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Top of the Bottom! The Fiction Faults Results Thread.

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by HaiGan, Mar 13, 2002.

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  1. HaiGan

    HaiGan Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2000
    Hey hey hey! Hello and welcome to Top of the Bottom! This is the show that you, the readers, have made possible. Your comments have been carefully counted and classified, and we now present the Bottom Twenty of fan fiction's worst faults. These are the things that you, the readers, have said that you find off-putting and annoying in fan (and pro) Star Wars fiction.

    Straight in at number twenty we have?

    20. Plagiarism.

    Don?t steal plots and ideas without asking and acknowledging the creator, people, you know it?s not polite. At nineteen, we have:

    19. Plot holes and inconsistencies,

    surprisingly low in the charts for that entry! Moving on swiftly:

    18. Excessive fluff and a lack of grit and realism,

    and

    17. Bad or inappropriate humour.

    A rather subjective one that. Next up is:

    16. Implausible or non-existent character development and characters who are unaffected by their experiences,

    and

    15. A lack of non-humans.

    In at fourteen we have:

    14. Gratuitous angst, torture and violence!

    A heads-up to those dedicated Obi- and Luke- torturers out there? Let us hurry on to:

    13. Authors blackmailing readers into responding or complaining about a lack of replies to their posts.

    12. Over description, excessive detail and overuse of technicality and jargon,

    11. Excessive dialogue,

    and we?re into the Top Ten! Right in there at ten, we have:

    10. Predictable endings, especially happy, fluffy ones.

    Looks as if people like their fiction fresh but bittersweet. Let?s roll on up to:

    9. Switching point of view, especially between first and third person,

    which Caliman described as ?Multiple Brain Syndrome?. Climbing the chart once more to:

    8. Bad layout and formatting of the writing,

    and

    7. Mis-spelling or mis-capitalisation of canon names.

    Come on, people, let?s have no more Obi-won and Rouge Squadron, to quote two examples that more than one reader mentioned. Next, in there at number six, we have that love-to-hate character:

    6. Mary Sue.

    Looks as if she?s not the Number One today. So now we?ve reached the Top Five of the Pet Peeves! At number five, it?s:

    5. Overused, weak and improbable plotlines.

    Yes, it definitely seems as if people like their fiction fresh.

    4. Too much Earth terminology and overly Earthlike culture,

    too much Jedi Junior High, to borrow a phrase from Mistress Renata. That brings us to the Top Three, and number three is:

    3. Bad characterisation of established characters.

    Learn your personalities, keep them consistent, improve on the pro writers, and the true Star Wars fans will appreciate the effort. So now?:

    2. Lack of imagination and variation in description, lack of style and flow.

    People don?t like short sentences that all have the same structure, and repetitive terms and phrases. In fact, readers like good writing. Which means it should come as no surprise that the Number One, Top of the Bottom Writing Fault is?:

    1. Bad spelling, grammar and punctuation.

    Dust off your spellcheckers, folks, and wake up your beta-readers, people really do pay attention to these things!

    Thank you all for coming, I hope it?s been an informative experience! Feel free to stay for the party and discuss the results.


    For those that would like to read the nominations thread, you can find it [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=5638708]here[/link]. It?s worth reading because there were some good points that didn?t make it into the top twenty. You?ll probably notice that I?ve lumped similar points together into single categories. Some of the categories also ranked equal, so those were ordered at random.
     
  2. Fluke_Groundwalker

    Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2001
    I like technical jargon...
     
  3. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Thanks HaiGan....

    *sigh* looks like I'm going to have to go and find my copy of the dictionary...

    Kithera
     
  4. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Well, sounds like my fanfic-writing career is about to come to a swift and merciless end. You can apply about half of those to my stuff. [face_plain]
     
  5. Ginger_Jedi

    Ginger_Jedi Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Practice makes perfect. Consider this thread advice on what to avoid etc... :)

    Keep working Sebulba2179 and don't give up!
     
  6. Vaderbait

    Vaderbait Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 26, 2001
    I agree with everything except the technical terms. Some people like em short, some people like their stories complex. Me, as long as it's good, a Clancy-esque story would fit well. I usually try to abide by those, even though I've never had great success with my few fan fics. Still trying to find that one good plot.
     
  7. padawan lunetta

    padawan lunetta Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 15, 1999
    Heh, some of mine were up there ;)
     
  8. HaiGan

    HaiGan Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2000
    Hup for those who haven't seen this yet.
     
  9. Mcily_Nochi

    Mcily_Nochi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 23, 2001
    That's a good list. *notices the part about authors demanding replies and cringes* Oh, well, I'm only insulting about three readers anyway . . . ;) j/k
     
  10. BlindMan

    BlindMan Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 25, 2001
    I kind of like "Rouge Squadron" myself... :)

    :) Blind Man
     
  11. Rainbow_Moon_Angel

    Rainbow_Moon_Angel Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 7, 2002
    Yikes! I've violated the happy, fluffy endings one!
     
  12. BelleBayard

    BelleBayard TFN Fan Fiction Archive Editor star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Mar 16, 2000
    Yeah, nothing like badgering readers to reply... Been guilty of that one myself! :eek: [face_blush]
     
  13. JediGaladriel

    JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 3, 1999
    Oh, I'm pretty sure I've done all of those things at one time or another.

    I kind of like "Rouge Squadron" myself...

    Well, see, I think we aren't looking closely enough. I bet if we clicked in, we'd find that they were really crossovers with another Ewan MacGregor movie, in which Obi-Wan is singing and dancing his way through the galaxy, chasing a redhead...
     
  14. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 5, 2000
    :D And boy oh boy do I love Microsoft Word Spell & Grammar Check!

    sheepish question... if it's not Rouge Squadron, then what is it? [face_embarrassed] (haven't read the books in a long while)
     
  15. BlindMan

    BlindMan Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Well, see, I think we aren't looking closely enough. I bet if we clicked in, we'd find that they were really crossovers with another Ewan MacGregor movie, in which Obi-Wan is singing and dancing his way through the galaxy, chasing a redhead...

    Actually, I've used "Rouge Squadron" a couple of times myself--casting Wedge and his pilots as a rather effeminate band of roving cosmetologists... :p

    :) Blind Man
     
  16. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Actually, in the RPG I'm playing with friends, we ARE Rouge Squadron. Started as Pink Squadron, and were told we could re-name ourselves when we survived the first mission. We survived but haven't been able to agree on a name... so until we do, we are either Rouge Squadron or Paranoia Squadron, depending on how much trouble we're in at any given time... ;)
     
  17. HaiGan

    HaiGan Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2000
    It should be 'Rogue Squadron', Miana... although I confess, Rouge Squadron does indeed have a certain appeal.
     
  18. HaiGan

    HaiGan Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2000
    Huppity do-dah one last time, before I let this sink to the depths of oblivion.
     
  19. Syntax

    Syntax Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Hmm.. as far as I know, I don't really violate any of those. Sure, I'm a big advocate of the "good guys win" policy, but not EVERY time. :)
    I have started out with an "improbable" plotline, once ("Let's hijack a Star Destroyer"), but over the course of the story, I make it work (read 'Take it or Leave it'). :)
     
  20. Angel_Skywalker

    Angel_Skywalker Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Grammar and spelling mistakes on the first place???
    Angel_Skywalker lookes tataly shocked

    Damn, I shouldn´t have slept in my Enlich classes all the time :p !!!

    I think an uninteresting fic with wrong charakter developpment is much worse!!!

    Angel_Skywalker

     
  21. SiriGallia

    SiriGallia Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2001
    This was a very good idea HaiGan! I posted on your Fiction Faults thread and many of mine ended up here.

    I agree with you Renata! NO MORE JEDI JUNIOR HIGH!!

    14. Gratuitous angst, torture and violence!

    A heads-up to those dedicated Obi- and Luke- torturers out there? Let us hurry on to:


    *tries not to get reeeeally mad* Actually I'm not THAT mad, I understand why people won't like that. :D Though personally I like it. :)

    Very good job, and I appreciate your taking the time HaiGan. :)

    --SiriGallia
     
  22. Princess1

    Princess1 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 3, 2001
    very helpful thread. But what I want to know is, whats wrong with a happy fluffy ending? I think thats more of a matter of taste then anything else. I happen to love mush. ;)
     
  23. Knight-Ander

    Knight-Ander Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2002
    This could be very helpful. I'm glad I read it and the nominations page.
     
  24. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 11, 2002
    i disagree with the ideas part you see i tried to satr a RR of jedi children in carbonite and their released from carbonite years later. the problem was people accused me of stealing the idea from a writer. i have read stories from different authors that had someone trapped in carbonite in the past and released in the far future.
    the point is everyone that you give credit to those who you are using a similar plot from not the idea. if you use the idea of a person but make it go along the plot of that writers story then you give credit for the story. plus if you gave credit everytime for an idea that lots of aurthors used then you would winds up with a long, long list.

    do you guys see what i mean? its the plot NOT the idea.
     
  25. Niralle

    Niralle Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2001
    Um, I just wanted to point out to the people in here who seem to have problems with spelling, punctuation, and grammar...

    First, I'm the absolute worst speller in the face of this little blue planet. Spell check many times doesn't even know what word I was attempting to use! That doesn't alter the fact that I have very little spelling errors in my work. I will sit there, guessing and re-attempting to spell something until I finally get it right. I will call my mom, my friends, use the dictionary...anything as long as I can find that one evil word that doesn't seem to exist to the computer!

    I hate to say it, but spelling, lower-case words that should be in upper, and all those other pain in the butt details of writing are extremely important. They distract the reader from the story and that's the last thing you want. It's not like an e-mail or thread post. You're attempting to create a mood, and simple, fixable mistakes can ruin it for some of your readers.

    As far as the other things, (like grammar) and so forth are concerned, here's an idea, (you can take it if you wish). After you're finished editing your story on the computer, print it out. It looks completely different on paper as opposed to a screen. You will most likely spot most of the mistakes you missed, and even notice things like run-on sentences, choppy senteces, bad dialogue, and so forth. You can even read it out loud. That doesn't work for me, but I've heard it helps a lot of people with their stuff. :)

    Just thought I should mention that. You may discard my advice at you disposal. :D
     
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