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Thread: ~Shipping Authors' Café~

  1. #101
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    I agree that aging must be very careful. However, I'd contest that with Pokemon, at least, a balance needs to be found. It's kind of difficult to write credible stories about ten-year-olds falling in love in my opinion, but on the other hand aging and changing them too much can lose you a lot of audience as well.

    As for why I'd write a shipping story where the relationship is not central: I like epic tales. XD And I'd say that, when done well, the two stories can mingle with exceptional results. That's what I've seen. Think of it as a dual-typed Pokemon. It gives some strengths to your overall story and some weaknesses - what determines if this is good or not is net gain or loss of weaknesses and strengths. Sableye/Spiritomb = the ultimate "Epic Legendary Battle Mixed with a Shipping Fanfiction" Pokemon. :P

  2. #102
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    I think my reticence to age up characters is more reasonable in the fact that I am primarily a Slayers fanfic writer and all the characters in that show are at least in their mid-teens so there's not as much reason to time warp. Pokemon certainly makes aging up look more attractive.

    Epic tales are a lot of fun

    Now, I'm having an issue in an upcoming fanfic that is causing me stress because it's a scenario I've never dealt with in the past. It's the whole... well, it's the whole with child thing. Aside from the myriad character complications that make this plotline a nailbiter for me to write, there's the fact that I'm not entirely sure how to portray a pregnancy. Accuracy is something I always worry about in my fics, and, never having been pregnant myself, I don't exactly have first hand knowledge. I suppose I could borrow a book on the subject, but the librarians might give me funny looks. There's always the internet though... and its many pitfalls.

    Aside from mining my mother for pregnancy-related anecdotes (which I have every intention of doing), does anyone who's written a story involving a character being pregnant have any advice?

    EDIT: I should note that this is not a teenage character. She's a grown woman already (canonically) raising an adoptive son.

  3. #103
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    On another topic, what are your opinions on projecting the fic into the future, beyond what the source material covers? A pokemon example I see often is aging the characters to their later teens so that they're a little more mature and socially perceptive.
    Only if it's necessary, as it sometimes is in Pokemon. However, sometimes I feel like the characters in Pokemon couldn't be ten...perhaps 12 or 13. So I really don't have a problem with shipping fics involving them, until the rating hits R and NC17. Then aging is a big PLEASE! I've done my fair share of mistakes in the field, but hid behind the cover "I told you it was weird...you decided to read it anyway D:"

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi
    does anyone who's written a story involving a character being pregnant have any advice?
    FFFFFFFFFFF, uh, I always go with what I think is accurate and what is needed to portray it. I had a character who had gotten pregnant, but was killed almost right after conception, so yeah. XD
    I would say use those anecdotes and what you know about pregnancy and just build on that. For me, I'd build on that thought process about it, rather than the physical goings-on. Of course, all depending on what your character is like and how she thinks of things like new life. Hope that helps.
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  4. #104
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    FFFFFFFFFFF, uh, I always go with what I think is accurate and what is needed to portray it. I had a character who had gotten pregnant, but was killed almost right after conception, so yeah. XD
    I would say use those anecdotes and what you know about pregnancy and just build on that. For me, I'd build on that thought process about it, rather than the physical goings-on. Of course, all depending on what your character is like and how she thinks of things like new life. Hope that helps.
    Thanks, it does. I think I'll have a lot of wiggle room on accuracy because neither of the parents is... eh... human. I think I will probably borrow a book on pregnancy anyway, just because it'd make me feel on safer ground when I'm trying to map things out. Then again, I guess I might as well get a book on lizard gestation too if I can find one.

    To the library!

    Here's a question I've been thinking on:

    Do you think there's value in writing for pairings that you don't support?

    I've only done this (in non-drabble dare form) once and it was at least a pairing I could joke about. I think it's kinda fun to stretch yourself sometimes as a writer and do things like that.

    ...That said, I think it also depends on your feelings and the fandom. The "sure, why not?" aspect of some fandoms and some pairings might make this possible for me, but there are certain pairings in certain fandoms that I dislike in such a teeth-gritting way that I think I'd be doing a deservice to the fans of the pairing reading it... and to myself by wearing away at my tooth enamel and giving myself a tension headache.

  5. #105
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    Do you think there's value in writing for pairings that you don't support?
    For everyone, there is room for value, both readers and writers. For the writer, the value is in knowing you can write more than the ship you know like the back of your hand. For the readers, it's the chance to get a taste of writing other fandoms have all the time.
    However, I myself usually don't stray out of what I like to write...cause I'll be damned if I write something for hours or days and don't like it, at least a little bit. I guess if I were requested to write a ship I don't support actively, it'd have to be a ship I have no prior opinion on. I've been asked to write some really uncommon ships, one even incredibly crack, the story that came out of it is probably still the most cracked-up thing on this board, so I've never had a problem writing other things. However, as you said Skiyomi, if I'd have to write something I didn't like, it'd probably only end up offending the other fandom. XDDDD Yeah, I'm thinking of the one that'd definitely happen to. haha
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  6. #106
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    Do you think there's value in writing for pairings that you don't support?


    Yes! It gives me a chance to get out of my usual characters. If I write a character uninteruptedly for too long, they start to slowly blend into a Mary Sue/Gary Stu without my notice. I find that writing something new, even if I don't necessarily support it, both defines new characters and relationships for me and redefines and freshens old ones in my mind.

    I hope that makes a bit of sense.

    As for pregnant characters, I have an analogy that might (also) not make too much sense: (I would offer more than an analogy if I had personal experience, but I have also never been pregnant - I blame my Y chromosome.)

    Writing a pregnant character is like drawing an anime nose - you want to hint at its existance, but drawing what you KNOW a nose looks like in real life can ruin the drawing because it looks pretty obnoxious.

    Of course the difficulty there is finding the line between hinting and being obnoxoius.

    That's the philosophy that has worked for me, at the very least.

  7. #107
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    We-ell, considering her pregnancy is the major plotline of the story I can't very well just stay in the 'hinting' area. I don't intend to get... y'know... gross or anything, but it will be a rather important part of her emotional development for the story (his as well, truth be told). Then again, it is a rather unusual scenario for this couple.

    Lord Zant, I think you really brought up an interesting point with characters blending into Mary Sues/Gary Stus. I definitely think that's a danger. The fandom can be great and inspiring, but I think it can also really take you away from the original if you let it. So here's my next question:

    How important is keeping in touch with the source material for you?

    For me in my Slayers fanfiction, I check the episodes a lot. Sometimes it's just a fact check, but often it's to refresh myself on the characters--even if it's just the rhythm of how they speak to one another. Lately I've started a project of taking notes from every episode and it's really helped a lot, both in inspiring new stories and helping me with my current ones.

    There are also great reference sites that can help for fact checking source material... I usually have them open whenever I'm writing something.

  8. #108
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    How important is keeping in touch with the source material for you?


    I try to re-watch at least one episode of whatever I'm writing on before I write. (If I haven't watched most of 'em all, I shouldn't be writing on it!) I also use sites profusely to fact-check and such.

    I used to not do this, and it was not pretty, especially because I used to write predominantly late at night.

    We-ell, considering her pregnancy is the major plotline of the story I can't very well just stay in the 'hinting' area. I don't intend to get... y'know... gross or anything, but it will be a rather important part of her emotional development for the story (his as well, truth be told). Then again, it is a rather unusual scenario for this couple.
    Well fair enough! I guess I've never written more than a pregnant side character, sorry.
    Last edited by Lord Zant; 26th January 2011 at 4:54 AM. Reason: Added re- and a parenthetical phrase.

  9. #109
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    How important is keeping in touch with the source material for you?
    Um, THE most important thing. Cause well, if you're going to write fanfiction, you'd think you'd want to keep accurate...that's all the point of taking a shortcut and writing characters you didn't have to develop yourself. Personally, I don't like OOC, ever. It's never appropriate, imo, no matter how far in the future you go, there are things about people/characters that is programmed into them, some things that must not be changed. The general personality type must be there.
    In light of that, it is very important to keep things as consistent as possible with the show. Yes, for Pokemon, many vets in PAD might think "why should I?" since the show can't even keep consistent with itself sometimes. But two wrongs don't make a right. :P Besides, fanfiction is usually a continuation of the relationship one perceives in the show, so it'd only make sense for one to include anime throwback to when the characters met, if so, or their prior lives.
    Also, in keeping the characters IC, you also keep the relationship as it is IC. Writing Contestshipping and writing Advanceshipping are two completely different styles of relationship, and so it's important to keep that status known for whichever ship you're writing. You wouldn't have Ash poke fun of May like Drew does and so on.

    LOL Sorry, I'll stop the lecture. XD
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  10. #110
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    Encyclopika makes great points, and i agree, thats all i have to say about that subject. actually, i feel that keeping up is very important, cause noone wants to make the mistake of writing a story about a fandom and then be told by a critic, "hey you idiot that already happened in the storyline, so quit copying and calling it your own." so keeping up not only helps with the characters, but it also gives you a good knowledge of what topics are fair game.

    in other news, i havent posted on here in a while so i think ill bring something up.

    Do you do anything while youre writing to either inspire or help with the writing process? such as play music or listen to the t.v. or something else?

    when i ask this question, i mean like 'during' writing, at the computer, pushing keys, writing. i know for myself i listen to music, it keeps my creativity flowing, and alot of the time gives me ideas for little side jokes and stuff. i usually listen to Motion City Soundtrack (Favorite band!) or the pokemon soundtracks cause im a nerd! haha

    on the path to become the greatest
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  11. #111
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    Do you do anything while youre writing to either inspire or help with the writing process? such as play music or listen to the t.v. or something else?

    To be honest, I like my silence when I write. If I do have music on, I'll have it at a very low volume or listen to pure instrumentals. I never have the TV on. I know some people function better with some level of noise, but for me it's distracting.

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    i understand exactly where youre coming from, i am one of those people who cant funtion without noise, the silence creeps me out for some reason. haha

    on the path to become the greatest
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  13. #113
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    Do you do anything while youre writing to either inspire or help with the writing process? such as play music or listen to the t.v. or something else?
    I do prefer quiet when I write, but since i have a fish tank in my room, it's not like there's complete silence when I write. However, I'm so used to that sound of rushing water (I sleep through it) that I don't really count it, and I barely hear it.
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  14. #114
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    Do you do anything while youre writing to either inspire or help with the writing process? such as play music or listen to the t.v. or something else?
    Hmm it depends on my mood while writing. Like just the other night, I sat down and wrote the most I had in a long while. But I did it with my friend's music playing and a couple people talking.
    It was sort of like I was hyperfocused - putting all my attention in to my writing in order to block out any distractions.

    d00med n0w

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    ^Yanno, I can do that too, but mostly while I'm trying to read something, rather than write.
    If I'm trying to write while there's an interesting conversation, I'll lose my train of thought. XD

    I don't know if this topic has ever come up before but do you write for your readers, or for yourself? Like, do you believe what you're writing and it makes you feel good, or do you put in certain details cuz you know it's what the masses enjoy?
    Encyclopika's Fic of the Moment:

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  16. #116
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    do you write for your readers, or for yourself?

    For me i would say that , thought i wirte for both, i write more for myself. the stories that i write, are things that i want too see in a story. on the other hand i write because i want others to enjoy the things that i do, and i put in certain aspects of a fic in order to entertain readers. i guess i write equally for both because i write for the readers who are like me, and if i like it, i hope the readers will also.

    on the path to become the greatest
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  17. #117
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    Do you write for your readers, or for yourself?

    For me, I think there's a hierarchy. If you just write for yourself then you might alienate readers--and personally, I think that's something you should avoid if you're planning to post stuff publically. I mean, these are characters and worlds that people care about, I think it's important to have some respect for others. Not only that, but managing reader expectations is something that a good writer should be able to do. On the other hand, you've got to be true to your vision and not, in a sense, write someone else's story. That kind of thing stymies creativity anyway.

    I think people can set their priorities in different ways. Most of the time, I see them like this (although they can alter situationally):

    1. Characters
    2. My Vision
    3. Readers' Likes/Expectations

    Yes, I made a category for characters even though they are not "real" and can't provide input. 'Cause I consider being true to them my number one job, above writing to my tastes or my readers' tastes.

  18. #118

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    Is it okay for me to post here^^;

    Do you write for your readers or yourself?

    Pretty much for myself, I'm happy if I have people who like it and are along for the ride^^ Feedback is my best friend^^ When I write I'm not trying to do what been done countless times, and yet people are still drawn to those ideas. I write for unorthodox couples, some of the time, and I don't stick to just one couple, I'm a person that likes to makes things interesting. But that's only for chaptered ones.

    Do you do anything while you're writing to either inspire or help with the writing process? such as play music or listen to the t.v. or something else?

    I usually listen to music, I match the music with the mood of story. I really helps me get the thoughts and how I want the scene to play out as. Though in some cases, I'll turn the music off to really focus on a tense scene to get it just right.
    lonely but fabulous~

  19. #119
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    Do you write for your readers or yourself?

    I write for myself, but the readers always helped me keep going. If they happen to be interested in the story I want to write, then bonus points for me.

    Do you do anything while you're writing to either inspire or help with the writing process? such as play music or listen to the t.v. or something else?


    No music lets my ADHD run wild, but new music does so as well - It has to be something I know so well I can listen to it and still produce. I usually go for the amazing soundtrack to .Hack//SIGN for sadder stories and some of my old junior-high bands for happier parts. I need my music to match the mood of what I'm writing usually.

    Also, in keeping the characters IC, you also keep the relationship as it is IC. Writing Contestshipping and writing Advanceshipping are two completely different styles of relationship, and so it's important to keep that status known for whichever ship you're writing. You wouldn't have Ash poke fun of May like Drew does and so on.
    It's gotten harder for me to write AdvanceShipping because I'm more like Drew than Ash and I've actually started to see ContestShipping as very possible. (Keep that hushed around the AdvanceShipping thread :P) But they're definately different dynamics. One thing I can't STAND is when an Advanceshipper writes Drew and his relations with May poorly. It makes me want to gouge out my eyes and theirs as well.

    So there's a question. What are the top five things that turn you away from reading a fanfiction?

    Mine are: (in no particular order)

    - Poor grammar
    - Poor characterization
    - Obnoxious OC's
    - Character bashing, either intentionally (unless it's intended to be funny) or through poor characterization obviously brought on by personal bias
    - Songfics (Unless it's a song I know and like)

    So there. That might sound awful, but with the ever-decreasing amount of free time I have, I've started to really scrutinize the fics I read.

  20. #120
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    So there's a question. What are the top five things that turn you away from reading a fanfiction?

    Mine are: (in no particular order)

    - Poor grammar
    - Poor characterization
    - Obnoxious OC's
    - Character bashing, either intentionally (unless it's intended to be funny) or through poor characterization obviously brought on by personal bias
    - Songfics (Unless it's a song I know and like)

    So there. That might sound awful, but with the ever-decreasing amount of free time I have, I've started to really scrutinize the fics I read.
    Don't worry, you're not nearly as bad as me

    Fact is, I hardly even read fanfiction most of the time. I mean, I'll read it here, but I'm admittedly not as attached to the Pokemon fandom as I am to, say, Slayers, so my standards are different. When it comes to something I really and truly LOVE with all my heart, I'm one tough reader.

    All the stuff you've said definitely makes my list (I could never limit myself to five, sorry!) But a couple other things that bother me:

    -Off Dialogue: If the characters don't sound like the characters (and this is slightly different then OOCness. The sentiment expressed might be in character, but I just can't hear the words coming out of the character's mouth that way), it's very hard for me to continue suspending disbelief.
    -Sentimentality and Schmaltz: I have a very low threshold for melodroma. And... on that note...
    -Purple Prose
    -Lack of Continuity
    -Unrealistic or Obvious Plot Twists
    -Pawn OC's: Y'know, OCs that have no discernable character beyond their purpose of creating jealousy or strife in the main pair. One-sided and completely unsympathetic.
    -All Your Favorite Characters Are Sex Fiends: ...The less said about this the better, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

    ...And I'll probably think of more later because MY GOD I am such a complainer X_x sorry guys...

  21. #121
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    One thing I can't STAND is when an Advanceshipper writes Drew and his relations with May poorly. It makes me want to gouge out my eyes and theirs as well.
    Unfortunately, it happens way too often. ASers, from my past experience, would villianize Drew in their fics to make Ash the hero for May like he is in the general anime. Problem was, is that they forgot to look beyond Drew's actions and into his intentions. It always frustrated me.
    Anyway, what are the top five things I can't stand in fic?

    1. OOCness - this is number one. If you can't write the characters, you can't write the ship. Goodbye.

    2. Not-COTD OCs - if your OC is or is turning into a main character, I've lost all interest. Using them as challenges or catalysts are fine, as long as you do it in a creative way.

    3. Crappy description - the moment a fic starts with "It was a sunny day in X town" I'm leaving. The starting sentence means everything, it's the initial hook. If you can't hook me in the beginning, how are you to keep me 'til the end?

    4. Incorrect facts.

    5. Horrid spelling/grammar/other such mechanics.
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  22. #122
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    Unfortunately, it happens way too often. ASers, from my past experience, would villianize Drew in their fics to make Ash the hero for May like he is in the general anime. Problem was, is that they forgot to look beyond Drew's actions and into his intentions. It always frustrated me.
    Anyway, what are the top five things I can't stand in fic?

    2. Not-COTD OCs - if your OC is or is turning into a main character, I've lost all interest. Using them as challenges or catalysts are fine, as long as you do it in a creative way.

    3. Crappy description - the moment a fic starts with "It was a sunny day in X town" I'm leaving. The starting sentence means everything, it's the initial hook. If you can't hook me in the beginning, how are you to keep me 'til the end?

    4. Incorrect facts.
    To be honest, I see ContestShipping as far more likely than Advanceshipping. (I just don't like it, because I've always been a goody-two-shoes, ship-main boy-with-main-girl kind of guy) It's kind of a psychology thing, really. People are attracted to confidence and mystery, and Drew flaunts his far better than Ash. So I think AdvanceShippers, who feel (rightfully) threatened by Drew's presence just don't take the time to think before they react sometimes.

    Point two is good. I would like to add "The creation of siblings, twins, or other relatives of a main character" to it though... I run from those on principle.

    As for point three, if they go too far when making their hook sentence it turns me off even further. See here for extreme and humorous examples.

    Incorrect facts bother me too, and if you're making anything AU it had better be pretty darn good to grab my attention. Oh, and if you're writing the characters into a highschool situation, I'm never looking back. That's always a fic-killer for me, because I've never seen it done well ever.

    All the stuff you've said definitely makes my list (I could never limit myself to five, sorry!) But a couple other things that bother me:

    -Unrealistic or Obvious Plot Twists
    -All Your Favorite Characters Are Sex Fiends: ...The less said about this the better, but I'm sure you know what I mean.
    Yepppp... if they've seemingly studied plot twists under M. Knight Shyamalan then I want nothing to do with them.

    And yes, no more needs to be said there.

  23. #123
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    What are the top five things that turn you away from reading a fanfiction?

    I actually despise reading most shipping fanfiction for these reasons.

    5). Poor grammar. I like a story that's easy to read, but I'm not necessarily going to go grammar nazi on it. I can overlook the occasional grammar bloop, and if someone doesn't understand how to use semi-colons well, I can forgive it (maybe even give a little lesson in a review). However, Walls o' Text, poor punctuation and failure at understanding quotation marks will quickly drive me from a story.

    4). The characters are thrown into illogical situations with no rhyme or reason. I once read a HeatTag fic in which Dawn and Conway were supposed to do a commercial together. I have no idea why they were doing it. They just were. I don't mind the characters being put into these situations at all - in fact, I'm writing an Ikari fic in which Dawn and Paul are stuck in a tiny space in a cave and pretty much have to spoon. But there's a reason for this happening; it's not just happening BECAUSE.

    3) OOC characters. This gets on my nerves so much. Whether it's simply because the author doesn't understand the character or it's to bash the character, it's still ANNOYING. I've seen in a lot of Comashipping fics, Dawn is reduced to an idiot bimbo. In Ikariship fics, Paul is suddenly turned into this socially-inept-yet-still-able-to-love pod person. WTF?

    2) High school AU, or as I like to call it, make all the characters OOC and fit into high school stereotypes. I don't mind the idea of a high school AU, honestly. I've done them. They can be good, but more often than not, they aren't.

    1) Stupidity in general. This includes stupid situations, unnecessary and inane author's notes in the middle of the story and the author's ability to take critique. If the author acts like an immature and stupid child, I won't read their fics.
    \

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    What are the top five things that turn you away from reading a fanfiction?
    Hmm... This is a tough one. They don't really have an order, but were written as I thought of them.

    1) Uninteresting summaries- this may not be big for all people, but if the summary is poorly written, odds are that the story is too. And if the summary's not all that attention-grabbing, I may not want to read the fic.

    2) Badly written characters- this tends to occur in AUs. I'm writing a college AU for Fairy Tail, but I've gotten plenty of reviews where people say they wonder how I can manage to keep all those crazy characters in character while doing the AU. People like to make the characters fit certain stereotypes to make the fic easier to write for them. A person can be sorta OOC and it still work (I've been told that before on various stories xD), but if you can hardly recognize them, it won't work at all. Like in my AU, I took everyone out of thier "world", so the main couple doesn't have the same relationship as they would otherwise. I let their personalities do the work. And I think other people should too instead of twisting them to fit the story. Twist the story to fit them.

    3) Bad grammar- this is okay sometimes. I have to understand that a lot of authors don't speak English as a first language and English is hard to learn. I can understand that perfectly fine. But if you aren't in that category, LEARN HOW TO SPEAK YOUR LANGUAGE! Lol xD

    4) A boring plotline- this is most likely the biggest one for me. I don't do well with drama and/or angst in most cases. There's only one pairing I don't mind it with, but that's mostly for the angst part. Drama fics tend to be strikingly similar. And all of a sudden everyone is popular (or in high school fics, anyway)! I mean, really, what the heck. xD But seriously, if the plotline is boring, I will drop it in a hearbeat. Forget that! Haha, even if the grammar's bad an the characters are a little weird and the summary was bad, if the plot's good, I'll read it anyway! My favorite fic of all time (Fairy Academy by |Hypocrisy|) doesn't have the best grammar or other stuff, but it was what inspired my to write my college AU (but they're not the same, I swear! xD). It's so funny and the characters are pretty on-target too!

    5) Unbelieveable circumstances- if you can't think the fic could happen, or it's so incredibly different than what's going on in the canon, it's not that great! The story will flow better if you at least explain how the characters got there. xP
    Last edited by xxGlassRose; 6th April 2011 at 6:09 PM.
    //*☆*Jesus loved the outcasts,
    He loves the ones the world just loves to hate*☆*//

  25. #125
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,280

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    Okay, I've got one:

    What's the most ambitious thing you've ever done in shipping fanfiction?

    For me, it was writing a fanfic involving Batman. Okay, it was a drabble, and I used The Brave and the Bold's Batman, but I think I should get points for attempting to pair him with Red Tornado. No matter the incarnation, Batman is one of, if not the most iconic superheroes of all time, and it's hard to characterize someone so well-known without feeling like you committed a mortal sin. Still, I like to believe I at least captured Tornado to an admirable extent. When I'm done with this post, I'll try to track down that drabble and link to it here so you can judge for yourself.

    I do, however, hope to top that in a big way. Now, any Fairy Tail fan knows Lisanna had feelings for Natsu before being sucked up by the Anima, which of course pisses of the hardcore NaLu fans. Well, what I hope to accomplish is, put simply, pair Lucy and Lisanna together. Of course, I'll have to watch my characterization very carefully for both characters, since we hardly know anything about Lisanna up to this point, and I need to explain Lucy's lesbianism in a way that makes the reader believe that there is, in fact, a chance that Lucy and Lisanna could end up together in canon. It's tough work, but it will all be worth it in the end, and hey, I'm putting aside plans to start a Let's Play of FireRed for the sake of this fic, so I had better put in the extra effort!
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