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Brandie
November 16th, 2004, 09:39 AM
I've been wondering this for awhile. I have a morning ritual (at least when I have time) to search my local fanfic posting hangouts and read new updates and stories. A lot of the time, I come across newer authors and I become interested in reading what they've written.

Heres where it gets snobby.

I will refuse to read it if there are any of the following things within the first few paragraphs or page views:


Simple grammar/spelling mistakes.
"Ill" instead of "I'll," "your" instead of "you're", etc. It screams to me that they either didn't have a beta and/or didn't care to run a spellcheck on their work, turning me off to spending my time reading it.
Stargate vocabulary spelled incorrectly.
"Gould" instead of "Goa'uld" is my biggest beef. I won't read the story if this is mispelled. Snob Factor +10
Character (especially main) names spelled incorrectly.
"Oneal" vs. "O'niell" vs. "Oneel" tan my hide. Snob Factor +20


I know I should probably be giving the stories the benefit of the doubt, but after awhile, the little things start to rub me the wrong way.

Am I alone?

Mr Prophet
November 16th, 2004, 09:48 AM
I'd only hold repeated typos or egregious grammatical errors against an author; the odd mistake will always slip past, that's why professional editors get paid real money.

I certainly don't think it's unreasonable to expect character names to be spelled correctly and Stargate terms to be within certain parameters (naquadah/naquada are both acceptable, for example). If not, you get the feeling that someone is not really trying.

Brandie
November 16th, 2004, 09:55 AM
I'd only hold repeated typos or egregious grammatical errors against an author; the odd mistake will always slip past, that's why professional editors get paid real money.
<snip>
That makes sense. I probably should have elaborated more. When the mistakes are few or far between, I try to overlook that. But when a paragraph (if you could call it that) ends up looking like this:

"When Sam saw the new stargate she yelled out OMG your to close to the puddle! and then she ran to the scientist who already touched the puddle and then he exploded into a big liteflash with sparkels and noise

sAm didnt want too see the scientsts get hert anymore!"

I just move on lol.

Who knows, I could be missing out on a really great and thoughtful story somewhere down the road, but if I have to WORK to understand it... I refuse to lol.

Madeleine
November 16th, 2004, 10:09 AM
I'm very picky indeed about Fanfic. Other than the annual award-winning fanfics I only read stuff that's written by authors I know or recommended by people whose opinion I respect.

I have a few niggles based on what I think is and isn't good writing. I'll not mention them though cos I'm a pretty inferior writer myself, so when it comes to passing judgement on fics that are pretty good stuff anyway I ought to keep mum :)

So I'll just post this silly little gripe that's quite clearly a matter of taste and shouldn't offend anyone: I don't enjoy reading descriptions of the characters' looks, especially stuff describing their clothes; especially when those clothes are OOC and sexed-up (I don't believe any of them would wear ripped jeans for anything other than gardening.) I skip skip skip when that happens.

Mr Prophet
November 16th, 2004, 11:12 AM
Ah yes; the Anita Blake fashion fetishism problem. Not something you really need to be seeing when everyone's in Air Force base fatigues or BDU.

I also have my turn-offs.

Young prodigies are usually a bad sign, but especially female characters who have somehow made Professor and/or Major before the age of thirty; it only makes it worse if they have non-regulation hair that reads like a pitch for a shampoo advert. If nothing else, it's usually a sign that people would rather be writing for a different show.

Saying this, I have written Stargate fanfic about much younger people, but only if the story involves Cassie.

Brandie
November 16th, 2004, 11:33 AM
Ah yes; the Anita Blake fashion fetishism problem. Not something you really need to be seeing when everyone's in Air Force base fatigues or BDU.

I also have my turn-offs.

Young prodigies are usually a bad sign, but especially female characters who have somehow made Professor and/or Major before the age of thirty; it only makes it worse if they have non-regulation hair that reads like a pitch for a shampoo advert. If nothing else, it's usually a sign that people would rather be writing for a different show.

Saying this, I have written Stargate fanfic about much younger people, but only if the story involves Cassie.
Yes! Hit the nail on the head with that one too..

Stargate FanFiction is here, Buffy/Teeny-bopper/teen angst FanFiction is that-a-way *points way over there* (unless of course, you're writing about Cassie watching Buffy with teen angst ;))

Mr Prophet
November 16th, 2004, 11:57 AM
Yes! Hit the nail on the head with that one too..

Stargate FanFiction is here, Buffy/Teeny-bopper/teen angst FanFiction is that-a-way *points way over there* (unless of course, you're writing about Cassie watching Buffy with teen angst ;))

Well, my Buffy fandom creeps into my Stargate fanfic, although it's only Cassie who really talks like a character out of Buffy (mostly, I assume, because she watches it and programmes not unlike it).

Skydiver
November 16th, 2004, 04:26 PM
I am a snob.

I have a short list of people whose work i automatically read and will read others on recommendation.

Bad grammar turns me off, bad spelling. Net speak in fic is an automatic 'reach for the delete button'.

bad characterization is a biggie for me. along with bad info. such as a fic that had jacob assigned to fort carson....an army base.

there are some authors whose work i won't read because they interpret the characters so drastically different than i do that i just can't stand to read thier stuff

so yeah, i am a snob

Madeleine
November 16th, 2004, 04:45 PM
[quote=Skydiver]there are some authors whose work i won't read because they interpret the characters so drastically different than i do that i just can't stand to read thier stuff[quote]

Yup, people have incredibly different views of the characters' personalities. I don't mind reading radically 'wrong' (;)) characterization too much as long as the author still appears to *like* the characters. If for example Daniel is over-sensitive, Sam is over-feminist, Jack is over-hard and Teal'c does little but bowlderise Earth culture references I'll keep reading as long as all four are still clearly Heroes and the plot is decent. I'll shunt it all to an AU if necessary and just enjoy the story for the story's sake.

What turns me off completely is stuff like - Daniel is contemptibly wet, Jack is a heartless git or Sam is self-centred to the point of back-stabbing. I don't want to read stories where any of the main characters are held in disdain like that.

Greesha
November 16th, 2004, 05:28 PM
i don't think not reading a story because of numerous spelling/grammar errors is snobbish... it really makes it hard to read. It's no fun to read fanfic if you have to struggle through it.

Dana_Jeanne
November 16th, 2004, 06:22 PM
I know I should probably be giving the stories the benefit of the doubt, but after awhile, the little things start to rub me the wrong way.
Am I alone?

I doubt it! I'm not that picky myself, though. I can forgive a lot if the story is extra good, or grabs me for some reason. There are stories that I flat out refuse to read: death stories, het romance, S/J ship.

I won't read stories written by Brits (or Australians) who don't have a beta go in and "americanize" their stories. There's nothing more off-putting to me to have something like "Daniel, you bloody git" come out of Jack's mouth... Part of the reason I'm so picky about this particular squick is due to the fact I wrote for several years in a fandom called The Professionals (a British-and better-version of Starsky and Hutch) and you'd better believe we yanks heard from the brits if anything American came out of Bodie or Doyle's mouth! I can forgive the odd oops, but a story full? Nope.

I don't know that I'm a snob. Yet.
Dana Jeanne

ShadowMaat
November 16th, 2004, 06:26 PM
I'm absolutely a snob. I won't read a majority of fanfic because a lot of what I HAVE read (or, rather, what I've tried to read) is so utterly appalling that it's turned me off the whole genre. But that doesn't stop me from writing fics, myself. Guess that makes me a hypocrite, too. ;)

I absolutely loathe fics that aren't grammatically correct and/or that haven't been spell-checked. The odd typo or three I can understand, but there's no excuse for consistently bad spelling and IMO, if you don't know how to structure a proper sentence, you shouldn't be writing. :P

Above and beyond the mechanics of the writing, however, are the wildly implausible characterizations. I have some very definite ideas about what the characters are like and how they should act and if a story I'm reading fails to adhere to my standards and fails to convince me that this "new way" is just as viable as my own viewpoint, then it's like fingernails on a chalkboard. I've read stories where the author's interpretation of a character was different than my own and not had a problem, but if- for example- the author has the characters acting like a bunch of overly hormonal teenages complete with hissy fits and melodramatic language... *shudder* Unless there's a valid, believable reason for them to be acting like that, I prefer my characters to behave like the adults they are.

Unless they are done for comical effect, I do not like Mary Sues. If I start reading a fic about Daniel's brilliant and buxom young "assistant" and they get trapped alone on a planet or some other nonsense, I just know the two are gonna wind up having sex and I'm sorry, but that just isn't fun for me. Unless it's a farce. ;) Or unless the Mary Sue is a believable character with real human fallibilities and depth. Also, if I look at a pic of the author and read a description of the character, they should not match. :P

I want a story to MAKE SENSE. And I want it to have a POINT. Watching the characters bumble aimlessly along until some random point when the author decides it's over is NOT why I'm reading a fic. There should be a beginning, a middle and an end. I want SOMETHING to have happened by the end of it and I want it to have some kind of meaning. I'm not necessarily looking for some moralistic cautionary tale, but I do like to learn things, even if it's only some insight into a character. In fact, I tend to love character-centric pieces where we get a deeper glimpse into someone and maybe learn a few things we hadn't known before. Those tend to be the sorts of stories I write, myself. :) And angst, OOooooo the angst! :D

Dana_Jeanne
November 16th, 2004, 06:31 PM
Yup, people have incredibly different views of the characters' personalities. .

You can say THAT again! For the most part I don't care for stories where Daniel is so inept and childish that you're forced to wonder how he manages to bathe and dress himself without help. It's very difficult to get that wide-eyed wonder without infantilizing him. I like stories where Daniel and Jack are friends and equals, rather than father/son inequality.


I don't mind reading radically 'wrong' (;)) characterization too much as long as the author still appears to *like* the characters. If for example Daniel is over-sensitive, Sam is over-feminist, Jack is over-hard and Teal'c does little but bowlderise Earth culture references I'll keep reading as long as all four are still clearly Heroes and the plot is decent. I'll shunt it all to an AU if necessary and just enjoy the story for the story's sake. .

I've done that with stories where the plot grabs me so hard I simply can't let go, but for some reason the characterization is just that little bit off from how I view them. I'm not terribly 'snobbish' about Teal'c or Sam, as they aren't my favorite characters; but when it comes to Jack, and especially Daniel, I am a SNOB.


What turns me off completely is stuff like - Daniel is contemptibly wet.

Okay, I give up-- what does contemptibly wet mean????
Dana Jeanne

Brandie
November 16th, 2004, 07:45 PM
Wow great replies!

Everyone touched on points that I forgot to even mention lol, so I'm glad we're all alike.

And I'm with you Shadow, as far as angst goes. I'll read angst over anything else.. even BAD angst is better IMO than other categories :) But not too bad.... /snob

Cpn. Chris(tine) Bowman
November 16th, 2004, 08:07 PM
Hmm...I'd say I am a snob :)

1. Bad grammar is a major turn off.

2. I absolutely will NOT read a fic by someone who has seen maybe five episodes and knows close to nothing about the whole SG universe. Seriously, I've come across so many fics where the author though Daniel was Jack and where they made Sam so weepy and #%&%)# annoying and *****y.

3. Anything with OCs as main characters. They are invariably Mary-Sues and they invariably end up smooching Daniel while they are only 20 years old at most. Exception to this rule are some AU OC if the reason for the OC to show up from an alternate reality are plausible.

4. Nothing with "Oh look! I'm your daughter/son from the future" especially if it's followed by "and I'm a child wonder!"

5. I won't read slash, no way, no how. Not that I dislike slash, I love it. Just not Stargate slash. Especially Jack/Daniel slash. While I admit it is possible and there are enough shippy moments in the series, I just despise the idea :D

6. I avoid anything angsty, over mushy and hurtfics. I do write angst from time to time but I do my best to stay IC, as in I don't have Jack confess his undying love for Sam on the ramp and Sam weeping every few sentences.

7. Pregnancy...

8. Kidnapping fics.

9. PWP, I like my porn to have a plot thank you.

I know there are more, I just can't think of them just now. In any case, it's hell to find a fic I'll read. Which is sad really because I love fanfiction...

Tok'Ra Hostess
November 17th, 2004, 06:35 AM
While I do enjoy the occasional situation type story - generally the missing scene or aftermath type of fic, I really much prefer a story with a plot, preferably with a mystery.

I am a total SNOB when it comes to reading off-base/alien-free fic(the B-B-Q fic, the Mall fic, the bar fic <gags> - I will not go near them, no matter who writes them. I want a Stargate in my Stargate fics. Or at least a Goa'uld on Earth or some nasty NID type interference.

I prefer Sam and Jack pairing, though not necessarily in the romantic sense. I like the dynamics when good writers explore the similarities and differences between two officers, male and female. Usually, that happens within the romantic context, so I grin and bear it, but there are some few writers out there who know how to keep these two people apart yet interesting.

Branding any and all OCs as weenies:

I hate to see Teal'c reduced to an eyebrow-raising wallflower, Hammond reduced to a "You have a go" role, the other team members/SGC staff or the native-of-the-week as weak or stupid or the Tok'Ra as a group portrayed as pariahs(one bad Tok'Ra/SGC member/native is okay if it fits the plot).

Mr Prophet
November 17th, 2004, 09:51 AM
What turns me off completely is stuff like - Daniel is contemptibly wet, Jack is a heartless git or Sam is self-centred to the point of back-stabbing. I don't want to read stories where any of the main characters are held in disdain like that.

So much for season 8, but then I knew how you felt about that already.


I hate to see Teal'c reduced to an eyebrow-raising wallflower, Hammond reduced to a "You have a go" role, the other team members/SGC staff or the native-of-the-week as weak or stupid or the Tok'Ra as a group portrayed as pariahs(one bad Tok'Ra/SGC member/native is okay if it fits the plot).

That's pretty much the whole series shot then!

Anakin
November 17th, 2004, 11:50 AM
I've been wondering this for awhile. I have a morning ritual (at least when I have time) to search my local fanfic posting hangouts and read new updates and stories. A lot of the time, I come across newer authors and I become interested in reading what they've written.

Heres where it gets snobby.

I will refuse to read it if there are any of the following things within the first few paragraphs or page views:

Simple grammar/spelling mistakes.
"Ill" instead of "I'll," "your" instead of "you're", etc. It screams to me that they either didn't have a beta and/or didn't care to run a spellcheck on their work, turning me off to spending my time reading it.
Stargate vocabulary spelled incorrectly.
"Gould" instead of "Goa'uld" is my biggest beef. I won't read the story if this is mispelled. Snob Factor +10
Character (especially main) names spelled incorrectly.
"Oneal" vs. "O'niell" vs. "Oneel" tan my hide. Snob Factor +20

I know I should probably be giving the stories the benefit of the doubt, but after awhile, the little things start to rub me the wrong way.

Am I alone?
All of the above AND, what's the MOST important to me in addition to that is keeping the characters and context IN CHARACTER...

We're not reading the adventures of the Marx Brothers in the Little House in the prairie. There are just things that the characters from the show wouldn't do or say, and stories that are too sappy/childish/whatever to happen.

FanFiction in my book, is taking existing characters in an existing frame, and trying to work out an original story with (maybe) original characters with those given boundaries. I'm an author myself, and that's the first thing I demand of myself before demanding it from others.

Am I a fanfic snob?... You bet!! ;) :D

ShadowMaat
November 17th, 2004, 12:28 PM
Personally, I always try to keep my stories/characters as canon as possible, unless it's a humor piece or AU.

Mr Prophet
November 17th, 2004, 12:54 PM
I gave up any pretence at absolute canon at Sacrifices. I'd already given Rya'c one wedding, it seemed necessary to take my whole world very slightly into the alternate.

Madeleine
November 17th, 2004, 04:35 PM
Okay, I give up-- what does contemptibly wet mean????

So 'wet' is British English only? I could say 'a sissy', 'a drip', 'a bit pathetic', 'whiny'....

'comtemptibly wet' would be an extreme version of the above.

Skydiver
November 17th, 2004, 05:31 PM
So 'wet' is British English only? I could say 'a sissy', 'a drip', 'a bit pathetic', 'whiny'....

'comtemptibly wet' would be an extreme version of the above.


yep, it's a britism

and not as much fun to use as '******' ;)

ya know, britisms in fic, i've gotten used to them. Jack putting on a jumper no longer confuses me and makes me mentally see him in a dress. car park, trolly, crisps, biscuits (as in cookies instead of with butter and jam), lounge room, plaster, drip, obs, trousers, telly, boot, yadda, yadda

I can mentally translate them, but it does tend to jolt me out of a fic if i see or hear jack using a britism.

Like in Trial by Fire....Jack refers to a mission going 'pear shaped'...which i know is a britism meaning 'go bad'...thing is, jack's a midwestern boy from minnesota...and take it from a midwesterner, the only thing we refer to as being pear shaped are pears. :)

ShadowMaat
November 17th, 2004, 05:45 PM
I've heard "wet" before. I thought it was fairly common, but then, I also read lots of English/British authors, so I may have become hopelessly corrupted. :P

Which reminds me, I need to pick up Going Postal when I'm in London so I can read it in its original language. ;)

Madeleine
November 17th, 2004, 05:57 PM
I think 'Pear Shaped' as a synonym(?) for 'horribly downhill' stems from the fact that no woman particularly wants to be shaped like a pear.

:)=>:S=>:( as your bum grows.

Mr Prophet
November 18th, 2004, 07:58 AM
I definitely use Britishisms in my fic, but I try not to have the characters say them. If I do, my noble beta usually catches them.

astronomicalchick
November 18th, 2004, 08:06 AM
I've been wondering this for awhile. I have a morning ritual (at least when I have time) to search my local fanfic posting hangouts and read new updates and stories. A lot of the time, I come across newer authors and I become interested in reading what they've written.

Heres where it gets snobby.

I will refuse to read it if there are any of the following things within the first few paragraphs or page views:


Simple grammar/spelling mistakes.
"Ill" instead of "I'll," "your" instead of "you're", etc. It screams to me that they either didn't have a beta and/or didn't care to run a spellcheck on their work, turning me off to spending my time reading it.
Stargate vocabulary spelled incorrectly.
"Gould" instead of "Goa'uld" is my biggest beef. I won't read the story if this is mispelled. Snob Factor +10
Character (especially main) names spelled incorrectly.
"Oneal" vs. "O'niell" vs. "Oneel" tan my hide. Snob Factor +20


I know I should probably be giving the stories the benefit of the doubt, but after awhile, the little things start to rub me the wrong way.

Am I alone?

No, I'm probably even worse a snob than you. I don't tolerate mistakes like that, but worse I won't read things that misrepresent the characters. If I were reading a shippy fic for example and Sam and Jack were acting as teenagers, then I would punt the fic into the bin. I'm fine with AU stuff, as long as the characters are unbelievable. Plus, another gripe is when people change the tense of the fic, from present to future to past all the time, that jars, or forget to put inverted commas round speech... etc etc...

Oh and if you're writing for a US show, authors should use American words like "mom" instead of "mum" and vica versa..

Sparky13
November 18th, 2004, 08:19 AM
This is an extremely useful thread! Writers who are attempting new works might want to read every posting, since learning what an audience wants to read is perhaps more important than a writer's desire to put their ideas to paper.

That said, I'd have to agree that spelling, grammar and punctuation are the first things I notice when I began reading a story. If these three basic writing skills are inferior, I don't care what adventures are in store for "the team," it's time to move on to the next story.

I posted a little missive a while back regarding guilt as a singular plot device. Not to be a witch about it, but I'm tired of reading about how guilty the characters feel. It's okay as a motivating factor, but most adults feel and deal with guilt as a subtextual thing. We grown-ups don't walk around constantly beating ourselves up over every little thing; we accept our responsibilities and try to make things better without tearing off the wallpaper and shaving our heads in a pique of guilty panic.

In short, overt and excessive guilt is not canon because the characters are subtle about it...and I prefer stories that are true to the canon of the series.

Just my six cents...

Sparky

ShadowMaat
November 18th, 2004, 09:14 AM
I posted a little missive a while back regarding guilt as a singular plot device.
You wouldn't like my fics, then. ;) I love guilt, especially if it's misplaced. :D I can see how it'd get tedious after a while, though.

Tok'Ra Hostess
November 18th, 2004, 01:12 PM
(I wrote:


I hate to see Teal'c reduced to an eyebrow-raising wallflower, Hammond reduced to a "You have a go" role, the other team members/SGC staff or the native-of-the-week as weak or stupid or the Tok'Ra as a group portrayed as pariahs(one bad Tok'Ra/SGC member/native is okay if it fits the plot).



That's pretty much the whole series shot then!

Yes, but they are highly paid writers. I expect better from those who would entertain me for free. :p

Mr Prophet
November 18th, 2004, 01:25 PM
Yes, but they are highly paid writers. I expect better from those who would entertain me for free. :p

That's actually why I know I'm going to remain unpaid for my efforts: I had a look at Fandemonium's writer's guidelines and they frown on competent supporting cast. ;)

N8iveTexan
November 18th, 2004, 09:39 PM
I kind of stumbled into this thread, but I'm enjoying everyone's viewpoints, so I'll toss a few of mine in as well. I know for a fact I'm a fanfic snob -- in any fandom, and it's gotten worse over the years. There are quite a few factors that determine whether I will read any fanfic.

In no particular order:

*Grammer/spelling. I don't expect anyone to have taken AP English since birth, but please show some pride in your writing by using a spell-check and a beta. I can overlook a few mistakes as long as you don't have runon sentences, and horrific errors that make it hard to undertand. If I have to translate your story from 12-year-old-AOLer-speak, forget it.

* Dumb summaries. If you tell me in your summary that you suck at writing summaries, you probably suck at writing fanfic too. I hate to be harsh, but this has been my experience. If you make an honest attempt to tell me something about the plot of your story, I will be much more likely to download it and read it through.

* Drabbles. *shudder* I will read these if done extremely maturely and tastefully, and usually only if I'm desperate or sleep deprived. A personal preference, really.

* Vignettes... now THERE's some good reading, if the author understands the meaning of the word. Give me a poignant exploration of the emotion behind that look Jack shares with Sam across the hallway as he is dragged off to Tok'ra testing and she is restrained by guards. Freeze-frame it, focus on the subject, and give me some depth and character introspection! I do NOT want to read a scene transcript or novelization. Tell me something the camera can't see.

* Overuse of characterisms. Plese use them sparingly, unless it's for obvious comedic effect or mockery. Jack does not say "For cryin' out loud!" every other sentence. Neither do Sam or Daniel (and if I so much as sense Teal'c is about to say it, my head will just explode and there will be a blizzard in Southeast Texas before I read your works again ;)).

* Characterizaton. Futzing with major established traits of main charactes, no matter how fanciful the adventure you take us on, is an automatic disqualification. The main rule is that I have to come away from the fic feeling like I've just watched an episode. I've suffered through some works that, while excellent stories by themselves, blew chunks when set within the framework of an established tv show because the characters were not true. I don't read childish fiction either; I want fiction by adults, about adults, and sometimes only for adults.

*Length. I tend to use file/chapter size or word count as a determining factor in chosing a story to read. I look more for the longer ones because they generally are more interesting. Longer stories indicate to me the author was truly inspired, or has incorporated lots of detail, and it will hopefully read more like a novel than a fanfic. I love to go for extremely long stories with lots of plot twists and turns. Bring on the rollercoaster! Especially if it has Angst or S/J Ship!

My name is Mandy, and I am a fanfic snob. ;) :D

Kliggins
November 18th, 2004, 11:25 PM
I think I am not picky enough to be posting in this thread. That being said, you have all brought up interesting points, which I will think about as I read my next fic. :)

JackDaniels
November 19th, 2004, 04:49 PM
This thread has creeped me out a bit and i wonder if anyone will even attempt to read anything I've written.

I do also have some gripes, and much of it does have to do with language. There are always going to be the inevitable flaws, but that just makes us remeber that someone hopefully got swept along in writing their story too much to bother about a couple of spelling mistakes. I do, however agree with the comment that there is often an overcharacterisations in fanfic, with a character saying something a couple of times in the show, and subsequently in the fan fic it becomes a staple phrase.

It is very difficult to write fan fic in many ways though, due to the way in which different people interpret characters. Generally Jack is seen as a stoic comic, but in some fanfic he's either incredibly thick or a love struck puppy around Sam. And while I'm all for S/J shipping, the extent to which its taken in some stories is wholly unrealistic.

One other problem mentioned was the Teal'c factor, and while it is often the case that he's only ever given an obligatory eyebrow raise or "indeed" kind of phrase, its important to remember that for many seasons that's all he did. In my last story I really wanted to give Teal'c a bigger role, but couldn't find anything to do with him. Unless the story has a particular thread running through it that is relevant to him, there's often nothing he can do! (irritating!)

Also, I must react to the comment that the longer the fanfic the more thought that has been put into it and the more detail it has. I have to say I've read some absolute tripe that was longer, and was just waffle, and some shorter pieces (around 16k) that have blown me away by immediately engaging the reader in the story and the pace of the action moving very quickly.

And that's the end of my rant for now. Some of it shows I'm a snobbish reader, some of it that I'm a fanfic writer defender. (do you think i should have a costume?)

Skydiver
November 19th, 2004, 05:47 PM
It takes guts to write and post a fic. One of the hardest things i ever did was to put my first fic up on helio. I was so afraid that it'd get a 'man, you suck' feedback

I was lucky. With a couple of exceptions, if folks think my fic suck, they keep thier opinions to themselves.

I would encourage anyone who writes fic to post it. some may like it, some may not. But the beauty of fic is, no matter what SOMEONE will like it

threads like this shouldn't be seen as condemnation, but as a learning experience. Read it, see what annoys/irritates folks, see if you're doing that and if you want to alter your writing habits.

And to all the readers who have things that they don't like....what do you do with authors that you do like? do you ever tell them that you enjoyed story X.

Dani347
November 19th, 2004, 05:47 PM
Well, there are certain genres I won't read. Slash, J/S ship, songfic. But, that's a personal preference and if labeled correctly, I can avoid them.

An actual pet peeve I have is when either the narrator or Jack calls Daniel, "Jackson" throughout a story. It's bad characterization. We know Daniel by his first name. Jack calls Daniel by his first name. If you have some hard nosed military character in your story who wants to call him Jackson, I can see that. But, if I read, "Jackson didn't know what to do." as opposed to "Daniel didn't know what to do" I put it down. I'm also not fond of the narrator of a story calling Jack "O'Neill" but sometimes I can let it slide, since not everyone calls him by his first name. (But, I still think the audience thinks of him as Jack). And, on the same note, what really burns me up is when the author can't decide what they want to call the character. In one sentence, Daniel is doing this. Next sentence, Jackson is doing that. Make up your minds (Daniel!)

Infantalizing Daniel. I'm a Daniel whumper. I love it when he gets beat up, locked up, zatted, shot, whatever. And, I love to see a grown man cry. But, you'd better have a real good reason for it. And, it had better come off as a grown man crying, not a grown man reverting into a two year old.

Mislabling stories. A story with J/S ship (or any ship) should not be listed in an archive as having no pairing. And, it totally defies all logic to see a story listed as PAIRINGS: J/S, none. It's not none. My biggest problem with that is when I try to do a search by certain perameters to weed out fics I don't want. I click on no pairing, and I expect to get stories that have N-O pairing. And, I get all these J/S fics popping up.

eta: One more thing. Daniel calling Jack "J'ck" when he's injured. Exactly how is that supposed to be pronounced?

Cpn. Chris(tine) Bowman
November 19th, 2004, 06:10 PM
An actual pet peeve I have is when either the narrator or Jack calls Daniel, "Jackson" throughout a story. It's bad characterization. We know Daniel by his first name. Jack calls Daniel by his first name. If you have some hard nosed military character in your story who wants to call him Jackson, I can see that. But, if I read, "Jackson didn't know what to do." as opposed to "Daniel didn't know what to do" I put it down. I'm also not fond of the narrator of a story calling Jack "O'Neill" but sometimes I can let it slide, since not everyone calls him by his first name. (But, I still think the audience thinks of him as Jack). And, on the same note, what really burns me up is when the author can't decide what they want to call the character. In one sentence, Daniel is doing this. Next sentence, Jackson is doing that. Make up your minds (Daniel!)



For the most part I agree but, I admit I do what you hate, I sometimes use the first name then immeadiately after the surname. I have a reason though. I use the name as the situation warrants. If I'm talking about Sam in one of her normal (non shippy moments) then as a narrator I will say "O'Neill" or use his rank, as Sam would, not "Jack". Daniel is always Daniel but sometimes I'll use Dr. Jackson, for a change. O'Neill (Yes, mostly I think of him as O'Neill, not Jack and Sam as Carter, depending on my mood) says Carter so that's what I use in narration.
You have to give people a chance, how a character names another one is important in narration, it helps people connect to the character, IMO. If I was reading a story centered around Jacob and the narrator referred to Sam as Carter, I would be jolted back to reality, Jacob doesn't think of his daughter as "Carter" even if the author does. You have to put things in context.

Dani347
November 19th, 2004, 06:36 PM
I'm talking about an omniscient narrator. When it seems like the author thinks of Daniel as "Jackson" or the author honestly can't decide. Not when the author is accounting for which character the story is told by. If the story is being told by a bunch of different viewpoints (although, I think that would get really confusing) and one minute you're in Daniel's head, I'd expect Jack to be called Jack. If you jump into Teal'c's head, than, O'Neill. And, in Sam's head, Sir or his rank. But, if the narrator isn't a particular character, I think that you should stick to one thing. It's especially annoying when the story is being told in Daniel's pov, and Daniel is thinking of himself as Jackson.

Skydiver
November 19th, 2004, 06:43 PM
along the same vein, i find it rather distracting to have sam calling jack 'jack' all the time, or anyone calling daniel 'danny' incessantly.

or seeing sam burst into tears in the gateroom

or s2+ teal'c totally lost in earth slang (what is an oprah gets real old, real fast)

or jack being this cold blooded jerk who doesn't give a dang if he hurts one of his team, (usually sam or daniel, depending on whether it's slash or ship)

Some things that are 'wrong' in a fic, are easily corrected. Technically, grammar, spelling, colloquialisms, facts, etc. things like that are easily looked up

but bad or 'off' characterizations, those are harder to get over

Dana_Jeanne
November 19th, 2004, 07:24 PM
along the same vein, i find it rather distracting to have sam calling jack 'jack' all the time, or anyone calling daniel 'danny' incessantly.

There are some authors whose writing I absolutely adore except for one point: Daniel is almost constantly Danny. Interestingly enough, it didn't bother me at first, but after several years (and Daniel growing up!) it bugs the heck out of me. I know do a search and replace when I go to print something out. I can probably count on the fingers of one hand how many times Jack has called Daniel "Danny" in eight years.

And I won't even get into what I think of Jack yelling out Daneeeee at a certain point in a slash story.

Dana Jeanne

Skydiver
November 19th, 2004, 07:50 PM
I can probably count on the fingers of one hand how many times Jack has called Daniel "Danny" in eight years.



one hand is about right

Jack calling Daniel, Danny:
HATHOR X2, DEMONS,
3 times total


Jack calling Daniel, Danny Boy:
PRISONERS, HOLIDAY,
2 times total

and let's not even go into 'spacemonkey' that was used ONCE and once only, and sometimes peppers a fic 15 times

Dana_Jeanne
November 20th, 2004, 08:11 AM
As much as I love the 'spacemonkey' scene, I cringe when I see it in fanfic it's shown up so much. It worked beautifully in that scene, but that's about it!

Has anyone mentioned using 'Jackson' rather than Daniel? I just read the sequel to a story I enjoyed very much (both of them) but the second story for some reason was interspersing Jackson wth Daniel (ie: Jackson did this, that) and it kept throwing me completely out of the story.

I liked the story enough that I'm going to go through and carefully change the Jacksons to Daniels and re-print it.

Is there a thread somewhere about writers?

Dana Jeanne

Skydiver
November 20th, 2004, 10:03 AM
since we've brought up names :)

morjana made this list. it's a wee bit out of date, but does show the trends

NAMES ANALYSIS
Information gathered by: Morjana Coffman ([email protected])

Last updated: September 1, 2003

File created: May 5, 1999

NOTE: This is current up through "Evolution - Part One."

Jack
Sam
Teal'c
Daniel
Jonas

Gen. Hammond
Dr. Fraiser


JACK's List:

Back to the top

This list does not contain names used by Crystal Jack, Synthetic Jack, Alternate Universe Jack, Dream Teach Jack, Planted Memory Jack, Future Jack, Mini-me or any other kind of Jack, other than the Real Jack O'Neill.

Jack refers to, or addresses, Sam as:

Cap
1

Captain
79

Captain Carter
13

Doctor
3

Carter
381

Her
1

Ma'am
2

Major
20

Major Carter
11

Major Sam Carter
1

Major Samantha Carter
2

Sam
19

Samantha
2

She
1


Jack refers to, or addresses, Daniel as:

Back to the top

Boy
1

Daniel
322

Daniel Jackson
11

Danny
2

Danny Boy
1

Dr. Daniel Jackson
1

Doctor Jackson
4

Friend
1

Grasshopper
1

Jackson
1

our boy
1

plant boy
1

Space Monkey
1

you dog
1


Jack refers to, or addresses, Teal'c as:

Back to the top

Big Fellow
1

Buddy
6

Fella
1

Master Teal'c
2

Murray
2

My Friend
7

Pal
1

Rocco
1

T
7

Teal'C
423

And refers to Teal'c's symbiote as:

Junior
7


Jack refers to, or addresses, Jonas as:

Back to the top

Jonas
23

Jonas Quinn
1

Son
1


Jack refers to, or addresses, General Hammond as:

General
136

General Hammond
19

George
2

Hammond
36

Major General George Hammond
1

My Lord
1

Sir
328


Jack refers to, or addresses, Janet as:

Back to the top

Doc
15

Doctor
1

Dr. Fraiser
2

Fraiser
11

Janet
1

old doc Fraiser
3


* * * *

SAM's List:

Back to the top

This list does not contain names used by Sam pretending to be Sara, Synthetic Sam, Alternate Universe Sam, Sam being controlled by Jolinar, Dream Teach Sam, Planted Memory Sam, Future Sam, or any other kind of Sam, other than the Real Sam Carter.

Sam refers to, or addresses, Jack as:

Back to the top

Colonel
197

Colonel O'Neill
105

Colonel Jack O'Neill
1

He
1

Him
1

O'Neill
3

Sir
741


Sam refers to, or addresses, Daniel as:

Daniel
194

Daniel Jackson
4

Doctor
1

Dr. Daniel Jackson
1

Dr. Jackson
4

My friend
2


Sam refers to, or addresses, Teal'c as:

Back to the top

Teal'c
179

Our friend
2

Refers to Teal'c's symbiote as

Junior
1


Sam refers to, or addresses, Jonas as:

Jonas
35

Jonas Quinn
3


Sam refers to, or addresses, General Hammond as:

Back to the top

General
31

General Hammond
43

Hammond
1

Lieutenant Hammond
1

Sir
413


Sam refers to, or addresses, Janet as:

Doc
1

Doctor
1

Dr. Fraiser
13

Janet
31


* * * *

DANIEL's list:

Back to the top

This list does not contain names used by Synthetic Daniel, Planted Memory Daniel, Future Daniel, or any other kind of Daniel, other than the Real Daniel Jackson.

Daniel refers to, or addresses, Jack as:

Back to the top

Colonel
8

Colonel Jack O'Neill
2

Colonel O'Neill
5

Jack
214

Jack O'Neill
12

Jim
2


Daniel refers to, or addresses, Sam as:

Captain
2

Captain/Doctor
2

Capt. Carter
8

Carter
5

Doctor
2

Dr. Carter
1

Sam
78

Major Carter
5

Major Samantha Carter
3

my friend
1

Sam Carter
1

Samantha Carter
2


Daniel refers to, or addresses, Teal'c as:

Back to the top

Mr. Teal'c
1

my friend
2

Teal'c
144


Daniel refers to, or addresses, Jonas as:

Jonas
8


Daniel refers to, or addresses, General Hammond as:

General
28

Gen. Hammond
19

Hammond
2

Sir
38


Daniel refers to, or addresses, Janet as:

Back to the top

Doctor
1

Dr. Fraiser
1

Friend
1

Good Doctor
1

Janet
1


* * * *

TEAL'C's list:

Back to the top

This list does not contain names used by Synthetic Teal'c, Alternate Universe Teal'c, Planted Memory Teal'c, Dream Teach Teal'c, Future Teal'c, or any other kind of Teal'c, other than the Real Teal'c.

In the episode "The Changeling", I only counted those names from towards the end of the episode…when Teal'c arrives back at the SGC Gateroom and forward.

Teal'c refers to, or addresses, Jack as:

Colonel
1

Col. O'Neill
46

My Friend
2

O'Neill
262

Underling
1


Teal'c refers, to addresses, Sam as:

Back to the top

Capt. Carter
27

Dr. Carter
2

Major Carter
65

Your Friend
1


Teal'c refers to, or addresses, Daniel as:

Daniel
2

Greatest Friend
1

Daniel Jackson
116


Teal'c refers to, or addresses, Jonas as:

Jonas
2

Jonas Quinn
14

Probie
1


Teal'c refers to, or addresses, General Hammond as:

General
5

General Hammond
50

Sir
2


Teal'c refers to, or addresses, Janet as:

Back to the top

Doctor
1

Dr. Fraiser
13


* * * *

JONAS' List:

Back to the top

Jonas refers to, or addresses, Jack as:

Col.
19

Col. O'Neill
14

Sir
4


Jonas refers to, or addresses, Sam as:

Back to the top

Carter
1

Major
5

Maj. Carter
7

Sam
6


Jonas refers to, or addresses, Teal'c as:

My Friend
1

Teal'c
20


Jonas refers to, or addresses, General Hammond as:

Back to the top

General
7

Gen. Hammond
5

Sir
12


Jonas refers to, or addresses, Daniel as:

Daniel
3

Dr. Jackson
8


Jonas refers to, or addresses, Janet as:

Dr. Fraiser
6


* * * *

HAMMOND's list:

Back to the top

This list does not contain names used by Alternate Universe Hammond, Dream Teach Hammond, or any other kind of Hammond, other than the Real General Hammond.

From the episode, "Disclosure", I didn't count any conversation from the clips used in the episode.

Hammond refers to, or addresses, Jack as:

Airman
1

Colonel
240

Colonel Jack O'Neill
4

Colonel O'Neill
92

Him
1

Jack
33

Jack O'Neill
1

O'Neill
2


Hammond refers to, or addresses, Sam as:

Captain
42

Capt. Carter
35

Capt. Sam Carter
2

Carter
4

Doctor
1

Major
88

Major Carter
45

Major Samantha Carter
1

Sam Carter
1

Sam
1


Hammond refers to, or addresses, Daniel as:

Daniel
2

Daniel Jackson
7

Doctor
15

Dr. Jackson
101

Dr. Daniel Jackson
2

Jackson
2

Our boy
1

Son
2


Hammond refers to, or addresses, Teal'c as:

Teal'c
86

Son
3

Your Friend
2


Hammond refers to, or addresses, Janet as:

Dr. Fraiser
22

Doctor
33


Hammond refers to, or addresses, Jonas as:

Jonas
6

Jonas Quinn
6

Mr. Quinn
2

Son
2


* * * *

JANET's list:

Back to the top

This list does not contain names used by Dream Teach Janet, Future Janet or any other kind of Janet, other than the Real Janet.

Janet refers to, or addresses, Jack as:

Colonel
41

Col. Jack O'Neill
1

Col. O'Neill
19

Him
1

Sir
31


Janet refers to, or addresses, Sam as:

Maj. Carter
12

Capt. Carter
3

Sam
26

Capt
2

Carter
1

Major
3


Janet refers to, or addresses, Daniel as:

Back to the top

Daniel
19

Dr. Daniel Jackson
1

Dr. Jackson
7


Janet refers to, or addresses, Teal'c as:

Mr. Teal'c
1

Teal'c
44


Janet refers to Teal'c's symbiote as:

Junior
1


Janet refers to, or addresses, General Hammond as:

Back to the top

General
11

General Hammond
5

Sir
90


Janet refers to, or addresses, Jonas as:

Jonas
23


* * * *

Morjana



Other than showing that daniel rarely talks to sam :) , it does show the trends that the show uses, and if you're writing a non-ship/slash fic, the trend that a fic should use.....with the caveat of the writer trying to mimic the show.

Skydiver
November 20th, 2004, 10:09 AM
<i>Is there a thread somewhere about writers?
</i>

How do you mean? About writers in general or specific ones?

We can certainly start one

My one concern, ok, i know that some folks don't like/hate/despise what i write. So be it. I ain't losing sleep over it and i don't care.

Someone wants to criticize my fic, go for it.

However, there are writers out there that WILL take it personally. They will interpret criticism as a personal attack or bashing and they will be upset.

We can discuss writers, if that was the intention, but i don't think it'll be much of a discussion since, someone would eventually say 'eh, i can't stand to read X. Her stuff is so out of character that it just isn't what i'd call good'...and then X hears about it and is upset because she's been attacked.

The only way to avoid this is to keep it positive only....and that's more of a mutual admiration society than a discussion :)

Dana_Jeanne
November 20th, 2004, 12:15 PM
Actually, forget I asked <G> It would end up mentioning specifics and that's sooo not a good idea. I was obviously temproarily brain-dead!
Dana Jeanne

Skydiver
November 20th, 2004, 12:34 PM
Actually, forget I asked <G> It would end up mentioning specifics and that's sooo not a good idea. I was obviously temproarily brain-dead!
Dana Jeanne


I think it's a good idea, and i'd welcome suggestions on how to do it so as not to offend others.

Perhaps some authors would like to offer up one of their stories to be discussed? Knowing that it won't be a 100% pure schmooze fest and that there may be some out there that don't like the story or style.

I think it would also have to have the caveat that it's constructive criticism, not a chance to bash the stuffings out of someone. Comments like 'this sucks' aren't welcome. But comments like 'well, i liked that part, but it annoyed me how X got hurt and then it never showed up again' or 'well, whumping X was ok, but the injuries you gave him were fatal, so that sort of runied it for me becuse he survived the unsurvivable'

There are very few places or lists where fic can be discussed dispassionately.

Tok'Ra Hostess
November 20th, 2004, 01:01 PM
There are very few places or lists where fic can be discussed dispassionately.


So I've seen.

I belong to a working (as in the members are actually expected to work;)) fic-crit group where members willingly offer their stuff up for crit and, if I do say so, myself, I have always found participating members to be fair, polite and candid (if a little too eager to crit every detail). Even so, there are those who unsubscribe at the first hint of anything other than lavish praise.

Sites that give unsolicited crit don't usually last long, and their longest-running threads are mostly about defending their "right to critcize" than any actual fic crit.

samjack4ever
November 20th, 2004, 01:07 PM
<i>Is there a thread somewhere about writers?
</i>

How do you mean? About writers in general or specific ones?

We can certainly start one

My one concern, ok, i know that some folks don't like/hate/despise what i write. So be it. I ain't losing sleep over it and i don't care.

Someone wants to criticize my fic, go for it.

However, there are writers out there that WILL take it personally. They will interpret criticism as a personal attack or bashing and they will be upset.

We can discuss writers, if that was the intention, but i don't think it'll be much of a discussion since, someone would eventually say 'eh, i can't stand to read X. Her stuff is so out of character that it just isn't what i'd call good'...and then X hears about it and is upset because she's been attacked.

The only way to avoid this is to keep it positive only....and that's more of a mutual admiration society than a discussion :)
I love getting feedback good or bad and if someone chooses to point out certain flaws in my story (and believe me there can be quite a few ;) ) then I don't mind... In fact I welcome it...

What I don't like is getting feedback that simple says 'That was crap'... If you thought it was crap then let me know why so that I won't make the same mistake again and again and again...

Skydiver
November 20th, 2004, 01:19 PM
I love getting feedback good or bad and if someone chooses to point out certain flaws in my story (and believe me there can be quite a few ;) ) then I don't mind... In fact I welcome it...

What I don't like is getting feedback that simple says 'That was crap'... If you thought it was crap then let me know why so that I won't make the same mistake again and again and again...


feedback is alway great adn welcome. And i've gotten everything from 'great story, send more' to a 2 page detaiing of what's good and bad in a story, detailing parts that they liked or didn't like. And a couple of times i've gotten a 'how dare you write that! and pair x with x'

the ones that i do apprecite the most are folks that take the time to say what they did or didn't like.

What i have discovered, however, is that many people are afraid to do anything beyond 'great story, send more' because they stand a good chance of getting in trouble or even banned from a list for attacking the poor author.

There is a simple fact that no matter what someone writes, not everyone will like it. They won't like the author, the pairing, setting, style...whatever.

samjack4ever
November 20th, 2004, 01:38 PM
feedback is alway great adn welcome. And i've gotten everything from 'great story, send more' to a 2 page detaiing of what's good and bad in a story, detailing parts that they liked or didn't like. And a couple of times i've gotten a 'how dare you write that! and pair x with x'

the ones that i do apprecite the most are folks that take the time to say what they did or didn't like.

What i have discovered, however, is that many people are afraid to do anything beyond 'great story, send more' because they stand a good chance of getting in trouble or even banned from a list for attacking the poor author.

There is a simple fact that no matter what someone writes, not everyone will like it. They won't like the author, the pairing, setting, style...whatever.I agree totally... I have a reader who has read my stories (all three of them ;)) and has sent me fantastic feedback and I love that. Its' much more satisfying knowing that some one has not only taken the time to read your story but has also sent you a well thought out critic…

They are the type of reader I want to hang on to…

Dana_Jeanne
November 20th, 2004, 02:42 PM
I think it's a good idea, and i'd welcome suggestions on how to do it so as not to offend others.

Perhaps some authors would like to offer up one of their stories to be discussed? Knowing that it won't be a 100% pure schmooze fest and that there may be some out there that don't like the story or style.

I would be willing to do that. I only have two SG stories so far (under Joana Dey) but I'd be willing to be a guinea pig.

Dana Jeanne

Skydiver
November 20th, 2004, 07:23 PM
Thanks for the offer Dana, but, like jack said, noone should ever ask someone to do something without doing it themselves. So, here's Nit and Pick

http://forum.gateworld.net/showthread.php?t=6120

Knock yourselves out. Have fun.

Feli
November 21st, 2004, 09:19 AM
Coming into this thread a bit late but I'll give you my opinion nonetheless. ;)

Mis-spellings of a Stargate name or thing can occur and I (usually) try to overlook them. However, mis-spelling of several names to me indicates that the writer doesn't really know all that much about the show - which doesn't bode well for the storyline of the fic...



"When Sam saw the new stargate she yelled out OMG your to close to the puddle! and then she ran to the scientist who already touched the puddle and then he exploded into a big liteflash with sparkels and noise

sAm didnt want too see the scientsts get hert anymore!"
This is simply bad! Authors who don't know the difference between "your" and "you're" and who've never heard the word punctuation end up on my ignore list right away.

ibwolf
November 22nd, 2004, 01:37 AM
I want a story to MAKE SENSE. And I want it to have a POINT. Watching the characters bumble aimlessly along until some random point when the author decides it's over is NOT why I'm reading a fic. There should be a beginning, a middle and an end. I want SOMETHING to have happened by the end of it ...
I'll second that point.

And I absolutely can not read any type of 'ship' stories (regardless of fandom and pairings.) If the story focuses on a relationship, I'll just be on my way, thank you very much.

Bad spelling can be offputting if there is a lot of it, but I tend to forgive the occasional slips. Bad sentence and paragraph structure is harder to forgive though, as it can make it bloody impossible to read.

Angst, steer clear. Ditto if everyone (or someone for that matter) is out of character. I don't mind people interpreting characters differently them me, but there are limits.

Come to think of it, I'm most likely to read a story with a good edge of humor. Need not be a farce, stay in character, just keeping things light.



Plus, another gripe is when people change the tense of the fic, from present to future to past all the time, that jars,

Right, forgot about that. Really bad form. I sometimes do that when writing, but it's such an obvious mistake that it can be easily corrected if you so much as give your work a marginal read through for errors.



It is very difficult to write fan fic in many ways though, due to the way in which different people interpret characters. Generally Jack is seen as a stoic comic, but in some fanfic he's either incredibly thick or a love struck puppy around Sam.
For me, the 'stoic' comic' should just be front. Underneath is a experianced soldier. A man who has seen his share of hardships and hasn't broken. It should definately not be overplayed, but there is a lot more depth to the character (without need for any S/J ship) then most seem to be willing to explore.

Come to think if it, this brings me to another point that often bugs me (and not only in fanfics); spelling it out. That is, hammering the point home, rather then leaving some things unsaid and leaving the reader to get the subtext for him- or herself. Subtlety, if used well, can do soooooo much.



It takes guts to write and post a fic. One of the hardest things i ever did was to put my first fic up on helio. I was so afraid that it'd get a 'man, you suck' feedback
That is so very true. It takes courage to raise you voice (so to speak). I didn't get around to it until (quite by chance) I stumbled on a story that I just had to tell. Fortunately it has been well received. Now if only I had more time to spend on finishing it :)




An actual pet peeve I have is when either the narrator or Jack calls Daniel, "Jackson" throughout a story. It's bad characterization. We know Daniel by his first name. Jack calls Daniel by his first name. If you have some hard nosed military character in your story who wants to call him Jackson, I can see that. But, if I read, "Jackson didn't know what to do." as opposed to "Daniel didn't know what to do" I put it down. I'm also not fond of the narrator of a story calling Jack "O'Neill" but sometimes I can let it slide, since not everyone calls him by his first name. (But, I still think the audience thinks of him as Jack). And, on the same note, what really burns me up is when the author can't decide what they want to call the character. In one sentence, Daniel is doing this. Next sentence, Jackson is doing that. Make up your minds (Daniel!)
Agree about Daniel, and you should stick with the same name. Although in my fic, each segment is written from one characters POW, so the characters are referred to by the name that character would use. Like, if I was writing from Daniels perspective it would be Jack, but from Teal'c's perspective it would be O'Neill.

When writing from O'Neill's perspective I decided to go with O'Neill rather then Jack. Still not sure if I made the right call, but, being military and all, I just felt O'Neill fit better.

Tok'Ra Hostess
November 22nd, 2004, 04:30 AM
Come to think if it, this brings me to another point that often bugs me (and not only in fanfics); spelling it out. That is, hammering the point home, rather then leaving some things unsaid and leaving the reader to get the subtext for him- or herself. Subtlety, if used well, can do soooooo much.


Oh! Yes! That is really off-putting for me, too. There are some really good writers out there who feel the need to add a paragraph of explaination for every thought, word or action coming from the main character. Very tedious.

Skydiver
November 22nd, 2004, 04:59 AM
For me, the 'stoic' comic' should just be front. Underneath is a experianced soldier. A man who has seen his share of hardships and hasn't broken. It should definately not be overplayed, but there is a lot more depth to the character (without need for any S/J ship) then most seem to be willing to explore..


that is true. all too often i see someone or a group (just speaking in generalities here) express a preference for one characterization. Such as, some folks see jack as still pining over sara, still grieving charlie, still suicidal at times, with an inferiority complex the size of texas but still stoically sacrificial of himself.

Yes, he has been that way in the past, and aspects of this fit. Jack will always care for Sara, he will always miss charlie, he's been to some personal depths of despair that most of us can't even comprehend...but, TO ME, this is a bit off if the fic is set in season 8.

It's the same as teal'c being a complete and total idiot about earth in season 8, or daniel being the little civilan fraidy cat who needs to be protected at all costs.

Everyone has their moments, but they'er just moments.

The rub comes when peer pressure gets involved. Let's say a person picks a characteristic. I saw a lot of this around shades of gray/100 days.....two episodes that spawned about a thousand ship fic. :)

folks took sam working through the night, and the bit of angst at the end of the episode and turned sam into a love sick puppy and then, to ramp up the drama, jack was the brute b****** who just didn't care. Sam was usually, at the end of the episode, worn down to the point of collapse and daniel and teal'c usually reamed jack and made him apologize to poor loyal sam. :rolleyes:

Now a bit of this fits. Sam did pine a bit, she did obsess. Jack, while not totally considerate, wasn't quite teh thick, unthinking brute.

However, when fic that portrays sam as weaker adn jack as mean to make the angst/romance level higher gets praise heaped upon it, people are often encouraged to perpetrate that characterization.

Daniel as weak is another one. In a lot of fic years ago, i would read daniel being made the center of attention and was amazingly selfless, weak, adored and always got whumped to the point of death...only to be the recipient of a remorseful vigil while folks angsted over thier supreme throughtlessness that got their little space monkey hurt :) (it is a bit exaggerated, just to make a point)

Fic that fit this general idea, daniel as weak/adored/loved/cossetted/sacrificing would get a ton of feedback....which would result in even more fic fitting that stereotype being written.

This is totally cool, i do want to say. Different people like different things and i'm not saying that any interpretation is wrong. However, it becomes a bit of 'chicken and the egg'. And it is interesting to watch, how one writer's interpretaion of a character becomes an 'industry standard'...but in doing that, you often end up with only one point of view/interpretation becoming accepted as 'right'



When writing from O'Neill's perspective I decided to go with O'Neill rather then Jack. Still not sure if I made the right call, but, being military and all, I just felt O'Neill fit better.

UI try to do that. Teal'c gets hard because anything from his pov usually ends up reading so horribly impersonal.

Mr Prophet
November 22nd, 2004, 08:04 AM
When writing from O'Neill's perspective I decided to go with O'Neill rather then Jack. Still not sure if I made the right call, but, being military and all, I just felt O'Neill fit better.

I usually call him Jack in my narrative, because...Well, I feel that essentially he is Jack. His buddies - including officer buddies - call him Jack. Even Hammond calls him Jack when they're being informal. I kind of get the feeling that if someone asked him, 'who are you', he'd say: 'I'm Jack'.

Dana_Jeanne
November 22nd, 2004, 02:12 PM
In a lot of fic years ago, i would read daniel being made the center of attention and was amazingly selfless, weak, adored and always got whumped to the point of death...only to be the recipient of a remorseful vigil while folks angsted over thier supreme throughtlessness that got their little space monkey hurt :)

You mean...gasp...Daniel ISN'T the center of attention, being so amazingly selfless and adored and... :D

Weak-- NOBODY on SG-1 is weak or they wouldn't be there. Yes, Daniel, especially at first, needed extra looking after because he wasn't military, but that would have changed rather quickly. It bugs me when people write poor, little helpless Danny stories (or helpless anybody stories). Grrr.

Dana Jeanne

meimei
November 23rd, 2004, 04:37 AM
I love this thread! I love the comments! I agree with all of the comments and I find them extremely helpful.

As a fanfic writer, I am always open to feedback and constructive critisism. Of course, I am a S/J ship writer for the most part so I don't usually appreciate the "why do you do that, there's no chemistry between S/J, it's unrealistic and not canon" comments. My summaries and website are quite specific to that so if you don't like the pairing.... Well, anyway...

The one thing that will turn me off of reading a fanfic faster than anything is formatting. You may think I am nuts but a long fanfic written without paragraph breaks or paragraphs that are a whole page long are difficult to read. I deliberately break down my fics into small paragraphs because of that. Grammatically, I may not require a paragraph break, but reading on a computer screen is hard enough without trying to decipher extremely long paragraphs.

*giggle* I also break down my posts that way too...

I also concur that a beta is necessary. I reread my work a hundred times before sending it to my beta. She takes her time with her review of it. It may be months between posting stories but I prefer it to be checked as closely as possible. And still, sometimes we both miss stuff! I have trouble with fics that are posted without a beta's review.

Now I am off to check out Nit and Pick!! I'll volunteer my work for the disection process! Feedback, good or bad, always helps with writing stories in the future.

Skydiver
November 23rd, 2004, 05:00 AM
I also concur that a beta is necessary. I reread my work a hundred times before sending it to my beta. She takes her time with her review of it. It may be months between posting stories but I prefer it to be checked as closely as possible. And still, sometimes we both miss stuff! I have trouble with fics that are posted without a beta's review.

I do that too. There are times when the fic is short that i haven't sent it off to beta. but there have been other times when i've read, re-read, re-read, sent it off, had it beta'd....and still find a mistake :eek:

I don't mind the occasional error, stuff happens. But continued they're/there swappage and the such, i just stop reading



Now I am off to check out Nit and Pick!! I'll volunteer my work for the disection process! Feedback, good or bad, always helps with writing stories in the future.

cool. come on it. The more the merrier.
If we've exhausted my story, feel free to post one of yours (or the link i should say....you can post the fic if it's a page or two)
Super bonus points if it's archived at Gateworld so that it's easy for folks to get at.

Skydiver
November 23rd, 2004, 05:07 AM
You mean...gasp...Daniel ISN'T the center of attention, being so amazingly selfless and adored and... :D

LOL



Weak-- NOBODY on SG-1 is weak or they wouldn't be there. Yes, Daniel, especially at first, needed extra looking after because he wasn't military, but that would have changed rather quickly. It bugs me when people write poor, little helpless Danny stories (or helpless anybody stories). Grrr.

Dana Jeanne

those stories have turned me off the genre as a whole because WeakDaniel is rather popular. Which, again, is cool. It's just not how I see him.

I see him as a strong, compassionate, caring person, who also has a backbone of steel, but also can be a bit peevish at times. He spent most of his life alone, emotionally if not physically, and can be a bit emotionally isolated and like a dog with a bone. This attitude can make him a bit narrow minded when it comes to some things....which is also a trait that the others have had.

Yes, he would give his life for his friends. They all would. I just think he has more of a sense of self preservation than some give him. Sometimes he's written as so nearly suicidal that it's a wonder he hasn't jumped off the nearest cliff :)

meimei
November 23rd, 2004, 09:34 AM
I do that too. There are times when the fic is short that i haven't sent it off to beta. but there have been other times when i've read, re-read, re-read, sent it off, had it beta'd....and still find a mistake :eek:

I don't mind the occasional error, stuff happens. But continued they're/there swappage and the such, i just stop reading



cool. come on it. The more the merrier.
If we've exhausted my story, feel free to post one of yours (or the link i should say....you can post the fic if it's a page or two)
Super bonus points if it's archived at Gateworld so that it's easy for folks to get at.
I'm afraid that most of my stuff isn't posted at GW due to ratings issues... I tend to rate them high cause I am not sure where R stops and NC17 begins so better safe than sorry! But a few are... I'll have to see what's out there!!

whisper99
November 24th, 2004, 11:59 AM
I've only been reading Stargate fanfic for about 2 months now but yes, I do think I'm a very picky reader. These are some of the things that I look for in a fic and some of the things that bother me (in no particular order):

1) The portrayal of the characters has to be more or less true to how you see them on the TV show. For example, in a story, I don't want to see something like Teal'c being portrayed as somebody who can't stop talking (unless of course that's part of the plot line - an alien turned on the super-social parts of his genes or something)

2) Please, please, please post warnings if the fic is SLASH. Some stuff I just don't need the visual on. :)

3) Likewise, if there is any SHIPpiness, a nice warning is good too. Nothing like getting into a good story when you're taken by surprise to find out that two of the characters have a romantic relationship when it's not integral to the story. I don’t mind it, but that sort of thing completely throws me off, especially if it’s one I’m not expecting. (Yes, I’m a Sam/Jack & Daniel/Janet shipper. Sam/Daniel SHIPpiness always throws me for a loop!)

4) Spelling and grammar - it's not so bad if it looks like the author has tried their best to fix these problems. I don't like the blatant, 'I'll just type whatever and post it without reading it through first.' ESPECIALLY if that’s what’s implied in the plot summary. :)

5) I like it when fics use established plot lines and try to explain them further. Makes it easier to ‘fill in the blanks’ of what could have been.

6) I like angst and you can’t have a good fic without some Danny whumping! LOL (kidding). I like that, but I also like the adventure type fics. One of my favorites fics is ‘For God and Country’. That one at first glance seems like it’s so out there, but it’s totally believable (at least to me).

Ok, I’ll be quiet now

-Whisper99

Skydiver
November 24th, 2004, 12:34 PM
Ok, I’ll be quiet now

-Whisper99

why be quiet?
come on over to the Nit and Pick thread and dissect one of the stories that are there.

it's bound to be a slow and boring weekend, we ought to liven things up a bit

meimei
November 29th, 2004, 02:24 PM
I guess this is a spam, drive by, whatever post because I really have nothing new to add! I just think that this is an excellent topic for writers, new and old, or I should say experienced and I hate to see it bumped off the front page into forum oblivion! It's always good to know what readers like, dislike and detest!

I have been trying to promote this thread and the Nit and Pick thread in other areas of the forum. Most people read for enjoyment, and out of this forum I would guess that a significant portion, though not all, read fanfic! I love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Please post more!

Dana_Jeanne
November 29th, 2004, 02:29 PM
I like that, but I also like the adventure type fics. One of my favorites fics is ‘For God and Country’. That one at first glance seems like it’s so out there, but it’s totally believable (at least to me).-Whisper99

Where is this story?

Thanks--
Dana jeanne

samjack4ever
November 29th, 2004, 02:50 PM
I guess this is a spam, drive by, whatever post because I really have nothing new to add! I just think that this is an excellent topic for writers, new and old, or I should say experienced and I hate to see it bumped off the front page into forum oblivion! It's always good to know what readers like, dislike and detest!



I have been trying to promote this thread and the Nit and Pick thread in other areas of the forum. Most people read for enjoyment, and out of this forum I would guess that a significant portion, though not all, read fanfic! I love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Please post more!I'm loving this thread too... I've written quite a few fics but only three of them have managed to get off my computer and on to the web. I do feel kind of awkward posting in this kind of thread (and there is no way I would have the bottle to post in the Nit Pick thread) for I am the worlds worst speller and no matter how many times I read them then re-read and re-read some more, I always find errors. I can't even blame it on a beta as I don't have one... (Ummm maybe that’s where I’m going wrong :S )

But what I am finding interesting is what type of stories appeal to people. For example I have an incomplete fic about Jack’s daughter from the future and had also planned a fic where Sam and Daniel find themselves stranded on a world were time is accelerated... but after a reading several comments on these types of stories I think I’ll keep them locked up in the ‘never to be published’ section.

So just out of curiosity what type of story appeals to the masses – if there is such a thing?

samjack4ever
November 29th, 2004, 02:53 PM
Where is this story?

Thanks--
Dana jeanneFor god and country can be found here http://www.frondfic.com/Surgery/fg&c.htm

It is a fantastic story....

Dani347
November 29th, 2004, 03:50 PM
had also planned a fic where Sam and Daniel find themselves stranded on a world were time is accelerated... but after a reading several comments on these types of stories I think I’ll keep them locked up in the ‘never to be published’ section

Two things. Don't ever let opinions stop you from writing a story. Just because some people don't like it doesn't mean that others won't. Some people can't stand Daniel whumping, and I can't get enough of it. I can't stand J/S ship, but obviously there are those who love it. I think nitpicks and details within a story are things to look out for, but people saying they don't like a certain type of story just means it isn't their cup of tea. You write what appeals to you and then listen as to problems within a story.

Also, I think I read a fic like the Sam and Daniel one before. Pretty interesting. (But, don't let that stop you. There are no completely original ideas) Write whatever story appeals to you.

Skydiver
November 29th, 2004, 05:19 PM
Don't let anyone stop you from writing and posting your fic.

I guarantee you there is NOT a fic that everyone hates. No matter what you write, someone will like it and read it.

That's one of the hardest things about being a writer, don't let others direct your creativity. YOU write what you want to write, not what others tell you to write.

If i only wrote what my friends wanted, i'd write nothing but Sam/Jack smut. But you know what???? I write the stories i want to write. Maybe they'll be read, maybe not. But at the end of the day, I've created something that i'm proud to put my name to.

meimei
November 29th, 2004, 05:23 PM
I'm loving this thread too... I've written quite a few fics but only three of them have managed to get off my computer and on to the web. I do feel kind of awkward posting in this kind of thread (and there is no way I would have the bottle to post in the Nit Pick thread) for I am the worlds worst speller and no matter how many times I read them then re-read and re-read some more, I always find errors. I can't even blame it on a beta as I don't have one... (Ummm maybe that’s where I’m going wrong :S )

But what I am finding interesting is what type of stories appeal to people. For example I have an incomplete fic about Jack’s daughter from the future and had also planned a fic where Sam and Daniel find themselves stranded on a world were time is accelerated... but after a reading several comments on these types of stories I think I’ll keep them locked up in the ‘never to be published’ section.

So just out of curiosity what type of story appeals to the masses – if there is such a thing?
Oh, NO!! Don't let anyone tell you exactly what to write! That's not the purpose here. Writing is creative expression all your own! The stories you mention may not appeal to one, but another will love.

Our reading tastes are as varied as the people that write them. Most of my stories... okay, all of them so far are J/S ship. I know a lot of people out there can't stand that pairing. It doesn't stop me. They don't have to read them!

And as far as posting on Nit and Pick, don't ever be afraid of constructive critism. I prefer someone to tell me exactly what they like and dislike! I would rather have that kind of feedback than the two word "Great story!" or "Story sucks!" Both of those have value because you know that as a writer someone responded to your work but I love the tell ones that tell me exactly why.

It's like a work of art, the artist is seeking a response in the person viewing. Whether that response is good or bad doesn't mean anything. Both are emotions provoked by the artist. It's when you get no response at all that you should worry! LOL!

I don't think anyone will beat you about the head and shoulders in Nit and Pick. I have picked up some interesting points so far.

Don't let what anyone says they prefer suppress your creative expression. There are people out there that will like it!!

TechnoWraith
November 29th, 2004, 05:33 PM
I find the fan-fic pretty entertaining. I'm not overly picky, but there are things that will drive me up the wall:

1. Excessive misspellings and grammatical errors. Makes it difficult to read the story and understand what's being said. Nobody's perfect, but people who neglect basic grammar and spelling do make it harder to read their stories.

2. Stargate Vocabulary Incorrect. By "Stargate Vocabulary" I mean characters, character names, planets, planet names, races, race names, etc. By "Incorrect" I mean excessive misspellings, or confusion. Sure, sometimes people goof and make a bad reference. That's ok. Just as long as it doesn't become the norm throughout the entire fan-fic.

3. Non-sense Stories. Fan-fics are usually thought out and well written. Some aren't. Those that are non-sense (i.e. Jack gates to planet PX-90000 where giant pink elephants attack anyone wearing glasses...) really aren't enjoyable.

Writing a fan-fic can be fun and enjoyable. Everyone can enjoy a great fan-fic. Thankfully the greatest majority of the fan-fics here at GateWorld are well written and thoroughly enjoyed (at least by me). For those who write the fan-fics: great job! :)

ibwolf
November 30th, 2004, 04:36 AM
The one thing that will turn me off of reading a fanfic faster than anything is formatting. You may think I am nuts but a long fanfic written without paragraph breaks or paragraphs that are a whole page long are difficult to read. I deliberately break down my fics into small paragraphs because of that. Grammatically, I may not require a paragraph break, but reading on a computer screen is hard enough without trying to decipher extremely long paragraphs.

Agreed here. Although IMHO if you have long paragraphs, rather then inserting grammatically unneeded breaks, you should rewrite the paragraph.

Usually though, my writing tends to lend itself to fairly short paragraphs.




1) The portrayal of the characters has to be more or less true to how you see them on the TV show.

I'll go further and say that I don't see the point in writing/reading a fic that significantly differs in its depiction of a character. Unless it's done for humorous effect in a comedy.




5) I like it when fics use established plot lines and try to explain them further. Makes it easier to ‘fill in the blanks’ of what could have been.

I don't. But I do like fics that take an establish storyline(s) and throw in a random variable and present an entirely different take on it.



I'm loving this thread too... I've written quite a few fics but only three of them have managed to get off my computer and on to the web. I do feel kind of awkward posting in this kind of thread (and there is no way I would have the bottle to post in the Nit Pick thread) for I am the worlds worst speller and no matter how many times I read them then re-read and re-read some more, I always find errors. I can't even blame it on a beta as I don't have one... (Ummm maybe that’s where I’m going wrong :S )

That's what the Nit&Pic thread is for, isn't it? You should never be afraid of constructive criticism. Peer review is such an integral part of being a software developer that I'm long past the point where I feel any embarrassment for the myriad frellups that happen. You get used to it.




But what I am finding interesting is what type of stories appeal to people. For example I have an incomplete fic about Jack’s daughter from the future and had also planned a fic where Sam and Daniel find themselves stranded on a world were time is accelerated... but after a reading several comments on these types of stories I think I’ll keep them locked up in the ‘never to be published’ section.

One of the highest praise (in my opinion) that you can get for a fanfic, is that it is 'orginal.' People seem to like to rehash the same old concept over and over (presumably because there is an audience) but, for me, if it has already been done, then, unless I've got an idea for a wicked twist, I would never consider bothering with it.




So just out of curiosity what type of story appeals to the masses – if there is such a thing?

Doubt you can find a something that appeals to everyone.



That's one of the hardest things about being a writer, don't let others direct your creativity. YOU write what you want to write, not what others tell you to write.

Right on! I write because I enjoy it. You write for yourself first and foremost.

That's probably why I haven't ventured into fanfiction much. I tend to have little trouble thinking up original material. I need to have a really good idea for a fanfic before I even consider it.

Jprime
December 4th, 2004, 11:40 AM
I don't even read past the phrase "teenage girl gets into the SGC". There are SOOOOO many of those! Somehow a few or one teenage girls get into the SGC, develop a crush on Daniel/Jack/Jonas and save the day. ARRRRRRRG. No substance whatsoever.

Mr Prophet
December 4th, 2004, 02:31 PM
I don't even read past the phrase "teenage girl gets into the SGC". There are SOOOOO many of those! Somehow a few or one teenage girls get into the SGC, develop a crush on Daniel/Jack/Jonas and save the day. ARRRRRRRG. No substance whatsoever.

Amen. Only one teenage girl should get into the SGC and that's Cassie.

Dani347
December 4th, 2004, 04:42 PM
I don't even read past the phrase "teenage girl gets into the SGC". There are SOOOOO many of those! Somehow a few or one teenage girls get into the SGC, develop a crush on Daniel/Jack/Jonas and save the day. ARRRRRRRG. No substance whatsoever.


Ah, yes. With a flip of her perfect shiny hair, Mary Sue Perfect makes her way through the fanfic world.

ShadowMaat
December 4th, 2004, 04:46 PM
I had a link once to a site with LOTR fics on it where one author had developed a whole series around killing off Mary Sues. It was hysterical! All the different Mary Sue stereotypes... I dunno what was scarier, the author's methodical and inventive ways of killing them off, or the fact that there were so MANY to kill... ;)

Jprime
December 4th, 2004, 05:18 PM
I had a link once to a site with LOTR fics on it where one author had developed a whole series around killing off Mary Sues. It was hysterical! All the different Mary Sue stereotypes... I dunno what was scarier, the author's methodical and inventive ways of killing them off, or the fact that there were so MANY to kill... ;)

You don't still have the link do you?

mtee1958
January 3rd, 2005, 08:00 AM
I am a somewhat picky reader. I will look at my bookmarked authors for any updates. I don't hesitate to read new authors, but...

I dislike when they go over the top on the characters. As mentioned several times, Daniel can be portrayed as so naive, it's incredible. Jack and Daniel have a great relationship, but they are not a father son team. Jack seems to be more of a big brother and all that entails. There is affection yes, but some authors, and I'm not talking slash, bring too much in their stories. When Daniel is hurt, there is concern, but sometimes they make you think Jack is overwhelmed when this occurs. I like the fact that they argue and each can be very snippy at the other. This may be just my take on the relationship -- but for me, I prefer the big brother characterization.

My biggest pet peeve is the use of "loose" and "lose". There is a difference. "Loose" refers to something that is not tight. If something is missing, you lose it. You lose your way. You lose your temper.
That one bugs the heck out of me and I see it so very often. Maybe it's a translation thing.

My favorite stories balance the Jack Daniel relationship. They put affection with tension or frustration. They bring concern without being smothering. They give me action and realistic dialogue. I can "see" my characters saying their words. They make me want to write and ask for more, and I've done exactly that to some authors!

But I appreciate anyone who attempts a fanfic. It's something I can't do. So please continue writing, I'll keep reading!!

graculus
January 3rd, 2005, 08:50 AM
Throwing in my fic snobbism: what I do is keep a bookmark list of trusted rec sources. I check their recs occasionally, and then I go read those. The biggest tragedy for me when my computer crashed was that I lost my Stargate fic bookmarks. It took a long time to remember/find them all again.

I also have a special place in my heart for tough betas.

Later,
Graculus

graculus
January 3rd, 2005, 08:55 AM
My biggest pet peeve is the use of "loose" and "lose".

That's my biggest grammar pet peeve, too! Spelling and English-as-a-second-language isn't the issue - it's the fact that really articulate people can trip up on loose/lose. It's mind-boggling to read what amounts to a Ph.D. thesis on intergalactic diplomacy, and then to see "loose" everywhere. It stops my flow of reading like a Mack truck.

Later,
Graculus

Sparky13
January 3rd, 2005, 03:47 PM
OMG, talk about using the wrong words...I gave up on the 200-pager I printed out when the author used the word "swang" as past tense for swing! As in "He swang around."

And, please...I beg of each and every author out there...use the proper form of "lay" and "lie" and "laid," etc. Such as "She told him to lie down," not: "She told him to lay down." (Pretty inviting thing...telling him to lie down!)

Maybe I'm just getting picky in my old age, but poor word usage is distracting and lots of it in a story can turn me off to an otherwise good plot.

Sparky

graculus
January 3rd, 2005, 03:51 PM
I agree that grammar becomes an issue when it's distracting enough to throw you out of the story - it isn't a matter of language imperialism or a prissy perfectionist thing.

Later,
Graculus

Dana_Jeanne
January 3rd, 2005, 08:16 PM
More of my silly pickiness (pickyness?): over use of Jack calling Daniel 'Danny.'

When a writer makes Carter younger than Daniel; silly I know, but it bugs the heck out of me.

Writers who don't use contractions. I mean, come on: except for the Jaffa, how many people does one know who always says I am, we are, I do not.... etc?

I don't know lay from lie from a good roll in the hay, so it doesn't bother me when it's used wrong!

Dana Jeanne

Sparky13
January 3rd, 2005, 08:57 PM
More of my silly pickiness (pickyness?): over use of Jack calling Daniel 'Danny.'

When a writer makes Carter younger than Daniel; silly I know, but it bugs the heck out of me.

Writers who don't use contractions. I mean, come on: except for the Jaffa, how many people does one know who always says I am, we are, I do not.... etc?

I don't know lay from lie from a good roll in the hay, so it doesn't bother me when it's used wrong!

Dana Jeanne

Dana,
You are too funny! I completely agree with you on your first three points. The lay/lie thing...hey, I'm over it. For the moment.

If a writer is going to be true to canon, he or she will note that Jack usually does refer to Daniel as "Daniel," and uses "Danny" for those occasions when he is mocking him. Usually. And what's the deal with contractions? I noticed this, as well, that some writers have O'Neill saying things like "I do not think it will work." Yeah, right.

Lately I have become mighty bored with lots and lots of dialogue. I mean, I know Briefing Room scenes are true to the show, but even in the worst episodes ever, the Briefing Room scenes and other conversational venues were kept as short as possible. Having to plow through people chattering on page after page reminds me of the great line from the episode "2010," which I modify to read "...And we're talking"!

Ack! I've read way too much fan fic.

Sparky

graculus
January 3rd, 2005, 09:14 PM
My thought is that most good authors will already care about grammar, because they are interested in writing something good. Then there is another group of authors who write as a social thing and really don't care about dotting the i and crossing the t - they will never bother with editing no matter how much readers beg. For them, editing is work and criticism, and it sucks the fun out of writing.

Someone mentioned the dilemma of the 200 page fic. This brings up special beta problems, and beta problems carry over to quality problems for the reader. I like to beta, but I will only offer for very short fic. The reason is that I'm a tough beta, and I go through pieces with a fine tooth comb. It takes days to go through a 200k fic with a fine tooth comb. And the worst part is that people who write 200k fics usually write long fics as a habit: which means the minute you hand back one huge fic, another one pops into your mail box.

There have been quite a few long fics that I've enjoyed, and I've been amazed at the quality of some of them. When I'm really enjoying something novel-length, I feel more than a little bit guilty about not wanting to beta long fic. I'm just grateful that there are some heroic betas out there who will not only take on a really big fic, they are potentially on the hook for a lot of them!

Later,
Graculus

Skydiver
January 4th, 2005, 04:11 AM
More of my silly pickiness (pickyness?): over use of Jack calling Daniel 'Danny.'



oh yeah. in spades. that and 'j'ak' will have me hitting the back button so fast i nearly break my finger

in fact, there are some authors i don't read anymore because they persist in the danny/j'ak bit



When a writer makes Carter younger than Daniel; silly I know, but it bugs the heck out of me.



i don't obsess too much on their ages, but sam probably is younger than daniel. daniel was born somewhere in 1964ish (4.5 in 1969) and sam was probably born a year or two later


my other nits are making jack SuperJack...never feels pain, marches on a broken leg, yadda. dude, the man is human, he can only take and do so much

making teal'c the straight-man.
yeah, ok, season 1-2, he wouldn't get slang. but not now in s8.

graculus
January 4th, 2005, 08:36 AM
sam probably is younger than daniel. daniel was born somewhere in 1964ish (4.5 in 1969)

This reminds me of something that I get picky about. I like writers who remember that Daniel is pushing 40. Even in the first season, he was in his thirties, and he had all the maturity that comes from years of academic training. At the SGC, Daniel embarked on his second career. Sure, he was failing at his first career, but he still engaged with the professional world for an unspecified number of years.

Unless we throw canon away, Daniel is not a "youth" (I've read fic where he's called a "youth"!). Daniel is not a boy. Daniel is not little and does not giggle. Daniel is an academic linguist, which means he probably doesn't even think in slang: if you spend 70% of your time writing in formal mode, you think that way, too. Daniel might have a ton of psychological issues, but they aren't experienced in the same way a shy kid gets batted about high school bullies. When Daniel hesitates or stutters, it could be because he has too many competing thoughts going on, a common problem for academics - why diagnose teen angst?

Like most adults, Daniel might do "young" stuff or use slang in informal moments, but he probably does it in nostalgia mode.

In the past when I've pointed this out, I've been told that when young people watch the show, the see the young Daniel they identify with. If this is what they like in the show, this is what will carry over into the fic. I guess all I can say about this is that I always hope good fiction characters will expand a person's horizons rather than mirroring their current state.

Later,
Graculus

Tok'Ra Hostess
January 4th, 2005, 09:01 AM
And what's the deal with contractions? I noticed this, as well, that some writers have O'Neill saying things like "I do not think it will work." Yeah, right.

<nods> Has Jack ever said "I do not think" except in a self-deprecating way? He's way more sure of himself; if he thought it wouldn't work he'd simply state categorically, "Won't work."

Sparky13
January 4th, 2005, 09:07 AM
>>This reminds me of something that I get picky about. I like writers who remember that Daniel is pushing 40. Even in the first season, he was in his thirties, and he had all the maturity that comes from years of academic training. At the SGC, Daniel embarked on his second career. Sure, he was failing at his first career, but he still engaged with the professional world for an unspecified number of years.<<

Yes, well put! He is definitely NOT the childish character sometimes portrayed. I think perhaps fic writers mistake Daniel's childLIKE enthusiasm with immaturity. It is not so difficult to understand why, when he and Jack are all over the place with "Did to!" "Did not!" and so forth. Still, I see bits of Daniel in everyone. For example, you're walking 'round the shopping mall with your husband/boyfriend/SO and you pass, say, a piano store. You like music, so you pop in and get all dreamy-eyed over a Steinway. Then you leave that place and walk by a Govida shop. He's a candy lover, so he gets all dreamy-eyed over the truffles. Daniel's like that, only he gets to "go shopping" at just about every planet SG-1 visits. That's where his impetuous nature goes wild and he can't keep his hands or his mind still. He is still professional, though and let's give him some credit for saving lots and lots of lives, including Jack's and Sam's.

On to another pickiness...as a medical professional, I find laughable some of the medical no-nos that go on in fan fic. Like, for example, Janet suggesting that someone just hit by a car be hoisted up and set down on a chair. Also, please note that, in normal circumstances, a person rendered unconscious by a blow to the head is considered a "head trauma." In practice, such people should be collared, backboarded and transported to the nearest trauma center. Once they wake up--if they wake up--they are not going to be clear-headed for at least 24 hours, probably longer. They will most likely have amnesia of various sorts, usually of events leading up to the trauma. They will keep asking the same questions over and over because they don't remember having asked them before. It's a nasty thing, getting knocked out. The longer the patient is unconscious (say, 6 hours, compared with a minute or a few seconds), the worse their prognosis gets and the more severe the memory deficit. In general, that is. In my experience, people NEVER are up and talking sensibly and walking steadily immediately after awakening.

However, this is fan fic and the whole story can't be about someone recovering from getting their bell rung. So, walk and chat away.

Sparky

graculus
January 4th, 2005, 09:16 AM
Yes, you caught a couple of what I think of as "miscues": Daniel's enthusiasm and banter with Jack. For me, these go in the same category as slang and eating ice cream sundaes - adults will do these things, but they are self-conscious about the "youngness" of it, and it's regarded as a special indulgence, not their normal mode of being.

One thing I want to point out about the banter, is that academics adjust for their audience. Jack is a pretty casual guy - in order to get on with him, Daniel is going to do guy chat like Jack does guy chat. When he's with Sam in the lab, Daniel will probably switch to ten-gallon words found only in scientific journals.

Later,
Graculus

Skydiver
January 4th, 2005, 10:10 AM
This reminds me of something that I get picky about. I like writers who remember that Daniel is pushing 40. Even in the first season, he was in his thirties, and he had all the maturity that comes from years of academic training. At the SGC, Daniel embarked on his second career. Sure, he was failing at his first career, but he still engaged with the professional world for an unspecified number of years.



daniel is probably over 40 by now, he's 41-42 if my math is right.

and he's no innocent. yes, he's a civilian, but he spent(we can safely presume) the early part of his childhood on digs (at least that's what's been implied) then spent the rest of it a ward of new york state (he was in new york when his parents were killed and would likey have ramained a ward of the state since nick wouldn't adopt him, and i woudl presume, didn't give up custody of him either) and then at 18 he was cut loose and let out into the world

we know that he traveled (did the midwife thing in the yuccatan) and is probably just as worldly as Jack is, even if he's not a cynical or tactically driven in his thinking

daniel is not some wide eyed virginal young boy who's still wet behind the ears

graculus
January 4th, 2005, 10:17 AM
It's weird though how the idea of "40" gets younger the older you get, lol.

Later,
Graculus

Mr Prophet
January 4th, 2005, 10:52 AM
daniel is not some wide eyed virginal young boy who's still wet behind the ears
Nope. That's Jonas.

graculus
January 4th, 2005, 10:56 AM
::runs away, fleeing the Jonas fic::

Later,
Graculus

Dani347
January 4th, 2005, 11:58 AM
oh yeah. in spades. that and 'j'ak' will have me hitting the back button so fast i nearly break my finger

in fact, there are some authors i don't read anymore because they persist in the danny/j'ak bit





I don't mind the occasional Danny, especially in a teasing way, or in extreme cases of trauma. But, I hate j'ak. Because it makes no freaking sense! What does J'ak sound like?


I think perhaps fic writers mistake Daniel's childLIKE enthusiasm with immaturity.

I agree with this, too. I love the childlike quality of him, but he's not childish as a rule. (I think everyone has those moments of being childish, so I won't say he never is)

And, I also agree about the contractions. I always wonder if the fic writers are writing like they do English papers, where contractions are frowned upon, and not changing to write like people talk.

Skydiver
January 4th, 2005, 12:30 PM
Nope. That's Jonas.

LOL

don't quite agree with you there. Jonas did have his wide eyed wonder moments...but he also had a quiet savvy that suggested that he was very good at knowing when to just keep quiet and observe

he was innocent about earth (which really served them well in s6. Instead of Jack asking those stupid but plot moving questions, jonas got to as them, and it made sense to explain the back story to jonas - and the audience - while it seemed idiotic for jack to keep asking about events he participated in)
but i think, in the general ways of the world, he wasn't quite as innocent as folks thought

Jonas knew how to play it close to the chest

Mr Prophet
January 4th, 2005, 12:35 PM
LOL

don't quite agree with you there. Jonas did have his wide eyed wonder moments...but he also had a quiet savvy that suggested that he was very good at knowing when to just keep quiet and observe

he was innocent about earth (which really served them well in s6. Instead of Jack asking those stupid but plot moving questions, jonas got to as them, and it made sense to explain the back story to jonas - and the audience - while it seemed idiotic for jack to keep asking about events he participated in)
but i think, in the general ways of the world, he wasn't quite as innocent as folks thought

Jonas knew how to play it close to the chest
And let us not forget, violent. I'd sooner have Daniel pissed at me than Jonas.

graculus
January 4th, 2005, 12:38 PM
IMHO, Jonas verged on being arrogant about his "hyper-observing" powers. The fact he made a note of it made me less inclined to believe it.

Later,
Graculus

Tok'Ra Hostess
January 4th, 2005, 02:26 PM
IMHO, Jonas verged on being arrogant about his "hyper-observing" powers. The fact he made a note of it made me less inclined to believe it.

Later,
Graculus

I found Jonas to be quite humble considering the arrogant culture he was raised in. I'm even amazed that they had an ethics department in the naquadria bomb-making facility(Meridian), but if anyone should have headed it, Jonas seemed the only person I'd have qualified as being anything near ethical.

Jonas had a fresh-washed, boyscout-showing-off-his-merit-badges quality that I found quite endearing, but I never could write him. Not that I didn't like him well enough.

He's definately the hardest character for me, because I knew far too little about his back-story. I knew more about Teal'c after his cry of, "I have no where to go,"(COTG) than I got to know of Jonas after 20 episodes. In a fic I doubt I'd ever be able to give him more than plot-advancing expository dialogue. :(

ShadowMaat
January 4th, 2005, 02:31 PM
I love writing Jonas, I find him all angsty and eager to prove himself and full of doubts despite the "brave face" he puts on. ;) But that's probably better for hardest character to write (http://forum.gateworld.net/showthread.php?t=422) rather than reader pickiness. :P

The lay/lie thing gives me conniptions when I write because no matter how many ways I have it explained to me, I still have trouble with it. So I ask someone to check it for me. ;)

Sparky13
January 4th, 2005, 07:30 PM
>>The lay/lie thing gives me conniptions when I write because no matter how many ways I have it explained to me, I still have trouble with it. So I ask someone to check it for me.<<

Bless you, Shad!

Sparky

LordAnubis
January 17th, 2005, 10:25 AM
I've been wondering this for awhile. I have a morning ritual (at least when I have time) to search my local fanfic posting hangouts and read new updates and stories. A lot of the time, I come across newer authors and I become interested in reading what they've written.

Heres where it gets snobby.

I will refuse to read it if there are any of the following things within the first few paragraphs or page views:


Simple grammar/spelling mistakes.
"Ill" instead of "I'll," "your" instead of "you're", etc. It screams to me that they either didn't have a beta and/or didn't care to run a spellcheck on their work, turning me off to spending my time reading it.
Stargate vocabulary spelled incorrectly.
"Gould" instead of "Goa'uld" is my biggest beef. I won't read the story if this is mispelled. Snob Factor +10
Character (especially main) names spelled incorrectly.
"Oneal" vs. "O'niell" vs. "Oneel" tan my hide. Snob Factor +20


I know I should probably be giving the stories the benefit of the doubt, but after awhile, the little things start to rub me the wrong way.

Am I alone?
I agree with everything you said! What really bothers me, however, is when writers take license and think they can fill in the gaps by creating something new and improved. I read a fan fic once where Asgard had all these powers. Um, this was complete crap and made the story seem so implausible and stupid, I stopped reading it.

Also, poor character development. If an author doesn't like a character, then it might be wise to not write about that character. I've read fan fic where Anubis was portrayed as a typical Goa'uld using hand devices, prattling on like Apophis, etc. This was soooo unbelievable because he's partially ascended and different from his Goa'uld brethren. This author made him out to be Apophis or something. He had no clue what Anubis was about or how he should act.

Also, sticking with canon is always good. There's a gateworld fan fic author who ignores certain facts. He wrote a story about a Goa'uld warrior whose name was the same as the Goa'uld whose DNA was used in "Resurrection". I understand this story may have been written before Season 7, but still, go back and fix it. This same author used another name not realizing it was Anubis' Kull Warrior scientist in "Evolutions".

Stay consistent too. If your character's name is "Athena", don't revert to the Greek name "Pallas"; it's confusing and unnecessary -- stick with one name and keep it throughout the story.

ShadowMaat
January 17th, 2005, 10:52 AM
Actually, I don't see why people should have to go back and "fix" their stories just becaue the names/ideas get used in other ways. If folks did that every time things changed, well... fics would constantly be changing. That would confuse readers, especially those who're re-reading something. I mean, there's being anal and then there's being ANAL and even I don't expect people to go back and change things just because it no longer quite fits with the show. When it's all said and done, fanfics are still FANfics. Ya gotta cut folks SOME slack for not being precogs. ;)

Skydiver
January 17th, 2005, 11:12 AM
with a lot of the fic that i write, i try to keep it consistent with show continuity. for example, sam's mom does not have a canon name, so i dont' give her one.

however, i have had fic of mine that fit in within continuity later be contradicted by continuity. for example, my first fic, A is for Assassin, had teal'c getting possessed by a goauld while he still kept junior. At that point in time of the show, that fact had not been ruled out. it was possible because they never said it was impossible.

then came the Tomb and all of a sudden my fic was contrary to continuity. I'm not going back to 'fix' it. I've had folks tell me that it's 'wrong' but i simply reply that when i wrote it, it wasn't wrong. end of story

a person would literally drive themselves nuts trying to keep fixing things

Brandie
January 17th, 2005, 11:23 AM
This thread still lives!

I just got done reading a huge fic series via GW's fic area.. and I must say, I enjoyed the stories a lot. Probably more so than I have any other stories I've read.. but I almost almost clicked the Back button and never returned.

Why?

Because of the simple spelling mistakes.

The fic was beautifully written. Very involved, words set the scene perfectly and the lot.. but (I'm sorry if the author happens by this and concerned that the betas didn't catch it) when things like "deja vu" are spelled "day ja view" ... it bothers me. Like I said, I almost didn't read it heh..

In the long run, I ended up sticking with it and really enjoyed the story.

Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age (but since when is 22 old...)?

Mr Prophet
January 17th, 2005, 11:42 AM
Also, sticking with canon is always good. There's a gateworld fan fic author who ignores certain facts. He wrote a story about a Goa'uld warrior whose name was the same as the Goa'uld whose DNA was used in "Resurrection". I understand this story may have been written before Season 7, but still, go back and fix it. This same author used another name not realizing it was Anubis' Kull Warrior scientist in "Evolutions".

Stay consistent too. If your character's name is "Athena", don't revert to the Greek name "Pallas"; it's confusing and unnecessary -- stick with one name and keep it throughout the story.

Daniel calls Jack Jack; Sam calls him Colonel and Teal'c calls him O'Neill. Is that confusing and unnecessary? Soldiers possess rank, as do nobles. Most Goa'uld may alternately be referred to as 'my lord/lady' after all.

As for going back to fix things; basically, what Skydiver said, but also, bite me. :p I have never written anything that didn't keep to canon at the time of writing, but if I edited for Jossing I would have to delete several entire fanfics, so frankly, screw canon. Call it AU; I do.

I might be more willing to 'fix' names which have since be used elsewhere - might; probably wouldn't, but might - if either of those examples had done anything like justice to the mythological figures involved. All due respect to the PTB, but Thoth the Thrice-Great, mighty in magic and lord of all wisdom is a minor skivvy to Anubis the loser-god of embalming (on which subject, just don't get me started)? ******** to that.

Skydiver
January 17th, 2005, 12:15 PM
it's like getting into the whole Harriman/Davis/Walter/Norman thing

hey, how can i keep things straight with the show if they can't keep thier names straight???

Mr Prophet
January 17th, 2005, 12:24 PM
it's like getting into the whole Harriman/Davis/Walter/Norman thing

He's a spy from the Welsh Mafia, going under a dozen different names to avoid detection!

LordAnubis
January 17th, 2005, 01:58 PM
Daniel calls Jack Jack; Sam calls him Colonel and Teal'c calls him O'Neill. Is that confusing and unnecessary? Soldiers possess rank, as do nobles. Most Goa'uld may alternately be referred to as 'my lord/lady' after all.

As for going back to fix things; basically, what Skydiver said, but also, bite me. :p I have never written anything that didn't keep to canon at the time of writing, but if I edited for Jossing I would have to delete several entire fanfics, so frankly, screw canon. Call it AU; I do.

I might be more willing to 'fix' names which have since be used elsewhere - might; probably wouldn't, but might - if either of those examples had done anything like justice to the mythological figures involved. All due respect to the PTB, but Thoth the Thrice-Great, mighty in magic and lord of all wisdom is a minor skivvy to Anubis the loser-god of embalming (on which subject, just don't get me started)? ******** to that.
Overall, your writing is very good and I read through quite a bit of your archive, and I see Skydiver's point about going back to "fix"things. Don't take offense -- take it as constructive criticism. I wouldn't be able to do what you've done and create a decent episode. You have done some great work. I liked the Nazi one you did and I did like Sekhmet one too, although I really didn't like your portrayal of Anubis. You never mentioned he was partially ascended or even really described him.

I think your writing is excellent, though, so don't be so defensive. I was merely pointing out that the names you used were used later and this was confusing. Another thing that was confusing was referring to Ra's First Prime as Anubis and then later referring to Lord Anubis as Anubis. A good writer writes for others as well as him/herself. You might know what you're talking about, and die hard fans might know, but there are people in the middle who would have no idea what the hell you're talking about with two Anubi -- one a jaffa/human warrior, the other a Goa'uld.

In your Rhea/Sekhmet story, did you actually say Thoth ascended like Anubis? You hinted to that being a separate storyline with Captain Amy Kawalsky, if so, which one was it in?

Mr. Prophet, you're an excellent writer and I apologize if you took offense to my nitpicky points. Don't let a no-talent punk like me get your feathers ruffled. You do a great job dude and your grammar, punctuation, and flow are great.

Dani347
January 17th, 2005, 02:32 PM
I think for fics that have elements that were true (or at least not proven to be false) at one time, the simplest thing is to write something in the author's notes. "This fic was written during season 3, before blah blah blah was revealed."


A good writer writes for others as well as him/herself.

Wise words. Very wise words. And, not just for fanfic writers.

ShadowMaat
January 17th, 2005, 02:41 PM
I think the problem is that you assume that writing happens at random. That people go through a book of names and think, "Hey, that sounds good" or that individual scenes have no bearing on later events. This is not so.

Sure, SOME people might choose names at random, but speaking for myself, I tend to put a lot of thought into naming. And even if something doesn't make it into a story, that doesn't mean that I don't have a couple of paragraphs or a page worth of background for someone.

Let's put it this way: You chose the name LordAnubis because you like Anubis, right? But there are at least a dozen other people who are ALSO called Lord Anubis or variations of that. Having all you Anubi around very confusing. You should change your name.

Even if you could keep your rank privileges, would you do it?

Maybe, if the fic came first, the author should write to the producers and say, "Excuse me guys, but I've already used that name. Could you please refilm the ep and choose a different moniker?" ;)

Life just doesn't work that way.

LordAnubis
January 17th, 2005, 07:32 PM
I think the problem is that you assume that writing happens at random. That people go through a book of names and think, "Hey, that sounds good" or that individual scenes have no bearing on later events. This is not so.

Sure, SOME people might choose names at random, but speaking for myself, I tend to put a lot of thought into naming. And even if something doesn't make it into a story, that doesn't mean that I don't have a couple of paragraphs or a page worth of background for someone.

Let's put it this way: You chose the name LordAnubis because you like Anubis, right? But there are at least a dozen other people who are ALSO called Lord Anubis or variations of that. Having all you Anubi around very confusing. You should change your name.

Even if you could keep your rank privileges, would you do it?

Maybe, if the fic came first, the author should write to the producers and say, "Excuse me guys, but I've already used that name. Could you please refilm the ep and choose a different moniker?" ;)

Life just doesn't work that way.
Ya, if I could keep my rank and rep, I'd change it and pick something unique. I understand what you're saying and I agree. Hence, my apology to him. A good writer is first a good reader, right? :)

Mr Prophet
January 18th, 2005, 09:21 AM
Overall, your writing is very good and I read through quite a bit of your archive, and I see Skydiver's point about going back to "fix"things. Don't take offense -- take it as constructive criticism. I wouldn't be able to do what you've done and create a decent episode. You have done some great work. I liked the Nazi one you did and I did like Sekhmet one too, although I really didn't like your portrayal of Anubis. You never mentioned he was partially ascended or even really described him.

I think your writing is excellent, though, so don't be so defensive. I was merely pointing out that the names you used were used later and this was confusing. Another thing that was confusing was referring to Ra's First Prime as Anubis and then later referring to Lord Anubis as Anubis. A good writer writes for others as well as him/herself. You might know what you're talking about, and die hard fans might know, but there are people in the middle who would have no idea what the hell you're talking about with two Anubi -- one a jaffa/human warrior, the other a Goa'uld.

In your Rhea/Sekhmet story, did you actually say Thoth ascended like Anubis? You hinted to that being a separate storyline with Captain Amy Kawalsky, if so, which one was it in?

Mr. Prophet, you're an excellent writer and I apologize if you took offense to my nitpicky points. Don't let a no-talent punk like me get your feathers ruffled. You do a great job dude and your grammar, punctuation, and flow are great.

At the time, I didn't know that he was partially ascended; I didn't describe him much because we didn't know much about him except that he was a prancing ninny who'd seen Vidoq a few times too many.

The Anubis thing will eventually get explained. Did I not mention in that story that Ra adopted Anubis' persona for his bodyguard to hide the fact that he'd lost control of his hitman? If nothing else, it will get mentioned in Mark III, which will have a third Sekhmet in it.

In part, I write with a view to the future, with the intention that certain things will be explained retrospectively by later fictions. I also write leaning heavily on my own chronology; Thoth is introduced in Caduceus, by the way, and as another renegade Goa'uld my theory of empire makes it quite likely that the new guy took the name as a PR stunt. Thoth's ascension will only be fully explained, however, once the Guardians are introduced in a set of later fics which are yet to be written.

To be fair, on occasions I do forget things and never get around to explaining them, but then again, Jasper Fforde does the same and it hasn't done him any harm.

I've actually made a formal declaration of alternity for my fic universe. Since I wrote a fic where pretty much the whole Rya'c plotline in Sacrifices happened three years ahead of time, I didn't have much option. I call it my decree absolute of reality. I have thought about going back, but it's too much effort for too little gain. I feel a little lazy not doing it, to be honest, which is why I come off as defensive.


Sure, SOME people might choose names at random, but speaking for myself, I tend to put a lot of thought into naming. And even if something doesn't make it into a story, that doesn't mean that I don't have a couple of paragraphs or a page worth of background for someone.

Maybe, if the fic came first, the author should write to the producers and say, "Excuse me guys, but I've already used that name. Could you please refilm the ep and choose a different moniker?" ;)

Quite. I've often thought of dropping them a line about my plotlines as well; like Rya'c wedding, that was one of mine. Frozen came about a month after I wrote Caduceus and SG-1 vs. the Antarctic Space Nazis. Coincidence? I think not. :rolleyes:

And yes, Sekhmet is Sekhmet for a very good reason (I wish I could believe that the PTB chose their names as carefully). I could have turned her into another goddess, but of those who are closely related or similar enough to make sense, Bastet had already been used in the series and I'd already used Mafdet, Astarte and Anat.

mtee1958
January 27th, 2005, 11:42 AM
I would like to see more writers continue the character's growth in their writing. Daniel now is very different than Daniel in the beginning. I like the h/c stories, but I want to see the more self-sufficient Daniel put in peril. MS said in an interview that Daniel, after ascension, is not the same person. The challenge would be to still have Daniel in a h/c situation but without the "now let me wait for Jack to save me" mentality.

I have read some stories where they did acknowledge that Daniel is much more of a soldier now than before. Great, explore that. As long as you continue to stay within character (Daniel is not Special Ops or Rambo), show us this growth and how it affects those around him.

Gatetrixer
February 8th, 2005, 08:17 PM
How nice to find this thread, since I've been in astonishment at the spelling and/ grammatical errors in Stargate fanfic ever since I discovered it, and wanted to vent but not hurt individual writers' feelings. I'm assuming it's the same with any fanfic, but I don't read any other right now. When I was reading lots of ST and SW zines, oh, about 20 years ago, I don't remember as much of a problem. Spellcheck, that's the reason!! The errors are found in the best writers' fic, too. One I particularly dislike and one that is creeping into everything, not just fanfic is this. Example: "Jack gave Daniel and I the directions to the village." No, no, it should be "me" instead of "I" since both "Daniel" and the speaker are direct objects of the verb "gave." Just leave out "Daniel" in the sentence and it's easy to see why it should be "me."

The only time I did tell a writer of a spelling error s(he) corrected it with another misspelling!!!

Dana_Jeanne
March 4th, 2005, 10:42 AM
I've had a story (gen) accepted for a zine, but I need someone who can edit it for me, and make it ready to send off.

Is there anyone here that could do that for me? By edit, I mean take it apart, nit-pic, check grammar (at which I suck) look for plot holes, and work with me on making it the best it can be?

It's an Evolution "fix it" fic, about 23 pages long.... Heavy on the friendship between Jack and Daniel, and no S/J Ship.

Thanks :-)

Dana Jeanne

starfish
March 5th, 2005, 04:05 AM
**Post containts possible spoilers for season four (ep the light), I'm assuming that most peole have seen that by now but I've put this note just in case.**

SPOILERS

*
*



I see him [Daniel] as a strong, compassionate, caring person, who also has a backbone of steel, but also can be a bit peevish at times. He spent most of his life alone, emotionally if not physically, and can be a bit emotionally isolated and like a dog with a bone. This attitude can make him a bit narrow minded when it comes to some things....which is also a trait that the others have had.

Yes, he would give his life for his friends. They all would. I just think he has more of a sense of self preservation than some give him. Sometimes he's written as so nearly suicidal that it's a wonder he hasn't jumped off the nearest cliff :)

Lol. I agree for the most part, but there is quite a range of canon incidents regarding daniel losing his mind (albeit alien induced), especially The Light when he was actually suicidal.
A relentlessly incomplete but pestering plot bunny for me is to write a believable and strong Daniel suffering a mental breakdown, non-alien induced, as I think that would be infintely more interesting than being able to blame the aliens for his actions. It'd probably as an AU story where none of the canon incidents had taken place otherwise the entire thing could end up as a 'they think i'm going mad again' kind of thing. In my mind it would be an almagamation of elements of episodes (Need, Legacy and The Light). But I wonder whether it would be too 'same-y' given the canon. That and I've never written any fanfic so dont have a handle on the characters voices.

Linked to that idea, can anyone explain to me what the difference is between writing 'teen angst' and writing 'angst'?

Skydiver
March 5th, 2005, 09:32 AM
Linked to that idea, can anyone explain to me what the difference is between writing 'teen angst' and writing 'angst'?



well, i interpret teen angst as 'oh my god, my boyfriend left me and i just CAN'T go on!!!!' and the person jumps off a bridge or some such dramatic thing. teen angst is where the littlest thing pushes someone to do something over the top and dramatic whereas 'normal' angst would be....jack feeling guilty in Revelation because he pushed sam to go on the mission when she didn't want to and she got captured and whumped...something that's more in proportion with what someone would call normal than the over the top actions of 'teen angst'

Mr Prophet
March 5th, 2005, 09:37 AM
Angst is Wolverine. Teen angst is Gambit.

Skydiver
March 5th, 2005, 09:49 AM
Angst is Wolverine. Teen angst is Gambit.

LOLOL

no wonder i'm such an angst slut ;)

Purpleyin
March 6th, 2005, 06:45 AM
Fanfic snob?
In some ways I am, but usually I'll try reading anything nearly and if it's bad I'll try to leave polite but constructive criticism.
Sometimes of course something is just too bad and I can't even get through it or be bothered to leave a review.

Spelling/grammar mistakes - I can take in moderation. Things like your/you're depend on grammar check and since I use openoffice (doesn't have a grammar checker) I'm a little more forgiving on it because I probably miss that occasionally too. It's the excessive and recurring mistakes that nag me.

Mispelling character names gets me (grr it's McKay, not MacKay!) but even some great authors I know suffer from that every now and then, so i can forgive and forget; unless it's recurring depsite telling the author the correct way.

Summaries - one pet peeve is when they give away everything. Maybe that's fine when it's a short story or one shot, episode tag and the like but for lnoger multichaptered fics I want to be teased and intrigued by a summary, not get spoiled about how it will all end and who's behind it all.

OOC - I can take a certain level out of characterness because some times it's about interpretation, or seeing sides that characters simply don't show so far in canon. Perfectly happy for OTT and out of character if its parody or there's a very good plot reason.

Britisms- I probably don't know half the things that are. Try to avoid writing them myself but sometimes there are things I'd never know are one unless it's pointed out to me by my betareader or a reader. But of course I can get away with some now, writing SGa fic you get Grodin and Carson and other possible OC's to play with...

Mary Sues - when part of humour they are fine but otherwise they bug the hell out of me. They always have violet eyes or eyes that change colour too and psi powers or whatever and it makes me want to scream!

I'm all for OC's but not generally as main characters. Side characters, ones that could be in canon in theory are nice and I can enjoy reading about or from the PoV of - like the plethora of scientists on Atlantis, but I've read maybe one story with a decent OC who was only slightly Mary Sueish.

Overly long descriptions of characters - one short paragraph might be fine, and sometimes in very much needed but it's when they describe every detail of the clothing etc that it annoys me. Generally also see with a Mary Sue. This is one of those things where it should be reserved for parodies etc.

But you know these things I only know I hate because I've read them. Sometimes I wish I didn't bother becuase there's 10% of SGa fic I've read that I'd gladly erase from memory.

Another 30% is questionable, and the rest somewhere from excellent to could be very good if they take their constructive criticism and get a betareader.

My snobbiness only really comes thorugh in what I'd recommend to others. Plenty of fic I've read and enjoyed but not quite so much that I'd re read or point others too.

iLemon
March 24th, 2005, 01:43 AM
I don't like OOC's unless their done on purpose, and I'm not a fan of slash.
I don't like angst but I like humour fics.
And I like long fics.

knocknashee
March 27th, 2005, 02:53 PM
I wouldn't say I was a fanfic snob to be honest. I think it takes a lot of guts to post anything you've personally written on the net - we were all new to the game at some point, and I bet there were more experienced people thinking how crap your first fiction was. I'll give any fiction a chance, though if I come to more than one of my pet hates it's the X or Back button for the fic...

There are things that irk me:

1. Spelling - bad spelling p*sses me off big time. Spell check is there for a reason. Grammar doesn't really bother me so much as long as I can understand what the person means to say. Since I speak two languages, with different grammatical structures, I find it easy to get the gist of what someone is saying even if it's not perfect. Also, quite a few of the fandoms I've written in before have had people who speak another language before English as authors, and you can't expect people who don't use a language every day to write it perfectly.
All the above said though, everyone is entitled to mistakes.

2. Mary-Sues - one of my biggest fanfic hates, mainly because I've probably read one in my entire life that was actually good. I think OCs would probably fall into this catergory 90% of the time as well.

3. OOC - obviously this can be a character device, and have reason, but when I read a fic and there is a long bit where someone is totally OOC I start to hover over the trash button, especially if I don't see any reason for the person to be OOC in the first place.

4. Summaries - I say this with all honesty and with the humblest of opinion - half of fanfic writers, as talented as some are, cannot write decent summaries and spoil their fics by giving too much info away.

5. Lack of narrative - I absolutely abhor fics with loads of speech and no background substance. That being said, some people go way OTT to the point where it's just patronising.
And for the record, one instant fic turn-off for me is people who have seen Stargate scripts and write their fics as such and in exactly the same layout - LAME!!!

6. Writing accents - writing a Scottish accent for Carson seems to be a rampant disease amongst Atlantis fiction writers. It's ugly, unecessary IMHO and pretty much anyone who isn't a Scot is bad at it. Another thing that rankles me is the whole 'ZeePM' / 'ZedPM' thing - for crying out loud it's ZPM - it's an abbreviation, not a word!

On topics I'm pretty much open to anything - slash, angst, PWP - though overly ship-py fics just make me go 'ugh'.

The one thing I didn't agree with in this topic was the person who mentioned Britisms and that you should write in American English just because that is the language used in the show. I think that has possibly got to be the most arrogant thing I've ever heard. Fic writers should just write in the way which they feel comfortable, and if they happen to be from this side of the Atlantic, that's going to be using British terms. I don't b*tch and moan about any 'Americanisms' I don't understand - I ask or I Google...try it, you might learn something rather than expecting everyone to make your life easier.


{edit} And I forgot to add, INSTANT TURN-OFF FACTOR - needy fic writers who beg / bribe (delete as applicable) for feedback. Yuk! Way to make people hit the close / back button. I can never understand it, probably because I write for my own pleasure and couldn't give a rat's ass if anyone else likes my fics.

ShadowMaat
March 27th, 2005, 03:24 PM
Regarding accents, if it's overdone, yes, it can be obnoxious. I think I've had McKay saying "ZedPM" though because I consider it a distinguishing characteristic and most American readers might not remember to think "zed" when they see it. ;) Heck, I don't remeber to do it most of the time. But yes, some authors DO take it to extremes and if they do it and do it badly, it can make that character's dialogue incomprehensible. If I have to read a sentence more than three times to figure out WTF a person is trying to say, I'll just move on.

Feedback... eh... Depends on how desperate the authors sound. I generally tend to ignore the pleas and comment or not based on how I feel about the story. But I've requested feedback, myself. Yeah, my stories are for my own entertainment, but if I'm going to be making them viewable to the public, it's nice to know what that public thinks so that I can see if there are ways to improve things the next time around. If there's something readers don't understand, I want to know so I can try and clarify it. If there's something they hate, well... pfft, too bad. ;) I may not follow every little thing that every little comment suggests, but I do consider feedback as a means of improving myself and my stories and I tend to get a little annoyed when people don't respond. :P It's also a good way to know that people are actually READING the things I write and that is very reassuring. :D

Plus, when you do "good", it's a great ego boost to have people say they like your stuff. I can be shallow sometimes. ;)

knocknashee
March 27th, 2005, 04:17 PM
Feedback... eh... Depends on how desperate the authors sound. I generally tend to ignore the pleas and comment or not based on how I feel about the story. But I've requested feedback, myself. Yeah, my stories are for my own entertainment, but if I'm going to be making them viewable to the public, it's nice to know what that public thinks so that I can see if there are ways to improve things the next time around. If there's something readers don't understand, I want to know so I can try and clarify it. If there's something they hate, well... pfft, too bad. ;) I may not follow every little thing that every little comment suggests, but I do consider feedback as a means of improving myself and my stories and I tend to get a little annoyed when people don't respond. :P It's also a good way to know that people are actually READING the things I write and that is very reassuring. :D

Plus, when you do "good", it's a great ego boost to have people say they like your stuff. I can be shallow sometimes. ;)

It's more the people who put "I want x feedback before I post the next chapter" than people just asking at the end of a chapter for FB. I just think the former is plain rude and stating your intent that you may not bother to finish a fic is just the kiss of death for me.

I've noticed on a few SGA fic archives that there are hoardes of unfinished works, but unlike other fandoms I've written in, no-one ever picks up these loose ends. On other fandoms it seems generally accepted that once some time is passed, someone else can pick up where the original author left off.

I do appreciate that feedback is an important part of writing. It is nice to feel your hard work is appreciated, or helpful for people to let you know where you are failing. But some people write only for the purpose of recognition. I write fics because it's something I enjoy doing. I post them around because someone else might enjoy them. But the only thing that is important to me if they are read by others is that they enjoy them. I don't really mind if people tell me they do or not. I'm not going to stop writing just because I get no FB...

ShadowMaat
March 27th, 2005, 05:06 PM
Ohhhh. Yes, holding your own story hostage is extremely rude and petulant. Luckily I haven't run across many of those. But then, I won't read unfinished fics, anyway. I've seen fics which have remained unfinished for YEARS and it'd annoy the hell out of me to get into the story and never get the end.

Katerine
March 30th, 2005, 05:31 PM
Re: the original question...

I have several pet peeves when it comes to reading fanfic, but one comes immediately to mind because I just started to read a published work (The Morpheus Factor by Ashley McConnell) but I had to stop reading after the first chapter because of this issue I had with it.

Just how difficult is it, when writing from the POV of a certain character in third person, to refer to other characters in character? This is the most basic part of writing in character. If an author doesn't do this, this immediately tells me that the author either doesn't know the characters very well, or they are just too lazy to write in character. And since characterization is the most important thing for me, when it comes to reading fanfic, this really gets to me.

In particular:

When writing from Jack's POV:
Jack is "Jack," obviously. Not O'Neill. Jack doesn't think of himself as "O'Neill" - nobody thinks of themselves by their last name.
Daniel is "Daniel." Always. Maybe occasionally "Dr. Jackson," if Jack is speaking to an officer who doesn't know them well. And occasionally Daniel is referred to or addressed with some nickname. But Daniel is never, ever, ever, EVER "Jackson."
The two above points, incidentally, were why I stopped reading The Morpheus Factor. I got to the following (representative) passage:
"Well, Daniel, what can you tell us?" O'Neill asked, feeling a bit uncomfortable since everyone around them seemed to have something to do. He wasn't happy just standing around and being waited on.
"Well, they're not from Earth obviously," Jackson began.
Sam is "Carter" or "Major Carter" (up through S7). He might think of her as Sam occasionally, but I really doubt it, since "Carter" always rolls right off his tongue.
Teal'c is "Teal'c." Not "the Jaffa."
General Hammond is "General Hammond," or if he's addressing him directly, "General" or "Sir."
Janet is addressed as "Doc." She's referred to as "Dr. Frasier" or some affectionately derogatory nickname.
Other military personnel on base are referred to or addressed by last name, or rank and last name.
Scientists on base are open to debate.
Kinsey is referred to as "Kinsey" or some derogatory name, unless speaking to a superior. Same with NID personnel.
Goa'uld are referred to by name, or as "the snake," or by something derogatory.

When writing from Daniel's POV:
Daniel is "Daniel," obviously. See above point re: nobody referring to themselves by last name.
Jack is "Jack." Always. He might, with difficulty, refer to Jack as "Colonel O'Neill" (through S7), but that never comes naturally. Never "O'Neill."
Sam is "Sam." Always. Same rules as with Jack.
Teal'c is "Teal'c." Always.
General Hammond is "General Hammond," or if he's addressing him directly, "General."
Janet is "Janet."
Other military personnel on base are referred to or addressed by first name if it's somebody Daniel knows well, last name or rank and last name if not. Same with scientists: first name, or "Dr." and last name.
Goa'uld are referred to by name.

When writing from Sam's POV:
Again, Sam is "Sam."
Jack is "Colonel O'Neill," "Colonel," or "Sir."
Daniel is "Daniel." Always. "Dr. Jackson" if she's referring to him to somebody who doesn't know him well, or if she wants to emphasize his credentials.
Teal'c is "Teal'c."
General Hammond is "General Hammond," or if she's addressing him directly, "General" or "Sir."
Janet is "Janet."
Other military personnel on base are referred to or addressed by last name, or rank and last name. Same with scientists: "Dr." and last name.
Goa'uld are referred to by name.

When writing from Teal'c's POV:
Teal'c is "Teal'c."
Jack is "O'Neill."
Daniel is "Daniel Jackson."
Sam is "Captain Carter" or "Major Carter" (depending on time frame through S7).
General Hammond is "General Hammond."
Janet is "Dr. Frasier," or possibly "Janet Frasier," I can't remember.
Other military personnel on base are referred to or addressed by last name, or rank and last name. No clue about scientists.
Goa'uld are referred to by name, or as "the false god" followed by the name.

When writing from General Hammond's POV:
General Hammond is "George."
Jack is "Colonel O'Neill" or "Colonel" (through S7).
Daniel is "Dr. Jackson," "Doctor," or "Son."
Sam is "Captain Carter" (or "Captain") or "Major Carter" (or "Major") (depending on time frame through S7).
Teal'c is "Teal'c."
Janet is "Dr. Frasier" or "Doctor."
Other military personnel on base are referred to or addressed by rank and last name, or rank. Same with scientists.
Goa'uld are referred to by name.

I could go on, but to emphasize the one point that got me started on this rant...
Nobody thinks of Daniel as "Jackson"! Except human bad guys and hard-nosed military types who always turn out to be wrong. In fact, in the show, if somebody addresses Daniel or refers to Daniel as "Jackson," that's a pretty good indicator that they will either turn out to be a bad guy or woefully misguided.

Even the Goa'uld refer to him and address him as "Dr. Jackson."

So it's more than a little distracting when "Jackson" appears in a story told from another team member's POV.

If I see this, it immediately tells me that the author cannot be bothered to get into the heads of the characters. And if they can't be bothered to do that, I really don't want to read the fic.

GbaGuy
April 2nd, 2005, 06:45 PM
Never mind FanFics! I just endured a novel that spelt Teal'c's name Teal'C through
the entire book. That was rather annoying.

Dani347
April 10th, 2005, 08:54 PM
When writing from Daniel's POV:

Sam is "Sam." Always. Same rules as with Jack.




I agree with the majority of the list (I can't stand Daniel being referred to as "Jackson" especially by SG-1) but one exception. When speaking about Sam to someone who doesn't know them, he addresses her by rank. At least he did in Prisoners (to Linnea: "this is Jack, Captain Carter, and Teal'c). I always considered that a bit of sweet old fashioned chivalry on his part. But, he certainly always thinks of her as Sam.

Katerine
April 11th, 2005, 06:44 AM
I agree with the majority of the list (I can't stand Daniel being referred to as "Jackson" especially by SG-1) but one exception. When speaking about Sam to someone who doesn't know them, [Daniel] addresses her by rank. At least he did in Prisoners (to Linnea: "this is Jack, Captain Carter, and Teal'c). I always considered that a bit of sweet old fashioned chivalry on his part. But, he certainly always thinks of her as Sam.
Thanks for the clarification, Dani :)

On an unrelated note... Just to further clarify my last post, since I don't think I did a very good job of saying this before:

Once the POV character is established, that character becomes the author in the minds of the readers. Even if it's written in third person. If the POV character switches, the author switches right along with it - this is an automatic transition on the part of the readers.

Therefore, everything on the monitor or page reflects on the POV character. Including and especially commentary on events (narrative) - which, in the minds of the readers, automatically reflects on the POV character's mood, thoughts, and observations on what's happening around him. Therefore, the above rules that I stated apply especially to the narrative - after all, few author's have a problem with dialogue being in character - it's the narrative being in character that seems to be the problem for so many authors.

kris
April 11th, 2005, 04:49 PM
This thread has been running for a while, one of the most interesting on the forum. First, as for fic reading, I’ve not encountered as many misspellings as I used to. I guess people are taking the time to have their work betaed under the urging of the various fanfic sites.

There is nothing I won’t beta but reading for fun is different. Generally, I like stories that stick to canon and involve my fav SGA characters, however, AU fics can be satisfying bec they allow us to play with other reactions (if not actions) which is what I do on occasion. I find there are no hard and fast rules when I’m searching for a fic to read but because of lack of time I prefer SGA over SG1. If the story starts out well and has a clearly understandable voice, then I keep reading and it doesn’t matter what the story is about. What stops me is too much medical detail to the point of squickiness, excessive bantering without action in between--actually anything that goes on and on for no good reason--and when the shows’ characters begin to take a back seat to new characters (like Mary Sues).

While I thought I was magnanimous in my fanfic preferences, I can be a snob. A side note: just looking at fanfiction.net and its 20+ page list of SG1 authors, we can predict that if SGA is as long running the now one-page SGA author list will also grow to 20+ and there’ll always be something to suit readers’ tastes.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

“Not a problem: the Pilgrims had Squanto; scifi writers have television.”
--John Passmore, “A Word to the Other-Worldly”

Zelazny
April 11th, 2005, 09:35 PM
Well, I just stumbled onto this thread, and as an author working on her first scifi fic ever in the SGA fandom, it's a bit daunting. :P One of my biggest worries as I'm writing in this new fandom was/is getting the tech correct and such. Now here I've skimmed through some of this thread and find the characters the focus with no focus that I have seen on the scientific factor of the fandom. Interesting. Either that or I missed the posts regarding it in my skimming. :D Granted, the characters are the most important part of a story besides the plot. I just thought there would be more complaints about the science fiction part of the fandom not being kept in canon or within the genre itself...

Personally, flipping present and past tenses is my weakest point. To that end, I seek beta readers to fix it. I just haven't been able to get a handle on it. :o When I try, I end up overanalyzing my work. Also, one of the hardest things for me, additionally, is ending a story. Sometimes it is hard to let go, and sometimes it is hard to find the right ending to close the story for the reader.

Fan fiction to me is a part of myself that I'm letting others see. Your personality comes through when you write. Every author has their own style that sets them apart. :) So, I give most the benefit of a doubt when I begin reading. I've read quite a few posts that say when they see certain points that turn them off, they abandon the fic. I just wonder if readers took a bit more time to give the story a chance, if they would start to see potential. Therefore, leaving constructive criticism that will improve the author's work and make them a better writer. I know I needed that prodding to notice my flipping of tenses. Without that input, I'd still be writing my stories with my flipping tenses, oblivious.

When it comes to how an author labels the characters, when it is in 1st person I expect the labels to be in character to whomever is portraying the first person. Now, when it is in 3rd person, I like the use of "the Jaffa" instead of "Teal'c" all the time. Or "the young archeologist" instead of "Daniel" all the time. Or "the blonde" or "scientist" for Sam. I say this in terms of using them as describing words or adjectives to the character. It helps keep the story fresh and not monotonous in its descriptions. At least to me, as I use those types of descriptions often in my writing. I just can't use the character's name only to describe them throughout an entire story. :rolleyes: An example would be:
Jack looked at Carter in shock, brown eyes wide.
"Are you saying you don't know what caused this?"
The blonde shook her head in defeat as she met her superior's gaze.

As for my own fanfic preferences... I like h/c, angst, drama, mystery, suspense, and especially action/adventure. Action/adventure with a healthy helping of h/c is ideal for me as a reader, and is what I like to write. :D What I refuse to read is slash, NC-17, deathfic, parody, drabbles, mary sues, and romance. I'll only give romance the exception if it has a good dose of action and such, or if it is written VERY well. I'm not crazy about humor, but sometimes the lift in spirits is a needed escape. I even find myself leaning toward humor sometimes. :P

Well, I think that's all I have to say on the subject so far...

Tok'Ra Hostess
April 12th, 2005, 05:49 AM
I just thought there would be more complaints about the science fiction part of the fandom not being kept in canon or within the genre itself...

When I first read this I thought, "guy talking," so I checked your profile and, nope. It's refreshing to know that there's at least one other female out there that likes to write science fiction. :D

You know what? Last time I checked, Science fiction wasn't even a category in any of the fic lists I've been to. :S


Also, one of the hardest things for me, additionally, is ending a story. Sometimes it is hard to let go, and sometimes it is hard to find the right ending to close the story for the reader.

I hear you! I have the same problem. :S


I've read quite a few posts that say when they see certain points that turn them off, they abandon the fic. I just wonder if readers took a bit more time to give the story a chance, if they would start to see potential. Therefore, leaving constructive criticism that will improve the author's work and make them a better writer. I know I needed that prodding to notice my flipping of tenses. Without that input, I'd still be writing my stories with my flipping tenses, oblivious.

There may have been a time, back when there were merely hundreds of SG fanfic, when we would have read every word of every fic, but no longer; there are simply too many fic, now.

Betas are the way to go if you want honest feedback.

Many of us have lost that sense that we owe the writers the courtesy of good FB, largely due to the fact that far too many writers don't feel they owe their audience anything.


Now, when it is in 3rd person, I like the use of "the Jaffa" instead of "Teal'c" all the time. Or "the young archeologist" instead of "Daniel" all the time. Or "the blonde" or "scientist" for Sam. I say this in terms of using them as describing words or adjectives to the character. It helps keep the story fresh and not monotonous in its descriptions.

I don't mind such tags as long as they are few and far between, but I find "Teal'c said" is invisible, letting me stay right in the action, whereas "the Jaffa said" if abused, becomes a series of hiccups in the scene's flow. To me - YMMV.

ShadowMaat
April 12th, 2005, 06:19 AM
I think this has already been said, but using terms like "the Jaffa" and "the archaeologist" and whatnot also depends on the POV of the story. Jack wouldn't think of Teal'c as "the Jaffa" (unless it was set around the time of COTG, and it'd still be sparing, methinks), but if it's omniscient narration and there's a reason for specifying the species/occupation of the character, it can work. But again, sparingly.

Or think of it this way: would you say, "The human picked up his weapon"? Unless you're in an alien's POV, it'd sound pretty weird. And if it's a matter of trying to clarify who's who, there are easier ways of doing it.

Instead of, "The archaeologist studied the ancient writing on the wall" you could try "Daniel studied the ancient writing on the wall, the archaeologist in him straining to make sense of it" (although linguist would probably be more specific in this case).

The big thing is to not treat your reader like an idiot; people who are reading Stargatefics probably KNOW who and what all the characters are, so you don't need to go into great deal of exposition about it, just assume your reader already knows and fill in things that they might NOT know- like that time in high school when Sam dyed her hair purple. ;) Keep the reader interested. You want them to be unable to put your story down and if you keep telling them things they know, well, that gets old fast, doesn't it? :)

Skydiver
April 12th, 2005, 09:10 AM
The hard part about constructive crit is that a lot of authors don't seem to want it.

If a reader sends anything but 'wow, great story' then all of a sudden, you tend to find that author complaining and crying 'they flamed me!!!!!!!!'

Aah, no, sorry. Constructive crit is not a flame. I've been lucky. I think the closest to a flame I've ever received was something along the line of 'what in the heck were you thinking pairing up X and Y!!!! How stupid is that!!!'

I just laughed and printed it out with the rest of my feedback.

__
I thought your story was really good, but I feel that, while you started out with a lot of angst in the first 2 parts, the last part just seemed rushed. You lost your momentum and I just felt that it was flat because of that.
__

ok, that's an honest comment, and honestly how I feel about a certain author's writing (she's not on this forum that I know of) yet I'll never send it to her, Why??? Because I'll be tagged as a meanie that flames folks

There is another author whose work I stopped reading a few years ago...why? She writes one of two stories:

Jack whumped selflessly while the others worry and lament his owies

Jack thinking he's worthless and pitiful and doesn't deserve to live because his son died

She is a rather prolific author but, at least at the time I stopped reading her work, she cranked out template fic. I get bored easily and got to feel that if I'd read one of her stories, I'd read them all. (There's also this whole characterization thing about jack still hung up on Charlie 10 years later, but that's a topic for another time)

Again, I wouldn't ever tell the author this because I'd be the mean evil flamer. And she does have fans who eagerly await her next work, so all I do is just put her on my 'automatically delete unread' list and move on. Her work isn't to my tastes and doesn't fit how I see the character. It doesn't mean that it's bad, just that it doesn't appeal to me.
But, like I said, she has a large following so she's obviously doing something right and appealing to someone.

I've had people send me constructive crit. I've had them comment on a line or action that seemed odd. Or had them point out a mistake (rather big continuity one that I forgot in a recent fic.) and I don't take it personally.

I had one lady mail me in the middle of a series demanding to know if it would have a happy ending and insisting that if I didn't tell her if it'd end happily then it just wouldn't be worth her time to keep reading it.

Ok, fine. Stop reading.

I don't take such comments personally, or I try very much not to. I know that nothing that I can write will ever appeal to everyone. My work is not to the tastes of some. That's ok. A lot of fic out there isn't to my taste either

But, to get back to the topic at hand, saying to send constructive crit is easy, however I think you'll find that a lot of authors don't want anything other than 'good story, send more'

And something else to consider, ok, there are authors out there who prefer to characterize Daniel as this wide eyed innocent and selfless pacifist. That's not quite how I see him. However, what makes my characterization and preferences 'right' and theirs 'wrong'?

Nothing. Just because I interpret them one way doesn't mean that it's the right way and that everyone needs to write their fic how I want them written. As a reader I need to respect the author and I need to respect how she sees the characters. If someone wants to write Pete as a violent meanie, so be it. It's not how I see him, but that doesn't matter.

The author will see things how s/he wishes and my rights begin and end with choosing to read or to ignore their work. So, while you can send constructive crit, you do have to accept that the author may choose to ignore you.

I've beta'd for people who ignore my suggestions. Which is cool. The only ones I'll 'fight' over are factual errors, such as having Jack drive to his cabin for the weekend (Minnesota is like 15 odd hours from Colorado Springs and it'd take the whole weekend to drive it round trip).

Interpretative stuff is still in the hands of the author and, imho, some of the more popular authors are ones who have managed to mold their interpretations of the characters very close to what the majority of viewers of the show see. They tend to have the broadest appeal, but there are also some very popular Nitch writers, ones who write stories that may not have a broad appeal but that are very much sought after among members of smaller groups.

Mr Prophet
April 12th, 2005, 09:36 AM
When it comes to how an author labels the characters, when it is in 1st person I expect the labels to be in character to whomever is portraying the first person. Now, when it is in 3rd person, I like the use of "the Jaffa" instead of "Teal'c" all the time. Or "the young archeologist" instead of "Daniel" all the time. Or "the blonde" or "scientist" for Sam. I say this in terms of using them as describing words or adjectives to the character. It helps keep the story fresh and not monotonous in its descriptions. At least to me, as I use those types of descriptions often in my writing. I just can't use the character's name only to describe them throughout an entire story. :rolleyes: An example would be:
Jack looked at Carter in shock, brown eyes wide.
"Are you saying you don't know what caused this?"
The blonde shook her head in defeat as she met her superior's gaze.


I'd go along with this. For the most part I have a particular name that my omniscient narrator uses for a character, plus a bank of pseudonyms to keep things varied. Then I'll have sections where I'm writing more heavily from a character's viewpoint and then I won't use names that would be inappropriate: Jack's PoV will rarely call Sam anything but Carter; Sam's PoV will never call Jack 'the iron-haired love god', just for example.

As an aside, I found that Jack morphed entirely naturally into 'O'Neill' to the narrative voice in my SG-7 fanfic, where his role is primarily that of the General.


As for my own fanfic preferences... I like h/c, angst, drama, mystery, suspense, and especially action/adventure. Action/adventure with a healthy helping of h/c is ideal for me as a reader, and is what I like to write. :D What I refuse to read is slash, NC-17, deathfic, parody, drabbles, mary sues, and romance. I'll only give romance the exception if it has a good dose of action and such, or if it is written VERY well. I'm not crazy about humor, but sometimes the lift in spirits is a needed escape. I even find myself leaning toward humor sometimes. :P

I find that I work best in the field of action/drama with a romantic slant. A lot of my secondary OCs fill a sort of Zeppo role and act as romantic leads as well as plot elements. I'm not heavily into the hard science of Stargate, but I do mine a rich vein of techno-MacGuffinism.

TameFarrar
April 12th, 2005, 09:54 AM
Sam's PoV will never call Jack 'the iron-haired love god', just for example.

I would SO like to see that used in a story LOL...That has got to be one of my new favorite lines :D

I can say from a *Beta's* viewpoint that if you let the author's voice be what it is then you are allowing the story to be theirs. However, if you are a Beta you are doing your author a dis-service if you don't give them honest feedback about how the story made you feel as a reader of Fan fic.

Skydiver hit it on the head ..a good Beta will tell the author the truth about the story either way. I have a pretty good working relationship with the Authors I beta for but I ask PRIOR to beginning what are they looking for...if they really do NOT want my opinion of the story as well as flow, grammer, canon, and feasibilty of the scenes working well together, they have to tell me. Otherwise I will first read the whole thing as a Fan-Fic reader and note my thoughts and then I go into Beta mode and start noting errors and such.

Personally I think that helps the author to know they have someone who really and truly wants them to succeed and be praised by the masses, but they will be completely honest with them at all times.

Purpleyin
April 12th, 2005, 10:26 AM
The hard part about constructive crit is that a lot of authors don't seem to want it.

If a reader sends anything but 'wow, great story' then all of a sudden, you tend to find that author complaining and crying 'they flamed me!!!!!!!!'

Aah, no, sorry. Constructive crit is not a flame. I've been lucky. I think the closest to a flame I've ever received was something along the line of 'what in the heck were you thinking pairing up X and Y!!!! How stupid is that!!!'


I have to say as much as I like to hear "wow, great story" I would much prefer to get constructive criticism. These days feedback for anything sems to maybe be going down anyway but it's frustrating when people neither say what they think you could improve or even what made soemthing a great story. I'd rather risk getting a little despondant at criticism than only accept the wows.

As for the people who complain over writers choices and flame for them- that's annoying. Especially so when it's not factual error but they treat it as so or ignore warnings for such things.

About Beta's - wonderful people. :)
But it is important to get one's who understand you and your style. After all everyone does things different way and it's not helpful to have a beta who is constantly trying to correct things that you are doing for a reason or that's part of your style. But once you get a good beta or two (or however many you have) they really are great to have. I don't always take their suggestions but mostly I tend to and obviously when grammar/spelling and on canon.

It's a shame when there are people out there who insist they don't need a beta. I know alot of people who haven't had their stories read becuase they simply lack one which is one thing but those who refuse to acknowledge the usefulness of a beta are really annoying, especially when there story could be so much more enjoyable with a good betareading but they never intend to get it done.

TameFarrar
April 12th, 2005, 11:49 AM
I just realized that since I was so busy extoling the virtues of Wonderful Betas (:D) I never said just how *Picky* I am as a reader. I have a HUGE issue with spelling errors in a fic...I could care less if you spell everything wrong in a post or in IM but if you are writing something for public consumption, you should respect your readers as well as your story and take the time to ensure your spelling is correct.

and you very correct Purpleyin....it is NOT the Betas job to try to re-write the story. If a Beta is doing that...they should just sit down and write their own story.

Mr Prophet
April 12th, 2005, 12:25 PM
I just realized that since I was so busy extoling the virtues of Wonderful Betas (:D) I never said just how *Picky* I am as a reader. I have a HUGE issue with spelling errors in a fic...I could care less if you spell everything wrong in a post or in IM but if you are writing something for public consumption, you should respect your readers as well as your story and take the time to ensure your spelling is correct.

and you very correct Purpleyin....it is NOT the Betas job to try to re-write the story. If a Beta is doing that...they should just sit down and write their own story.

I can't say a word against my Beta.

No, really; not here. She's a mod :p.

TameFarrar
April 12th, 2005, 12:49 PM
LOL.. poor Mr P....I am sure she files ALL of your remarks in her *Round File* ;)

KatG
April 13th, 2005, 01:28 PM
I can't say a word against my Beta.

No, really; not here. She's a mod :p.


She also carries a really big spoon. 8)

Rioko Avalon
July 19th, 2005, 09:35 PM
Well, I'll try anything once. I won't read a story that ain't got a good feel to it. And that i have to work to read. The better the story flows the better the review.

Easter Lily
July 20th, 2005, 12:27 AM
I'm rather new to the world of fan fics...
I read them like I read any other work of fiction... if I don't like how it starts... I don't continue... Yeah... pretty snobby... :D

Spelling errors aren't the biggest problem IMO... although I detest them... occupational hazard... :p But choppy sentences and paragraphs are. I'm a huge fan of fluency... I like the sentences and paragraphs to flow... I like to be drawn in little by little into the story...
Writing is both an art and a skill... it forces you to think about what exactly it is you want to say and the exact words to use. It's so nice to read a piece of writing which conveys its ideas using a wide variety of expressions rather than using cliches...
But mostly I want to read fics that I can believe in. All I want is that the characters I love are accurately portrayed in the work... that when I read the fic, I can actually hear them saying the words and believe that they're actions are completely consistent with what's canon.

knocknashee
July 20th, 2005, 04:42 AM
Also, sticking with canon is always good. There's a gateworld fan fic author who ignores certain facts. He wrote a story about a Goa'uld warrior whose name was the same as the Goa'uld whose DNA was used in "Resurrection". I understand this story may have been written before Season 7, but still, go back and fix it. This same author used another name not realizing it was Anubis' Kull Warrior scientist in "Evolutions".

Now, that's one thing I don't agree with. Whilst I do enjoy fics that stick rigidly to canon, who whole idea of fanficdom is 'Artistic Licence'. IMHO, canon for factual segments of the story, such as the known history of a character is fine, but given that almost every fic writer has their own idea of who each character is as a person, it's hard to say with any real certainty what exactly is canon for the personality of character. I actually enjoy seeing everyone's different ideas and perceptions of the characters. Plus, if we became mired in canon, people wouldn't write some of the amazing AUs that are out there.

Also, I don't think people should go back and change finished works just because of something that happens in a new season of the show. The date is there on most of the works, telling you when it was published. Readers should expect that a story written at the end of one season probably won't tie in to the canon thereafter and read accordingly, not pick holes in something the writer would not have known at the time. I wouldn't go back and change my fics...and I wouldn't expect other writers to.

Just my two cents worth...

McKay'sGirl
July 26th, 2005, 10:02 AM
Spelling errors.....shudder.....sometimes you physically cringe - and if anything is too wildly ridiculous, then I stop reading, but I enjoy most things. Variety is the spice of life - angst & drama are good, some but not OTT romance, and I have to confess to being a humour fan, as I write zany fics myself, among others - but I can understand why some people don't appreciate them. I agree with knocknashee that canon can restrict fanfic - to me, writing is an expression of the soul and if everyone wrote the same it would be SO boring.
(Steps down off of soapbox...)
It's ok, I'm done! :D

ToasterOnFire
July 29th, 2005, 01:54 PM
I'll admit, I'm not really that picky when it comes to fanfic. I breeze through everything and anything that has my ship-o-choice. However, if a fic is rather poorly written then I tend to speedread the thing to see if it has any redeeming qualities and/or plot bunnies for me. Really good fic tends to get saved so I can reread it at my leisure.

That said, there are some things in fics that can (but not always) make them bad reads for me:


-Poor spelling/grammar. I can overlook several errors, but a story filled with them gets irritating.

-OCs. OCs have a habit of turning into Mary Sues or have such minimal character development that I'm not interested in reading about them.

-Stories that are only dialog. Those are too much like reading a script; bland and boring. What are the characters doing? How are they reacting? What's the scenery like? All of that adds a huge amount of depth to a story.

-Stories that rush the ending. For shippy stories, this generally means having the two characters start making out with little to no setup, which makes the end awkward and unbelieveable. Take the time to flesh out what the characters are thinking/feeling!

-Stories where the author has self-deprecating comments like "I can't write summaries" or "This story may be bad, sorry!" It's your story, you wrote it, be proud of it! However, if you have huge reservations about a story there's a good chance it's not up to par. Invest in a beta-reader; there are lots of people who'd like to help!!

trill
July 30th, 2005, 10:36 PM
I love you people for acknowledging that things like grammar and characterization matter to a story.

I might have missed it, but I didn’t see my pet peeve on this thread-a main character has a kid that they never mentioned before for no apparent reason, and it’s not an AU. I’m okay with this when it’s a secondary character, someone that the writers never really give much of a background to. But, for example, I’ve read more than one Letters From Pegasus missing scene story that was Sheppard sending a message to his son or daughter.

As for out of character stories, I dislike them even more when it’s a Lifetime movie of the week-esque plot. Character X is addicted to painkillers (unless it‘s incredibly well written, and there’s a *reason* for them to be on them in the first place), cutting, has an abusive OC lover…

Over-use of similes, metaphors, and the like drive me crazy, too. That contest they have every year, for the worst writing in America? If you can look at any of the winners and go “Hey, I used that once!” you need to do some serious editing.

I know that I’m not the greatest writer in the world, but I at least have someone else read over my stories. I run spell check. And if, as I read through it, there’s a line that I can’t hear the character saying, in their own voice, I change it.

Also, and this is a little OT, why do reviewers insist on complementing bad writing? I read some stories and go, “this is one of the worst things I’ve ever read in my life,” and then I look and it has 57 reviews saying how totally awesome it is.

*Sigh*

Ayiana
August 17th, 2005, 11:10 AM
Also, and this is a little OT, why do reviewers insist on complementing bad writing? I read some stories and go, “this is one of the worst things I’ve ever read in my life,” and then I look and it has 57 reviews saying how totally awesome it is.

This has always puzzled me, as well, and it seems to happen across fandoms. I see it all the time in the JAG fandom, where I've written for years. What's even more amazing is when you see all those rave reviews for an incredibly bad story, and very few reviews of any kind for an excellent one. I guess there's no accounting for taste...

ShadowMaat
August 17th, 2005, 12:45 PM
I wonder if anyone has experimented with intentionally writing an awful, trite, poorly-conceived fic chock full of cliches, misspellings and grammatical errors just to see how fans reacted to it.

I'd be afraid that THAT would be the fic of mine that finally got nominated for an award. ;)

Mr Prophet
August 17th, 2005, 12:58 PM
I wonder if anyone has experimented with intentionally writing an awful, trite, poorly-conceived fic chock full of cliches, misspellings and grammatical errors just to see how fans reacted to it.

I'd be afraid that THAT would be the fic of mine that finally got nominated for an award. ;)

There is a whole world of badfic out there, but most of it is labelled as such. I suspect that people will applaud anything that supports their particular niche view of the 'verse, however bad. I mean...somebody's got to think it's good enough to write; how much more incredible is it that there are people who think it rawks?

Shep'sSocks
August 17th, 2005, 04:14 PM
I got told off for giving a bad review ... In fact, it wasn't even a bad review, now that I think of it. I was simply pointing out that making Daniel a caffeine addict has no basis in canon.

I like deep, complex stories that make me think. I like ones that are often hard to read. I haven't read a ship or slash fic that has made me pause and think 'Wow' yet, in terms of excellent plot, narrative and characterisation. Even gen fics. Of course, I've often paused and gone 'Wow, that's so bad' but never the other way around.

Major Clanger
August 17th, 2005, 11:58 PM
phoey, just got to this part of the thread

*waits patiently for a reference to an 'iron-haired love god' in a to-be-betad-fic*

:-)

startrekempress
August 20th, 2005, 12:27 PM
::reads assorted posts in various stages of sordidity, all espousing the need of a beta or else requesting one::

Um . . . hi . . . ::waves:: . . . you are talking to the girl who got 'perfect' on the English section of the ACT 3 years in a row . . . I'll do it!

Maybe I should post an ad:

"Readers complaining? Need to improve your work? Call me! Guaranteed to improve your style, but you're on your own for substance." :D

Anyway, if anyone needs a beta email me . . . I like email. But try to keep the length down (like, one chapter at a time); I do have a life outside fandom. ::horrified gasps:: It would be cool though to contribute to fandom in my own small way as I am notoriously idea-free. And I like this thread; it's always nice to see clearly laid out what to avoid.

See you around!

~Sarah

(Just so you know, it does take me a fair amount of time to finish a beta project, especially during the school year. I do make every effort, however, to have your story back to you in under one month.

My email can be found in my profile.)

Skydiver
August 20th, 2005, 05:12 PM
I got told off for giving a bad review ... In fact, it wasn't even a bad review, now that I think of it. I was simply pointing out that making Daniel a caffeine addict has no basis in canon.



it minorly annoys me when authors are like that.

personally? I put my stuff out there. if folks like it, great. hope they send feedback. If they don't like it? well, so be it. if they can point out an error, go ahead. If they want to tell me how to write it, go for it. tell me all you want but dont expect me to kowtow to your wishes. If you (the general reader) wants a fic a certain way, pick up a pen and get to it

ForeverSg1
August 20th, 2005, 07:04 PM
More of my silly pickiness (pickyness?): over use of Jack calling Daniel 'Danny.'

When a writer makes Carter younger than Daniel; silly I know, but it bugs the heck out of me.

Writers who don't use contractions. I mean, come on: except for the Jaffa, how many people does one know who always says I am, we are, I do not.... etc?

I don't know lay from lie from a good roll in the hay, so it doesn't bother me when it's used wrong!

Dana Jeanne

Just curious, but according to the episode Entity... isn't Carter younger than Daniel? I could have sworn it said Sam was born in '69 and Daniel in '65. I don't believe we have seen any other episodes that has mentioned what year Sam was born in. I know that MS is younger than the character of Daniel according to both Entity and 1969.

As far as things that I nitpick about regarding fanfic:

The thing that bothers me the most is an overuse of pet names that have never been used on the show. Jack or Daniel calling Sam Sammy. Sam calling Daniel Spacemonkey, anyone other than Jack calling Teal'c T. Actually an overuse of any nickname or petname starts to irritate me after awhile.

I also have a issue with fics that misuse the words to, two, and too within their story. I read one story that had over fifty misused instances of the word to and that was only in the first few chapters. I finally gave up, because I couldn't stop cringing.

Skydiver
August 20th, 2005, 07:16 PM
sam is canonly younger than daniel. LIke forever said, we have 1969 on the screen for sam and 1964/5 for daniel in 1969 (him being 4 1/2 in the eps)

jack is 50ish (they keep changing his age. in brief candle he was in his 40's, but in fragile balance he was born in 52 on his id badge)
teal's is, what, 110 or so? he was going to be 102 in The Light

Before we had canon proof, it was more fun for some to make daniel the youngest to accentuate his innocence and naivete for the means of a fic. daniel, in the early seasons, was often characterized as the 'wide eyed innocent' and making him younger than the rest only fit into that characterization

Shep'sSocks
August 20th, 2005, 10:12 PM
As far as things that I nitpick about regarding fanfic:

The thing that bothers me the most is an overuse of pet names that have never been used on the show. Jack or Daniel calling Sam Sammy. Sam calling Daniel Spacemonkey, anyone other than Jack calling Teal'c T. Actually an overuse of any nickname or petname starts to irritate me after awhile.

Scusie while I fall weeping on your shoulder in sympathy. My current bugbear is "Liz" and "Lizzie" in Atlantis fic. Sorry fic writer, but who the hell are Liz and Lizzie and what are they doing in your fic?


I also have a issue with fics that misuse the words to, two, and too within their story. I read one story that had over fifty misused instances of the word to and that was only in the first few chapters. I finally gave up, because I couldn't stop cringing.

And also, "your" and "you're". I once asked if "your" was an Americanism for "you're" because it was so prevalent amongst the American fic writers in one particular fandom.

Easter Lily
August 20th, 2005, 11:24 PM
I'm on a couple of LiveJournal communities which are ship oriented and my observation is that the fics that get the most amount of response are the ones with lots of sex in it. Is that true of your experience?

Shep'sSocks
August 20th, 2005, 11:46 PM
I think it's true of any variation of fic. The point of slash is sex, the point of ship is to get the characters together and the sex. I'm on a whumping list and the stories that get the most reaction are those that have the most amount of hurt. The ones that are simply angst barely get any reaction at all, yet they're usually the most interesting.

Willow'sCat
August 20th, 2005, 11:58 PM
I'm on a couple of LiveJournal communities which are ship oriented and my observation is that the fics that get the most amount of response are the ones with lots of sex in it. Is that true of your experience?Haha, I was not going to go there but since you asked. Yes. :D
I have read bad fanfic, very bad fanfic however I don't expect much better. It is free, on the internet and rarely are reviews available on open forums. If they are they don't seem to include the bad reviews.

I read it in the same way I read magazines in the doctor's waiting room, to pass a little time and put a smile on my face or maybe a tear in the eye. :) High brow? No certainly not.

Shep'sSocks
August 21st, 2005, 12:12 AM
Which rather begs the question of why people read fanfic in the first place? As I said before, I like reading long, complex fics, but some people don't. I really only read Atlantis fanfic out of the shows I watch. I've never felt the need to read Firefly, B5, or BSG fic. I read a lot of TOS fic back in the day, but was never interested in TNG or other Trek variation. Do people read fanfic because they're not getting what they want from the show?

Easter Lily
August 21st, 2005, 12:26 AM
I think it's true of any variation of fic. The point of slash is sex, the point of ship is to get the characters together and the sex. I'm on a whumping list and the stories that get the most reaction are those that have the most amount of hurt. The ones that are simply angst barely get any reaction at all, yet they're usually the most interesting.
I like angst too... and I write angst... but I read anything that is well-written.


Which rather begs the question of why people read fanfic in the first place? As I said before, I like reading long, complex fics, but some people don't. I really only read Atlantis fanfic out of the shows I watch. I've never felt the need to read Firefly, B5, or BSG fic. I read a lot of TOS fic back in the day, but was never interested in TNG or other Trek variation. Do people read fanfic because they're not getting what they want from the show?
It seems to me that fanfics fill a void? Especially for shippers... to gain some momentary gratification out of their one true pairing that they don't get onscreen.
I don't read much Stargate fic... only Sheppard/Weir things but even then, that's very rare too. Quite often people don't seem to get a handle on characters in Atlantis and I find that jarring. Most of the BSG fics that I've read are quite good in terms of writing and a large proportion of them do actually have a good grasp of the characterization.

Mr Prophet
August 21st, 2005, 12:33 AM
sam is canonly younger than daniel. LIke forever said, we have 1969 on the screen for sam and 1964/5 for daniel in 1969 (him being 4 1/2 in the eps)

jack is 50ish (they keep changing his age. in brief candle he was in his 40's, but in fragile balance he was born in 52 on his id badge)
teal's is, what, 110 or so? he was going to be 102 in The Light

Before we had canon proof, it was more fun for some to make daniel the youngest to accentuate his innocence and naivete for the means of a fic. daniel, in the early seasons, was often characterized as the 'wide eyed innocent' and making him younger than the rest only fit into that characterization

I just find it somewhat incredible that Sam would have had enough military experience to make captain and have a PhD by the age of 26, however brilliant she may be. Sure, Daniel has his PhD, but he's never done anything else.

Jack...Well, you can spackle the Brief Candle reference and say he'd been 40 for several birthdays running, as it were - I personally always assumed so. I think RDA got over denying his age, hence the no hair dye, and more power to his arm for that.

And on an anti-ship tip: Seventeen years; even these days that's a big age gap. Not insurmountable, maybe, but...

Hmm. Can't help feeling that maybe this post belongs somewhere else, but never mind.

Shep'sSocks
August 21st, 2005, 12:40 AM
I like angst too... and I write angst... but I read anything that is well-written.


It seems to me that fanfics fill a void? Especially for shippers... to gain some momentary gratification out of their one true pairing that they don't get onscreen.
I don't read much Stargate fic... only Sheppard/Weir things but even then, that's very rare too. Quite often people don't seem to get a handle on characters in Atlantis and I find that jarring. Most of the BSG fics that I've read are quite good in terms of writing and a large proportion of them do actually have a good grasp of the characterization.

I read quite a lot. There's some decent stuff out there (though none is Sheppard/Weir stuff :P). I often look in the fanfic spruiking thread for stuff, though strangely not in the recs thread. I normally look for indepth Sheppard stuff, the more complex the better. And I like missing scene fics.

Skydiver
August 21st, 2005, 09:03 AM
well, sam attended the af academy, so graduated in her early 20's with a second lieutenant rank and a degree. military wise, the rise from second lt to first lt to captain is pretty much by rote. enough time in grade and you get promoted. she also had war duty to augment her ranking.

she earned major by her duty at the sgc, along with her time in grade

as to the mangling of the language, yes, your, you're, there, their, they're are only a few of the words that are commonly confused and it bugs the heck out of me

back in the dark ages when i went to school, those words were drilled into my head, how to tell when each is proper to be used, etc. we even had to memorize bunches of words.

i find it mildly depressing that so many folks lack a simple grasp of the language

Major Clanger
August 21st, 2005, 09:20 AM
I totally ignore what "canon" says about Sam's age. It's just another of those tv things where you can't do anything unless you're under 30. Personally, I think she's about ATs age - possibly a little older. Gasp! yes, older people can also be brilliant, and have experience which gives them the edge.

But that's just a personal bugbear.

Fic that has grammatical or spelling mistakes will have me hitting the back button, as well as a whole slew of other things, including teenspeak. (unless it's ironic)

As for slash. Well, I don't agree that it is all about sex. But then I don't agree that ship is all about sex either. I've written slashfic, and only one or two actually have sex in them. Slash can often be a good vehicle for angst. But as usual, YMMV

Skydiver
August 21st, 2005, 12:20 PM
i think sam is close to amanda's age, which is late 30's. simply because, well to have been in the gulf war she would have had to be early 20's, add 15 years and she's minimum of 35 today, probably closer to 38-39

this would make daniel in his early 40's, which also fits with his canon birthday and year

still, daniel not being the youngest is something some fic writers want to ignore, just like they tend to forget that teal'c is a good 30-50 years older than his friends. the leader isnt alwys the oldest. And also, a lot of fic writers ignore that bratac is pushing 140 and, according to him, nearing the end of his life - no canon info on how tretonin affects this. which also means that teal'c, even though he's 100+ is distinctly middle aged. Prime Jaffa lifespan is suggested to be 140-150, so while teal'c very well may witness his friends perish of old age, he won't be far behind them

seeing daniel as the youngest makes it easier to see him as the innocent and naive. which is rather contradictory of his life which was suggested that he spent a good 7 years or so traveling with his parents, and likely did hte same once he grew up and graduated from school.
chances are that Daniel has really seen more of Earth than even Jack or Sam. and while Jack and Sam may have been stationed in foreign places, they probably didn't immerse themselves in the culture like daniel likely did participating in digs which were probably located in the back of beyond and way off the tourist and military trail.

Personally? i've always seen daniel as far more of a world traveller than his teammates

Major Clanger
August 21st, 2005, 12:53 PM
Personally? i've always seen daniel as far more of a world traveller than his teammates

Me too. From what I have seen of the USAF around here, local contact is kept to a minimum. Unfortunately.

Apart from those pesky A-10s and AWACS which rumble overhead.

Ayiana
August 21st, 2005, 05:07 PM
I'm on a couple of LiveJournal communities which are ship oriented and my observation is that the fics that get the most amount of response are the ones with lots of sex in it. Is that true of your experience?

I agree with this, and I'll also say that some of the most poorly written scenes in the world of fanfic are the sex scenes. A decent sex scene is actually incredibly hard to write, and all too many authors spend way too much time on graphic details and not enough time on the emotionality. The unfortunate result reads like a set of directions for assembling a bicycle. "Tab A goes in slot B, then locate part 3C and ..." *shudder* I've lost count of the times when I've stopped reading a perfectly good story because a poorly written love scene destroyed my interest.

Shep'sSocks
August 21st, 2005, 05:38 PM
I've done that with stories that turned out to be slash. Perfectly good story then because the author decided that it just had to be a slash, it takes an improbable turn.

Skydiver
August 21st, 2005, 05:56 PM
the whole 'characterizations influenced by the company you keep' is a cross genre phenomenon.

if several outspoken people on a list prefer

weepy sam
brute jack
wussy daniel
silent teal'c (yeah, ok so that one isn't so far off canon ;) )
passionate sam
singing jack
fey daniel
lover boy jack

etc, etc, etc, and folks that write what some see as a bad characterization (for example to me there is no way in HELL jack would serenade sam (or daniel) outside thier window) get a ton of feedback, then other authors are influenced, consciously or not, to immitate that characterization.

Let's say that Jack Whump is highly feedbacked, no matter how medically impossible or improbable the whump is (i've read fic where the author actually killed jack in the first few pages because she didn't do her research and didn't realize/care that a perforated artery is pretty much fatal when they're off world and 20 miles from the gate....a distance that the injured jack, of course, walks barefoot through the snow to make it home) if that same whump is praised and held up to be 'great fic' then more and more authors will immitate it just to get feedback themselves.

Skydiver
August 21st, 2005, 05:58 PM
I've done that with stories that turned out to be slash. Perfectly good story then because the author decided that it just had to be a slash, it takes an improbable turn.
yep, i've seen that. there is one fic that is actually quite good for 3 of its 4 parts, then it seems, to me, that the author got a 'we must coddle daniel and make it all about him' in the last part and the whole fic just changes gears rather abruptly

Shep'sSocks
August 21st, 2005, 06:06 PM
The one that undid me was a SGA fic where a drugged up McKay comes onto Sheppard while they're being held prisoner. He has all this pretend boyfriend stuff going on in his head and Sheppard's all WTF? Despite Sheppard playing along to keep Rodney awake and alive he's still pretty "Eeeeeuuuu" through it yet they fall into bed together at the end. If the author had just left it alone, it would have a really fun, cute fic. That's where a fic becomes about the sex just for the sake of being about sex.

Skydiver
August 21st, 2005, 06:49 PM
i've seen that in several fic. sam and jack just MUST fall in love, thus the fic and its characterizations are altered to make sure that they do fall inlove, and in bed ;)

sometimes a fic takes on a life of its own. what is originally meant to be a 10 page scene about oen thing, turns out into a whole big long multichaptered fic. or it've had characters who just kinda demand that thery not be killed off or that they do something different and it alters the whole fic

you can't always force the characters to do what you want them to do, sometimes you have to let them do what they want to, or even need to do

ShadowMaat
August 21st, 2005, 06:56 PM
True enough, but I don't think characters should be forced massively out of alignment just to satisfy some bizarre need of the author. Unless it's for comedic purposes. :D Or if it's some kind of AU thing and is being used to illustrate how massively misaligned those characters are compared to the "real thing".

Personally, I'm still trying to recover from the horror of the Boston Yankees from a TV show I saw concerning a "time storm" messing with reality.

There are some lines which should NOT be crossed! :P

Major Clanger
August 22nd, 2005, 10:35 AM
I agree with this, and I'll also say that some of the most poorly written scenes in the world of fanfic are the sex scenes. A decent sex scene is actually incredibly hard to write, and all too many authors spend way too much time on graphic details and not enough time on the emotionality. The unfortunate result reads like a set of directions for assembling a bicycle. "Tab A goes in slot B, then locate part 3C and ..." *shudder* I've lost count of the times when I've stopped reading a perfectly good story because a poorly written love scene destroyed my interest.

ah well I have another theory about that. Sex is difficult to write, and less is more, really, unless it's a really good erotic one. And not many people can do that well.

But my theory is that a lot of the sex being written (not just Stargate or SGA, but all fic) is being written by people who have never had sex. Or made love. Or both or either or whatever. As someone who is long in the tooth, and has two children (so I've some experience in that department ;)) I am often left gaping at the emotional mess that some people write, and often really do think "man, is that even physically possible?"

Skydiver
August 22nd, 2005, 01:23 PM
i've actually found sex harder to write thana battle. there is such an attention to detail, who's got what where, how they're using it, how it feels, smells, etc. and it's hard to keep track of

and yes, i do think that peopel with a lack of experience and a lack of research do tend to write lesser quality smut. i have read some things that just aren't humanly possible.

such as jack with a nine inch long, ahem. yeah, ok, for a horse maybe, but not a human male. dude, he'd pass out trying to get it ready, a man only has so much blood you know ;)

Shep'sSocks
August 22nd, 2005, 04:14 PM
I know a doctor who read some slash fic and wrote to me quoting particular sections saying "That's just anatomically impossible." And a gay friend who noted that most women (as the majority of slash writers) have no idea what gay sex is like.

Skydiver
August 22nd, 2005, 05:23 PM
well, unless you have voyeurestic tendancies or some really good friends, how would a female know what it's like for two males to have sex? or vice versa?

how can a female even know what it feels like to have male anatomy? your center of balance is different, muscles are different, everything is different. it's simply not possible for the member of one gender to know what it feels like to be another gender.

they can guess, infer and suppose, but they'll never really know

Shep'sSocks
August 22nd, 2005, 06:21 PM
well, unless you have voyeurestic tendancies or some really good friends, how would a female know what it's like for two males to have sex? or vice versa?

how can a female even know what it feels like to have male anatomy? your center of balance is different, muscles are different, everything is different. it's simply not possible for the member of one gender to know what it feels like to be another gender.

they can guess, infer and suppose, but they'll never really know

There's research, there's interviews, but can you imagine the average fan doing that?

Skydiver
August 22nd, 2005, 06:32 PM
There's research, there's interviews, but can you imagine the average fan doing that?

no more than they do the basic research to find out that no one will survive a severed artery off world, or that jack won't be able to carry anyone with a broken collar bone, or that not every broken rib punctures a lung, or that not every sexual encounter is mutually and multipally orgasmic

some things in fic are just gimme's....like i personally don't feel the need to make sure that there is a mason jar in colorado springs before i have sam go there to eat, or that Elm street really exists.

i do, however, if i decide to have sam drown, have a nurse friend of mine check it out and make sure that i really dont' kill her

ShadowMaat
August 22nd, 2005, 06:43 PM
how can a female even know what it feels like to have male anatomy? your center of balance is different, muscles are different, everything is different. it's simply not possible for the member of one gender to know what it feels like to be another gender.
Unless they've been that gender. :D But that's probably a discussion best left off a PG board. hehe

Linzi
August 23rd, 2005, 12:46 AM
I read alot of fan fiction, but only stories concerning SGA.
The reason I read, simply answered? I love reading generally but have found myself obsessed by SGA. To fill the void between seasons,(don't get season 2 here till October) I read fan fiction.
However it's more than that. I am a picky reader and avoid romantic ship like the plague. Why? Because I don't want to read some stuff verging on soft porn about my favourite characters. I've nothing against it being written, or read, but I always believe something comes across as a little, dare I say 'fake' with some of the sex scenes. As a married mum of 3 kids I've obviously had my fair share of sex, (well at least 3 times, anyway!!), and I read some stories and laugh out loud! Alot seems unlikely and sometimes I think as the female has her 3rd in a series of multiple orgasms, wow,lucky her, but I don't think so!
I enjoy action,whump (God I love Shep whump, what does that say about me?),humorous and complex stories. I will read almost anything, I'm open minded, but give up if the spelling and grammar is too bad. I also enjoy tag scenes, especially when an episode didn't go far enough for me,(The Defiant One comes to mind).
Funnily enough I discovered slash by accident,I honestly didn't know what it was. My brother is gay so I have alot of understanding about homosexuality,and I've found some Shep/McKay stuff to be excellent, just because the 2 characters have great chemistry:some great emotional stuff has been written.A few stories have been very poignant, but I don't understand the mechanics of the sex, and to be honest I'm not sure I want to.
I have a few favourite authors, who know who they are,(because I tell them enough) and they write hurt/comfort style fics. which are my favourites by a long way. These authors also have a great feel for the characters and write with emotion,insight and compassion and tell damn fine stories too!
Lastly I also think the ff pieces I read fill a void that occurs in the show for me, it just goes that one step further than the show will, and that is why it can be so satisfying.
Hope I didn't bore everyone with that monologue!!

Shep'sSocks
August 23rd, 2005, 12:51 AM
I enjoy action,whump (God I love Shep whump, what does that say about me?),humorous and complex stories. I will read almost anything, I'm open minded, but give up if the spelling and grammar is too bad. I also enjoy tag scenes, especially when an episode didn't go far enough for me,(The Defiant One comes to mind).



I have a few favourite authors, who know who they are,(because I tell them enough) and they write hurt/comfort style fics. which are my favourites by a long way. These authors also have a great feel for the characters and write with emotion,insight and compassion and tell damn fine stories too!

Just replying to this bit of your post. While I like a lot of H/C fic, I prefer angst because well written angst, I think, is harder to write.

Linzi
August 23rd, 2005, 01:32 AM
Just replying to this bit of your post. While I like a lot of H/C fic, I prefer angst because well written angst, I think, is harder to write.
I enjoy angst very much as well, and I agree it's difficult to write successfully. There's just something so basic and human about physical whump though that attracts me. I just love bullets,arrows ,knife wounds and blood, God knows why! I think also in physical whump ficcies,at least the good ones, there's usually angst for either the whumped character or their friends/colleagues.
Overall though any fic. I rave about has to have a compelling story, which is more important than anything else IMO.

Shep'sSocks
August 23rd, 2005, 02:21 AM
This isn't the fics rec thread but what would you recommend in the compelling story line? In the picky dept, to keep it on topic.

Skydiver
August 23rd, 2005, 04:35 AM
hurt comfort can be the easiest fic to write, but it can also be the easiest fic to write oh so badly.

i remember fic where jack is made intoa rude bast*** just to augment daniel's selflessness when he takes teh bullet for jack....all to ramp up the angst while sam and teal'c take jack to task for being to mean and cruel to the poor widdle space monkey during the obligatory infirmary vigil :eek:

course, then we also have poor sam, who just can't eat or drink adn turns into a sobbing frail little mass should jack ever speak harshly to her. and yes, it's daniel's and teal'c's turns to beat jack up for being a meanie to poor sammy

for me some of the best hc is

well researched. know your medical facts and don't overdo the hurt. especially if you're aiming for sex in the end. someone with broken ribs, puntured lung and a removed spleen won't be up for sex for MONTHS, literally.

don't over do the angst. don't warp the characters just to ramp up the angst. over doing it is often what makes a 'good' hc fic a 'bad' one

jack would never intentionally hurt one of his team. yes, he would vent in a bad mood, he would speak harshly to them. but he would NEVER put one of them in deliberate danger just to 'get even'

Linzi
August 23rd, 2005, 07:16 AM
This isn't the fics rec thread but what would you recommend in the compelling story line? In the picky dept, to keep it on topic.
Any of Kodiak Bear Country's work over at www.fanfiction.net.
Her writing is very Sheppard centric with lots of McKay too. It's well written,exciting stuff but with thoughtful insights into the characters.
Some of my personal favourites are 'I AM' http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2262159/1/ and 'PARADIGM' http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2220953/1/. There are loads more but if you want good storylines I'll have to go to ff to get their titles and links. Merlin71's are excellent too, as are Merlin7 and MN Talberts joint ventures.Will pop back later with more titles,but will post in fic. recommendation thread.

Linzi
August 23rd, 2005, 08:40 AM
hurt comfort can be the easiest fic to write, but it can also be the easiest fic to write oh so badly.

i remember fic where jack is made intoa rude bast*** just to augment daniel's selflessness when he takes teh bullet for jack....all to ramp up the angst while sam and teal'c take jack to task for being to mean and cruel to the poor widdle space monkey during the obligatory infirmary vigil :eek:

course, then we also have poor sam, who just can't eat or drink adn turns into a sobbing frail little mass should jack ever speak harshly to her. and yes, it's daniel's and teal'c's turns to beat jack up for being a meanie to poor sammy

for me some of the best hc is

well researched. know your medical facts and don't overdo the hurt. especially if you're aiming for sex in the end. someone with broken ribs, puntured lung and a removed spleen won't be up for sex for MONTHS, literally.

don't over do the angst. don't warp the characters just to ramp up the angst. over doing it is often what makes a 'good' hc fic a 'bad' one

jack would never intentionally hurt one of his team. yes, he would vent in a bad mood, he would speak harshly to them. but he would NEVER put one of them in deliberate danger just to 'get even'
I agree with you Skydiver! Hurt/Comfort must be well written and certainly, how on earth could anybody manage sex with broken ribs or serious injuries?(well except for my husband, he'd have to be dead not to be interested!)
The H/C fics. I like stay true to the characters we all know and love. When I read some of them ,the dialogue is so good that I can almost hear the characters speaking the lines in my head. That's exceptional writing.
I too hate it when characters behave out of character just to facilitate a plot device, it just doesn't feel realistic.

Darkstar
August 23rd, 2005, 09:37 AM
fics always need a little bit of humour in my mind, well i prefere funny moments to cut the fear and the dark story. ;)

Major Clanger
August 23rd, 2005, 10:42 AM
I know a doctor who read some slash fic and wrote to me quoting particular sections saying "That's just anatomically impossible." And a gay friend who noted that most women (as the majority of slash writers) have no idea what gay sex is like.

On the other hand I know a few gay chappies, and they say that a good, well-written emotional + sex (or just emotional) slashfic is better than a lot of stuff they can get their hands on.

My idea about writing slash is probably different to a lot of people (when it comes to the sex part, at least) but you always have the option of writing it from one characters pov or angle, then .... well, if you've ever made the two backed beast, you know one side of it.

Oh heck, getting bogged down here.

one thing that really really annoys me is I'll be bowling along, finally having found a fic I can read, and then eventually it is time for the end. And it's too abrupt. Gah!

Skydiver
August 23rd, 2005, 04:38 PM
yeah, there are a couple of authors out there that are really great at ramping up the angst and keep it up for like 2/3 of the fic....thengetboredandfini****reallyfastandconveniently

my other pet peeve is those that start wip's and never finish them

which is one reason i rarely if ever read wip's. i hate starting a story that i can't finish

KatG
August 23rd, 2005, 05:05 PM
I rarely read WIPs. I've been burned way too many times. The only time I will is if it's an author that I know has a history of finishing what they start.

But the quickest way to get me not to read a WIP is to post the first part and then say "If I get enough feedback then I'll write more". I'll close the story in an instant, won't even start it.

Skydiver
August 23rd, 2005, 05:09 PM
But the quickest way to get me not to read a WIP is to post the first part and then say "If I get enough feedback then I'll write more". I'll close the story in an instant, won't even start it.


same here. i will not read pleas for attention

KatG
August 23rd, 2005, 05:16 PM
I just think that if you write, you have to write for yourself, because you have a story to tell and you can't rest until you tell it. Feedback is just icing on the cake.

Skydiver
August 23rd, 2005, 05:19 PM
I just think that if you write, you have to write for yourself, because you have a story to tell and you can't rest until you tell it. Feedback is just icing on the cake.
yep. i write for me and to tell a story.

feedback is certainly welcome and greatly appreciated. and it does give me a bit of a boost when it comes to writing...anyone saying 'great job' does boost the ego and incentive a bit...however it's not the only reason i write.

Gatetrixer
August 23rd, 2005, 07:43 PM
Guess I found this thread after it moved from spelling and grammar to slash. However, here's a few of the misspelling examples I've run across. Someone wrote "raped" for "wrapped." I decided to tell her gently and I got thanked nicely. The next time I checked she/he had corrected it to "wraped." I've also seen rapped for raped, bear for bare (more times than I can count), barley for barely, breed for breathe (as in "Sam could hardly breed," which opens my mind to all sorts of possibilities), waist for waste. Enough. Now I don't stop reading fic in which I find errata, else my options would be curtailed, but what's going on here? Do the writers actually not know how to spell or are they in a hurry? And what is a beta supposed to do, really. Does it not include spelling?


Must also rant about my favorite grammatical error, which has become prevalent in all sorts of writing and speech, so maybe it soon will be considered correct. Example: The Jaffa shot Jack and I. Well, "I" should be "me" because it's a direct object of the verb. If you take out "Jack and" it's obvious.

Gatetrixer
August 23rd, 2005, 08:07 PM
yep, it's a britism

and not as much fun to use as '******' ;)

ya know, britisms in fic, i've gotten used to them. Jack putting on a jumper no longer confuses me and makes me mentally see him in a dress. car park, trolly, crisps, biscuits (as in cookies instead of with butter and jam), lounge room, plaster, drip, obs, trousers, telly, boot, yadda, yadda

I can mentally translate them, but it does tend to jolt me out of a fic if i see or hear jack using a britism.

Like in Trial by Fire....Jack refers to a mission going 'pear shaped'...which i know is a britism meaning 'go bad'...thing is, jack's a midwestern boy from minnesota...and take it from a midwesterner, the only thing we refer to as being pear shaped are pears. :)


Well, I'm midwestern and there are the pear shaped female bodies which are healthier than apple shaped and pear shaped tones. :D But I know what you mean about Brit terms, like torch instead of flashlight. I recently read a story in which the writer said at the beginning that she was used to calling her mother "Mum" , so that's what she was going to use in her fic.

Another thing I notice is the disparity in stories about how long it takes to drive from Colorado Springs to Jack's cabin. Some are so accurate you wonder if they have driven the route to wherever in Minnesota the cabin is and some have him getting there in a few hours.

Shep'sSocks
August 23rd, 2005, 11:13 PM
Guess I found this thread after it moved from spelling and grammar to slash. However, here's a few of the misspelling examples I've run across. Someone wrote "raped" for "wrapped." I decided to tell her gently and I got thanked nicely. The next time I checked she/he had corrected it to "wraped." I've also seen rapped for raped, bear for bare (more times than I can count), barley for barely, breed for breathe (as in "Sam could hardly breed," which opens my mind to all sorts of possibilities), waist for waste. Enough. Now I don't stop reading fic in which I find errata, else my options would be curtailed, but what's going on here? Do the writers actually not know how to spell or are they in a hurry? And what is a beta supposed to do, really. Does it not include spelling?

That depends on whether the beta has any grasp of spelling, grammar and punctuation. Large numbers don't. I have been asked to beta stories and I say, 'I don't beta, I edit.' People go away after that.



Must also rant about my favorite grammatical error, which has become prevalent in all sorts of writing and speech, so maybe it soon will be considered correct. Example: The Jaffa shot Jack and I. Well, "I" should be "me" because it's a direct object of the verb. If you take out "Jack and" it's obvious.

I used to annoy my mother by saying, 'Yeah, us two.'

Ayiana
August 24th, 2005, 04:10 AM
Now I don't stop reading fic in which I find errata, else my options would be curtailed, but what's going on here? Do the writers actually not know how to spell or are they in a hurry? And what is a beta supposed to do, really. Does it not include spelling?

Ahh...Another favorite pet peeve - people who choose good friends as their beta readers, friends who are more likely to give them a high five and tell them their work is wonderful than to actually do any useful editing. IMHO, a beta reader's job isn't to make the writer feel good, it's to make the writer look good.

Also, am I the only one who's noticed that some authors are incredibly thin skinned about their work? I've beta read for people before who disappeared after I sent them back the marked-up first chapter of their story. Some people can't take being told they've made mistakes, even though I always make it a point to point out the positives as well as the negatives.

Then there's the whole school of thought that says, "The Internet is a free place, and I have a right to post whatever I want, wherever I want. Besides, writing is an art, and nobody has the right to criticize my work." That whole attitude drives me batty. Yes, everybody can write, and I encourage the effort, but an author owes it to his or her readership to at least make an attempt to get the blasted mechanics right.

Darkstar
August 24th, 2005, 04:32 AM
i have a few fics on the go i hav had the idea for a while but recently got the enthusiasm, i want there to be as much critasism as not, it makes the fic evolve into something that can only be a little better than the original, im supprised that these fic authors take it so personally that their work is said to be rubbish, it isn't nobodies going to say its crap if its not but the author would know if its good or not before they get somebody to beta read it.

i havent yet got the first fic at the stage where i want it to be beta read just yet, my plan is to get as much infomation in it so the beta reader can get a good feel for it and point out and mistakes and flaws.

Shep'sSocks
August 24th, 2005, 04:39 AM
but the author would know if its good or not before they get somebody to beta read it

Not necessarily. Writers tend to be precious about their creations and rightly so: a piece of writing is as much a creation as a piece of artwork. It is, or rather can be art. There comes a point where professionals or those with a professional attitude let their writing go; it's those who think of writing as their "baby" who get narky about it.

KatG
August 24th, 2005, 06:37 AM
Heh. The first story I wrote got edited at least 6 times by my beta. I had a real problem writing dialogue and told her so and also told her to make sure it was right. And she did. But it took a bit of doing.

I just can't see putting a story out there without taking every precaution to make sure that it looks good. After all, you put your name on it. Don't you want it to represent the ''best" you?

Skydiver
August 24th, 2005, 09:53 AM
i write because i want to write. and i write WHAT i want to write.

also, yes, i do think that it is important to take pride in your work. just today i tried to read a fic taht was so full of sound alike words misused (like the your/you're bit, or conscience/conscious) that it yanked me out of the story adn had me making a mental note to ignore the author's future works.

the story in itself wasn't bad, it was a good idea just suffered in the execution

when someone beta's for me and they suggest 'well, i don't think sam would talk like that' i do take their comment and read teh passage, and if i agree, i'll change it. if not, i leave it be.
and i tell that to the folks that i beta for. if it's a factual error, like having them carrying p-90's in season 1, i will insist that they change it (well, strongly urge, it's up to them to change it) but if it's whether or not jack would dance....well my jack wouldn't but whether or not it's changed is up to them. it's their story, not mine

Darkstar
August 24th, 2005, 10:24 AM
Q: do you ever find fic writters who take their work as pure genius, i mean they are a little full of themselves about their work, i ask this as it was recently said that fic writting is akin to art and i would agree and have found myself when i studdied art that many of my fellow students took too much pride in their work, it wasn't bad it's just that art is not so defined enough to say its perfect there will alwsys be room for improvement aswell as fic writting.

i am maybe too critical of my work and find myself re-writting the fics that i am in the process of writting almost from fresh, i find this may hold me back and i would imagine it is my confidence as i haven't yet relesed my work to the public veiw and perhaps feel my work isn't all that good, i should be more confident and just get one of you beta's to go over it as you all seem to have had exprience in this, maybe im just too worried as many fans of the fic seem if i may snobs, they wont take another look at a persons work if it dosent quite fit in with the franchise or there is spelling errors.

maybe im just a little paranoid about this? :rolleyes:

Skydiver
August 24th, 2005, 12:38 PM
there is nothing wrong with being proud of what you've written. writing is hard (but it can also be easy in its own way) and it takes more time than you would think to come up wtih an idea, sit down, put it on paper - or type it into a computer - and proof read it and archive it and put it out there

and you do open yourself up to criticism. you do have folks telling you what is good or bad wtih it. that in itself takes a ton of guts

the first fic i ever posted scared teh crud out of me. i was just sure i woudl be deluged with 'what crap'....fortunately i wasn't

there's nothing wrong with being proud of what you've accomplished.

however, writing a story isn't teh greatest accomplishment in the world in the grand scheme of things. at any given time a fic writer is one of hundreds/thousands and someone will always be 'better' than you simply because 'better' is a subjective term that means different things to different people. (i'm not saying this to diminish anyone's accomplishements or goals. it is fantastic that anyone writes. but compare banging out a 5 page fanfic with....doing a heart transplant or pulling a drowning person out of the water. what is an achievement for one person may not be as much of one in the grand scheme of the world as a whole)


Just because one author writes and is enjoyed by fans doesnt' mean that s/he's the best person in the world. it doesn't make him/her better than the rest of us. it just makes him/her talented and appreciated

every one of us has our own interpretation of the characters and it's based on our own personal life experiences and ideals.

one of my pet peeves is people who believe that their interpretation is the only 'right' one and that anyone that doesnt' write things their way is doing it 'wrong'

sorry, it only has to be 'right' for me and if it's not 'right' for you, there's that little box with the X in it...use it.

KatG
August 24th, 2005, 12:45 PM
Darkstar:

I'll beta almost anything as long as it's not slash or NC-17 (or whatever the new rating is for that now). Doesn't have to be canon (AU can be fun), doesn't have to be any particular pairing (while I'm particularly fond of S/J, I can easily read other pairings).

I will tell someone if I think their characterization is off. For my non US friends, I'll tell them if a word should be Americanized. Still it's up to them whether to change it or not.

However, if something is spelled wrong or the wrong word is used (too/to; your/you're, etc.) and I point it out, I do expect the person to fix it. Either that or don't give me credit for betaing, because that would just be embarassing. 8)

Easter Lily
August 24th, 2005, 02:40 PM
Also, am I the only one who's noticed that some authors are incredibly thin skinned about their work? I've beta read for people before who disappeared after I sent them back the marked-up first chapter of their story. Some people can't take being told they've made mistakes, even though I always make it a point to point out the positives as well as the negatives.

Then there's the whole school of thought that says, "The Internet is a free place, and I have a right to post whatever I want, wherever I want. Besides, writing is an art, and nobody has the right to criticize my work." That whole attitude drives me batty. Yes, everybody can write, and I encourage the effort, but an author owes it to his or her readership to at least make an attempt to get the blasted mechanics right.
I think writing is a very personal things for most people... they feel that they put a little bit (or a lot) of themselves into their piece of work. So when someone criticises them, they do take it to heart. It does take people a long time to inculcate a thick skin to take the bad with the good. I was terrified when I finished writing my first fic... I really didn't know how it would be received. I liked it enough to show a couple of people but I wasn't sure if it was good enough.

Personally, though, I don't think everybody can write... I think everyone can be encouraged to do so and they should try to... But I think writing like playing or writing music is a both an art and a craft. It really helps to have a good ear and certainly, practice makes perfect. However, not everyone can be a writer and it's not the end of the world if one's talents lay else where.

Shep'sSocks
August 24th, 2005, 02:49 PM
It's like the old joke of the doctor who tells a successful author that he's going write a book one day and the author replies that he intends to give brain surgery a go.

Major Clanger
August 25th, 2005, 10:57 AM
I won't read a fic that announces proudly that it was written during "double maths and hasn't been betad because I know you are all waiting for my brilliant fic" (in teenspeak, which I won't do)

I beta and I have been known to write fic. When I beta I don't actually have a lot to do, but I will make the odd suggestion (quiet, in the cheap seats) about some aspect of the fic, but the chappie I beta for is pretty good at continuity, plot and such like - in any case, I would never expect a writer just to take my suggestions on wholesale, unless it is factual. (Some things I harp on about, and they are just to be ignored. But I cannot let a "gun" go by when it should be "weapon". But I digress). I will correct spelling and grammar that I pick up - and I expect those suggestions to be adopted immediately, if not sooner.

When my betad fic comes back to me, I work on the same principle. Grammar spelling corrections are incorporated. Plot/characterisation... it's a case of suck it and see and find out what works for me. After all the fic does have my name on it. And I am very happy to say that I found me a good 'un (well, two actually)

I read a fic the other day, in another fandom, which was all in the first person present. I actually considered just running away screaming, but actually it was quite brilliant. But that's all I can remember about it, not even which show it was from! yikes.

Gatetrixer
August 26th, 2005, 08:00 PM
Heh. The first story I wrote got edited at least 6 times by my beta. I had a real problem writing dialogue and told her so and also told her to make sure it was right. And she did. But it took a bit of doing.

I just can't see putting a story out there without taking every precaution to make sure that it looks good. After all, you put your name on it. Don't you want it to represent the ''best" you?

Ah, but there's the siren call of the internet: I can put my story out there, therefore I will.

thistledown
August 26th, 2005, 09:20 PM
Ah, but there's the siren call of the internet: I can put my story out there, therefore I will.

LOL! Yes, exactly.

Fiction is a form of Art. While there are many opinions as to what constitutes Art, there is one thing **for me** that distinguishes it from mere Self Expression. That is, who it is supposed to satisfy.

Self Expression is, by definition, intended to satisfy the individual who produced it, to give that person "release". Self Expression is done despite what others think.

Art, IMHO anyway, is intended to satisfy the viewer. True artists speak of the desire to "make people feel" a certain emotion, or "impart an insight". Art is done to induce others to think.

Writers who don't bother to beta, are creating a work of Self Expression. This is fine by me, but I mildly resent them thinking it is Art when they have not given a thought to the viewer.

:)
AT

VonKnibble
August 29th, 2005, 11:21 AM
I too, am a snob.

I cannot stand all the grammatical, characterisation, teen speak and all the other horror inducing errors that have me reaching for the back button.

But my main reason for being a self declared Fan Fic Snob, is this;

When I first started reading fan fic oh so many years ago, i'd read just about anything i could get my hands on, quickly developing a taste for certain genres, a few favorate authors and all the usuall stuff. Since then i've found maybe 3 or 4 authors to whom the entire Collins theasaurus could not do justice (IMHO, of course:P)

Unfortunately, i find these peeps, speed read anything of their's i can get my mitts on, and wait impatiently for more. In waiting, i've gone back to a few old favourates, only to find that i can no longer get on with the writing style or characterisations, because i've been spoilt rotten with something better, or that appeals to my sense of humour.

Incidently - most of this 'really good' fic is slash.....and i'm not generally a slash fan, but i'll put up with for the sake of a really good read.

Does anyone else find their tastes 'mature' like this (for want of a better term)? I feel kinda like a traitor for abanoning previously favorate authors...is this not the ultimate snobbery?

VK

SilverRider
August 29th, 2005, 04:51 PM
Not really VK. I have the problem too. :o I believe like our writing styles, our taste in Fic changes too. More often than not :D :D hehehe!

Oh well I Admit I'm a snob, only if the fic doesn't level to my likings. Maybe it's cos, I've been a author for almost two years, the newbee author's annoy the heck outta me. dunno why :(

hollyshannensangel
August 30th, 2005, 10:23 AM
I can't read a fic, unless it has been beta read, that's why betas were created :D and hate it when I click on a fic and its full of mistakes (spelling etc, etc).

I love to write, granted that my work, may not be the best of the best, really shine or is an outstand fic or whatnot, but I write, because I want to. For me the only thing I write is slash, I've tried my hand at het...but, it's like chalk and cheese.

If someone wants to criticize my work, then so be it, I'll take it all in my stride listen to the pros and cons, way it out and work on any improvements in order to make my fic better. It's the whole case of trial and error, is it not?


God, teenage wise, why do, teenboppers constantly use slang or teenage talk in fics?! If they don't talk like that on the show, then why in fic?!

The only fics I tend to read are slash, het wise....every once in a blue moon. For me slash tends to be better, maybe it's because the writers are somewhat more mature....*shrugs* I can't be too certain, but, it's JMO.


Mandeep

Major Clanger
August 30th, 2005, 10:50 AM
*still laughing at being included in a group of people described as 'mature'*

SilverRider
August 30th, 2005, 01:04 PM
Gald we could be of assisant in your amusement Major Clanger :D :D :D :P :P

Gatetrixer
August 31st, 2005, 06:29 PM
I must admit I often fast forward through those song lyrics that so many fic writers seem to love to put in their stories.

ShadowMaat
August 31st, 2005, 06:32 PM
Never really understood why people do that. But then, I don't read the shippy stuff. ;)

The only time I ever used lyrics was when I did a musical nightmare fic (http://shadowlight.s5.com/LC21.html) and THAT was so much fun I actually did some whole songs of it. ;)

Skydiver
August 31st, 2005, 06:43 PM
I must admit I often fast forward through those song lyrics that so many fic writers seem to love to put in their stories.
yeah, so do i.

EllieV
August 31st, 2005, 06:45 PM
I can't read a fic, unless it has been beta read, that's why betas were created :D and hate it when I click on a fic and its full of mistakes (spelling etc, etc).

My fics aren't beta read at all.

ShadowMaat
August 31st, 2005, 07:09 PM
I usually have a few friends go over my story and make sure it hangs together right and that I didn't make any grievous errors. I never really thought of it as beta'ing, so much as assuaging my insecurities and catching all the stuff I can't see. Which probably amounts to the same thing. :)

startrekempress
August 31st, 2005, 07:19 PM
What bothers me is - this rarely occurs but I saw it once on an HP site - it has to do with beta-ing rules.

Now, I don't have a problem with requiring stories to be beta'd, but some sites allow the beta to post a beta'd story without sending it back to the author first. That's like an editor publishing an author's book under the author's name, IMO. An author should have the final say on when the story is ready to publish, beta or no beta. Betas are supposed to help the author, not take their place.

Has anyone ever heard of that practice? What are your opinions?

~Sarah

ShadowMaat
August 31st, 2005, 07:25 PM
Never heard of that but don't think I like it. My stories are MINE and I should be the one to make the big decisions. Unless there were extenuating circumstances- my computer eats my fic, I've been committed to an asylum with no comp access, aliens have taken me away to be their queen, I've been forced to flee the country lest the FBI catch up with me, the usual stuff like that. :) THEN I could see letting someone else post my fic, but I should still be able to give it a final go-over before that happens and I should be the one telling my friend/beta to post it.

prion
September 1st, 2005, 04:01 AM
What bothers me is - this rarely occurs but I saw it once on an HP site - it has to do with beta-ing rules.

Now, I don't have a problem with requiring stories to be beta'd, but some sites allow the beta to post a beta'd story without sending it back to the author first. That's like an editor publishing an author's book under the author's name, IMO. An author should have the final say on when the story is ready to publish, beta or no beta. Betas are supposed to help the author, not take their place.

Has anyone ever heard of that practice? What are your opinions?

~Sarah

I've never heard of it, and I'd never submit fic to a site that does that. It's ridiculous. The author has overall control on their stories. Betas and editors can suggest, but since none of us are making a red cent on this, why toss away your rights as the author? You can self-publish all you want on the web and there's not a single site that is THE place to post any kind of fiction.

However, who the beta is in this case sounds like a wannabe writer or a control freak ;)

Skydiver
September 1st, 2005, 04:54 AM
What bothers me is - this rarely occurs but I saw it once on an HP site - it has to do with beta-ing rules.

Now, I don't have a problem with requiring stories to be beta'd, but some sites allow the beta to post a beta'd story without sending it back to the author first. That's like an editor publishing an author's book under the author's name, IMO. An author should have the final say on when the story is ready to publish, beta or no beta. Betas are supposed to help the author, not take their place.

Has anyone ever heard of that practice? What are your opinions?

~Sarah
i've never heard of it but i'd tell them to go.....red themselves. ;)

it's MY story, not thiers. And i will not hand it over to some person who thinks s/he is a better writer than me so that they can tweak/re-write/change it adn then post it with my name on it.

you wanna be that kind of control freak, dude, write your own stuff.

If there is a learning experience, such as 'this is what a beta does' and they post the pre-beta, beta with suggestions and post beta fic, that's one thing given that the post beta fic will be approved by the author.

but no one is gonna take one of my stories, tweak it to suit themselves and then post it.

KatG
September 1st, 2005, 05:29 AM
I've never heard of it, and I'd never submit fic to a site that does that. It's ridiculous. The author has overall control on their stories. Betas and editors can suggest, but since none of us are making a red cent on this, why toss away your rights as the author? You can self-publish all you want on the web and there's not a single site that is THE place to post any kind of fiction.

However, who the beta is in this case sounds like a wannabe writer or a control freak ;)

That's pretty bizarre. As a beta I can't imagine doing such a thing and as a writer I can't imagine allowing it.

prion
September 1st, 2005, 08:25 AM
But as to the topic. Yes, i'm picky on what I read.

Turn-offs:

* Incomplete stories which have a "if you don't review this, I won't finish it." ARgh!
* Stories that are rife with grammatical errors, etc. in the very first paragraph. If it makes you hurt to read the first sentence, why inflict more pain and read the story?
* Stories which change character perspectives constantly; you have no idea who is thinking or saying what
* Mary-sue stories, unless they're humorous
* Overly detailed stories; I read a Simon & Simon story which took three pages for A.J to get from the driveway to the door, because the author had to give the history of the mailbox. WAY too much info.
* The author takes a story in one fandom, changes the names, and plants it on another fandom. I mean, you read a Remington Steele story between the two leads, then next thing you know, change the names, the location, and it's Sam/Jack or whoever. Yawn.
* No detail. I mean, it's nothing but dialogue. It CAN work for short stories (like one page) but please, not 20 pages of just dialogue!

And well, of course, badly written, badly plotted, stories, but that's a general pet peeve for everyone ;)

Mr Prophet
September 1st, 2005, 08:27 AM
* No detail. I mean, it's nothing but dialogue. It CAN work for short stories (like one page) but please, not 20 pages of just dialogue!

Clearly you're not a fan of Alan Garner's Red Shift.

Major Clanger
September 1st, 2005, 09:28 AM
My fics aren't beta read at all.

ohhh really?

Would you like to share why? Because (and I have never read any of your fics, so this is not a criticism of you) I have rarely seen an unbetad fic that didn't need betaing.

knocknashee
September 1st, 2005, 10:18 AM
My fics aren't beta read at all.
I wouldn't be worried if my fics were as good as that one you sent me...

Beta-ing isn't a requirement for me to read a fic, though some there are authors that I would recommend getting a beta to. I more have one to make sure my continuity is okay and that what I'm writing is plausible. Basically, I like to know my fic reads well before I public. Between the three or four of them, they usually pick up any typos and grammatical errors, plus any poor characterisation moments...

startrekempress
September 1st, 2005, 12:01 PM
That's pretty bizarre. As a beta I can't imagine doing such a thing and as a writer I can't imagine allowing it.

Yeah . . . the beta rules for this particular site go "when your beta has finished the story, he or she will post it" or something like that.

Anyway . . . I would like to think that I am fairly lenient grammar and spelling-wise, but if it's serious I will quietly send a message to the author (I'm not mean enough to do it on a review where anyone can read it), so they know they have problems and can get them fixed. It's actually quite amazing how many people really don't know that their stories have serious grammar errors. ;)

~Sarah

EllieV
September 1st, 2005, 03:32 PM
ohhh really?

Would you like to share why? Because (and I have never read any of your fics, so this is not a criticism of you) I have rarely seen an unbetad fic that didn't need betaing.

Because in RL I'm a qualified professional editor.

EllieV
September 1st, 2005, 04:13 PM
I wouldn't be worried if my fics were as good as that one you sent me...

Mind you, I have spotted two typos in it (since fixed).


Beta-ing isn't a requirement for me to read a fic, though some there are authors that I would recommend getting a beta to. I more have one to make sure my continuity is okay and that what I'm writing is plausible. Basically, I like to know my fic reads well before I public. Between the three or four of them, they usually pick up any typos and grammatical errors, plus any poor characterisation moments...

That's why that story took nearly eleven months and turned out to be 39,000 words longer than I expected. My continuity had to be spot on even though the story itself was non-linear.

I got an email from someone suggesting that Tommy and Mary were Shep's ancestors rather than descendents and I suppose that could be true. Grandparents of sorts. I also got asked for a sequel and I'm all 'Eeek!' at that thought though the bunnies are hopping.

thistledown
September 2nd, 2005, 03:09 PM
But as to the topic. Yes, i'm picky on what I read.

Turn-offs:

* Incomplete stories which have a "if you don't review this, I won't finish it." ARgh!


AAAaaaaaaaaaahh! I refuse to read stories that aren't finished. I might bookmark it, and check back once in awhile to see if it's been completed, but I don't read it. I find it disrespectful to the reader. Just don't post until it's done!

I also hate spelling that's correct, but inappropriate. For example, spelling "their" correctly, but the word should've been "there". That's someone using spellcheck! I HATE spellcheck! I keep it turned off, and have Merriam-Webster Online minimized. Then I do this wacky thing called proof-reading! Yes, sometimes I miss a spelling mistake - but it keeps me aware. It prevents me from taking for granted that the computer will "catch" it.

:)
AT

hollyshannensangel
September 6th, 2005, 10:43 AM
What the hell is it with the ******* MarySues?!

When I used to visit fanfiction....there always was the whole, "if you don't review this, I won't finish it...." or "If I don't get more than (insert number) amount of reviews I won't continue.... Why?! It always puts me off....
Wouldn't it be funny, if someone wrote that and they had no reviews or someone told them where to go? *Snickers*


Mandeep

wraith816
September 6th, 2005, 01:26 PM
Ooooh...fun thread! Wish I'd found it sooner.

Unless I'm so desperately bored that I resort to the Area 52 random story button, I'm one of the most strict fic snobs out there.
Just looking at the summary, I won't read a fic if...
- it's a main pairing other than Jack/Daniel. I'm overly sensitive about my OTP.
- it has a het warning (see above)
- it's by an author with whom I've previously had a bad experience. With me, it's one strike and you're out
- it's serious mpreg. *shudder* That only really works in satire fic.
- it's a crossover with anything but SGA. Lots of crossovers are *soooo* bad; they're written like the author is trying to wave the other fandom in your face. "Look...I watch a show other than SG-1!"
- it's a songfic. Because inevitably, there is an author who thinks Backstreet Boys lyrics are the perfect description of Jack and Daniel's relationship
- it's an AU idea where Jack and Daniel are doing jobs they would *NEVER* choose. Jack as a police officer, understandable. Jack as a dance instructor, no, just no.
- it's a genderbender. *shudder*
- it's a quasi-inscest fic. I don't know why some slashers want to have had Jack's parents adopt Daniel. It squicks me.
- it has a warning for something that squicks me (child abuse, underage sex, incest, etc)
- the author admits to not having seen the ep the fic is based on. It's just a stupid idea to write like that.
- the summary has grammar/spelling mistakes. If you can't bother to have a correct summary, I'm not bothering with your fic.
- there is no summary

If a fic passes all those criteria, I'll start it, but I'll drop it immediately if...
- there's excessively bad spelling/grammar. I think we're all in agreement on this one.
- the font size/color or the formatting make it hard to read. If you put your fic on a white background with yellow lettering, you've got a problem.
- the author leaves their beta's comments IN THE FINAL FIC! :mad: You have no idea how much this one annoys me, especially since they're showing up at Area 52 more and more often. I *quadruple* check a fic before I post it...you'd figure an author would at least notice if they left their beta's notes in the fic!
- it's clear the author mislabeled the fic. I want to know every pairing the fic has *before* I read it. I want to be prepared for something like non-con. If they don't bother to warn me about something I might not want to read, I'm not going to bother with their story.
- there is excessive use of pet names. Like Jack calling Daniel 'angel'...*puke*
- it's written like a trashy romance novel. Like DeCourcey style...*giggles along with all the slashers that get that joke*
- femme!Daniel makes an appearance.
- the fic is not a PWP but has sex scenes just for the sake of sex scenes. There are a lot of h/c or a/a fics that just tack on a sex scene at the end, like the author thinks that it's some kind of requirement.

SoulSpinder
September 6th, 2005, 04:06 PM
My basic guidlines:

Have common use vocabulary down right. We all make errors. I know my own spelling is horrible. And then there are typos, but one can only take so much.

Have a formating style set up. (even though sometimes formatting gets frelled up thanks to posting formats etc.)

Spell character names correctly. At least major characters.

Have a plot or theme. (Don't mind PWPs- plot what plots- if they have SOME kind of thing or topic to address)

And for HEAVEN'S sake. Use regular grammer, not chat speak or no quotation marks, etc.

I don't think that's too much to ask.

EllieV
September 6th, 2005, 04:54 PM
And for HEAVEN'S sake. Use regular grammer, not chat speak or no quotation marks, etc.

There are a number of writers who don't use quotation marks for speech and it works very well as a stylistic device. Peter Carey used this in The True History of the Kelly Gang and he won the 2001 Booker Prize and Commonwealth Writers Prize. Roddy Doyle never uses quote marks in any of his books. But then, both writers know how to break the rules and get away with it. I wouldn't recommend it for most writers.

ShadowMaat
September 6th, 2005, 05:14 PM
There are a number of writers who don't use quotation marks for speech and it works very well as a stylistic device. Peter Carey used this in The True History of the Kelly Gang and he won the 2001 Booker Prize and Commonwealth Writers Prize. Roddy Doyle never uses quote marks in any of his books. But then, both writers know how to break the rules and get away with it. I wouldn't recommend it for most writers.
You have to know the rules- and know them damn well- before you can get away with breaking them, and even then it's only in isolated cases.

If someone's writing is on par with Peter Carey or Roddy Doyle, they're welcome to experiment. But if their "reason" is that they're too damn lazy or stupid to know any better, shove it in the incinerator, I say. :)

EllieV
September 6th, 2005, 05:37 PM
You have to know the rules- and know them damn well- before you can get away with breaking them, and even then it's only in isolated cases.

If someone's writing is on par with Peter Carey or Roddy Doyle, they're welcome to experiment. But if their "reason" is that they're too damn lazy or stupid to know any better, shove it in the incinerator, I say. :)

I'm not recommending it for 99.99999999999% of fic writers, certainly. :)

Skydiver
September 6th, 2005, 05:43 PM
ee cummings wrote whole books without capitolizing, but i wouldn't recommend that for the general fic writer

there are some rules that can be severely bent....like sentence fragments. True, technically, they're 'bad'....but sometimes nothing gets across an emotion or dramatic statement better than a sentence fragment

SoulSpinder
September 6th, 2005, 05:56 PM
But then, both writers know how to break the rules and get away with it. I wouldn't recommend it for most writers.

This is VERY true. Just like there are some authors who strech rules of grammer to have HUUUUGE sentences, or no punctuation of any sorts. And odd formatting.

But the chances are that the majority of fanfic writers aren't exsperianced enough to pull this off in an effective manner. The exception, of corse, is the use of spacing and italics which I've often seen used for thought instead of quotation.

So, yea. The ones I were specifically thinking of while writing that also usually contained at least one other thing. I probably should have specified that. Thanks for the mention!

ShadowMaat
September 6th, 2005, 06:19 PM
My fics are full of sentence fragments. :D But a lot of that has to do with capturing the moord... or in straight dialogue.

Speaking of which, I don't like dialogue that sounds stilted or unnatural. I know it's a hard thing to get right, but it isn't THAT difficult to at least wander in the right general direction. I like to know that the characters are speaking to each other... and that they have actually experienced this strange phenomenon known as "speech" and know how to use it. :P

It isn't that hard to LISTEN to how people say things and copy it for yourself. And it isn't hard to hold the conversation in your head to see how it "sounds".

thistledown
September 7th, 2005, 03:34 AM
...... I don't like dialogue that sounds stilted or unnatural. I know it's a hard thing to get right, but it isn't THAT difficult to at least wander in the right general direction. I like to know that the characters are speaking to each other... and that they have actually experienced this strange phenomenon known as "speech" and know how to use it.

Yes! Another thing that bothers me is when the author is trying to keep the "pace" and "flow" of a conversation and sacrifices the clarity of who is speaking. I often get halfway through a conversation (that has had no "Beckett replied"s or "stated Weir succinctly"s or whatever) and find that the characters' voices I'd mentally assigned to the exchange were backwards, and I have to go back and reread the dialogue with the "voices" reversed, now that I know who's speaking.

Aargh!
:(
AT

Greesha
September 8th, 2005, 06:28 PM
Yes! Another thing that bothers me is when the author is trying to keep the "pace" and "flow" of a conversation and sacrifices the clarity of who is speaking. I often get halfway through a conversation (that has had no "Beckett replied"s or "stated Weir succinctly"s or whatever) and find that the characters' voices I'd mentally assigned to the exchange were backwards, and I have to go back and reread the dialogue with the "voices" reversed, now that I know who's speaking.

Aargh!
:(
AT

If it's not clear even without tags, then the writer didn't do a good job with the character voices anyway.

ShadowMaat
September 8th, 2005, 06:47 PM
I have McKay down pat, I'm confident of that much, at least. :D Which is why it can be frustrating to read fics where he's being completely over-the-top obnoxious for no reason at all, or when he's jumping at his own shadow (hee!) when there isn't any danger present. I guess that's a characterization thing: you have to know who and what the characters ARE in order to write them.

It's why my fics are usually about Jonas or McKay, they're the ones whose voices I know best and I find their perspectives the easiest to "know".

Currently I'm working on a story that (thus far) involves three secondary/minor characters and I'm beginning to think I may have to give one of them up as a lost cause because she only appeared briefly in one ep and sounded a bit cliched at the time and so she's turning out a bit cliched in the fic and I don't want to be insulting about it. I'm sticking with it for now and hoping to expand her character once things get actiony and she has something real to do, but my point is... er... What IS my point? Oh, right. Leadership! I mean, Voice! Voice is vitally important in creating and individualizing your characters and you have to make each one distinct. And if you can't manage it, you shouldn't be using whoever it is... or you shouldn't be writing at all. :P

Just my opinion.

smurf
September 8th, 2005, 07:11 PM
The problem with the voices thing (or most of fic-ing) is that unless someone says yay or nay you can't tell whether the dialogue you have in your head works right or not.
When I'm writing I can hear the characters saying the lines (to the point they say something I hadn't intended (thank you Daniel!)) but unless someone tells me otherwise I don't feel the need to put he says/she says quite as often as I should.

On topic:
I tend to avoid any fics with bad spelling and/or Daniel as innocent child-like type. Good god, the man's 40 years old!

ShadowMaat
September 8th, 2005, 07:15 PM
I still love that one bit from the book Lost in a Good Book where they figured out who the escaped fictional character was by speaking untagged dialogue- the fictional character couldn't tell who had last spoken. LOL!

Of course, to anyone who hasn't read it, the above paragraph probably makes no sense AT ALL. :D