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FlamingRuby
22nd November 2005, 6:32 PM
What turns you off when you read a fic?

First off, I don't like it when there's barely any description. How am I supposed to know what a character or place looks like without the author describing it?

Second of all, I don't like it when someone copies the dialogue and action right from the games themselves. If a story just looks like that, I can just play with my GBA and get a more enjoyable story

Meep
22nd November 2005, 11:22 PM
I don't like bad spelling. I can understand every so often, making a spelling mistake, but more than ten in a chapter and it gets painful to read. I can also understand some strange grammar (I'm not that good with grammar either XD), but if I can't understand it, I'm out.

I also don't like fanfics (or any stories, for that matter) that introduce something once and never explain what the object is again. I can't remember that the Super Soothe Bell is large and blue with yellow zig-zag designs if you only mention the object (other than the name) only once. How am I supposed to remember that Charlie is a Zigzagoon throughout an entire fic? But if you mention the Super Soothe Bell's color and Charlie's species at appropreate (sp) times, then I can remember. You might not think this happens very often, but people do this a lot in fanfics.

Psychic
23rd November 2005, 1:24 AM
Oh, I made a thread like this ages ago. Then it died, and I think we now have another just like it floating around.

Anyways, FR, the title of this topic is rather misleading, I thought this thread was advise writers should give each other about 'What NOT to do in a fic'. Maybe that's what the thread should be about, hmm?


Anyways, what I can't stand:
When a fic lacks description. I'm really a description maniac, so if a fic has barely any description, I know that it's written by a rather idiotic writer. Without description, it's harder to get into a story and feel like you're actually there-standright next to the character/s.

I hate unoriginal fics, especially those trainer fics where the kid gets a Pikachu/Eevee/Bagon/Dratini/Larvitar. Over-used Pokémon are always a turn-off and shows that the writer has no sense of imagination. There are a few writers who can pull it off sucessfully, but all the rest lack so much originality.
Perfect (main) characters. Brainless villains. Pokémon that have no personalities.
Clickés. Characters, plots, metaphors, whatever. I just can't stand it.

Oh, and last but not least: bad grammar. The fic's grammar doesn't improve and the whole thing is written as if a seven-year-old had written it. Then when they don't improve, even after you've tried to help and pointed out all their mistakes...


That's about it, in short.

~Psychic

Dawnstar
23rd November 2005, 1:59 AM
What turns me off while reading a fan fic?

- Example of a bad paragraph:
A cat walked down the path very slow. It was pretty and liked to chase flies. It has a small bandana on it's leg. A dog walked up to it. The dog barked and ran away. The cat was very scared.

Example of that paragraph turned much better (you should do this):
A young feline leaped slowly down the path worn from the leaves and wet soil. It's lovely satin blue-silver coat shone beautifully in the wind as it lept to capture a buzzing fly around it, which it often liked to chase. Around it's front left leg drooping near it's paw was a small white bandana that was tied tightly. From behind the tree, the leaves on the ground rustled, and a dog appeared, slowly approaching the cat. It let out a fierce bark, letting the cat know of it's territory, then strutted off with pride. The cat lay frightened and huddled down on the pathway.

Like said earlier, no unoriginal plots, such as the following:
- A Pokemon journey to become Pokemon Master
- Teams versus teams, or any teams really

Over-used way too much...

By the way, if you decide to speak confusingly and using big words, make sure you know them and don't overuse them. You can make simple sentences, like:
The cunning fox lept towards the titanic sienna oak tree after the sly and swift hare.

But make sure you don't overuse the words, use a variety. It might be hard, so use a thesaurus to help.

Stupid try with big words and confusing speaking:
Slickly a girl was wise to be in the last line.

Confusing, and makes no sense, even when translated. Way too irritating, lol.

Dragonfree
23rd November 2005, 2:11 AM
Firstly, Pokébots. Pokémon are not battling robots, and I hate to see them portrayed that way.

Then there is really any sort of "trying too hard" when writing:

- Overdescription. Yeah, you need to give us a basic idea of what a Charizard looks like in the case of readers who don't know, but frankly, even the readers who have never seen a Charizard really don't care once you've told them it's an orange Western dragon with a flame on its tail. Once that's done, get on with the story, please. Sentences entirely devoted to description should generally be kept to a minimum. Other relevant details can be added in the form of adjectives and adverbs in action-focused sentences.
- Too much thesaurus-syndrome. There are quite a few people on here who don't have English as their first language (such as me), and if I don't understand half of your fancy words, I'm likely to give up after a paragraph or two.
- Flaws for the sake of flaws. A Mary-Sue with a random flaw slapped on is NOT a realistic character, and that's that. Technically I don't care whether you make a perfect character first and then add flaws, but you need to know how to make a psychologically believable character out of it all afterwards. And really, you don't need a "flaw" to make a believable character. (Who can properly define a "flaw", anyway? I don't believe in any universal system of "good" and "bad" traits.) You need a realistic personality and understanding of how the character thinks, and if you've got that down, it's a perfectly fine character no matter what anybody says. If you get it to make sense that a given character would have managed to catch all 386 Pokémon including the legendaries, it's perfectly fine. If there is a good reason your character is a good enough trainer to beat the Pokémon league, it's perfectly fine. If your abused character behaves in such a way that it would seem realistic for a victim of abuse, it's perfectly fine.
- Using no 'overused' Pokémon at all, to the point of being just plain ridiculous. Come on, the traditional starters ARE the traditional starters, get over it. Unless you have some reason to assume that Professor Elm has started giving out Hoppip, Chinchou and Magby instead of Chikorita, Cyndaquil and Totodile, why bother changing it? Sure, you like Chinchou and want your character to get one as a starter, but then either make up an explanation or make them receive it from somebody else.


Oh, and why does the main character ALWAYS fall in love with somebody on their journey? --; Come on, ten-year-olds don't fawn over the first person of the opposite gender they meet as soon as they get out of the house. There's nothing wrong with including a bit of romance, but please let it develop properly, and contrary to popular belief, not all people express their crushes by constantly fighting with the person.

Eternal Daydreamer
23rd November 2005, 2:15 AM
Well, most of what turns me off was already said but I can add a couple more:

Overused Characters (Humans, that is)
Let's say a story's about Ash and co. or Team Rocket (Jessie, James, and Meowth). Right there that's what turns me off but if the plot's original, I'll stay for a while. But if it isn't original like these kind of stories:
-Ash saves the world from an evil Pokemon (If I wanted this, I would watch the first Pokemon movie...)
-Romance between Ash and Misty or romance between Ash and May. Or even Rocketshipping (I like some romance but these three couples are overused.)
-Pokemorph stories (Need I say more? Again, if it's well written....)

See? Those types of stories using main characters turns me off. But some people can put them into a new light, I look for that.

Eileen
23rd November 2005, 2:43 AM
Not to:
Write a Fanfic without a plot. If you write a story without a plot, how it's going to end. Your story does not end after one chapter, then it will be a short story without an ending.

Negrek
23rd November 2005, 2:55 AM
Well, I would put everything that Dragonfree said in a quote box, but that would be rather silly. So that I'll just say that I agree with her completely, and also add that I think that trying too hard is often at least as bad as not trying hard enough.

And besides that, there's the obvious spelling/grammar that looks like you ran it through BabelFish, the plot that goes nowhere and makes no sense, the classic Sue/Stu, etc. But those are pretty much givens.

Purple prose/"arteest" writing is also a personal peeve of mine, but I don't usually stop reading just because of it.

PDL
23rd November 2005, 3:25 AM
these may apply more to internet comics, but it also applies to fanfics:

1. random idiocy: it shows how bad the author is at writing a proper story

2. jokes/plots blatantly borrowed from the anime or other well known TV shows: it may have been funny on the Simpsons or Family Guy, but it won't work here, think of something new... or at least borrowed from a lesser known source...

3. romance: more personal taste really, but pokemon and romance just doesn't work most of the time.

4. Pokebots: Dragonfree and others already explained this one

5. overuse of legendaries: I'm put off by fics that have people treating legendaries as regular pokemon.

6. Crossovers: they're rarely done properly, most of the time, it's just the characters saying hi to one another or something stupid.

7. Cliches: need I explain?

Dilasc
23rd November 2005, 5:02 AM
The use of smilies. It's bad enough when a noob author won't describe, but bad juju, mon! That be the lowest of low to use a smilie in place of a three to ten letter word. Seriously, grow up, noobs!

Klaus
23rd November 2005, 5:25 AM
Well, I would have to say new area fics. I can't stand adding new pokemon
or new regions. I'm sorry, it just gets really strange.

Oh, and Ash and Co. fics. If it's a story about Max or Misty or Brock. Then I'll read it. But if it's an Ash and May love thing, NO, just NO!

*********Or what not to do**********

Don't do game plots. Don't make your characters have all the pokemon. And don't have
your characters know the anime characters.

SIncearly Klaus

As always, be kind to the mime.

Dilasc
23rd November 2005, 5:56 AM
Personally, I don't mind made up Pokemon, as long as they're unique and original, or if they perk up a species that really sucks by game standards. If it is simpl a lame, unoriginal species, then no go.

Here's some examples

Bad:
1) Zomg! We discuvrd Peekachug, it am volvd frum Peekachoo, and liks beeeEEEee333rrrRR!!111
2) W00t! I leef stoned my 33v33, and now its a Floreon. Oh wait, I sunstoned it, and now its a solareon, no wait, I gave it a french kiss and now its a Ouivee. No wait, I gave it the super rare dragon stoon, and now am Draconeon!!111

Good: Well, besides the things I make, which are anything BUT the ordinary. I mean, I have a fudge brownie, a clay swordsman, and a swordfish that swims, but is normal/fighting type. Seriously, if I were to post the good, I fear I may just steal my own ideas later and place it in Dust to Deceit. Sorry guys, you're going to have to use your own creativity for this part.

Anyway, as you can see, uniquity, and originality are important. They are so very important that it isn't even funny.

Klaus
23rd November 2005, 6:07 AM
Yeah, I see your point there. It's just when someone makes a pokemon named frenchu! A bred of Pikachu and Feraligter. Now if you take time
to but significance behind it and create something like this:

Chindler: The Flaming pokemon. That I would accept.

As always, be kind to the mime.

katiekitten
23rd November 2005, 11:06 AM
What don't I like? Trainer fics. People going out on journeys to be a Pokemon master, yada yada yada. I have the games, I don't need to read about it.

Like others have said, bad grammer and spelling. It drives me around the bend. It just sticks out like a sore thumb, making me want to cringe.
No plot storys. I don't mind parodys with no plots, but otherwise storys need plots.

The Big Al
23rd November 2005, 12:08 PM
What not to write.
I'm personally turned off by AAML and AAMayL. Can we say annoying. Fortunately, all that has been restricted to the forbidden land of shipping.

I'm turned off by most Ash fics in general. Unless they're making fun of the show or doing something original with the characters, I'll just watch another episode of the anime.

Lady Barbara
24th November 2005, 1:44 AM
What I personally find annoying in fanfiction:

1. Poor spelling and/or grammar. Most of the fanfics on the 'net are written by college and high school age people, many of whom take advanced courses in various subjects. Yet using Microscoft Word's Spellcheck feature is something they have apparently never considered. There is no excuse for this, especially if you have someone beta-reading your fic for you.
2. Purple prose. I may be guilty of this myself, but when you write, don't try too hard. Read Ray Bradbury's work and marvel at how he tells a story using the simplest of words.
3. Lack of research. If you are writing a fic that has some basis in reality (say, a character with a disease like diabetes, for example) and you know little to nothing about that particular subject, research it. Google is your friend. There is a wonderful LJ community called "little details" where authors can ask questions about very esoteric matters and have those questions answered.
4. Gary Stu/Mary Sue characters. Enough said.
5. Authors who beg for reviews. If I like it, I will review it.
6. Author's notes that take up nearly a chapter. If you receive 10 reviews for one chapter, it is both impolite and unecessary to personally thank each reviewer individually at the beginning of the next chapter. Honestly, nothing makes me hit the 'back' button faster than an author who does this.

Iveechan
24th November 2005, 8:31 AM
I generally have an open mind, but at the same time I'm rather nitpicky about the things that turn me off.

-AAML... any canon love. Come on, with a fandom based on cool and imaginative monsters, why waste your time writing about 10 year olds kissing?
-Minor grammar errors that grate on my nerves... an example includes saying "it's" instead of "its" in plural form. And mixing up there, their, and they're... it's very simple, they're is they and are, there is "Hey, over there!", their is possessive. For the love of dog, just sit there and think!
-Pokemon I like being portrayed badly... and I tend to like common targets, mainly Machoke.
-HOLY MOLY, DO I HATE RE-WRITES OF RUBY/SAPPHIRE!!! I mean, of all the Pokemon games it had the most interesting beginning, but in fic form it's just so freakishly redundant. And the character always choose Mudkip (named Tsunami) or Torchic (named Blaze or Phoenix). My blood boils when I see a RS re-write. Good god.
-The "Pokemon get revenge on humans" type of plot. Yawn.
-Also "Pokemorphs created by Team Rocket" plot, and the main character is always either a Raichu or a Ninetales or something, you know, a cute Pokemon the author likes.
-I don't mind trainer fics, but I really hate ones where it focuses mainly on the humans and their issues. This is POKEMON not HUMAN.

Black Angel
25th November 2005, 1:12 AM
Currently rewriting my fic (The Adventures of Chase and Larvitar, now being renamed Double Sided) and I guess I'll add some input on what I'm trying to avoid.

Bad Grammar/Spelling: It's always mentioned but for good reason too. A typo here or there not big of a problem but when you fic's littered with them it just makes it impossible for some people to continue reading.
Readers Advice: Listen to what you readers are telling you. If they say your lacking description or your grammar isn't quite good try to improve. But there are times when listening is bad and could effect how the other readers react to your fic. Example your main character captured a Pokemon and it has yet to evolve and one reader tells you it's time it should. Unless you agree there's no reason to purposely have the Pokemon evolve just to please one reader.
Underated/Overused Pokemon: Obviously you should try to use some underated Pokemon once in awhile but there's no reason all of the Pokemon captured by your characters should be underused, overused Pokemon are perfectly just as long as they aren't the bulk of your Pokemon.
Overpowered Pokemon: I've see this alot and even done it myself. Pokemon in their right mind are strong and there's nothing wrong to have a Charmander beat a Squirtle despite the obvious weakness. BUt when a let's say a Pikachu topples a Tyrannitar with no effort whatsoever is when things get ridiculous. Keep a Pokemon's strength reasonable and believable or atleast have an explanation of how Pikachu beat Tyranitar. For example it used it's speed to out menuiver it and trick it into falling into some water, and using the water as a conductor have Pikachu use an electric attack do more damage than it would have done if it were on dry land.

PDL
25th November 2005, 2:17 AM
-HOLY MOLY, DO I HATE RE-WRITES OF RUBY/SAPPHIRE!!! I mean, of all the Pokemon games it had the most interesting beginning, but in fic form it's just so freakishly redundant. And the character always choose Mudkip (named Tsunami) or Torchic (named Blaze or Phoenix). My blood boils when I see a RS re-write. Good god.

holy crap, your right on this one... oddly enough, it's the female character who always ALWAYS chooses the Torchic while the male character who always ALWAYS chooses the Mudkip.


Overpowered Pokemon: I've see this alot and even done it myself. Pokemon in their right mind are strong and there's nothing wrong to have a Charmander beat a Squirtle despite the obvious weakness. BUt when a let's say a Pikachu topples a Tyrannitar with no effort whatsoever is when things get ridiculous. Keep a Pokemon's strength reasonable and believable or atleast have an explanation of how Pikachu beat Tyranitar. For example it used it's speed to out menuiver it and trick it into falling into some water, and using the water as a conductor have Pikachu use an electric attack do more damage than it would have done if it were on dry land.

while it is okay to come up with an explaination for it, don't get too carried away with using too explainations... the anime may get away with that sort of thing, but you shouldn't, it's still a deus ex machina, which should be used sparingly...

Fatal
25th November 2005, 2:21 AM
I hate fics like this:

A guy was running through the night. He was carrying a bag. Inside the bag was money. The man tripped. He got arrested. "Stupid cops!" he said. Then he fell asleep. He woke up. He ate.

THE END

(basically fics that use a lot of really short sentences)

Bu†cH
25th November 2005, 3:13 AM
I don't think fanfics like those even exist.

The Big Al
25th November 2005, 3:18 AM
He was talking about the format (short sentences), not the plot.

MachopGirl
26th November 2005, 8:35 PM
Bad Grammar/Spelling: It's not a big deal, but to me it makes a fic look awkward.

Stereotyping: Some are a little too cliche like having Fighting-types Pokemon as brainless brutes or Dark Pokemon being so evil and cold-hearted.

Overpowered Pokemon: I agree with Black Angel on this one. Sometimes writers didn't explain how a weak Pokemon managed to defeat a more stronger Pokemon; is it wits and smarts? Strategy? What? Sometimes the attacks used were done wrong such as the Eevee using Tackle to defeat Nidoking for instance (as Iveechan had mentioned before.)

AAML Bleh... I've seen too many Ash and Misty love already, yet alone Ash and May. Writers had wasted too much time writing about 10 year old kissing and such.

The cliche "Getting up late and unable to take a beginner Pokemon" I find that totally cliche and boring and follows the game and anime WAY TOO closely. If it's a parody, that is okay.

Pokebots: Why do think it's a Pokemon fanfic? They had to be here for some reason other than bland fighting machines. They lack personality and character.

Lack of Plot: 'nuff said

Fics that are written like scripts for a movie: Very confusing when read and I can easily get lost.

Lazyitis
18th December 2005, 2:00 AM
Every time I head on down to the pit (ff.net), I keep expecting there to be some tiny shred of hope out there for fic writers, something that's a lasting testament to the art of creative writing, a shining example that-

Wait. I lie to myself with this everytime I go there. It may be a different day. But the fics are still awful. It's not as if it's gonna get any better. And these are some of the reasons why I tend to think this way.

Person from the real world gets sucked into the pokemon world. Wish fulfillment and blatant author substitutes ahoy!
Oh, woe is me! My life sucks! I'm a social outcast who is mocked and beaten on a daily basis! Woe! Woe! Oh well, time to further compound the problem and not even try to improve myself and my abysmal social skills by staying in my room, playing on my gameboy on a tear-sodden pillow! Woe! Oh noes! A bolt of lightning! I've been struck! But wait! I've somehow been transported into the pokemon world by way of an contrived and ill-conceived plot! Oh joy! Watch how all the characters instantly love me, with all my crippling negative personality traits from the real world conviently sandpapered over! Gasp as I turn into a complete Mary Sue! Oh Joy!

Ash and Misty's kids start their own journey. And never return.
Because none of them ever get finished, let alone get started properly. But think of the consequences if they actually did - Winning nearly every tournament going, capturing every single pokemon, falling in love with a convieniently placed love interest (Oh no, this is so not like the last ten fics you've wrote with this exact storyline. Of course not.), settling down, then having kids of their own who (in their own fics) have exactly the same kind of journey. God, it's like some sort of infinite loop, with every story being a carbon copy of each other!

Thank God we don't see that on ff.net(!)

Gary Stu, I hate you.
Oi! You in the ridiculous all-black get-up! Yes, you in your leather trenchcoat, motorcycle boots, incomprehensible dyed hairstyle, tragic abuse-tastic past, and your blatant hatred of all authority! Yeah, get yourself over here. And bring your over-powered bad-*** Charizard, Espeon and Houndoom along with you too. Now, come closer. I've got something for you. A punch in your face. With brass knuckles on. Try not to take it too personally now. We wouldn't want you slaughtering me, and then have you angsting over it for the next four chapters. Or something like that.

I might think of more - if I can be bothered, that is.

Iveechan
18th December 2005, 8:33 PM
Person from the real world gets sucked into the pokemon world. Wish fulfillment and blatant author substitutes ahoy!
Oh, woe is me! My life sucks! I'm a social outcast who is mocked and beaten on a daily basis! Woe! Woe! Oh well, time to further compound the problem and not even try to improve myself and my abysmal social skills by staying in my room, playing on my gameboy on a tear-sodden pillow! Woe! Oh noes! A bolt of lightning! I've been struck! But wait! I've somehow been transported into the pokemon world by way of an contrived and ill-conceived plot! Oh joy! Watch how all the characters instantly love me, with all my crippling negative personality traits from the real world conviently sandpapered over! Gasp as I turn into a complete Mary Sue! Oh Joy!


aw man, that really cracked me up. Thanks for the hearty laugh. Hahaha!

intergalactic platypus
19th December 2005, 2:43 AM
dont discriminate against short sentences people...ernest hemingway used short, simple sentences and he was one of the greatest and most well known authors of the past few centuries. i in fact hate purple prose when its overused, and would take a short sentence over "thouh musteth learn to posess thy pokemon". but yes, on topic i hate all the givens to hate, but i also despise the UPTILLIONTH fic written through a charizards POV or a pokemon like that. i think pikachu has had enough of a chance to speak, now lets hear from hariyama plzkthanx. and i loathe generic journey fics passionately. some journey fics are quite good (ive heard pokemon revelation: cross of fates is excellent), but the ones that fall flat die hard. and i hate fluffy fanfics. im partial to horror, so id rather not read a fluffy shipping fic called "paradise" or something where the characters are completely OOC. and as for ash and may fics, i may like horror but those are too scary even for me

EagleFox
30th December 2005, 6:55 AM
Meh.

OT Stories: Woot Woot. Some random trainer who is basically one of game charaters with a random name goes out and does basically everything that happens in the games, get some random uber Pokemon as a starter, and will eventually become the Pokemon Champion. Yay... Only that there's oh, maybe about THOUSANDS OF OTHER STORIES THAT ARE JUST LIKE THAT!! Really peoples, can't there be more of a change to the plot than the same thing over and over?

Stories on Ash and co.: As stated above: there are way too many...

Seemly Pointless Romance Fics:
Random Person1: "I love you."
Random Person2: "I love you too."
(Some random other stuff is added just to make the story longer)
There seems to be almost no fanfictions without someone falling in love. Not that I have anything against them. Again, as stated above, it's kinda tiring to read about the same thing over and over.

Bad Grammar and Spelling: I don't think it's very enjoyable to sit there for about a hour and half trying to figure out what the person has written. As for spelling, it's called spell check. It's not that hard to use.

Sorry if I seemed harsh. I'm just extremely sick of the same thing again and again, over and over.

xXSaberXx
30th December 2005, 7:17 AM
-HOLY MOLY, DO I HATE RE-WRITES OF RUBY/SAPPHIRE!!! I mean, of all the Pokemon games it had the most interesting beginning, but in fic form it's just so freakishly redundant. And the character always choose Mudkip (named Tsunami) or Torchic (named Blaze or Phoenix). My blood boils when I see a RS re-write. Good god.


;-; Not even if they are twisty turny? Not even if they are orginal? ;-; sigh.

And come on. Tsunami? xP WHAT IF IT WAS FINNIGAN!?

Sorry, RSE is my fav saga. ;-; And I wanna write about it sometime in the future. ._. hoe wells.

ANYHOO. My two cents.

-POKEMORPHS HOE NOES. Seriously. Be it a lab experiment or a product of some whacked out fetish, it sucks. They are basiacally treated special even though the author TRIES TO MAKE THEM SEEM TORTURED LITTLE PEOPLE OMG. THEY FIGHT FOR FREEDOM AND THE SAKE OF OTHER LITTLE MORPHS EVERYWHERE!!11onenine. It just doesn't work. They have powers and are pity wh*res. No. Just...no.

-Anime Character Relation. As said above, Ash/Misty/May/Brock/Max's child goes on an adventure. No. HOUSTON SAID ITS A NEGATIVE AND SO IT STAYS A NEGATIVE!

*dance* o.o

Iveechan
30th December 2005, 10:19 AM
No matter how twisty turny, topsy turvy an RS fic is, if it begins with some kid in the back of a moving van and saying GOD I HATE THOSE MACHOKE DRIVERS, RAGE, then I click the back arrow.

Guitar dude bill
30th December 2005, 10:24 AM
Two things.

DO NOT change from first-person to third-person. It drove me away from a book once
DO NOT make someone get their first pokemon in the lab, it is sooooooooo unoriginal.

Silawen
30th December 2005, 10:58 AM
Blingin G, I have to disagree with the second one. You can make an excellent fic with a trainer getting their pokémon from the lab, since it's for many the only way to get a pokémon.
If you don't then you'll end up with 'hurt Charmander found and nursed back to health, instantly loves the person who saved it' and 'White Eevee with emerald eyes comes across lone boy and decides to go with it' sort of stories.

Both can end up being wrong and boring, but both can also be done well. It depends on the prowess of the writer.

Tezza
31st December 2005, 7:11 AM
Honestly, I don't look for much in a fanfiction beyond an attempt at spelling, grammar, decent description and that a chapter have an introduction, conflict and resolution/cliffhanger..... if the "conflict" Isn't a Team Rocket battle every two episodes.
If it doesn't have these things the fic will break down into this;

Get Pokemon-> Meet Rival-> Meet Travelling of the Opposite Sex-> Catch a few Pokemon-> Travel-> Earn Badge-> Meet Team Shuttle-> Beat Team Shuttle -> Team Shuttle develops an obsessive compulsive disorder as to why they need that particular Vulpix-> Catch Pokemon-> Meet Travelling Companion of the Same Sex-> Travel-> Catch Pokemon-> Arrive in Moggiepopolies-> Earn Moggiepopolies Gym Badge-> Befriend Pokemon-> Encounter Shuttle-> Beat Shuttle->Travel-> Arrive in Roden Town-> Earn Badge-> Gets Eevee-> Gets Extraordinarily Rare Pokemon-> Encounter Team Shuttle……

Sachiko
7th January 2006, 3:11 AM
Every time I head on down to the pit (ff.net), I keep expecting there to be some tiny shred of hope out there for fic writers, something that's a lasting testament to the art of creative writing, a shining example that-

Wait. I lie to myself with this everytime I go there. It may be a different day. But the fics are still awful. It's not as if it's gonna get any better. And these are some of the reasons why I tend to think this way.

Person from the real world gets sucked into the pokemon world. Wish fulfillment and blatant author substitutes ahoy!
Oh, woe is me! My life sucks! I'm a social outcast who is mocked and beaten on a daily basis! Woe! Woe! Oh well, time to further compound the problem and not even try to improve myself and my abysmal social skills by staying in my room, playing on my gameboy on a tear-sodden pillow! Woe! Oh noes! A bolt of lightning! I've been struck! But wait! I've somehow been transported into the pokemon world by way of an contrived and ill-conceived plot! Oh joy! Watch how all the characters instantly love me, with all my crippling negative personality traits from the real world conviently sandpapered over! Gasp as I turn into a complete Mary Sue! Oh Joy!

Ash and Misty's kids start their own journey. And never return.
Because none of them ever get finished, let alone get started properly. But think of the consequences if they actually did - Winning nearly every tournament going, capturing every single pokemon, falling in love with a convieniently placed love interest (Oh no, this is so not like the last ten fics you've wrote with this exact storyline. Of course not.), settling down, then having kids of their own who (in their own fics) have exactly the same kind of journey. God, it's like some sort of infinite loop, with every story being a carbon copy of each other!

Thank God we don't see that on ff.net(!)

Gary Stu, I hate you.
Oi! You in the ridiculous all-black get-up! Yes, you in your leather trenchcoat, motorcycle boots, incomprehensible dyed hairstyle, tragic abuse-tastic past, and your blatant hatred of all authority! Yeah, get yourself over here. And bring your over-powered bad-*** Charizard, Espeon and Houndoom along with you too. Now, come closer. I've got something for you. A punch in your face. With brass knuckles on. Try not to take it too personally now. We wouldn't want you slaughtering me, and then have you angsting over it for the next four chapters. Or something like that.

I might think of more - if I can be bothered, that is.






Hey! Don't stereotype ff.net like that. There are some really good authors and really good stories there. Seriously!! I disagree with you there. Not all the stories are good, but not all of them are terrible, either!!

Anyway, here's what not to do in a fanfic:

1. Use a cliche. However, cliches are fine if the story is very, very, and I repeat, very, good.

2. Misspell everything and use bad grammar, poor sentence structure, and bad paragraphs/ formatting. That is annoying. It's like running down a path and tripping up a lot. Eventually, you'll fall down and hurt yourself and that's when you decide to not read the story anymore. Make your stories a smooth path, people!!!!

3. Litter your story with cuss words. I'e never cussed in my life!! But for those who have, don't be excessive, okay?!

Ciao!!

Wandering Rhythmical Phoenix
7th January 2006, 4:19 AM
3. Litter your story with cuss words. I'e never cussed in my life!! But for those who have, don't be excessive, okay?!
How do you define 'excessive'? "Damn" and "Hell" are the only remotly cuss-like words you can get without by-passing the censors, and those two arn't realy swears anyway.

Kiyohime
7th January 2006, 4:32 AM
I use swear words, but purely because the situation DEMANDS I use them. XD Doesn't mean they're excessive or they "litter" the scene up. I wouldn't say "Holy bleeping s***!" if I stubbed my toe, but I WOULD say it if a giant slab of flaming tofu was speeding towards me from the sky...you get the idea. "Ah, crap." doesn't really define the shock of the situation. XD

Negrek
7th January 2006, 4:45 AM
I think that what Sachiko meant by excessive would be swearing for the sake of swearing. Kind of like just trying to up the rating of your 'fic because you think PG-13 writing is "cool" or automatically better than lower ratings by adding violence.

Some 'fics will have people just randomly cussing at everybody. I believe it's some form of "humor," but unfortunately I haven't been able to confirm this. Mainly it's just really silly.

DarkGirl
7th January 2006, 7:54 PM
I hate Mary-Sue type characters who are all the same and are perfect in every way... Not very realistic... And so boring...

About description, I don't want to argue, but I feel that I must say this:

Sometimes, description is necessary, like when you write about a character or place. Other times, such as when you want to be mysterious, don't describe. Description is often overrated. I don't want to argue about this.

indigestible_wad
7th January 2006, 9:53 PM
Story is a delicate balance of everything. One thing off and it wrecks the whole piece and experience. Obvioulsy there are certain things that people think of most, but honestly, if each one of those things was not there to keep the next one in check, we would not really be needing this discussion would we?

I can generally deal wiht most things, but just about any one thing that is amazingly horrible, like the worst spelling or the worst description can basically make me go three paragraphs in and fed up and say, "fix this. NOW."

But on the other hand, sometimes you find something that is too much. Description is a good example. Generally, a lot is a good thing. But a lot can also be a bad thing. Generally n00b or newb writers taht force useless description in their stories is also bad.

Cliche stuff is also bad. Anyone who thinks that it is cool to have the very most awesome stuff is not very smart at all. Boredom sets in and bam! No go.

I'm not too picky, but there are many things that can change a story for the worst.

Sempris
7th January 2006, 10:18 PM
Things not to do:

1.) Spelling/Grammer errors. I'm not going to read a story that doesn't capitalize the first word in every sentence, and I'm not going to read something that has run-on sentences.

2.) Plagerizing. For the love of a slowpoke, please make your own plots... Stealing a plot from an awesome author and re-adjusting a few things isn't going to make it yours.

3.) Mary Sue and her boyfriend Gary Stu. If I ever see a story with either, I'll hit the back button without so much as a reply. Either that, or I'll pound my computer with a rock for showing me such crap.

4.) Game plot. Big no-no. Yes, there are a few decent writers that can pull this off pretty well, but I say drop the story and put the imagination to better use. Because they can do better.

Pinecone Tortoise
8th January 2006, 12:26 AM
Spending more time describing the appearance of the character (that is, hair, clothes, possibly eye colour) rather than the character's... well... character. I've found that people tend not to even notice that they haven't been told what the main characters look like as long as they have a good sense of WHO the main characters are. Personality > appearance.

... not to say that appearance means nothing, of course. Eccentric wardrobes are often fun for both reader and writer. But when we just hear that the characters are wearing blue T-shirts with a pokeball on the front, baggy jeans and joggers... it gets kinda pointless and boring. Same goes for when people needlessly describe what pokemon look like.

Funny, I see a lot of people get told to 'tell the reader what the pokemon looks like'... don't we know? Sure, some people might not, but chances are, the majority of your readers will know what you're talking about and get annoyed at hearing 'Pikachu appeared from its pokeball. It was an electric yellow mouse with a lightning-bolt shaped tail.' I'd rather hear about any distinguishing features the critter has. If it doesn't have any, let's just hear about the way it behaved. Unless your pokemon are 'different/special', IMO, there's no need to describe the way they look.

Another thing that annoys me... 'orbs' and such like used as description. There seems to be a list of stock-standard descriptions that keep getting used over and over again. 'Orbs', in particular, seems to be used for eyes, pokeballs with a frequency that rivals Pikachu's appearance in the anime. -_- Please, just pick a different word, or don't describe it at all!

Could that be the whole point of my argument? Y'know, I think it might be. Strange how things become more apparent as you write... or how they change along the way... but I babble. Point is, 'describe the right things with originality or don't describe at all'. Poor description can sometimes be worse than none at all.

^^

Piney.
;204;;324;

Iveechan
8th January 2006, 1:04 AM
Whenever someone describes a character in a fanfic, I imagine them as being totally different anyway. Especially stories with multiple main characters.

Kiyohime
8th January 2006, 1:12 AM
I barely described my characters except for Zeffy's weird hair color and Rinali's glasses, because I think readers like to make their own picture in their minds based on how the characters act and talk. That, and I forgot. XD

I also agree with Piney about describing the Pokemon thing....if you're reading Pokemon fanfiction and have no idea what a Pikachu looks like, you're in the wrong place, period. XD

Yamato-san
8th January 2006, 2:58 AM
Spending more time describing the appearance of the character (that is, hair, clothes, possibly eye colour) rather than the character's... well... character. I've found that people tend not to even notice that they haven't been told what the main characters look like as long as they have a good sense of WHO the main characters are. Personality > appearance.

... not to say that appearance means nothing, of course. Eccentric wardrobes are often fun for both reader and writer. But when we just hear that the characters are wearing blue T-shirts with a pokeball on the front, baggy jeans and joggers... it gets kinda pointless and boring. Same goes for when people needlessly describe what pokemon look like.

Funny, I see a lot of people get told to 'tell the reader what the pokemon looks like'... don't we know? Sure, some people might not, but chances are, the majority of your readers will know what you're talking about and get annoyed at hearing 'Pikachu appeared from its pokeball. It was an electric yellow mouse with a lightning-bolt shaped tail.' I'd rather hear about any distinguishing features the critter has. If it doesn't have any, let's just hear about the way it behaved. Unless your pokemon are 'different/special', IMO, there's no need to describe the way they look.

Another thing that annoys me... 'orbs' and such like used as description. There seems to be a list of stock-standard descriptions that keep getting used over and over again. 'Orbs', in particular, seems to be used for eyes, pokeballs with a frequency that rivals Pikachu's appearance in the anime. -_- Please, just pick a different word, or don't describe it at all!

Could that be the whole point of my argument? Y'know, I think it might be. Strange how things become more apparent as you write... or how they change along the way... but I babble. Point is, 'describe the right things with originality or don't describe at all'. Poor description can sometimes be worse than none at all.

^^

Piney.
;204;;324;

I guess the reason people use "orb" is because they fear that usage of "ball" would lead to a lot of sexual innuendo. Then again, "sphere" would be another good synonim. Besides, English language and society is so friggin screwed up that every little thing is implied as sexual innuendo, anyway.

But, couldn't agree with you more on the description. That does piss me off a lot when a story sits there describing a Pokemon or canon character that practically everyone should know about. As for describing original characters... you know, several times, I don't even picture the character as described. I just take what little description is there, apply it to an existing anime character, and put it in the original character's place. I'm just kinda lazy with narrations that way... back in high school, for some of my book reports, I read a few by Terry Brooks.... don't know if he's a well-known author or anything, but anyway.... there was this "river king". When I first saw that title, I couldn't help but picture King Zora from Ocarina of Time. Even after the descriptions mentioned that he was rather slender and had silver hair, I still couldn't help picturing it (that's another thing I hate about narratives: several times, the descriptions slowly come along after the character's introduced. Not like a lot of fanfics, where the descriptions come along through actions in the next few sentences, but I mean through actions that occur throughout several chapters. Come on, if this were a manga, or some other visual form of entertainment, I would see the f***in' character, and all physical traits, right from the get-go, not slowly see this character that was already introduced as the story goes along).

[Cough] I sure would love it if more authors that were also good artists could, rather than describing, simply hotlink a picture of their character they did. But then, I guess that would defeat the purpose with the descriptions and all that other crap that people find so artistic about text-based literature.

PDL
8th January 2006, 3:15 AM
Funny, I see a lot of people get told to 'tell the reader what the pokemon looks like'... don't we know? Sure, some people might not, but chances are, the majority of your readers will know what you're talking about and get annoyed at hearing 'Pikachu appeared from its pokeball. It was an electric yellow mouse with a lightning-bolt shaped tail.' I'd rather hear about any distinguishing features the critter has. If it doesn't have any, let's just hear about the way it behaved. Unless your pokemon are 'different/special', IMO, there's no need to describe the way they look.

It's definately pointless to say what pokemon it is, and then describing it, but what about describing the pokemon and then revealing it's species?

Venasaur
8th January 2006, 4:59 AM
I know I'm not the best writer in the world, but one thing that bugs me when I read fics are when the Trainer is made out to obtain every and any Pokemon he encounters. For example, catching a random evolved Pokemon like a Fearow just hours after obtaining his first Pokemon... no.

Something else is the "Ash" syndrome, where the main character goes through this streak where no Gym Leader is safe. Gym Leaders are Leaders for a reason, for crying out loud. They have some of the strongest Pokemon in the town they reside in, so to have them lose against some Trainer that pops out of nowhere seems... bleh.

Another point I would like to make that has been made... cookie cutter fics. I understand that Starter Pokemon are such, and Labs are where you get them, but to have the main character wake up late fic after fic... if that happened, the world would be full of Trainers oversleeping and missing deadlines.

Well... everyting else has already been said... more or less. Well, I'm off to go correct some of my own minor mistakes...

---Venasaur;003;

Negrek
8th January 2006, 5:11 AM
Could that be the whole point of my argument? Y'know, I think it might be. Strange how things become more apparent as you write... or how they change along the way... but I babble. Point is, 'describe the right things with originality or don't describe at all'. Poor description can sometimes be worse than none at all.

Word to that. I also hate it when I see reviewers say things like, "You need to describe the pokemon more! How are we supposed to know what the charmander looks like unless you tell us?" I think that they're forgetting that this is fanfiction. We already know the canon characters and pokemon; redescribing them would be like an established author suddenly, in the middle of chapter thirty-two, spending a paragraph to describe his main character. The person has already been introduced and described, but the author's argument is, "Well, what if someone had only just picked up reading at chapter thirty-one! They wouldn't know what Jack looked like!"

Fanfiction assumes some preliminary knowledge. You're not writing a new universe with new species of animals, you're building on to an old one.

Seiryu
9th January 2006, 6:53 AM
The number one thing that turns me off when it comes to fanfiction is the inclusion of canon characters. I just usually can't stand fics that involve Ash, Gary, Misty, Brock, Jessie, James, or Tracey as main characters--unless it's an obvious random humor or parody fanfic that has little to do with the rest of the Pokémon universe--for three reasons.
First, the way I see it, so many plots involving the above characters are often like this: "Ash and company enter a new town and meet a random person and/or pokémon. What will Team Rocket do to annoy them today?" Basically, it's the equivalent of an episode of the anime with a few embellishments added in an attempt to make it seem more interesting.
Second, so many newbie authors who write these often tend to push the characters...well, out of character. For example, Ash is barely a teenager. He is not going to enter a serious romantic relationship at his age, no matter what people's fantasies may be.
And third...well, I've been watching Pokémon since it first came out in the US. After so many years, I'm getting kind of tired of seeing the same old characters all the time.

Another thing that turns me off from some fics is the inclusion of romance as a main theme. Of course, there are a number of exceptions to this, but again: newbie authors tend to stink up the genre quite a bit with their unrealistic and predictable romantic fantasies. I mean, I could understand some shippings if they're given time, but probably my biggest problem lies with the romance between original characters. That is: "Ten-year-old boy meets ten-year-old girl, they travel together for a few weeks or even days, decide they're in love, kiss and get married eight years later and live happily ever after." There may be a few variations in age, but my point is this: love does not happen over the course of a few days or weeks. From personal experience, I know that it takes months or even years for true love to blossom.

Of course, like so many others, I'm also turned off a bit by the concept of a generic journeyfic. Even with a promise of twists here and there, so many journeys revolve around the "get eight badges and compete in a tournament/beat the Elite Four" plot and are practically begging to be near carbon copies of the anime or games. I think I've read only maybe three or four fics that have executed this concept even remotely well.

And finally, something that doesn't really turn me off, but still is starting to serve as a mild source of exasperation for me: being different or random just for the sake of it. Having a character commit totally random acts in the middle of most stories is a big no-no for me. On the other hand, having a character, for instance, start a journey with an extremely weak pokémon or even receiving said pokémon as their first one is a bit more acceptable, but doing so just because the author doesn't want him/her to have an "overused" pokémon? I mean, I can understand that they might want to break away from the norm a bit, but underused concepts do not necessarily a good fic make. I'd personally read a well-written fic about someone starting with a Torchic or Cyndaquil over a poorly-written one about someone starting with a Wurmple or Goldeen. And this isn't limited to just starter pokémon, either; entire plots are sometime dumped (or, in some cases, dumped on) because they're "cliché" and "overused" and not because the author lacks the skill to make them work.

Negrek
9th January 2006, 11:32 PM
And finally, something that doesn't really turn me off, but still is starting to serve as a mild source of exasperation for me: being different or random just for the sake of it. Having a character commit totally random acts in the middle of most stories is a big no-no for me. On the other hand, having a character, for instance, start a journey with an extremely weak pokémon or even receiving said pokémon as their first one is a bit more acceptable, but doing so just because the author doesn't want him/her to have an "overused" pokémon? I mean, I can understand that they might want to break away from the norm a bit, but underused concepts do not necessarily a good fic make. I'd personally read a well-written fic about someone starting with a Torchic or Cyndaquil over a poorly-written one about someone starting with a Wurmple or Goldeen. And this isn't limited to just starter pokémon, either; entire plots are sometime dumped (or, in some cases, dumped on) because they're "cliché" and "overused" and not because the author lacks the skill to make them work.
Oh so much word, on both counts. Sometimes it seems that people don't realize that you can manufacture an original plot; you are either inspired by and choose to write about something noone has attempted before, or you don't. Desperately cramming subplots or bizarre pokémon into your story in fear of having it called unoriginal is probably hurting a great deal more than it is helping. Write what you like, and write it well, and no one will care if you're doing "just another journey 'fic." A talented author can breathe life into even the most tired of concepts; a weaker writer, on the other hand, can demolish the most innovative idea in the world simply by writing it poorly.

Recently, I've been seeing 'fics and pre-fic ideas where people have been presenting characters and scenarios, followed by sentences like, "Oh, and she's average, so she's totally not a Mary-Sue! I gave her flaws!" or "Don't worry, it's not going to be just another journey 'fic! My main character starts with a wurmple!" I'd like to remind everyone that going way far out in an attempt to make your character not a Sue or your plot not a cliché just doesn't work. You're trying to cram your 'fic into a little boxed (one marked "Absolutely not Sue!") that it simply doesn't fit into. You have to let your characters develop on their own a bit; characters with tagged-on flaws and any scrap of self-insertion purged from their beings are not realistic and come off as stiff and robotic. In short, they do not fool. The anti-Sue is as dangerous as a Sue, and in some ways more sad, as they show that the author was genuinely trying to improve but became so nervous over the Sue craze that they overcompensated drastically. You should get your characters and plot together the way that you like them first, and then concentrate on looking at if your story is balanced or not. Almost any character can work if played right, just as almost any plot can work. A Sue is not by definition a perfect character; this is a symptom, but not the cause. A Sue is a creature that unbalances your 'fic, leeching the character from the other players in the piece and warping reality to fit her (usually gorgeous) form. Plots that have been intricately scripted so as to be absolutely not like the other trainer 'fics often falter when they're simply too cumbersome, convoluted, or obviously without feeling behind them. Do not try to make your 'fic something which it is not; merely make it good at what it is, and it will succeed far better.