Discussion Fan Fic Pet Peeves?

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

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Mayla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    When a strong story beginning devolves into a weak middle and a nonsensical end.

    Yes, I've seen stories like that. And I can think of a series or two that suffered the same problem (fanfiction or otherwise). My only published fanfic had (note past tense) a sequel which I have since disowned because it was so... just, sucky and lame. I didn't feel too bad about it when I wrote it but then I came back later and realized it was just nasty. Sometimes you have to wonder if the author wasn't replaced with some kind of doppelganger who was able to get their narrator's voice down but lacked their actual writing skills.
  2. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    Okay, first off, I will never dislike a story because it is "AU". However, I hate when someone totally changes the way cannon characters behave under the banner of "It's AU." Obi-Wan will not behave like Anakin or vice versa, AU or no AU. Mace Windu will not skip down the hallways of the Jedi Temple in the nude unless it's some sort of parody, and Beru Whitesun Lars won't long to travel to some forest world. Even if the story is AU, the characters must feel like the characters we know.
    TragicHeroLover132 likes this.
  3. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    @Alexis_Wingstar: yup, so true. However, bad bad you, I now have this mental picture of Mace skipping down the halls in the nude and singing - now, if he were to get drunk...[face_thinking]
  4. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Why should FF authors be concerned with this? Profic does it all the time without even the AU designation to justify. :p Okay, so that's extreme- there was justification for Jacen turning into... yeah... even if it took them 9+ books to settle on what it was and it was pretty weak at that.

    Seriously though- while I agree that the 'it's AU' explanation is a total cheat, I think one of the fun challenges of an AU is just how different circumstances and events have changed the characters we know so well. If it's properly explained and justified, I have no problem with characters being OOC from their canon-selves. I'm having fun with an AU right now gradually turning Leia into an wholly unrecognizable person. It's fun. :D
  5. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    As someone who mostly writes AUs, I agree. While I feel that I have not written a good story if the characters are not recognizable, I do allow some minor changes in their reactions due to changes in circumstances. Example: the Jedi had a different attitude towards Anakin, therefore he had a different attitude towards the Jedi (or vice versa? the chicken-or-egg game is always fun). I've also made Leia's smartass side become more prominent in a story in which she is raised by Anakin as opposed to her canon raised-by-Alderaanian-royals personality.
  6. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I treat fanfic in general as "AU," because it simply is in my eyes. However, for it to actually deserve an AU label, there need to be some serious changes. The characters should more or less retain some connection with their canon counterparts, but there needs to be some major thing (or things) that shows that this is clearly AU. And not just an author's note; this thing should be revealed within the context of the story. Steampunk AT-ATs would be definite AU.

    And friggin' AWESOME.
    DantanaSkywalker likes this.
  7. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    I agree that AU isn't an excuse for OOCness (unless it's OOC in a parody), but you do have to account for the changed background of the characters, if there is any and especially if it's a big change. Leia raised on Tatooine with her brother is probably going to act kinda like a farm girl, and not a princess. Mara Jade raised by normal parents isn't going to be nearly as cold as the Mara of TTT. It annoys me when writers don't account for change.

    It bugs me when people leave cryptic or passive aggressive criticism. In one of my fics, I had Obi-wan marry Sabé (it was just a minor detail that had no impact on the fic, it could have been anyone) and someone said something along the lines of "Obi/Sabé? How unoriginal." or I read a comment on someone else's fic that was something like "I've seen this before". I understand people have their own opinions, and I'm all for constructive criticism, but I have to understand what you mean so that it can help me, otherwise I'll just think you're dumb and rude.
    Last edited by Briannakin, Sep 17, 2012
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  8. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    The "I've seen this before" is either supposed to make you think you're unoriginal or, depending on how they phrased it, a polite way of saying they think you've copied someone else's story. Yeah, if having canon Character A and B fighting alongside clones in a war is like someone else's canon Character A and B fighting alongside clones in a war, for example. :rolleyes: Total ripoff. Not. Or Anakin turning. Or not turning. Or Padme surviving child birth.

    It's all been done before, but it's all been done before DIFFERENTLY and thus it's original.
  9. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    There is nothing new under the sun, including this sentence. The thing that makes a story unique and "original" is zigging where others have zagged.
  10. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    When I do an AU, I try to incorporate details from canon to tie things together. But a couple times, I've worked out an idea for some 'original' plot point in an AU, just to realize mid-execution of it that I'm basically copying something already done in canon, at a different time with different characters, but I hadn't read it in so long I'd forgotten about it (except subconsciously, apparently). Though once, this happened completely by chance with something I hadn't read from the new Legacy Comics, so I was less-irritated that time. So I guess my pet peeve is my brain's inability to retain every detail of the massive SW universe? :p

    (Off-topic, anyone here have a photographic memory? I feel like that would be AWESOME for a fanfic writer...!)
  11. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    My mom thinks I do, as she suspects it is the reason why I can always find stuff so well. I attribute my findsman powers to the mists, though. :p

    One thing that irritates me in both fanfic and profic? The confusion between a psychologist and a psychiatrist. I've seen many a work in which the terms were practically interchangeable. One page, the character is a psychologist. The next page, they are a psychiatrist. Which is it? A psychologist counsels and provides therapy. A psychiatrist prescribes medication. Now, you can have a psychiatrist who also counsels and prescribes your meds; I've had a few. But, you can never have a psychologist prescribe medication. A psychologist only treats the behavioral symptoms of a mental illness, while a psychiatrist treats the medical symptoms. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor.
  12. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    I don't, I just have a knack for remembering unimportant stuff.

    I took grade 11 psychology and the lack of distinction bothers me, mostly because the difference was hammered into our heads. This can't be said enough, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Especially if it can be easily looked up, just for confirmation.
    TrakNar likes this.
  13. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    The psychologist/psychiatrist thing reminds me of my irritation over people thinking that dissociative identity disorder and schizophrenia being the same thing. They're not. So not. And I've seen this in profic and fanfic and on TV. Ugh.
    TrakNar and Briannakin like this.
  14. Mayla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    Probably the worst break in realistic biology I saw was a fanfic in which someone had a baby, and the author was not only apparently clueless as to how that worked... they decided to "wing it" and describe the process in detail. Mostly.

    The other characters realize she's going into labor firstly because the woman randomly started vomiting all over. So they got her in bed and called the family doctor to come check on her. Not even a midwife--just the usual physician. He comes over and basically says yeah, she just needs bed rest for a while. And get a bucket, because apparently labor has the same symptoms as food poisoning or the stomach flu, plus randomly screaming bloody murder. 0.o

    Somewhere between six and eight buckets later, a baby appears (we only know this because the other characters are in the next room, and suddenly hear a baby crying) and the doctor announces: it's a boy! The mother stops puking immediately and cares for her new baby. And we, as the readers, still have no idea where the baby actually came from. There was not even enough information for the reader to deduce that the baby had been "inside the mother's tummy", he just sort of manifested himself out of thin air. :p
  15. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    ^ The midis created him out of thin air! :D
  16. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    Wow, I actually started a conversation LOL. Well, when I said the characters had to be recognizable, I wasn't referring to how they would react in totally different circumstances. Also, yeah, you can show a cannon character changing to something different, as long as it is shown why these changes occur. I was mainly talking about really bad story telling where the author just makes the cannon characters act differently because the way they actually would act doesn't suit the way the author wants. I'm not sure if that made any sense. 8-}
  17. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Oh no, I totally understood what you were getting at, Alexis- thus the "while I agree that the 'it's AU' explanation is a total cheat..." caveat to my comment. I just happen to be working on a specific project right now that will have big character adjustments due to extreme AU circumstances, so I thought it was a fun tangent from your comment.

    But can Mace Windu please skip naked down the halls of the Jedi Temple just 'cuz? :D *contemplates incorporating this in a holiday gift-fic request this year...*
  18. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I think the author took that "Inside the mother's tummy" bit waaaay too literally.
    Mayla likes this.
  19. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I do, and in real life it's been both a blessing and a curse. It really helped me in school and it definitely helps on my job. I suppose it has helped with writing; I only need to research an aspect of the universe one time to remember it, and I remember passages from EU books.

    And I would totally write Mace Windu skipping down the halls of the Temple naked--and the next day, asking Qui-Gon what the hell he slipped into those delicious brownies.

    (Now I need to find that humor plot bunny that Valairy_Scot gave me not too long ago..)

    And @Alexis_Wingstar, I think what you're describing would be projecting one's own desires onto a character, which is a major feature of Mary Sue's. I agree that making the story an AU is no excuse for that.
    Last edited by anakinfansince1983, Sep 18, 2012
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  20. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Mmm... Force brownies...
  21. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Now I want brownies. No, not special brownies.

    Stupid titles bug me. I'm talking about people who title their story 'My Story'. Titling is hard for many writers, but if I see that you have put zero energy into thinking of a title, I will not click it.
  22. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Honestly, I'd settle for "Untitled". Sometimes, one cannot think of a title. That's fine. "Untitled" works just fine in that regard. "My Story" does not.
    Admiral_Volshe likes this.
  23. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    We need a challenge story with a naked, skipping Mace Windu. How Many Ways to Strip a Jedi of His Dignity. What say you all? Or does just one person want to claim the bunny?
  24. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Nay- a challenge by numbers thing, where everyone picks a number that matches up with an unknown Jedi. Each entry will be part of the 'How Many Ways..' series.
    Let ALL the Jedi skip naked!
  25. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    ^ This must happen.

    Know what my BIGGEST pet peeve is? Writer's block. I've been staring at the screen for the past 2 hours trying to figure out what my next sentence is going to be. Grrrrrrrr.
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