At last, the time has come for the final chapter of my story. Wondering what you’ve missed? For the past several weeks, I’ve been telling the story behind a “novel” I recently published online: a fanfiction titled Chaos and Control. Part 1 is about the idea for the story, Part 2 is about the planning, Part 3 is about the writing, Part 4 is about the editing, Part 5 is about the publishing, and Part 6 is about the feedback. Have fun reading the last part of the story!

Part VII: The Lessons

In the interest of keeping this post brief, today’s topic will simply be a review of the lessons taken from my fanfiction that I believe can apply to the experience of writing a real novel. Enjoy!

What I learned from Chaos and Control:

Chaos and Control1) When an idea grows in your mind to the point where it starts to consume you, chances are it’s worth turning into a story. Don’t ignore it; embrace it, shape it, bring it to life.

2) Planning is important, but it isn’t everything. The skeleton of a plot and a handful of ideas are great to start with. After that, just write, and let the story surprise you as you flesh it out.

3) Serious writing takes serious commitment. If you ever want to finish that novel, work on it every single day. No excuses; just do it.

4) Well-developed characters will write themselves. When stuck, start writing purely from instinct and see where the characters go on their own. They’ll probably take the story in the right direction.

5) Editing takes just as much effort as writing, if not more. Do not assume your first drafts are perfect; it’s more than likely they’ll require a lot of polishing before they’re worthy of publication.

6) Your technique may change over the course of the writing process. Don’t neglect to revise the entire novel to make sure the style of the first chapters matches that of the last ones.

7) Details and tropes are fun to place, but they’re worthless without a strong storyline to hang on. The most important parts of the story should be the core elements of plot and character development.

8) Never underestimate the importance of marketing and networking. Your novel isn’t likely to draw many readers if nobody knows it exists.

9) Don’t be surprised if your novel doesn’t get as much attention as you’d like, but don’t be discouraged either. If your story can inspire one reader, then it was worth writing.

10) Not everyone will notice the details in your story, but don’t let that get you down. As long as you placed them well, someone is bound to appreciate them.

11) Know your audience and trust their opinions. Feedback from readers is invaluable not only for the current piece, but for any future pieces you may write.

12) The type of story doesn’t make it more or less special than the others you write. As long as you pour your heart and soul into it and receive a valuable experience in return, any story is worth writing.

This concludes the story behind my fanfiction. I hope you’ve enjoyed following my experience with Chaos and Control, and that you’ve found the story behind it as enlightening as I did. If you haven’t yet, feel free to comment with your thoughts. Otherwise, have fun applying these lessons in your writing, and best of luck with your own novels! Thank you for reading!

Note: If you’re interested, you’re more than welcome to read my story and even leave some reviews. I promise you don’t need to know too much about the Sonic universe to appreciate it. Reviews are positive, but contain spoilers! Thank you!

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