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The "Other" Fic

 
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CrystalSC
Dark Avenger


Joined: 20 Apr 2010
Posts: 397
Location: Greenville, SC, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:25 pm    Post subject: The "Other" Fic Reply with quote

We all know it's out there. We've seen it. The fiction you can't get through one chapter of. One page. One paragraph. *shudder*

And we all know of the brilliant pieces. The "OMG I have to rec this now" fic or the "I read the whole thing in one sitting" fic.

But what about those fics that fall in between? They are soooo close to being great except for that one detail.


Without naming titles or authors, I read a B/A fic yesterday that fit under this description. And I felt so disappointed when I finished it because the conflict was well presented and there was such an interesting plot. The story was also well written structurally. But where it was lacking for me was Buffy and Angel themselves. They had little to no chemistry on the page for me, despite a very heavy petting scene. Their interactions often left me wondering why the author presented them that way and I didn't feel like their voices were authentic B/A.
It's too bad. I wish I had been able to feel that connection.
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Kairos
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd wager that the vast majority of fics fall into that category, between the "so bad" and the "so good".

One thing that can really take me out of a good fic is poor presentation: bad grammar, misused punctuation, not being sent through a spellchecker, etc. Even sloppy sentence structure can get in the way, for me, though usually that's a pretty subtle thing.

I always feel kind of guilty when I stop reading something for reasons like these, because on the whole they don't have anything to do with whether or not the writer is any good. It's also made me a little more obsessive about my own writing than is totally healthy-- I often can't get past the wording on one sentence until it's perfect, because I know that if I was reading, I'd notice.
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Leni
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Joined: 05 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What makes or breaks a fic for me is the dialogue. I can survive through the you're/your, their/they're as long as I can picture the scene and the characters in it.

When I don't... it's pretty much like you described it, Crystal. I just don't connect with it. I feel that, if I can replace 'Buffy' with another fictional character of similar traits, then it's NOT Buffy... and why keep reading?

Very frustrating. Like you mentioned, some of those stories have a lor of potential, especially plot-wise.
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Kean
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Joined: 04 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a few things that can ruin a B/A fic for me:

1) Poor characterisation through dialogue. All this "Buffy, the heart fo my soul" and "Angel, king of my heart" stuff is very hard to read. As well as that there is the "pet names! Having Buffy and Angel (especially) call each other pet names drives me MENTAL! Buffy called Angel "Honey" once, and he never called her anything but Buffy. It just doesn't fit B/A. I could be utterly absorbed in a fic but as soon as I see a "beloved", "baby" or "sweetheart", I'm gone.

2)

(i)The only thing worse than Angel using pet names is Angel using pet names in Irish. And in non-nonsensical, no-meaning Irish at that. This drives me insane. I suppose most wouldn't actually know what is being/is trying to be said so it wouldn't matter but I do and it just hurts to see the language and Angel's character butchered like that. (It also brings up my whole canon pet peeve of how Liam and his background makes no historical sense whatsoever and more than likely, given his age and his location, would have been a married peasant, rather than a middle-class rake.) Worst of all is when people make him call the language Gaelic instead of Irish! Argh! *puts hands over ears* Lalalalalala!

(ii) Writing in accents! So much fail! Whether it is Angel's Oirish, top of the mornin' to ye, begorrah begosh or Spike's bloody cockney slang, innit, writing in an accent is a sure fire way to destroy a fic. Write normally, the reader, if they know the characters can read it and hear the accent without having to see it!

3) Repetition. I just think this really takes a away from a fic and lowers the enjoyment level. It just looks...lazy?
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jr24tw
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kairos wrote:
One thing that can really take me out of a good fic is poor presentation: bad grammar, misused punctuation, not being sent through a spellchecker, etc. Even sloppy sentence structure can get in the way, for me, though usually that's a pretty subtle thing.

That is my number 1 too. I'm reading an awesome fic with great characterization and plot but bad presentation will take me right out of it. Because then I get frustrated and I have to stop. Funny thing is English isn't even my mother tongue. It's not perfect either. But when even I read something from someone whose first language is English and think wth...well that's very bad imo.

Kean wrote:
There's a few things that can ruin a B/A fic for me:

1) Poor characterisation through dialogue. All this "Buffy, the heart fo my soul" and "Angel, king of my heart" stuff is very hard to read. As well as that there is the "pet names! Having Buffy and Angel (especially) call each other pet names drives me MENTAL! Buffy called Angel "Honey" once, and he never called her anything but Buffy. It just doesn't fit B/A. I could be utterly absorbed in a fic but as soon as I see a "beloved", "baby" or "sweetheart", I'm gone.

OMG. I'm so with you on this one. Although I have to say the worst pet name isn't even in your list. I've read more than one fic where Angel calls Buffy 'love'. I literally scream inside my head 'Angel is NOT Spike' which is then followed by grumbling and groaning and the desire to bash my own head in just to get that word out again.


Quote:
(i)The only thing worse than Angel using pet names is Angel using pet names in Irish.

Ionion (sp?). Equals headache to me.

Quote:
3) Repetition. I just think this really takes a away from a fic and lowers the enjoyment level. It just looks...lazy?

Also agree with this point. When I read one word 3 times in just one paragraph it takes me out of the moment. No matter how great said moment is.
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Kean
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jr24tw wrote:



Ionion (sp?). Equals headache to me.


The thing is, iníon means daughter! Why oh why are people having Angel call Buffy daughter!?!
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Leni
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The thing is, iníon means daughter! Why oh why are people having Angel call Buffy daughter!?!


So so wrong that I'm laughing at this.

But seriously, you know how it is with fandom. Someone got the ball rolling and nobody's bothered to double-check ever since.


I don't think I have something specific that turns me off a fic. Well... maybe lenghty declarations of love. There's only so many ways to tell someone that they are the love of your life - people shouldn't try to use them all in one sitting. Sometimes, just having two characters hold hands under a table says more than words (Yes, I'm using a scene from Kare Kano as an example.)


And Buffy called Angel 'honey'?? I always thought that was fanon.
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Kean
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Joined: 04 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leni wrote:


And Buffy called Angel 'honey'?? I always thought that was fanon.


Yup, it was just the once. Remember at the start if Consequences (I think) she and Angel are fighting a demon in a graveyard (Angel is wearing that brown leather jacket) anyway, Buffy sends a demon corralling into Angel and it knocks him over and Buffy says "Oh! Sorry honey!", Angel bounces back to his feet and says "That's alright". They then have that funny convo about how Angel never takes her anywhere new and he protests that there was fire demons last week in the caves at the beach. He thought they were a nice change of pace.

(I can't believe I'm so sad that I remember this crap!)
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CrystalSC
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Joined: 20 Apr 2010
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Location: Greenville, SC, USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kean wrote:
Yup, it was just the once. Remember at the start if Consequences (I think) she and Angel are fighting a demon in a graveyard (Angel is wearing that brown leather jacket) anyway, Buffy sends a demon corralling into Angel and it knocks him over and Buffy says "Oh! Sorry honey!", Angel bounces back to his feet and says "That's alright". They then have that funny convo about how Angel never takes her anywhere new and he protests that there was fire demons last week in the caves at the beach. He thought they were a nice change of pace.

(I can't believe I'm so sad that I remember this crap!)


I LOVE that you remember that!! I didn't remember she called him honey but it made me swoon a little when I read it. Heart
I could see pet names much later down the road for them, if they had their happy ending and they've been together for awhile. But the show rarely lent itself to them. But sometimes, depending on the name and how it's used, it can pull me out of a fic too.

Kean wrote:
The only thing worse than Angel using pet names is Angel using pet names in Irish. And in non-nonsensical, no-meaning Irish at that. This drives me insane. I suppose most wouldn't actually know what is being/is trying to be said so it wouldn't matter but I do and it just hurts to see the language and Angel's character butchered like that. (It also brings up my whole canon pet peeve of how Liam and his background makes no historical sense whatsoever and more than likely, given his age and his location, would have been a married peasant, rather than a middle-class rake.) Worst of all is when people make him call the language Gaelic instead of Irish! Argh! *puts hands over ears* Lalalalalala!


That's so cool. I never knew any of that. I'm not fond of writing in accents either. Rather than just absorbing the dialogue, it becomes a tedious chore to take it in. One of my favorite books series (the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning) is set in Dublin, Ireland but she doesn't do that. I think partly because it's written from the pov of an American girl. On the few occassions she writes in an accent, it's because she's making a point about how the person sounds; like the young American girl not being able to understand the elderly man. (Great series if non of you have read it btw. Not for the kiddies though.)

My personal pet peeves with any fic OR novel is pop-culture references. I'm not big on naming songs, brands, shows, etc... in any read because it really pulls me out of the story. Season 3 of Supernatural got on a kick where they had Dean Winchester constantly referring to movies and I hated it because it took me out of "Supernatural Land" into the real world. It basically breaks my escapism.
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Kairos
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread slipped past me, but I have to say that as a fic writer I would really love to hear more of everyone's thoughts on what they don't like. For instance, the issue of phonetically representing accents is one that I go back and forth on. It helps to know that at least some writers are against it, but I'm still curious: at what degree does it become annoying? Are there ways to indicate an Irish accent without making it an Oirish accent? If a character has an unpolished way of speaking that isn't related to a cultural accent, can we get that across by choppin' off the ends a their words or sumthin'?

By the way, Kean, I can't help noticing that you are a wealth of information about Liam's heritage, and consequently I would like to leech it out of you. If you have a chance at some point, would you be interested in making a post with some Irish words and other factoids that might make our potential fanfiction more historically accurate than it usually is?
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Kean
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Joined: 04 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kairos wrote:
This thread slipped past me, but I have to say that as a fic writer I would really love to hear more of everyone's thoughts on what they don't like. For instance, the issue of phonetically representing accents is one that I go back and forth on. It helps to know that at least some writers are against it, but I'm still curious: at what degree does it become annoying? Are there ways to indicate an Irish accent without making it an Oirish accent? If a character has an unpolished way of speaking that isn't related to a cultural accent, can we get that across by choppin' off the ends a their words or sumthin'?

By the way, Kean, I can't help noticing that you are a wealth of information about Liam's heritage, and consequently I would like to leech it out of you. If you have a chance at some point, would you be interested in making a post with some Irish words and other factoids that might make our potential fanfiction more historically accurate than it usually is?


Yes, the chopping off of the end of words is actually a good method. Once it isn't abused of course. I've a read a couple where Angelus or Doyle never actually finished a full word. Not fun. To be honest, in the cases of Doyle, Angel and Angelus their speech suits a straight approach. While they are all clearly Irish none of them are going to welcome you with "Top o' the mornin'" or many other of the really annoying catchphrases.

I expect it is the same thing if you were writing in a Southern drawl or a New York accent. How far would you go writing those accents?

Rightio, leech away. What kind of information do you want? The only thing I will say is that why it may be historically accurate, it won't be canonically accurate, so you may not want that either.
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Kairos
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever you feel like telling. If it contradicts canon, well, that's an interesting topic for most of us, too. Perhaps you could start a new thread with some basic history facts, and let us fire questions at you.
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Kean
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can do that Smile

Will I post it in the fiction forum or in the general show forum?
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Kairos
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmm. Probably "General Show", since it's not necessarily about writing. Whatever direction your heart takes you is acceptable, though. Smile
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Kean
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reading a fic now and it is actually really disappointing to see how badly it turned out.

The initial 8 or so chapters were incredible but the writer has just totally lost all control of the voices and has employed a lot of clinchés. It's like I'm reading two different fics.

I had such high hopes for this one. Sad
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