How to Use Archive of Our Own to Become a Better Writer?



Archive of Our Own is a fantastic location to share your writing with others and get criticism from readers.

Archive of Our Own is one of many online writing communities where you may share your work with others. Readers will be able to constructively review your work in this manner, assisting you in improving your writing.

We’ll look at Archive of Our Own, the tools it provides writers, and how you can utilise them to improve your writing.

What Is Our Own Archive?

The Organization for Transformative Works’ project Archive of Our Own, or “AO3,” is a project of the Organization for Transformative Works. The OTW is a non-profit dedicated to the creation and preservation of “transformative works.” If you have to call it “fanfiction,” call it that. These works “add something fresh with a further purpose” to existing media.

This history is one of the things that sets AO3 apart from other collaborative writing sites. The majority of AO3 contributors want their effort to be recognized, and they benefit personally from their engagement. Many contributors, on the other hand, perceive their contributions as part of something bigger.

The same can be stated for users who leave comments on other people’s writings. Their goal is to support and critique the original contributor, but they also consider themselves as custodians of a piece of culture that means a lot to them.

How to Become a Member of AO3?

Anyone can read the stories produced by contributors on AO3. You can even use a guest identity to offer “kudos” and comments on contributions.

Leaving AO3 comments without a profile is not a good idea.



You can contribute your own works, participate in challenges, store works to read later, and keep track of other contributors and tales with an account. Furthermore, certain AO3 posts are only viewable to registered users.

The process of creating an account is simple and free, however it takes time. You must seek an invitation in order to establish an account.

Although there is no application, AO3 sends profile invitations using an automated email service. When you ask for an invitation, you’re joining a group of other new users. It could take hours or days for the invite to come, depending on the time and how busy the automated service is.

When you receive the email, all you have to do is click a link to validate your email address. After that, you’ll need to create a username and password. Keep in mind that while your username is linked to your account, it is not required to be linked to your writing. Content can be published anonymously or using pseudonyms managed through your account.

How to Make a New Post in WordPress?

When your account is ready, go to your dashboard and select Post New.

Before you can type, paste, or import your narrative, you’ll find that there are a number of fields to fill out. These are the fields:

  1. Rating
  2. Archive Warnings
  3. Fandom
  4. Categories
  5. Relationships
  6. Characters
  7. Additional Tags

These parameters determine how AO3 catalogues and locates your material. You can choose not to rate your article and have it appear to other users as “not rated.” You can also opt out of setting warnings, but this comes with a label that other site users will see.

Tags for AO3

Fandom is a prerequisite. This is usually the piece or body of work that inspired your narrative, but you can type whatever you like in this section; it doesn’t have to be related to a fandom that others have already contributed to. It will be simpler for other users to find your work if you associate it with a well-known and famous fandom, but appropriate tags will help as well.

Create your title, organize any notes you have, and provide a summary of your work in the Preface section. You can also add contributors here who can add to or edit your work. To do so, tick the box labelled Add co-creators and type their usernames into the text area that appears.

The Associations section is where you explain how your piece ties in with other pieces you’ve contributed or plan to contribute in the future. It’s also how serialized stories, such as chapter-by-chapter, are published. This section’s Post to Collections / Challenges form is also where you enter your contributions into challenges, which we’ll go over in more detail later.



You can restrict who can see and comment on your material in the Privacy area. When you check the Enable Comment Moderation option, you’ll be able to view comments on your contributions before deciding whether or not they should be shown to other users. You can also disable comments here, but you won’t get much input this way.

The rest of the page is for rich text, HTML, or plain text with restricted HTML text entry. If this isn’t your cup of tea, AO3 is great at tidying up the formatting for you. In the worst-case scenario, you can always preview your article before publishing it to make sure it appears exactly how you want it to.

Notifications for Comments, Kudos, and Updates can be set up.

You can adjust your profile settings in a variety of ways, but there are only a few that have a significant impact on how you cooperate with other users to better your writing. All of these options may be found in your profile’s Preferences section, which can be found in the banner on the left side of the page.

Other users can invite you to co-create works by checking the last box in the Privacy section, which we’ve already discussed. The sections for Comments and Collections, Challenges, and Gifts can be found lower down. You can turn on or off email notifications for interactions, as well as set restrictions on how others can interact with your work.

When you’re on another contributor’s story, you can interact with them through a toolbar that displays at the top right of the pane.

Select Bookmark to save a tale to your collections, Mark for Later to save a work to a list of your page so you can locate it later, Subscribe to receive notifications when the author creates or updates a work, or Comments to view public comments written by other users.

How to Set Up and Take Part in Challenges?

One of the coolest collaboration elements on AO3 is challenges. Larger and more frequent challenges are well-publicized on the platform. Any user, however, can generate problems, and smaller, independent issues occur frequently.

Participating in challenges allows you to enhance your writing talents by forcing you to write within the parameters established by the challenge designer. Some challenges can also be used as writing prompts if you don’t know where to begin.

You can also make your own challenges by selecting Collections from the left-hand pane’s header, then New Collection from the toolbar across the top of the pane.

You will have the option of defining “rules” while creating a challenge. Creating rules that motivate writers or editors to complete a task that you’re having trouble with in your own content is a fantastic method to examine how other people approach the problem.

What Will You Keep in Your Archive?

Archive of Our Own is a terrific place to go for original information on some of your favorite topics, and it also allows you to share your own inspired stuff with others. It is, however, an excellent location to upload your work for feedback and criticism, as well as to workshop new ideas.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.