I had this thought lingering on my mind for a while, and just thought it’d be a nice thing to post. I’ve been bogged down with school, work, and a lot of real life stuff hitting me, so I haven’t been able to update this in a while. And I see that the same sort of things are happening with other people too, as the TF community, or at least the inanimate side of the TF community, has been pretty quiet over the last few weeks. So I just thought if might be helpful if I shared some advice for those who might be thinking about contributing. Because I know there are a lot of creative minds out there, and a bunch of ya’ll have great ideas. But we need more people to help keep this community going cause those of us who have sites can’t do it alone.
If you’re looking into writing stuff for the TF community, there are several ways you can go about it. You can draw art, write captions, or write stories. I can’t draw, so by no means will this be advice on how to draw transformations. (Honestly, I’m not very fond of a lot of the art for this genre anyways, as I’m not a big fan of manga (which is what a lot of the art for TFs are), and I just enjoyed actual photographs). But captioning is a fun, simple way to get started. And story writing can be even funner.
Captioning is probably one of the easiest ways to contribute, as there are many sites to contribute captions too, and they are easily done in a weekly blog format. Much of the time, I do my captions just within the blog itself, instead of of using photoshop or something of that sort to make it look nice. But using those kind of techniques do go along way to making it look professional.
When coming up with ideas for captions, the easiest way to begin is to look up pictures, and come up with ideas from those pictures. Just Google image something as simple as “Dress” and pick a picture you like. Then begin to ask yourself “What if?” for the picture. What if the girl in the picture was wearing her ex-boyfriend? What if the girl was the ex-boyfriend, and she was the dress, as the spell backfired? Using this, you can come up with crazy ideas for a cap from just a simple, innocent picture that never had anything to do with transformation in the first place.
And after that, just start writing. Write what comes to mind, and just run with it. Don’t question or second guess yourself…that part comes afterwards. Just write the full things out in one go. Maybe it’s from one person’s point of view? Or its third person, and we get to explore both character’s. Just remember this: First person can get deeper into a character’s mind, but it limits you to one character’s point of view. Third person is not nearly as personal with the characters, but you can explore all the characters without worrying where each one is. Second person is fun too, as it is the reader who you explore. But those are a little harder to pull off. When doing second person, be a little more vague so the reader’s mind fills in some of the details, but not too much so that he’s making up the story himself.
And when editing, the same rules apply to editing a book. Make it clean, readable, and make sure it makes sense! So often I find caps where there are no periods, commas, paragraph breaks, and I feel like throwing my computer up in frustration at how far education has plummeted in the U.S. (And I do understand if English is your second language, but if you’re American, you have no excuse). Make sure your punctuation is right, your spelling is right, and you break paragraphs correctly (which can be the most important, as one HUGE paragraph can be excruciatingly painful to read through). Now many times, caps are so short that paragraph breaks are not necessary. That’s great, just make sure you break the paragraph when it is necessary. Here’s a few tips when editing:
- Break a paragraph every time a new speaker is speaking. This helps the reader determine who’s reading, and it makes the page look much cleaner.
- Never close a quotation without punctuating it at the end, like this “This is an example” If you ever say he said or she said, or thought, exclaimed, whispered, or anything else after the quote, you end it like this “This is an example,” he said. With a comma. Any other time, use a period (or exclamation or question mark if you so desire). “This is an example.” The computer continued to buzz. (Two very random sentences, bu you get the point.)
- Read it out loud. This helps you not only see, but hear the mistakes. You are much more likely to catch them if you read them out loud.
- Colors anyone? It’s always nice when two characters are speaking in different colors for distinctions sake. When in doubt, the boy is blue, and the girl is pink! Make sure it contrasts with the background though.
- Spelling!!!! You have spell check for goodness’ sake!
- Italics are always nice for two things: Thoughts, and emphasis. For emphasis, just think about when you would emphasize a certain word. i.e. “You don’t think I could have the power, do you?”
- Things not to overuse, or really to use much at all: bold, underlined (unless you need to for names), exclamation points (because it sounds like your yelling), all caps (because it sounds louder than exclamation points), or a single word in general. Trust me, it’s obvious when your overusing a word, especially a long word. Try not to use a single word too close together, and if you’re stuck, try an online thesaurus.
Now I am guilty of not following some of these, or just not editing at all sometimes, but it is optimal if you do. If you’re looking for some advice on using programs such as photosphop, paint, or powerpoint to make your caps look a little more professional, head over to purseboy and at the top theirs a link to some nice tutorials.
And finally, find a medium with which to share your captions. The easiest is to find a blogging site (like wordpress or blogger), and create a blog of your own. You can always send them to other sites, like purseboy, but a blog is nice if you want to regulate how this gets published to the world.
And then, post! Let the world see what you have to offer. Don’t be afraid. And if you want more to see your caps, put links to different places you like in the bottom. This will let the owners of those sites see traffic from your site coming through, and they might link back to you. (Make sure its on topic though.) And comment on other TF sites, letting people know you made a blog. Don’t be conceited about it though, but be polite (i.e. “Hey guys, I started a blog, and was wondering if ya’ll would like to check it out.”) (Not: “Check my awesome new blog out!!!”) It goes along way when you use politeness, just like it does in the real world.
Anyways, hope ya’ll enjoy. I’ll be posting some about writing stories later.