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I Am Clever


A Fine Line - Between Chaos and Creation

Everybody seems to think I'm lazy; I don't mind, I think they're crazy...

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NaBloPoMo 2012 - Day Eighteen
I Am Clever

It's earlier today for posting time, so I'm going to try and utilize the idea I originally had for yesterday's post.

As some of you may know, I'm an avid fanfic/regular fic reader. (Used to be more of a writer, but real life got in the way.) Anyway, I've noticed a lot of recurring themes when looking for fics, and I'm compiling a list of my pet peeves about fics/fic summaries.

So, without further ado... Smitty's Seven Tenets of Better Fic Writing (or, How to Improve Your Fic Readership).


1. 'Summary sucks/story is better than the summary'.

Two words, people - have confidence. If you think your summary sucks, then that shows me you don't think too highly of yourself and your ability to summarize.  And using the 'I promise my story is better than my summary' line just makes you sound desperate.

2. Not advertising about pairings (especially slash) in the summary or in a forward in Chapter One of your story.

I've lost track of how many stories I've read where there's been no warning, and then out of nowhere BAM! 'Male Character Z discovers he harbours deep romantic feelings for Male Character Y/Male Characters Z and Y are in an established relationship.'

I'm not a slash reader. I find the stuff iffy to read, and I tend to avoid it.  So all I ask is that you issue a disclaimer. Granted, a lot of stories do issue standard warnings, but there are just as many without. All it takes is one word in your summary; be it pairing name, symbols (ZxY; Z/Y; etc), or simply the word 'slash'. Even just putting (on FF.net) it into the genre of romance tends to be a tell.  Please duly label your fics.

3. This Is My Story Summary. Character Z Is In An Accident And Y Doesn't Know He's Missing.

...enough said. You learn the rules of capitalization pretty early in school.  You have no excuse.

4. this is my story summary and i cant spell charctor Zees name right.

If you can't do enough research to at least be able to spell main characters' names correctly...you've lost my interest.

5. Writing your story entirely in script form.

That's not a story.  It's called a screenplay, and no one wants to read that.

6. Threatening to not update if you don't receive X amount of reviews.

Bullying/guilting me has never worked. You want reviews?  You'll get them if I like your story and/or I want to give concrit.  You try to pressure me, and hasta la vista - I'm off to another fic.

7. Posting a story that isn't finished, and with no intent to finish it. 

This one I'm slightly sympathetic towards.  But only slightly, mind you. I don't know about you, but I get kinda bugged when someone posts the beginning of something that could really be a great story.... and then it dies. 2-3 chapters posted, and then the author decides: "I don't feel like finishing this, anymore. I don't know where to go with the story/I was in a fandom craze and now I'm not...sorry."

I can understand the whole 'real life gets in the way' thing. Honestly. I've been there.  But when you post the start of a story that you didn't take the time to map out ahead of time, which would have at least given you a general idea of where the plot should go... it burns me.

Same for if you're in a fandom craze - write the whole thing first, then post in increments. Then the readers don't suffer because you chose to start something while you were infatuated and then fell out of love and abandoned said fandom.

My advice: if it's unfinished, either don't post it at all, or simply take it down. Leaving it up is just cruel to your readers.

There you have it - my Seven Tenets of Better Fic Writing. I hope they were helpful, and I'll see you all tomorrow.