Author has written 2 stories for Vampire Game.
A Few of My Favorite Things: Politics, slash, the modernist era, cake (I just ate like seriously, half a cake by myself), feudal japanese culture. As for fanfic, I read Kingdom Hearts, Sherlock Holmes, Metal Gear Solid, Teen Titans, Ace Attorney, and Death Note, among others.
Not-So Favorite Things: Songfics. They are like a stab to the eyeballs. Also, the abuse of freeform poetry- what's up with that? And, of course, the American Electoral College. Can you say "flagrant abuse of the democratic ideal of majority vote" or what?
PS: Don't look at any of the (two) stories I've written- I was literally thirteen when I wrote them, and new to the concept of fanfiction itself. Seriously, I can't help but wince when I look at them, they are that bad. Fortunately I'm older and wiser now, and actually a published author. I don't write fanfic anymore. I leave that stuff up to you all.
(Just so you know, I'm going into rant-mode, but you could get the entire gist of my rant in a much more in-depth and amusing way by reading the Kingdom Hearts fanfiction, "Those Lacking Spines". Really. It's amazing. Go look at it if you haven't already.)
Hi there! If you don't mind, I'd like to talk to you all about a subject that's near and dear to me. ANd that subject is, well, the quality of fanfiction nowadays. There's a reason that Fanfiction.net is called the Pit of Voles- pretty much everyone agrees that 90 of the stuff here is crap. It's a plague, one that seems to be spreading fast and doesn't look to have any chance of dying off. But just because everyone else is spewing out filth, doesn't mean you have to as well! By following a few of these guidelines, you too can become a well-loved author of quality fiction that bring joys to the hearts of prepubescent girls the world over:
1. There are other genres than romance. I know, this seems obvious, but you should see immediately what I mean by just looking at any list of fics in any subject. Almost every single fic has the pairings in the story listed after them, and a huge quantity of stories are just flimsy excuses to get the author's preferred characters into bed together. It's almost become a standard practice, and so I feel it sadly necessary to remind everyone that you CAN have a story without ANY mentions of dating, romance, or sex. Genfic is a sadly dying breed, specially in the Pit, but a well-written genfic is pretty much always superior to a romance story of the same caliber. Admittedly we're all just a bunch of hormone-driven teenage girl 'shippers here, but there IS more to stories than just smut, people! However, that being said, I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, either. I like romance too, but personally only in small doses. A bit of well written UST (unresolved sexual tension) is worth any dozen fluff-fics. The best way to achieve a balance in your stories is to make the romance secondary to the actual plot. This doesn't apply to drabbles and character-exploring pieces, but if you write an AU or ay kind of multi-chapter epic, mix it up a bit, yeah? Remember: nine times out of ten, less IS more.
2. OCs aren't necessarily a bad thing, but rarely a good thing. Most people, upon seeing the phrase "original character", will instantly recoil with a scream of "mary sue!". Sadly, after dozens upon dozens of traumatizing experiences, I consider myself one of these people. If you write an original character, be prepared for people to go into already biased AGAINST your character. That's because pretty much every single OC, without fail, is a Mary Sue or Gary Stu, regardless of how "flawed" they may seem. What a lot of young authors don't realize is that just because they might not be the prettiest or the strongest of the characters, they aren't exempt. What makes a mary sue, a mary sue, is the way they consistently steal the spotlight from the story's main, canon characters. If your weak, ugly character is still the central focus of your piece and beloved by all the normal characters, they're still a mary sue. So now that we know this, we can all take steps to avoid it! The trick here is, OC's should bring more to the story to enhance the characters that are already there. A good example is from the Metal Gear Solid fanfiction, "Privideniya" by Falstaff. She creates an entire army base full of characters to interact with the canon character, including one handsome, abnormally young genius scientist who would count as a Gary Stu if it weren't for the fact that he's complex and honestly a bit messed up in the head. Throughout it all, the MC remains the main character, and all her own characters actually ENHANCE what we already know and love about him. Consider also F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby". It's narrated through the eyes of Nick Carraway, and yet the novel's main character is Jay Gatsby. So, as you see, just because you have an OC doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Thanks, though, to young authors not realizing that just because we all have escapist tendencies and tend to imagine our own characters into our beloved fandoms, doesn't mean they're automatically good. Bear this is mind and you should be fine.
3. OOC is NOT excusable. This is another one that should really be obvious enough that it doesn't have to appear here, but sadly, I must mention it. Tied somewhat into the one below, this is one of the most egregious offenses fanfic authors tend to make. Fanfiction is your own creation, and as such, you are entitled to be as creative as you like, but you DO have boundaries. You are dealing with preexisting characters, who have set personalities that WON'T change just to fit your plot. Someone ELSE thought them up, gave them names and faces and quirks, and by destroying the canon you not only impinge upon someone else's copyright, but you actually create something that is no longer canon. At that point, you might as well be writing OCs, because that's what they are. Imagine if you are an athletic, tenacious, vibrant kind of person, and someone wrote a story about YOU where you where you were suddenly an angsty, wrist-cutting emo bookworm who wrote poetry in blood. Wouldn't you be offended? You wouldn't even be the same person. Even minor differences can be noticeable, and leave a sour taste in the mouths of all who read OOC fics. Be smart, and just don't do it. If you don't understand a character, get with a fellow fan and brainstorm! Come up with a description of their personality and how they'd likely react to any given situation. But please, whatever you do, don't change their personalities just so you can squeeze two particularly cute characters together, or facilitate the plot.
4. Crackfic doesn't equal humor. How many times have you seen a story labeled under the "comedy" tag and, spurred on by an interesting tagline, clicked on it- only to discover its some kind of spastic sugar-induced hodgepodge of pants, cheese, and people running around screaming nonsensical things at the top of their lungs? This is the sad result of many preteens translating inside jokes with their friends into ficcage form. I remember, back from my day of being 11 or 12, that things like penguins and llamas were fucking HILARIOUS. The more random and "WTF", the better. And then I hit 13, and realized that no, it's really just retarded. I don't want to read a fanfiction that reads like a Three Stooges' skit on caffeine, it's boring and pointless. This is one of the sad truths of the world: real comedy is HARD. God knows I can't do it for the life of me, but hey, some people can. If you want to write something lighthearted and fun, try for situational irony. You know, where a character ends up in a situation they didn't expect? That can often lead to laughs. Another good one is sarcasm and witty dialogue, although this is a double-edged blade: a few snippish comments can be amusing, but it gets old FAST. It's up to your own skill, I suppose, but crackfic is NOT skill. It's laziness.
5. Concrit is your FRIEND. And so are betas. If someone takes the time out of their busy schedule to tell you that your fic would be infinitely better if you just paid more attention to grammar, or if the angst was turned down a touch, or if maybe your OC didn't get in trouble and need rescuing EVERY other paragraph, then it's in your best interest to listen. It's not a personal attack, and the reviewer (generally) doesn't mean it to say that your story is bad. Indeed, if I come across a story I really think is bad, I don't bother to review, because I'd have to finish it to do so. If I offer you concrit, it implies that I think your story has merit that isn't living up to its full potential, and with a bit of tweaking can be something really great. That's the mindset of most concritters, rare as they are, and so if you receive some, be proud. And fix your work.
The bottom line is, keep the audience in mind. By all means have fun while writing it, but if you genuinely want people to read something you wrote, write something others will ENJOY. People read fanfiction to indulge in a series and characters they can't get enough out of from just the canon, and most don't want to see OCs, or their favorite chars being butchered into something unrecognizable. Major and numerous spelling errors are a headache, and so easy to avoid that they're unexcusable. And don't be afraid to try and bring something new to the mix! And if in doubt, call in a beta. These things are AMAZING. With just a little bit of extra work and a lot of imagination, you too can be ficcing your way into fame. :D
Okay, I'm done. No, really.
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