps her/him out? Of course I realise that it can be quite awkward asking people things, but it is a research option that is overlooked rather often, and one that can be such a goldmine.
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Of course. The one thing I always find a bit disconcerting is the fact that characters are OOC: out of character. Either that, or there's the opposite: they're overdone.

Oh, yes. The every day things that are underestimated. Pregnancies, sprains, injuries, sicknesses, and cooking techniques, I agree, are all things that need to be studied and at least understood to be able to work with.

Of course not. It's always great to get first-hand information, even if it's slightly inaccurate--by compiling several people's points of views of World War II, we can probably also see how they perceived of it and why. Did where they lived at the time affect them? What's the colossal difference between the perspective of someone who was in England at the time and someone in China? Some people say that China didn't have much of a role in the war, actually--I think that's rather biased, though, if you haven't gathered information.

And the emotions from a person who's dealt with the specified thing/ideas (chicken pox, spiders)? That's great. You can't really find that kind of information online, unless someone has a personal page about why they're afraid of spiders.

Research is ever so important, albeit complex and certainly complicated at some times. But in the end, it's all worth it.
Reply
:iconmelalina:
Melalina Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
Commandment #1 is the reason why I don't read more dA literature. Sometimes even the title is spelled incorrectly. Thanks for posting this.
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you :heart:
Reply
:iconbarathethornninja:
BaratheThornNinja Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Student Writer
I've seen so many fanfics that go against Commandment 8 that it's not even funny. Thank you for putting out these tips. I will share (and of course cite you) these words of wisdom.
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you :heart:

Commandment 8 was something I had to put in there, because of the many fanfictions that have upset me through a lack of plot and thinking...
Reply
:iconbarathethornninja:
BaratheThornNinja Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Student Writer
I agree. It's my big pet peeve, too.
Reply
:iconrusty-san:
Rusty-san Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Right on! ^.^ It's nice to know there's still a spattering of sane people on the internet
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you :heart:
Reply
:iconaprildawson:
AprilDawson Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
these are GREAT tips. Now I should go back on my fanfiction stories and look for accidental tense mixups, missing words in a sentence, and accidental typos.
Reply
:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you :heart:
Reply
:icondna-the-authoress:
DNA-The-Authoress Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
OH MY GOSH. THIS IS BEAUTIFUL.

I just want to spread this all over the internet (with links and credits, of course ;)) to all of the places where crappy fanfiction writers gather. I say this in the most loving way possible because I used to be a crappy fanfic writer myself who broke some of these rules when I was just starting out. Now I'm a semi-crappy fanfic writer who at least follows these rules. XP *sigh*
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