Friends don’t let friends drink and write…

I know I used to write fanfiction and even (gasp) ran a somewhat popular fanfiction archive for Buffy the Vampire Slayer “back in the day”… For this I apologize emphatically, and assure all actors involved that my standards were very strict: no more than one sheep per ‘fic. Period. No exceptions.

I left the fanfiction “community” for many years and have only recently begun to dip my toe in the cesspool of literary castoffs again. (Why? Because I’m a glutton for masochistic punishment. And most of my favorite shows are on break. As a result I indulge my morbid curiosity and sense of ohgodwhatthefuckwasthat?!?!) The one thing that being in that group of aspiring writers did teach me was to watch characterization, make prose more creative and natural-sounding, and always check to make sure you’ve spelled your words right.

Something I think that is overlooked far too often is word usage. Another thing would be proper characterization. Seriously, people, if you’re writing a fanfiction piece about (let’s say) Bones, do us all a favor and keep the characters in check? Nothing makes me laugh more sarcastically, before scrambling for the brain bleach, like a fic where Brennan is using slang accurately and offering to quit her job to be the little woman at home for a brooding Angel Booth.

Wait a minute…

See what I did there?

Also, network executives have made questionable calls regarding primetime programming before, but I somehow doubt that every single female lead is a bipolar schizophrenic with the emotional strength of a 12-year-old on hormone pills… Having one character ask something perfectly reasonable, only for the woman to take it to the outer reaches of insanity and back before saying “Oh, so that’s what you meant. ‘K…” is jarring to read, at best. Making sure I’ve taken my back meds first makes the read that much more entertaining, that’s to be sure.

(I may make this a permanent thing, but for now here’s a new section. I’ll start it out with stuff I find, but if you guys find anything worth adding to the list you can send it to me at kellaknits at gmail dot com.)

Today’s Horribly Overused Fanfiction Lines You Can’t Stop Reading/Laughing At:

“He respected her, not just as a person, but as a woman.” – I’m not sure how to explain the severity of this line’s offense to anyone who isn’t already rolling their eyes. It’s right up there with “It was a dark and stormy night…” (which, don’t get me wrong, is prevalent in the fanfiction writing scene, as well) in its insipid pandering. I not only respect you as something that walks upright, talks, and poops in private, but you also have a vagina! Extra special respect points for you!

…knitting his/her eyebrows together… – As with many good sentences, this could have been one, once upon a time. However, that was before much knitting occurred and now their eyebrows are a Scarf of Infinite Confusion. Please. If something troubles your borrowed characters, let them simply frown or something. They might actually enjoy the reprieve.

“O! M! G!” – W! T! F! I don’t care if your ‘fic is set in Grey’s Anatomy-land. There is no excuse for defying the laws of characterization that blatantly. If I’m in a police precinct and watch someone being told that his partner is pregnant and he’s the father, “O! M! G!” coming out of his mouth would be a perfect excuse for me to work on the assault and battery category of my resume. Characterization, people. Granted, McSteamy and McDreamy are words Shonda Rhimes’ people created for cute use in dialogue on the show. However, I don’t think that I’ll be seeing Derek Sheppard squeeing like a schoolgirl before he says “O! M! G!, Mer’… We should, like, totally get you pregnant! Come here… let’s practice…”

Character’s name and her lifeless body came around the corner…” – Okayyyyy… I think I get where you’re trying to go with this… You’re trying to say she’s really depressed, right? She’s ashen, pallid, downtrodden, unhappy, etc. Right? Because otherwise she’s a risen zombie having an out-of-body experience while trying to decide whether your face is a nummy treat. Perhaps we should reassess our word usage?

That’s all for today. If I get any responses and/or suggestions, I’ll be sure to put them in an upcoming post.

Meanwhile, be sure to spay and neuter your pet rocks. Each year, tons of gravel are being put down needlessly.

  1. April 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    “However, that was before much knitting occurred and now their eyebrows are a Scarf of Infinite Confusion”

    I want a scarf of infinite confusion… or would that be like a Dr Who scarf? I have a friend who knit one that was very confusing to look at.

    Okay, I’ll stop with that, but seriously, if you do find a scarf of infinite confusion I would like a copy of the pattern.

    I would love if you do make this OMGFANFICLINESODOOM a regular feature on your blog, as it points out stuff to watch out for when I write (like the knitting eyebrows, since I think that that is a line I used – but in my defense it was appropriate to the character :P)

    • April 11, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      Great. Now I must come up with a pattern for the Scarf of Infinite Confusion. Is an idea-woman’s day never done? /facepalm

      So word usage/repeated quotes/lines to avoid would be a welcome addition to the blog? 😛

  2. April 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    “Scarf of Infinite Confusion” is one of the best phrases I’ve ever read. Love it. Truly.

    And yes, “lifeless” should not apply to people who are ALIVE.

    • April 21, 2011 at 11:32 am

      Thanks! I’m always thrilled to find people enjoy my ramblings!

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