Discussion Fan Fic Pet Peeves?

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

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Indeed. Medicine in the GFFA is an interesting subject and makes for an interesting read, but when there's no research and fact behind the fiction and the scenarios are so implausible that I'll yell at the book, then... it just gets goofy.
    Admiral_Volshe likes this.
  2. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    I love reading and writing medicine in the GFFA and SciFi in general, but there is a line between making up a condition and making up a totally improbable, borderline impossible, condition. It's like suspending disbelieve. You can only take it so far before the reader goes WHHAAAAAAT?!?!
    Admiral_Volshe likes this.
  3. Admiral Volshe Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 8
    One thing about FF I really despise, is when OC's are really well written, but they are basically self inserts who magically appear.

    Clarifying: I don't have a problem with self-inserts, but instead of making yourself POOF! and show up one day (because you can and plus you now know everything EVER about the universe you are in...), put a story behind it.

    You can be from ANYWHERE! Not just Earth. You can be a Coruscanti Socialite, or a Tibanna miner on Bespin. Make it believable, self insert writers!

    Plus, making a character who knows everything is no fun. You can't have them make mistakes, or develop any knowledge or traits. They are consistently the same person, repeated 20 times over. And they are not just repetitive in the story that you wrote, but are basically the same as all the other self-inserts who are also from our time and know everything. Geez.

    Rant over. :p


    EDIT: And for OC/Character pairings, fine. BUT only if the person is not already in a strong relationship, because that makes it unbelievable. And don't make your character little miss(mister)- everyone-wants-to-be-in-a-relationship-with-me-because-I'm-completely-perfect. A true relationship will have ups and downs, but they should be able to stick by your character in the end.

    If you can't see your character being themselves and being in a relationship with your favorite character, it's probably going to be awkward in the end for the reader. Either your OC will be a Mary Sue/Gary Stu, or the actual character will be very OOC.

    Again, not aimed at anyone in particular... ;) I just sound that way when I write complaints, I tend to aim it at the general public.
    Last edited by Admiral_Volshe, Sep 9, 2012
  4. Thorn058 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2008
    star 2
    To roll a bunch of the recent discussions into one I think the summary and Title can be a double edged sword. Yes there are lazy authors out there that just don't want to type out a three sentence summary and feel that their title alone should be sufficient and I agree that is annoying. However they are people, myself among them that choose to read fics based upon what we see in the title and summary. I am more prone to pop in and read a squad fic with OC's than I am to even bother clicking on a Siriwan story or some other relationship driven story. The sad part is I am sure I am missing some really well written pieces it is just that the description doesn't catch my eye. I try to keep these things in mind if I am starting a story and writing out a summery and title because it can be something that turns readers away. So maybe it is laziness on some authors part and maybe it is that fear that no one is going to stop by and read the story if the summary doesn't catch their eye. It could also be I am overthinking it as well.

    As to the OC discussion I find that since I write mostly OC driven stories( I don't like to dabble into established characters too much because they are so well fleshed out) it becomes very hard to walk the line between making them believable and avoiding the Mary Sue/Gary Stu moniker. How do you make a character who is really good at one thing and flawed at so many other aspects of their life with out it becoming too Stu like? For me it is a longer process because you do need more than a vignette to really make the OC's personality and character stand out but at the same time run the risk of losing your readers because the first impression is you have created a Stu/Sue. It is very challenging and makes for a better story i think.

    Not even going to touch the medical discussion since I wouldn't know the first thing about anatomy beyond what you can google. Although I will agree that making an appendix travel into other parts of the body where it isn't possible to go would take me totally out of the story and I would have trouble getting back into after a gaffe like that.
    Admiral_Volshe likes this.
  5. Mayla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    The benefit to using an Earth-transplant fancharacter versus an entirely in-universe fancharacter is that the former will have grown up in the same culture as the writer, and thus will be impressed by many of the same things--such as droids or starships--which would be old-hat and possibly even boring to the latter. Given how many OC's are created so that the writer can play out their personal fantasies through a fancharacter proxy, it kind of makes sense that they would all gravitate that way.
  6. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    I've only read one good SW fic where the word 'Earth' was mention. Basically the person was transported from earth to GFFA. It wasn't really a self insert, but more for the laughs.

    Another 2 of my pet peeves are: when SW characters come to earth and fall in love with self inserts.

    And when writers take themselves and/or their writing way too seriously.
  7. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Just curious as to "what" you define as a writer taking themeselves and/or their writing too seriously?
  8. THE EVIL CLIFFIE Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2008
    star 2
    Yeah - you kinda have to take yourself seriously if you're writing a serious piece. If you're writing something cracky or a parody, not so much.
    Rew likes this.
  9. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    I guess I worded that wrong. Of course you want to take your writing seriously if your writing an angst filled fic. I'm talking about people who treat fanfic writing as if it were a job. Some people complain about writing a certain scene for their fic, say an action sequence. Yes, sometimes a plot line demands a lightsaber duel, but 9 times outof 10 If it's not a big action fic, you can find a way around it.

    Fanfic is supposed to be fun.
  10. THE EVIL CLIFFIE Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2008
    star 2
    Eh, I can see a particular scene being difficult to write as a problem; while it is a hobby, most writers will want to get it done, and feel some kind of obligation to their readers to keep 'fics updated.
  11. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Yeah, I guess your right. But there is usually a way to get around a scene if you think about it long enough, so don't complain.
  12. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Just because it's fanfic, though, I don't want to take the quick and easy escape route, just "for fun." I do get what you're saying, but I write as much for my own satisfaction than for others, and I don't want to gloss through things just because this is a hobby and just for fun. I write because it gives me joy, a creative outlet, and I want to write a good story even if I fall short of that last one.
    LexiLupin and ViariSkywalker like this.
  13. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    Admittedly, I treat fanfic as it were a job, mainly because I want to write for a living someday.
  14. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Yeah, I completely understand wanting to challenge yourself to make yourself a better writer. Just don't complain about it.
  15. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Okay ;)
  16. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    When I hear/read the words "don't take it too seriously," I see them as meaning that one becomes so caught up in their work that they forget to have fun. It's no longer enjoyable; it's a serious chore. And you can tell when writers forget to have fun. The stories themselves stop being fun and enjoyable. I can't really describe it, but I liken it to the old Marvel Star Wars comics. Those were fun and enjoyable. They had serious plotlines, but at the same time, they were goofy and kitschy and fun. Nowadays, the comics lack the fun. Everything is dark and serious and all decisions hinge on life or death. No one has any fun.

    Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika was fun. It was funny. It had action, adventure, tense moments, and comedy. It was a hell of a ride. I love that comic. And I love fanfics that are fun, even if they are unintentionally fun and I only like those fics for all the wrong reasons. But, they're still fun! Even a serious fic can be a fun and enjoyable fic to read if the writer behind that fic is still having fun with their craft. Granted, we all would like to challenge ourselves and make ourselves better writers and we have dreams of being published and may even treat writing fanfics as a job. But we should never lose sight of what got us into writing: It's fun.

    When you no longer have fun, when your craft is no longer enjoyable, that's when you're "become too serious" and it shows in the prose.
  17. Mayla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    One thing that will completely ruin a fic for me is the misuse of astronomical terms. I've seen a few good fanfics that were completely ruined for me because of it--literally nothing else will make me stop reading a fanfic quicker than when an author says something about space that is blatantly false. I learned about astronomy in second grade, so I cannot really understand how a writer could know so little about this sort of thing to make some of the mistakes I've seen.

    This includes characters saying things like "Look, there's the Big Dipper!" while on a moving starship. Or another fic (which had started out so well!) in which the characters got into a detailed theological-style debate on how our galaxy only has one star and nine planets, versus the Star Wars galaxy which has many stars and many planets, and how narrow-minded humans are because we assume that it's impossible for there to be more galaxies than just our own. So somehow they managed to confuse universes, galaxies, and star systems simultaneously. And this was an otherwise perfectly competent writer. I almost dread to think what this person thought they saw when they looked up at all those shiny dots in the night sky, because their statements pretty much ruled out the possibility that they could have been stars. :p
    Last edited by Mayla, Sep 11, 2012
  18. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    How about the misuse of terminology in general? No doubt a handful of people talking about a "trucker filling his diesel semi with regular." That'll kill off the readership in no time flat.
  19. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    Valairy, I don't think it's possible for you to write a story that is not good.
  20. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Admirable goal, but very, very difficult to achieve. I published my first novel in March of this year, and so far, I've made about $90 off of it. I didn't get an advance, I just get 70% or so of the cover price. Some writers, even the well-known ones, never manage to quit their day jobs.
  21. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    My dad has been wanting to publish a novel since I was a little kid. I'm almost 32 and he still hasn't published a novel. But it's not the publishers that are slowing him down, it's the fact that he simply hasn't written a novel. He'd get so far in the development and then toss the whole story idea and start fresh. He's been working on his latest for five years and he's since tossed the idea and started working on another. It's not necessarily how much you write or how often you write, it's how driven you are to write a story and go through publishing hell to see it in print. If you write for money, that's not enough motivation and it will show in your prose. If you don't care about what you write, it shows.

    That said, many authors that I have spoken to say to never quit your day job.
  22. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I really, seriously enjoyed writing my first book. And I'm working on the next few in the series. But it isn't easy, certainly.

    I think one of my own biggest peeves is when fanfic readers treat certain fanfic writers like gods. I've had my own following, which made me vaguely uncomfortable, but the fawning that comes with fandom writing makes my eye twitch.
    J_Girl and TrakNar like this.
  23. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    This is pretty much what I meant, just said better. If you don't enjoy what you are doing, don't do it.

    I too want to someday publish some original works, I'm working on one now, but I KNOW I'm NEVER going to be able to make a full time job out of it (hence the plan to kill myself with schooling to become a law librarian). Short of, you know, Stephen King, very few fiction authors are able to survive on their writing. It kinda annoys me when fanfic writers have unrealistic plans but it annoys me when anyone has unrealistic plans. It's alright to dream, but only a handful of people become rockstars, professional hockey players or full time authors.
    TrakNar likes this.
  24. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I get the same treatment in certain circles from just fan art. It bugs the hell out of me. "It's perfect!" No, it's not! I can list off the mistakes and bad proportion and snafus! Nothing I draw is "perfect"! The only time an artist reaches "perfection" is when they're dead.

    I'm glad I don't yet have a following for fanfics. That would start to make me wary.
  25. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Honestly, taking a huge step back from fandom and concentrating on my own stuff did a lot for my writing skills. I didn't worry about my audience's reactions, just concentrated on telling the story the way it needed to be told. Not to say I haven't dabbled in 'fic in that time, I just . . . stopped doing fanservice? I dunno what I'm trying to say.

    Oh, my BIGGEST peeve: slash for the sake of slash. For heaven's sake, Dean Winchester is not gay. Get over it. He likes innies, not outies. And he especially doesn't like his brother's outie.
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