Author has written 7 stories for Pokémon, Inheritance Cycle, Harry Potter, Wicker Man, Naruto, and Frozen.
Yes, well. So my name's Arkarian23 and here's a few interesting facts about me.
My Favourite Stories List
You'll find my favourites fairly small by comparison to other readers despite the time I've held this account and the time I've spent reading. It is mostly comprised of completed stories because I only add an unfinished story for special circumstances. A good example would be "Queens of Darkness ladies of Light" which had the makings of a truly epic tale (Porn which is actually relevant to the plot! What's not to like?). Similarly I add the occasional incredibly long stories which have no chance of being completed in any short space of time such as the Honestly Harry books which are large enough on their own, never mind as a group! I've recently added "When Harry Met Wednesday" which is truly original and worth reading just to broaden your horizons and imagination, even if it not finished. Please take a peak, I've tried to provide you with the cream of the crop of stories I have read and spent a while trolling through lists to find some of them. My Favourite Authors List on the other hand is a bit more unwieldy, more like a recommended follow list than a list of good authors. It is almost as big as my Favourite stories list.
If you switch any of the following words once in your story, I forgive you. If you do it four times in two consecutive paragraphs, stop writing, slap yourself and then go look them up. No excuses!
There are quite a few other pitfalls a lot of writers seem to fall into which aren't spelling related which I've noticed follow distinct themes:
Author's notes in the middle of a story, often for the author to tell you something they freely admit they're too goddamned lazy to write in themselves! There are actually ways to do this sort of thing, notably the Bartimaeus trilogy (not sure if that's spelt right) which did this without detracting from storytelling. Terry Pratchet also did this albeit for a slightly different purpose. These notes are used to expand on something, without detracting from a story. Terry Pratchet used his notes mainly for comedy while Bartimaeus expanded on historical events from his own perspective, giving the reader enlightenment on Bartimaeus' attitude to something or an explanation on how it worked or came to be. These notes are a side of the story that isn't necessary to the plot but can be included for greater understanding or storytelling. They shouldn't be used as an escape from actually explaining something you certainly can in a story, with just one or two sentences!
Spellchecker. People who go through a story with spellchecker and seemingly click random suggestions as edits. With a bit of brainwork you can figure out what they meant it can be really funny sometimes but still ruins my reading. You'll encounter these writers on here every now and then. At least it's an improvement on not proofreading.
Minutes. Should I explain? People seem to have an under-exaggerated idea of how long a minute is. They mean, a "moment" or "second" at most. You'll see people write things such as "thought for a few minutes". Next time you see this try to put into context how long that actually is, actually wait a few minutes and appreciate the absurdity of what the writer describes occurring "for a few minutes". I picture characters checking their watches, waiting for conversation to resume which the main character "thinks for a few minutes".
It's a bit like... It's a "bit like in the third Matrix film, you know the part when..." This isn't a direct quote but it gets the message across I hope. If you can't actually describe something yourself then don't bother writing it. Simply asking someone in an A/N to regurgitate a memory for the sake of creative writing is perhaps the height of laziness. What makes it worse is that the person might not have the memory to regurgitate. I know plenty of people who haven't even seen Star Wars, nevermind the Matrix! Jesus, just describe it yourself. if you can't describe it properly in your own words then you don't deserve to write it.
The AMAZING Plot Devices
You've all seen it, it's done to death, a true godsend for lazy, unimaginative writers. I am of course talking about the anthropomorphisation of Death, God/Kami, Fate and other random Human derived forces of nature. These personifications exist for no other reason than to give X character 'another chance' or a random new power. You might not even see them again for the rest of a story after they do their bit and sod off. Quite frankly it's cringe worthy, the epitome of lazy plot devices. I have often seen the "Death" plot device in the Harry Potter Universe where Death (because we know from the story he/she/it is such a nice entity and all) wants Harry to be happy or he/she/it facilitates something happening, is fighting with Fate about the prophecy or some other drivel which could just as easily be left out and have a better impact on the reader as a result. That's not to say Death can't be used well. There are plenty of examples of Death personified and used effectively, I have seen this particularly in crossovers with the Marvel universe. See "Finding Home" (A HP/Avengers Crossover) for an example of how to do Death right.
I'm going to admit I'm a bit of a chapter length snob. I don't tend to read stories with an average length under 2000 words, no matter how big the total story is. This is probably due to a number of bad experiences with short-chapter stories and a lot of good experiences where stories were 5k words or higher per chapter. I think it demonstrates commitment on the part of the writer to write over 5k words at a time before releasing, they're thinking hard about their stories and aren't rushing to let it all out.
The most embarrassing moments of my life:
Ok picture this, I'm spending an evening or so every week at a sort of group for children with disabilities, helping out and organizing things. It's going fairly well up to the point a small boy who I've spotted around a bit grabs hold of my legs and hugs me, his forehead more or less firmly pressed, uncomfortably so, into my crotch. while I was trying to figure out how to extricate myself from the boy without hurting him or attracting attention from anybody nearby a girl walks over. She is about my age from what I can guess and fairly pretty. unfortunately I had never seen her speak and she always had a sort of dreamy smile on her face (reminiscent of how I pictured Luna Lovegood actually), which left me thinking whether or not this girl had a disability and obviously this left me in a pickle as to whether I should try flirting or even talking with this girl for fear of the outcome. She looks at me, and I at her, we make eye contact. I definitely don't knowwhat to do or say at this point, I can't simply walk away, seeing as I am still trapped in the vice like grip of a four year old. We just stand there looking at each other, not saying anything. She walks away, the little boy lets go. I cringed internally and pretend nothing happened.
OK so a few years or so ago I was in a relationship with this girl at University. We had been together for about a year and a half a this point and were headed back home after a dinner party with some friends. We were getting the bus and it was about 11pm in this sort of suburban area. We were stood together waiting when at the other side of the stop a man comes over and stands, waiting like us for his bus to come. He was about fifteen feet away from us. It's late at night so the buses only come at half-hour intervals. Here's where things get difficult. It was perhaps not necessarily unwarranted to be wary of a stranger at night but my Gf decided to take it a step further and visibly clutched onto me in fear. She was absolutely terrified. I dealt with it and held her discretely to comfort her, afterall I loved her at the time and I wanted to comfort her regardless of how silly I felt the situation was and the utter humiliation of being trapped in this situation. About ten minutes later the man's bus comes and just before stepping on he gives a great big laugh. The man was black.
Recommended IRL books and authors:
Guardians of time (Marianne Curly)
Discworld novels (Terry pratchet)
Wild Hunt (Elspeth Cooper)
Mageborn (Michael G Manning)
Codex Alera (Jim Butcher)
All of these books can be found on Kindle with the exception of Guardians of Time which annoys me simply because getting it on Kindle will actually save me money in the long run if I keep losing book 3. Though I will probably lose my Kindle the moment I get the third book on it so it might actually be a blessing in disguise. I recently got another copy from Waterstones, here's hoping...
Taking a look at Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey for those who do not know (somehow) is an erotic novel, modified for public consumption from a Twilight fanfiction, wherein Bella explores her X-rated desires with Edward. The publicly released book is reputed to be poorly written, with erotica that is not well written either (I personally have just the three thumbs). This lead me to consider why this book became so popular to begin with, after all the two main selling points are apparently badly done. The explanation for how a badly written erotic novel such as this became popular I believe is based on society's attitudes, concepts of taboo and what is polite in public circles. For example someone in a Dom/sub relationship tends to hide this relationship from the rest of society, someone who is interested in other taboo sexual acts will likewise not invite discussion with "normal people". As a result when a book such as Fifty Shades of Grey is released and escapes the confines erotic novels are often placed in, the book becomes increasingly popular. This is mostly because not only can it be involved to a greater extent in "civilized" society, but it can allow those sexually frustrated by the same taboo society to release their frustrations vicariously without feeling that they are acting improperly. These people might not even be aware of their interests as such but explore them vicariously through the characters.
It can be understood then, that if society were far less closed minded about erotica and other sexual proclivities, that books such as Fifty Shades of Grey would never have become popular and society as a whole would be saved from badly written fiction.
Taking a look at popular pairings
Dramione or Hermione and Draco paired together is a fairly common pairing and many people seem to like it. In my opinion these people have read certain stories by good writers on the site and have subconsciously changed their opinions of the characters to fit in with the new ones in the fanfics, we've all done it with different characters at one point or another. Now when something is done right, any character can be made as "oc" as you like. The most blatantly heterosexual character can become bent as a tire if you put enough work into your story. Of course people tend to forget the proginal backdrop of the characters and devolve into some bizarre position where they believe "they're meant for each other!" Look I'm sorry your brain may be addled by as many teenage hormones as you like but it won't change cannon, at best you can say that the characters in that particular fanfic belonged together. Now of course I haven't actually gone into a proper explanation for why Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger don't belong together so I'll paint you a picture.
The scene is set in the real world. in an undisclosed southern state in America The town in question has a significant black community and there have been severe divides between the black and white communities which have only grown more tense since the events of the 1960s. Our two characters are called Sam and Prudence.
Sam and Prudence have grown up together there and abouts because both their families live quite near each other, they even go to the same school. Prudence is a nice girl, almost a stereotypical "nice girl" and quite booksmart. She is considered friendly but is quite closed off, preferring to stick with a small but tight group of friends who she spends most of her days with. Sam is a decidedly different sort. His family have very conservative beliefs and it's thought that their family took part in the civil war fighting against Abraham Lincoln's desire for equality. It's rumoured that the family still has memorabilia of the war promoting racist agendas and "tools" used by the slave masters in the past, but it's never been proven. Many people have assumed that those rumours are just an extension of people reacting to the blatant racism that Sam's family demonstrate. Sam himself is seen as very racist by many of the schoolchildren and has even whispered the word Nigger at Prudence when he could get away with it at school. Due to a series of events including Prudence, Sam is falls into the wrong side of the law and gets involved in a gang.
The gang is very very racist, they have very similar beliefs to Sam's family and all is fine for a while. Sam is good friends with them and their openly admitted beliefs encourage Sam to integrate with group quickly. However, one day the gang shows their true pro white beliefs to the public and there is violence. Prudence is caught by the gang and they almost rape her. Sam wants no part in any actual violence or crime and tries to distance himself from the group. It doesn't work out well and while Prudence escapes in the scene that follows Sam runs for his life from the gang who now want to kill him for his perceived weakness. Fortunately Sam is saved by the police and life almost returns to normal. Sam doesn't reject his previous beliefs though he does keep quiet about them and proceeds to eventually teach them to his children. Here ends the story.
Now a lot of that is transferable from the Harry Potter franchise in one form or another, and I think I demonstrated a lot of important distinctions over the course of the story. Sam never rejected his pro-white philosophy. He merely kept it to himself after the events that transpired. he didn't want to kill or hurt anyone, he was terrified of doing so. That does NOT mean he was in any way not racist does it? it just means he doesn't have the stomach for serious violence. Likewise Draco Malfoy never seems to actually reject the Pure blood agenda. Oh sure, his family is put under pressure and threatened and he shows real fear when trying to kill Dumbledore. That doesn't mean that suddenly the last 5 books he featured in never happened. He never really reformed as such and so trying to claim he was actually a really nice guy, just hiding it really really deep down inside just doesn't cut it. People don't work that way. if you're going to make Draco a "goody" then you'll have to put a truckload of work into it to get it done right.
Having established the above, trying to match up the two very different characters of Draco and Hermione is truly illogical. The intelligent, self assured and independent Hermione who is well aware of what equality and fair treatment should mean isn't just going to fall in love with the bigoted racist is she? Before you start talking about opposites attracting etc, that's nonsense really. Rarely does that relationship even begin in the first place and it rarely lasts if it does, that's why people notice it when it happens. To those Dramione fans out there if you're going to write it, do it properly please!
Quick, ban the smut ,and the blood!
Well it appears that the change in Fanfiction has been made, rather than include an MA rating for stories on this site the great marketing minds running the show decided that it was much more logical to set up an entire new website to host the MA rated fiction. Initially this seems like a very stupid decision, however this was actually a very savvy business move by the site owners, allowing them to justify creating a new website, and incidentally charge more money for their advertising while simultaneously attracting new companies to buy advertising space. Sadly Yourfanfiction has since crashed and burned.
Now I might be convinced to let this money driven act slide. If it weren't for the fact that not only do most writers not care anyway and already have their stories on other sites, namely ficwad, hpadultfanfiction or adultfanfiction. What does annoy me is that the MA rated stories on this site have simply just been deleted. This more or less destroys most of the MA rated content that has been left by writers who have since lost interest in fanfiction.
I should make the point that Fanfiction.net are actually providing a niche to other internet fanfic websites. Well done for considering your competition!