Tips For Ed, Edd, N' Eddy Fanfiction is a forum on Earth to Edd and The3Eds forums written by "Yoshermon" on how to write good fanfiction. The following is the entire guide as seen on the forums written out onto the wiki for convenience. Note: All credit goes to Yoshermon for writing the guide.
- Update: Because the original guide dosn't cover all topics of Ed, Edd n Eddy fanfiction, a seperte section has been created to help with the other aspects of Ed, Edd n Eddy fanfiction commomnly seen on this wiki. Please note that this new section is not affiliated with Yoshermon's Original guide.
This is a guide on how to write fanfiction as well as stories in general. Most of it comes from my experience as a writer, as well as this website: http://www.plottopunctuation.com/blog
It is a blog from a professional writer who posts articles explaining how stories work and how you can make them better. Many of the things I will be talking about in this guide are shortened and simplified versions of these articles, for those who are less serious about writing but still want to know how to make a good story.
Grammar Class Crash Course
Many a fan fiction have been ruined by lack of good spelling and grammar, which are pretty much the most basic fundamentals of writing. I won't post an entire grammar encyclopedia on here; I'm pretty sure you can find one online, but I'll go over some of the common mistakes people have made.
Know your to's, too's, and two's.
The dreaded T-words. These homophones are among the most commonly mixed up, and while differentiating them may not seem important to some people, it is still proper grammar to know when to use them.
Two: Knowing when to use two is pretty obvious. All it is used for is the number 2, and nothing else. When writing numbers, if the number is below 10 than you write it out (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine). If it is above 10, than you use the actual numerals to show it (53, 3834, 666, etc.).
To: To is often used the most out of the three of them. It is used most often in future-tense, meaning that it implies something that hasn't happened yet. It is used in sentences such as but not limited to these:
"I'm going to the park."
"I'm going to kill you, and all the cake is gone."
"We have to do something to distract it."
"Madam, please to be putting on more clothes."
Too: This is the word that almost everybody gets confused with. It means an excess or shortage of something, and can be used as another way to say "also". For example:
"He's too powerful!"
"too much of a good thing."
"There's too little air in here."
"I'm going too, and you can't stop me."
Knowing the difference between these words may not seem important, but if you ever hope to get something published one day then it should be a given (and even if you don't want to publish anything, it's still good practice).
There, They're n' Their-y
(I bet you're wondering where that title came from.)
Another trio of homophones that can be difficult to know when to use sometimes, there, they're and their can also tell the reader if a person has really put effort into his or her story or not.
There: This word is used for describing location, to tell where someone or something is. Some examples include:
"He's over there."
"There she is!"
"Then there were was one."
"There's no time!"
They're: This word is an abbreviation of "they are," and nothing else. For example:
"They're under attack."
"They're sure to turn up eventually."
Just remember that this word is an abbreviation, so if you're not sure if it fits in your sentence read it out loud and say "they are" where you put "they're". If it sounds correct, then keep it.
Their: This word is possessive, and it describes something that multiple people have, for example:
"He wrecked their boat"
"It was their fault"
"Their only hope is to jump"
Remembering the difference between these words can make a world of difference in your stories as far as correct grammar goes and can make them much more easy to read.
It's and Its
These two words are pretty simple but almost always mixed up.
It's is the abbreviation of "it is", and nothing more. People often think that the apostrophe makes it possessive, however this is not true. Examples include:
"It's too late."
"It's gonna blow!"
"It's gonna be a long night."
Its is a possessive term for something that's neither male nor female:
"The door blasted off of its hinges."
"The car crashed, its front bumper flying off."
Getting these two mixed up can annoy many people and cause them to lose interest in your story, so make sure you know when to use them!
Punctuation in a story is very important, and knowing how to use it properly is key in any piece of literature. Of course, like the homophone section, I'm not going to go too in depth with this, but I'll list the basic punctuation marks and when and where they should be used.
Periods ( . ): One of the most basic of all punctuation marks, the period is only used to indicate the end of a sentence. Putting three periods in a row (...) can indicate a long pause, however it is not advised to use more than that.
Commas ( , ): Another basic mark, commas are used to make short pauses in sentences. They help sentences flow like a person speaking, and they make them easier to read in general. It's hard (for me anyway) to describe exactly where commas are supposed to be used, but usually you can find out by reading your sentence out loud and finding where you might need a pause.
Question Marks ( ? ): Putting one of these at the end of a sentence in place of a period will turn it into a question.
Exclamation Points ( ! ): Another end punctuation mark, this will add emphasis to the sentence. Generally not a good idea to use them in writing unless it's used in dialogue or the story is written in a first-person point of view. Also, using more than one isn't advised.
Apostrophes ( ' ): These are very different than commas and periods. They are used in abbreviated words such as don't, won't, couldn't, etc. and they are used to make something possessive. Here are some examples:
"It's Bobby's car!"
"Today is yesterday's tomorrow's next week's seven days ago."
"The computer's screen flickered, then died out."
When multiple people or things possess something, or a word already ends with an S, then you put the apostrophe after it, like this:
"The childrens' playroom was a mess."
"Lucas' Franklin Badge deflected the lightning."
"The lights' glow vanished as he flipped the switch."
Quotation Marks ( " " ): Quotation marks, or quotes, are most often used to show dialogue in a story. Whatever the character is saying is inside of a pair of quotes, with the first mark being before the first letter of the sentence and the last mark being after the ending punctuation (period, comma, question mark, and exclamation point). They're explained further in the Proper Usage of Dialogue section below.
Colons ( : ): Colons are used in place of a period to indicate a list, or to define a term. I use them quite often in this guide.
Semicolons (;): These punctuation marks are used similarly to commas, though they imply greater separation. A sentence usually follows along a sort of main idea, and breaking away from that mid-sentence doesn't sound right. A semicolon is a solution to this, though once again I can't really describe exactly where and when to use them.
Parentheses ( ( ) ): Parentheses are used to put extra information in a sentence (like this) where the sentence would sound fine without them. If a sentence ends with something in parentheses, you put the period outside of them (like this). When they are used in a break in the sentence (where you'd put a comma), you put the comma after them instead of the word before.
Proper Usage of Dialogue
Dialogue is what a character in a story says. When someone says something, it's their dialogue. In most pieces of literature, dialogue is represented by quotation marks. New dialogue always starts on a new line, and in professional writing, a new paragraph as well. However, when a person says something, and then says something else in a separate pair of quotes without anyone saying anything else in between, it stays in the same paragraph.
One thing you should remember about dialogue is that it is part of the sentence. When you start a sentence with dialogue, if you have something that comes after the sentence (usually "she said" or "he said" or some variation of those two), then you put a comma before the quotation mark, like this:
"You are doing very well," GLaDOS said.
When reversed so a sentence begins with "he said" or "she said", you end that part with a comma and then put the quote, like this:
Alyx looked at Gordon, and said, "You don't talk much, do you?"
Note how I capitalized the first letter of the sentence inside of the quotation marks. The only time you don't do that is explained below.
Sometimes dialogue is split within a sentence, so you have to use both cases described above. They'll usually look like this:
"Well," Mark sighed, "he did save us."
When a sentence looks like that, you don't capitalize the first letter of the word in the second set of quotes, since it's a continuation of the sentence started in the first set of quotes.
Overused Concepts in Ed, Edd, n' Eddy Fanfiction
I've seen many fanfictions since I've started writing and reading them, and I've seen many ideas and concepts that have been repeated in many different stories by many different authors, and I consider them overused. Here is a list of them in many Ed, Edd, n' Eddy fanfiction stories:
-A new kid moves into/visits the cul-de-sac. This is probably one of the most overused concepts in Ed, Edd, n' Eddy fanfiction. It is where the writer has an original character move into or visit the cul-de-sac. Often times they'll have the character befriending the Eds, much to the other kids' (especially Kevin's) surprise and sometimes to their (especially with Kevin also) jelousy. Some people have pulled this off rather well mind you, but that is because they have good spelling and grammar, they put great detail into the description of their character(s), and have a solid, thought-out story.
-A new kid becomes the fourth Ed. This is a subsection of the concept above, however it is overused almost as much and I feel it should be described with more detail. This is when a new kid moves in with a fourth variation of the name "Edward" and hangs out with the three other Eds. This is used a lot and some people get so wrapped up in the idea of a fourth Ed that they don't even think of a story to go with it. Like the above concept, however, it too can be pulled off well if the conditions above are met.
-Kevin is extremely angry at the Eds for some reason and goes to great lenghts to kill/hurt/humiliate them. This often goes along with "the new kid moves in" concept and is highly overused. We all know that Kevin is a jerk in the show and many people like to exploit that in their stories. So they make Kevin become the main antagonist in the story, often times to the point where he'd go so far as to injure or kill the Eds. Another popular trend with Kevin is that he gets extremely jealous by the fact that the new kid(s) in town hang out with the Eds, so he tries to kidnap/harm/kill them along with the Eds. Doing this, ironicly, makes Kevin out of character. He may be a jerk, but he wouldn't go so far as to permanently harm someone, even the Eds. The only way I can think of to pull this off well is to give Kevin an emotionally painful history and a very good reason to want to kill/hurt the Eds or any other character in a fan fiction. Thanks Muji.
-An apoctalyptic event or natural disaster happening in or to Peach Creek. This is a bit less overused but I've still seen many an incomplete story having to do with the apocalypse or natural disaster happening in the cul-de-sac. This kind of plot can be hard to finish, for you have to answer the rather large and difficult question of "What happens to the kids after the world ends/the earthquake/flood/tornado/hurricane/alien invasion/giant monster attack is over?". One must have a creative mind and a solid plot to pull this off, but those can sometimes be hard to find in the right place at the right time in the right story.
-Crossovers or plots involving the Eds suddenly becoming heroes or "chosen ones" for little to no reason. This goes well with the crossover section of this guide. Basically, far too many crossover and original fanfictions have the Eds suddenly going on a quest because they are "the chosen ones" or "have special powers that have yet to be realized". Like all overused concepts, this can be pulled off (not easily, though) well enough with good writing skills. My biggest pet-peve of this concept is in crossovers, when the crossover element is rushed or there is not explanation of why the Eds are "the chosen ones" or "are unlikely heros destined to save the Earth/universe/galaxy/cul-de-sac".
-Using members or names of members of the forum the story is being posted on in the story. Everybody likes to have them star in someone else's Ed, Edd, n' Eddy fanfic. But putting members or their usernames in a story makes it seem more like roleplay than it does an actual fanfic. I think this concept would be better suited for forum games and things like that rather than official fanfiction.
If anyone is using these concepts, please don't be offended by my saying that they're overused. I'm not trying to bash anyone's story or anything, I'm just posting a lot of concepts and plot outlines that are used in over 60% of the stories I have read over the years. Any concept, now matter how overused can make a story shine if the person writes it well enough.
A crossover fanfiction is when the characters from one series (A show, movie, book, comic, etc.) interact in some form with another series. The fanfiction is still about one series, but another series is involved with the story in some way.
Crossovers leave a lot of room for creativity as they increase the number of characters and settings one can use in their story. However, crossovers can very easily make you forget to think them through, and many people simply post things off of a thought that popped into their head. Crossover fanfiction requires just as much thinking through as regular fanfiction, maybe more.
There are two ways to do a crossover fanfiction. One way is to have characters from the series meet or interact in some way with characters from another series (for example, if the Eds meet Link from The Legend of Zelda).
Another way is when you replace characters from a series with characters from the series you're writing a fanfiction about (such as the cast of Star Trek being replaced with Ed, Edd, n' Eddy characters).
Both ways require thinking and especially for everyone to be in character. Many fanfics that I've seen over the years amount to nothing better than:
its a normal day at the culdesac. Suddenly, sonic the hedghog comes!!!
Eddy-what are you?
sonic-i'm sonic the hedgehog
sonic-I need to kill docter eggman and i need your help
Edd-sounds cool, lets go!!!!!
I may be exaggerating, but not very much. I have seen many crossover fanfics like this and worse, so don't be the next person to write one! Here are some tips on writing good crossovers:
-Keep everyone in character. This is important for any fanfiction, but is especially important in crossovers. Before you have the Eds suddenly run off with Solid Snake to go on secret missions, think about how Snake would react to meeting some random kids who want to go on dangerous missions with him. Make sure everyone is in character and acts the way they would in their own series.
For crossovers where a series' cast is replaced by the one your writing the fanfiction about, this rule varies a bit. You'll have to choose whether the characters act like they do in their own series or if they act like the characters they're replacing. Either way, it is still important to keep them in character--whatever character they are.
-Don't rush into the crossover element. In many crossovers, both bad and somewhat interesting, the writer introduces the crossover aspect way too soon or without any sort of explaination. For a good crossover, you have to have a solid beginning and some sort of explaination as to how the crossover happens. Some people say in their story that all cartoons, movies, etc. are in different realities and someone found a way to travel between them. Some people have other ways of explaining how the crossover happens. But however you may explain it, explain it! Also, don't have the crossover happening within the first three lines of the story. Give some sort of beginning, whether it relates to the story or is just filler. Have the character go through their day like normal until suddenly a wormhole appears and spits out Megatron or something, but don't have everything happen at once.
-Describe the characters, places or items in the crossover. Not everyone knows who Coraline, Cell, or Sasuke are, so if you introduce them in your story then explain them a little! Describe the character with at least some detail so the person reading the story will have an idea of who they are and what they act like. This will give your story a little depth and it will make it just a bit longer.
-Keep the series you're writing the fanfiction of the focus of the story. Another way I've seen crossovers go bad is when the series they're making the fanfic about becomes a minor part of the story while the crossover series becomes the main part. In other words, if you're writing a fanfic about Ed, Edd, n' Eddy and the story has very little to do with them, you may as well be writing a fanfic about the story Ed, Edd, n' Eddy is crossed over with.
Crossovers can make great and epic stories, but only if they're done right.
Sometimes, the cast of a fanfic is just not enough. You want to do something else but you don't want to make a crossover. So what do you do? You make an original character!
Original character can give fanfics a new twist and can add creativity like crossovers do, but they can be just as risky as crossovers as well. An original character is a character that you make up and add to your story. They can make a fanfic really good or hard to understand. There are few but important things to know and do when adding an original character:
-Describe them thoroughly. Original characters need the most detailed description because no one but you knows what they look like. Describe how they look; give detail about their clothes, hair, and accessories. Describe how they behave and act towards different situations.
-Don't make your character(s) a Mary Sue. A Mary Sue is an original character with little to no personality flaws or just seems too perfect. This is especially important for Ed, Edd, n' Eddy fanfics, where every single character has obvoius flaws and harships in their lives. It isn't a good idea to introduce some person who barfs rainbows and makes everyone happy by randomly dancing and having everybody join for no good reason. That is, unless you want to use that as a cover up or disguise for a more sinister/strange plot. A Mary Sue is also a character that hogs the author's focus in the story and makes the other characters less important, often coupled with the lack of personality flaws like mentioned above. So when making an original character, make sure not to make them too perfect.
-Don't overlook the series you're writing the fanfiction about. Sometimes people go overboard with original characters. They make them the focus of the story while the characters in the series are background or minor characters. Or sometimes people have too many original characters and the characters in the series seem like some sort of crossover. Try to avoid these situations at all costs; it's alright to have one or two original characters be the main protagonists/antagonists of the story but don't have them outshine the series you're writing the fanfic about.
-If the original character is not actually yours, give credit to the person who made it. Plagiarism is very bad and can ruin your reputation if someone finds out you're doing it. If a friend or someone online made an original character and you used it without permission then that's plagiarism. Always give credit where credit is due, and you'll go places.
Character developement is a more advanced part of writing that can really make a story powerful. Basically, it is the process of defining who a character is and having that definition change throughout and because of the events of the story.
For example, let's say you write a story about Kevin. He can be a jerk, not just to the Eds but everyone in the cul-de-sac if he feels like it. He has an unhealthy attachement to his bike, which he treats better than most of his friends but he genuinely cares about the other kids when push comes to shove.
Now, let's put him in a situation where he has to choose between saving his bike, which is teetering dangerously over a cliff or helping Nazz who is hanging by one hand on said cliff just a few feet away. His face dripping with sweat, Kevin nervously looks back and fourth between the girl and his bike, knowing he cannot save both of them at once. At the point where the tension breaks and he dashes for the cliff, he catches the bike right as it topples over. Nazz falls to her doom, only to find out that there was a ledge right under her and she was too afraid to see it.
Nazz is alright, but heartbroken that Kevin would choose his bike over her. Kevin sees her after getting his bike safely on the ground and is palpably relieved, but she refuses his help and gets back up on her own. She runs off in tears as Kevin tries to talk to her, and he's left with his bike. He looks at it, his pride and joy, his vehicle that he rode around everywhere on since the day he got it, and Kevin wonders:
Is my bike really more important than my best friend?
This is where his character starts to change. Kevin realizes that his obsession for his bike has gotten way out of hand, to the point where he'd let Nazz fall to her death over it.
This is one of the ways to acheive character developement, where you take a character's beliefs and shatter them right before their eyes. How they react and cope with the change defines and molds their character, and this can be a powerful story element.
It is better explained in the blog linked at the top of the guide, and what I just wrote is merely the tip of the iceberg.
General Story writing Tips
-Before you post your story onto the forums, copy it into Microsoft word or a spell checking program to make sure there aren't any spelling errors.
-Make sure to keep everyone in-character. This means that everyone in Ed, Edd, n' Eddy acts in the story the way they would if the story was an actual episode. For example, an out-of-character Edd would be rude, foul-mouthed and have a lack of common sense. Unless the writer provided some kind of explanation for that behavior, the story would start to lack depth and it wouldn't really seem like the Edd we all know and love. Keeping characters in-character is really important in fan fiction, so don't forget it!
-Try not to repeat the same adjectives, verbs and adverbs too much. Using the same word over and over to describe something can make your story dull and repetitive, so be creative and expand your vocabulary so you can describe things without using the exact same word to depict things with each time.
-Do not use pictures (Unless they are original and related to your story, then I guess it could be considered fan art), chatspeak or emotes in your story. They can make it very shallow and can sort of ruin that picture the story paints in your head.
-Don't make your chapters too short! This is one of the big problems I've seen on various websites is that people have been posting very short chapters of their stories. Short chapters in a story can make people lose attention quickly and make it seem like you didn't put much effort into it. Try to make your chapter at least three to four paragraphs long (a paragraph, for those of you who failed second grade English, is a group of usually four or more sentences about the same subject. After each paragraph you should start the next one two lines down so there's a break in the text, making it easier to read) before posting it. This will grab the reader's attention and compel them to read your story.
-Don't make your chapters too long! A good length chapter is essential, but a chapter that goes down for miles without end can be a bit hard to read. If you do have an exceptionally long chapter, cut it into two or possibly more chapters. This will not only make it easier for the reader to save a place in the story so they can get back to it later, but it'll also leave room for people to comment on and criticize your story as well.
-Read your story over to check for mistakes. A good way to check for grammar errors and to see if everyone is in character is to read your story out loud to yourself. Say each sentence the way you or the character in the story would say it and see if you need to change the punctuation or wording at all. If you do not want to do this or are unable to, then save your work but do not post it. Wait for a while (a few hours to a few days generally) and then come back and read your story again. When you give your brain a period of rest you'll be able to spot mistakes and things you want to add or change before you post your story.
-Be willing to accept criticism from people who read your story. If someone points out flaws in your writing and suggests how to fix them, then that's constructive criticism. If someone just bashes your story with little to no reason as to why, then report them to the moderators. Read old fan fictions and people's reactions to them and see if you can learn anything. Wise people learn from their mistakes, but wiser people learn from others.
-Think your story through before posting it. If an idea suddenly pops into your head, do NOT post it right away. Think about your story thoroughly and ask yourself these questions:
-What happens in my story?
-How does it start?
-How is the conflict (The problem) introduced?
-What do the characters do to solve the conflict?
-What happens in the climax (The part where the conflict gets solved, often happens near the end of the story)?
-What happens after the climax?
Once you answer these questions, you're ready for a rough draft. Once you've written it, review your story and ask yourself these questions:
-Is my story original?
-Are the characters all in-character?
-Do I have enough detail?
-Do I have correct spelling and grammar?
Once you are able to answer these questions, you're ready to post the first chapter. Now, you don't have to write your entire story down somewhere before you can post it. That's just a suggestion. But you should really think about what is going to happen during your story before you post the beginning of it on an impulse. Many a good fan fiction has been left without an ending because the reader couldn't think of anything more to put in it, so make sure you know what'll happen next!
I hope this guide will help writers write bigger and better Ed, Edd, n' Eddy fan fiction stories and other stories as well.
If anyone has any suggestions for this guide (Anything I can add or change, anything I should take out, etc.) please post them!
The Ed Fanon Wiki Update
Overused Concepts in Ed, Edd n Eddy Fanfiction
Here is a list of the many overused ideas for Ed, Edd n Eddy Fanfiction on this wiki. You can also add any other overused concepts if you want.
- Total Drama Island/Action/Musical crossovers. - This is an increasing trend on the wiki. People have been writing more and more of these types of stories. One of the problems is that most, if not all of the stories follow a similar plot: The Kids of the Cul-de-Sac are seperated into two teams, and compete against each other in a series of challenges extrmely similar to the ones featured in Total Drama Island/Action/Musical in order to win a large prize. Pretty much all the stories have a plot like this only with minor tweaks. This probably wouldn't be as bad if the stories had a plot that stood out from all the others, otherwise the readers would get tired of the stories and think to themselves: "Hey, this story is just like that other story I just read". Again, a solution to this would be to write an extremely elaborate, well written plot that stands out against all the others.
"Episode Guide" Style Writing
Episode Guide stlye writing is the most common way poeple on this wiki type thier stories, where it resembles an episode guide page on the Ed, Edd n Eddy Wiki. These types of fanfics typically look like this. This is the incorrect way to write a fanfic. A fanfic IS NOT an episode and it should not be treated like one. It is a story and shold be treated like a book. Instead of having a small sentence for the plot, you are supposed to have a full story as the plot. There shouldn't be a section for quotes, the quotes should be part of the story as lines of dialoge. There is no need for a trivia section unless you intended the page to be used to give background information on the story.