So you want to write a spinoff huh?
Don’t. Well, that was easy. I’ll take my praise in the form of a golden statue of my likeness and epic poems written about my exploits.
Oh, you’re still here... Guess I should go a little further and explain some things before you decide to try and write a spinoff and post it to this wiki.
- Spinoffs are blacklisted, meaning that you need to get approval from an admin on the Spinoff Appeal before you can upload it. It doesn’t matter if your story is beautifully crafted, if you post it without getting your appeal approved, your story will be deleted.
- Stories posted to the Spinoff Appeal will be reviewed against our quality standards, our cliché list, and to see if it is generic. We tend to judge these stories more harshly due to the drawbacks that will be mentioned below.
- Stories must be completed and your own creation. (No putting other people’s stories in the spinoff appeal.) They also cannot be just a re-hashing of the original story.
Now that those are out of the way, let’s get to the nitty-gritty about the possible positives and negatives of writing a spinoff story.
The Drawbacks of Writing a Spinoff Story
- Let me explain this with a little example. If you can, name a good horror movie sequel. Just try to do this off the top of your head, without googling it. It’s hard isn’t it? For every “Dawn of the Dead” and “Evil Dead II” (More of a remake), you get ten “Halloween III: Season of the Witch”, “Exorcist II: The Heretic”, “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch II”, and “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan”.
Why is this? It is mainly because making a good sequel has to achieve a delicate balance. It has to be true to the original while taking the story in a new direction. It has to build on the character while keeping true to their mannerisms. It has to tell a new and involving story while avoiding the tropes/standards the previous story set.
- Comparisons to the original. Fans of the original are going to judge it against the original. As we all know, fangirls and fanboys are super-rational and won’t hold your story to a ridiculous standard based on their nostalgia. (Sarcasm does not translate well over the internet.) To be harsh, fanatics are not looking for a well-written story; they’re looking for fan-service and will likely attack your story for the smallest of things. It's unfortunate, but even something as simple as changing a character's outfit or habits could be met with derision.
- Stagnating/limited plot. Since your spinoff is based on a pre-existing creation, you’re going to find yourself pigeonholed when writing it. You have a predetermined character with set emotions, motives, and goals. Shifting too far off course is how awkward fan-fiction or troll pastas are made. Trying to force a behavioral change can result in absurdity. (See the excellent trollpasta: Jeff the Killer Learns the Meaning of Christmas for a perfect example of this.)
- A built-in fan-base. This can be good or bad. Your story will always be under the shadow of the original story, but there will always be people who are looking to continue the original and will likely read yours. You're likely to get more feedback than stories that don't use OC ('Original Characters') or CPCs (Creepy Pasta Characters).
- A pre-existing character that is already defined. The readers already have a mental image of the characters built up from the original story. This allows you to use that to your advantage when being descriptive. You can use this already established background to your advantage in your story.
- A built-in mythos. People are already familiar with the back-story and the character’s intentions. This allows you to strengthen and enhance your story. As much as it pains me to make this comparison, look at H.P. Lovecraft's Elder Gods mythos. Everyone is familiar with Cthulhu and Nyarlathotep and the mere mention of their names builds upon the universe as readers know who they are and what their intentions are.
Trying to Cheat the System
I feel like this is necessary as some people are going to try to avoid putting in the time and effort it takes to writing a good story and are just going to try to exploit the system, which really is kind of sad. Have enough confidence in your stories to put your story against our standards. Trying to sneak it behind our backs makes it seem like you're ashamed of your story and unwilling to take the time needed to create a well-written story.
- Never mentioning the spinoff directly. We’re not idiots here. We’ve read the classics and it is very unlikely you are going to slip your spinoff by making the spinoff nondescript (Faceless man in a suit, teenager in a hoody with bleached features and slit cheeks, a teenager with a clock in their eye that makes time-related puns, etc.)
- Posting it to your talk/user page, in the comments of another story, or in a forum post. We try to check every edit, comment, and contribution so don’t even try. We'll catch it and remove it before anyone gets a chance to read it. If, on the off chance that you slip it by us, your story will end up stagnating on your user page, an obscure forum post, or a comment section where very few will read it and even fewer people will comment on it.
- Copying a spinoff character and just giving it a new name or minor change in description or personality. While I don’t necessarily love a majority of the original stories, I don’t condone users plagiarizing those stories for their own gains. Don’t do this. It comes off as under-handed and it really is unfair to the original authors who spent time thinking up the stories and writing them out for someone to come around and ripoff their ideas without even bother to cite the source. People are going to make the connections between "Geoff the Murder" and "Jeff the Killer" as soon as they read your story.
Tips for Trying to Get it on the Creepypasta Wiki
- Take it to Spinpasta first. They can read it there and give you feedback. That site is dedicated to spinoff stories so they know what they’re doing and what constitutes a good story.
- Proof-read it multiple times and get as much feedback on it as you can. A fresh set of eyes can spot issues you may have overlooked like wording redundancies, awkward phrasing, grammatical issues, etc.
- Read the originals. Is your story true to the original while still being unique in its own right? Once again, it is a balancing act of sorts. If you just re-hash the original or your premise is such a radical shift from the original, your story is going to have a difficult time passing the Spinoff Appeal.
If there’s one thing to take away from all of this, it is that spinoffs were banned for a reason. A majority of the spinoff stories that are uploaded to this wiki fall victim to a lot of the issues listed above. Like making a great movie sequel, creating a good follow-up to a creepypasta is difficult. If you’re still determined to try to publish your story here, I hope you follow the advice posted above. We are strict here, but you'll notice that the stories that do pass our appeals get good reviews because the authors take their time with them to make interesting and involving concepts.