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What do you dislike in a fan fiction?


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#1 SheWolf

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:01 AM

I'm pretty picky when it comes to fan fiction. If any contain any of these I won't even read it.

1. Character being OOC
2. Horrible grammar/spelling
3. Misspelling of character name
4. For the most part, any OC's- esp. making a character pairing with one (stupid IMO)
5. Pointless and/or crappy sex scene
6. Overly fluffy/romantic- I like substance
7. AU

Yeah, super picky like I said. Now your turn! :P
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#2 Cinnamon Ninja

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 12:41 PM

Pretty much everything you said except the last two. :D

-I cannot STAND when people spell the names of characters in their OWN FANDOM incorrectly. I mean, it just makes you think "Damn, why are you even here?" :blink:

-Most OC's I am not a fan of. I pretty much avoid any fic labelled "OC" like the plague. The are rare exceptions, though. I read one good one where Eustace Strytch was paired with a male OC, for example.

-Characters being OOC - I especially hate it when authors superimpose their own hobbies onto canon characters. Like, I read a fic once that had Jimmy, Sheen and Carl (AND AN OC WHICH I DID NOT LIKE) setting up a metal band. The dude who wrote it wasn't a bad writer, but it was just so very OOC (IMO) that I couldn't take it seriously. I mean, Carl? Listening to Metallica?

I'm sure I can think of more later, but these are the immediate ones that spring to mind. :)

EDIT: Ooh, I just remembered. I hate, hate, HATE when people use the word 'orbs' to describe eyes. (e.g. "He looked into her emerald orbs") It is my least favourite description for anyone to use in any piece of writing ever. :angrymob: I don't know why. It's just...AWFUL. It NEVER works. I wish people would just stop using it. :grr:
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#3 RocksmySocks

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 01:41 PM

BAD WRITING

I am extremely picky about what fanfiction I read. I really can't stand poor writing. It goes beyond just grammar and spelling. Someone might be able to create a grammatically correct sentence with all the words spelled right, but it still doesn't make it a GOOD sentence.

If the fanfic doesn't grab me within the first few paragraphs, I don't bother reading onwards, unless someone has recommended it to me and promised that it gets better as it goes or something.

I want to be entertained when I read fanfiction. I want to feel like I'm getting to see more of the characters and the world I love from canon. When the writing is boring or the plot is generic, that isn't entertaining.

I also dislike characters not acting like themselves - unless it's for a good reason. OOCness drives me crazy, unless the author presents a viable reason for the character to be acting different.

Generally, I prefer reading fanfiction that is written by people who actually write original work in addition to fanfiction. Not that they post original work, but the fact that they write it (especially if they're in some sort of writing group or club) shows that they have the ability to come up with new and interesting ideas. And that bleeds into their fanfiction. Which makes me happy.

Another thing I dislike in fanfiction - sexual stuff being included when it is obvious the author is only writing so that they can include it.

I do not mind "M" rated fics if they're of a pairing I agree with, and is of age, etc, AS LONG AS IT IS NOT THE FOCUS OF THE STORY. If there is an "M" rated section of a fanfic, it HAS to flow with the story, it CAN'T happen every other page, and it CAN'T be why the author is writing. If they're writing just to have an excuse to think about certain characters getting it on, then chances are the plot of their fanfic isn't going to be well thought out and will be extremely disappointing to read. Sex isn't a "plot". Ugh. When sex is trying to be the plot, that's usually called "porn", people. HOWEVER, "M" rated stuff can be used to drive a plot or a subplot. If it is done tastefully and not done too often (and it doesn't sound like I'm reading a script to a porno), I will read a fanfic rated "M". But only in certain fandoms. I never read stuff involving or even IMPLYING "M" things for my fandoms that revolve around kids - ie, JN, Avatar, several of my elementary school animes, etc...even if the author has "aged them up". :rolleyes: I just think it's creepy to imagine the children you watch on TV hooking up like that.

Another thing, on a similar note - switching people's canon love interests. In other words, non-canon pairings.

I'm somewhat lax with an author pairing up two characters who didn't have ANY canon pairing, because they're kind of a blank slate where romance in concerned. But I really dislike stories that try to force two characters together that weren't interested in each other in the book/show/movie/etc. Because that is naturally going to be OOC for them. And as I mentioned earlier, I don't like that.

Finally, I don't like fanfics where it is clear the author has absolutely no idea where the story is going. Not that every fanfic needs to have a thorough outline from the beginning, but authors should at least have some sense right from the get go of where they're taking this plot, and what the major events are. That will allow them to drop in clues, and create relevant side plots as they go. Much more enjoyable that way.
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#4 Urvy

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 02:57 PM

The Betty-bashing

The overload of J/C fluff, another reason why I hate J/C
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#5 SweeneyxxTodd

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:01 PM

Bad writing. Just like Katie said. Having good spelling and grammar does not mean a fanfic is good.

This isn't that big a deal, but it kind of annoys me when people rate a slash fic as M simply because it's slash. I've read a couple slash fics that are barely T material, but because they're slash, people rate them M. It's annoying because there are plenty of people that like slash that don't want to have to sift through a bunch of super graphic M fics to find good slash (like me, for example).

Also, I love non-canon pairings, but I can't stand when an author write a fic for a non-canon pairing and doesn't give any back story. If the characters were obviously not going in that direction in the show/book/whatever, you have to have a plausible reason for why they're in a relationship. That only goes for fics with established relationships, though. Obviously if the fic is about how they get together, than it was explained.

Another thing: I don't like when romance is the main plot. Unless it's a oneshot, please pair the romance with something else, such as comedy or angst or adventure. And then make the romance either equally as important as the other genre, or less important. That's how it should be done.

I also don't like pointless sex scenes. If you want to put them in your fic, fine. As long as the characters aren't like, twelve or something, and it's consensual (unless the plot of the story is rape, in which case you better give a damn good reason why Character A is raping Character B) I don't mind too much. But if they're there and nothing is done with them...just no. Don't write sex for the sake of writing sex. And another thing, I don't mind if the characters in question are aged up versions of the originals, as long as the rule of purpose is followed. Also, try not to be graphic or scientific with it. You really don't need to write every single detail of what they do when they're in bed. And anyway, as a rule of thumb, sex scenes are better and more effective if they happen off-screen.

Also, and this is a big one for me, not doing research. I know some people are like "Dude, it's just fanfiction." It doesn't matter. If you're going to write a fanfic where a character is diagnosed with a deadly disease, go freaking research that disease! Don't just make up symptoms or over/under-estimate the amount of time a person has to live. If you're going to write a fanfic that involves a trial in court, research the goshdarn crime and see what sentences are assigned to guilty verdicts. This really ticks me off because one time I read a fanfic where Cindy was raped by a teacher. It was revealed sometime during the course of this fic that the teacher had also raped several girls at his old school. But when he was undergoing trial, he was only charged with one count of rape--Cindy's--and that was the only thing he was found guilty of. At the end of the story, this teacher was sentenced to seventeen years in prison. You don't go to prison for seventeen years on one count of rape. It just doesn't happen. The maximum sentence for one count of rape without any weapons at all (which is how it happened in this fic. No weapons.) is five years. What. The hell. You can't include a court case if you don't know what the eff you're talking about.

And I don't know how many of you have read my currently-on-hiatus fanfic In the Eye of the Beholder, but when I decided that Libby's mother was going to be sick and was going to die, I spent three weeks researching chronic autoimmune diseases until I found one that had symptoms that were easy to write about and had the possibility of creating other, more deadly, diseases and situations. And then I spent another three weeks researching the disease I chose and the things it can cause before I started writing the chapter. That's how you do things. And if you don't want to do it that way because "it's just fanfiction," at least spend five minutes looking it up on Wikipedia. That's better than nothing.
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#6 Sanjana R

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:51 PM

1. Any story where the characters are completely OOC.
2. In a fandom like JN, I can't stand porno or mature content. I mean, it's really disturbing to imagine two innocent preteens getting it on in their high school years when both are academically driven and busy people. I hardly think it's in character for JN to be mooning over Cindy's beauty all the time when he sees her first as an intellectual rival.
3. I agree with the orbs thing. I MEAN, please people! Enough with the blue orbs or green orbs in a J/C story! It's actually a very strange word, and kind of ruins the romantic feel in my opinion, if that's what you're trying to create.
4. People making Sheen and Libby this promiscuous mature couple. That's just weird. It's like, you realize it's OOC for J and C to get it on in high school, but let's get SL to do things together every chance we get!
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#7 Urvy

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 07:37 PM

What about vilifying other characters just to support J/C?
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#8 SheWolf

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 07:47 PM

I agree with pretty much everything said here. I didn't mention bad writing because I thought that was a given. About the AU thing, I like it in the right way. If it's too unbelieveable where it feels like I might as well be reading a fanfic about anything and where the characters of a certain fandom are just thrown in there, I don't like it. There has to be some sort of reversion back to canon if someone is doing AU-does that even make sense? Also, I don't like crossovers.

4. People making Sheen and Libby this promiscuous mature couple. That's just weird. It's like, you realize it's OOC for J and C to get it on in high school, but let's get SL to do things together every chance we get!


Seriously, seems like they're purposefully making them sluts because their minorities or something. J/K LOL
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#9 SheWolf

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 07:50 PM

What about vilifying other characters just to support J/C?

Like Betty? I'm not a huge J/C fan so I don't really read those fics.
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#10 RocksmySocks

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 07:55 PM

What about vilifying other characters just to support J/C?



How about "vilifying characters just to support the pairing someone favors"? That's what I dislike. That would include vilifying characters to support JC. It also includes vilifying characters to support other pairings, too, from all sorts of fandoms.
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#11 Urvy

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 08:09 PM

Like Cupcakes, Rainbow Factory and Rarity's New Dress much?
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#12 JimmyxxCindy4EVER

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:33 PM

Things that'll turn me off BIG TIME in a fanfic(for me, mostly JN, but I'm open to others, too :)) are:

1. When it's too graphic with violence/porno/etc... . I mean, come ON, people!! I can take some mild violence/action as much as the next girl, but when it includes stuff like blatant nudity, extreme blood loss, limb-chopping, mauling characters with daggers/swords/etc, you get the idea, I just get those images in my head and I get- Ugh... I can't even put it in words; it's so horrible...

2. OOCness in characters! I mean, it's one thing if a character goes OOC with a good explanation from the author/authoress, but just putting them that way cuz the writer can, that's wrong! For example, if Cindy were to suddenly fawn over Jimmy, spy on him unnoticed, follow him everywhere, there has to be a good reason, because that's not her nature. The writer would have to include a darn good explanation as to why she's acting so weird, such as that she's accidentally under the influence of the love potion, for example...

3. Pointless filler chapters...ugh... The writer actually has to be GOING somewhere with each chapter, not just writing whatever random junk that happens to be floating through his/her mind at the time, just cuz they feel like it. That really irks me to no end!

4. Ditto to what Mary said about research! If, for example, a character contracts a new, made-up disease from a planet the author(ess) made up, that's one thing. But to just say they contracted...polio, for instance...they need to research it and learn what the symptoms of polio are, not just make up random symptoms and say they go with the disease when they really don't! They need to do some serious investigation on that if that was what they were writing about. Jeez, some people these days!

5. Bashing a character when the character doesn't deserve it...AUGH!!! That's also putting a character OOC at times! For example, don't say Cindy is a heartless, cold-blooded killer, because she isn't! Sure, she has her spats with Jimmy and gets jealous when Betty's around and he's going ga-ga over her, but she's not actually harming him physically; just getting under his skin a bit... I just hate it when people bash a character either for no reason or just cuz they don't like him/her or they don't like a certain pairing that character is canonically put in... Have a heart, people! Make the fic sound realistic, for crying out loud!!

'Nuff said.

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#13 RocksmySocks

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:34 PM

Like Cupcakes, Rainbow Factory and Rarity's New Dress much?


Haven't heard of two of those. :P

But I think you can guess whether or not I'd read them. If they're as OOC as Cupcakes, you know I won't like them. I think my first post declaring what I don't like in fanfiction more than covers some of the more disturbing stuff for MLP.

In fact, I read very few MLP fanfics. But my favorite MLP fanfic right now is It Takes a Village. :thumbsup:
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#14 Urvy

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:40 PM

Things that'll turn me off BIG TIME in a fanfic(for me, mostly JN, but I'm open to others, too :)) are:
1. When it's too graphic with violence/porno/etc... . I mean, come ON, people!! I can take some mild violence/action as much as the next girl, but when it includes stuff like blatant nudity, extreme blood loss, limb-chopping, mauling characters with daggers/swords/etc, you get the idea, I just get those images in my head and I get- Ugh... I can't even put it in words; it's so horrible...
'Nuff said.

If you think that's bad in JN fanfics, try playing Mortal Kombat on any system, those Fatalities are more gorier than a gory JN Fic.
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#15 Mara=^.^=

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:53 PM

Oh boy. I can't stand the "orbs" thing either. The English language definitely needs to come up with some more synonyms for "eyes".

Anyway, in addition to shitty writing, here are some of my Fanfiction deal-breakers:
1) Crossovers. I hate them. Even when the bridge between series is justified through believable plot elements, there's just something about the whole concept that really irks me. The only exception I can think of is where you take the cast of one show and put them in the world of another, but in a different time period and without any contact between the two original casts. An example would be kumorininja's idea for JN in the avatarverse, which I briefly summarized here: [link]

2) What I like to affectionately call "emo stories". I'm sure you've all come across these in your reading experiences: fics that are as intentionally gloomy and depressing as possible, with no redemption in sight and no solution for the main conflict(s) of the story. Bonus points if the story ends in a single or double suicide. :facepalm:

3) I can't stand fanfics that kill off one member of an established couple so that the author can pair the remaining person with some other character. For the most part I don't like non-canon pairings between main characters anyway, though I don't mind when writers mix and match background characters. I think this ties into the whole OOC-thing everyone else has been talking about... good fan fiction is a continuation of and expansion on a series, not a radical departure from it. If you really want to tell a story that different, just write something original. <_<

4) I have no problem with mature content, even with teen fandoms (honestly - did you ever take a look around at the dirty stuff going on in your high school? That's life, people). However, it has to be handled with a lot of care, which is something most fan fiction writers are seemingly incapable of doing. I have no problem with well-written and plot-relevant "mature scenes", but the writing focus needs to be on the emotional and the experiential, not on the mechanical (i.e. what the characters are feeling and thinking, not what they're doing). As soon as you start giving me descriptions about "his throbbing manhood", you've turned your fic into unimaginative porn, and I'm no longer interested.

5) Song-fics. Sorry to people who like these, but I find it immensely unoriginal when an author just copies and pastes lyrics from some song and then "elaborates" to show how it fits a certain couple. If you really think that a piece of music represents certain characters from a TV show, make a music video about it. Jeez.

6) OCs who either a) overshadow all the cast members from the original show, or b ) are introduced with the sole purpose of being paired with the main character. I have no problem with OCs who are in a relationship with a more minor character, especially when that character does not have a pre-existing canon love interest.

For the most part I actually don't like reading fanfiction, because you have to wade through so much crap before you find anything decent. :wacko:

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#16 Mara=^.^=

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:59 PM

If you think that's bad in JN fanfics, try playing Mortal Kombat on any system, those Fatalities are more gorier than a gory JN Fic.

LOL, I love Mortal Kombat >.< I actually made the TOSOT cast on MK: Armageddon (which has a build your own character feature). It's fun to make Aurora literally rip people's heads off :thumbsup: . My brother and I used to compete to see who could come up with the longest and most disturbing fatalities :xmasjoy: . Yup, good times...

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#17 Sanjana R

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:02 PM

Oh, and another thing that bothers me, that I'm guilty of myself, is the fact that this is a show about science. Therefore, it should have science references especially when it comes to Jimmy.
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#18 SheWolf

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:30 PM

For the most part I actually don't like reading fanfiction, because you have to wade through so much crap before you find anything decent. :wacko:

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THIS x 100! Especially when there are not many stories to choose from, so half are bound to be shitty.
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#19 Cinnamon Ninja

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:44 PM

THIS x 100! Especially when there are not many stories to choose from, so half are bound to be shitty.

YES

ITS SO ANNOYING

GAHHH
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#20 JimmyxxCindy4EVER

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 11:04 PM

There's also one in the JN section of FF.net called "Please Wake Up", supposedly about Cindy being in a coma of some sort, and there are 36 flippin' chapters, but it's STILL not complete(aka: doesn't have the word "complete" to the right of it), so I'm all, "So, Cindy STILL hasn't regained consciousness after 36 frickin' CHAPTERS?!! I mean, HOLY HEISENBERG!!! Can ya be a LITTLE more creative than THAT?! I'm not reading a fic where it takes SO flippin' long for Cindy to come out of a coma!! That's WAY too depressing!"
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