Discussion Fan Fic Pet Peeves?

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

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    I'm sure I'm not breaking any new ground in saying this (so many pages in this thread!), but my biggest fan fic pet peeve is when someone thinks up a character and then writes a fic to glorify them. Essentially, the idea behind such a fic would be to show off how awesome the character is. This can be at the expense of story, it can be at the expense of believability (so far as believability in Star Wars can go), it can lead to character assassination for others (particularly canon characters, to show how super awesome the original character is), and so forth.

    To me, and to most writers I'd imagine, you shouldn't write anything unless you have something worth saying. Glory fics for your characters, where the only point is to illustrate your character's level of awesome, are not stories that generally have anything worth saying.
  2. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    So a Mary Sue/Gary Stu fic?:p
    TrakNar likes this.
  3. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Brandon, is that you? :p

    But, yes, Mary Sue fics are irritating. Hell, Mary Sue character articles are irritating, because I honestly wonder if the creator is taking it seriously. When that character has traits that are so outlandish and clich├ęd that they hit every single requirement with a freakin' sledge hammer, I have to wonder if the author is even aware of their Mary Sue. Do they know that it is a blatant Mary Sue?
  4. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Maybe. >.>

    Mary Sue/Gary Stu seems like a good term, but I feel like it goes beyond that. You can avoid certain traits of Mary Sues and Gary Stus with a glory fic, IMO. I guess what I'm getting at is more the philosophical, underlying reason for writing a fic rather than the execution of it. It's about writing the fic for the wrong reason, the wrong reason being to glorify your original character.
  5. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    But who is a reader to decide right and wrong reasons for penning a story? You don't like it, you move on, just as you would with any story, fanfic, original fic, published/profic. Just because you find no worth in someone else's creation doesn't mean it wasn't a meaningful experience for them to create it. And just because they've shared it online, no reader is under any obligation to enjoy it.
  6. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    I think you can judge it, to a certain extent. Can you judge the value that the author derived from it? No. Can you judge the meaning they took from it? No. Can you judge what it ultimately did for their writing experience and talent? No (unless you see their later fics and can see their improvement). You can, however, judge whether the story was worth being told to a reader. You can judge whether the story said something worth saying (themes, meanings, etc -- a point to the story). You can judge whether the fic was just about showing off a character at the expense of other characters, at the expense of story, at the expense of believability and accessibility, etc. Will those be subjective? Yes, but only to an extent. You can derive objective conclusions from those sorts of things.

    It all depends on the context you choose to look at it from. Personally, I separate the value for the author and the value for the reader into two different contexts and circumstances.
    Last edited by jedimasterbac, Oct 8, 2012
  7. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I've written a number of vignettes that were essentially character studies. Nothing really happened in them, and my only reason for writing them was to explore that character. I set up some situation, put the character(s) in it, and see how they react. The situation is usually a very minor one, but it could be major. It could be trivial, it could be important. For example, I have a partially-written vignette about a belching contest! I had no reason to write it, it accomplishes absolutely nothing, but it does allow me some character exploration. The thing is, I usually don't publish these writings.

    However, a "glory fic" as you describe, while the character itself is devoid of Mary Sue traits, and yet still is written to show how great that character is, is irritating. However, I can assure you that this is not just confined to fanfiction. And in profic, it doesn't necessarily have to involve the entire book to be a "glory fic;" it can involve certain chapters. I felt that scenes in Outbound Flight whole chapters only served to show how awesome Thrawn is. There were chapters and scenes in the Bounty Hunter Wars that merely served to portray how awesome Fett is. I've seen the occasional TCW episode where it felt as if it was written to show how awesome Cad Bane is, or how awesome Ahsoka is, or how awesome Anakin is, etc. It's annoying. It feels as though the plot has stalled to show how awesome the character is.

    I'm not saying that it's a "wrong reason" to write, but it generally isn't a good reason to write. Writing character studies is just fine, though. I write character studies often.
    Last edited by TrakNar, Oct 8, 2012
  8. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    I agree with your character studies point, because a character study the way you described it has a point.
    Valairy Scot likes this.
  9. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I disagree. I don't think anybody should be discouraged to write. Writing is becoming a dying art in this day of chat.
    It drives me crazy to get a text from a friend that says, "OMG sorry im L8! Stk in traffic. Nyce day 4 drive tho.":rolleyes:

    If you don't like the story don't read it. Hopefully the author will get better over time. Many of the writers in this forum are teenagers or college kids. We don't want to discourage their efforts.

    What I do dislike is when a writer comes to TFN from another site and they decide to post all 20 of their already written stories all at one time.
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, Oct 9, 2012
    LexiLupin likes this.
  10. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    There's a very important distinction between discouraging one's efforts and believing that a story, once it's written, was not worth being told -- and there's a distinction between "being told" and "being written" too. I would never discourage someone from writing. My point is about how someone writes, not them writing period.
    Last edited by jedimasterbac, Oct 9, 2012
  11. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    That is so very true. You can believe whatever you want. We all have different tastes in fanfiction. I'm just saying we shouldn't discourage a bad writer by our reviews. Hopefully they will continue writing and get better.
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, Oct 9, 2012
  12. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Agreed. Granted, I'm not a fan of the whole no negative criticism thing that (last I checked) is here on TF.N, but I do agree with your point. Critical feedback + positive reinforcement is very important.
  13. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I didn't know about that policy. The only critical feedback I usually give is pointing out the use of the wrong word (lose vs. loose, there, they're or their and dying and dieing are the misspelled or misused words I see most often), and I do that by PM.

    I don't write well enough to give any advice on grammar or story layout.
  14. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    I think that we have a good set-up here personally. I started here, not on FF.N or other websites...and oh boy was I bad back then. Thankfully, since I started here, I didn't get flamed into stopping writing. I would like to think I've improved, though I still can't tie the writers who get 10k plus word monsters for their chapters though.:p

    The largest I can manage to pump out is 3k on a regular basis. I think my record for a single chapter is 7 thousand words.
  15. Mayla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    I don't mind the kind of Mary Sues that just have ridiculous or cliched traits; I suspect that just about everybody makes up such characters at some point, even if it isn't for the purpose of writing about them. The only thing I really mind is when an author starts acting malicious toward the canon characters and/or their own reviewers. If not for that, you can still sometimes just skim over the self-promotional parts and enjoy the rest of the story.
    Last edited by Mayla, Oct 9, 2012
  16. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Looking through the Harry Potter section of FF.N for the rare gem...and found the absolute worse summary I have ever seen...

    hrmini luvs drko bt is 2 skard 2 tl hm. drko lvs hrmini bt is 2 skrd 2 tel hur. dn dn dn!11111

    WHAT. THE. KRIFF.

    (and yes...that is the actual summary)
    Last edited by Skywalker_T-65, Oct 9, 2012
    Admiral_Volshe and TrakNar like this.
  17. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    [face_laugh] I think the dn dn dn! is what really ties the whole summary together. [face_laugh]
  18. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Was that a bad summary though? Poorly written, sure, but bad? I actually want to read this fic now. I'd say it did its job!
  19. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Maybe its just me, but when I see someone who doesn't even bother to write a proper summary, it turns me off reading the fic. This one for example...if it were written better, I could get over my dislike of Draco/Hermione fics to read it. As it is, this summary compounds that dislike by giving me an impression that the author doesn't care enough to write properly.
  20. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    I'm turned off from the idea that the fic will be good. I would have no illusion that I'd come out of that saying "this was quite good." Rather, I'm intrigued by the idea that this could be a fic that's bad enough that it circles back around to good again. Sort of like the Star Wars holiday special.
  21. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
  22. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Dun dun DUUUUUNNNNNN!
    Admiral_Volshe likes this.
  23. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
  24. Mayla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    As it is, this summary compounds that dislike by giving me an impression that the author doesn't care enough to write properly.

    Or that they're six years old, but frankly it sounds like a gag fic to me (plus their "story" is like two lines long). Some folks have reported that author to FF.N... presumably they reached the same conclusion?
  25. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Yeah. Generally speaking I can tell if its someone really young writing it. Since while their writing isn't that good, they at least make an attempt to write well. This one just strikes me as someone purposely writing something horrible. In other words...they don't care enough to write properly.:p

    On a different topic...another new pet peeve. Crossovers that act like glory fics. In other words...one side completely obliterating the other in every way. Main reason I stay far away from ST/SW stories.
Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade