veleda_k: Text says, "You are seriously hindering my attempts at being popular on the internet." (I'm gonna be popular)
[personal profile] veleda_k
When posting fic directly to a community, two things are helpful: a) an lj cut, and b) paragraph breaks. Otherwise I just have this lump of text sitting on my flist.
deird1: puppet!Angel brooding, with text "brood brood brood brood brood brood brood brood brood" (PuppetAngel brood)
[personal profile] deird1
The master-list of your fanfic is dreadful.

I'm not saying it has to be perfect - but when you give the titles of the stories and nothing else, it really needs some work.
What characters are in them?
How long are they?
What are they about?
When are they set?
What is going on?

And when I click through to the individual stories, I'm still stuck with:
Characters: Read, and find out!

...which is just irritating.
pixel: (supernatural: dean ohgod)
[personal profile] pixel
So I've been around in fandom a long time, and yeah we used to do things a certain way because that's how they were done. Except sometimes we get smarter and STOP doing them because hey, they're actually kind of offensive, or important for other reasons.


We no longer live in the age of mailing lists where people stumble into an email that they might not have intended to, (and even then, that's a bit flimsy) so let's stop pretending that people can't read headers and see pairings listed and know what the hell that means ok?

On the other hand, if you have dub-con fic that isn't labeled as such, being a very appropriate use for Warnings, I probably won't be reading any more of that particular fic or any others of your fic because you appear to have the self-awareness of a fly. Similarly, warning for violence against minority groups would be a good thing, not that I remember seeing anything like that un-warned recently, but still.

Lets break it down: we *don't* warn for people's (generally healthy, positive) sexuality, we DO warn for violence, dub-con and other triggery material.


Dec. 6th, 2011 03:11 pm
boundbooks: Zhang Ziyi (harry potter: griffindor)
[personal profile] boundbooks
Dear Fic Author,

I would say, in general, that the strongest argument for why Hermione Granger would never come across another Hogwarts student reading Twilight has nothing to do with the question of the magical community's feelings about 'realistic portrayals of vampires', but rather two small facts.

Twlight was published in 2005
Hermione's seventh year at Hogwarts would have been 1998, and even counting the non-canonical eight year, that only brings us to 1999.

Unless you time-shifted your AU (and you didn't) none of the Hogwarts students during Harry Potter's school years are going to be spending their spare time reading the works of Stephanie Meyer.
megpie71: 9th Doctor resting head against TARDIS with repeated *thunk* text (Head!Tardis)
[personal profile] megpie71
So, you write male-male slashfic or yaoi. You're in the middle of writing something hot and heavy in third person (either third-person omniscient or third-person limited). You're referring to each of the characters with the pronoun "he" or "his" or "him".

Do you see a potential problem here?

Somewhat lurid hint below fold )

Can we say "subject-object confusion", kiddies? I knew we could.

Again, character names are useful things. They can prevent your readers from having to be jolted out of the moment by mental images of anatomy which just does not work like that.

(This rant brought to you by entirely too many slashfics where it seems the only way to determine what is being done with which to whom by whom is by backing up and re-reading the paragraph, maybe about three or four times.)

PS: Same rule/problem applies for female-female slash or yuri, just different pronouns. Please, just use the character's names.
PPS: This goes double or treble when you're dealing with more than two characters of the same pronoun-using gender in the same sexual act.
PPPS: Yes, this does still apply when one of the participants has tentacles.
PPPPs: It's also nice to see character names in het, too, particularly when gender games are being played.

[1] Not an actual quote, just a sentence made up on the spot to demonstrate the problem. Now, tell me which one of the characters is moaning, and why?
megpie71: Unearthed skeleton, overlaid with phrase "What made you think I was nice?" (Bitch)
[personal profile] megpie71
Okay, this is very general, it isn't aimed at anyone in specific. This is just me getting something off my chest so I don't damn well explode.

Characters have names for a reason. Use them.

Seriously, if I see many more fics where the various characters are referred to by their height, their hair colour, their age, their gender or anything else other than their blinkin' names, I'm going to go potty.

This rant brought to you by far too many fanfics wherein Cloud Strife is described as "the blond(e)" and entirely too many where people try to coin new words to describe the hair colours of Sephiroth and Zack.
terabient: LĂșcio waving and smiling (Default)
[personal profile] terabient
So! According to your profile, you're a published author, you've spent 10+ years writing stories, and you spend 'weeks, months, and sometimes years researching' information for your fics. That's great. It's obvious you care about what you do.

That said, when you go on and on about your professional credentials, your prep work, and consider your work well-written, as a reader I am going to hold you to a higher standard than other writers. And when I read one of your fics and find a plethora of mistakes - confusing tense changes, excessive ellipsis use, sentence fragments, awkward and out-of-place cultural references - I am not inclined to give your other works a chance, no matter how much you insist they are 'worth the long read.'

Also, role-playing experience does not equal writing experience. Your fics would be far more readable if you realized that.
deird1: Sokka looking upset, with text "you're making me tearbend" (Sokka tearbend)
[personal profile] deird1
Just found this fic. I enjoyed it.

Yay! Thanks!

But by this point Tim had changed jobs and was a much nicer person.

That... happened in season 4.

My fic is set in season 2.

I can see why you'd think my fic was from season 4 - which is why I deliberately put in a clue that it was actually from season 2. That clue? It was Tim being in his old job and being a real bastard.


Should I just start putting THIS IS SET IN SEASON 2 at the top? Is being subtle really a hopeless cause? Because I'm getting completely sick of people thinking I'm not paying attention to canon...
lilithisbitter: (Evil Kiddy Pool)
[personal profile] lilithisbitter
Roy's eyes are eye colored, but enough with the Roy's eyes rant.

I understand the need to describe eyes beyond blue, brown, grey, green, hazel, violet, and all other variations since there are different shades of eye color. One character could have dark brown eyes, but another in the same show could have lighter, more amber colored eyes. Plus if a character has a unique shade of said color, you'd want to get that across with something more than the basics.

But if you're going to use a shade of such and such color, could you at least look up the shade in question to figure out if it matches the character's eye color. House does not have turquoise colored eyes. Turquoise is blue-green, no where close to the ungodly shade of blue Hugh Laurie's eyes look in close ups. If anything, they are blue-grey in most shots and holy hell Mr. Laurie, are you sure those aren't colored contacts blue. If anything, Chase has turquoise colored eyes.

Yes, some shades are ridiculously close to each other in color wise like power blue and baby blue (and the only way you can tell the difference is looking at the RGB colors and even then they are extremely close), but there is a world of difference between heliotrope and indigo. There are plenty of ways of looking up different shades of any particular color. Your thesaurus unfortunately doesn't know which shade you are thinking of... yet.
kutsuwamushi: (strike a pose)
[personal profile] kutsuwamushi
I own the idea of them being pirates.

No, you really don't.

I think there's a change that you're joking--that you don't really think that you can claim the idea of making Bob and George pirates. But you know, you don't seem like you're joking, and that means you're just wrong.

A pirate AU? That's a really generic idea. You can't own it any more than you can own the idea of making Bob and George high school students. Even if you're the first one to do it, it's not yours.
deird1: Anya, with text "is it difficult or time-consuming?" (Anya difficult)
[personal profile] deird1
Fake cut tags: annoying.

A fake cut tag underneath a real cut tag, so you click the first cut tag and find another one to somewhere else: REALLY REALLY ANNOYING.

michelel72: (General-Words-SoAdjective)
[personal profile] michelel72
I see this all the time, but running into it in two consecutive fanfics brings me here.

Take a moment to grab your upper arm (or a friend's). That thing you're holding onto ... well, it's an upper arm, actually, or even simply "arm". If you want to describe someone flexing the big muscle in the front, or if you want to use a fancier-sounding but less accurate term than "upper arm", you would refer to the biceps.

"But I don't want to refer to both arms!" you might protest. You know what? It doesn't matter. The Anglicized plural is biceps, and the singular is ... biceps. Really! Bicep is not actually a real word, in Latin or in English!

If you want the specifics, check it:
The term biceps brachii is a Latin phrase meaning "two-headed [muscle] of the arm", in reference to the fact that the muscle consists of two bundles of muscle, each with its own origin, sharing a common insertion point near the elbow joint. The proper plural form of the Latin adjective biceps is bicipites, a form not in general English use. Instead, biceps is used in both singular and plural (i.e., when referring to both arms).
The same goes for the rarer (in prose, not anatomically) triceps.

So if you find yourself writing, "He latched onto Benedict's bicep" ... stop. Replace bicep with arm if you want to avoid provoking grisly imagery for the most nitpicky of FFR's denizens, but at the very least, don't leave off the final "s". Unlike the mattress company, this action will not give you savings.

(The readers who save time by back-buttoning, on the other hand ....)

extreme AU

Sep. 23rd, 2010 06:28 am
deird1: puppet!Angel headdesking, with text "*headdesk*" (PuppetAngel headdesk)
[personal profile] deird1
Set in a parallel universe of 1930s Ireland. (A gentle story, set in gentle times.)Where same sex marriages are the norm along with mixed sex marriages and a matchmaker is used for both.

So... you've made both the characters human,
put them both in a country they're not from,
in a time they never lived in,
then changed the country and the time so they're not like they were,

*is confused*

If you don't like the time period or location, why not change to a different time and location, that fit your story better? Since you're putting them in a non-canon time period anyway...
juliet316: (Dollhouse: One of those days)
[personal profile] juliet316
I'm all for references to popular media in fanfic (I've done it myself a time or two), whoever however, please for the sake of everything watch what references you put in a time period! It jars me like little else out of a story to read about somebody reading or listening to something in 1996 or 1998, when it won't be out until early 2000s or later! I don't want to read about Dawn Summers reading Harry Potter when she's like ten years old, when the books won't be out for a few years later.*

Bottom line, if you want to reference a popular book or movie in a fic, keep in mind where the characters are in their timelines.

*this was just used as an example, thus far I haven't come across a fic where Dawn is reading HP at ten years old.

ETA: I apparently forgot how to spell.
veleda_k: Suzu from Peacemaker Kurogane. Text says "Surrounded by freaking idiots." (PMK: Surrounded by idiots)
[personal profile] veleda_k
A note to anyone who has ever used the the "They call it FANfiction for a reason" argument (Or sometimes "They call it FICTION for a reason") to excuse their OOC dreck:

Yes, they call it FANfiction for a reason. And that reason is that it's fiction written by fans of another piece of work. It has absolutely nothing to do with how well the characters are written or how believable it is. Writing fanfiction does not mean that no one should have problems with the characters acting nothing like themselves, nor does it mean that no one has a right to criticize your canon warping Sue. The argument you keep using is meaningless.

The only circumstance I could see that argument being valid is if you were writing RPF, and someone told you that what you were writing about never happened. Then, yes, I suppose "Well, that's why they call it fiction" would be a suitable response. But I've never seen it used in that context, so right now it's a moot point.

And I'm not sure if I'm the only one, but for me, I think that the fact that it's fanfiction means that accurate (or at least defensible) characterization is all the more important. If someone wrote a fic that was perfect mechanically, with lush description and engaging plot, but none of the characters acted like themselves, I would say that it was a good story, but terrible fanfic. I think that working with what you're given is the unique challenge of fanfic. (Note: that's not bashing AUs or anything. I like AUs. But even in AUs there's still a need to keep to the original somewhat, or else you're just writing poorly disguised original fic.)

And that's Veleda's two cents.

(Edited to correct a typo.)
mew3: ~*winks*~ (Default)
[personal profile] mew3
Dear Author,

It is really obnoxious to post the warnings at the bottom of a story, especially if they are controversial such as in this case "explicit shouta". There are 127 words in your authors summary at the top, you can add a few more. (How about five? Warning: story contains explicit shouta.)

I assume that you did this, so that people would give the story a chance. The first chapter is gen and sets up a decent introduction.

So while I will agree that it is marginally more courteous than leaving me to discover the shouta as I don't even want to know happens in the middle of whatever.

But I can't help but feel that I'm left in this conundrum:

  • If I care about warnings (though perhaps not this particular warning) then I spoil the ending of the first chapter for myself.
  • If I don't usually care about warnings, but this hits my squick button hard, then I've wasted my time reading your story.

kutsuwamushi: (Default)
[personal profile] kutsuwamushi
Dear author:

You've decided that this character gives off pheremones that make him irresistible. Not in a "my, you're hot" way, but in a "my, you're hot and I MUST HAVE YOU NOW" way. His smell is so good that it overcomes other people's judgment. I'm not a fan of this particular piece of fanon*, which I'll explain in just a moment.

In your story you stick Mr. Pheremones in a small, confined space with someone else who can't get away and can't avoid, you know, breathing. Despite his attraction to Mr. Pheremones, he's not okay with this: he has deeply personal reasons for not wanting to be sexually involved with anyone, and he worries that he'll soon be overcome. Because this is porn, this is exactly what happens, and they have sex.

Nowhere did you show an inkling of awareness that this isn't consensual sex. It's not in the warnings and not in the story.

I am totally fine with aphrodisiac sex-pollen aliens-made-them-do-it stories, but I'm skeeved when it seems like the author has no idea it's not consensual, and it seems like you don't. I think you share my opinion that Mr. Pheremones is a decent guy at heart and you wouldn't intentionally characterize him as a rapist, but that's what he is in your story. And if you're willing to ignore the consent issue for kink, which I'm totally okay with, why didn't you put in an author's note?

HANDY TIP: If one or more of the parties has no choice it's not consensual.

* Whatever, people can have their kinks. I just don't like it personally because I don't like the idea that this character is running around the galaxy having sex with people who have effectively been drugged by his presence.
kutsuwamushi: (they see me rollin')
[personal profile] kutsuwamushi
So I've decided to watch a popular television show. And I've been struck by the urge to find stories about a particular pairing.

Dear author the first:

Most mediocre writers -- as opposed to bad ones --- have a decent grasp of the mechanics, but struggle with pacing, characterization, and so on. These are hard problems to tackle, because a lot of it comes down to talent and experience.

You, on the other hand, have a problem that's relatively easy to fix. You're backwards. Your storytelling is decent, but your mechanics are bad. You don't know how to properly punctuate dialogue, you're constantly messing up things like they're/their and you're/your, and so on.

I think you're already using spellcheck, so obviously you care a little about the quality of your writing, but you're one of the people who would really, really benefit from a good beta reader. I hope you get one.

Dear author the second:

You want to express that you're a fan of this series in your journal layout. I'm okay with that. But you've decided to do so with several .gifs in your sidebar that take forever to load--and I'm on a pretty fast connection. On top of that, they're really distracting when I'm trying to read your stories. I was able to switch to ?format=light, but not everyone knows how to do that, you know?
veleda_k: Text says "Six hours later I still hadn't written a thing, but I did win 7 out of 245 games of solitaire." (I'm "writing")
[personal profile] veleda_k
Typos happen. They happen at least once to just about everybody. Some people have a real problem with typos. (Like, um, me for example.) I do my best to be forgiving, and I recognize that a couple of typos do not ruin a story. However, author, your summary and title looked like this:

The silent reunon

The soul of Astarte is brouht bac to Earth in a hman's body. However she rturns to er brother's side. A silent renion is to tae place. On-shot of AstorethXAstarte

Your title is three words, and one of those words is misspelled. That's a problem right there. Then in your thirty word summary, you have ten typos. In other words, in your title and summary one out of every three words is misspelled. You even managed to get reunion wrong twice. In two completely different ways! I'm not asking you to get a beta, I'm asking you to use a spellchecker.

I was actually skeptical that you could have done this poorly on accident, so I checked the fic to make sure you weren't just trolling. But no, it's a serious story, and actually not too bad except for, you guessed it, the spelling mistakes.
skauble: (Default)
[personal profile] skauble
Dear non-author,

At the end of a story summary on FFN you left the following note:

Written by someome else, edited by me. Enjoy :D

I checked your profile and both of the stories you have up are by different authors and edited by you. First of all, there's no mention of permission anywhere in either the stories or your profile. You don't even seem to know who wrote one of them, so I doubt you got the go ahead from that person. Second, editing someone's stories without permission is uncool. Third, the stories are porn and thus a violation of the rules.

All of that is obnoxious and report worthy, but the thing that really makes me ranty - if you're going to take someone's story and fix it up in whatever way you choose, why wouldn't you at least pick a good story?! There are so many fics out there with great plots but crappy writing and you pick some blah porn? Really? Not even unbelievably fantastic porn? Couldn't you have been a thieving jerk who was even moderately entertaining? At least something good could have come from this, but instead you've failed on every level.

I feel bad about being the most upset by the wrong thing here, but I find it doubly annoying when people do obnoxious things for no real pay off. It's like robbing a bank for 37 cents. Also, I'm incredibly shallow.