View Full Version : The most important thing.

1st January 2006, 11:49 PM
I was just pondering lately, I've written a fair few fics, most of which were pretty sucessful with a rating of four or five stars, and the readers seemed to enjoy them. But, as I'm sure my previous readers are aware, I had a tendancy to drop the fic, just give up on it completely due to my lack of enthusiasm as time writing the fic progressed.

I realized that what I was writing were my ideas and intentions, but they were twisted and changed to quench any possible readers' thirst for originality or certain happenings or disappearance of a common outcome. And I began to think, perhaps its this desire to suit the readers' own desires that depletes my enthusiasm.

Ever since I first joined, much like so many other newbs with an intention to write, I wanted to dive straight into a trainer fic, where my character would recieve one of the typical starters and continue on to collect badges and ultimately become crowned as a champion; and who knows, maybe even catch an ever-loved Eevee or super-cute Pikachu. And then, once I did my research, I discovered that this was what readers despised and the most loved fics were those with original plots and complete lack of 'over used' Pokemon. So, in my search for reviews, I began to write a completely original fic named 'Sky's Discovery'.

I hated it, I didn't even progress past the first chapter before I decided to drop it. But still I continued to write original fics, desperately seeking reviews to help me with my writing, and I came to realise that whatever I wrote, I ended up despising.

During my return to SPPF, I've been writing a new fic. I've never been so passionate about writing any other fic, and whenever I get the time to write this fic, I write, write, write. I love writing it, and I love writing it in my own style and with no restraints in mind. This fic is a Trainer fic. My character has a typical starter and she is travelling through Kanto in order to collect badges.

I just figured, forget what is wanted by the readers and write what I want to write. I've never been so sure about continuing a fic.

I haven't yet discovered the reaction of the fic, if I get any at all due to trainer fics notoriety, so I don't know if the writing seems better at all.

My question basically is what do you think is most important, what the readers want, or what you want? Of course, without the readers, you have no opinions and nothing to guide you at writing, you have nothing to help you improve; but I feel that writing what you want to write is far more enjoyable and perhaps of better quality.

Which do you strive towards?

1st January 2006, 11:59 PM
Hmmmmdeedoooo. That's a valid and twisted question. :P

I usually strive toward pleasing myself, above all. If I have an idea, I'll write it down because I want to see it executed. Then, sometimes, I'll remember what one reader said, and I'll input it because I thought it was a good idea or that it was lacking, as they said.

As you said, writing what you want results in better quality, and I agree with that. So therefore, you should only write what you are passionate about. If it's a cliche, or something of the like, then add at least something that will make it your own. And then cross your fingers and hope someone likes it. :/ If you really put your all into it, then you'll probably get some good reviews. It's all a matter of work, and wether or not you really are writing true to your heart, or not. ^^

2nd January 2006, 4:20 AM
I take into account what reviewers say, but ultimately, my work is my own. When people point out miswordings, character inconsistencies, and the like, I almost always accept what they suggest; usually, they're right. Plot holes I can patch. Flat characters I can inflate.

I will not, however, write the 'fic that you want.

Reviewers who tell you that they think you need to completely rethink the plot just because it is not what they like to read are crossing the line with their work. It is possible to critique plot, yes, but only for the reason that it, for some reason, does not work. It may not have a conflict, it may be predictable and therefore boring, or it might not have a proper rising and falling action. It may be full of holes. But if a reviewer tells me what to write next, I almost always ignore them. If they can back up their choice with evidence that my plot has been, up to that point, lacking, then I will reevaluate and see if I agree with them.

People getting on your back just because it's an OT clearly don't know how to critique. It's all in the execution. If, however, your plot is meandering, poorly directed, and predictable, the bane of OT's and the stereotype, then yes, you should revise it. But don't try writing an entirely different genre. As long as your plot works and you enjoy it, then there is no reason to change it to suit your reviewers' tastes. Often, I'll get reviews with suggestions like, "Y should catch *this* pokémon next." These I will usually politely turn down, unless the pokémon selected is one that matches my plotline. That's a case where the reviewer really has no grounds to be making that claim, and where I won't conform to their opinion. However, often reviewers speculating about what might happen next, or where the plot might be going, have inspired me to turn the 'fic in that direction, but only if I recognize that their idea works better than the one I had in mind and will not change the overall direction of the work.

Ultimately, write for yourself. While reviewers often have valid points, it is up to you to accept them or reject them, and writing simply to pander to your audience is never going to give you real satisfaction.

Saffire Persian
2nd January 2006, 5:09 AM
I think it's most important to cater to yourself; if you're writing something that the reader's want though you hate it with a passion, I doubt you'll find your story very pleasing to write. I'm not saying you shouldn't listen to what sincere reviewers have to say - I've grown more from reviewer critique then I have evaluating the work myself. Reviewers often spot things that you can't - partly because you usually think that, in some way or another, your story is good.

Still, you shouldn't cater to their every whim - your head thought of the idea, and you should still build upon that idea yourself. So ultimately, I think you should write for yourself, and hope that maybe, just maybe, some reviewers will have the same tastes.

3rd January 2006, 11:08 AM
i strive towards writing perfection, i take constructive critisism and use it, not bashing/flaming.

3rd January 2006, 2:16 PM
I follow a few simple rules that I must say have greatly improved my writing since I started fanfic writing. (The first one I created was just terrible. Trust me, you don't even want to see it.) Which I will say that other writers should follow as well to let out their full potential. Not following these rules are just holding you back basically.

1. Write what you like. Basically, put in what you want. Do what you want. Go crazy. When it comes to plots and ideas, the world of imagination knows no bounds.

2. Make it as long or short as you like. Now, many will disagree with me in this one. I can understand why basically. However, to me, it's what's inside the fic itself that really matters. To me, length is just not an issue, and I show that off in some of my stories by making short chapters. And as such, I have better improved because of that. Also, who knows, your great talent in writing may lie in making short chapters. You'll never know until you try. :)

3. Make the plot work. If you have to go out of charcter or have to put in some unrealistic thing to make the story work out the way you want, then go ahead and do so. I know that this will make it seem bad at first, but many times, those who stick around and read more are greatly rewarded in the end. If others just don't like how the story turns out, tough! I'm the one who decides what happens in my fics and no one else.

4. Do it well. However, even with following these special rules, in the end, your fic is bad unless you do it well. Without proper description, spelling, grammer, etc., your fic basically sucks, regardless. In the end, it all winds down to the basics we learned so early in our fic writing life. The basics are just so important, that's it's always good to go back to them. Simply, follow the basics. You'd be surprised how good you do if you just stick to them.

Those are the rules I follow. If you don't like my story because I followed these rules, tough! I'm the one who's writing it, not you, and you just have to deal with that. :)

Trust me guys, if I didn't follow these rules, I'd just suck!