Joyful Wraith Creativity
Get Started and Keep Creating Stargate Wraith Fanworks
This was written for SGA works in mind, as I saw sites and people come and go, due to technology, economy, health, cliques, canon disagreements, etc. but can apply to other fandoms or projects as well. Start out or fall in love all over again! 🙂
Sources of inspiration:
*Rewatching your fave episodes and looking at your fave backstage photos
*Screencapping software to slowly click through treasured scenes
*Reading other fanfics or tie-ins and thinking to yourself, “What if…” or “I wonder why no one has written about this topic yet?”
*Role play games (RPGs) (more on this below)
*Parks and outdoors
*Stock photos or clips from fashion magazines or travel brochures
*Any other excursions, events, or places which bring you mystery, beauty, joy, and magic
*Let your mind wonder and wander as you fall asleep or do calming, repetitive activities, such as walk, shower, mow the lawn, wash dishes, paint, sew or knit, etc.
Collecting your ideas:
*Keep scrap paper and pens or pencils for jotting down ideas for characters, scenes, plots, or artwork compositions (or a voice-activated recorder if ideas come to you while driving or running– but stay safe please and keep your eyes on the road)
*Keep idea snippets in computer files
*Keep file folders, digital and physical, of inspiring photos
Set up a joyful workspace:
*Special pens, drawing tablets, or journals that get you in the zone
*Pictures or objects that make you feel at home
*Special music collections to write or daydream to
*Pay attention to ergonomics and lighting
*Turn off phones or email programs do cut down on distractions
Keep things fun:
*Have fun and don’t deprecate yourself—enjoy the process and not do not fret about perfection. Rough drafts, sketches, and layers are there for a reason and even then, a work with a few mistakes is better, more beautiful, and more fun than no work at all
*Daydream often of the joy of characters and settings
*Give yourself permission, space, and time to dream
*Don’t force anything, keep it fun and mysterious
*Don’t feel obligated to adopt any or all Legacy traits just because others might be doing it and don’t stop writing because of what others are doing. Not everyone accepts the tie-ins as canon and the various books and comic books contradict one another and the show sometimes too. Only do so if it inspires you and brings you joy. If you have your own fanon, write that and love it too.
How to get started writing fanfics when you don’t know how or where to start:
*Try role play games (RPGs), either formal or informal, with people who you trust and games which treat *all* of the Wraith as serious characters, not having some or all as joke side characters. Smaller, Legacy-oriented RPGs with OCs seem to inspire people to create more characters, art, and minifics which are timeless and resonate with more people outside of the game world.
*Write a journal or diary entry for a character
*Try to write a fake news article about scene, which removes you somewhat as the narrator and is all exposition, if dialogue seems daunting at first
*Write a story in theatrical play format, which has less exposition, if exposition seems daunting at first
*Write a one-scene set-up or a minific to keep it short to start out
*Write a scene you think was missing from an episode or happened in between episodes the show didn’t explain well enough
*Write a scene or episode from SGA and let readers know you wanted to give the Wraith point of view
*Re-write a scene or episode and let readers know you wanted to give the Wraith a better ending
*Rewrite a fairy tale or fable with an SGA setting and characters and see what changes and what is universal
*Retell a timeless story trope from the point of view of life in on board a hive and it will be brand new through your eyes and Wraith or worshipper eyes. All stories boil down to tropes anyhow, from ancient Greece, to Shakespeare, to Bollywood, right? Love triangles, common quests, characters who fight at first and/or end up stuck together and then in love… Do something new with them, make them yours, make them Wraith, and they will be new and unique.
*Try out various voices to see what you like: past or present; 1st or 3rd
Writing longer stories:
*Longer stories can start to show more characterization– give characters flaws to avoid making them Mary or Gary Stus. This makes them more interesting and gives them problems to work out and compelling stories and missions.
*Feel free to jump around and not be bound by a linear format, write fave scenes first and feel inspired by how much progress was made
*Save Early Often! Save multiple copies. On longer stories, I will save them with dates and times in the names, in case I need to roll something back or retrieve a section I accidentally wrote over.
*Have fun weaving a themes and/or foreshadowing into a longer story, maybe also foreshadowing
*Have your story fly under the radars by keeping it mysterious and avoid naming certain body parts directly. Google the site “Sex in the Romance: A Review of Romantic Encounters of the Close Kind” for examples and ideas.
*Along with the describing features Wraith have which humans do not (sensor pits, hand mouths, pronounced spines, etc.), mods are not going to care to sort through that and won’t know how to make sense of it all—but fans will. 😉 See what the penalties are, if any, for mature content. Some sites will flag the work or the profile as mature, some will delete the story. I’ve not seen a Wraith fanfic deleted yet. I have seen some sites censor nude Wraith drawings.
Story editing and beta readers:
*Put your work in editors, such as Word, to see what is highlighted for possible errors. Put the work different devices and/or increase the font size and you will see different mistakes each time.
*Feedback can uncover blindspots in cultural or generational differences
*Make sure your work retains your voice, not your beta’s voice. Don’t let your beta write over your work, take suggestions as suggestions.
*Seeking what level of feedback you want, which depends on your personality. Again, don’t force anything. Some thrive on feedback and can’t write without it while other people avoid it and hire friends to look over the feedback and filter it for them. There is not a correct way, so don’t let anyone pressure you.
Some people do OC crossovers and story collaborations. Do so if it is fun, but don’t be pressured if you don’t want to.
Pros: It can feel exciting and help to get more audience and comments and generate more ideas, like an extended RPG.
Cons: It can lead to time bottlenecks waiting on the other writer/s– often one writer leaves the other if one person doesn’t want to write any more or jumps to a different fandom. It can lead to arguing if fanons collide. A decision might have to be made about how to move the story forward alone.
*The Wraith fandom is diverse, especially in regions and sexual orientations. Err on the side of caution in social justice matters, try to stay progressive for diversity, environment; don’t try to justify any human-caused violence. Wraith problems are not human problems. If in doubt, leave it out. Otherwise, your story gets outdated.
*Think twice about casting specific officers, Queens, or classes of Wraith from the show in a bad light or writing them harm– keep in mind those characters are the favorites of other people who are your viewers, both current and or future readers. Making an OC for an antagonist might be better and also show that there are good characters of his or her class. Plus, if your OCs show a promise of change for the better, readers may ask for the characters to grow and to become better people, generating more plot bunnies for future stories.
*Avoid toxic places and people; there is a difference between constructive vs destructive criticism. Often destructive criticism is about things out of your control, such as racism, nationalism, sexism, etc. to you or your characters, and is best ignored. As you amass a larger body of work, by law of large numbers, you will run into such trolls, including people who are simply jealous of the Wraith and also your very joy of creating.
*Avoid backstabbing/insulting/retaliation attempts via art or fanfics—lashing out at others and putting violence/gore/racism/hate in your works only makes you, the poster, look bad. It also backfires because the person posting the violence usually stops creating shortly thereafter or moves on to a different fandom, in a diminished capacity. Why? Because, the magic and love are gone. So, don’t let others lead you astray from your love and your values. You are a Wraith fan: you see beyond race and you love, admire, and dream.
Sites for fanworks:
*Scout out a site or sites to post your work which suit your needs. After doing this for over 8 years and seeing sites come and go, I recommend a website/blog, such as wordpress, over which you have pride of ownership and flexibility, and also fanfiction social media site/s if you want those, to supplement your website. This is because of unpredictable purges, rule changes, customer service layoffs, company buy-outs, management changes, etc. which make social media sites unreliable. Check sites for features to block, ignore, and delete users or comments. See what others think of the site’s customer service and decide if the time is worth it.
*Wraith are neverending, but human tech is not. Over the years, sites come and go as advertisers pull out or buyouts happen– move and on take your worshipping joy with you to better places when other ones fall by the wayside. Both you and the Wraith deserve better.
Here are my impressions of some sites:
-Wordpress allows adult content, with limits, and is SEO friendly. Media and pdfs can be shared in galleries and links if you have pics for OCs. Pages and posts can be made private or limited viewing. I have more than one site here for over a year and am happy so far. Galleries are easy to make and people who want more comments can have comment and contact fields too.
-AO3 allows for adult content, has ability to moderate and delete comments, no way to block people, an option to post only for logged-in users to see or for only logged-in users to comment. Allows readers to read your work in multiple digital formats for different devices and collect and bookmark the works. Good for collaborations, series, gifts, etc. Some capacity for sharing art, but not well set up for that. LGBTQ+ and diversity-friendly; lots of Todd x John mature content. Has been slower as of 2017 but a few new things now and then.
-Fanfiction.net is well-known, but kind or archaic and limited and said to censor mature sensual content. Less active nowadays since they made it so readers can’t download/share, but a good archive for older fanworks and fav works can be added to a favorites tab. Site seems to waffle on if troll comments can be deleted, but there might be a moderation option now.
-Wattpad seems to be popular with younger adults and SEO. Smaller, but growing younger population. Some Legacy-oriented works. Hard to search to find Wraith stories though! I don’t know as much about this one.
-Deviantart takes pdfs and text files, but not really set up for fanfictions. I have seen them delete photos of nude male Wraith years ago. You can disable and delete comments, but the site is dying since 2015 due to financial problems, a point system devaluation, and almost nonexistent customer service to handle the criminals and trolls. Site used to rock, but since 2015, people there kind of stick together by nationality/mother tongue with German, Polish, and Russian circles being most prominent for them to support each others’ works and forget it if you don’t fit into those groups. As of 2/2017, they were bought by Wix and are up in the air. Be careful of people with alt right neo-Nazi images and rhetoric in their accounts, mostly from the US, and don’t let them get you into trouble. Site is slow since the layoffs, but a good archive for past fanart and a few new fanworks now and then. German Legacy-style RPers are most active there as of mid-2017.
-Livejournal good for smaller stories, but not reliable due to purges of accounts they think are not active enough. There are/were a lot of pro writers there, including the Legacy authors, for those who want to make a career of writing. As of 4/2017, their servers moved to another county and they are up in the air, especially for LGBTQ+ and diversity. The most prominent Wraith group moved to Dreamwidth to archive the posts, but has been kind of dead for a few years now.
-Dreamwidth is like Livejournal and some people migrated there, but is still small
-Wraithbait takes adult content, but, in spite of the name, there are not many Wraith or Wraith-friendly stories there. I don’t think comments can be moderated much.
-Facebook photo galleries do not frame art well, do not show each submission to subscribers, bury away comments which have too many syllables and too few four-letter words, not good for SEO on its own, and I have seen them delete peoples’ accounts and also their photos if one doesn’t keep up with their apps. As of late 2017, they are so obsessed with fake news that they auto-delete a lot of posts too. Not very reliable except for highlighting some work.
Advertise your work
*Put links to your site/s on scifi forum signature spaces
*Put links to your site/s in your fanfic site profiles and social media accounts
Skills/Learning/Continued Inspiration/Creative Pride:
*Sign up for free and cheap workshops and presentations at libraries, parks, literary groups, museums, schools. Get on their mailing lists and check their websites.
*Read inspiring blogs and books about writing and creativity; listen to podcasts from creators
Overcoming and preventing physical constraints
Because Stargate had been off the air a while and we are all getting older, I have seen some people stop creating due to inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis and wrist pain and they are often still so young!!! Get proactive to prevent or reverse it. Use a tablet to draw, wear a wrist splint, and use mouse and wrist pads. Get plenty of sleep, water, and gentle exercise such as yoga. Stay away from nonprescription drugs, which cause dehydration and back pain. Eat a whole foods, plant-based diet, which reduces inflammation. Get your creative capacity and your life back! Ignore people who try to derail your self-care and creative efforts– they are not the one creating your work.
Looking back and taking joy in your work:
*Take pride in your work as it builds up, make OC lists, take your work as seriously as you do for other people.
*Reread your stories every few years and enjoy your work all over again. Update any minor mistakes or clarifications you see along the way, but don’t worry too much about them if you meant well, because, again, you are a Wraith fan: you see beyond race and you love, admire, and dream. Feed your dreams and give your imagination the Gift of Life. ❤
See also, Wraithy Inspiration for Wraithy detail touch-points.