transformation story (also known as tf story): a story in which a character physically and/or mentally becomes something different, and the change to that is detailed within the story.
If you're like me, you have, or are yet to have, a similar story: you love reading transformation stories and became a deviant to write them. But are you ready to write one yet? Are you comfortable writing one? If not, then this guide will explain the necessary steps I, CrazyNaut, take when writing them. Soon, you will be a fluent TF writer too!
Part I: The Writing Process
First, you need to know who or what the subject will become. You start out by deciding:
- Real or Fictional?
- Human or Non-Human?
- Animate or Inanimate?
- Transgender (TG): a male becomes female, or vice versa
- Age Progression/Regression (AP/AR): someone becomes older or younger
- Mind Control (MC): someone's memories and/or personality are changed and/or added to
Next, you need to pick out a subject to be transformed.
- Give it an age and gender that will comply with additional effects.
- Make him fit in with the transformation. (Ex. Video game character TF? Make him a gamer!)
Now you need to decide on the setting.
- When will the story take place?
- How many places or worlds will be involved?
- Will the subject transport to another world?
Now you need a trigger, which is what will transform the character.
- Does it relate to what your subject will become?
- Where will it be found? In a store? In a forest?
Plan out the beginning, and get a good idea of how it will tie in with the rest of the story.
This is optional, but you can set up a backstory to base the transformation on.
- Maybe another universe has conflicts?
- Maybe the trigger has an interesting history?
- What's his name?
- How old is he (or give us hints)?
- Can you describe him?
- What about him/her relates to his fate?
- Where is he now?
This is optional, but maybe you can develop a little story for the character. Perhaps you can add:
- A short backstory
- Interaction with other people
- Evidence of his/her personality
Next, the character should come into contact with the trigger. Maybe your character...
- Finds it somewhere odd?
- Takes it home?
- Questions it?
- Wants friends to see it?
Whatever the case, the character needs to transform from it. Maybe your character...
- Eats/drinks it?
- Uses it?
- Pockets it?
- Does what is instructed not to do?
Remember, you can do whatever you want to the pre-TF story. This is just an idea list, because the possibilities are endless!
You need to start the transformation. Some good places to begin include:
- The eyes changing color and growing/shrinking
- The hair changing color and growing/shrinking
- The feet or hands growing/shrinking
- The clothing changing
- Fur sprouting from a visible area
As you continue, there are different approaches you can take.
- Go outwards from the first spot (hands to arms, hair to eyes, etc.).
- Transform a part that corresponds with the last in some way (hands to feet, stomach to chest, etc.).
- If the clothing is changing, you can do it with the transformation or following/preceding it.
Remember the additional effects!
- TG (Transgender): Make sure to swap out your characters privates.
- AR/AP (Age Regression/Progression): Remember shrinking/growing in the appropriate body parts.
- MC (Mind Control): Try to make this the end of the transformation, or gradually after it. Remember to only change what's necessary.
Also, DETAIL DETAIL DETAIL! describe as best as you can what happens. Imagine in your head the process of the change, how it works, and describe it in your own words in a way that's also interesting. I'm not saying you always have to be extremely detailed, but if you use something as basic as "his hands turned into dog paws", you might as well just write "and then he became a dog", because your story has been rendered boring.
Remember, always make sure your changes make sense.
- Changing clothing? Make sure the clothing is never TOO small on the character.
- Don't go all random on everything. Don't make the first transition chest to feet unless your story benefits that way.
- Never put mind change before the transformation is done unless the remaining changes are too minor to notice.
Another thing worth going over is knowing your changes. As previously mentioned, it's always good to have a few reference pictures with you of the end result. If you have a good human or OC to transform in your head already, it won't be too hard to notice the differences!
For specifics, though, you'll need to look the end result up.
- Real animal? That shouldn't be too hard, just look up its biology!
- TG? You don't have to look up male/female differences on Google, I've found a lot of it out in other TG stories! And you don't need to be too specific there, either.
- Fictional character or creature? Use the wiki you can find it on! It will usually have at least some information you didn't know before.
- Don't know the name of a body part, or a clothing article, or a hairstyle? Try to find it on Google, or if you really can't, another TF story with it!
Remember, if you really have trouble with this the first few times, don't be afraid to just try our best and nail it next time, maybe with some audience help!
First thing's first: you need to set your character off again.
- How does he feel about what happened?
- How does he react to it? Does he say anything about it?
- Does he try out his new body, maybe seeing his new... parts?
- Maybe he was asleep during the TF, and is now waking up?
- Are there other people around him reacting to this?
- Is he in a bad position, like maybe he's trapped?
- Would unsuspecting people find the character?
- Would this lead him/her into a new life no one is aware of?
- Does he/she undergo MC?if not during the TF, now's the time to do it.
- Does he end up in another world?
- Cut to somewhere else, with someone we don't know doing something
- The main character is knocked unconscious
- He finds someone or something we don't know yet
- Something big is about to happen, but doesn't yet
Step 5: Posting the Story
But before posting, you need to reread your story.
- Make sure you replace any "temporary fillers".
- Is there anything else about the story you don't like? Change it!
- It's often best to include TF in the title, along with other effects (TG, AR, MC, etc.).
- Perhaps clarify what is the end result.
- If you want, include an actual title that is somewhat related to the story.
- tf, transformation, and other effects
- The character or thing the protagonist is becoming
- What media it comes from (if it's a fictional character)
- Anything else relatable you imagine someone searching
- Why you wrote the story and chose the character
- Interesting facts about the writing process of it
- If not in the title, the TF end result
First, you need to decide on the inner character. For example, is the character…
- Normally happy or depressed?
- Nice or mean?
- Excitable or easily frightened?
- What he says and what others say about him
- The things he does, in the same manner
- What the narrator of the story says
- His contributions to the plot
- His reaction to the changes
2. Narrator Text
Setting up the main character is the first thing the narrator should do, usually at the beginning of the story, or maybe after a bit of backstory. Whether the narrator is that character or just a normal one:
- Introduce him, with name and some context, maybe some personal info.
- Maybe you can set him off with him doing something, probably something important!
- Remember, if the character setup is long, throw some dialogue in there (see next section)!
The most important part is to be descriptive, because in almost every case, the narration will take up the majority of the story. There are many ways you can apply descriptiveness!
- You can talk about the scenery, maybe it plays some kind of role with the plot or the character!
- Talk about the events with description, with some character POV, and you can turn an event as simple as picking something up into an important one!
- Maybe even use description in the character's feelings, and you can make something like "he was sad" a paragraph long and interesting!
- Of course, use description in the transformation itself!
The first thing you need to know is that dialogue usually needs to be its own paragraph. It's easier to read the paragraph that way and it makes reading the story much less confusing, especially in conversations.
Remember to make the dialogue necessary, by the way. It shouldn't just lengthen your story, it should establish character, advance or set up the plot, or even just entertain the people reading them. Don't just put needless dialogue into your story just to lengthen it a bit.
Also, try to have your dialogue convincing enough, as if someone would actually say it. Make it dialogue, not forced story development in quotation marks. And put emotion in it, too!
And outside the marks, where you'd usually write something like "he said", don't be afraid to add some context! It could do many things right, like help make the dialogue less awkward by not making the person say everything that's happening.
Don't: "What?" he said, "I wonder what that electric burst was."
Do: "WOAH!" he exclaimed, knocked back by the shock, "What just happened!?"
Theres so much more to dialogue I can't explain… so if you really need a guide for it, here's a second one: fav.me/d9797tv
First, you need to know that just because something might be obvious, that doesn't mean you should make it obvious for the characters and apparent narrator. There are just times where you have to act like the audience is unaware of what's going on.
I really don't have much else to say other than this: to help you set up or conclude something, don't just talk in the perspective of the narrator, also mention how the other characters think and do. Use their emotions, the five senses… things like that. That'll add some much-needed interest.
Don't: There was electricity at his hand, and he was growing yellow fur! … The changes were complete. He looked at himself, and he was a Pikachu!
Do: He felt an electric tingling at his left hand. He looked down at it, confused, and gasped in shock to see yellow fur growing off the back of it. … Once he thought the changes were finished, he looked down at himself. He looked over his new paws, his tiny body, and that familiar lightning-shaped tail. And once he saw his face in the mirror, he came to the realization: he had become a Pikachu.
That example was pretty basic, actually. Be as suspenseful as you'd like, because we love being in the edge!
First off is the obvious: grammar. I don't mean to be the grammar police, and a few small grammar errors, or even a story filled with them, can be fine as long as it's still readable. But when it gets hard to interpret stuff you've written, you have a problem. Either way:
- Reread the story, and speak out every sentence in your head to see if they sound correct.
- Make sure all the correct punctuation is there. Trust me, a lack of it gets way too confusing.
- We have technology, don't be afraid to use autocorrect and similar functions!
- Break up your paragraphs. DO NOT make it all one big thing.
- You have the power to use bold, italics, and underline. Use it all to your advantage!
- Center your text whenever there's something like a standalone time transition (such as 2 Hours Later).
Obviously, don't be offensive. People you offend could be reading it.
- Don't be racist, homophobic, etc.
- Don't attack a specific person/group of people.
- It's okay to bash on a company or celebrity a little, but don't treat them like the devil.
- NEVER CRITICIZE YOUR AUDIENCE. They're the people who give a damn about your stories in the first place.
Always have story elements make sense, unless it's not supposed to. Don't let the reason something doesn't make sense be "for the sake of the story".
Remember, don't be too mysterious. We want to know what your character will become, so don't hide it from the title, description, tags, and story itself.
Always have in mind the audience you'll probably get. You don't always have to match cute critters with cute stories, as with other examples like that, but it's something to keep in mind, in addition to the side effects, setting, etc., when coming up with everything.
And now we come to the most important thing to remember. A bad video on YouTube that gets a lot of views gives a bad impression on the creator, but views provide a big benefit to him/her. A bad deviation on DeviantArt that gets a lot of views gives a bad impression on the creator and gives him/her no benefit whatsoever. A bad TF story is pointless, so if you're going to make them, enjoy doing them like I do. Put effort into it. In other words, don't just make a TF story you can look back on and just say, "Damn, this was popular". Make one you can look back on and say, "Damn, this was good".
As always, stay smart, stay safe, and stay human!