Author has written 5 stories for Ranma, Naruto, Green Lantern, and Plants vs. Zombies.
I'm not one of those people who bogs down their profile with several pages of quotes and anecdotes. I like to keep things simple up here. After all, you came for the stories, right? You shouldn't have to spend several minutes scrolling just to get to them.
As for me, I'm back at trying my hand at writing after a ridiculously long hiatus. I look at my old stories and I want to gag. I'm keeping my first published story, as it will always hold a special place in my heart for this distinction, but I'm deleting the others.
Fanfiction Faux Pas That Make My Eye Twitch (aka Mechanical Language Errors That Can Ruin an Otherwise Awesome Story):
Okay, fanfictiondotnet is hardly the New York Times Best Seller List. I do not, however, count that as an excuse for writers who show a high enough degree of mastery over their language (English in the case of what I read) that they can craft engaging plots and interesting characterizations to litter their works with errors that would have tanked my grades back in elementary school. Typos and the occasional error are one thing, but when these things happen consistently, then it is a genuine problem that needs to be attended to.
1. Worshiping the spellchecker - The spellchecker is. not. god. It is not the almighty oracle of the English language (or whatever language you write in). It is, in fact, woefully inadequate for the full needs of a serious writer. For example: Marry hat a lid tell lam ids fleas woes wide has no. Guess what? The spellchecker finds nothing wrong with that. Honestly, when I read something like 'Amy went to the kitchen to find a snake to eat', it makes me look at my screen funny. Same for when I read about a girl telling her boyfriend that he's so sweat for bringing her flowers. Is she really trying to liken him to bodily perspiration? I'll freely admit that the spellchecker is a highly useful tool, but it is no replacement for human scrutiny. Please, you took who-knows-how-long to write the thing, you can afford a couple of minutes to proofread your chapter before publishing it.
2. Mixing up 'you're' and 'your' (also 'they're' and 'their') - It positively amazes me, in that horrifying-car-wreck-you-can't-help-but-watch way, how many people are making this mistake all the time. 'You're' is a contraction of 'you are' and is appropriate only when replacing those two words in the text. 'Your' is second person possessive, i.e. 'your cat' = 'the cat that belongs to you'. When someone writes a sentence like "I brought you're books", it is the same as writing "I brought you are books". This makes no sense. Same for when I see something like "one more outburst and your gone". "One more outburst and the gone that belongs to you" is, in all honesty, utter nonsense.
3. Department of Redundancy Department - 'She took off her jacket, after all it was a hot day after all'. What's wrong with the preceding sentence? That's right, one too many 'after all's. Either 'after all it was a hot day' or 'it was a hot day after all' would be correct, but trying to use both forms at once is simply pointless. Redundancy is great for mechanical things where one part could potentially break or stop working without warning and another needs to be ready to pick up the slack. However, it's not like the printed word will suddenly take a coffee break or decide it doesn't want to stay on the page (or screen). I know exactly how these things happen too, you're writing and you suddenly think of a better way to word something you've already written to make it flow better, but you forget to remove the now-unnecessary words from the previous incarnation. I do this myself all the time. It's why I proofread, so I can catch things like that.
4. 'Me' and another mix-ups - Hands up if you've heard this one before. You use the phrase 'me and my father went fishing' and someone else tells you it should be 'I and my father went fishing' or possibly 'my father and I went fishing'. Did you ever stop to wonder why that was? No? Then read on. Let's break it apart, starting by removing the 'me'. 'My father went fishing'. Nothing wrong there, so lets take out the 'my father' next. 'Me went fishing'. Whoops! That sounds like something Bizarro (from the Superman comics, characterized by stereotypical 'unintelligent' speech patterns) would say. 'I went fishing' makes much more sense. So, basically, if it is correct without the addition of 'and another person', then that is what you use when adding in 'and someone else'.
5. What the heck was that?! - I apologize as I have no examples here. What I am referring to is a sentence which sounds like it belongs in the context it was presented in, and may even be grammatically correct, but yet does not make any sense whatsoever. Actually, one of the reasons I have no examples is because I don't want to point any fingers here. There have been some fics which I'm reading only to come across a sentence like this which forces me to pause for a few minutes and attempt to decipher what the heck the writer may have meant to convey. I haven't always been successful either. I'm certain this has to be accidental because I have consistently failed to duplicate the phenomenon deliberately.
I have nothing against subverting the rules of writing composition. I do, however, feel that it is necessary to gain a degree of proficiency in their correct use so that you can subvert them deliberately and to maximum literary effect. Little saddens me as much as reading something with the composition of a college graduate and the mechanical errors of a pre-schooler. I know you people are smarter than this.
Unsafe External Link