I've been writing fan fiction for 7+ years now. Recently, I went back and compared the ratings my fan fiction has received from my readers, compared to what they contained. I discovered that those fan fictions with a distinct feel had generally better ratings, and were in fact some of the highest rated things I've written. These include:
- A zombie story with a very dark atmosphere of despair and defeat.
- A war story with an atmosphere of useless struggle against the conflict.
This research seems to indicate to me that I should focus more on finding and maintaining a specific feel for my stories. There is, however, I problem: how to do so?
I'm a very design-oriented person. I need structures and plans if I'm to make anything. This is no different. I need a step by step process, by which I can give a story a particular feel. Can you provide me with such a process?
Some feels will be easier than others. I originally thought giving a story a feel would be fairly simple, until I tried it. I've determined that my current fan fiction requires an atmosphere of desperation. Not despair, but desperation. I know how to create an atmosphere of despair. But how do I make the difference to desperation? The feeling that people have been pushed to the edge and are willing to do literally anything. The answer escapes me.