Brainstorming some topic ideas…What are your rights as a fanfiction author?
Depending on how much you want to study into this, there's a lot of useful information out there on the Internet. Unfortunately, a good lot of that information is speculation, because very rarely has it been taken to court (so little precedence to make an absolute claim on). Character are most likely to get you into trouble, since most other parts of fanfiction could be generalised under archetypes; an author who writes only OCs has a much better case than one who uses show characters. Check http://www.chillingeffects.org/fanfic/
to start yourself off.How do you actually write a story?
— as in, the formatting involved, what programs to use, etc. I think the easiest way of writing stories is to use Markdown, since you only need standard keyboard characters and it looks fine even when un-parsed. People use it even for marking up professional books since there are a number of ways to export to E-book formats. You're at risk of this simply becoming a rattling off of software, so try and avoid that. You could also talk about stuff like keeping to a schedule and writing periodically (though I'd know nothing about that), since it's kind of related to the topic header. Similarly you could talk about file management and stuff — just anything that's about writing without actually being about writing. (Check http://blog.rogerdodger.me/post/38144283872/file-management-and-story-formatting
for my rambling if that helps.)Thinking Grander and Outside the Box
Fanfiction lends itself to seeing similar stuff a lot. Stories set in Ponyville only have so many ways to go. There are a number of ways to utilise the familiarity of old characters for a new story. Setting is, perhaps, the most important part of that. The trouble with using Ponyville is that you're limited to things that actually are in Ponyville (to some degree — you can get away with a fair bit). Think about the story you want to tell, and think about what kind of environment would really
bring out maximum conflict for that narrative. Also think about what will make your job plain easier. Generally speaking, a good fanfiction will use old ideas to get its readers, then use new ones to keep them. You can rattle off a few good examples out there in different genres to make the point. You don't necessarily have to write epic adventures like Fallout: Equestria
or Dangerous Business
to utilise the setting.Taking Criticism
There's two different ways of looking at this, or rather a spectrum, and both extremes don't work for obvious reasons. Listen too much and you're stuck in a cycle of constant revision and low output. Listen too little and you end up with no introspection into your work and no improvement. As much as we like to encourage people to listen to feedback, it's also worth mentioning that sometimes you've gotta side with yourself. It's your story, after all. Make it yours. I think that the extreme of not writing anything because of perfectionism is much worse than writing a boatload of crap. If you write nothing, you learn nothing.
Generally speaking, you should emphasise the bottom line of writing: writers write. Some of us here haven't even gotten that far yet, and everything else is just dressing.