In what little spare time I have, I enjoy reading fanfiction. If motivated, I may write a review of said fanfiction. If I do not, it doesn't mean I disliked the fanfiction I read. It probably means I was off to my busy life. If I do write a review and it is not what you were expecting, I give you the following advice. I am not writing the review to be your friend. I am writing the review to merely state what I see. Like all advice, you may take it or you may not. Think of my reviews as free service beta...
There are some things that I wish I saw more in fanfiction or things that disturb me (update - I am beginning to wonder should I point out the lovely people who emailed me to make my profile even better. Nah. I give them too much attention as it is).
1. Pairing alert at the beginning of the story - in the first chapter. I hate and despise reading a good story that all of a sudden throws in a pairing I hate in chapter 10. This is very common in het fanfiction (especially those awful H/G writers) who assume that everyone must love their pairing. I refuse to read any story that has a pairing I hate in it, no matter how decent it may be. (update - I would not post those harsh reviews to those Harry/Ginny fans if they would just put the stupid pairing at the beginning. I get very cranky when I waste my time.)
2. More imagination and less strictly by the book or film stories and critics. If I wanted to read the book or watch the film, I would do so. Fanfiction is to encourage the writer, not to violate the original author's talent and the laws.
3. Less people ashamed / embarassed / or confused on writing slash. It's quite simple, really. It's still two people falling in love, except their names are Steve and Dan, instead of Steve and Fran. Some of the best slash stories I've read are the characters being themselves and the most they ever do is kiss or give each other "that look". The hottest, most sexy story I read was one that the writer used the power of suggestion for all intimate scenes.
4. A serious lack of fun in some of the fandoms. In the HP fandom there is so much angst that it makes every day a bad day. JKR has already said that probably no one will survive the 7th book, so why not have fun? (side note - the book was so screwy that I wished no one did survive) Write that after the war story, where Draco Malfoy becomes the ultimate drag queen in the Muggle world. Write that story where HP becomes the new Dark Lord and fashionista and demands that everyone wear pink on Fridays. Write that story where Lucius Malfoy's cane comes alive and whips him for beating people on the heads. Write that story where Snape becomes the new Headmaster and is forced to wear outrageous robes a la Dumbledore. Have fun with the characters, because in few years the fandom will be over and all the characters will be dead in the JKR book (or living love potion Happy Wesley Family lives).
5. A serious lack of no romance/pairing in stories. Sometimes a good story is ruined by a romance. Why can't Harry go out and save the world without having some insipid female by his side? Or for that matter, some insipid male by his side? Please. For the ones that whine "It's all fighting without romance. Boring!" No - good stories show Harry growing into his own - with and without his friends. I like the promise of GoF - because it showed Harry maturing from this wizarding stuff is all cool little boy to Oh!Shit! people die due to magic and bad things happen man. Sadly JKR did not continue this trend which would have continued growth... Growth brings drama and tension.
6. The Mary Sue aka OC. I don't mind Mary Sue if she is wrote well. If she is not the focal point of the story. If the writer actually gives her a personality that we don't have to love and adore. Otherwise...may the Mary Sue or Marty Stu go down in flames not to be reborn.
7. The "Praise Me Only" Writer. I will never ever tell another person that they should not be writing. I firmly believe in the freedom of expression, which includes writing. However, if I make a comment on your story, do not expect me to sugar coat my words and praise you to heaven. I write exactly what I see for every story I comment on. If you don't like what I wrote, then here are my words of advice, "Grow a thicker skin, if you want to keep writing." Not everyone will love what you write. Not everyone will comment on every story you write. Get over it and don't whine about how if they don't like your story then they shouldn't read it or comment on it. It's not a popularity game, people.
8. The HP "We British Fans Are Better" Attitude. If I see one more person, who more or less, has suggested that JKR had to "dumb down" the American versions of HP for the American fans, I will not be held responsible for my words. Especially, if this is in their comment section of their story that was full of spelling mistakes, improper use of grammar, and other strikes against the English language that would make any English teacher cringe. Do not generalize. Do not assume. Most of all, do not call the kettle black, when you are a black pot.
9. Smart Cunning Hedwig. I have seen Hedwig be super intelligent, dance with Harry and be smarter than the average owl. Who could not want such a Hedwig in their story! I want more of this cliche. The only thing better could be a Hedwig that shot laser beams out of her eyes. Oh wait. I did read that one! This is one Mary Owl I could get behind. (side note - may JKR suffer the flames of PETA for her destruction of poor Hedwig in the book-that-must-not-be-named!)
Likes: Harry/Draco. Harry/Luna. Super! Harry stories. Sneaky! Dumbledore. Fun parody stories. Misunderstood! Voldie. Snarky, but with a heart! Snape. Snarky, loving no one but Harry! Draco. Unexpected twists in stories. Writers with imagination. Writers that go outside the norm. Writers that bring a sense of realism to the stories a la An Aunt's Love. Interesting Harry/Hermione.
Dislikes: Harry/Ginny. Die hard shippers that critize anyone for not liking their pairing. Writers that have tantrums that any 3 year old would envy because you dare not like their story and then comment on it. Writers that must comment on every single flamer and sound more like a child than the flamer. Harry/Ginny shippers that wait until chapter 10, 30 or whatever to put the pairing in the story, therefore wasting my precious time that I could have spent elsewhere. Harry/Ginny shippers that whine "It's canon." - sorry, sweetie, but most people think that Ginny slipped Harry a love potion, because she wasn't getting Harry any other way. Fanfic writers who refuse to put a ship, because they write plots, not ships - Cry me a river, because they have the stupidity to think they are JKR. Oh, yes...let's not forget the whiny H/G shippers who get their equally silly & whiny friends to post me messages about how "evil" I am because I asked them to post a pairing. Then they block me from answering back because they can not stand for anyone not subscribing to their viewpoint.
Abuse and Harry Potter: Say what you wish, but Harry was abused child in the book. He suffered emotional, mental and at times physical abuse. He does not know the meaning of trusting adults to do right by him. He does not know love. He does not know what normal children have. Having said that, how can anyone think that Harry is a spoilt brat? It is true that he runs amock through Hogwarts, but let's discuss the real reasons. Harry tried so hard in Hogwarts to go to adults, desperate to have them believe him and see that the Wizarding World was not like the Muggle World. He got shot down every time. 1st year, he got shot down and then went to save the day (well, really pass the Headmaster's test). 2nd year, well, why should he admit to hearing voices in his head? The school treats him like an outcast with the teachers all looking the other way. Their answer to the situation is look the over way, while Harry once again passes the Headmaster's test. 3rd year. it was even approved by Dumbledore to send them on that little adventure. And on it goes. Honestly, I would have pulled my child away from Hogwarts a long time before. The teachers are useless and allow other students to do what they want. Draco should have had detention for his little badge stunt, alone. Then along comes Dumbledore and awards Harry for being all "save the day/passed my test". So, please tell me how Harry is at fault because his teachers and Headmaster does a piss poor job. The only thing that I've had against Harry and when it comes to pensieves. If they are not his and he does not have permission, then he should not look in them. However, most of the adults failed Harry that year in one way or another, did they not? Even the smallest bit of info would have helped, but oh no. Not according to Dumbledore. Greater good, indeed. As for those spanking fics, well...each to their own. However, I have yet to see any good happen when you spank an abused child, who already distrusts adults. Anyway, it's so far AU that you would have to change the complete story line for it to be good. After all, every adult in HP let Harry down, one way or another. Most of them because they want with what was easy instead of what was right. As for those who wonder why I kept saying Headmaster's Test. Well, do you really believe that Dumbledore didn't know what was going on at Hogwarts at all times? Especially after reading the 7th book? And knowing the propehcy? Honestly, if Hogwarts is so great, then I fear for the Wizarding World as a whole.
Why I despise the character Ginny in almost every shape and form: She's a fangirl. She doesn't give a hoot for Harry Potter. She's all over the "Boy Who Lived". Face it, this girl grew up on stories that "The Boy Who Lived" did and all that junk. Also, she's a rude little brat. This girl knew that her family was poor, but did she say "Thanks" for that stupid diary? Oh, no. She took it as her due. Then she whined in the stupid diary about her poor pitiful life, and when it answered her back she just carried on. Girl grew up in the wizarding world and never had a clue about a diary that answered back wasn't a good thing? Please. She can't fight in a battle worth a damn. Only "Loony" Luna was still standing towards the end and didn't wind up injured. Also, did anyone else catch the clue train and notice that Ginny calls her "friend" Loony Lovegood? Some friend. Let's also not forget about the lovely Phelgm deal. Hints of being prejudice, anyone? Ginny really has nothing in common with Harry. She has parents, hasn't seen anyone close to her die, and truly does not have a clue about Harry's life before & after the wizarding world. She doesn't know about neglect, poor treatment, slander, and all the other things that come along with the Dursleys & fame. She is not Lily2. Lily had auburn hair - not red. Also, Lily was intelligent, kind, and hated vicious prejudiced pranks. None of this is Ginny. Also, that whole possession thing - did Ginny remember anything about being possessed? No. So, how can she even assume to know what Harry went through? All the stupid bint remembered was waking up in odd places. Which really makes her even more stupid = because she never went to someone and told them something odd was going on. Then, let us not forget HBP where JKR made Ginny her Mary Sue! and a poorly written one at that. Also, the way Harry was acting sounds more like he was under a love potion (which many agree) than being in "love." Then all the smacking and yelling she did to Harry makes her more like Mrs. Weasley and honestly who wants to marry that hag? Also, violence is not a great way to start a relationship. Alas, poor stupid Ginny couldn't get a clue why Harry was annoyed & mad in the 5th book. Between Dumbledore ignoring him, Voldie possessing him almost all the book, Snape giving piss poor lessons on "clear your mind", and no one telling him anything about his life - no wonder Harry wasn't all sweetness & light. So, yes, I do despise Ginny. I despise all whiny, immature, stupid, rude, pissy little brats. The rude & immature H/G shippers just add to the icing. After all, he only dated Ginny in the 6th book. Hell, he dated Cho in the 5th book. Doesn't mean he will marry either of the stupid bints. The way it's going - he'll probably be dating Hermione and Luna in the 7th, along with the rest of Hogwarts. Then it will all be "canon".
- update to the updated rant: Yes, I know he married the stupid bratty bint. Well, I still say love potion to anyone and everyone. Example, people in love do not check their magical maps on their beloved in such an obsessive way that it's creepy. Maybe a little less love potion would have ended the camping trip from bordom Hell. JKR really needed to stop reading fanfiction before she wrote the 7th book. Super magical items? check. Boring part to add to the "suspense" that makes you want to quit reading? check. Dumbledore responsible for killing thousands of muggleborn and halfbloods (for the Greater Good, of course - shades of Hitler)? check. War? What war? check. Stupid ending? check. Harry even more stupid than the previous book? check. Ron even more an idiot, braggat, and egotistical brat? check. Hermione apparently dosed with love potion? check. All we lacked was the stupid Mary Sue to come save the day...
Honestly, I think JKR needs to seek serious help for her mental issues. Hermione marries Ron? The guy who thinks so very little of her in each and every book? Suprised that 19 years later we didn't see Hermione with the classic black eye. Harry names his kid Albus Severus? One who manipulated and brainwashed him like cults do. KoolAid anyone? The other who did nothing but cause him grief? Sheez, no wonder Harry was content to remain under the love potion that Ginny gave him - if he faced facts, he would be doing bad things to certain graves and bones and seriously doing some major butt kicking when it came to his so called friends. Oh, and did I forget make the scheming, power hungry, idiotic, crazed geezer that should have died in the first book - gay! Yes! I can see that rainbow flag burning now.
Great message for our young adults, JKR. Smart girls should marry guys who will do nothing but belittle them. Act like a stupid two bit whore and you too will get the guy of your dreams. Join a cult for the greater good, it's fun! Above all, be a great writer on your first 4 books, so you can shovel out crap and people will still be stupid enough to buy it.
JKR - do the world (and your kids) a favor - seek medical help for your mental issues. Relationships should not be abusive or degrading. Also, don't drink the Kool-Aid. Seriously...
Update to the above: I am sure that JKR really cares less what I write about her. I am sure she is blissfully happy with her life and her money that she was paid too much for. Yes, I believe too much - like I believe athletes and actors and all those other "famous" people get paid too much. Teachers, firefighters, police, and nurses should all be over paid. Anyway - I don't write JKR hate letters. I could really care less what she does in her life. I am still not sure if she needs help or if she needs to plan what she is going to say in interviews better. And for those who didn't get the Kool-Aid reference - look it up. It does mirror the Wizarding World in ways. Potions and spells to put you under control and spells to wipe your mind. Lovely, hmm?
I have over 600 stories on story alert and very few in my C2 archive. If a story made it to my C2 archive, then there was something really different about it. I'm pretty picky about what goes in my C2 archive.
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