Fanfic pet-peeves
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  1. #1
    Avatar by Ayumeg Roses Ablaze's Avatar
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    Default Fanfic pet-peeves

    What ones do you have? Me:

    ~Obvious character bashing.
    ~OOCness. And yes, you can be OOC without character bashing. It especially annoys me when someone tries to take Lance and turn him all dark and cruel - it is possible to develop a character more than he is in canon without completely contradicting everything we know about him and his personality. (example: we know he's good with battles, has a low tolerance for cruetly to pokemon, and seems to like people; so don't make him a sexual poke-predator who shakes babies on a regular basis. Does he get along with his mother, who maybe wants him to settle down and get married? How is he with flaky teenaged girls and bratty little kids who aren't his fans? Is he ever reckless; would it be unrealistic to do something irrational for fun during periods of dull peace?)
    ~Villains being portrayed as flawless saints. *twitch* They do bad things in canon. Portray them as victims, give them a few redeeming qualities to remind us that they're human, okay, but if you strip them of all cruelty, questionable morals and responsibility for their actions, then why did you decide to write about a villain in the first place?
    ~CrackShippings with unrealistic premises. I don't mind CrackShipping by itself, but it has to be very well written for me to like it.
    ~Original Trainer journeys. I generally read fanfiction to read about my favorite characters, not ones I've never heard of before...
    ~AU stories that have nothing to do with Pokemon, the Pokemon world and are inconsistant with Pokemon characters' pasts, but are cast with Pokemon characters. What's the point? You might as well write straight fiction. I mean, AUs are fine to a point, but when it gets to the point that you might as well invent your own characters who could fill the same roles just as well, then it starts to get on my nerves.
    ~Crossovers. Have yet to run accross a good one.
    ~Bad formatting/ grammer/ spelling, etc.. I think you should have this stuff down pretty well before you start writing fanfiction >_<. If English isn't your first language, then get a beta.
    ~The notion that dark = good. It doesn't.

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  2. #2
    Gym Leader
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    I've got a few pet-peeves... mainly the whole people reading and not replying. but what can ya do about that?

    aside from that, i think the thing which annoys me most is when people take the whole fanfiction thing entirely too seriously. Correct me if i'm wrong, but i wouldn't consider this whole thing of posting fanfiction on a pok&#233;mon forum incredibly professional or anything. i mean, i'd consider it just a fun hobby and everyone just wants to share their ideas, get a little feedback, maybe learn something. i mean, for god sake it's not like we're talking about some major literature prize here... so, yeah, basically, people who are too harsh/strict when it comes to fanfiction. especially people who criticise new writers perhaps a lil too much. relax. seriously. if you wanna be a harsh critic then go judge professional writers.

    and to have a go at writers: writers who don't listen. if you're lucky enough to get someone to read and give you (friendly) constructive criticism, don't ignore it! i don't like it when the writer just says 'thanks for reading blahblah' and doesn't follow any advice. that really puts me off replying...

    that people aren't as friendly as they used to around fanfic boards, they're not as chatty... but that's not so much of a pet-peeve as general disappointment.

    hmmm... i'm sure i've got more, i've just gotta think...

  3. #3
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    LT's Top Ten Most Annoying Fanfiction Pet Peeves:

    10. People who can't spell-Look, I understand if English isn't your native tongue, but it's more annoying when someone with a perfectly good sense of English does it.

    9. People who scrunch up the lines-It's kinda hard to read when everything's all scrunched together.

    8. Making characters OOC for no reason at all-The characters behave as they do for a reason...so don't make them be OOC unless it has a point in your story.

    7. Writers that just tell you that they liked/disliked your work and nothing else-Okay, so you liked/disliked it, but what should I improve/fix?

    6. People that put a song in just because they like the song/artist-If you're going to do a musical adventure, every song has a reason to be in the story, so does this song have any purpose other than just because?

    5. using Pokemon smilies rather than the Pokemon's name-Very tacky, nuff said

    4. Barely writing anything-If your fic is less than a page, you need to expand it, a LOT

    3. Too little/too much description-It's annoying when we don't know what the characters look like, but even more so when I have to wade through three pages of description to get to more story.

    2. Chatspeak-Unless it's for humorous purposes, leave this in the IM, please

    and the #1 Pet Peeve is....

    1. Mary Sues/Gary Stus-Every human being has a flaw, and these perfect characters usually aren't very believeable.
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  4. #4
    Does Team Rocket hire? ImJessieTR's Avatar
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    I have to agree with MistyRocks... I can't stand a silent audience.

    Personally, I would rather people PM reviews. I find it irritating to read "Ch1, review , review, review, Ch2(what happened in Ch1 again?)". Either that, or devote one thread for the fic and one for the review.
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  5. #5
    XXXXXXXXXX Dragon Char's Avatar
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    My main concern is why does everyone write dark fics? I suppose it relates to the last issue that Roses Ablaze brought up. I suppose people just don't like the happy-go-lucky atmosphere that the games and anime bring, so they try to be more "realistic". I must admit I am partially guilty of this myself, but the most I have ever done is make a cave collapse on some random evil person. I mostly just threaten to kill someone. I am not a canon writer, though.

    I am also going to agree with MistyRocks. Back when I wrote my fic, people didn't seem to be able to be satisfied unless you drone on forever about the landscape or some backstory like JRR Tolkien. Length is not what makes a story good, it's the content that's in that length. If you can't keep your readers interested, then you fail from the start. If you can write long compositions and still have it be good, then more power to you. My fic was the most popular one on Serebii for two seasons 3 years ago, but many people were intimidated by its massive length. I had written so many chapters that few were willing to read from the beginning. It was still enjoyed by lots of people, though my main flaw is that I was too predictable. I've been working on that.

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    Registered User 1234567's Avatar
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    I write dark fics because they are fun. ;D I think of it this way, that dark does not always equal bad, but it doesn't equal good either. SL has alot of that (two 'dark/shadow' types, one bad, one...er....both), and..yeah.

    My peeves though?

    1) Short stories. TWO PARAGRAPHS doesn't make a story. At least a page, PLEASE.

    2) Idiot reviewers. The ones that review a fanfiction, making a remark like 'omg this is alot like -name of fanfiction' when in the disclaimers/credits that fact was brought up. :| I have had that happen before. Multiple times.

    3) "They're OOC." Yes, another review peeve. Usually this won't bother me much if the characters are in a time frame close to the one in the canon (such as, ten year old Ash before he gets his licence.), but when it's more then a year or two in the past or future, then no. Show me someone that doesn't change at all from year to year, then we'll talk.

    o.0 that's all for now..besides the OC trainer fics and such...

  7. #7
    Java Girl Barb's Avatar Retired Staff
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    I think most of my pet peeves have been covered already. Like a few other posters, OOC-ness annoys me (although I'm sure I've been guilty of it). It's possible to give a minor character more of a personality in your fic than he/she has in the anime/games/manga, but making them dark and evil when they're good is ridiculous.

    I'd also like to see more realistic villains, instead of the Lex Luthor megalomaniacal versions that I see in some fics. Villains do bad things, often without remorse. This does not mean that they all want to take over the world.

    I suppose that original trainer fics are getting tiresome. I don't mind a good one now and then, but for a while it seemed like that was all anyone was writing: novelizations of the games they'd played. And with OT fics, came the dreaded Mary Sues/Gary Stus. I suppose that these types of characterizations are inevitable when you consider that few fanfic writers have any professional writing experience. Still, there's no excuse for creating a superpowered character that can accomplish anything. That leaves you with no real plot, since we know that your Sue/Stu will always win. Where's the drama?

    As far as descriptions go...somewhere between Tolkienesque pages of backstory on your characters and sentences that convey nothing, there is a nice middle ground in which the reader can visualize the settings and your character(s) interacting. Find this middle ground.

  8. #8
    The Dude Abides
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    Infinite Sceptile's Peeve list of doomyness, in no particular order:
    10. Mechanical Dialogue- I see too many fics where everyone talks the same. I want characters whose words identify them. I want to be able to take a quote from a certain character in that fic, look at it, and go, "That's SUCH-AND-SUCH." The manner of speaking, the vocabulary, the tone of voice, all of these identify character.
    9. Cardboard Cut-Out Supporting Characters- I hate how most of the supporting characters in a large majority of fics are poorly fleshed out. Give them at least a little personality.
    8. "The Chosen One"-This has gotten really old. Dump it, NOW.
    7. Predictability- Some fanfics are too formulaic for their own good. So formulaic that you know how it will end by the time five chapters have been posted. Throw your readers for a curve. Get them startled.
    6. Dull Titles- Quit with the cliches. Have your title mean something. Use a metaphor, if possible.
    5. Everyone Is Pretty- In many fanfics, everyone is beautiful or handsome, the old people are stately and wise, and only villains are ugly. Stop it. Even in the show, not everyone is pretty.
    4. One Dimensional Villains- Please give your villain a personality.
    3. Overuse of Certain Pokemon- Not every trainer has to have a Blaziken, Charizard, or Eevee.
    2. Blatant Concept Theft- NO STEALING!
    1. Bad Spelling and Grammar- I can't stand it. It drives me bonkers, and distracts from the story.
    There ya go. My peeves.
    ~Original Trainer journeys. I generally read fanfiction to read about my favorite characters, not ones I've never heard of before...
    Then you are in the minority. It's utterly dull just to limit yourself to what the anime provides. Plus, realism is in the vogue among cool people, so they want to create realistic characters.
    I like dark fanfiction, but realism=/=dark fanfics.
    There aren't quite so many corpses and psychos in real life.
    People can behave good or bad. There is such a thing as altruism. Dark fanfics say altruism is a lie. Realism should be protraying life as gray. If there is meaning to the universe in your story, it's probably not realistic.
    Let's use a coin to understand the meaning of the three viewpoints.
    Fantasy is heads, Dark is tails, and realism is putting the coin in your pocket, going to the store, and buying an apple.

  9. #9
    Badass office lady Nekusagi's Avatar
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    I have no problem with OT fics, either. In fact, I'm working on one with my friend right now. My whole opinion about OTs is simple: Base the OT on yourself. Give it your flaws, strengths, and weaknesses. This way, assuming you're honest, you should be 100% Mary Sue proof.

    4. One Dimensional Villains- Please give your villain a personality.
    Agreed. I stopped reading TR fics on FF.net mainly because half the fics I read, Giovanni routinely kicked one hundred Skitty, or something like that. I'm sick of evil characters being turned into "ooh, look, he's TEH EVAL!, woot!"

    And my big pet peeve... well, they've all mostly been covered, and I suppose this would fall under "Mary Sues", but overly submissive Rockets/Aquas/Magmas. The ones who don't question ANYTHING, no matter what, or have any emotion. They're people, not robots. This is half the reason I hate Commandshipping (the other reason is for various ickyness about the ship, but that's for another thread.)
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  10. #10
    You know, for kids! A Concerned Solomon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb View Post
    I think most of my pet peeves have been covered already. Like a few other posters, OOC-ness annoys me (although I'm sure I've been guilty of it). It's possible to give a minor character more of a personality in your fic than he/she has in the anime/games/manga, but making them dark and evil when they're good is ridiculous.

    I'd also like to see more realistic villains, instead of the Lex Luthor megalomaniacal versions that I see in some fics. Villains do bad things, often without remorse. This does not mean that they all want to take over the world.

    I suppose that original trainer fics are getting tiresome. I don't mind a good one now and then, but for a while it seemed like that was all anyone was writing: novelizations of the games they'd played. And with OT fics, came the dreaded Mary Sues/Gary Stus. I suppose that these types of characterizations are inevitable when you consider that few fanfic writers have any professional writing experience. Still, there's no excuse for creating a superpowered character that can accomplish anything. That leaves you with no real plot, since we know that your Sue/Stu will always win. Where's the drama?

    As far as descriptions go...somewhere between Tolkienesque pages of backstory on your characters and sentences that convey nothing, there is a nice middle ground in which the reader can visualize the settings and your character(s) interacting. Find this middle ground.
    I think you're being slightlly unfair to Lex Luthor here, but that's neither here nor there. Still, OT fics are a near-disaster by their very structure. The character has to succeed to some extent for a long stretch in order for the story to keep going. Yes, it would be interesting to see a character attempt to deal with his/her limits, and no, we will never see that in the anime, where May wakes up one day and can suddenly take on the big guys with an extremely short learning curve because the storyline seems to demand it. (Insert joke about May's premature curves here. Go on. You want to.)

    Furthermore, no matter how good you write them, it's hard to get readers psyched for a gym battle since the stakes are invariably fairly low and the character, at least at the later stages, should be able to trash said gym leaders if he or she is to be believable as a strong tournament trainer (which presumably is expected). At least in anime and manga we get to see the really cool attacks, but there's little connection with the other character, either. Even in a parody with established, much-hated characters in the role of cannon fodder, I couldn't figure out how to make anyone care. (The alternative was a popular, much-beloved, now-minor character who probably would have ended up as same and gotten me flamed to a crisp.) Kudos to those who can. Further screwing with things is the desire of some people to try and throw the established anime leads into the fic somehow, which is a problem all its own. If you have a more realistic cast, all hell then breaks loose on things as you try to resolve either the mains with the OTs or the "realistic" mains with themselves. It's a bad, bad idea.

    I have had more than enough of legends as well. "Bob Darkbadass visits an island and learns that he and only he can stop Baron von Evilguy based on a ten-thousand year-old legend!" They're usually an attempt to ratchet up the tension in original-characters tales, but end up fairly cliche in their own right.

    So I don't know what the answer is. I refuse to think it's impossible to write, though. Maybe the trick is to write a certain way, perhaps in "snapshot" style, skip most of the "origin story"-type deals about who x catches y, and play with character-based stuff using your own characters. But at that point, you're what, one step from writing something that isn't a fanfic anymore.

    ...and proper grammar. It doesn't fit with my rant, but I can't avoid mentioning it. Bad spelling makes me nuts.

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