Disclaimer: This is based on the hilarious "How to Write Badly Well" blog, which I do not own, and is set in the A-Team, which I also do not own.

First, let's get something very important out of the way: in order to write well, you have to write badly. Writing wish fulfillment, doodling out your fantasies, just going with no regards for spelling and grammar-those are all important tools in writing. You can't pound out a perfect first draft, and if you try, you'll strangle your creativity.

But here's the thing. You can't stop there. If you really do have a good idea, then thinking about it and revising will help you polish and shape it into something amazing. It's hard, but 90% of writing is rewriting, and sometimes you can find brilliant bits in the process. Even the best idea can be ruined by bad execution, and even a poor idea can become readable if it's handled right.

Write for yourself. Publish for your readers.

That said, tongue is lodged firmly in cheek from here on down.


For the beginning writer, fan-fiction writing can be a challenge. Not to worry, though! This handy guide will walk you through creating an exciting story that will have the reviewers eating out of your hand.

Rule I: Take time to establish your characters. They are the heart of your story, and it should revolve around the ones you yourself create, so you need to make sure that yours are memorable. The best guide is to make them attractive, so the reader will like them, and give them tragic pasts to create sympathy. Make sure you start at least three chapters before any action occurs. If you want to create a feeling of depth, go back a few generations and explain your character's history.

Rule II: Use familiar phrases to keep your readers comfortable. Call eyes "orbs," describe girls as having "curves in all the right places," or being the "most beautiful woman in the world," and use the word "stated" as a dialogue tag whenever you can.

Rule III: Good descriptions help the reader picture your character in their head. Make them detailed, and don't leave out the clothing, not even the brand names. Don't worry about it seeming dated or being anachronistic, it gives your fic an anchor in a specific time. Also, don't worry about describing little things like rooms or minor people—your reader knows what a room looks like already! Canon characters may be introduced with epithets, like "the white-haired man," or better yet, "the hazel-eyed man," because the first thing anyone notices about any other person is their eye color. Sorry, orb color.

Christina Hansen could easily have been called the most beautiful girl in the world. She had waist-length honey-colored curls, iridescent emerald orbs, a delightfully peaked nose, peaches-and-cream complexion, and a rosebud mouth. Her body curved in all the right places, and she was just the right height—about five foot six.

If her life hadn't been so horribly unfair, then she probably would have ended up a princess. However, she lived with an alcoholic father who was the only human being to not be charmed by her looks, and so he neglected or abused her, depending on how much he'd drunk that day. Finally she ran away, carrying only the clothes on her back—a pink T-shirt, jeans, a black hoodie with "My life has its own soundtrack" on it, and black boots—and a special locket engraved with a tiger's face.

Fortunately, a rich socialite took Christina in, and she was able to raise her twin daughters, Anna and Alyssa, in luxury. Both girls were even more beautiful than their mother. Anna had reddish curls and defiant blue orbs that shone of her perfect, heart-shaped face. Alyssa had black hair that usually hung in her chalk-white face, obscuring her glittering black orbs. She was quiet and rarely played with her sister, preferring to spend her time on magnifying glasses and anthills. Even so, their mother loved them both equally, and Anna never resented her sister's behavior—though she did try to save the ants.

Eventually, the two girls grew up, and fell in love with the same man. He chose Anna, and while Alyssa was furious at first, she bided her time until the two had a child. Then Alyssa stole the baby, along with the locket that had belonged to her mother, and ran to a corrupt judge she'd found. She changed her identity and had the baby written down as her own. That girl, named Lisa by her parents and Ursula by her conniving aunt, grew up to be a spectacular creature, with flowing chocolate hair and innocent sea-green eyes…


Rule IV: Don't worry about coming up with original, logical explanations for your plot; only the most nitpicky of reviewers will complain, and we don't need to worry about those basement-dwellers! Use Deus Ex Machinas, like magical lockets, even if this is a science fiction fanfic, or prophecies, dreams or amnesia to explain problems. If you can't think of any good reasons, don't say anything and nobody will notice.

Rule V: Make your OC react realistically, like a normal person would under the circumstances. Try lots of different emotions as you think of them, or refuse to believe that the given situation is real despite tangible proof, like real, sane people do.


Alex Hansen sighed and leaned back on her futon, settling in for another episode of the A-Team. She twirled one lock of her electric blue-dyed hair around a manicured finger, as the opening monologue began. Her violet eyes, which everyone who met her noticed immediately, lit up as BA's van crossed the screen. She was dressed in her favorite green A-Team T-shirt, a denim jacket, pink leggings and boots. How she loved this show.

A farmer was talking to his daughter about their crop difficulties. Alex played with the chain of her locket, a family heirloom from who knew how long ago, which she'd found in an attic and loved because the tiger looked just like the one on Murdock's jacket. There he was now, talking to Billy the invisible dog again. Alex giggled. He was so cute when he was being crazy. That was the last thing Alex remembered before blacking out.

When Alex woke up, the first thing she saw was that she wasn't in her own room. Alex realized she had a headache. Sitting up, she looked around, and froze in disbelief. The girl was sitting on a bed in a hospital that looked uncannily like the VA. She was alone, but not for long. The door swung open, and a nurse walked in, looking over a medical report. Then she noticed Alex staring at her.

"Good, you're awake," she stated. "How's your head? You took a really nasty fall."

"Where am I?" Alex asked, sitting up. Her head hurt.

"In the VA."

"I must be dreaming," Alex stated, lying back down. The nurse smiled and left.


A/N: Yes, the multi-generational fic has an actual fic base, only I shortened it to three moderately painful paragraphs. Also, it may be irrational, but I cringe whenever I see the word "stated" in a fic. Misuse has corrupted the poor dear.