Author has written 10 stories for Maximum Ride, Underland Chronicles, and Hetalia - Axis Powers.
I used to have this profile like an interview and a bunch of copy/pastes, but...I don’t know, I got sort of tired of it. How about I just give you some information?
Names: Bre, roughdiamond5
How long I’ve been on fanfiction: two years without membership, eight years with
Places I’ve lived: Washington (state), North Carolina, Texas, France, Illinois, Colorado
Favorite colors: blue, black, red, green
Favorite numbers: 5, 7, 3
Other places to find me online: fictionpress, youtube, deviantArt (under the same name)
Ten Facts About Me
1. I’ve been to nine schools, and three of them spoke French. Because I didn’t have many chances to make friends at those schools, I’ve become close to and actually like my younger brother.
2. I’m a second-generation fanfiction writer; my mom goes by RogueAngel around here and is currently haunting the Star Trek (2009) archives.
3. I don’t like sports. I don’t understand them, I don’t care for them, and I don’t see the point in ganging up on a bunch of other people in order to sweat and chase after a ball. Even those solitary or partner sports…ugh. Too many rules, too much ridiculous dedication, too little real glory. I have the same opinion of video games.
4. I’ve never been flamed, or at least not concerning one of my stories. Go ahead if you want to, though, because (A) flames sometimes have constructive criticism, which I would love to have, and (B) if anything, they’re good for roasting s’mores.
5. I used to want to be an author, so I got my hands on every book about writing I could find (or at least the ones that people recommended). As a result, I know a lot of tips and tricks about writing well. I also know how deeply screwed I would be if I tried writing my own fiction.
6. Creative ideas aren’t really my thing. But on the bright side, I can parody nearly any poem or song and rewrite nearly any story with a fresh twist. That's part of the reason why I'm here.
7. My mom used to work at Borders. The employees there were like my aunts and uncles, I got discounts and first peeks at anything I wanted, and I could read books all day - for free. And then they liquidated one year before I could legally work there. Don't you just love the twists of life?
8. Over the years I’ve developed a sense of sarcasm and cynicism. (Don’t get me started about religion. Please.) And at the same time, I’m a hopeless romantic. I have no idea how that works.
9. I have four ferrets, and their names are Angel, Pencil, Chancy, and Pudge. I can only have ferrets because I and/or the rest of my family is allergic to any other animal, but I would have picked ferrets even if I could have a dog or a cat.
10. In my opinion, books, chocolate, and the Internet are the greatest inventions of all time.
Five of My Opinions of Reviews
1. A lot of the time I don’t review. I’ve only got a limited amount of time to be on the internet, and I don’t care to spend my time commenting on a plot I don’t like, characters that don’t sound real, and/or atrocious errors—especially when I could be finding stories that dazzle me. If I reviewed, it’s because I believe the work has promise (or at least something that kept me to the end of the first chapter).
2. I admit it—I’m lazy. I don’t always point out every flaw I see in a work. Sometimes I review because I want you to update or I want to compliment you. So don’t think that just because I didn’t say something, there’s nothing wrong. Ask me, if you care enough to know; I’ll give your story a second glance.
3. I have no intention to flame another writer, nor do I have a lot of experience with flames. But I think that—in certain circumstances—they can make a better writer. See, a writer can freak out and burst into tears at a flame, or maybe start a flame war out of anger, but the writers I respect are the ones that…well, don’t ignore a flame. It's better if the flame is taken at face value: if the flame writer said what was wrong with the story, the writer should take that part (and not the insults) to heart. That’s a good reaction.
4. I like when authors respond to reviews; it’s a sign of courtesy. I don't like when authors respond to reviews at the beginning of the next chapter; it's a sign of laziness. Even mentioning the names of reviewers irritates me because it distracts from the story.
5. Constructive criticism—what is that? Perhaps it’s as dead as chivalry. Perhaps it’s as endangered as a panda. I’m not trying to start a “let’s get together and fight the crappy review” thing. But hey, I’d like to offer a bit of my time to try to imitate constructive criticism. As long as my guilty pleasure doesn’t become homework.
My Beliefs on Writing
So I don’t seem hypocritical, I’d like to say that I’m not very pleased at all with my old Maximum Ride fanfiction; I've grown since writing it. In fact, I only keep it here on behalf of a couple of friends and to occasionally read the reviews. With all the grammatical mistakes and exclamation points and rambling and plot holes…honestly, do you really want to read my MR work?
Prologue, or, How I’ll Format My Complaints: I like reading those “How to Write Fanfiction” (or, alternately, "How Not to Write Fanfiction") stories people post. I wanted to write one myself, but I didn’t want to attach one to a specific fandom. So instead, I present here my opinions on fanfiction and general fiction writing. I’ve even included what I would call the chapter that focused on it.
Plot, or, There’s Something Beyond Oneshot?: Isn’t plot a wonderful thing? With an exposition and rising action, a climax and falling action—I’ve seen some great stories with all of that perfectly in place. On the other hand, there are some without even a conflict. I tend to go for the ones with a plot. Why? Because I think plot is more interesting than description.
Characters, or, Those Names You Picked from the Story: I read fanfiction because I want to see the characters. If the characters aren’t right in your story—if they don’t reflect the traits of human beings, let alone their canon selves—I don’t really want to read it.
Mary Sues, or, Survival of the Fewest: The topic of Mary Sues has been beaten to death multiple times around here. Just let me say that there’s a great number of people who can tell you when a character is too good to be true. So don't let yourself wonder. Ask. Or if that tip isn't satisfactory? Try listing traits (plural) that you've given your character so he or she isn't perfect. If you only have one—or worse, zero—I think it's safe to say you have a Mary Sue.
Original Characters, or, You Weren't in the Canon...: Riddle me this: what will your original character contribute to the story that a canon character couldn't? I hope you can answer that question immediately, because any hesitation means you really don't know and we really don't need this OC. If you absolutely must use an OC for any reason (there are tons, and not half of them are really good), I have one request: for the love of God, do not include a profile for this new character. You can achieve the same goal—knowledge of your character—through dialogue and characterization, a.k.a. honest effort.
Romance, or, Fangirls R Us: Pairings aren’t too much trouble for me. I’ll read canon, and I’ll read non-canon, and I’ll read gay/lesbian stories. I won’t bash you on the head for going against my fangirl beliefs. But if there’s something about the romance—characters, plot, conflict, emotions—that I don’t like, I’ll bash you for that.
Humor, or, Crack is Best With Company: What makes something “funny”? Randomness? Good in moderation, I suppose, but only in moderation. Making people out of character? If you have nothing better to do, but should you really be posting some 50 chapters (or hell, even one) of it? Adding yourself in? Only if there’s valuable contribution to be had. Let me suggest a hint: if a friend of yours doesn’t get it and you tell them, “you had to be there”, it’s only funny to you because you have the visual image. And that sort of fanfiction sucks when you’re the one reading it.
Suspense, or, Are We There Yet?: It’s a cliffhanger when the reader says it’s a cliffhanger or (my definition) when the reader is left wondering what happens next, even though you ended the piece. It’s not a cliffhanger when you write, “He went to the dairy aisle and reached for the milk. OOOOH CLIFFIE!!!1!!!”
Dialogue, or, What’s That Noise?: Sometimes I’ll scroll down the first chapter of a story looking for one key thing: space. Why? It means there’s dialogue. Nothing wrong with having characters interact instead of having your main character describe the scenery, is all I’m saying. Also, dialogue is one of the hardest things to conquer in order to keep someone in character. If a writer’s not afraid to attempt that barrier, I’ll read the story.
Description, or, That Trip We Didn’t Ask to Take: How much description does one really need? Just think about it: no clothing inventory, no play-by-play notes on the day, no history of everything in the room—just pure plot and dialogue, with just enough description to set the mood. How great would that be!
Point of View, or, An Experiment of Dividing Lines: Point of view is an interesting choice to make. I like laughing at the stories that move from third person to first, then back to third after a couple of lines—and then to the second character’s POV, just to be sure I caught everything. It’s like putting on one outfit in the morning and then another to see which looks better, then the first one, and then a third just to compare, on and on until the bus has left and you’re yelling at your parents for a ride while bouncing around on one foot as you put on a sock.
Writing, or, Replacing Time with Words: Just a bit of effort is all I ask. So many people I know can pump out a chapter in a couple of minutes. I don’t care if it takes ten months per chapter, as long as I can read something that doesn’t look like you wrote it while drunk or half-asleep.
Format and Editing, or, Why Grade School is Good: School is more than an excuse not to write. It’s also a great place to find betas, learn to work Microsoft Word, and pick up neat words and grammar tricks. I haven’t gone a year without changing my writing due to some English class, and I hope others can agree with me.
Beta Readers, or, That Voice in Your Head Reincarnated: What’s wrong with someone looking over your shoulder as you write? I’ve never had a beta reader, but I find any sort of help, beta or not, to be great. But don’t be offended if your beta reader isn’t enchanted by a single thing in your chapter. They’re there to ignore your supposedly fantastic imagination and make sure you don't look like an idiot for confusing "its" with "it's."
Authors' Notes, or, Remember What We Came Here For?: I skip authors’ notes quite often. Now that’s not to say I don’t look for my screen name, but even then, why would you acknowledge your reviewers (or even respond to them) and take up half the chapter? You’re on my profile page already; you have my permission to PM me with any specific comments about my review. And the rest of the authors’ notes don’t mean much to me; I’m glad that you’re alive and well and that people like your story, but isn’t there anything we need to know about the chapter apart from “here it is”? If not…
Disclaimers, or Lawyers Everywhere!: I once read (years ago) that we don't have to do the disclaimer because when we post a new story, something in the fanfiction terms we agree to does the disclaimer for us. Perhaps we're protected by fanfiction. I'm not sure if I believe that. All I know is that if you want to do a disclaimer, you may as well. As long as there's no extensive dialogue in which characters, friends, Mary Sues, or other people try to drag the confession that you don't own [insert fandom here] out of you. Maybe you'd like to do a disclaimer for the entire story at the first chapter; we don't need to read it over and over.
Summaries, or, What Kills Your Chance for Reviews: The point of a summary is to explain what the story is about or draw some sort of intrigue about it. The point is not to ask people to read and/or review, say you’re horrible at summaries, explain that this is your first fanfiction, ask people to read and/or review, show your support for a certain pairing or character, tell everyone that a chapter has been posted, ask people to read and/or review, say the story is better than the summary, detail how you came up with the idea, or ask people to read and/or review. Guess which one I like least.
Reviews, or, Insert Heart Between Teeth: There’s one magical line that makes writing fanfiction a whole lot easier: I don’t need any reviews. Wanting reviews is a different thing—everybody likes to be acknowledged—but if you’re holding the story hostage until somebody tells you how great it is, there are problems besides your lack of one-line comments. Seek help.
Oneshots, and Other Unicorn Food: Some people put great care into oneshots, thus bringing a little more light to the canon we know and love. Of course, some people just use their half-edited brain-child as bait for reviews, regardless that the oneshot is just a bit of fluff or a moment of angst. What's your motive? Do we glean something about the characters, a relationship, or the canon world by reading your oneshot? Do you simply want to share your glimpse of genius with everyone in the fandom? Did you add some main point besides "isn't this character cute/sad/funny?" I make no guarantee, but these questions may help determine if your idea would make a good oneshot.
Poetry, or, the Art of Stringing Words Together: Fanfiction poetry really isn’t—poetry, that is. You know what I see? Line after line of angsty words and ample description with no rhyme or rhythm. Yes, it technically counts as poetry. No, I won’t read a bunch of lines describing a scene I’ve already read. Have you found a good poem? Send it my way. If I agree that it sounds better in poetry form than in prose, I’ll take a contradiction.
Songfics and Chatfics, or, Why It’s Better in Your Head: Songfics? Chat!fics? I suppose they’re good for a glance or a quick laugh, but…really, how are you supposed to become better at writing if you’re reducing yourself to someone else’s lyrics or the spelling patterns of a character with a fourth-grade education?
Crossovers, or, Let’s Make a Catalyst!: Crossovers…well, have fun with those. It’s only that you writers often cross my favorite fandoms with stories I don’t know, and when I do know the story, it’s often just the Harry Potter/Twilight/Percy Jackson cast torturing my poor fandom. I just… Must you? Really? Alright, fine, go nuts, but don’t expect me to read the resulting trainwreck.
Sequels, or, So You Forgot to Kill a Few People: So perhaps you can’t bear to part with the story you've worked so long and hard on—nor can I, to be honest. I’ve had those moments with my own stories. But face it: your story has served its purpose by entertaining a good number of people and helping you to fulfill a gap/explain an idea/kill some time. If you really want a sequel, though…well, get started, is all I can say. See if you have enough steam to get past Chapter 3.
Epilogue, or, Everything’s Not Lost: There’s always an exception. Some writers can pull off original characters exceptionally well, while others create oneshots that sweep me away. Note: they swept me away. What’s incredible to me may be boring to others, and what’s mediocre to me may be phenomenal to the next reader. These are my beliefs here.
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