I have a feeling that I'll be posting on FictionPress more than I am with Fanfiction, mostly because original writing works better with me. I posted this on DeviantArt (The full one), so if you're impatient for each chapter, then go over there. However, this one on FictionPress is much more detailed and now up to date. I guess it is "pick your poison" from here.
This chapter I introduce the goal of this "list" and talk about how to do a description correctly (For both websites).
Fanfiction and FictionPress both have terrible reputations due to the amount of inexperienced authors that don't care for criticism (Although we can all agree that FictionPress has had it way better in terms of quality). Because they decide that their writing is good the way it is, they keep going with the same clichés that we've seen every day, creating bland and overpowered Mary-Sues and Gary-Stus. Because they decide they're as good as it gets, they never improve, thus writing "BAD" all over them. Unfortunately, due to the amount of immature fanboys and fangirls, the vast majority of FanFiction and FictionPress is covered by these inexcusable authors.
What they need to realize is that criticism isn't there to make them feel terrible. Taking criticism can be pretty damn hard; I know that from experience. Once you learn that critics are there to help and not to 'flame', writing becomes much easier. I understand that not everyone likes being critiqued, which is perfectly fine. However, you cannot simply post your story without slowly going through it, nit-picking at the small stuff, seeing how you as the author can make it better.
This is why I made this. The main goal of this uh... list I should say is to help those authors who'd rather be independent than to deal with beta-readers and critics like me. Please take every point in here into consideration.
Also, just because I say something such as, for example, OCs in fanfictions are redundant, it doesn't necessarily mean I'm right. Some of this, or most in some cases, is based on my opinion. It is up to you to either agree or disagree, but like I said, please at least take my advice into consideration.
Starting with the description, I'll split this into two parts; assuming that you use either FanFiction FictionPress or DeviantArt to upload your fanfics.
a) For FanFiction/ FictionPress users: when you write a description, you want it to catch the readers' attention . This is pretty simple: describe the plot, and add a hook to make them want to know what happens. Think what audience you're aiming for when you write this. Of course you'll aim for Inuyasha fans if you're writing an Inuyasha fic, but which of the fans? The fans who love romance between Kagome and Inuyasha? Those who love the action-filled parts? Or those who just love the good-natured comedy addition to the anime? Make sure you're clear on where you're heading. On a side note, creating a hook can be incredibly difficult or incredibly fun. Make sure you've decided the entire plot of your fic before posting it. NEVER, and I mean NEVER, leave a story unfinished and write as you go. Planning is your best friend.
b) For DeviantArt users: since the description is below the story itself when you upload, make sure you summarize the events without giving spoilers without a warning (For both your story AND the series you're writing for if there is one.) Like users, add a hook, with an exception. Since they'll be reading this AFTER said chapter, add a hook for the next chapter. If they read the description (Which they SHOULD, I hate it when readers don't read description.) then they'll be hooked! Nothing is better than a hooked reader; it make for a happy author-reader relationship.
In addition, you are required to categorize your story. Don't make the same mistake I do by putting it under Scripts & Screenplay, because news flash, your story shouldn't be a script, it is the finished product. Please just put it under Fan Art - Fan Fiction - [Whatever genre you're writing for] if you're writing a FanFiction. If you're writing an original story, than your job is even easier, because once you select the Literature category, it is up to you on where you should categorize it.
For any of the two above, there are more things that you should be aware of. Don't mislead in your description, use proper grammar, don't add chapter summaries in it(If you want, put it in the beginning of the chapter), and at least make an effort to make your story seem interesting.
Next chapter is about rating systems on both websites.