MuggleNet Fan Fiction
Harry Potter stories written by fans!

MNFF Help Essay Library

Below you'll find a comprehensive list of help essays, written to assist in our authors' writing process. From terms of service and punctuation, all the way to grammar and dialogue, the staff of MuggleNet Fan Fiction have put this section together specifically for your use. We urge that everyone (even seasoned veterans) take a few minutes to at least browse through.

In addition to these essays, we also encourage all authors to find a beta reader. Beta readers are experienced experts who help you proofread a story/chapter before you submit it to the queue. Beta readers can be helpful in spotting more than just grammar or spelling errors-- they can also be useful in finding plot holes or OOC (Out of Character) behavior.

While anyone can be a beta reader, we highly discourage choosing a friend simply because he/she is a friend. Make sure whoever you pick is someone you trust not only with your story, but also with the English language and the necessary knowledge of Harry Potter. To learn more, and to find a professional beta reader, visit Perfect Imagination, MuggleNet Fan Fiction's trusted affiliate.

Terms of Service

Here you'll find the rules and standards of MuggleNet Fan Fiction. Please read carefully, as failure to comply with the terms of service could quite potentially result in a termination of your account and subsequent deletion of your stories.


Frequently Asked Questions– the name says it all. Please look here for an answer to a question before contacting a moderator.

Formatting Submissions

A quick guide to help ensure your submissions are formated properly; this includes some standard html help, as a base knowledge of html is required to submit to MuggleNet Fan Fiction.

Beta Forums

A message board with a plethora of resources for writers of all skill levels. These forums include writing challenges, a sorting quiz which sorts you into Houses, which you then become a member of, as well as help with characterization, writers' block, and much more. It's also another excellent place (aside from Perfect Imagination) to locate a trusted beta reader.

Attaching Warnings

How does the warnings system work? What do they mean? When should you use them?

Terms Dictionary

A quick reference of acronyms and other specialized terms that you are likely to encounter on this site.


Here you'll find an essay on plot bunnies, plot holes, plot development, and more. It's a good reference if you're unsure about an idea or need help sorting one out.

Characterizat ion

A helpful angle on properly characterizing the Harry Potter characters, as well as any OCs (Original Characters) you might dream up. Characterization is usually fairly subjective, but is judged at the discretion of the moderators' expertise so is fair game for a basis of rejection. A beta reader is highly recommended.


This is a collection of common grammatical errors and how to avoid them. It serves as a great refresher for grammar in general, and is especially useful seeing as how MuggleNet Fan Fiction often rejects on the basis of poor grammar.


This essay focuses on the setting of your fan fiction-- why is setting important? How do you create an effective one? What cliches and mistakes should you avoid?


This help essay reviews your basic punctuation marks and demonstrates their respective usages. Like the grammar essay, it serves as an excellent crash-course for refreshing your memory.


Dialogue errors be gone! This essay covers the fundamentals of dialogue: how it's used, what to avoid, what purposes it serves, and how to create effective, gripping dialogue, as well. It also skims characterization in your characters' speech.

vs NC- 17

What defines "graphic content"? Is your story MuggleNet Fan Fiction acceptable? This guide will help you determine the fine line between stories for mature readers (Professors) and stories too graphic for MNFF.

Original Characters

A helpful approach to character creation. What makes a good OC? What makes a cliche one? What questions should you ask yourself as you attempt to build an original character? Read to learn.

Out of Character

How writing Out of Character can make a horrible, unrealistic story, or a creative, explorative one. This essay explores the issue and helps explain what not to do.


Here you'll find the basics of writing an outstanding summary. Remember, your summary is all your potential readers have to determine whether your fic is up their alley-- make it count! (Not to mention, decent summaries are required for validation.)


Some creative ideas for finding the perfect title for your story or chapter. Titles can speak volumes and, like your summary, can either work for or against your fan fic.


This essay includes some helpful tips for avoiding fandom cliches and keeping your story fresh. Original plots and ideas are held on high here at MuggleNet Fan Fiction, so browsing this essay is an especially good idea.

Writer's Block

Writer's Block-- an author's worst enemy. And yet, a largely unavoidable one. This essay offers a few ideas for how to escape this sticky snare, and what to do if it comes dangerously close to being the end of your story.

Rejected Submissions

Here is a proactive guide to making it through the queue-- which can sometimes be a feat in and of itself. Luckily, there are several steps any author can take to solidify your chances, as well as steps to take if your story is rejected despite your efforts.

Alternate Universe

What is an alternate universe? When does it stop being a warning and start being a category? How are AU submissions evaluated for characterization? This essay details it all.