ehhh if you could give me some advice? i want to write a fic, but idk how to attract other people to read it. what should my title be like? what should the summary be like? how to tag? what to include? obv i gotta be funny and witty in the tags, and the title has to be decapitalised (i think?) but should the title be a single word, a poetic phrase, or what? should the summary be vague and abstract, or concretely explain the fic? what attracts you to read a fic tho?
This is a lot of questions haha I’ll try my best to answer them! Disclaimer: this is all from my experience/opinion so make sure to ask other people too!
For me, a short and interesting title is what attracts my attention! Song lyrics or a line from your story are always a good option! Don’t worry about capitalization, I personally don’t really pay attention to that! Personally, I would make it a bit longer than one word, but sometimes that can make you stand out, so just do what feels right!
The summary should NOT give away the entire plot, but should hit the main points of what your story is about. Here’s the great summary of The World Opened With You by DiAnna44, one of my favourite fics:
“Despite the smiles famous violinist Victor Nikiforov puts on for the world, he’s been in a slump for almost two years, and no longer views himself as worthy of his fame. When he’s paired up to play a duet with esteemed pianist Yuuri Katsuki, he finds inspiration once again, and maybe even something more.”
What I love about this summary is that it’s short (two sentences!!) but I still am intrigued. You can already sense the tone of the fic, who the main characters are, what type of AU it is, and leaves on a cliffhanger: and maybe even something more. What does that mean? *opens fic to find out*
It’s a good idea to leave the reader with some sort of a question or cliffhanger, something that will make your reader want to find out more!
Another thing to note about summaries, do not write “I suck at summaries, sorry” or “I don’t know how to write summaries”. HAVE FAITH IN YOUR ABILITIES/WRITING!! I know people don’t mean to, but saying that can give the wrong impression on a possible reader. If you’re not great at summaries, take a quote/section from your story! I see that all the time, it’s an easy and effective way to grab people’s attention!
TAGS!!! Please, please, please tag your fic with the appropriate tags! If it’s nsfw, don’t mark it as gen or teen, mark it as explicit or mature! That goes the same for fluffy fics w/out sex. A lot of people think the safest rating is “not rated” but, in fact, if you mark it as that it will show up as “may contain adult content” when the reader clicks on it! Mark it gen or teen!
If your fic contains ANY graphic depictions of things that could be triggering, (abuse, non-con, major character death, etc.) please put it in the tags and/or in the archive warnings! This will let the readers know what they are getting themselves into! I have read so many fics where Yuuri and/or Victor die at the end and the authors didn’t put any warning. I was super upset, and as a result, I don’t have much trust in those author’s fics anymore. I understand that it may be a spoiler, but it can be very upsetting to someone who was not ready for it. I have read some amazing fics with that tag, (P.S. I Love You by c000kiesandcream, for example) that have the major character death tag and are truly beautifully heartbreaking. It still broke my heart even though I knew there was going to be death. Don’t be afraid that putting that tag will lessen the impact, I can assure you it’ll still be heartbreaking!
Like the summary, don’t put too many tags to the point where the reader can figure out your entire fic without even reading it! Try to hit a middle ground, not too many, but not too little.
What attracts me to read a fic is definitely the summary and the tags. If I see humor, fluff, domestic, and/or angst in the tags I’ll be sure to click on it! I love to read fics with a unique AU as well, but I equally love the fics in the more “popular” AUs too. It’s the summary that usually will determine if I read it or not. Think of your summary as the trailer for a movie! That’s what I think of when I write a summary for my own works.
I wish you the best of luck with your fic(s)!!
Whew! That was a lot! I hope this helped! If anyone else has any other/different advice, please feel free to share it in the replies!