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6 Rules for Writing FAHn Fiction


Rule 1: Audience

This is a vitally important component to all writing in any genre.  Who is reading your work?  As soon as you let someone look at your writing – a friend, a relative, a stranger, anybody (even FAH) – you have an audience.  And as soon as you have an audience, you can no longer write in a vacuum as if you’re only writing for yourself – you MUST think about your audience and how your work will be seen, read, and perceived by that audience (even if it is one person.)


Understanding that you have an audience means that you will always be a better writer because you’re not isolating yourself and you will remain conscious of what you put down on the page, whether it makes sense, why it is important, and how it contributes to the cohesiveness of your creative piece.  Without an audience, as writers, we tend to forget that anyone is out there reading our work and we become narcissistic and insulate ourselves – in other words, it’s fairly selfish to write only for ourselves and not to think about how an audience might react to or engage with our subject matter.  We turn inward and forget, instead of looking outward and remembering that others will respond to our writing.  We can always please ourselves, but what about our audience?


We know what private writing is like, for most of us have kept a journal or a diary and we have no intention of sharing that writing with anyone else. It is private and so we write to and for ourselves.  This is very different writing than writing for an audience.  As soon as we have an audience, we are responsible for what we put down on the page and we are responsible for taking care of the reader and helping the reader understand our stories. We must think and care about our audience as writers. 


Rule 2: Structure (narrative/poetic)

Structure can constitute plot, characters and setting.  It can be the literal structure of a piece (how it is shaped): linear or non-linear plot lines, for example, or it can simply mean having a beginning, a middle and an end.


For our purposes with fahn fiction, structure is also about language, tone and context.  All of these structural components lead to engagement with our audience.  How you structure your creative piece, the way you decide to begin your story, for instance, can mean the difference between immediately engaging a reader or alienating them. 


While you can’t account for personal preference or the tastes of all your readers, you can think about how you might structure your creative piece so that it is more likely to grab a reader’s attention and make them keep reading.  


Sometimes readers are interested in a genre structure: detective fiction, romance, science fiction. Sometimes they will want to read your writing because of a particular character in the title or a reference to a FAH sketch, but it is still imperative that we have a clear and defined structure for our creative fahn pieces.  Certainly, in terms of working with FAH subjects, we are in good shape because we have an arsenal of material that readers – including FAH – are interested in hearing about and exploring.


But don’t get complacent.  Always keep in mind that you still need a workable and working structure to your creative piece so that a reader moves through your writing with ease and enjoyment.  


Rule 3: Narrative point of view (perspective)

The narrative point of view is how you choose to tell your story.  Who is telling the story and how is the story being told?  It is very important to choose a perspective as a writer when creating any fahn fiction.  And by this, I mean, how will you approach your narration: first person, omniscient narrator, third person and so on.  It is also vital that you stay in one perspective, unless you warn your reader that you will be changing directions.  


Often, the narrative point of view is thought of as only being from a first-person perspective, but this isn’t always the case.  Think about how you want to control your story and then the way that you want your reader to be “let in” to the story. Is this through a single character or many character’s voices?  Is this through an omniscient narrator (this is my preferred way of writing fahn fiction) or a third person point of view.


Here’s a little rundown of narrative points of view.  Each point of view has its strengths, it just depends on how you want to structure your creative piece.


1. First person: told in an “I” voice and solely with the “I” pronoun.

2. Second person: told through directive, “you” pronouns.  This is a rarely used perspective for writing fiction and mostly is used for explaining directions.

3. Third person: told through he, she, they pronouns.

4. Omniscient: a narrator who knows what’s going on in all the heads of the characters – the all-seeing, all knowing narrator who can also comment and make observations about the world at large or other people in relation to the plot or characters.


The two most common narrative points of view are first person and omniscient.  


Rule 4: Relatable content / universal human experiences

No matter what subject or genre you’ve chosen for fahn fiction, there needs to be some aspect of relatable content that will engage your audience.  Granted, since we’re writing about FAH, relatable content is obviously more prevalent, but it may not always be clear what that content is or whether an audience will engage with it or not.  


Relatable content is about knowing your audience and also about knowing what you will write about and why.  Content in a story is not always clear and even in a fahn fiction piece content is sometimes confusing, frustratingly vague, and entirely buried so that it is impossible to know what the story is about even after several readings.  


A hint: don’t just throw in FAH or a FAH character to a story or poem that you’ve created and expect it to be viewed as fahn fiction.  You must think about how you will develop your story or poem and make it work within the parameters of an actual, full-fledged story with solid narrative structure, an engaging beginning, middle and end, and believable and compelling characters.  


The best fahn fiction is read by a stranger who knows nothing about FAH, but who can relate to the universal themes that you’re writing about and who does not want to put your writing down and walk away.  So, you always need a good story!  

Rule 5: Organization

Do you want to create interesting, compelling and engaging fahn fiction? Make sure that your creative piece is well organized.  Organization can apply to the way you introduce plot lines, characters, or events in your stories and it can also be about the way you create poems – not all poems are sure fire winners as they are first written. Often it takes some rewriting and reorganization to make a poem come together and be a cohesive piece of writing.  


The way we organize a piece of fahn fiction is very important. Even introducing well-known characters such as Anne, Barry and Oisín or Granny, Stephen or Gerald must be done with a sense of organization and context.  We don’t want to just throw them into a narrative, they will sink and die on the page


Also, be cognizant of how you are setting up a plot, whether it makes sense and whether you follow your own time line in the development of your story.  If you introduce a character, make sure that the character and its relevance in your story is explained.  If you write a plot twist, make sure that you explain why this happened. You can easily do this through dialogue between characters or by explaining something through an omniscient narrator.  


Rule 6: Accessibility

Accessibility is the culmination of all aspects of your creative piece coming together.  Never write your piece of fahn fiction as if ALL fahns know as much about FAH as you do – they don’t.


Don’t assume everyone is on Patreon. They’re not. Don’t assume everyone has seen my website  - - or is even familiar with the FAHn Wiki.  Many fahns are just being introduced to FAH, as the fahndom is still growing; some fahns have stumbled on FAH via YouTube or Facebook or Instagram and have only watched a few sketches. They may not even be familiar with the characters that you are writing about or know the sketches that you reference.


Not all fahns will know the Easter eggs that you’re including in your fahn fiction or the “in” jokes that you and your fahn friends make with one another.  


Successful fahn fiction is about universal accessibility, no matter how long one has been in the fahndom, so it is important to choose subjects and content that will appeal to a wide range of readers in the community.  

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