Discussion Fan Fic Pet Peeves?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by alienyouthct, Jul 30, 2002.

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  1. MsLanna Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2005
    star 6
    I do the not-identifying-thing sometimes. Usually with first person narrators because they know who they are and it doesn't change. I do not like confusion on identities in dialogue, though. (Except when I want it which rarely happens, but happens sometimes.)
    If I get confused on the who's who of a story I usually don't finish it.
    I'm fine with mystery identities as long as they are clearly distinguishable from everybody else.

    @pronker now that sound like a fascinating project. And one I'd undoubtedly fail within the first three words. x_X
  2. Katarn's Beard Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2014
    This isn't restricted to fanfic, but it bothers me when the characters don't have different speech patterns and they all use a speech pattern that I assume is the author's.
    pronker and J_Girl like this.
  3. The Compeer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2013
    star 2
    Speech tags are an easy source of annoyance, but the most annoying one for me is the use of the word "question". Specifically, I hate it being used like " 'X?', she questioned." The word doesn't work that way! You can say something in a particular speech tag, you can also whisper, ask or demand it, but you don't "question" it. And yet you see this in fanfic all over the place, and it really gets to me.
  4. Kahara Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 4
    Interesting one. I never actually thought using "questioned" that way was incorrect, but I've come to dislike the sound of it in my own writing. Maybe someone gets good use out of it, but in my hands it makes the dialogue go "clunk."
  5. The Compeer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2013
    star 2
    It's distressingly wrong and I hate it. Of course, my irritation is probably a result of reading a lot of fanfiction with an eye towards reviewing it, so I tend to pay a lot of attention to writing style. It's common whenever you see one of those writers who's allergic to the word "said", which is quite a few. I blame bad English teachers, myself.
  6. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    In my opinion (since I am one of those writers), avoiding the word "said" isn't a bad thing if you are skilled at using other words and phrases as dialogue tags. I tend to have an action in place of "said," and it's mostly out of habit. My own observations of people talking show that they don't simply say things; they'll say it with an action. They gesture, make faces, make noises, and otherwise move their bodies. People are animated when they speak. Thus, I make my dialogue reflect that by using actions in place of standard dialogue tags.

    However, back when I was starting out, I fell into the trap that others have with using a thesaurus for different words. I see that often with people who avoid "said." That is not only amateur, but extremely clunky.

    Though, even the usage of "said" contributes to a pet peeve: when writers invert the speech tags. Said Cody. Said Rex. Said Anakin. "Make it stop," said Ugh.
  7. Goodwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 5
    "Make it stop!" Ugh begged emphatically.

    Now look what you made me do. I'm going to have to use Ugh as a character name in a future story!
    Last edited by Goodwood, Apr 2, 2014
  8. Skywalker_T-65 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Joking aside, that is one of my larger peeves. It is highly frustrating to see 'said' (or other tags) inverted like that...and I don't know why people do it either. I've never done it myself.
  9. MsLanna Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2005
    star 6
    Personally, I'd blame non-native writers. :p
    The noun is 'question'; accordinlgy the verb has to be 'to question' and voila, it does exist. It's not our fault you have so many words for 'ask'. Also, 'said xyz' would be perfectly proper German. If you see funny speechmars as well (comma behind the speech mark) it most likely is a Germasn writer. Force knows how long it took me to get the switch correct.

    And hating on 'said' is cause for many speech tag problems.

    "Personally, I love it. It's invisible and forces me to put the nuances into the words", said she with a heavy German accent and a raised brow to indicate her slightly sarcastic annoyance about the topic.
  10. Skywalker_T-65 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Using said, or 'question' doesn't really bug me personally. I've probably done the latter myself at some point or another (and I am a native English speaker).
  11. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Thankfully, I've kept most of my slang and dialect out of my writing. Characters have yet to start rutsching in their seats.

    Rutsching: To rutsch. To squirm or fidget. From German: rutschen "Quitcher rutschin'!"

    Always fun having to explain that one to non-Pennsylvania Dutch. :p

    Back to the peeves...

    This one I'm guilty of, but it bugs me when there is very little description of characters, particularly certain types of characters, and then the descriptions will suddenly drop some new detail on the characters that wasn't there. For example, I was reading a Megaman fan fic with some Robot Master characters. I pictured them much like their official descriptions, as the author didn't bother to include any at all.

    And then, suddenly, the author drops a t-shirt on one.

    That took me right out of the story.
    Last edited by TrakNar, Apr 3, 2014
  12. Findswoman FanFic Best Reviewer, Nominating & Voting Champ

    Game Winner
    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4

    Do you wish people a good rutsch into the New Year? :D
  13. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Only if they're fidgeting. :p
  14. Lady_Misty Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    You know when YOU are writing a fic and a character is speaking and is cut off mid sentence for whatever reason and ninety-eight percent of the time YOU forget what they were going to say even though they were MEANT to never finish what they were saying. That has happened to me.
  15. Padawan4687 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2010
    star 5
    That doesn't happen too often to me, but it drives me crazy when it does! In my cases though, it's usually just the last word that gets cut off, or only the first word is said.
    Revanfan1 and Lady_Misty like this.
  16. pronker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2007
    star 4
    A pet peeve is when a story has everything: characters whose dialogue you can 'hear' because it is true; an unwavering mood (tragic, comic); a plot that sounds like it could happen in the show's canon; wonder of wonders, it is complete! But it is poorly edited for word usage, this among others: 'his companions shunned him and treated him almost as a leaper' ... and that speedbump makes you cranky for awhile. It also makes you hope against hope that the author doesn't really think that 'leper' is the same as 'leaper.'
    Revanfan1 and Lady_Misty like this.
  17. Jedi_Lover Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Maybe it is a leaping leper.
  18. Findswoman FanFic Best Reviewer, Nominating & Voting Champ

    Game Winner
    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    I always thought those two words were pronounced differently: "leper" to rhyme with "pepper" and "leaper" to rhyme with "creeper"?
    Revanfan1, Lady_Misty and pronker like this.
  19. Jedi_Lover Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    They are, but we are talking about writing mistakes like misuse of 'There, their and they're'.
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, Apr 23, 2014
  20. pronker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2007
    star 4
    Someone else on these boards has stated 'fanfiction is serious business' and maybe I'm taking this form of entertainment too seriously? I dunno. I reviewed the story and stuck to its good points, which were many.
  21. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 7
    It could also merely have been a typo. It is very difficult to spot all of one's own errors.
  22. pronker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2007
    star 4
    It had the advantage of being topical, as the fic was based on an episode aired 041514, so folks were really really excited about the episode, because character upsets and startling events happened all over the place; errors could have been attributed to eagerness to publish and get that story out there. It was an excellent story, but yeah, this is the place for venting peeves, so here's one.
  23. Findswoman FanFic Best Reviewer, Nominating & Voting Champ

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    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    That's the thing—it just seemed odd to me that two words with such different pronunciations would be easily mixed up that way, and I thought that maybe the mixup was happening because the writer had an erroneous pronunciation in his or her head.

    Now, while we're on writing mistakes and word mixups based on similar pronunciation and spelling—and forgive me if this has been covered already—but one of my own pet peeves is the incorrect use of lie (lay, lain) vs. lay (laid, laid). "Lie" is intransitive (i.e., it takes no direct object) and means "to get into a reclining position"; "lay" is transitive (i.e., taking a direct object) and means "to put (something) into a reclining position." One does not lay on a bed, one lies on it—though they might lay their coat (or wallet, or lightsaber, or whatever) on the bed, or one can lay one's head on someone's shoulder, etc. There are other pairs of verbs like this in English—e.g., sit vs. set—but for some reason lie vs. lay is the one that gets mixed up most often. (Except, I've found, by people who know German! :D )
    pronker likes this.
  24. Jedi_Lover Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    My grammar-check always wants me to change laid or lie to lay. It happens all the time and most of the time it doesn't sound right. I am wondering how many people are changing lain, laid or lie to lay because Microsoft Word is telling them to do so.
  25. Findswoman FanFic Best Reviewer, Nominating & Voting Champ

    Game Winner
    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    Arghh! Treating MS Word's suggestions as gospel is another pet peeve of mine. Turn off grammar checking, people—there's no substitute for knowing the language!

    (OK, sorry if that came out a little harsh—it's not meant to be. But I work IRL as an editor, and I feel strongly about these things!)
    Revanfan1 and Goodwood like this.
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