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Star Wars Fanon:How to Publish Fan Fiction on Star Wars Fanon

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This page is a Star Wars Fanon guide or help page.

It gives an in-depth explanation about its subject, such as a policy or Star Wars Fanon feature. Feel free to update the page as needed, but please use the discussion page to propose major changes.

So you want to publish your fan fiction onto the Star Wars Fanon Wiki, eh? We, the community, laud your efforts and would love to have your story added to our collection. For those of you who are new to wikis in general, or else have never published stories in wiki format, I would like to offer this comprehensive, step-by-step guide to formatting your story so that everyone can enjoy it to its full potential.

OverviewEdit

Prior to publishing your first work, we recommend that you become familiar with our site policies, particularly the Manual of Style, the Layout Guide and our editing policy. It also helps to look at other authors' works to see how they build their pages and format their stories. Determining what type of story you are submitting is also key, and we have a simple formula for helping you to determine this: short stories are typically 1,000 words or more, novellas are 7,500 words or more, and novels are 40,000 words or more. This guide will assume that you are familiar with basic wiki formatting, but features an appendix at the end for those troublesome coding peccadilloes.

There are four basic things that you should keep in mind for when you decide to publish: the article page for the story, the sub-pages that contain the actual story and how to format them, and binding it all together cohesively. Other things to consider are the type of story you are publishing (short story, novella, or full-length novel), the people, places and things that appear in your story (characters, droids, planets and such), and what inspired you to write this work and what went into it.

I, Goodwood, shall do my best to explain each process, and how I choose to do it for my own stories.

The article pageEdit

This is, essentially, the cover and inner flaps of a hardback book. It is where you talk about the story, tell the community what it's about, insert a promotional blurb and an excerpt, and links to the narrative itself. It's the spine of your story, and binds it together. There are seven common elements to a fan fiction article page: the introduction with infobox (cover art optional), the publisher's summary, an excerpt (usually 300 words or less), the table of contents where you link to narrative sub-pages, a plot summary, an appearances section, and a behind the scenes section. Most of these are optional, however they are recommended for promotional purposes (for example, featured work or featured article). An example of a well-developed article page can be found here.

Introduction and infoboxEdit

The introduction is a basic summary of what your story is, and can explain what the story itself is about as well as real-world details, such as authorship and this being your first (or fiftieth) completed story and whether or not it is part of a series. In general, it is a short blurb meant to attract the attention of potential readers and, ideally, should be fairly brief.

The infobox is a basic listing of publishing details, such as the author, editor(s), timeline, canon, and whatnot. While it is optional, most authors use it, and it can be helpful in categorization. The raw code for the infobox is shown below, just copy and paste the contents into the top of the article page, then fill it in with what information is available:

{{Infobox Book
|image=
|book name=
|author=
|cover artist=
|editor=
|publisher=
|release date=
|media type=
|pages=
|isbn=
|canon=
|era=
|timeline=
|series=
|preceded by=
|concurrent with=
|followed by=
}}

As you can see, the infobox is multi-purpose, useful for all kinds of stories.

Publisher's summaryEdit

This is, essentially, the promotional blurb you see on the back cover of a paperback book. Get creative here, try to describe the overall feel of your story and what it is trying to convey, while at the same time withholding enough plot details to entice the reader into wanting to find out what you've got planned. A good way to learn this subtle art is to read the backs of your favorite Star Wars novels. Such a summary is optional, of course, though it is recommended.

An example of the code for a publisher's summary can be found below:

{{Opening crawl|align=center
|name=''Title of book''
|text=''Promotional description paragraph one.

''Promotional description paragraph two.''}}

This produces:

Title of book
Promotional description paragraph one.

Promotional description paragraph two.

Feel free to experiment with the idea of such summaries, there's no right or wrong way to do it, nor is there a word limit.

ExcerptEdit

This is just a simple matter of transposing a section of narrative from your story into the article itself, so that potential readers can get a glimpse of your writing style. An excerpt should be no more than three hundred words; though it is optional, it does bear consideration when writing your page. Excerpts and publisher's summaries can both be added later, once the essentials of the article page have been written and published.

An example of the code for an excerpt can be found below:

{{Template:excerpt|
Text of excerpt here.
|source=''[[Your story/Chapter One|Your story]]''
|copyright=true
|attrib=[[The author (probably you)]]
}}

This produces:

Simply copy and paste the text you wish to display in the excerpt and insert the title of your story and your name where appropriate. {{Excerpt}} lists several options on how to make the template work for your purposes.

Table of contentsEdit

This is one of the required fields for a fan fiction article page, as this is where you link to the sub-pages which carry your narrative. According to our Manual of Style and Layout Guide, all narrative texts should be placed on sub-pages, such as Star Wars: Death and Life/Part One. Making a sub-page is as simple as inserting a forward slash (/) into the page link. This will automatically create a small link which connects back to the root page underneath the title header.

A table of contents is a listing of all the parts, sections, or chapters of your narrative, presented in order (much in the same way a nonfiction book works). There are several ways to do this, including a single column of links, a double column of links, or through the use of {{ChapterNav}}. Since the first option can become quite lengthy, and the second can be quite fiddly with having to make columns, I recommend the third option—provided your story does not contain too many sections. ChapterNav is a highly-useful template, as you can simply copy and paste it into all of your narrative sub-pages as well as the article page's table of contents section.

A list table of contents would look like this:

*[[Your story/Chapter 1|Chapter 1]]
*[[Your story/Chapter 2|Chapter 2]]
*[[Your story/Chapter 3|Chapter 3]]
*[[Your story/Chapter 4|Chapter 4]]

A ChapterNav table of contents would look like this:

{{ChapterNav
|title=[[Your story]]
|part1=[[Your story/Chapter 1|Chapter 1]]
|part2=[[Your story/Chapter 2|Chapter 2]]
|part3=[[Your story/Chapter 3|Chapter 3]]
|part4=[[Your story/Chapter 4|Chapter 4]]
}}

This produces:

Plot summaryEdit

Another optional section, this one involves a comprehensive but brief outline of your entire story. Here you can discuss point-of-view, the characters involved, where they go, how they interact, and what they do through the course of your story. Be aware that if you do choose to write a complete plot outline, you will inevitably include spoiler information, which is why I personally don't like to write them. Such a section is required, however, if you wish to nominate a story article for featured article. How long or how short you decide to make this section is entirely up to you, however this is not the place to put dialogue or narration.

AppearancesEdit

This one is so common as to be almost required, though technically it isn't. Be aware, though, that this is the place to highlight your own original characters should you choose to make fanon articles for them, or else your own fanon versions of canon persons, places, things or events. {{App}} contains a full explanation of how to use appearances templates.

An example for an appearances section can be found below:

==Appearances==
{{App
|characters=
|creatures=
|droids=
|events=
|locations=
|organizations=
|species=
|vehicles=
|technology=
|miscellanea=
}}

As can be seen, this is a fairly simple and easy way to categorize everything that appears in your story. Listings in an appearances section need not be linked, but if you do decide to provide such, then there are two ways to go about it, depending on whether or not the subjects are fanon or canon. For fanon subjects, simply use [[Your article]], and for canon subjects, you can link to Wookieepedia's article with a template, such as using {{sw|Dantooine}} to link to Dantooine. Like on Wookieepedia, columns can be used to sort long lists of items.

Behind the scenesEdit

This is another optional, though highly-recommended, section for your story's article page. In this section, you can go into detail with regards to why you decided to write this story, what your inspirations were, and what elements or influences from other media you might have incorporated into your work. This is also where you will list other real-world information, such as when you began writing, when you finished, and who might have edited the work prior to publication on the wiki. Don't feel that you have to go overboard here, but it is useful to at least include the author (you), the editor, and when you first posted it.

Story pagesEdit

Now that you've got the basics down for your story's article pages, it's time to put up the meat and potatoes. This is actually easier than one might think, the only real complications being in the use of wiki markups when formatting text, such as using apostrophes for italics and bold text, or the em dash for breaking hyphens—such as these.

Remember, per our site's policies, your story content should always be on a sub-page, using a forward slash in the title. Though this will link back to the main pages, it is recommended that you include links to the previous and next sections (where applicable) at the top and/or bottom of each sub-page. ChapterNav is especially useful here, as you can simply paste it into the bottom of your story pages.

You should not feel obligated to break up your story along certain lines. If you favor many short chapters, it is perfectly acceptable to put multiple chapters onto one sub-page, grouping them together by twos, threes or even fours on each page. Such formatting should, therefore, include sub-page titles such as [[Your story/Chapters 1-3]] (as an example), using header tags for each chapter such as ==Chapter One==. Doing so can enable the use of ChapterNav for stories that have many more chapters than available slots.

Categorization and copyrightEdit

On Star Wars Fanon, we like to keep things fairly organized via categorization. Your article page, if it is a short story (1,000 words or more), should be placed within Category:Short stories; the same goes for Category:Novellas (7,500 words or more) and Category:Novels (40,000 words or more). If you are posting a story as you write it, then you should use the appropriate in-progress categories (such as Category:Short stories in progress, Category:Novellas in progress and Category:Novels in progress).

Similarly, each sub-page of your story should be categorized. For multiple sub-pages, it is a good idea to make a new category for your work, such as [[Category:Chapters of your story]] That way, you can better organize your story segments both for your own ease and that of the rest of the community.

Because the various media and user-created works on this wiki are based on copyrighted materials, it is important that authors on Star Wars Fanon ensure that they comply with various applicable copyright laws. Our copyright policy illustrates the various ways in which this applies to our fan fiction and fanon, as well as the use of licensed materials such as images.

ConclusionEdit

I hope this tutorial proved to be of value to you, and that you choose to publish your original works here on Star Wars Fanon, even if they have been published elsewhere such as Fanfiction.net or the Jedi Council Forums on TheForce.net. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment on discussion page, or else the talk page of any of Star Wars Fanon's administrators.

We look forward to hosting your fan fiction!

AppendixEdit

As promised, here's a short list of things to watch out for when publishing on Star Wars Fanon:

  • Don't indent your paragraphs, as this will cause the MediaWiki software to think you're inserting a line of code. This can stretch into a single line of text that can extend for miles.
  • Alternatively, if you would prefer to format your story as a .pdf file (in order to get that classic "book" feel), simply link to the file in the Table of Contents section. Note, however, that some readers do not like to download files from strangers.
  • For wiki purposes, individual paragraphs are defined by blocks of text separated by double-spaced lines. As with forum posting, it is best to break up your text using this method.
  • Markup tags (''' for bold and '' for italics), if they are to represent more than one paragraph in a row, must be used on each individual paragraph.
  • Commonly-used symbols can be inserted into wiki entries using the box at the bottom of the edit page.
  • Use of images, infoboxes, or other templates other than ChapterNav and Copyright is not recommended (by me, at least) on narrative sub-pages.
  • If you aren't sure how to categorize your story or if you have any other questions or concerns, plenty of folks are willing to help, including me.

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