Author has written 9 stories for Sonic the Hedgehog, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy VII, and Avatar: Last Airbender.
Current Avatar: ZOMG KH3. That is all.
Ok...so it was more than 24 hours. -_- But it's done, and I'm just tickled pink right now. Lolz. Check out A Fine Line if you have time- it's kind of a stylistic experiment on my part, since I'm trying to branch out and I wanted to see if I could pull off something like that. (Raises glass) Here's to hoping that I succeeded! :D
As of today, I've just been practically clotheslined by a really great idea for a oneshot. Its format is based on a very interesting short story I read for one of my classes. It's gonna be KH, featuring my OTP (w00t!) and if it continues eating away at my mind like this, it'll be up very, very soon, maybe in even less than 24 hours. Although that might be a little optimistic. OTL
Updated Maiko prompts- Seasons, Part 2: Winter! Two more seasons to go...can't wait to see how things resolve themselves :)
Updated the Maiko prompts with #69: Seasons :) Something I wrote a long time ago but didn't post until now because I wasn't sure where I wanted it to go. But now I think I do! Spoiler Alert: There's a part for every season.
YAY, an update!! I've finally gotten back into writing! Posted my new story, Forze dell'Oscurita, my latest project that I'm paying way more attention to than class work. God help me.
Kind of unrelated to fanfiction, but I just officially got my deviantart account up and running! (Only took me 3 years -_-) Go check it if you have a minute!! http://destinysapprentice.deviantart.com/
Just a quick little message I wanted to throw out for everyone- sadly, although I've thought out nearly every single one of the Maiko 101 Prompts, they may be coming to a standstill sometime soon. I had a few in the works that I could publish with a little tweaking, so I may do that. I think the hiatus is mostly a loss of interest, unfortunately- my interest levels fluctuate and change way more than is healthy or productive :) Instead of that, I will mostly likely be making yet another fandom switch, back to Kingdom Hearts for...well, let's just say that with proper planning, attention, and hopefully interest on my part for a LONG time, it should blow anything else I've written out of the water. My most ambitious project yet, by far. So stay tuned for that!
A Lil About Me (For anyone who just has to know :))
Well, I’ve been around for quite some time on ff.net and never really given anyone a shred of info about myself...so, after five long years I might as well spill everything! Name’s Christine, I’ve spent 20 long years trying to figure out life, and I’m studying English in college at the moment, and if all goes well I'll be doing a concurrent major in art as well by next semester. I acknowledge that my name isn’t common these days and didn’t even make the top 500 most popular baby names, but I find it a good enough title considering my mother almost named me Celeste (middle name Jill...I kid you not!) Fatherly intervention can be a beautiful thing. I’m proud to be blue-eyed, brunette, and mostly Italian, with some German and Hungarian roots that have gifted me with the ability of becoming incredibly, unnecessarily fair-skinned. I’m also a fan of wit, well-timed sarcasm, and being as verbose as possible.
I created this account way back in the middle of seventh grade, I believe. The mind of an almost 13-year-old is an odd mechanism, unfortunately bizarre and sometimes egotistical, and is capable of producing really strange pen names that correspond to these aforementioned characteristics. Translation: my pen name is stupid and doesn't make sense. I promise I at least pretend to be normal now. Well, not really. But at least at this point in time I can fully promise that I am not and will never be either of the things my pen name suggests I am. (I've put serious consideration into changing it as of late, to be honest.)
So, while I can’t exactly explain the origin of the pen name, I can explain why I’m here on ff.net. Reading’s always been one of my faves...goes back to the good ole days of waking up too many times with my face in Animal Ark, Boxcar Children, and Harry Potter books when I was younger and being angry because I fell asleep instead of finishing it. I guess the interest in writing, too, was kind of a natural, corresponding thing.
And even before I knew what fanfiction was, my mind always gravitated toward the “unknowns” in stories. All the juicy bits the authors left out- plot holes, what-if’s. I’d come up with my own theories, as many people do, to try to fill everything in. The story was never finished until I finished it for myself. So add that interest to writing, and you get fanfiction!
Of course, I had to see it for myself and dabble in reading it for a few years before I cranked out anything of my own. I feel slightly inclined to credit a really, really ancient fic that’s hiding somewhere in the depths of cyberspace called The Knothole Chronicles for fully spurring my interest. Now, I wouldn’t advise trying to hunt it down now, (I haven't tried since I first read it), because I don't think it's a particularly outstanding piece of literature, and it's not on this site. But still, it got me hooked for whatever reason, so I had to mention it :)
My interest in certain fandoms tend to grow and wane depending on a lot of factors, but I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed writing for every fandom that shows up on this page. Even if the story turns out to be a train wreck (coughfirststorycoughdon’tlookcough). I've written a few things that I'm proud of, but I have a bad habit of starting chapter fics with tons of excitement about where the story can go, and then losing interest or "switching fantoms". I'm cursed with the problem of not being able to read or write fanfic for more than one fandom at a time. Right now, I’m mainly interested in Avatar: The Last Airbender and FFVII, due to my excessive love of angsty, honor-seeking teens and arrogant, snarky redheads. Those damn sexy beasts. And more recently, Kingdom Hearts. Blame Birth by Sleep. Nomura needs to stop flooring me with awesome games, I swear. And FFXIII, which I think has a lot of potential in the fanfic-verse.
Annnd I think I just proved my point about switching too much.
And now, thanks to all of this wonderful years reading fanfiction (among some other factors), I've decided that I like reading and writing enough to do something at least remotely professional with it in the future. In a perfect world, maybe I'll find a way to integrate my love for drawing into my life as well. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how that's going to work. Honestly, I'm open to suggestions!
Sooo, I think that just about covers it all. I promise my stories aren’t nearly as tangent-y as this little blurb is. Nearly.
Over these many long years that I've been reading fanfiction, I've discovered a great many things that are necessary for constructing a decent piece of literature- things that separate good writing from bad writing. These are the top ten tips that I always consider when writing that I will now put into my own words and elaborate upon for anyone who might also be able to use them (feel free to speed read...I warned you):
This is an ABSOLUTE MUST!! I really don’t care if you think you’re all that just because no one’s grading your writing. I guarantee that readers’ opinion of you and your writing will go south if you don’t abide by this rule. The truth is: people do notice. Grammar and spelling rules were invented for a reason- they make your thoughts as easily communicated as possible. They help to convey your thoughts in the best, most accurate way.
2.) Keep characters in character:
In my reviews, this is usually one of the first flaws that I’ll point out in someone’s writing. Red flags go up in my mind as soon as someone isn’t acting the way they should. Most people read fanfiction because they love the characters (as well as plot, but we’ll talk about that later) of the original storyline. Fanfiction helps readers to see their very lovable characters in situations that weren’t addressed in the original plot. So if their very lovable characters aren’t acting their very lovable selves, then we have a problem. Of course, this is completely justified if it’s intentional. But if it becomes unclear why a character is acting a certain way...well, that’s a big no-no. I’ve found that a good way to avoid this problem is reading a character’s dialogue out loud to help envision the situation. If you can’t imagine them saying it, then don’t write it. Or in the case where there is limited or no dialogue, imagine yourself in the same room as them.
I'm going to mention AUs in here as well, because they've been the worst offenders of this rule as of late. I know, I know, AUs are supposed to be "different than canon!" But honestly, come on people. Using AU as an excuse for bad characterization gets really old, really, REALLY fast, and you better believe that I will never take it seriously. AU means that as an author, you're taking the liberty of changing some things with the typical canon, whether it be the setting, the plot, etc. But the one thing that should not change significantly in AUs are the characters. It's Alternate UNIVERSE, not Alternate FANDOM. Why then, do so many stories use AU as an excuse to turn all of their characters into one dimensional characters (or worse, whiny highschoolers) that fit the bill for the story or fulfill some self-gratification that share no similarities with their actual characters other than the way they look? Oh, and their name too, I guess. It does the actual character a terrible injustice, if you ask me. How would an author diagnose this problem in their own story? For me, the dead ringer's always been when you can substitute random names for all of the characters and still get the same story. That means that your characters have none of the defining characteristics from canon that they should have. If you feel that you have enough trouble getting characterization right in normal canon fics, then God help us, DO NOT write an AU! They should be reserved for authors who truly understand the characters and want to experiment a little.
...Yeah. Sorry bout that. That's probably the most scathing I'll get in this little blurb. In my defense, it might be my biggest pet peeve ever.
3.) On description:
I, for one, think it is ridiculous for anyone to say that description is unnecessary (and believe it or not, I’ve seen and heard people say it!). Isn’t description practically the essential building block of any decent story? I know I use it plenty. Sure, it’s lengthy and can tear you away from the oh-so-intriguing dialogue for a few painstaking seconds, but guess what: if it wasn’t there, there wouldn’t BE a story. Because without description, your fic turns into a script. Which no one likes. Especially me. The main problem is that these description haters have the wrong idea of what description is. They think that it’s just a big blocky paragraph of useless information about the surroundings and other things that they don’t care about. Which it can be if you don’t use it correctly. The idea is that you have to make the story rely on the description—make it so that it seems indispensable, information that the reader can’t keep reading without. And make it interesting too; that will help just a little bit. Paint a picture. Think of it as a chance to show off your extensive vocabulary!
4.) Avoid outlandish pairings (unless it’s a parody/crack pairing):
All right, time to step on some toes. In my honest opinion, if you can’t explain how your pairing came to be or how it makes sense, then it’s definitely not legitimate enough for me to read. Pairings absolutely MUST make sense to me—that’s why I essentially only support canon and (some) fanon pairings. I’ll throw out an example. The reason that I cannot, will not support Zutara (of the A:tLA series) is because nine times out of ten, it’s not justified or explained. Both of the characters in the pairing are, by canon, involved in another CLEARLY defined relationship, yet most cases that this pairing turns up, it isn’t explained how either character ends the previous relationship. According to way too many authors, characters just magically end up together. And that just doesn’t cut it for me and my logical mind. Sure, maybe I’m a little close-minded, but I do know for a fact that you’re way better off writing for a canon pairing, if only for statistical reasons. The sad truth is, more people will be attracted to canon than your own off-the-wall pairings, which means more attention, more reviews, and overall, more respect.
5.) On Plot:
In the case of chapter stories, a compelling plot is what really drives the story. It’s the main thing that separates all pieces of fanfiction. It’s probably what got you hooked on fanfiction to begin with (if not, then the characters, as mentioned above). First off, make sure there IS one. Otherwise, you're kind of screwed. Second, give readers something to think about; make it interesting. However, avoid making the plot too far-fetched or too overwhelming from what people expect in the fandom. Also, be careful with the route your story is taking. Often times, planning the whole story out beforehand is a good idea. Because of the nature of publishing fanfiction in parts, having some kind of blueprint to fall back on when you’re in a rut can be a lifesaver, and it also helps to keep you from deviating too much from the earlier chapters. Think of professional novelists. Their writing is oftentimes seamless, as if they wrote it all in one sitting. There’s no indication of stopping and starting points or what parts they wrote on what days. Use them as your models. Make your plot FLOW.
In the world of oneshots and alternate universe stories, some of the aforementioned rules apply while others differ. Oneshots, generally, are much shorter than chapter stories and therefore have less room for plot development. But by nature, the goal of oneshots usually isn’t to develop plot. Most commonly, they deal with analyzing a character’s nature or presenting a specific situation. So if you’re trying to establish a plot in a oneshot, don’t be afraid to be anticlimactic...the best ones I’ve read often end on a rather unexpected note. I think it helps with the impact factor. As for alternate universe...you have a lot more freedom with plot, basically unlimited. Alternate universe is the closest fanfiction comes to being “actual writing” because it relies the least on what was originally created and the most on your own creativity. In terms of keeping the story interesting, the same rule applies. The more you change from the original plot, the more expectations you’ll have to live up to. I’ll admit, many times AU stories that vary too much from its original bore me a few chapters in. Whether it’s changing the setting, the way the characters act, or the plot. So please, please don’t abuse your freedom.
6.) Does the story make sense?
This is one that I once thought was a pretty straightforward and reasonable rule. But there’s quite a lot of fanfiction online that really just doesn’t add up. Most of it probably has to do with that very useful “planning in advance thing” I mentioned earlier, or lack thereof. There should never be any details in your fic that directly contradict each other. I know it gets increasingly difficult to keep track of everything as the story gets longer, but I’m sure your readers will appreciate it if you straighten everything out for them as much as possible. No one likes being confused. It’s also very important that you don’t contradict any of the main facts/plots/etc. found in canon, because chances are there’s going to be at least one crazy, very dedicated fan out there reading your stuff who has every single detail from canon committed to memory. And even if you don’t come across one of those types, you should always write as if they WERE reading your story.
On a slightly shorter, still related note, I feel the need to add a little section on the actual language itself making sense. If you have chosen to write in a language that is not your native tongue (chances are it’s gonna be English), make sure you have an EXTREMELY good grasp on the language. Even if you note that it’s not your first language, people won’t excuse it if you make too many mistakes. And if they’re sitting there trying to make sense out of your writing, they’re not paying attention to what you’re trying to say. It’s a pretty frustrating experience, believe me. So to resolve this, there’s a very simple solution: request the help of a beta like me! I, for one, am more than happy to help anyone with this problem. It doesn’t just help improve your writing and your understanding of the language- it makes whoever is reading your story a ton happier. So there, everyone’s happy!
7.) About OCs: (because we all have problems with them :))
I’ll be the first to admit, seeing an OC mentioned in a chapter summary is a major turnoff for me. In all my years of reading, I’m pretty sure that I can count the number of successful OCs I’ve seen on one hand. But if you’re up to the very daunting challenge (that should NEVER be taken lightly) of creating an OC, then at least listen to what I have to say. In any story, the more OCs, the worse the story gets. Period. An abundance of OCs is not only extremely confusing for your readers (is Kisaaru the one with the silver hair? Oh no, that’s right, she’s the one with the really entrancing aqua orbs!), but also downright annoying. People don’t read fanfiction to see what kind of new characters you can cook up. That’s what actual fiction is for. OCs should always play minor roles in stories and should have some pre-designated purpose. If you’re only putting them in the story because you feel like you have to put some element of yourself into it, then you’re at risk for creating a mary sue. Hopefully from this bit I’ve discouraged your use of OCs, but if you’re still up to it...
8.) Don’t be afraid to develop your own style:
Style is the one thing that I think a lot of people underestimate. Your own personal writing style is essential to your success as a writer, whether it be professional or just in the little world of fanfiction. It ties all of your stories together and sometimes even helps boost your reputation. Of course, everyone is completely different, and everyone who reads your stories is equally different, so there isn’t one “winning style” that beats out the rest. Personally, I love wordy styles (bet you would NEVER guess that) and styles that have that little bit of concealed wittiness that makes you snort out laughs out of complete nowhere. Or styles that just flow nicely and sound poetic, yet not cliché. But if that’s not you, there’s nothing wrong with that! Just put as much of your own personality as possible into it. I guarantee that a good half of the people who write boring stories aren’t boring people at all!
9.) If you write smut, choose your words very carefully:
This cannot be stressed enough. Lemons and limes require a very good grasp on vocabulary. If you’re not completely sure how to express certain details of explicit scenes, then don’t write them. It’s often better and more tasteful anyway. But if the storyline doesn’t allow for a change of scene, and you tend to be a little queasy when it comes to scenes of this nature (I definitely am), or if you’re on a mission to write one, characters’ emotions are your best friends. Try to avoid describing the physicality of the scene...focus more on what is running through the characters’ minds. It’s more insightful, less ludicrous and crude, and will definitely garner more respect from your readers.
10.) Don’t abuse betas! And don’t be afraid of negative criticism!:
It sounds horrible to abuse a beta, but I know people do it. Betas do not serve as your personal word processor, unless they specifically note that they’re willing to correct all of your spelling errors. A few are okay, but if your whole story shows up with those pesky red underlines in Word, then there’s a problem. Laziness will never be an excuse for anything. If you care about your own writing, then make it presentable, even if it’s being edited by someone else before it hits the web.
Never expect your readers or betas to give you nothing but endless praise. Be prepared to handle negative criticisms without being immature. Think of it like real life: you want your friends to be honest with you, right? Sure, it’s nice to have lots of buddies who tell you how awesome your writing is, but you should really appreciate the negative criticisms you receive more. They instruct you on how to improve, which I know you’ll be very grateful for in the future! Plus it means people are really thinking about what you’re saying and not just breezing through it.
Now FLAMING, on the other hand...okay. I can understand if you get a little offended and defensive about that. But a lot of people incorrectly identify negative criticism as flaming. If it’s constructive, it usually offers some means of improvement. Flaming is much crueler, mostly sarcastic, and intends to hurt the author. Sadly, there are cranky people out there who like to hurt people’s feelings. Then there’s the other type of flamer, which I occasionally become, who flames not with the intention of hurting someone’s feelings, but to make a point. Or to give someone a wake up call, as in if their writing is really, REALLY terrible but the only reviews they’ve received go something like, “Squeeeeeee I luv it!!" If you fall into the "flamer with purpose" category, kudos to you. You have my respect. Again, honesty will always be appreciated in the long run. They may not like it now, but it’s more about how they deal with it and how they improve from it that really counts.
And that's basically my low down on fanfiction. Take what you want from it. Again, this is more or less just a model I've constructed for myself and the rest of the world out of sheer boredom, and is absolutely, positively NOT an attack on any type of writer or fic. Just in case it came across that way.
Another Small Note...
Let's talk for a moment about why I don't support yaoi! I thought I'd put this on here just to get it out in the open, and hopefully there's someone out there who will agree or say, "Hey, I never thought of it like that before!"
If you ask me, there's a suffocating amount of yaoi fics floating around these days, and clearly they're not going anywhere. Like seriously, swing a dead cat and you'll hit about 40 of them in one go without even looking for them. So while I've understood for quite some time that it's just the way of things around here, I want people to think about what they're writing a little more than they have been.
Let's start from the top. I'm politically liberal, have many homosexual friends in the real world, and have absolutely the utmost support of the LGBT community. But that's not what this is about, and everyone should know that as well as I do.
Supporting yaoi does not equal supporting homosexual orientation, and it never will. And this is why...
99% of the time, the characters are not homosexual. Let me repeat that. THE CHARACTERS. ARE NOT. GAY.
People can rant and argue all they want about "evidence" towards claims like that, but the truth in the matter is that they are specifically searching for "clues" and are seeing things that may not be (or in some cases, DEFINITELY NOT) there for other people. Putting the "yaoi goggles" on, so to speak.
With this in mind, wouldn't you say that it's doing the characters (and if you look up the ladder, their creators) a TERRIBLE disservice to write them as if they were gay? I think it's safe to say that in the real world, people don't like getting mistaken for the wrong sexual orientation.
Imagine how, say, Tetsuya Nomura of the Kingdom Hearts franchise feels, given that people have found ways of "explaining" how and obsessing over how nearly every one of his male characters is actually gay. If I were him, I'd be tearing my hair out. (And going along with the KH fandom here, I'd like those fans to really sit back and think for a second...the game is half-owned by Disney. You know, DISNEY, also known as one of THE MOST CONSERVATIVE COMPANIES THAT HAS EVER EXISTED. That is all.)
And even if I were to play devil's advocate for a minute and say that, sure, these characters are so flamingly gay that the entire world can see...that's just as bad really. Think about how gay people must feel, reading a badly written yaoi story.
They would probably be even more horrified and offended than I usually am.
To yaoi writers: I beg you, please, PLEASE take into consideration all of these things before you put pen to paper!! There are very few ways to construct a story in which such a crucial piece of a character is completely ignored and/or obliterated for your own selfish reasons.
Favorite Quotes: (In No Particular Order...)
Everything you can imagine is real. Pablo Picasso
There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. Nelson Mandela
Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those who sang best. Henry Von Duke
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask is a fool forever. Chinese Proverb
Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Michael Scott: What is the single most important thing for a company? Is it the building? Is it the stock? Is it the turnover? It's the people. The *people*. My proudest moment here wasn't when I increased profits by 17%, or cut expenditure without losing a single member of staff. No, no, no, no. It was a young Guatamalan guy, first job in the country, hardly spoke a word of English, but he came to me and he went "Mr. Scott, will you be the Godfather to my child?" Wow. *Wow.* Didn't work out in the end. We had to let him go. He sucked: The Office
Michael Scott: Yes. It is true. I, Michael Scott, am signing up with an online dating service. Thousands of people have done it, and I am going to do it. I need a username, and... I have a great one. "Little Kid Lover". That way people will know exactly where my priorities are at : The Office
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan: A Christmas Story
Jack Sparrow: to Barbossa Well, yes mate. See, I'm dishonest. And a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you need to watch out for, because you never know when they're going to do something incredibly... stupid. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Sokka: My last girlfriend turned into the moon.
Aang: Don't worry, Sokka. Where we're going, you won't need any pants! Avatar: The Last Airbender
Aang: (trying to provide evidence to clear his name) You see, I have very large feet. Furthermore, your… temple matches your statue. But… I was in a painting at sunset? ...So there you have it! I’mmm not guilty! Avatar: The Last Airbender
Let's mosey: Cloud, Final Fantasy VII
I don't care what you are doing, so much as the idiotic way that you are doing it: Vincent Valentine, FFVII
A professional isn't someone who sacrifices themselves for a job. That's just a fool: Reno, FFVII
Reno: (on seeing Bahamut) Hello.
I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity: Edgar Allen Poe
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who only dream by night: Edgar Allen Poe
Forze dell'Oscurita: He stood in the midst of the dying sun and couldn’t help but glance at the charm in his hand, forever a reminder of the friendships of many. He would fight, for them, for the worlds. They were right before- the old man didn’t stand a chance. Post KH2- a vision of what’s to come.
The project that's currently taking over my life. Theorizing about KH3 was definitely a mistake...
Wishing You the Best: 50 sentences of the 50 greatest moments. Gen.
Yeah, I'm jumping on that bandwagon. I can't help it- I've always wanted to write one of these!
Maiko 101 Prompts
I have a great many of these in progress at the moment: #69 Season (a four-parter), #98 Sun...and many more!
Sheer Equality: She knew she would prove them all wrong someday. Elena-centric. Relena in later chapters. (Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama)
At a standstill, for now.
Call: She was always the last to hang up. Oneshot. RenoxElena (Genre: Romance, Angst)
This is still a work-in-progress. The title and summary are pretty provisional. But it's an old idea I had once upon a time.
Untitled: He'd left everything in the past. The last thing he wanted was to see it again. A delving into the life of Reno. (Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama)
Again, the summary is temporary. I just wanted to throw the idea on here so people know it's something I've been considering for a while. I've always wanted to offer my theories on Reno's past.
Untitled: You think he would have learned by now that pick-up lines aren't the way to go. But this is Reno we're talking about... (Genre: Humor/Romance)
I know this idea has been used before, but I wanted to take a crack at it. I'm going to try to stick some sort of shallow plot with it to try to set it apart from others, though. I knew it's going to be hilarious to write...
Untitled KH Piece: And to think it all started with such a stupid question. Oneshot. Riku-centric. (Genre: General)
This is just an idea I had. Basically, it's a reflection sort of piece. I'm not really sure when I'll get around to writing it...
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