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“Fanfiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker. They don't do it for money. That's not what it's about. The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They're fans, but they're not silent, couchbound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language.”
First off, reviews:
If you’re gonna review a story, review the story. The word ‘review’ has a definition, and it’s not “Tell the author to update quicker just ‘cause you’re impatient”. I admit I’m one of those readers that likes to read the comments of other readers, sometimes to see if the story is good. And a lot of the time, what I see is flat out negative comments or demands for an update. I’ve seen reviews that were basically this, “UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE…” over and over again. That’s not a review, that’s annoying. A review is supposed to be your criticism of the story, positive or negative.
Example of positive criticism: “I love your writing style and your grammar is good. Although I’m not a fan of cliffhangers, that was a very clever one”.
Example of negative criticism: “Your grammar needs a little work and I’d advise that you check the spelling of names for the next chapter. Some of the names were almost unrecognizable. Good structure but leave out the POVs. If you write the characters well enough, your reader should be able to understand whose perspective you’re writing from”.
Example of an all-around negative comment: “Your story sucks d***. Go back to elementary school and learn how to write, you retard”.
Example of a demand/unnecessary request: “Update already!” “Update” “Where’s the next chapter?”.
Next, crack pairings:
I know people love these, I understand. But sometimes you guys have to come out of your own circle and realize it’s a little much. I saw “Rise of the Guardians” the day it came out. A few days later, I decided to see what my fellow fanfictioners wrote on it. I was bombarded by ‘Jack Frost/Bunnymund’s and ‘Jack Frost/Pitch’s. Like seriously, if you look under RotG, they’ve practically taken over. What I’d like to know, is how in the world did all these people all of a sudden decided these two pairings were the most likely. I get if they dominant the ‘M’ category, but the ‘K-T’ categories too? Just no! Crack pairings should be that, crack. Not top or canon pairings.
Third, similar plots with barely any difference:
My example, since I feel like I should start with that, will be in the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” universe. If you like to read from there, you have to had seen a least one ‘Chaos Story’, where Percy gets betrayed and joins Chaos and become badass or emo, sometimes both. They almost all start the same, with Percy getting betrayed in the most stupid of ways.
The most popular one is when Annabeth for some reason leaves or cheats on Percy. If you haven’t noticed, it’s hard to become close with Annabeth. She cherishes family and has problems with trusting new people because of her childhood. Even worst when you have her leave him for someone who makes no sense, like one of the Stoll Brothers.
The second popular one is Percy gets a new brother/sister out of nowhere and they start to get all the attention in like seconds like they have a spell on them or something. First off, for Percy to be discovered as the son of Poseidon at twelve, but this new (always the same age) sibling doesn’t get discovered until they show up, that’s unreasonable. If it’s a little sibling under ten years old, okay. But then they shouldn’t be able to get that attention, unless it’s from girls for their cuteness. Second, it took a while for Percy to become well loved by Camp Half-Blood. Even after saving the world in the first book, they still complained about him getting a quest in the second one. He starts to get really trusted in, in the third book. So a Mary-Sue/Gary-Stew sibling is just annoying.
The third concept, the gods turn on Percy. They never give a good reason, they just do.
Last the Chaos thing. Chaos is a void really when it comes to the Greek Mythology world. So why is Chaos always depicted as a humanoid form, usually a man? And if Chaos is so powerful, why does he need a champion??
Think of something original, people. It’s always the same with barely any difference. You can still have the Percy gets betrayed a becomes the champion of a powerful but weakening being, but make the betrayal believable. Don’t have people just all of a sudden betray him, and especially not because of a new sibling or a new camper. And don’t use Chaos. Just don’t. Think up your own mythical being. And don’t make Percy evil without good reasoning.
My point is, if you see an idea that you like, don’t copy the concept. At least not completely. Give it your own spin, add your own ideas. Then it’ll just be another version of what you copied from, nothing new.
There are exceptions to this. If English – or the language your writing in – is you second language, you have some leeway. Spelling should NEVER be a problem. Even if you didn’t write your story on a program that fixes your spelling, Fanfiction allows you to look at your work before you update, and it have a spellcheck. So check your spelling. Grammar can be a little tricky, but a quick proofread should eliminate the worst of it. Little mistakes that you miss is nothing, but if the story is almost completely illegible, you didn’t even try.
I think that’s it…for now.
If I find more irritating things as I read on, I’ll bring them up.
~ Jolly Writer 2.0
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"Alex On The Spot" from the Madagascar Soundtrack
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"Almost Lover" by A Fine Frenzy
"Gravity" by Sara Bareilles
"So Close" by Jon McLaughlin
"If I Die Young" by The Band Perry
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