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The Life and Mind of DamnBlackHeart
This is to help me stay actively writing. So expect to see rants, tips on writing, thoughts on subjects, me complaining of boredom, reviews, anime, movies, video games, conventions, tv shows and whatever life throws at me.
What Is An Author's Note And How To Write One?
This is my advice on how to write an Author’s Note without annoying your readers. The whole purpose of the Author’s Note is to educate and warn your readers about your story.

A/N short for “Author’s Notes” is used at the beginning or the end of a story. Every Author’s Note is never the same. It always depends on what the author want their readers to know. For me, my Author’s Note is always about my story. I warn the readers about what to expect from my story such as if the story contains mature content like violence, explicit language, sex, etc. I would also tell them what the pairing is, if there’s any. Even warn them if there’s slash/yaoi, shounen-ai, shoujo-ai, yuri, rape, AU (Alternative Universe), crossover, bondage, gore, and so on, basically things that a author knows that not every reader is into or like.

After all, not everyone has the same preferences or interest and would like to know what they’re getting into. It’s also why most fanfiction websites contain a warning section with the summary. If it doesn't, that's why it's important to mention it in your author's note. I personally don’t care for stories that have rape, no matter if it’s with a hetero pairing or not. It’s just a considerate thing for writers to do for their readers. The readers can decide for themselves whether they want to continue reading the story knowing what to expect from it, or to avoid the story completely.

If it matters I also tell them when I updated the story so that they know when to expect a new chapter. It could be weekly updates, maybe monthly or whenever I have a break. If I haven’t been updating I let them know that they should check my profile for any announcements/messages of what’s going on. Doing so keeps me from breaking the site’s rules and from accidentally bringing my readers’ hopes up because I do not want and will not put an Author’s Note as a chapter.

Once I get that kind of information out of the way that is when I put a disclaimer. I only put my disclaimer once because it should get the message across that the characters, plot, etc that belong to the fandom isn’t mine. But so and so is mine.

Usually the Author’s Note are a bit lengthy in the first chapter but after that they are are short and simple. They usually consist of me asking my readers their opinion and advice, such as where they think the story is going. Or what they predict, what they would like to see happen, what they like about it and what they hate about it. I also let them know that they can correct me if I have any mistakes.

These are certain things that your Author’s Note should NEVER have.

Never place an Author’s Note in the middle of your story. That is unprofessional looking and it’s highly annoying for the readers. The mood they were in becomes destroy by the note. It’s similar to watching a movie that you’re into only to have your mood ruin when you’re interrupted with a commercial. Actually, it more like you’re trying to watch a movie but someone keeps talking when all you want to do is watch it.

That also includes “fake out" Author’s Notes. That’s incredibly rude and pointless to trick your readers into thinking that the chapter ended when it still continues.

Never have an Author’s Notes as a chapter. Most fanfiction websites have this rule and it’s always important to respect it. Besides, it’s a very good rule because there are better ways at delivering messages to your readers then using a chapter to do so. All you have to do is go back to your last chapter and revise the Author’s Note and tell them to check your profile for information on the story and if they wish to keep up-to-date with you.

It’s not a pleasant sight to see a Author’s Note as a chapter. What is worst is when there is an Author’s Note as a chapter even though the story continues after it. It’s like running into a wall in the middle of a busy street. There’s no need for it to be there taking up space, so get rid of it.

Never have your Author’s Note longer than the actual story. It’s a little insulting to read a note that’s four or two paragraphs long and the story itself is just a paragraph, well barely a paragraph sometimes. It just shows the readers that the author doesn’t care enough to spend a few more minutes adding to the story.

Never replied to reviews in your Author’s Notes. There should be no excuse to place responses to reviews in the actual chapter of the story when there’s a function to reply to them. If there isn’t, keep it short and simple. Nothing is more annoying when all the chapters of the story contain so many responses to reviews in the beginning. Not only does that bloat the word count it is also looks very sloppy.

Never go off topic with your Author’s Notes. They should be relevant to the story. After all, the readers are there to read your story and not about your life or your personal opinions and interests.

Never have conversations with characters in your Author’s Notes. It’s pointless to spend paragraphs just taking to characters. It’s not cute or funny. It’s can be irritating when all the readers what to do is get to the point of your Author’s Note before reading your story.

Never forget to put a disclaimer in your Author’s Note. You don’t have to put a disclaimer in every chapter, just the first one. It’s important to do so because you want to avoid confusing people on what’s originally yours and what isn’t. Otherwise, disclaimers really don’t have a legal standpoint and won’t protect you from getting sued if the right-holders really wanted to go after you and other fanfiction writers.

Never beg or withhold chapters for reviews. It’s fine to ask politely for feedback and to encourage readers to review but never beg or force them to leave reviews. It is rude and insulting to treat your readers that way. If you do that you’re going to repel them and they’ll quickly backspace as soon as they see it.

Never rant in your Author’s Note. This can discourage readers from checking out your story or even from reviewing because this makes you look terrible. It doesn’t matter if you have a legit reason to rant. It should be done in private or between whoever you’re in a disagreement with. Rants or arguments should never be in a Author’s Note.

Never forgot to use footnotes when you have something relevant to say. Footnotes are a much better method of interrupting a story than a random Author’s Note. They do not disrupt the flow of the text and makes the story look more professional.

Never forgot to add credit/source and link to whatever it is in your Author’s Note. If you borrow something from another writer (and have their permission) and you used it in your writing be sure to provide credit. Maybe you borrow an idea, or you did a story for a challenge or a piece of fanart inspired you? Whatever it is don’t forget to give credit where it is due.

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