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BadFic: What makes you rate a fic in that manner ?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Wes_Janson, May 28, 2004.

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  1. Wes_Janson

    Wes_Janson Jedi Youngling star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 17, 2004
    What makes you call fic badfic, and what can be done to avoid it.


    Ill start out with my two main pet peves.




    A: Having the characthers ou of characther.

    I dont care if you havent read many if any books with that cahracther. If you write them, write them right. Otherwise, it makes me loose interst when I mention that and the writer gives some response like "That charactehr is boring in the books" or somesuch.

    B: Jedi Starfighters in beyond the saga.

    I hate fics that have the solo twins using Jedi Starfighters. Fact: Jedi Starfighters are obselete by that point. The hyperdrive ring isnt needed. Xwings have their own hyperdrive. This would also apply to any out of era use of any tech, such as clonetroopers using Ewings.


    feel free to add your own.
     
  2. AlrikFassbauer

    AlrikFassbauer Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Jedi Starfighters ... as an artifact sunk deep into a lagoon or so ... could be interesting ... ;)

    You know, Archaeology is a great hobby of mine ! ;)
     
  3. spiritgurl

    spiritgurl Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2003
    I agree on the "out of character" point definitely, but I also think that depends on the readers/writers own views of the character. In other words, some people just see characters VERY differently and read their own interpretation into it. Sometimes it's hard to be sure who is correct exactly.

    Also I don't really mind out of character characters so much in more off the wall humor fics like Obi_The_Kid's stuff (which I wouldn't exactly call "canon" interpretations of characters, but the stories are still freakin' hilarious!). I was just skimming through Before the Saga looking for stories to nominate and came across [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Before_the_Saga/b10475/11049972/p1]Braidless in Coruscant by Obi_the_kid[/link] which had me wiping tears out of my eyes from laughing. :D It's basically Obi and Qui getting all upset over Jude Watson's and other's interpretations of them. lol... so that me mentioning this story ties in: the point is that different people interpret characters differently sometimes.

    other stuff I don't like: lots of spelling errors turn me right off, being overly harsh on certain characters the writer doesn't like, sex or violence just for the shock value and not as part of the story, ummm... that's all I can think of for now. :)

    sg

     
  4. Vampi_Digitalwytch

    Vampi_Digitalwytch Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 11, 2004
    For me, primary is gratuitous spelling and grammar mistakes. A typo here and there is fine, but I'm envisioning the ones where they're heavily laden with instant message slanguage, excessive punctuation like ten exclamation points in a row, and the confusing of words that sound alike.

    To me, a fic that has these in abundance makes me think that the writer didn't even care about thier work to give it a second look over.

    Running a close second is blatant implausibility. A human body even if it's a Jedi or a mutant with enhanced endurance will still have limits. They can only endure so much physical trauma, and no matter how much of a sexual stamina to knock one's socks off they have, there does have to be some rest time in between goes. And, unless a character has telepathy, there's no reason for them to know so utterly and completly about another character unless it's been clarified that they have reason to in some other manner.
     
  5. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2002
    A story riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes really makes me think twice about how much the author cares for the story. Did he or she really look it over, or did the author post it as fast as he could so that he could get feedback?

    Mischaracterizations turn me off completely from a story, especially when one aspect of a character's personality is grossly exaggerated. No one is completely evil; no one is completely good. Extremes are never realistic. For example: Luke Skywalker is oftentimes portrayed as someone who never loses his temper. It may not happen often, but surely Luke has human emotions like everyone else. Let the poor guy vent once and a while. On the other side, Mara Jade is portrayed by many as someone who is ruthlessly merciless and cruel. That's just not realistic. Of course, we can't have Mara skipping through fields of flowers and Luke blowing up at every little bad thing that comes his way (unless it's Dark!Luke [face_love] )but we don't need to lean extremely to one side or the other. Remember that these people are human. (Well, most of them.)
     
  6. Jedikma

    Jedikma Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Vampi and no matter how much of a sexual stamina to knock one's socks off they have, there does have to be some rest time in between goes. LMAO and I so agree with you, on just about everything you said.

    A lot of spelling and grammar errors are difficult for me to get through. With spell and grammar check, although not perfect, it can considerably cut down on a person's errors.

    Also, if the format doesn't have spacing between paragraphs I won't read it. It is just too hard on my eyes.

    I don't like mind reading at all. To me that is just creepy and I will stop reading a fic that has it. I understand having a personal connection with someone and sensing their feelings, but to be able to read their minds bothers me. To have actual telepathic conversations is too much for me, too. :p
     
  7. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2002
    I like telepathic conversations, with certain characters. :) It's a matter of the strength of a bond. But people who aren't Force-sensitive shouldn't hear telepathic words in their heads. Unless Padmé is Force-sensitive, she shouldn't hear Anakin calling out to her with his mind. I don't care how long they've been married. ;)
     
  8. djcati

    djcati Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Yeah, that kinda bugs me too. I don't like when non-Force sensitives can "mysteriously" hear words through the Force. :\

    Spelling and grammar bugs me the most. If people use chat speak to write a story, even if it's in script form like a chat show, I won't read it. If you care about your story at all, take the time to read through it and write correctly.

    Characterization, I can occasionally live with people being out of character (especially if it's Jag in a K/J fic. :p Not that he has much of a character to start with...)
    But when they act totally opposite to how they normally would, and it's almost as if the author is just using the character's name to make their story seem canon.. no. Make an OC.

    And something more specific, and perhaps slightly strange (shuddup) that bugs me is how some people write Tenel Ka. Nuuu.... Go read YJK! Look at how she speaks! It's not THAT hard to get her right, and yet making her even slightly OOC just ruins everything for me.
    She doesn't use apostrophes! Why can't people understand this? She speaks in a certain way, please WRITE it in that way!
    ....
    And I'm not even a TK fan... *sigh*

    One tip for people as well - go out and read some books.
    Star Wars books are great and all, but if that's all you read, then you're really not qualified to write good fanfiction. You need variety, you need good books...
    You need to be a good reader to be a good writer. ;)
     
  9. Kettch_the_Jedi

    Kettch_the_Jedi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 2002
    The first thing for me is spacing. If an author does not leave spacing between paragraphs then I usually won't bother to read even the first paragraph of a fic.

    Odd, I know.

    Also, what others said about characterization. If the first sentence is about a post-ROTJ Leia crying because her pet gundark died (unless it is supposed to be humor) then I won't read more. <--that was a fictional example.

    And, if there's nothing interesting in the first paragraph to catch my attention, then I usually move on unless it has one of my favorite characters. Then I might check out the second paragraph.
     
  10. djcati

    djcati Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2004
    oh yeah, the spacing thing bugs me too.
    If the post (or whole story) is short, or exceptionally written, then I might keep reading.. But without spaces, it gets kinda annoying on my eyes.
    But more often than not, it's the bad writers that don't put spaces... *sigh*
     
  11. Rose_Skywalker

    Rose_Skywalker Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 2002
    A: Having the characthers ou of characther.

    I dont care if you havent read many if any books with that cahracther. If you write them, write them right. Otherwise, it makes me loose interst when I mention that and the writer gives some response like "That charactehr is boring in the books" or somesuch.


    I'm sorry, I just can't get characterization right! :_| :p


    Yeah i agree there are some stories where i go "such and such character would never do this." But I am the worst cluprit of it sometimes. I just can't get Tenel Ka right. I've read all the YJK books, but when i write her, she never comes out right. Normally i make a note, that i can't write her in any post that has her in it. Sometimes, you have to write the character a little exaggerated. FamousAmos's story [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Beyond_the_Saga/b10477/15669921/?104] Dazed and Confused[/link] is a perfect example. He has Jacen Solo crying in every post. We all know Jacen doesn't cry that much, but he's exaggerating a small character trait to make the story funnier. And it works, the story is awesome.


    My big pet peeve is spacing. I find it hard to read long posts is it looks like this:

    "But i don't want to go dancing" luke whines
    "I don't care what you want" Mara tells him
    "I"m just going to sit her lifting rocks." luke demandes
    "No your not fly-boy, your doing as i say."
    "I don't care what you think." luke whines again
    "I don't care what you want, i wear the pants in this family" Mara says defiantly
    "We'll i want a divorce."
    "We'll your not going to get one you whiny jedi."
    "I will too."
    "Shut up luke, your going to the dance if you like it or not."

    this is a completely fictional story, but you get my point. That drives me nuts, how hard is it to put spaces between lines of dialouge so that there easier to read like this:

    "But i don't want to go dancing" luke whines

    "I don't care what you want" Mara tells him

    "I"m just going to sit her lifting rocks." luke demandes

    "No your not fly-boy, your doing as i say."

    "I don't care what you think." luke whines again

    "I don't care what you want, i wear the pants in this family" Mara says defiantly

    "We'll i want a divorce."

    "We'll your not going to get one you whiny jedi."

    "I will too."

    "Shut up luke, your going to the dance if you like it
    or not."


    Just my own personal pet peeve ;)
     
  12. Knight-Ander

    Knight-Ander Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2002
    My big pet peeve is spacing.

    Same here, Rose. I usually can't get through the first post if the paragraphs are spaced apart.
     
  13. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Character doesn't bother me so much. I've read lots of fics that were wonderful but I didn't agree with the characterization. Does that mean they were bad? No, only that my perception may be different than theirs. Some of them have won Fan Fiction awards, too!

    My biggest peeves are grammar, spelling and spacing. People, it's not that hard to get the spelling right! It's almost as if they didn't care to fix it before posting.
    Grammar may be a little trickier so I let a lot of things go that should have been corrected. My grammar isn't that wonderful, either... although I do try!

    But the spacing is paramount! My eyes can't take no spacing between paragraphs. And if the paragraphs are too long, that's almost as bad! Makes me want to move along...
     
  14. The_Jedi_Ambyr-Rose

    The_Jedi_Ambyr-Rose Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 24, 2003
    If the spelling is bad, that's one thing. How can you get the point across when your spelling isn't correct? But grammar is another. I absolutely cannot stand run-on sentences and using "he said, she said" every time someone speaks. I'm a beta-reader, does it show? ;)

    Spacing...don't even get me started. I think we've covered that efficiently already.

    The mischaracterizations...I read a lot of AU, so I can't say that it bothers me too much. Although, the Tenel Ka point was very good. Do not expect the Hapan Queen to stand up in the middle of a ceremonial procedure and say, "Howdy, ya'll! Let's chow down! Yeeeee-Hawwwww!" That's just ridiculous, unless you're trying to make a point by doing the complete opposite of characters.

    I also have troubles with sex addicts in fan fiction. Amen, Vampi! I'm tired of reading K/J fictions where that's all the two ever participate in.

    I've never been much of a violence reader, but I do get bored if the whole story is all action with little dialogue or insight into the characters. Maybe that's why I can't stand the NJO! ;)

    I think another thing that bothers me is the fact that some authors will go to ridiculous lengths to get readers. I won't even touch stories where readers are bribed to post. It's really annoying. It might be a good story, but, more often than not, it's a newbie trying to make their way up there with more experienced authors.

    This is a great discussion, Wes! I'm glad I got all that off my chest! lol- looking back, I sound really snobbish. I'm a perfectionist, yes! I'm sorry, everyone!

    ~*Ambyr-Rose*~
     
  15. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Hmm bad fic.

    One dimentional characters (when they are flat to a fault).

    Bad sex fic. Sorry, I could do a whole dissertation on what not to use when writing Jedi (or other) nookie. There is a VAST difference between writing a good erotic love scene and just... piling it on.

    Over writing, when an author has put a thesaures through a blender and tries to pass it off as 'great liturature'. Like good erotica, there is a difference between being wonderfully discriptive and just plain vaingloriously, hifalutinly, superciliously, magisterial. (These were lifted out of Theasaurus.com as synonyms for 'arrogent'.)

    The OMG-I'm-So-Close-to-the-end-I'm-gonna-rush-right-to-the-resolution syndrom. It's like the author has become bored with writing and just wants to get it over with.

    Seen it. Hate it.

    Just my two cents.
     
  16. Bobbacca

    Bobbacca Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2003
    I don't mind stories where the author uses a different spelling than I would so long as its a correct spelling (and by this I mean "armour" and "armor" are both correct. The first is the british spelling and the other is the american spelling, so I wouldn't consider either wrong. But if the author repeatedly spells it "armur" than that's distracting and detracts from the story. I don't spell well myself, but I usually run my chapters through spell check before I post them. I'm a moderator at an ezboard called Spike Forums, and my custom title there is "The Spelling Nazi" ;) :p

    I also can't stand chronic bad grammer. If the bad grammer is in dialogue, I will assume the author intended for the character to speak with poor grammar and not be bothered by it, but if the narration has repeatedly poor grammer, I stop reading. Its just too distracting to the story.
     
  17. NarundiJedi

    NarundiJedi Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 8, 2001
    Oooooh, I agree with Ambyr! This is actually a good 3MD topic! :eek: :p

    Here are my biggest badfic peeves:

    1. Learn to spell your damn favorite character's name right. [face_plain] I'm so sick of Jania or Anikan or Tahari.

    2. Spacing. Yep, gotta have it. I will point it out to new authors if they're missing it.

    3. Bad nookie scenes. I'm with Breezy on this. There's a way to write it that leaves you feeling steamy and then there's a way to write it that makes you want to vomit. Avoid the second way.

    4. Bad mush scenes. The same goes for mush. You can leave people feeling like they have warm butterflies in their stomach or like they're going to hurl, dependng on how well or poorly you write it. ;)

    5. Disturbing pairings. I know I don't have to see this kind of fic here, but let it be known that I've seen some HORRIBLE stuff on fanfiction.net. :p

    6. Making characters break character because you hold a grudge against them. I know Kyp Durron isn't a saint and neither is Mara Jade, but writing them or Jagged Fel as hateful people because you hate them or have a jones for another ship is kind of, well, meh. ;) I believe in writing everyone fairly and that means writing them like they are at their best in canon. Even pro authors make characters into the devil sometimes, and I like to go from the most pleasant canon interpretation.

    7. Refusing to use your beta to the fullest. Your beta isn't just your typo-fixing service. If he's a good beta, he'll be able to tell you a whole bunch of faults that you should then store away for later use. If you don't learn anything about writing and grammar from your beta and he's working hard to help you then you're not pulling your own weight.

    I think that's all for now. I'll add more if I think of them. ;)

    Jae Angel
     
  18. Wes_Janson

    Wes_Janson Jedi Youngling star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 17, 2004
    would number 5, disturbing pairings, be something like Jaina/Lowie ?
     
  19. The_Jedi_Ambyr-Rose

    The_Jedi_Ambyr-Rose Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Ackkk! I should think so!
     
  20. AlrikFassbauer

    AlrikFassbauer Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Hm, so many write about bad grammar and spelling ... how can I be right that this what I use is "right grammar" ?
    And I mean it not from an English-language point of view, but from that of a non-English speaker !

    To me, everything is learning - through feedback.


    (Err, grammar ? Yoda and Grammar ? :D )
     
  21. Daughter_of_Yubyub

    Daughter_of_Yubyub Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Bad spelling and grammar.

    Spelling characters' names wrong. This gets a category of its own.

    OOCness. I don't mean different interpretations, I mean totally out in left field, the only thing they have in common with the canon character is the name.

    Blatant disregard of canon. I don't mean a well thought out AU, I mean a fic where the GFFA has just been randomly tossed out the window. Original fiction is your FRIEND in this case.

    Character bashing fics. This angers me to no end.

    Bad lemons. The word shaft should just be banned from the English language unless referring to a part of a machine. :p

    People who use characters without any knowledge of the character. For example, I remember reading a fic where the author used Callista and noted they'd never read any of the books she was in. Needless to say, they probably should have just used an OC, seeing as Callista was a Jedi, not a nurse. Knowing a character's name is NOT enough to go on.

    Finally, the one thing that makes a fic absolutely AWFUL in my eyes is if the author KNOWS what the problems with the fic are but makes no effort to improve.
     
  22. padawan lunetta

    padawan lunetta Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 15, 1999
    Oh, gosh, where do I start? ;)

    A lot of what annoys me has already been mentioned. Spelling, grammatical errors bother me, especially if it's something I actually notice is wrong.

    Next is beginning a story in First Person, switching to Third, then back again. If you choose to write a story in First Person, keep it in First Person. It's definitely a tough one to do, I've done it twice, at least it keeps the level of mystery up.

    This probably falls under grammatical errors, but I can't stand it when a story is written in present tense. It bothers me even more if it is written in both past and present tense. (Dialogue is obviously exempt.)

    I'll probably get some trouble for this, but I dislike disturbing pairings as well. I don't even like twi'lecks with humans. I'm sorry, but they aren't the same species, and aren't likely to produce fertile offspring, if they manage to at all. If there were any species on Earth as intelligent or more so than humans, like monkeys, I still would never marry one.

    Excessive action bores me as well, if that is basically all there is to a story, I find myself not caring if some characters die.

    Oh I don't like it when authors bribe or threaten with their writing according to readership. It bothers me when they say that they won't post "until they get five more replies...", I usually won't post at all.

    I also usually won't read a story that lacks a title, I think it shows a lack of creativity on the authors part and I have to wonder how good the story is.

    Mischaracterization probably bothers me the most, whether it is canon or original characters. No charactgerization is just as bad, in which all the characters act the same and do things only because the plot says they do. I need explanations. Trashing characters because you hate them is just as wrong. If you dislike a character that much, save yourself by not writing them.

    Another thing that bothers me is resurrecting characters. If the character died in the story, leave them dead, if they died in canon, slap an AU on the story and write it to where they never died in the first place.

    I think I'm done...for now. ;)
     
  23. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Jedi starfighters and archaeology...? Good bunny, Alrik! So when are you going to write it? ;)

     
  24. Trickster_Jaina_Fel

    Trickster_Jaina_Fel Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 3, 2002
    1) Like most people, bad grammar and typos make me want to scream. I beta regularly, and so I do have that extra track in my head....If I see something wrong, I want to scratch it out. Grr...

    2) Spacing. Not as bad, because I can always going into word and quickly add the spacing myself, but if it goes on for too long....Well, it certainly won't *encourage* me to keep reading.

    3) Over-done scenes. This can mean anything from pages of description (just get on with the damn story; I don't care how many petals are on the flower when someone's dying!), melodrama (we got the angst ten minutes ago), or the author's in-story attempts to justify a character's less desirable attributs and/or actions. Keep it to the point, for goodness' sake. We want the story; emotions and description are only there to give the tale warmth.

    4) Steriotypical characters. I don't care if you say that you're just writing the canon characters. The best friend is more than just a sidekick, the romantic lead is more than just hot stuff, and even the comic relief has a serious side.

    5) Mary and Gary Sue. I won't even bother to get started on this one...

    6) Side scrolls, particularly when I'm just checking to see if the story interests me. Generally, I look at new stories on impulse. Impulse isn't going to make me want to slide back and forth to see a story I haven't come to care about yet.


    Those are the big ones.... Haha, I'm such a picky person :p

    ~TJF @};-
     
  25. Alion_Sangre

    Alion_Sangre Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    The first paragraph is usually my defining factor in reading a story further or not. My single, absolute biggest pet peeve (and this is just constructive criticism, I had to spend a lot of time weeding this out of my own work) is when an author jumps straight into a poorly described scene with cardboard characters - I've seen too many generic "squadron sabacc game breaks into a scramble alert" or "character reports for briefing" scenes. Granted, you can do these, just make them stand out. There's a big difference between just plopping some names in a setting and making them come alive. Dialogue is another big thing. Not only do characters have different voices, but the dialogue shouldn't read like poorly translated subtitles in a bad movie. As Harrison Ford said to Lucas, "George, you can write this **** but you can't say it."

    The spelling thing gets on my nerves as well. Lord knows I have a few typos rattling around my fics, but when it gets blatant it's plain annoying.

    Another problem I have personally is authors making one lone character out as the absolute hero responsible for every epiphany, quip of wisdom, and brave deed. Even Yoda and Ben, wise old guys that they are, don't catch everything; and even the Big Three have to rely on each other and minor characters to save the day.
     
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