When publishing a fan-fiction online, there are a few must-haves to make sure everything is right. The first and most important is a ‘disclaimer’; a disclaimer protects you against copyright infringement. Here’s an example, ‘I do not own or take any credit for the original storyline or characters from the books and movies of Harry Potter.’ Disclaimers are simple and do not take up any time. You should make sure to have one at the beginning of every chapter of your fan-fiction.
Next up are warnings; because everyone has their own cup of tea. Someone might love the original canon pairings like Harry and Ginny and others prefer pairing Harry with Draco (a SLASH pairing). So in the warning they’ll say SLASH so you know and if that is not what you’re looking for hit the back button. Warnings also will say abuse/mpreg/fluff or gore; any number of things they're good to have and go under the disclaimer.
A summary, unlike the disclaimer or warning, doesn’t have to go directly in the actual fan-fiction. The summary is what readers will see when scrolling through the list of fan-fictions. You want yours to stand out; using a powerful quote from one of your chapters is a good thing to use.
Stray away from the ‘This is my first story and it’s really good and I suck at summaries but you won’t regret reading it. No flames please.’ This tells the reader absolutely nothing about the story and saying no flames is asking flamers to attack you. It’s better to find a quote at least from your story if you’re having trouble, "Sora," I whispered. "He's not in at the moment" He raised the knife slowly to my cheek and with a flick of his wrist cut a small line starting from my temple curving to my mouth, "I assure you dear Roxas, that you are crazy, just like Sora, just like me" This is a summary I used for an old fan-fiction I wrote years ago.
Now on to some must-not’s for your fan-fiction. One thing that I know irks me is when people add long pointless chats, between themselves and the characters of the fandom at the beginning of a fan-fiction. They’re useless and no one likes to read them and they are often referred to as the OOC chats.
Another thing to consider, the format on www.fanfiction.net is a blank white background and after a while it really starts to kill the eyes; so please use paragraphs. The same goes for CAP lock and bold font use it sparingly.
Some people reply to review in the actual fan-fiction; no one wants to read these; what they want is to read your fan-fiction. Unless it poses some major important; leave it out. www.fanfiction.net allows you to reply to reviews through private messaging.
These are just some tips to help you get started on writing your fan-fiction.
One last thing; I just wanted to share one of my favourite fan-fiction authors; TearsOfNightfall. I have gotten her permission to use her fan-fictions in this blog; I highly recommend checking her fan-fictions out to see how a good one is done.