Darren Alston
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Joined 02-07-07, id: 1215833, Profile Updated: 03-30-11

Nothing to see here, move along.

Oh, still here? All right, fine. Your funeral...

I'm just a person that loves to read but never had the inclination to actually write. It's quite a shame, really. I see a lot of awesome work on this board, but every now and again I see a piece that makes me go "I can write better than THAT!" Perhaps one day I'll put together something based on one of the various stories rattling around in my head.

If you get POSITIVE or NEUTRAL reviews from me, then you've probably hit on something I like. Hope that means something to you.

If you get a NEGATIVE review from me, realize that I'm used to reading authors such as King, Clancy, Crichton, Gibson, McAffrey, Salvatore, Koontz, Leighton, Ludlum, and Zahn. I don't expect you to match published authors, but don't expect me to be thrilled when you do the things that fan fiction often writers irritate me with.

And what do fan fiction authors do that irritate me, you ask?

I cannot stand people who can't write summaries or say they "suck at it". To date, I have NOT found a story written by someone who "sucks at summaries" to be any good. I usually just skip these stories as they have been a waste of time so far.

Stop saying this is your "first fic" and for people to be "kind". Wanting people to be less critical of your work is a double edged sword. While you may appreciate people being "nicer", you are also cheating yourself out of thorough reviews as these "nicer" people will allow you to keep bad writing habits until they become impossible to break. What if your "first fic" lasted 20 chapters? Do you actually think being allowed to continue making spelling and grammar errors, weak plots, awful formatting, and just overall bad storytelling will help you in the long run? Ask for the crticism. Bask in the flames. What doesn't kill you will make your writing stronger.

PLEASE stick to one point of view. I cannot stand stories where the point of view shifts so darn often. I read a lot of fiction, and I have only seen constant POV shifts in fan fiction. This is very poor. There ARE ways to write everyone's perspective without having to resort to POV shifts. It's called "good writing skills". Learn it.

Another thing, stop doing so many freaking flashbacks. Very few writers on this website actually do it well, the rest just make me want to hit that "back" button and look for something else to read. Poorly executed flashbacks kill the flow of a story and make it harder to see what plot point you are trying to make. Knock it off. Try to actually portray the relevant past event in a different manner.

And for the love of all that is holy, unholy, or otherwise covered in crunchy peanut butter...PLEASE no more self-inserts and songfics. If nothing else, they show the downward spiral of human society even more vividly than the success of reality television shows. If you were interesting, someone would have already written a book about you...and we'd already be reading it! So please, stop it.

Lastly, please format your stories so that they are readable. I don't know how people can read one huge block of text. It hurts the eyes. Get a proofreader, editor, or someone competent with a text editor. Better yet, get yourself a copy of Fowler's "Modern English Usage". You can thank me later by writing something GOOD.