Kataang or Zutara?
This argument has come up a lot, what are your opinions about Kataang and Zutara? Which pairing is more likely? Do you think they're age differences really matter? Everyone's invited! Keep it respectful, though.
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Mrs Pettyfer

I see a lot of threads that talk about Zutara and Kataang and which is better. But Cadmos recently started two threads that help with the actual writing--which is really a main reason why we're here, right? To read and write fanfiction. (And discuss it, I suppose) :P

Over at another site, we made a thread about what bothers us with Harry Potter fanfiction as readers. And honestly, it really helped authors (and me) take a look at what their readers are wanting, what they hate, things we can avoid, etc. So here's a chance to express things that you don't like in Zutara fics. Things that bother you. While this thread is meant for Zutara, feel free to express other fanon ships/issues. Canon should be created in a new thread..as I find they're better off being discussed separately. I don't mind posting a canon thread if people are interested in that as well. ;)

Now this is NOT meant to slam anyone personally. As authors, it's always nice to hear how readers feel, especially about things they try to avoid when reading. I myself used to steer away from first person stories until recently. So I hope readers will use this thread to enlighten authors on things they don't like, and for authors to find this information helpful. Please be respectful when posting. This is meant to help Zutara (and fanon) writers improve their work and have insight to their readers opinions.

So, Zutara readers: What are your peeves when reading a Zutara fic? What bugs you? What do you wish to avoid? What makes you stop reading the story entirely?

6/1/2011 #1

I think what I dislike most is when either Katara or Zuko's driving motivation is quickly killed off to enable the romance. I'm disappointed if Katara gives into Zuko's advances, never again thinking about Aang or learning to Waterbend or defeating the Fire Lord. And I don't like for Zuko to fall in love and suddenly stop caring about his country or trying to regain his honor or get his father's approval. Those two motivations are really important to both of their personalities.

6/1/2011 #2
moving on from this nonsense

I can't stand it when either character is mad too overly sexualized/sappy/sassy/Disney Channel romantic. I find that incredibly out of character, and at any rate, to see my favorite pairing written like a sickening romance novel (read: Twilight) just annoys me.

6/2/2011 #3

I've seen other theme-style fics (Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, etc.) where Katara and Zuko play the lead roles in retellings of other stories. With the crossover population we have in the fandom (I've seen a lot of Twilight fic faved alongside A:tLA fic), I'm assuming someone's had to have written those two into the actual Twilight universe... Do you know?

6/2/2011 #4
moving on from this nonsense

I don't...it's probably happened, though.

My personal favorite is when people decide to take characters from other media and put them in the place of other characters in a show...sort of what you were talking about, heza--when they do this to The Lion King, for example, they have, say, Zuko as Simba, Ozai as Scar, Katara as Nala, maybe Sokka and Aang or Sokka and Toph or Sokka and somebody as Timon and Pumbaa, Iroh as Mufasa...the list goes on. Or the characters replacing characters are all from entirely different fandoms and continuities. Then the brain trust who wrote the fic calls it, of all things, a parody when it's basically just copying a movie script and putting in different characters. Honestly, whoever came up with that idea...fail. Not because the writer is stupid, but because, for starters, they're not even using the word parody correctly.

6/2/2011 #5
Mrs Pettyfer

I don't mind taking another story, like Beauty and the Beast, and turning it into a Zutara IF it's still original. Because you could take the idea of a "selfish prince being turned into a monster but falls in love with a poor girl" and make it Zutara, and keep it in the Avatar world. But the thing is, more often than not, the story resembles Beauty and the Beast too much and so do the characters. The plot can be the same or similar, but the story doesn't have to be. Katara isn't Belle, and she's not going to react the same way Belle does. Even in the AU, she should still have some of those qualities that make her "Katara." At least in my opinion.

I read one that was supposed to be Beauty and the Beast and it was literally copying the same lines from the movie and just swapping the characters. Ugh. I hate that as well.

I'm writing a sort of Avatar meets The Hunger Games but it's very much it's own story. With it's own history and how it ties into the Avatar world. Not a carbon copy of The Hunger Games with swapping the characters names. :P

You know what else I find a little annoying in Zutara fics? Sokka. For some reason, he becomes this horrible, overprotective brother. First of all, Katara and Sokka are only a year apart so she's not really a "baby sister" and secondly, Katara could probably kick Sokka's butt if she wants to. She doesn't need that protection, lol. Idk, I just find his character turns really nasty in many Zutara fics--especially ones that center around season 1 but I've seen ones where he's like that in season 3. Which doesn't make sense to me..since Sokka is pretty okay with Zuko joining their group.

6/2/2011 #6
moving on from this nonsense

I can't see Sokka being overprotective at all...I can see him being concerned, but all big brothers are like that. What I really don't like is making Aang out to be some horrible monster to make Zuko look good. Yeah, the pacifistic Airbender--Complete Monster, ladies and gentlemen!

6/2/2011 #7
Mrs Pettyfer

I agree. Zuko looks good on his own, haha. And Aang is good on his own. My personal opinion is that Aang would want Katara happy..and he'd 'accept whatever fate that might be.

6/2/2011 #8
Amira Elizabeth
@TS thank you for saying that. I cannot stand how Aang is treated. Like I said before fics that make him abusive, inconsiderate, too immature, too naive, a bad father, he abandons Katara, etc. just need to go away. If the entire point of your fic is showcase your Aang hate and how you think Zuko is a better lover, father, hotter, more considerate, less selfish, not abusive, etc. then don't write for A:tLA anymore. And the only reason I say this is people who usually write these abominations are usually the same ones who complain about the supposed lack of quality on the show and write badfic to "fix" the problems.
6/2/2011 . Edited 6/2/2011 #9

About Sokka, I can see him being overprotective. Remember Sokka tackled Aang when he burned Katara the first time he attempted to learn firebending. He was livid, as anyone should be. But Sokka would eventually be okay with whatever Katara would choose. After all, he is her big brother and would want her to be happy.

7/28/2011 #10
Justice Tokidoki

I like zutara fics that set up the romance in a functional matter. They can't be all lovy duvy in the beginning. They have to earn each other's trust first.

In the series Katara and Zuko HATE each other. It only gets better once katara forgives him in the Southern Raiders episode. And we all know zuko is hot, but katara doesn't react to it as much as some fics portray. I like romance stories where the stuff builds up before the passion heats up and what not.

I also don't like stories that portray Aang or Zuko to be bad, neglectful, or naive(in a super way. If people do it, I think it should be in a realistic matter.)

About Sokka, I can see him being overprotective. Remember Sokka tackled Aang when he burned Katara the first time he attempted to learn firebending.

I also think Sokka should be a little protective. I don't know, at first when I read fanfics like that Sokka's overprotectiveness suprised me. It just didn't seem in his character to be THAT mad about everything katara does (that concerns boys anyway..) but I can see it better in my head now that I'm used to it...

7/29/2011 #11

I totally agree because Sokka likes Zuko, but I don't think that he'd just go ahead and let the guy who basically stalked them, paralized them, stole aang whilst he was in the avatar state, hid for a whole season, betrayed them in the biggest battle of their lives, burned Toph's feet, just so he. . . oh yeah and sent combustion man after them.

It would take two people to go to also. Because remember aang kissed Katara twice and that was enough to make their love known. So he'd have to go through Sokka and Aang.

8/2/2011 #12
moving on from this nonsense

oh yeah and sent combustion man after them.

Not that that's an issue or anything...

8/2/2011 #13
Mrs Pettyfer

Remember Sokka tackled Aang when he burned Katara the first time he attempted to learn firebending.

I think Sokka is protective to an extent. He gets angry at Aang because hephysicallyhurt his sister--not because Aang kissed her, or anything to do with romance. Zuko hurt Katara emotionally, and probably physically a few times when they fought in season 1-2 but that was never on a romantic level. I think that makes a difference.

By the end of the series, Zuko and Sokka seem like good enough friends that I don't think Sokka would go into crazy-mode of Katara wanted to date Zuko. I think he'd probably give the playful 'if you hurt her I'll kill you' speech but we all know Katara can handle herself. ;) And I think Sokka knows this, better than he ever had in the past, by the end of season 3. I think Zuko's past, by the end of season 3, is well, the past. And they've all moved on from it. (And I base this on how the characters acted in the last few episodes regarding Zuko.)

I can't stand when fics turn Sokka into a crazy protective brother. His 'baby sister' is only a year younger and could kick his butt. It's just unrealistic to me when it's written to such extremities. It belittles Katara's character as well. I hate when Aang is made out to be a j*** too. He does a lot of things that bug me but he's not mean.

8/2/2011 . Edited 8/2/2011 #14
moving on from this nonsense

I hate when Aang is made out to be a j*** too. He does a lot of things that bug me but he's not mean.

That's not even Aang at all; it's a j*** who happens to share that name with the Avatar we all know and love. Does Aang have a temper? Yes. But it stretches very, very long and far. Yes, he would be devastated and heartbroken if Katara left him for Zuko, but he wants her to be happy, and if Zuko would make her happy, he would support it. He would not go absolutely bat-mess-crazy and destroy the world, starting with the Fire Nation. He wouldn't throw a hissy fit, either. Canon love interests never can catch a break, can they?

8/3/2011 #15

I'm writing a multi-chapter Zutara capture story in which, so far, Katara and Zuko have been rather isolated while their relationship progresses. In several chapters, I'll be getting to the part where they rejoin with the Gaang. I was contemplating how to handle things as far as how the other characters relate to Zuko. I think Toph, since she'll have seen so much less of the pursuit than the others will be the quickest to just shrug and accept him. Sokka will have his own problems with Zuko, but they won't have anything to do with his relationship with Katara. He's protective of her, but not a "don't date my sister" kind of way.

The thing I was really struggling with was Aang. I think in my story, he's already crushing on Katara, and then Zuko drops into the picture and he and Katara have obviously had a lot of time alone and been through a lot together already. And I've been trying to work out how Aang would feel about it. I was sort of instinctively ignoring the Aang-Katara relationship, but the closer I get, the more I think it'd probably be cheating to not show the way he feels about it. In my mind, though, he's sort of dejected about it, but accepting and while he might get angry and petty about small things, ultimately, he's going to do what's right and what preserves his friendships.

8/3/2011 #16
Mrs Pettyfer

^About time you updated! :P

I think Toph, since she'll have seen so much less of the pursuit than the others will be the quickest to just shrug and accept him.

I agree with that logic..and the fact that she can tell if he's lying or not. I think you're on point with Aang too. Especially since Zuko is coming along virtually in what, season 1? Aang and Katara's relationship isn't more than friendship at that point. Yes, Aang is crushing on her but I don't think it's a huge hurdle to overcome. At the same time, I always felt like Aang was drawn to Zuko, like he somehow had a feeling their paths would connect. Aang was, in the series, the most open to Zuko joining the group even despite the fact that all of Zuko's harm he did to the gang was pinpointed toward capturing Aang.

Oh! In other news, the girl who made your trailer is making one for my Zutara fic The Black Games. Woo!

8/3/2011 . Edited 8/3/2011 #17

Sweet! She does great work. I'm glad you attracted her to your project. Hope it goes well!

As for Aang not being a hurdle.... It's hard to say, especially within the world of a particular fic. Season 1, all things being equal, then yes, I'd say that his feelings might be more easily put aside. But here, Zuko's had her for a while now, and this whole time, Aang and Sokka have been all OMG!OMG!OMG! about it while trying to mount a rescue. It stirs up a lot of emotion for him and he's rather fixated on saving her from Zuko, who, meanwhile, he's imagined into more of a villain than he really is just for having taken Katara in the first place. It think, even though he and Zuko will get along, eventually, and still have same pull to each other they did in the show, Aang will still be pretty heroic toward Katara and I'm not sure that state of being won't flame his fire a bit. And despite having feelings for Zuko, she's still just as protective of Aang, still as devoted to his cause as she is in the show, so all the opportunities for Aang's crush to grow will still be present. *shrugs*... But I still don't think Aang would ever be bitter about someone else finding love.

8/3/2011 #18

I get irritated when I see Katara..dominating Zuko. I don't get why people assume that Katara would just have complete and whole range over Zuko, but she's got to be broken down. If anything, I think that they would both be submissive to each other (I don't mean sexually.).

I also don't understand why no one seems to be able to write Katara in character. Is she really that complex of a character? I disagree. Usually, I see all of the guys wanting her. Though, this usually happens in HighSchool AU fanfics, it still happens. Come on, I really don't think Haru wanted her, nor do I think Jet really lusted after her that much.

Fix it.

No, haha, just kidding, but these things are what irritate me most and I try to avoid them when I'm writing my Zutara stories.


8/8/2011 #19
moving on from this nonsense

I get irritated when I see Katara..dominatingZuko. I don't get why people assume that Katara would just have complete and whole range over Zuko

Because that's what they've seen characters in TV shows doing for laughs--women dominating the men (if it was the other way around, of course, there would be cries of domestic abuse left, right, and center).

8/9/2011 #20

What I dislike about Zutara is that it seems to change the characters from who they have shown themselves to be in the show. Zuko would have too much honor to go after Katara knowing how Aang feels about her and puhleese, everyone knows.

Also, they both have "fiery" temperaments and would be drawn to calm folks to complete them. I have a mental picture of Zuko watching Katara go off and him thinking "Aang, I't's a good thing you're the Avatar."

Also, Katara initiates the kiss in the final scene. For her to go back on that would be, again, out of character. Katara is loyal to the nth degree.

Sokka wouldn't care as long as he got his seal jerky and his boomerang.

2/22/2012 #21
Mrs Pettyfer

Zuko would have too much honor to go after Katara knowing how Aang feels about her and puhleese, everyone knows.

This is a good point that a lot of authors tend to ignore. I've seen a lot of fics that sort of center around Zuko falling for Katara first, and acting on it, but I think Zuko might actually be more reluctant. Especially since he's worked so hard to earn Aang's trust; he wouldn't want to break that. It definitely gives Zutara authors a challenge.

Also, Katara initiates the kiss in the final scene. For her to go back on that would be, again, out of character.

I personally don't really think her initiating a kiss would somehow mean she'd never go for/fall/date another boy. I mean..that just seems unrealistic to me, not out of character. Just because she kisses someone doesn't mean she'd never kiss anyone else ever again lol. Most people don't kiss one person and "never go back on it" or whatever that's supposed to mean..I don't know. There are reasons that Katara might not date other people, but a kiss doesn't seem like one of them to me.

2/23/2012 #22

I think I've asked this before, but does it bother anyone else when, in Zutara fics, Sokka and Zuko become BFFs? Sokka and Aang's friendship rocked so much more than Sokka and Zuko's ever did. "I can't believe we forgot Toph can't write." "Yeah, we're idiots." How can you not love them? I don't think Zuko could replace Aang as Sokka's best friend. But I see this a ton in Zutara fics, and it makes me sad. :/

2/25/2012 #23
Mrs Pettyfer

I think a lot of writers--and not just Zutara ones--write Zuko and Sokka more simply because they're close in age. I don't think Zuko would replace Aang either. (I kind of hate the whole "only one best friend thing" but that's another issue) I think Sokka is going to have a different relationship with both Aang and Zuko, simply because of age and personalities. For me, there is just something about Sokka and Zuko's personalities that make an entertaining bromance in a way I don't get as much with Sokka and Aang. Just the way they play off each other. Not that it makes Zuko/Sokka better, just different.

2/26/2012 . Edited 2/26/2012 #24

Given that this is fanfiction, where a lot of people tend to congregate when they want to expand on the show...well, we see Aang and Sokka bromance all throughout the show. As great as they are, many writers are looking for "new" stuff (at least in theory). It doesn't surprise me that there are many who want to explore Zuko and Sokka if this is the case, even if pairing-related reasons are also involved, as they occasionally are.

2/26/2012 #25

I wonder why there aren't more fics where Aang breaks off the relationship first (I mean, I could just be reading a very narrow range of fics, but I haven't seen it much.) I think the thing that bothers me most about Kataang is that they are in different stages of life by the end of book 3. Katara is almost a woman, but I wouldn't consider Aang to be approaching manhood quite as imminently. I think Kataang really works for the duration of the canon episodes, and at first I did ship them more, but I think it wouldn't be long afterwards that Katara would begin to see the world much more as a woman, whereas Aang is still a little boy. I don't think either of them particularly want the relationship to end, but I can see it just drifting apart after a while. That's kinda the premise of my fic, and I was sure to make Aang the one to call it off.

Any thoughts?

3/18/2012 #26

Again, fan perception. We knew about Aang's crush throughout the show: he stated it explicitly and we knew immediately we could trust him. Katara was more reserved, which led many to believe that she didn't have any kind of crush on Aang, or else not a "serious" one like his was on her. From that, of course, people find it easier to assume Katara's heart isn't into it than Aang's isn't (when it comes to fics with other Katara pairings, that's its own explanation).

However, I'm not sure why Aang would remain a little boy while Katara might see the world more as a woman. Aang's proven that he grows rather quickly, right?

3/18/2012 #27
Amira Elizabeth

...but I think it wouldn't be long afterwards that Katara would begin to see the world much more as a woman, whereas Aang is still a little boy.

But he is NOT a little boy. And if you view him as such, I think right there you would have a problem (and actual it is a problem I see a lot in Zutara fics. They just don't get Aang as a character or because they don't like him or want him with Katara, they just lazily slap whatever characterization they want onto him). But he is not a little boy. He is looked upon as a world leader. He has been in battle against people who are decades older than him. He has handled situations that would have been more appropriate for someone far older.

In terms of romance, Aang and Katara are probably pretty close. She might be more motherly and serious, but she is not more worldly than Aang. Each of them has mature and immature traits. And she hasn't had too much experience with romance herself. Chronologically she is 14, but she is still very much a girl.

3/18/2012 . Edited 3/18/2012 #28

What bothers me about Zutara fanfics? Everything. :P I kid, I kid.

In all seriousness, what bothers me the most about Zutara fanfics are the following:

1) OOC-ness. Do I even have to explain this one? I know that it's not always easy to keep characters in-character and that sometimes you may slip up ... but if you can't convince me that Katara and Zuko are still the characters we know from the source material, then that bugs me. (The same goes with OOC fics of any other pairing, just so you know.)

2) Character derailment. This is different from OOC-ness because there are some fanfics where a "rival" character for the affections of another are just ... completely and maliciously warped just to make the author's OTP look better. This is always a big no-no. It's not a good story, if you're using already-established characters to do it, and it just makes you look like a terrible writer.

3/18/2012 #29

In all seriousness, what bothers me the most about fanfics are the following:

^ With this broadening, your thoughts are mine :D

Won't necessarily stop me from doing those things (hence, a beta will be a wonderful thing). Still, there's the "best shot", and then there's the obvious lack of caring.

3/18/2012 #30
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