Guidelines to Writing a Good Maximum Ride FanFic by EdwardAddict

Category:Maximum Ride
Published:2007-08-11 01:06:02
Updated:2007-08-23 20:28:48
Packaged:2021-04-21 23:37:34
Summary:So you want to write a MaxRide fic. But how to start? How can you avoid being terribly clichéd? How can you avoid getting flamed? All this and more in the complete guide to writing. Finally complete

Table of Contents

1. El Guidelines
2. El Guidelines Capítulo Dos
3. Spicing It Up

1. El Guidelines

A/N: This may not be good. I thought it up last night. And I wrote it last night, but the computer deleted every single word of it. Either way. I think this will help people out with writing. Hopefully.

Disclaimer: I own not of the Maximum Ride.

Claimer: I own this.

The Guidelines To Writing A Good Maximum Ride FanFiction

By the fact that you are reading this now, I'm going to assume you want help with writing. That or you're extremely bored and hope this will bring a laugh or two.

So readers, you've come to the right girl for all your needs! Seeing how I've written about 3 zillion fics, we can rightfully say that I've been there and done that.


Step One:

Brainstorm! No, this does not mean you need to dig up bodies and throw brains around. But that could be fun...

So you've decided to start writing fanfiction. Awesome! But what exactly should you write? Think, think, think. What should happen? Do you want Angel to spontaneously combust? Will it have a dab of romance? Are you going to kill off Max so Fang and Iggy can finally have that wild, crazy sex party?

Step Two:

Plan ahead.

Have a general idea of where you want to take it. And remember, ALWAYS be original. No one likes a copycat, especially the authors you're copying. (Trust me; I've had the same idea stolen four times and counting.)


Step One:

Open a notebook, WordPad, WordPerfect, etc. It could help if you document your future literary genius.

Step Two:

Let the words flow.

If you have the gift, everything just comes. But if not, that's okay. The point is you're trying. Write like a rabid bunny will eat you alive if you don't.


This is the biggest thing I stress. It's the most important part of the fic.

Step One:


Say you're writing in Fang's POV. He's not going to be thinking "Whoa, man! Like, Max is so damn fine in her dirty jeans and tattered-in-all-the-right-places-if-you-catch-my-drift blouse. I'd so tap that." Sure, he's a hormonal male, but he's just not thinking that. Just like little Angel over there isn't worrying about the new 50 Cent CD.

If you ever have trouble with writing a certain POV, refer back to the books. By now, JP has written in every Flock member's POV.

Step Two:

Words and actions.

The Gasman is not going to comment on how pretty pink ponies are, just as Iggy isn't going to start screaming like a fangirl. Max won't fall at Fang's feet and Nudge won't be silent (unless her life is depending on it. Maybe.).

Learn this phrase and live by it: WWJPD? Translation: What Would JP Do?


Clichés. You know, those plots and certain phrases you've read about twenty times.

Step One:

Recognizing those atrocious clichés.

See, you need to know what to look for. (Though it's usually painfully obvious.)

Here, I have compiled a list of the most common clichés I've seen.

-Fang saying a few sentences with the narration or Max pointing out how it was "such a speech for him" or any variation. Look, we get that Fang doesn't usually talk. But every fanfiction on the planet does not need to point it out. We have, in fact, read the books. Shocker, I know.

-Max suddenly turning into a glob of gooey love-sickness.

-Angel going evil. Come on now, kids. That's so old JP's even doing it!

-Max getting pregnant. I have seen so many about that. Talking about how it was a slip, it was only one time, blah blah blah. If you want to do something like that, make it your own. (Example: cloud64 having Max lay an egg.)

-One of the Flock suddenly getting healing tears/healing powers and miraculously giving Iggy his sight back. Or them just randomly running into another mutant with said powers. Never. Happening.

-The Flock meeting another flock. It is hard to do that without accidentally centering the story on your OC's.

-Naming your story "MR4" or "Doesn't have a title yet." You can write a whole fic, but you can't even think of a title? That comes with the territory of writing.

-Saying "I suck at summaries. lol. R&R." Chances are that if you say that, we won't read it. I know I usually avoid those. Just like the title thing, you can come up with something.

-Fang randomly confessing his undying love for Max. Again, OOC.

-Just plain old being unoriginal. You have a brain. Think for yourself.

-Doing a bit where Fang has read the entire dictionary. He wouldn't. No one in their right mind would. (I've done it on a dare. And let me tell you, you shouldn't. It's so boring.) Besides, if my sources are correct, Myrah (all hail to her greatness) started that. Right? Right. Even though she finds it amusing, it's really starting to get annoying to have that in every other story out there. Imitation is the most annoying form of flattery.

Step Two:

Avoiding clichés.

Just don't do it. Like I said, be original and use your own brain. We want to read what you have brewing up there, not what that other guy has written. Chances are we've already read his. Now we want to hear from you. Yes, you.

I understand that it's impossible to read all the fics on this website and to avoid look alike stories. But if someone reviews or PM's you that you've "stolen their idea" try to compromise with them.


Step One:

Keep writing.

Don't get discouraged when someone reviews and isn't worshiping the ground you walk on and the desk at which you sit. As a wise man once said, "To each his own." Meaning: That kid over there has the right to think your story sucks a big one. Ignore the bad, relish the good, accept the advice.

Though it is extremely hard not to get upset if someone is cussing your name to high heaven. Try to ignore it and respond as politely as you can manage.

Step Two:

Clogging the thread. (This step does not apply to the people that post on FF . net as they have no thread to maintain.)

It's okay to chat about the cool socks you just got. Go ahead and talk about your cats plotting world domination. But once your chapter to pages on the thread ratio has reached over 1:5, it's time to consider a Story Only thread. In other words: When you have five pages and one stub of an update, make a new thread where only you, the writer, post. And ONLY post your new chapters. It makes it easier on you and the readers.


Step One:

Proper usage.

If your character absolutely has to use chat speak in their dialogue/monologue, spell it out. Instead of OMG, it would be "oh em gee." You are showing that the character is saying that, and not omge.

Step Two:

Don't use it.

Avoid it. Unless it's completely necessary. Don't get lazy on us and say "OMG, I 3 u Fang!"


Step One:


In a parody, everything I've just mentioned is forgotten. Anything goes. You want Fang to be the king of Happy Pony Rainbow Land? Fine. Make sure you mention it's a parody, else some smart ass will rant about it.

Step Two:

Alternative alternative. (Yes, two alternatives.)

AKA: Really out-there formats. You're pioneering a new way to write? Okay. Do it. But you might want to mention that it's not normal.


Step One:

Read all the reviews you've gotten thus far. (Or just a few if you're lazy.)

Sometimes you have those people that manage to find all your plot holes. Good. They should. This is where step two comes in.

Step Two:

Pretend you knew about those so-called "plot holes" all along.

In your final chapter, always wrap up every remaining loose end. Every plot hole should be filled in and every question answered, no ifs, ands, or buts.


Step One:

Deciding the type of note you want, if any.

A thank you note is a post after the last chapter thanking your readers. Now, you can go the one-size-fits-all route and just in general say thanks for reading. (If you even decide to make one.)

Then there's the personal path. That's where you hunt down the name of everyone who has ever commented and list them. Say thanks. I personally write special things to the ones that stick out in my mind. It's amazing to see how many people read your story in the end.

Step Two:

Do it.

Hunt down those names. Write your note. Post it. I promise it makes everyone one feel special. They feel so awesome that you mentioned them that they usually forget that one last plot hole you forgot to fix.


Step One:

Know you're good.

Because if you sucked so bad, you would have had so many flamers that your computer would mysteriously burn to little pieces. They must like you if they've kept reading. Know that you're not "craptastic" and understand that no one wants to listen to you whine and bitch and moan about how bad you are. They know you're fishing for compliments and they just might start believing you about the sucking part.

Step Two:

Know you're not a god.

You are, by no means whatsoever, a writing god. You are NOT the greatest thing since sliced bread. Yes, you are good. But you will not be remembered two centuries from now for having the best Maximum Ride fanfiction. No one likes a cocky, arrogant, son of a bit–, oh wait. Isn't this a PG13 place? I'm sorry. Let me correct myself. No one likes a big fat meaniehead. Is that better? I thought so.

Keep it humble, all.

Congratulations! You've finally finished this guide to writing for Maximum Ride. Now go out there and make your mark in the fandom.

Make me proud!



2. El Guidelines Capítulo Dos

A/N: I know, I know. I thought this was ending with a oneshot, as well. But lookie here! Another chapter! And all because of you! Yay! I've had several people add to my cliche list and I've seen much more go on that I wish I mentioned before. Please take this advice. Because I know it will make you a better writer. That's why I'm making this.

Disclaimer: I do not own Maximum Ride or anything else you may recognize.

Claimer: I own this. I own every last word of this advice giver. Take it to heart, but don't steal it.

The Guidelines To Writing A Good Maximum Ride FanFiction

El Guidelines - Capítulo Dos

So, you're back for more, eh? Didn't anything I said last time help? At all? Sigh. Maybe just a little bit?


But we still have a few things to work on. Let's get down to business.


Yes, I know. This was a lesson in the first chapter. But look what good that advice did. It made MORE stories with them crop up! BAD! BAD, WRITER, BAD! I should smack you on the head with a wet noodle.

So, I'm moving this to the top of the list of things to avoid.

Step One:

Recognizing them. (Part Two)

Like I said in the first chapter, that list of clichés weren't even half of all of them. So I shall attempt to list the remaining ones here.

-The Flock getting to go to a hotel for a night and they magically only get three rooms and Max and Fang, by some coincidence, get stuck together in the room with only one bed. It is a good starter, but it's so good everyone is using it.

-Fax. Now, we all love us some fax, but kid, don't overdo it. We don't need for every second of the day for Max and Fang "gazing lovingly into one another's eyes" or anything that mushy gushy. Max and Fang are sweet in subtle ways like making each other go to bed and protecting each other in fights. Now the romantic in me is trying to erase this part because of how much I love mushy love scenes.

-Telling everything that will happen in your summary. We don't want to know the plot twists before we read. That ruins it for us and we probably won't read it.

-Twilight/Maximum Ride crosses. It's been done so many times, I can't even count. KWSN was the first one to do it. (His story, although dead was very brilliant. Go read it.) Bloodwings (by Emaryllis) was the second. After that, I think we got a good amount of Twilight/Max.

-Pranks. A whole story of pranks. I hate putting this here. (Because I wrote The Prank Wars.) If you ask me, 30-some chapters of pranks (plus the 7 chapters of the sequel) are enough pranks. True, I'll probably have more pranks in the sequel, but it's because I have to with the story line. Really, it's copying me and just getting old.

-A songfic for Avril's song Girlfriend. I loved the first one I read, and I thought the second was amusing. But come on, now. We don't need so many. It's not that great of a song (but that doesn't stop it from getting stuck in my head every now and then).

-Using lines that were in the book. You know when you're guilty of it. That's what JP's written. True enough, we're using his characters, but stealing his work, word for word... That's not cool, man.

-Fang's power. Fang's clichéd powers include (but are not limited to) being able to draw extremely well (and I mean a picture that's worth a billion dollars kind of extremely well), being able to turn into a shadow, being able to talk in someone's head, seeing what people feel, etc, etc. We get it, he's a dark child.

-Fang cutting himself. I've seen it a billion times, though I'm almost pretty positive Can't Cry was the first one with that plot that didn't go belly-up. (You might not have seen it because it's over in the M section.) Thanks be to Myrah who told me Can't Cry was the first. Others have been brilliant as well, but it was because there was so much more to it and they were so original.

-Angel getting more powers. Leave that cliché to JP, please.

-An AU (alternate universe) fic where the Flock is "normal" and goes to school.

But you know what I haven't seen yet? A High School Musical/Maximum Ride crossover. I know! I'm really shocked it hasn't been done yet. HSM is the biggest thing since sliced cheese. THEY MADE DOLLS OF THEM! THEY'RE ON TOUR! THEY EVEN MADE A SEQUEL! And then, of course, our lovely Maximum Ride. Why has no one made the connection? I was positive we had HSM-heads in this fandom. Eh. Feel free to use the idea of a HSM/MR cross. I'm not going to write it. You can. Call it a free start up.

Step Two:

Avoid it.

Avoid it all costs. Do not use clichés. Because no one likes to read the same thing ten times. Be original.

And if you do see an idea on here that you like, take it and make it your own--it's like recycling. These are only on the cliché list because people don't spice them up.


Come on, people. We have English classes. Don't tell me you fall asleep in that, too! Sigh. We have a lot of ground to cover then, don't we, sleepy-head?

Step One:

Learn how to use it.

Grammar is almost never correct if you write how you talk. Use subject-verb agreement and all that jazz. We, the educated kids, will not read a story if you say, "We was just flyin' round and then a big T-Rex thing came at us like bread on a possum!"

If you cannot master grammar, get a good beta. (Betas will be touched on in later lessons.) And of course, there is always the helpful Grammar Check button on most word programs.

Step Two:


I know for a fact that most computers come with some document maker that has spell check. (For me, I use Microsoft Word.) Use it. No one can spell every word in existence, so check it. Make sure it's right. Remember kids, it's I before E except after C.

If your computer does not have a spell check feature, Google it. Look for an online spell check. Please?

Okay, I admit it. I'm a Grammar Nazi. But I can't help it! My mom's a high school English teacher!

Step Three:


Capitalize proper nouns. That includes names and specific places. Example: Max, Fang, the School, Erasers. Capitalize the first word in the sentence. Etc, etc.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you really might need to invest in a beta. Or pay attention in English class a little more.

Step Four:


Period: A little dot that comes at the end of most sentences.

Exclamation Point/Mark: This thing! Don't over use it. One is enough. Five of them will not prove anything other than the fact that your English teacher must be blind to not realize that's how you write.

Comma: Use them and use them wisely. Use it when there's a pause in a train of thought, but just a slight pause. Use it when a character is addressing someone. ("Max, get me my pink stuffed animal.") Use it when saying, "Max! I want my blankie," Fang whined/whimpered/said. Use it when listing three or more objects.

Semicolon: Used in listing. Also used when you make a sentence that's not exactly ready to stand alone; they're like baby sentences!

Colon: Used when saying something, then giving an example, much like I'm doing.

Hyphen: Used to connect two words, like... meanie-head. Also used for bigger pauses. And if your character's speech or thought is interrupted, you put a hyphen at the place it was interrupted. ("Fang is wearing Barney boxe-" Fang slapped his hand over Nudge's mouth to stop the word flow.)

Slash thing: Use when saying something like boy/girl. Example: "Hey now, Mister/Miss Meanie-face! It's not nice to flame other stories!"

Parentheses: HOLY CRAP! I SPELLED THAT RIGHT ON THE FIRST TRY! -Ahem- Sorry. (These things.) Use when saying something that's not really important, just an extra tidbit of info.

Brackets: (The second bracket does not show up on here. But they look like parentheses, just more square-looking.) Used like parentheses. But when you have a double parentheses use. (Max was blushing hard [because Fang had just pansted her. –Insert second bracket here- )

Quotation Marks: "These," said the writer. Used to show when someone is speaking. One on one side, one on the other side of the dialogue.

Single Quotation Marks: 'These,' the author thought. Used to show direct thoughts (though most opt out and use italics.) Also used when the speaker is quoting something. "Gazzy told me 'I'm better than you! Haha, Nudge! You're a dork!' And then he pinched me. What are you gonna do about it, Max?"

Question Mark: Why didn't I put this towards the top with periods? Hah! I just used a question mark. It is used when asking a question. Hence the name.

Underscore: Really only used in email addresses and when making lines (or blanks, like on a fill in the blank test.) So you really shouldn't need to use it much.

Step Five:

Things to avoid.

Try to avoid making your story sound like an essay for the English class you sleep through. Therefore, you shouldn't need to talk like this. Then, it would be odd. Because I'm talking like a cause and effect essay.


A beta is a person who edits your fic for you. You send them what you write, they send it back. But when they send it, it's all cleaned up and polished. Us betas usually have no life and are trying to escape chores by telling our parents we're working on something that's a life or death matter.

Step One:

Finding a beta.

Your beta should be someone who knows everything I'm telling you already. They should be intelligent. And they should be willing to do it for you.

Some people might offer to beta for you. Sometimes you just have to be bold and ask.

Not everyone needs a beta, but it's always a good investment.

Step Two:

Being a beta.

Know everything I'm saying. You have to be willing to read through every word that kid sends you and correct it. And it does help if you give them notes when you send the chapter back so they know what to improve on. Because really! No one wants to beta the same story forever (especially if the author keeps making the same mistakes).


Step One:

Recognizing a Sue.

A Sue (also known as Mary Sues, Marty Sues, and Gary Stues) is usually gorgeous and perfect for your character. They have unusual names and seem to be able to do it all. Even their flaws are perfect!

A Sue can make anyone fall madly in love with it. Sues are terribly hated among the fandoms. Avoid Sues at all costs.

Step Two:

Your OC (original character).

It is someone you bring into the story. But you really need to make sure they don't turn into Sues. Give them normal names (well, normal for whatever fandom you're in). And most importantly, give them flaws. Humanize them. We have to know they're not perfect. We have to know they don't have magical powers to bewitch whomever they wish.


Step One:

Read it.

Have you read all of these guidelines? Do you understand what I'm talking about? Good. Because this is all important if you ever want to write. Most of it can be applied to other fandoms (and your own original work) as well.

Step Two:

Applying it.

Use what I'm teaching you. Come now, it's not hard once you get the hang of it. It may not get you voted the best fic in the category and it probably won't get you 700 reviews. But more people will read and favorite it. And I can guarantee that you will have an increase in reviews.

Believe it or not, I was a terrible writer at first. I shudder at the memory. But with time and practice (and people giving me kind advice) I progressed. It got me where I am today, a successful fanfiction writer who is now writing her own novel.

Trust me; it was harder writing this than it will be to use the advice. Save yourself the flames and nasty comments. Try making this better. Avoid clichés. Use your brain. And be the best you can be.

And for God sakes, wake up during English class! You need it to graduate!



A/N: Ugh. I hate how the site takes the second bracket out. How weird is that? If you like some of clichés, fine. If you've written something from the cliche list, okay. It doesn't bug everyone. I can't make you use this guide. (Though I wish I could. xD)

I honestly don't set out to piss people off. It comes naturally. xD

Suggestions are welcome, reviews are love.

3. Spicing It Up

A/N: Yes, yes. Back I am. But really. You know you love it. :)

Disclaimer: ...Do I need a disclaimer for this now that I'm not talking about MR anymore? Yes, no, what? Eh. It's here, either way. I don't own Maximum Ride.

Claimer: I do own everything else. So hah!

The Guidelines To Writing A Good Maximum Ride FanFiction

Sigh. You just can't leave me alone, can you? I know, I know. I am extremely cool. But I do have a life!

Ha. I almost believed myself for a minute there.

We've learned the basic do's and don't's of writing for Maximum Ride (and beyond). Now we just gotta add a little spice to it.


I know you're freaking out, thinking you're in the wrong fic. I mean really; I just started talking about shopping lists!

That's not the case.

Step One:

Understanding what a "grocery list" is.

A grocery list means writing that you are just listing. (Example: I looked around. There were five Erasers. I could take them. I jumped up. They ran away. I smiled. Too easy.) It's boring, isn't it? Exactly. Vary your sentences and make it interesting. (Example: My head spun to the side, assessing how many I was up against; only five Erasers. I ran towards them in full battle mode, ready to kick some a–, I mean butt. Off they ran, tails between their legs. I smiled. That was just too easy.) Better, right? Right.

Step Two:

Avoiding the list effect.

If I started writing like the first example, I'd get booed off the internet. That's why I avoid it.

But you, young one, need to try your best to make your fic interesting. Draw the reader in. Make us want to read. If it's not up to a good standard, most of us won't bother. There are over 1,000 fics in the fandom. If we're not happy with yours, we still have plenty left to read. It's a fight for readers out here.


Step One:

Don't do it.

We authors are very temperamental. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT make us mad. I'm sure some of you have read my story The Prank Wars. You haven't? Okay then. Go to Chapter 35 and Chapter 37. That, dears, is what happens when we are mad. Avoid that.

And authors, try not to let your temper run away with you like I sometimes let mine do. –Blushes-

Step Two:

Knowing what makes us mad.

-Do not, under any circumstances, steal our ideas. Ever. You have a brain. Use it.

-Don't flame. Be nice. Explain why you don't like it, else just keep your mouth shut.

See? Two things. Well, those are the main two. Each author is different.


Step One:

Realizing when you have a Frankenstein story on your hands.

Frankenstein story: a phrase I created to identify a patched-together story—a fic that is just a conglomeration of stolen ideas.

In short, if you suddenly realize you have five ideas that were in another fic, you need to rewrite.


Step One:

Why am I doing steps when I really don't need them anymore? Ugh. I'm not even sure.

Anyway. I've compiled a list of things you really shouldn't do:

-Do not interrupt the story flow with a random author's note in the middle of a sentence. Example: I have a bunny rabbit. (A/N: So do I!) It's annoying. We don't care about what you have to say there. Say it before or after the chapter.

-When showing someone is screaming, there is no need to have 15 A's and 25 H's in a two lettered "Ah!" This is also annoying.

-Paragraphs. Make them. We don't want to read a big blob of words. It hurts our eyes. Similarly, make a new paragraph when you switch speakers.

-DO accept advice.


Step One:


If you don't use a word document that automatically capitalizes for you, please remember to do so. Imagine your English teacher is reading this, ready with his/her red pen to make big X's over the mistakes.

Step Two:

Point of view.

You don't always need to label the point of view (POV). It's understood it is Max's POV or third person because that's how JP writes it. Otherwise, you need to write so that it is obvious who is narrating. If you wish, go ahead and label POVs. But while I'm preaching, there is no such thing as "Nobody's POV."

Step Three:

Know when to end a chapter.

A chapter really shouldn't go on for 25 (or more) pages. It has an end somewhere and most of us kids on sugar highs really can't sit around long enough to read it all.

Step Four:

Pick up a thesaurus.

No one wants to have the same word pop up five times in the same paragraph. Find another word for it. Try to regulate how many different words you use for "said" though. ;)

Step Five:

Avoid insignificant details.

We don't care if Iggy's pinky fingers are slightly crooked. It's not important to the story. Don't rant on and on about eyelashes or whatever.

Step Six:

Don't put 5 chapters up in one day.

Or more. One is enough, two if they're lucky. You get many, many, many more reviews if you stretch out your update periods. Plus it's kinda frustrating to see the story go from one chapter to eight in two days.


We all know there are those absolutely genius fics and the gods of MR writing (cough-Myrah-cough) and then there are the scum of the fanfiction totem pole.

Choose carefully what you read. And if you do come across a bad fic, try to give the writer advice instead of flaming them to little bits and pieces.

This is the last segment of The Guidelines To Writing A Good Maximum Ride FanFiction. I've covered everything I could think of.

I'm not writing this to flaunt my knowledge. I wrote it so you guys can improve.

Because truthfully, it's not fair to the truly great authors whose stories get ignored because everyone is flocking to the overly-clichéd, badly-written stories that need help, not mindless worship.

I know this must have offended someone, and I appreciate the fact you haven't flamed me. I want to improve your skills. And some A's in English class couldn't hurt you either. Unless you were really determined to go to summer school...

Either way, go out there and make us all proud! Fly, babies, fly!