Hello there Kandice! Firstly, I feel so honored that you asked me for some pointers. I didn't realize that my fan-fiction was that good. Just to let you know, I'm Jordan (male). :) And also, I checked your profile, and yay! We're both Santana lovers, and Finn dislikers! :P
I've got a few tips that might help you with your fan fiction. They're just some little things I've learnt along the way, as my Unitards fic was my first one I'd ever done before.
Firstly, if you're holding auditions for characters on the wiki, I suggest you try and avoid picking HEAPS of characters right away. A big problem that happens in fan fics is that the people writing the fic choose too many characters and then they are forced into introducing all the characters at once. I'm not sure whether your fic would be one with new characters, or ones originating from glee, but I think if new characters are being introduced, spread them out over a few episodes, don't have them all introduced at once, as the readers will simply forget who the characters are if they're all introduced at once.
One of the biggest things with starting a fan-fiction is to take your time at the beginning to get to know your characters better. In the beginning of my fic, I was still confused with who all of the characters were. The more you write your story, the more you will get to know your characters and find writing for them easier as time goes on. This is something I've learnt with mine. At first, I kinda had no clue who anyone was, and I made the mistake of introducing all the main characters in the very first episode. However, if your cast isn't with too many characters, then possibly it'd be alright to introduce them all in the first ep, but it's really up to you.
Another handy tip is not to use too many songs in each episode. Yes, the songs will vary in numbers every time, and sometimes you'll have episodes with lots and lots of songs, but I think I overdid the songs in my fic at some points, and it can take away from the plot if too many are used. The plot is the main focus of the story, and as much as the songs might add heaps to the plot, you have to be careful with song quantity.
One other helpful point I should mention is not to start a storyline if you have absolutely no idea where it's ending. I've done that plenty of times, and usually, the end result doesn't turn out to be as amusing as it was initially said to be. For example, don't just create a new couple of characters beginning in a relationship that you want to break up, if you don't know when they'll break up. It's sort of hard to explain, but basically try and plan out your stories beforehand and in advance so that way you have a better idea where you're heading with the plot. This sort of leads me on to another thing. If you ever get caught up in a storyline and you don't know how to continue it, don't simply ignore or forget it in the next episode. That is one of the worst things to do. Continuity is important in pretty much all stories. If you don't know how to continue a story you started, maybe think about how the story will end and resolve. That way, you have something to work towards and it might help with coming up with a conclusion, if that made any sort of sense, whatsoever.
I hope some of those tips come in handy with your writing. By the way, sorry if I typed up too much, I'm just one of those people who when they start, can't stop, lol. :P
But i wish you all the best in your fic and I hope things turn out good. If you ever choose to write the fic, please feel free to drop the link on my message wall, and I'll be happy to read and follow the fan-fic. :)
Hello again Jordan! Thank you for the advice! I agree with you about the introductions of characters being staggered, that makes a lot of sense. I never really liked when Glee brought in more than one character in an episode personally. As for which characters I'm using, I haven't decided if they will all be new, or have any from the show. I'm avoiding the show characters, so that I can make it fully compatible with any other fan-fiction as a rival school, I guess. I love it when fan-fics interact. :)
I also agree with the song usage, however I never really felt like there was a need for more than three or four songs in an episode. They basically add a little color to the plot, not much more.
And with the third tip, I'm definitely going to be plotting out the entire storyline before I write anything. I want to make sure I know exactly when specific events are happening, so I can interweave them all together effectively. It will also help for keeping characters consistent, which I always have trouble with.
I will definitely send you links for the "episodes" when I write them, but I did have two questions? The first- would you be willing to compete against each other at a competition? Not sure which one, but I've always wanted to do a combination competition with someone! I don't know when your story is starting up again, so there's that.
My second question- is there an effective way to get good characters from "auditions" on this website? I have seen this Percy "Spider" Reed character in almost every fan-fiction with the exact same bio, on pretty much every fan-fic on the wiki. I want original characters, but am I allowed to say that if I have an audition post?
Sorry for the lengthy reply, but I just wanted to hit every point! :)
Yes, me too. I was also especially annoyed how they introduced Matt Rutherford, gave him nothing to say, sing or do, and then for the next season, make him disappear. At the beginning of my fic, I introduced a few characters originating from Glee, but now I kind of regret that, because sometimes it interferes with the real story if they reappear on Glee. That's why Sugar Motta will eventually be leaving my fic next season. And yes, I love it when fics interact too. This season I've got one other user's fan-fic appearing on The Unitards. Their name is Fusion and they'll be versing The Unitards at Nationals. The user of the other fic also used my glee club in theirs too.
Me too, I would say six is a good number of songs as a maximum, maybe slightly over every now and then if need be.
Keeping characters consistent and in-character is very difficult to do. I've had trouble with that, especially at the start of the season. They've all got their own little personalities and traits and it's difficult to remember everything. Another quick tip is to check back at the original character auditions when you're writing, if there's ever something you need to know about a character but you're unsure, check back at the audition.
First question - I would love for our fan-fics to interact! :) Whenever your season starts up and continues a bit more, we could begin to arrange a time when they could be featured. Of course, my only question is whether it'd be completely interweaved, so that both fics are put into one episode, and that one episode is included in both of our fan-fics with equal screentime for both clubs, or whether it'd be that they have cameos in our own fics, for example, your glee club might make an appearance in my fic, or my glee club might appear in yours. I'm not really sure if I made any sense then, but it's something we could discuss later on, if you wanted.
Second question - yes, that Percy "Spider" Reed character is included in practically almost every existing fan-fiction. He's even in mine, if you could believe it! :P There are quite a few characters that users continously reaudition on each new fan-fic. Personally, I like new characters as well, that haven't been used in others, as that way it makes your story more unique and your own. I personally think it would be okay if you mentioned that you only want original characters in your fic, on the auditions post. I mean, this probably won't stop some people from still re-auditioning old characters, but I think it'd be good if you wrote that. :)
Okay! All of that definitely sounds good. I do understand what you meant with my first question- Interweaved would have our groups splitting one document, with half of the time devoted to each group, and the storylines interacting with each other- sort of like Troubletones vs. New Directions. The episode they are interweaved in, would be the same in both fanfics. Cameos would be like the Unitards and new Directions on the actual show, or any Glee Club that has been on Glee for one episode only.
A third option would something LIKE the Warblers, but less often, where the groups interact long term, but with less consequences to individual plot lines. It would be something like season one, where the Deaf school and the school for the girls were both present before the competition, but they didn't do much in the way of affecting individual stories.
And a FOURTH option would be like Vocal Adrenaline, where they show up now and then and interact, with less long term effects. Sort of like how every time VA appeared, it just kind of left this mist of awe over the Glee club. Not the same effect, but just the "showing up now and then with less long term effects" idea.
Sorry, I just kind of went crazy with these ideas :P Let me know if these make sense!