I'm an American college student studying Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. You don't need to know any more than that. :)
I'm an avid fanfiction reader; I can't write a story for the life of me though. I can never get the plot just right, and I'm too much of a perfectionist for anything else. If a beta reader is ever needed, I'll be happy to help.
At the moment, I like to read Harry Potter, Naruto, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians fanfiction, as well as Evangelion, Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, Code Geass, Fairy Tail, Final Fantasy VII and Bleach. Beyond that, I've also been known to venture into the realms of Wheel of Time, Halo, Battlestar Galactica (2003), Star Wars, Star Trek, both Stargates, Homeworld, and Freespace. Not always in that order :).
Here's something that I feel to be good advice for other writers:
Some fanfiction pet peeves of mine:
1) Holding an update hostage for a certain number of reviews. Or, as I like to call it, "Review whoring." When an author does this, it tells me that their story can't possibly be any good, because any story worth it's salt doesn't need to pull underhanded tactics like this in order to garner reviews which leads to me immediately exiting that browser tab because I probably have better stories to read.
2) Horrible grammar. I can understand a non-native English-speaking messing up regularly, but native-born English-speakers? My God, what has this world come to? I'm not talking about the occasional screw-up here - I admit that I'm not perfect and I'd be a total hypocrite to hold others to that standard. I'm talking about the people who mess up every sentence or every other sentence with extremely blatant errors.
3) By the way, if you have a blatant spelling and/or grammar mistake in your title and summary, then, no, I will not read your fic, no matter how good you claim it actually is inside. This includes capitalization, especially with authors that think they can completely ignore capitalization rules. (I once had an author try to tell me that "Nobody cares about capitalization..." If I could strangle someone through the internet, he would've been my first victim.)
4) Far worse than #2, people who refuse to fix their mistakes. Many authors, when a grammar mistake or whatnot is pointed out to them will go back and fix it, or at least acknowledge it and say "My bad" or something like that. Those aren't the authors I'm talking about. I'm talking about the authors whose stories have absolutely horrible grammar and when confronted about it, they just say "Well, if you don't like it you shouldn't read it." Or they're even more rude about it. And, even worse than that are the people who have stories with horrible grammar in the beginning and then improve, but, when asked to go back and improve the beginnings of their stories, respond with the above.
5) And, on that note, spelling. Use spellcheck, people! Don't just go into spellcheck and just say "Fix everything" either, you need to individually examine every word that it catches. Then, follow up the spellcheck by proofreading. You need to make sure that you didn't accidentally misspell some word in such a way that spellcheck wouldn't catch it (such as by spelling "Definitely" like "Defiantly" which is something I see way too often). Even better, find a beta to proofread it! Or get a family member! It doesn't matter who, but getting someone else to read over your paper will catch a lot more mistakes then you would catch by yourself. If you really can't find someone willing to proofread it for you, then a good alternative would be to let your chapter sit for anywhere from a few to 24 hours after you've finished writing it and then proofread it. Chances are that after several hours, you'll have forgotten the details of what you've written, so you'll catch more mistakes that way.
6) There/their/they're, your/you're, its/it's. Learn the differences!
Every author should be required to read these comics:You'll get a few good laughs and some excellent grammar tips.
7) Perhaps not exactly a pet peeve, but definitely worth mentioning are the people who will respond to a review with "Well, you haven't written any stories so you can't criticize me!" There are so many things wrong with that statement, really... Do you need to be a chef to criticize food? Do you need to be a game developer to criticize video games? Do you need to be an athlete to criticize sports? No? Then I don't need to be an author to criticize stories.
8) I hate overly short chapters. They break up the story waaay too much. I will absolutely refuse to read a story if the wordcount-to-chapter ratio is equal to or under 1000. For that matter, I will only very reluctantly read a story if its wordcount-to-chapter ratio is under 2000. i.e., if you have less than an average of 2000 words per chapter, your story had better be pretty darn far along, have a fast update rate, and be pretty good for me to bear with the short chapters. The higher the wordcount-to-chapter ratio, the more inclined I'll be to read your story.
I'll probably add more as I think of them
You know those authors who complain about how they got this or that computer virus or HDD crash and they lost all their stories? Well, that's because they didn't back them up like they should have. In this day and age, it's a simple matter to keep things backed up. There are multiple FREE online storage repositories such as Dropbox or Google Drive which allow you to keep some of your files backed up on secure servers. There are also flash drives which are pretty cheap in this day and age. It's really not difficult to back up your stories, and you'll never, ever have to worry about a computer virus wiping out all of the next 10 chapters of your story that you'd pulled several near-all-nighters writing. One thing that I especially like about both Dropbox and Google Drive is that if you install the Dropbox or Drive software on your computer, any files that you dave in your Dropbox or Drive folders will be automatically and instantly uploaded to your Dropbox or Drive account
- you get 2 GB for free, and you'll get an extra half-gigabyte of space by using a referral over just signing up. An alternative is, as I mentioned above, . With Google Drive, you get 5 GB for free, but the downside is that you don't have any opportunity to expand your space for free. With Dropbox, you start out with less, but have the potential to gain a lot more space for free.
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