Hannibal is not an easy show for which to write fanfiction. The dialogue is bizarrely (and often unnecessarily) metaphorical or poetic. The characters are deeply troubled and complex with uncertain backstories and questionable motives. And there are morbidly shocking effects used throughout the entire show thanks to showrunner, Bryan Fuller.
Basically, the show is an orgy for the sense. Visually it’s quite aggressive. As Hugh Dancy said, it’s “a fever dream blood opera,” complete with visceral hallucinations, a morphing discord of sounds and imagery, cannibalistic food porn, and a very bloody lover’s quarrel.
Below is the (incomplete) compilation of tools I use for writing in general, but more specifically, Hannibal fanfiction.
Before I start, I highly recommend Writers Helping Writers. It’s a great resource for everything from creating character sheets to intensifying emotions in a scene. Check out their Writing Tools. If you are interested in learning how to “show” rather than “tell,” check out their Descriptive Thesauruses (in PDF form for easy searching) and use them all the time. But keep in mind that showing is not always better than telling and vise
- How to Punctuate Dialog in Fiction – “It’s imperative to know!” I said.
- A Character’s Inner Dialog – I write first-person Will POV a lot, and it takes a lot of practice to get that inner voice just right.
- Active vs Passive voice (with the help of the Doctor)
- Hyphens, Dashes, and Elipses – this is basically a style thing, but consistency is key. I break a lot of these supposed rules, but I am consistent in my flagrant disobedence.
- Education First’s Grammar Guide – Complete English grammar guide filled with the rules of English usage. Each grammatical rule is explained in plain English with several examples, and when needed, counter-examples.
- Comma Queen – Video series explaining common issues with English grammar.
- Grammarly Browser Extension – Simple browser extension that auto-checks for bad grammar. As with all grammar apps, take with a grain of salt. They are far from infallible.
- Hemingway – online editor for making your work bold and clear. Highlights confusing sentences, too many adverbs, passive voices, overly complex phrases.
General Character & Story Resources
- Character Perceptions – better flesh out your characters with this handy flow chart
- 12 Common Archetypes – a standard list
- Female Archetypes We Haven’t Talked About – discussion on dark vs pale beauties.
- Item and Artifact Generator – need to make an object shine? Get some quick descriptions of junk to spark your creative juices.
- 123 Character Flaws – we know Hannibal is DAMN NEAR perfect and Will is our dear sweet cinnamon bun martyr muffin, but what about everyone else?
- Fantasy Name Generator – not just for fantasy names, you can randomly generate food names, description of cultural customs, flags, clothing, descriptions of faces, maps, anything.
- Basic Origin and Backstory Generator
- Possible Careers of OCs or AUs – a pretty long list of ideas
- Resources for period pieces – HUGE guide to getting your AU era right.
- Foreshadowing & The Red Herring – how to tempt readers and keep them guessing.
- The Ultimate Novel Writing Resource List – just what
- The Art of Invisible Movement – writing the “in-between” scenes of a story; no action, no
progessionof plot… or is there? Very good read.
- Adjective1.com – search for appropriate adjectives for nouns. Can search for adjectives alphabetically (for alliteration) or by the word you need to describe.
- 200 Alternatives to Said and 550 Alternatives to Said –
widevariety of alternatives to using said if you find yourself redundant. Personally, I use said, but depending on your style, you might need something more specific.
- Alt to Said chart
- Descriptionari – Quotes and descriptions of everything to inspire creative writing.
phraseup* – assists you with writing by finding and filling in the words you can’t remember. Just enter your half-baked sentence with an asterisk (*) to indicate the missing part.
- OneLook’s Reverse Dictionary – search with phrases and definitions to find appropriate words. Useful when you can think of related words, but not the actual word.
- Another way to Say That – reword a sentence, phrases, expressions, or to paraphrase a statement.
- Tip of my Tongue – find those words that are escaping you.
- Emotion Thesaurus – a writer’s guide to character expression. Well worth the $5 PDF download.
- 400 High Emotion Words – This is a site to teach you the language of persuasion (for businesses, or character dialogue
ofyou like), but this list is actually really awesome to set the emotion of a specific situation. There are lists of emotions you want to spark (curiosity, urgency, confusion, anger, safety, happy/alive, inspired, relaxed/peaceful) and a corresponding list of words that you can sprinkle through a scene to convey that feeling.
- Ultimate Resource for Describing Emotions
- Odor Index – breakdown of adjectives to describe certain scents. Site is not very user friendly but has a nice catalogue of adjectives for smells. Ex: apple, beef, brown sugar.
- Food Description Guide – post by Food & Wine.
- Wine Description Guide – post by Food & Wine.
- Aroma Description Guide – post by Food & Wine.
- Food Adjectives – comprehensive list broken down into food types.
Writing Pain, Suffering, and Crime
- Emotional Wound Thesaurus – a writer’s guide to understanding how to show emotional trauma in a character. Very comprehensive. The link has
sample. Again, well worth the $5 PDF download.
- Describing Pain – Pain index and descriptive words.
- Resources for writing sketchy topics – From describing burns to learning about sex trafficking. It has a lot of resources for us darker writers.
- Serial Killer Statistics – This report is based on information from the Radford University/FGCU Serial Killer Database. The purpose of the database is to gather data so that researchers and teachers will have accurate information about serial killers. The database is continually updated and that summary reports will be made available on an annual basis.
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – published by the American Psychiatric Association, this manual offers a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders. For historical AU accuracy, I have all the versions to download: DSM I (1952), DSM II (1968), DSM III (1980), DSM IV (1994), DSM V (2013)
- Writing panic attacks – Will’s bound to have one and if you’ve never had the pleasure, this will help you write it, as might this
- Violent Vocab
- 20 People Describe the Smell of a Dead Body – it’s kinda sweet … and putrid.
- Cause of Death Generator – “Jack, we have no idea what happened. Cause of death seems to have been due to a
peculiarincident involving a shopping bag and a pair of underwear.”
- Drug Name Generator
- Victorian Flower meanings – Seems like a Hannibal thing. I use it a lot.
- DigitalDante – Columbia U’s digital resource for The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
- The Painting of Hannibal’s Home –
tumblrof the art in Hannibal’s office and home. Alsosee this blog’s masterpostfor more.
- Basic Achilles and Patroclus info
- Tips on writing scenes of horror, dark fantasy, thrillers from: PubCrawl, The Write Life, & Romance University
Action & Body Language
- How to Write a Fight Scene (in 11 steps) – Comprehensive steps and advice including a comparison of Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games fight scenes.
- Language of the Eyes (How to tell if someone is lying) – Good descriptions about human behavior as it relates to their eyes.
- Whole Body Language – Index of descriptions for body language such as aggressive, deceptive, and romantic among other.
- Parts of the Body Language – Index of descriptions for parts of the body language such as head (nose, eyes, lips, etc), arms, and legs among others.
- How to Fight Write – Great fight writing resource blog. The author is also willing to answer submitted questions about specific scenes.
- Active Verb List (PDF) – I use this every single time I write. It’s a handy list to change weak verbs to more specific/active alternatives.
Sex & Intimacy
- The Sexy Thesaurus – A blog post covering a variety of synonyms including
altsto lady/manly bits & action words. Personally, I stay away from these, but I am also an anti-fun writer.
- Sensual Word Menu – a comprehensive list of more sensual or intimate words. Really a trash compilation (its alist, ffs) but it might get your proverbial juices flowing.
- The Song of Songs – The Song of Songs, for those of you who have never read the Bible (or haven’t in a while), is a long erotic poem that somehow got smuggled into the Old Testament. It is the single most instructive document you can read if you want to learn how to write effectively about the nature of physical love.
- (Male) Gay Sex Positions Guide – NSFW. Nudity and graphic depictions of sex. This is exactly what it says: photos, gifs
andfunny names included. Very useful if you’re wondering whether or not a certain body part can go where you need it to or when you want your boys to be a tad more creative.
- Sex Slang History – all the names you never knew you needed for sex throughout the ages. I write in strange decades. Links to the three interactive charts showing the first appearance of English-language slang terms for sexual intercourse generally, oral sex and anal intercourse, and orgasms, bodily fluids, and contraception.
- Sad songs – 50 songs to get you on an angsty mood.
- Hannibal playlists on Spotify – There are hundreds. A more specific, comprehensive list will follow when I have time to listen to a few.
Hannibal Show Specific Resources
- Official Hannibal Scripts from Bryan Fuller’s site.
- Hannibal Episode Transcripts –
collectionof transcripts from the entire show
- Feeding Hannibal – the show’s food stylist’s blog
- Bryan Fuller’s set design tweets – via Eat the Rude
- Inside Hannibal’s Home – high res production designs and photos
Hannibalsbedroom – high res reference photos
- Hannibal’s Foyer – high res reference photos
- Hannibal’s Suits –
in depthlooks at all of Hannibal’s clothing
- Everything Hannibal Wore – the whole list.
- The Hannibal Prop Store – (ended) auction site for the show’s props. Great prop research site.
- Costumes & Design in NBC’s Hannibal – 4 part write up by Hello, Tailor.
Hannibal Lecter Specific Resources
- How to Write a Sexy Recipe – exactly that. Hanni would know.
- Euclid’s Elements of Geometry – Hannibal is reading this near the beginning of Hannibal Rising.
Treatsieon Light – another book Hannibal is studying in HR
- 22 Books from Hannibal’s Library – what’s on his shelf in the show
- Hannibal’s Library – a list of Hannibal’s shelves from Wear the Rude
- The Method of Loci – how Hannibal made his mind palace.
Will Graham Specific Resources
Hannibal Fan Artists for Inspiration
There are hundreds of incredible artists in the Hannibal fandom. These are just a few that I personally follow or find inspiration from.
Other Useful Tools
- Diff Checker – this analyzes the differences between two very similar documents to show changes in text, in case something happens and you need to see the potential edits you’ve made to a story.
- Pixlr – free online photo editing software. Works very similarly to Photoshop.
- RoomSketcher – I use Room Sketcher to plan out rooms for my fics. I made a farmhouse for my
rairpair Tonnygram in Room Sketcher and it was pretty cool. See?