From Fanfiction to Novels

by britney
(california)

Question: i have written fanfiction stories that are as long as my arm but i want to expand how do i do that?


Answer: The simple answer - which I think you already know - is to create a story involving characters and a universe that are your creation, not someone else's.

The good news is that, since you've written a lot of fanfiction, you must know what type of stories you like. So why not take one a franchise you like and give it a twist. Ask yourself some "what if" questions. For example, what if Harry Potter wasn't a wizard but a lawyer, race car driver, psychic, or oceanographer? What if vampires weren't immortal but only lived for a day? What if Star Trek took place in Ancient Greece with triremes instead of starships? What if Sherlock Holmes was set in modern day London (oh wait, someone's just done that).

If you keep asking enough "what if" questions, you'll stumble upon an idea that really interests you.

Then do the same thing with the characters you like. Change one thing at a time about them until you find yourself with new people you would love to write about. Maybe combine two characters you know into one, or combine a character with someone you know in real life. Also check out the article on Archetypal Characters on the Write a Novel page. You can create characters who fulfil the same roles as in stories you love, but who look totally different on the outside.

Also, remember to read nonfiction as well as fiction. You can get great ideas from history, science, biographies, current events, etc.

It's all about finding a story idea that craves to be written. It may take a little time, but if you keep asking questions, you imagination will give you the answers.

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