So over the last couple of weeks for whatever reason people have been asking me "How Do I Get People Interested In My Series?"
Now I did write an article similar to this before and those who read it will no doubt point out similarities but things have change a bit since then with the new site redesign so I decided to update it, enjoy.
How To Attract Readers
1. The Title
While your title is the least of your concerns when writing a story it is definitely the reason why a reader clicks on it since due to how Comic Vine is currently set up we don't have a big huge giant flashy cover to show off.
So imagine you're in a comic book store for the first ever time and you're looking around and you see thousands and thousands of comics, which one do you choose?
Well from what I can remember of my eight year old self you go for the shiniest and coolest one you can see the same applies to the title, how do you name it you ask?
Well that may take some brainstorming but you should ask yourself this, if I were to sum up this character, this team or this story how would I describe it in five words?
Tell us about the
Events in the
2. Open With a Good Sentence
This one you would think is fairly straight forward but it isn't, it's been proven that our attention span is beginning to drop more and more as information spreads faster which means it is a lot more harder nowadays to get readers to sit down and read you story.
How I think writers should tackle this is open up with something exciting or intriguing....
When opening a comic for the first time you always read on when you see a character do or say something cool, what comes after may be quite complex but you're intrigued by what the character just said.
The same applies to story telling in text format, I'm not saying you have to open with a big huge explosion all it takes is a mysterious line or even a quip a character says (that's how I go interested in Daredevil)
My point is setting is great for creating atmosphere and it should definitely be used in your story but do NOT open your story with a paragraph describing how cold the floor is, because all I need to do is click that x button and go read Superman Vs Godzilla.
3. Write Characters IN Character
Yet another no brainer right?
But, one of the things the "average" person believes about Fan-Fic is it is a bunch of fanboys/fangirls writing their favorite characters completely OUT of character.
This applies to even the minor characters and admittedly in some cases they are right, Comic Vine has a great database for looking up major events in a character's lives but if you don't read comics with them then you don't get the characters voice.
Look at Superman.... he's an alien who crash landed on earth and was raised on earth, if you never read a story with him in it you'd probably think he'd be saying things like "Greeting humans...I come in peace."
4. Write Well
Hate to plug my own thread but the reason I set up How To Write Fan Fiction was so that writer's could improve the weaker parts of their writing by bringing in some of the best writers on here to talk about an aspect of writing they know well and for the most part, not because I've a big ego I think everyone should take a look at it and see if there is anything they feel they need to improve on since even the "pros" need to learn a thing or two from time to time.
Even still if you feel the thread doesn't cover a topic well enough or you'd like to find out more you can always join a group.
You may not see the point in joining one but having someone to talk to or give an opinion on something really helps, heck I'm sure if you read an awesome action scene in a story by one of the users I'm sure if you gave them a polite PM they might be able to give you advice.
Overall if you write well, readers will follow and readers will be interested in staying on the site and maybe writing some Fan-Fic of their own.
5. Before You Post
HOLD UP AMAZONIAN PRINCESS YOU NEED TO FOLLOW THESE FINAL RULES BEFORE POSTING.
nothing scares reader's off quicker than bad grammar or misspelled words it doesn't matter how experienced or how talented you are we all need to edit, if we didn't need to edit then the likes of Marvel and DC would fire all their editor's.
What do I mean by editing?
Edit out all the spelling errors, make sure your grammar is correct and make sure every sentence works!
There's no point spending a paragraph describing something if it isn't going to mean anything later on and the more a sentence works, the better and it makes reader's want to read on.
If you can try to get a friend to look at it, you'd be amazed what a new pair of eyes can tell you.
DON'T BE AFRAID OF IMAGES
While I wouldn't overdo it and some people may disagree with me I would advise throwing in an image or two to spice up the page and to not make readers feel like they're being forced to read a block of text.
So maybe throw in an image when a new characters is introduced or when a key scene is happening, the majority of your readers love the visual medium we can see that because they're reading a fan-fic on a comic or a tv show, so throw them a bone every now and then.
Not everyone is going to get your nod to that obscure issue, write it as if you're writing for someone who has never read this character before, when writing you're trying to guide your reader through this crazed fantasy you've cooked up with as little barriers as possible.
6. Continue To Be Awesome
The people who have read this far are in my opinion the people that make the Fan-Fic community so great.
You care enough about the "state" of Fan-Fic on the site without getting paid a penny.
I think the state of Fan-Fic on this site will contine to be great as long as you guys are around so don't worry and finally....
THANKS FOR BEING AWESOME.