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Author has written 20 stories for Star Wars, Mario, Pokémon, Batman Begins/Dark Knight, Doctor Who, Animal Crossing, Legend of Zelda, Phantom of the Opera, and Harry Potter.
Formerly L van Am - changed on 4 November 2015. It matches my tumblr URL now, which had been bothering me for a while. I didn't want to change my URL, so I changed this instead. Sorry for any confusion. If anyone even reads this...
Hey, I'm Laura. I'm from Ontario, Canada, I'm a university student, I write fanfiction. 'Nuff said.
I have a tumblr blog, for fanfiction, fandom, feminism, etc. Check it out: whatanauthorsgottado.tumblr.com
Also, I'm now over on AO3. I haven't moved anything over yet, but I will. Anyway, it's at archiveofourown.org/users/LvanAm/profile
Feel free to PM me with any questions you may have about any of my stories. I love to see people taking an interest in learning more, so I'll answer any questions you may have unless the answer reveals the future plot.
(I have nothing on my profile of particular interest anyway, and I need someplace to put these... These are just random little tangents on whatever I think of. Any opinions expressed herein are my own and you don't have to agree with them, and you might find them insulting, but I don't actually mean any of these as a personal attack on anyone. That said, if you want to debate an opinion from here, feel free to PM me. But please, please don't attack me. That's pointless and rude and I don't care that much about how stupid you think I am anyway. Enjoy.)
I'm Canadian, so I study Canadian History. As anyone who has studied it to the grade 7 or 8 level (which is, of course, compulsory) will know, early Canadian history is superbly dull. Once you get past the 1800's, though, and get to WW1, it becomes massively more interesting. I hate when people say history is boring, because it really isn't. You get to learn about people dying in gruesome ways, corrupt people, rumrunners, Nazis, victors, Soviets, the Cold War, nuclear missiles... That's some of what I studied in grade 10 Canadian History (also mandatory). I had a fantastic teacher who was really enthusiastic about his subject. The thing about the Social Sciences is that they teach about people and life. In History, you get to learn about the lives of people who lived years and years and years before your parents, or your grandparents, or most of your relatively recent ancestors: their struggles, their circumstances, their triumphs, their failures. So don't ever come up to me and tell me history's boring, because you might get a whack. It's great. People are fantastic and interesting and their lives are important. And learning about them is fun. History is awesome. And if you do have a crappy teacher and a boring textbook, go research it on your own. Wikipedia or something. Did you know that rats in WW1 trenches were sometimes the size of cats? History!
I vs Me
My grandfather, who didn't learn English as his first language, knows this rule better than my English teacher does. In a sentence, if the first person - that being I or Me - is doing something, use I. For example: I went to the movies. Same if more than one person is doing something where the first person is mentioned: My friends and I went to the movies. When the first person is having something done to them, use me. For example: He gave me the money. Same if there is more than one person: He gave you and me the money. Another example of me: He split the money between you and me. Say that last sentence out loud. Sound wrong? Sound like you should put I there? Well, you shouldn't. That would be wrong. I don't care about between being in the sentence; it doesn't change anything. Me is the object form of the first person. That means that, no matter what else is in the sentence, if something is being done to the first person, you use me. I is the subject form of the first person. That means that when the first person is the one doing something, you use I. Please use the right pronoun.
There vs Their vs They're
This one annoys me so much, you have no idea. There means a place that is not your current location: It is over there. There is also used in a sentence to indicate the existence of something: There are a lot of pencils on that desk. Their is possessive, meaning that there are some people who share an object: It is their ball. They're is a contraction of they and are; it tells you the state of several things. They're very weird. Please, use the right one.
Your vs You're
One of the most common mistakes I've seen in almost two years on this site is using the wrong one of these. Your is possessive; it means that the second person - the "you" - owns something: It is your pencil. You're is a contraction of you and are; it tells you the state of something: You're insane! And you look insane if you can't figure out the right word to use in a sentence, so learn. Teachers don't tell you these things for nothing.
To vs Too vs Two
Another fairly common one I've seen is mixing up any two of these three; to and too is most common, but I have also seen two in place of either. I can't really define to, but I can do too. Too indicates quality of something: That soup is too hot. To pretty much covers everything else. Two is a number, indicating quantity. Or a date. Or something similar: There are two spoons on the place mat. Watch the number of 'o's in your word!
Semicolon vs Comma (also Colon, but maybe a little less so)
This one can be the one little niggling thing that drives me away from an otherwise good story sometimes; mostly it's spelling or other grammar, but sometimes this mistake just clinches it. First: a semicolon is the one that looks like a comma with a dot above it - ; - and a comma is the little one like a period with a tail - , - while a colon is the one with two dots - : - got it? A semicolon connects two clauses - like mini-sentences, not Santa - together and replaces a period: That dog is fluffy. His name is Joe becomes That dog is fluffy; his name is Joe. A semicolon also separates items on a list if commas are used in the items' descriptions: The big, blue box; the red bow-tie; the old, sad eyes; and the curious humans trailing behind. A comma separates parts of a clause that wouldn't work as individual sentences: I ran, then jumped across the river. A comma can also separate items in a list if commas are not used to describe them: a car, a plane, and a train. A colon indicates the beginning of a list or example: This is the rest of the example, since I just used a colon. A comma does not connect two sentences together unless and or another connecting word is involved, while a semicolon can do it without one. These three are not interchangeable; please don't use them as such.
Editing (Or Lack Thereof)
It annoys me so much when people don't edit their work. Especially when they're about to post it to a website (ie. FFN) or to submit it for an assignment or something. On FFN, there is not only a spelling and grammar check option on the Doc Manager, and on the profile editing page, but also an archive of beta readers! Beta readers, for those who may not know, are users who volunteer to read and edit a person's stories before they are submitted, or to act as a sounding board for ideas. There's a Betas button on the top bar. If you click on that, it shows options for every category on the site. Clicking on one of those brings up a list of people who, if you ask them, are willing to edit your stories for you. Please, take advantage of these people if you feel you need someone to edit your stuff, or if you want a second opinion on your ideas. I'm a beta myself; drop me a PM if you need help. Check my beta profile - link's at the top - for info on what categories I know. Or even if you don't want a beta reader, at least do a spelling and grammar check. There's a spellcheck on the FFN doc manager, so there's no excuse not to spellcheck. Humph. Please, for your sake and the sake of the Internet, edit your work!
People Refusing to Accept the Fact that They're Wrong
There's no shame in being wrong. Really. You might look stupid for a little while if you do admit that you're not right about something, but you'll look stupider for longer if you deny your wrongness even with evidence. Denial is very ridiculous. You know almost nothing about the world. You know maybe one tiny, tiny fraction of what there is to know in the world. There is absolutely no point to denying clear evidence that a belief of yours is wrong. What do you gain from not admitting your mistakes? Nothing. Nothing but embarrassment and screw-ups later on because you're misinformed. What do you gain from admitting you're wrong? Knowledge and experience. So really, there's no good reason for not admitting that you made a mistake. And no, pride is not a good reason. More blunders have been made due to pride than due to almost anything else I can think of. Swallow your pride, and admit that you really don't know everything. 'Cause admit it, you don't.
People Who Move Out Without Knowing How to Live On Their Own
Now let me get this straight, before I begin. I don't expect that everyone who moves out on their own should/can/does know everything about being an adult. I don't know how to apply for a bursary, for example. Or how to get a loan, or do taxes, or apply for a marriage certificate... But I know how to live. I have some rudimentary skill at cooking, I can use a bus, I know how to buy food on my own. That kind of stuff. You'd think that most kids' parents would teach them at least the basics for survival, like how to cook instant noodles or something. I have this friend who doesn't know how to cook anything, can't get herself anywhere, etc. And while I don't mind helping with some things, if you can't puzzle out how to cook some noodles or something with the instructions on the package, you need to ask yourself why. How can you not manage to cook instant noodles on your own? Were you not taught how to read instructions? Come on.