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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/24/2010 in Posts

  1. 8 points

    Ungrateful readers

    I've noticed a really weird trend in the fan fiction world, and it's utterly baffling to me. I'm talking about the fan fiction reader who doesn't write, themselves, but seems to think that all fan fiction should be tailored specifically to their tastes. They go on public forums and post things like, "Here are the things I hate about fan fiction stories!" and then proceed to make a long list of things they dislike seeing in fan fiction, implying that these things should never be "allowed" in any fan fiction publication. These are the same people who will write reviews saying, "Ew, gross! This is disgusting, why would you even write this?" even when the story was clearly tagged. I don't get this mindset at all. It's such a weird sort of entitlement. "How dare these authors spend their valuable time creating stories that they don't get paid for, and then post them online for me to read absolutely for free! They should magically know what I want and write only that! It's such a waste of my time to have to scroll through stories that don't interest me! All these authors I don't like should gtfo because I DESERVE BETTER!" Here's what I have to say to these readers: Why do you think you deserve better? Even if the story is the stupidest thing ever written.... It's free. What are you offering in exchange for the author's hard work that's supposed to be so valuable that it will motivate them to want to write something you personally will like? Obviously it's not money, because in most cases, fan fiction readers don't make the "leap" to purchasing original fiction by their favorite authors. They're hard-core freebie-seekers. And it's sure as hell not attention, because fan fiction authors just don't really get much of that either (have you ever calculated the average review per hit ratio? It's abysmal.). What exactly do these readers think authors get out of writing fan fiction? Are we supposed to magically know that they're reading and enjoying it, and be spiritually fulfilled by the knowledge that some schmuck in Idaho thinks we "write good smut"? Why do they suppose we are doing this, if it's not for attention or money? Reality check: Most authors are just writing stories to entertain themselves, because anything else would be an exercise in constant disappointment. We share our stories online out of the goodness of our heart because what the hell? It's already written and maybe someone, somewhere will derive some enjoyment from it... Some of us listen to feedback if it's given, but by the time the story gets posted, we've already received our main "payment," because the fun of writing the story was the whole point for us. Ultimately, we're writing for ourselves, not for the readers. If the readers happen to like it, that's just a nice bonus. What some people don't seem to realize is that learning to write well is a HUGELY time-consuming endeavor that is very unlikely to ever "pay off." It's a labor of love. The very fact that anyone ever even tries to do it at all is pretty damn impressive, no matter how bad their attempts are. Let's talk about what it REALLY takes to learn to write well, shall we? Because realistically, this is what you're expecting writers to do FOR FREE when you demand high quality fan fiction. First, you have to spend literally years learning the nuts and bolts of your language (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc). And just knowing what's correct isn't enough for fiction. You have to understand WHY it's considered correct, keep track of how the language is changing over time to be sure that your knowledge isn't out of date, and learn how to break the rules intelligently for artistic effect (to achieve effects such as unique voice, character dialects, etc.) Even things such as whether words are Germanic or Latin in origin is important (because Germanic words sound 'casual' and Latin words sound 'academic' and 'smart' and that makes a difference for how your work is perceived by the reader). At the same time, you have to spend years reading and studying anything you can get your hands on. Being well-read from an author's perspective does not mean having read 100 books within your favorite genre. It means having read AND ANALYZED thousands of books, across all genres, both in fiction and nonfiction. It means reading books you don't like to try to figure out why other people like them. It means reading in genres you hate so that you can understand the perspectives of the types of people who may be the villains in your novels someday. You need to have not only read for enjoyment, but studied the structure, voice, use of dialogue, description, etc... Reading as a writer is hard work, and it takes a special kind of person to think of it as 'fun'. And that's still not the end of it. Even a barely passable writer who has done none of this will at the very least have spent countless hours writing stories that will never see the light of day (expect perhaps in an online forum or critique group, since feedback can help writers get better...) And all of this is just the bare minimum of what is required to write basic commercial-style fiction. If you want to write something more "artistic" you have to go back and study the classics, and also keep track of what's being done in the lit fic world, so that you understand what has already been done and why it was unique or groundbreaking. Getting an MFA doesn't hurt, if this is the route you want to go (though it's by no means mandatory). Now think about all that for a second. Knowing what is required for "good" writing, what does bitching about bad fan fiction contribute to this process? How does it help authors to write better stories (or even make them WANT to!)? It doesn't. So let's talk about action steps. Let's say that you really deeply do want to actually help promote good fan fiction. There are two main ways you can do it: 1) Provide substantive critiques for authors who want them. Reviews help writers know that someone is enjoying their work, and even bad reviews can help a writer who is actively trying to get better. Hits don't count. Votes don't count. Reviews that say, "I like this, it's great!" don't count. All of these things are nice and will definitely give the writer the warm fuzzies (which is a very nice thing to do!), but it won't help them write better stories. Here are some examples of what is helpful to a writer who is actively trying to improve: "Chapter X made me feel ______. I liked it/didn't like it." "I really liked the way you described _______. It was really beautiful, and did a great job evoking the atmosphere of the scene!" "Man, that foreshadowing in Chapter 1 was really cool." "I generally liked it, but this word wasn't used correctly. A better word might be ______." "The way you wrote Character X's dialogue was really true to the source material. You captured his voice wonderfully." "I was really interested in _____, but you never followed up on that. I was a little disappointed, because it was a neat idea and I was really looking forward to seeing where you went with that!" "This line was hilarious/sexy/heart-breaking: _______. Good job!" 2) Support fan fiction authors whose work you enjoy. Follow their work and read/review when they post something new. Let them know you like their work and want to see more of it. Subscribe to their stories if that's an option. Pay attention to whether they have published original fiction, and if they have... buy it, if you can scrape together the money! And then, tell your friends about their work. In the end, the only truly reliable way to ensure that good artists continue to create their art is to support their career.
  2. 7 points

    Why reviews are important to me

    Dear Valued Reader, Over the past few years I have been pretty vocal about the problem of ever declining reviews across a number of fanfiction sites. I have sought reasons why reviews have declined and solutions to boost review activity; however I have never before explained publicly why reviews are so important to me as a fanfiction writer. So below I would like to tell you why reviews matter to me. First you have to understand that I never intended to become a fanfiction writer. The first story I ever wrote (7 years ago) was meant to spark activity in one of my favorite but nonexistent (at the time) fandoms. (I was a reader of fanfiction way before I started to write). With a shocking lack of confidence I transformed the basic outline of what I wanted to see someone else write into a coherent story. Still lacking confidence and sure that I would be told how much the story sucked I posted it, thinking it would inspire people to improve on what I thought was pure garbage. The next day after school, I nervously checked my email. My heart pounded when I saw their were not one but several reviews to my story. I was sure they had only written in to tell me how bad the story was. Nervous I opened the first one. “This was one of the best stories I have ever read. Please write more.” I couldn’t believe it. Surely this review was a fluke. Then opening the other ones I found much of the same. People loved my story. Wanted more even. Suddenly I began to swell with a feeling of pride. Something that I had created had caused someone else who I didn't even know joy. So much so they were willing to write in and ask for more. At that point I completely fell in love with the feeling of being able to please other people with my writing. I began to think of other plots I could write. At that moment a fanfiction writer was born. It’s been a long time since that first story. I have written dozens if not hundreds of stories across multiple fandoms, on multiple sites, under several different pen names. But one thing remains constant. The feeling I get from reading that someone enjoyed my work keeps me writing. It keeps me up till 1 am when I have work the next morning. It keeps me involved in the fanfiction community. In my opinion it’s really not that much to ask. I create work for the enjoyment of others at no charge. All I ask is that you leave a few words telling me what you thought. This is my payment so to speak. A way for fans to tell me their opinions of the story while keeping me motivated and even giving me ideas for the future. I know you’re not purposefully not reviewing. You have a busy life, but so do the writers who are creating these works that you enjoy. Most in their spare time after a long day of work or on the weekends. So please the next time you enjoy a story please take a moment to write a short review. That short sentance or two will really brighten up that writers day. It might even inspire a new chapter or another story all togeather. Sometimes all it takes is a short “That story was great! Keep going” to inspire someone or rekindle and old flame. Thank you for listening and please pass this letter on to your friends, family and anyone else who reads fanfiction.
  3. 7 points

    Writing Descriptions

    Writing Descriptions When we walk through the world, we’re surrounded by a huge range of things, but we usually don’t notice everything in intimate detail. And that’s because much of what we’re surrounded by just isn’t that important to what we’re currently doing; it’s little more than visual background noise. So when your character walks into a room, just how much of what’s in that room should you describe? In every situation, there are things that need to be described, things that shouldn’t be described, and things that don’t really matter whether you describe them or not. Some people might even cut it down to the first two I just mentioned, and suggest that you never describe anything that isn’t relevant to the story. I disagree with that. While it’s never a good idea to go waffling on describing a whole laundry list of irrelevant crap, mentioning things that might enrich the story in some way is never a bad idea. If it doesn’t enrich the story or a character in any way, though, then leave it out. So what should you describe? You need to provide enough detail to allow the reader to create a visual in their mind that follows your guidelines but is still distinctly their own. People have their own imagination, and we all visualise things differently. By trying to describe every tiny, insignificant detail, you’re attempting to ride rough-shod over their imaginations and force your own into their heads, which can annoy enough to pull them out of the story. By giving your readers the necessary descriptive tools, you allow them to visualise the scene and fill in the blanks, rather than trying to do it all for them. Some writers just love to use extremely flowery language peppered with obsolete words, because they presumably think this makes their descriptions better. Personally, I find this unnecessary at best, annoying and frustrating at worst. You shouldn’t need a dictionary when reading a story. A thesaurus is handy, but make sure your new favourite word hadn’t already fallen out of fashion when Queen Victoria was still a girl. Describing rooms Here’s an example of BAD description and BETTER description. BAD: Stephen turned the door nob and gently pushed the mahogany door, which eased open without a sound. It was a smallish room, perhaps about the size of an average bedroom, or maybe a bit larger. The only light came from a shiny silver candelabra which sat on the mantel over the unlit fireplace. The three candles cast dancing shadows around the room, but there was enough light for him to make out the details. A well-worn three-seater leather couch sat in front of a low, rectangular coffee table. Strewn on the coffee table was a magazine called Country Life, an empty glass, car keys in a small silver dish and a circular metal ashtray filled to the brim with ash and cigarette buts. A wing-backed leather single seater sat near the couch, perched at an oblique angle. The walls were lined with sideboards and glass-fronted cabinets, all stuffed with glass and porcelain ornaments and knick-knacks of all shapes and sizes. What little of the walls he could see were adorned with old-fashioned wallpaper, with stylised patterns of flowers alternating in vertical rows. As Stephen stepped into the room, he felt the thick, shag-pile carpet under his feet. It was hard to tell the exact colour in the dim light, but he thought it was probably a dark red. Taking a seat on the three-seater, Stephen’s first impression was that it wasn’t quite as comfy as he thought it would be; he could feel one or two springs pressing against him. It was only now that he noticed the gentle ticking sound, and saw the mantel clock sitting at the other end of the mantle. BETTER: Stephen eased open the mahogany door without a sound and stepped inside, feeling the plush carpet under his feet. A fireplace sat cold and empty, but a lit candelabra on the mantle cast dancing shadows around the room. The warm glow revealed a busy room bordering on cluttered, but it was the leather lounge in the middle that he made his way to. Leaning back in the slightly uncomfortable chair, Stephen’s gaze fell on the coffee table, showing a small assortment of objects including a glass half full of some dark liquid, but it was the ashtray that caught his attention the most. Ash and cigarette butts filled it to overflowing, with a dusting of ash surrounding it. The ‘better’ description is certainly shorter, but that doesn’t make it worse. Does it really matter exactly how big the room is, that there’s three candles in the candelabra, the other single seater chair, the exact shape of the coffee table, the name of the magazine, the car keys in the dish, the ornaments, the wallpaper, the colour of the carpet, or the clock? I mentioned the ashtray because, in my mind, that has some relevance to the story. Also, describing the half-full glass suggests to the reader that there’s likely to be someone else in the house. If there’s nailhead trim on the leather couch, then mention that, but only if someone is going to snag their clothing on it later, or they subsequently find one of the nailheads elsewhere in the house. Perhaps there’s two empty glasses and a bottle of wine on the coffee table. Or maybe the ornaments are important. But for me, none of that other stuff was significant enough to warrant mentioning. One way you could end up describing more of that room is by having the owner enter the room, strike up a conversation with Stephen and begin talking about some of his ornaments. You’ve already described the fact that the room is cluttered, so the fact that there’s ornaments in the room won’t come as a surprise. On the other hand, if the owner starts talking about the dog in the room then the reader is going to think, ‘Hang on, what dog?’. Adding detail a bit at a time is better than doing it all in one big block of text. When you’re describing an interior, the most important thing is to convey the feel of the room. Is it sparsely furnished or cluttered? Brightly lit or dark and forbidding? Give them enough detail to provide the overall feeling you want, and leave them to furnish the rest of the room in their own minds. Remember, though, if there’s some object in that room that will have significance later in the story then you need to discuss it. The longer you hover over that object, though, the more you tip off the reader that this object is very important. Describing external scenes Describing external scenes can be a lot easier, at least as far as describing landscapes is concerned. Is it a forest dense enough to make it difficult to walk through, or an open forest? Open flat grass plains or rolling hills? You don’t need to – nor should you – attempt to describe every rock and tree. If the weather is cold or hot then you should describe the effect it’s having on the characters. Describe the ice and snow, and how he’s still shivering in spite of his warm clothes. Or how his sweat trickles down his face, and how the sun beats down on him like hammer blows. You shouldn’t need to specifically tell your reader what season it is; that’s what good description is for. If you’re not an architect then describing buildings facades can be difficult, but who wants to read that level of intimate detail? If the style is important – Gothic or Art Deco perhaps – then describe it, but remember that you’re not writing a story on architecture. Describing the condition of the building is important if it’s run-down. Talk about the peeling paint, the cracked and broken windows, the holes in the walls, the kicked in front door; that’s if it’s an abandoned building. If the place is simply run-down rather than abandoned then you’ll probably want to dial that back a bit, unless you wont people to be surprised to find someone still living in it. Describing clothing It’s usually not important what exact clothes your characters are wearing. While you’re spending a full page describing in intimate detail what Samantha is wearing, your reader is working overtime putting all this together and visualising what you’re forcing down their throat. If an item of clothing that she’s wearing will later become significant then discuss that, but only in as much detail as strictly necessary. For example, let’s say Samantha goes jogging. You could mention that she’s wearing her usual tracksuit or active wear, etc, including her old and battered, but comfy, sneakers. You mention the sneakers because later, after she’s been reported missing, these sneakers are found. A detective talking to Samantha’s best friend describes how these shoes are her favourites and was dreading the day she would need to buy new ones, so there’s no way she would simply throw them away. So you could have initially had Samantha having an internal monologue about how these are her favourite shoes, etc, but that’s usually silly and unnecessary, especially when you could have her best friend later relate this information to someone. If the character wears very weird clothing, then describe it; if they’re wearing an ugly tie, then describe it; if there’s something significant about their clothes, then describe it. If you want to convey the idea that it’s hot or cold outside, then describe it. Otherwise, don’t. Describing emotions There’s an old writer’s maxim: Show, don’t tell. You should never have a reason to say “Jeff was angry”. It should be obvious that Jeff was angry from your description. Facial expressions and body language are invaluable in showing what a person is feeling, regardless of what they’re actually saying. Does your character have a nervous tic? Do they blush even more than normal when they’re embarrassed? Or maybe they stammer a bit, or get angry? Do they always scratch an imaginary itch when they’re lying? It should also be obvious that a person is in love with someone, without you needing to type the word ‘love’. Descriptions are vital, but they can also bore readers with great speed. Try and break up your descriptions over various scenes. Bite-sized pieces of descriptions are more palatable than big blocks of them every other paragraph.
  4. 7 points

    The Art of Foreshadowing

    The Art of Foreshadowing What is it? Quite simply, foreshadowing is to hint at something, in a casual way, where it will be brought up again later on in the story in a more significant and relevant way. The ‘art’ is in exactly how you lay that little hint, without telegraphing “THIS IS IMPORTANT! REMEMBER IT!”. Why it’s important Story telling is easy. No, really, it is! The art is in how you tell the story, that’s what makes it scary, exciting, sexy, etc. Foreshadowing is a very important tool to use in many, if not most, stories. I’m sure most of us have watched movies where all of a sudden, the hero just happens to find the one thing he or she needs to save the day. “Oh that was convenient!” we shout at the screen. It’s far too convenient, and therefore, annoying, for the hero of your story to miraculously find exactly the right thing he or she needs right when they need it the most. This is the reaction you’ll get for unrealistic and unbelievable story telling. What you need to do is to leave a little hint earlier in the story, something that, at the time, didn’t seem all that relevant or important to the story, but allows the reader to later say, “Oh, so that’s why the author did that!” Foreshadowing is more important in some stories than others. Detective mysteries rely very heavily on foreshadowing. Everyone reading the story is hoping to guess who the killer is before the detective, and a well written story should provide enough hints to allow the reader to do this, if only they work out what’s important and what’s a red herring. There’s nothing worse than coming to the conclusion and realising that the detective was apparently privy to information that we, the reader, were not. This is bitterly frustrating and poor story telling. When the detective goes through the steps that allowed him or her to catch the killer, everything there should be something that the reader could also have picked up on. Nothing should be a clue that we hadn’t been exposed to in some way. As suggested above, you can also use foreshadowing to misdirect the reader, by laying a hint that you know the reader will think is important but is actually a red herring. You would then follow it up a little later with another hint – the true one, this time – but because the reader has thought the earlier hint was the real one, they might be tempted to overlook the true one. I think you’d need to be a little careful with how you do this, because it can backfire if done poorly. If done right, though, then it can be a clever way to get the reader to watch your left hand while your right pulls the card out of your sleeve. On the other hand, some stories, like detective stories, rely very heavily on leaving plenty of clues and red herrings, creating a pretty tangled web that needs to be weaved with great care. This is why a good detective story can be so difficult to write. Huge respect to Agatha Christie! How and when to foreshadow More often than not, foreshadowing should be of the fairly subtle kind. If it’s shouted from the rooftops then it can cause the reader to keep a close eye out for it, so when it happens, it’s of no surprise at all to the reader, and, frankly, spoils the story. A better way is to drop the hint in such a way as to cause the reader to either all but forget about it, or to make the reader think that your hint was just a bit of flavouring, and nothing more important than that. You can go overboard with foreshadowing though. If everything in your story is important, then the reader soon learns to understand that everything you mention is going to have something relevant to do with the climax of your story, which only helps to lessen the impact. By adding things to your story that aren’t important, it ensures the reader is never sure what’s important and what’s not. On the other hand, when you later proofread your story, you might actually see how you could turn one of these story flavour enhancers into an actual foreshadow. But as I said, these ‘story flavour enhancers’ should rarely be promoted as “THIS IS IMPORTANT” moments. Describing how the ashtray on the coffee table is overflowing with ash and cigarette butts might just be a way to simply show that the occupant is a smoker and a bit messy or lazy, or it might have important relevance later on. Who knows? Certainly not the reader, and that’s what’s most important. Remember, foreshadowing should very rarely be obvious. It should be a fairly subtle hint that the reader may or may not pick up on. Too overt a hint comes across as too obvious and too forced. It needs to flow naturally with the story, appearing as something that is nothing more than a flavour enhancer.
  5. 7 points

    Magusfang's Corner

    Ok first let me apologize for the silence, the cable company finally got tired of my whining and decided to lay a new line out to me, I live just outside of town, almost a mile actually, and it is taking forever to get to me. I got sick of my internet going out whenever the wind blew a little and talked with everyone who lived on my road and found out I wasn't alone. So I wrote a letter and had everyone sign it, yep I'm a pain when I wanna be So good news is they are laying fiber optic out to us bad news is it's taking a while Tried dial up but I have wireless home phone and you need an actual line evidently. So, as to my overly long silence, been camping since last Friday, with about a dozen of the girls friends, god help me , and there's no signal at the camp ground (I snuck away to use a real bathroom ) but I'll be back Monday and the good news is I have two chapters done and most of a third Well again sorry about the prolonged silence and I'll have lots for you to read when I'm finally up and running again. Oh, just so you know, the surgery aaas a complete success and I'm feeling better than I have in years - making the wifey a little nervous too; I think she's afraid I'll go back into the field gonna milk that a bit, but I think I'm truly retired....don't tell her though
  6. 7 points

    Enough is Enough!

    I am not a politically correct person, so do not expect me to mince words in this rant. I have plenty to say about the frauds who plague this and other sites. :sarcasm: is now in session because I have already read all of the favorite nauseating, too often written, worn out excuses that have triggered this overwhelmed frustration induced rant. I do apologize in advance for this being such a tactless tirade. I really need to get this off my chest because I am so frustrated with things I continue to read every time I come here. What is the point of writing if the document is a thoughtless piece of slop without merit pounded out willy-dilly on a whim, and posted without revision? Why do some people insist upon placing such infantile things in the archives, and then get angry when someone with a basic grasp of English structure mentions a few of the problems that need addressing to create a better reading tale? Why do some individuals whine incessantly about contrit feedback, instead of considering that there might be a real problem which can be corrected with a little expended effort? If one does not understand the foundations of proper grammar and spelling, why insist upon being vile to those who seek to give actual valid aide? When did writing become a place for cop outs and egotists? Who ever said that everyone should be patted upon the head simply because they bothered to put something up at a free site like AFFnet, or FFnet? What have the lazy done to earn a touch of praise and accolades for the illiterate slop they insist upon posting? Absolutely nothing gets done when a poorly written piece is added to the archives is my response. Give feedback to such frauds, and they delete the reviews, or proclaim concrit reviews to be trolling! Such frauds are too infantile to accept that they can improve if they get off their lazy butts and do a little research! YE Gods Forbid that such individuals ever face the wrath of a genuine editor. I can see the suicide rate escalating fast if they ever had to remove the blinders from their eyes. Such people are the bane of the writing hobbiest, and professional alike. What is the point of giving reviews if the writer is unwilling to consider critical mistake portions of an honest review? Why do lazy, insecure asses bother to beg for reviews while remaining too immature to give such reviews any thought toward self improvement? How can people call themselves writers when they are so obstinately unwilling to learn how to take a fair reading story, and make it into a genuinely beautiful tale that is memorable? Why do such frauds feel so compelled to provide a plethora of meaningless excuses for their mistakes, instead of attempting to change for the better? The reason for my ranting questions: I am so sick and tired of the whining, lame excuses that the vast majority of writers like to pull out of their asses. People seem to love bellyaching, and giving excuses to avoid improving anything they slop together and post. To me, people are flat against learning the diverse aspects, and complex elements involved with writing style. I am also fed up with jerks who refuse to pull their heads out of the asses when it comes to a reasonable review meant to give genuine help. Nobody is attacking when they send a review that something was messed up when they mention grammar/spelling problems. Any idea why I might be so angry about the plethora of bull I read in forums, and in author's notes in the main archive? Reality Check: I had a massive stroke a few years ago. It took two years to get to the point I could use my right side again. Then, I had to reteach myself from the foundation up how to read and to write a second time. Everything that I know I should recall from my time as an employed editor in the 90's was locked behind a wall of damage that I struggle to break down every single day of my life. I also have Dyslexia problems complicated by fine motor skill nerve damage. Do I use these difficulties as a knee jerk excuse for instances of personal, poor writing? THE ANSWER IS HELL NO! To my way of thinking, real writers strive to overcome their disabilities, not use them as a crutch to languish within their flaws! I bought grammar based books and read them repeatedly to recover my lost knowledge. Due to a little thing called effort, I regained the vast majority of the information I once lost due to a life threatening medical crisis. Therefore, I do not give crackpot reviews whenever I take time to read over and consider the most glaring problems I see within a story's structures. I fine comb everything I write repeatedly to get rid of every flaw before I post anything. Yes, I do miss things, which I correct as I get a chance. A person who reads my work can return seven months later to find a lot of mistakes are corrected. I abuse my edit chapter button every few weeks, based upon the errors I get told about when someone reviews my stories. Whenever I give a review to someone, I always endeavor to point out the strengths, and the weaknesses of each story I have read. The reviews I give carry my hopes that the input will help complete strangers to revise their stories to add strength to plots and characters that were devised. It is a real insult to all reviewers who give thoughtful feedback when the reviews get deleted by such frauds who pretend to be writers. Very few writers I have personally reviewed have retained my concrit reviews. Those who have kept their reviews, I am grateful to you for doing so. Your strength in keeping my review prevents me from becoming completely sick and tired of the constant flow of disrespect given to those who take reviewing for others seriously. Put bluntly, I have seen the signs of a real epidemic of fraudulent whiners begging for reviews that are insincere. The ongoing blasphemy of it all has finally tweaked my last nerve. The majority of said frauds beg for reviews in every single chapter's author notes. My conclusion is that such begging for reviews is a form of blatant "stroke my ego or else" guilt tripping. "Please review because I live for reviews," is a blatant lie 9 times out of 10 in my personal experience with giving reviews. That type of bullshit line now reeks of the biggest attention seeking ploy in existence to me, as a reader. In the vast majority of cases I leave very tame comments compared to my actual reactions to such writer's stories. I refrain form taking every single line and pointing out the problems. If the writing is atrocious enough, I am reduced to perhaps you should use your spell/grammar checking features before posting in the future. Getting reduced to such a flippant response really hurts because I would not be writing a review at all if I did not see some kind of merit within the story. I would simply back click and be done with the author, and everything else they may have posted. I do keep a list of the unreadable slobs so I do not have to hurt my eyes by accidentally clicking on anything the royal stink writers have added. During the last three weeks, after seeing how often that line accompanies a deletion of my reviews, experience tells me to avoid such authors as if they have the Black Plague. To date, seven out of every ten concretely focused reviews were erased because my input was not a fanpoodle. My honor code from my previous career as a "shred the writing to get it corrected in time for the sales team to make a profit from it" variety editor experience does not condone "I love it so keep writing" variety pat upon heads. I do apologize for this being such a tactless tirade. I had to get this off my chest because I am so frustrated with "poor me syndrome" type commentaries.
  7. 7 points

    'gives you hell'

    Oh, you're adorable! Starting a post like that with the line: Too funny. You Sir and/or Madam have made my day. The whole post is so expertly crafted. I especially like the bit where you give an opinion that folks on discussion forums should only give opinions if asked for opinions... when not asked! But it's pretty much all high class 'net flamewar bait (heck, vintage - I recall variations of "I'm not sure you have the mental capacity to understand it" on usenet). I salute you! And you should totally write riddles. I'm gonna have to risk being interpreted as peevish again and echo that wishing well in the future to you. I know it's hard to tell on the internet but this is totally not sarcasm, or even snark. G'luck!
  8. 7 points

    Lack of reviews.

    *shakes head* These writers apparently have NO idea just how much time and work goes into a concrit review. I have spent over an hour on some of my concrit reviews, it depends on the number of errors and how long the chapter is. I try to make them as professional as I can because the purpose of these reviews is to help the author improve their writing skills. Nobody is going to spend that kind of time on someone who can't appreciate it. You get one solid review and cry FLAME? The writer should be sending the reviewer flowers for taking the time to read their story and for writing a review meant to help them grow in the craft! If all a writer wants is fluffy reviews, they should put an author's note at the start of the story saying: Praiseful reviews only.
  9. 6 points

    The Art of Fanfic

    Ok, well I’m not sure I completely agree with all your assumptions there about fanfiction in general (forgive me), but I only really read and write adult fanfiction, so maybe.... I do think we should all strive for quality, especially where we are paying homage to something we love, example: Perhaps We May Hear Golden Trumpets by Aspen. And my favourite fanfictions of all time are where the writer (at least for me) does exceed the skill/standard of the original creator, example: Obsession by Ningengirai (read/heed the warnings please!). The fanfictions I’ve quoted there are both beautiful examples of great in-character writing. Every sentence serves the characters and their development as well as the action, and are mindblowingly gorgeous into the bargain. Yes, they are adult, but that is not all they are. I believe those writers have created something that transcends simple glorification of the original authors, great though those people might be. The kind of fanfiction writers I love don’t set out to “outdo” or please the copyright holder, they set out to please the characters. We write fanfiction because the characters tell us to, not because the original author said it is okay (though I am really glad that most of them do allow fanfiction of their worlds and universes). Ok… have I finished growling? Yes, I think I have! Onward! (sorry about that) Well, I am not sure after all of that how to answer your question. For me, I would say that I don’t get into Character A’s head… I let them into mine, and usually they’ll tell me everything without me needing to think about it at all. Where the original media is visual, there is actually a lot more to play with. I often find that most actors have certain tics and idiosyncracies that they can’t help, that become part of each character they play, and I’ll sometimes consciously echo those in fanfiction. Really good actors invent those same tics and idiosyncracies for each character they play. Use them. Where the media is a book, you can always try and flavour your language to create a reminder of the source material, although I think you can go too far with this, so be sparing and don’t lose your own narrative voice. If you spend a lot of time with the souce material (i.e. hours and hours) those things will happen without needing to really think about it too much. A lot of fanfiction is about creating a very subtle kind of echo that the reader doesn’t notice, while still managing to inject something new that you want to put there. Dialogue is a place where a lot of writers fall down for me, and bad dialogue will almost always make me stop reading a story immediately. For instance (to use two of my favourite fandoms), Elrond would never say: “Hi!” Partly because ‘Hi’ is not an acceptable greeting, partly because he’s always more wordy than that, and partly because everything Elrond says must enable him to use up a series of differing facial expressions ranging from mild surprise to intense frowing (I do blame Hugo Weaving for that). Whereas Jack Harkness would never only say: “Hello.” You know, because he’d have to flirt. Even if Character B was a blob of brown goo with a couple of antenna sticking out. In fact, he’d consider that some kind of new and exciting physical challenge. Listen to the characters. They’ve usually got loads of words of their own, all saved up, just waiting for someone to write them down. Sometimes I hear them so clearly I end up with lots of dialogue that I then have to fill in. Not a pleasant writing experience, but at least it means the characters are coming through loud and clear, and it usually means they’re interacting well with each other. Ok… now I sound completely insane. At the same time, never write dialogue exclusively. Always give your characters something to do, or think or feel. Usually when I do this, I find the characters start thinking in adult ways, and before you know it… they’re at it. Admittedily, it’s a lot easier to make Harkness do this than some others. If your character is kind of hard to impress or doesn’t want to misbehave for some other reason, then seduce them into it. Make the story work for you so that the character can’t help but respond. You don’t have to change the character’s personality. You change their environment and their interactions until they have no choice. In one of my stories the Marquis de Sade spends the entire twenty-five or so chapters completely seducing and ruining a priest. All characters have weaknesses you can exploit, no matter who they are. Sometimes you might hit a dead end, so just go back and try something else. I should note that by “seduce” I don’t necessarily mean sex. I mean to seduce as in to develop the character in such a way that adult fiction will be the end result. Characters are not fixed points (well, except for Harkness, but since he’d do anyone at the drop of a hat, he doesn’t strictly count… neither does he count). If you develop the character slowly enough, and believably enough, you can’t fail. And lastly, if you’re still wanting advice and not thinking: why the hell doesn’t this pippychick bird ever shut up?! then I’d say a good way to check if you’re going in the right direction is to imagine the scene(s) you’re writing from the pov of each of the characters. It should work just as seamlessly for them all. Even if Character B will never be the pov character, make sure you know why they do and say the things they do. The reader might not consciously notice, but it will give your story plausibility if the motivations are there for all of the characters. And the reader is who we’re trying to catch at the end of the day. We make the characters think and feel because we want the reader to think and to feel along those same lines. The reader is the one we want to seduce, via the characters. Right. I am finally shutting up.
  10. 6 points

    Happy Holidays!

    Have a safe holiday season!
  11. 6 points

    Magusfang's Corner

    So Lizzie called all laughing and crying and told me that basically Magus’s cancer is in remission. Not like a real remission since he has to still do his monthly chemo, but its stopped cold and not only is there no new growth, but it seems that they knocked it back some. Thank you guys for all the words of support and as you can imagine everyone is pretty happy here, I went across the hall to tell Mon and she went nuts, bet they heard her in the principal’s office LOL. So as I write this, she’s on the phone to Steve, I think we all just got our christmas present early LOL. I’ll be back later when I know more, thanks again everyone, I just know all the positive words of support and everyone keeping him in their thoughts and prayers helped
  12. 6 points
    15 September 2016 With much help from Nexcess, things are now resolved. Apparently, someone was attempting either a DDoS or a hack, neither of which was ultimately successful. Nexcess will be monitoring for unusual activity, and manta2g is adding further security layers to the code. I'm 90% complete with data restore in the comics subdomain. For stories where the chapters didn't quite convert right (it's a long and involved process as to why, so I'll not bore you), you'll see black diamonds with question marks in them instead of punctuation. To temporarily fix this, set the encoding in your browser to Windows-1252. This will make the punctuation display. We are manually going through and fixing all these chapters, so that the conversion to utf8 is finally completed.
  13. 6 points


    Welcome to the real world! There are these things called rules, and standards. Part of being an adult is learning to adhere to rules, and having standards. I'm sorry if a story of yours/a story you read was taken down for not adhering to the rules or falling below this sites standards. They have every right to remove material that violates terms of service, they are paying to maintain this domain which you get to use for free. I'm sorry if you don't understand the concept of a ToS, and that it has nothing to do with adult oriented material. The site literally says "Adult Fan fiction" Adult is a subjective term. Adult, can mean anything from graphic sex, graphic violence or extreme situations. Adult also varies by country, what is considered adult in the US is not the same as in the UK, EU Canada or Japan. In closing, you should have read the Terms of service before posting, I know... reading is hard. But if you had you would have posted here, you wouldn't have wasted your time and I wouldn't be laughing at how juvenile your argument is. Seriously... are you 12? Even porn sites have rules for content. TL:DR ... Learn 2 read ToS before signing up.
  14. 6 points
    I think I'd rather staple my scrotum to the bottom lip of a rabid, starving tiger than to watch a 50 Shades of Gray movie. That's what I think.
  15. 6 points

    Lack of reviews.

    I'm going to say this honestly... if you are here to get reviews, get out now. This isn't the place to do that. Some fandoms, especially those that cater to younger beings, get those no matter what craptastic, unreadable BS you put up but most of the fandoms don't get the kind of thing you are looking for, especially the older ones. Some stories, ones that have gone on forever, do get such things but newer ones from authors people don't know tend to not get the mega-hits or review counts. However, though reviews might be scarce as hen's teeth, that doesn't mean what you do get doesn't mean anything. Hell, I have a multitude of stories on this site that have been up for years that have no reviews. A few even came down to be published, and I don't mean self-published either, though they had no reviews on this site. Lack of reviews means nothing. It means that people aren't reviewing for their own reasons. You also need to take into account the concept of review karma, meaning the more YOU review, the more apt you are to get them in return. It does tend to work that way. Reviews are an odd thing. As so many have pointed out, many stories that get mega hits, reviews and rates aren't worth it and you wonder if those that did that read the same one you did while really good ones don't get such things. It just goes that way on all sites I've seen. In closing, I'll say this... if you like what you're doing and do it for your own reason, what difference do reviews make to you anyway?
  16. 6 points


    Fucked in the head, I except. Some sorta severe serotonin deficiency perhaps. Looks out into bright happy smiling hot sunny days in the world and sees desolation and a race bent on self destruction and the fucking up of the poor majority by the obscenly rich majority. Messed up loser scumfuck who oughta be exterminated. Get some kinda sick pleasure from trying to engender visceral reactions of disgust and revulsion in their audience, maybe even enjoy the flames. Exposed to horror stories at a young age and had 'em imprinted on the psyche. Watership Down's rabbits had it tough. No desire to hurt anybody else, but find writing helps feel better sometimes, whether gory splatterbang or just warm and fuzzy. That's just me, of course. Only me. You with the pen and the hatchet quit getting all offended. I'm sure the others who've dabbled in dismemberment fiction are all lovely well balanced people you'd be quite happy to take home to Mother. Stephen King, I think it was, did a very good essay on the nature of writing and reading horror and such. Undoubtedly there's a few other things on it as well.
  17. 6 points

    'gives you hell'

    Yes, shame on the admin for that brief summary telling folks what happened. What they needed was something like a professional writer would put, like old dexy's statement as, uh, admin/host of her own site: "I knew how petty and evil-minded the admins over on AFF really are." Wait, what? Surely not! Based on your statement about how admins should act on their sites I expected to see nothing more than "I am no longer with that site." Now, I know little of these things but from what you've told us that doesn't seem terribly professional does it? Almost, well... petty? Gosh! Petty! Yeah, we'll go with that. Maybe... and this is just speculation, you understand, maybe stating a user is removed for ToS violations, and listing the violations - much like we see in clubs and such - without adding personal ad hom attacks... maybe that is the professional way to do it? I'm just being snarky.
  18. 6 points

    Care to Share?

    We were recently contacted by a well respected British publication about appearing in an article supporting Fan Fiction since we are one of the largest Fan Fiction communities out there. The following is his email to us: I would love to have some of our more established, long term, articulate Fan Fiction Authors who are currently active (Perhaps even an Originals author as we don't JUST do fan fic) speak with him. If this is something you are interested in, please let me know via a forum PM. Alternatively, if you have not signed up for the forums, you can always send me an email at admin@adult-fanfiction.org with your pen name/link to your profile and contact information that you would like to be provided. I'd appreciate, but not require, a brief statement as to why you would like to represent the site. I'm expecting a large response (I mean who doesn't want to be quoted in an article!) so please understand that so he is not overwhelmed, I'll be sorting through the responses and sending only a handful on to him. I will be looking for someone who, as I mentioned above, is currently active in the archive, well versed and well spoken and has been with the site for a decent amount of time. I don't know about you guys, but I'm so excited for the recent popularity and acceptance of fan fiction! If you have a chance, make sure you check out PBS's Idea Channel episode on YouTube talking about it! They'd love for our users to sound off in the comments! Edit: Okay! So, I've got the short list created ... of 18... I still gotta whittle down, but at least I'm getting somewhere! Please understand that due to the sheer volume of applications, it is just not a possibility for me to respond to each of you individually. It's been a pleasure getting to understand a bit of why you do what you do and I can't even begin to express how blessed I feel to have such a supportive group of people!
  19. 6 points

    Lack of reviews.

    I'm going to be honest, I’ve been avoiding this thread like it's nuclear waste because it's the kind of thing that can lead to serious rants and some very hurt feeling but, after today, I decided to add my two pennies to it (and Apollo is checking those pennies to make sure I don't step over the line with this rant). For those on here that don't know, I've been an archive moderator since '08 and seen a lot of things over those years so I can quite honestly say that, despite what someone asserted, it's not a few bad apples that have ruined reviews for most everyone but a whole lot of them rotten apples that have killed it! That's no joke, folks! And the biggest problem with getting reviews is the authors themselves. They are the ones that have, bluntly, made it to where so many are out and out scared to leave a review of any kind for anyone. It's sad, but it's true! I know people are going to argue with that assertion but hear me out. One very shining example of this happened today. A few days ago, I was working on doing my ten reviews for AFF's Review Association (for those of you that don't know what that is we go in and review stories each month that have none. Our reward for that? We get a banner. Nothing else. If interested, they are always accepting members-plug over, back to rant...). It's been a few days since I did it so I didn't think anything of it until I woke up today and was getting ready for work. Checking the standard pages I do when I get up, I found that one of the beings I left a review for reported me for it! Now, being a mod, I know what the difference between what a flame and concrit is. I also know where the line is drawn and don't even step close to it. If I feel something I’m saying is too harsh, I get BW or Apollo to check it over for me to see if there isn't a way to soften up what I said or to ensure that I didn't step over any kind of line with it. The review in question wasn't even one I had to do that with. It was nicely worded, slightly blunt but not overly so, giving the issue, a link about how to fix the issue and how what was done affects the reader when trying to read it. I started and ended the review with positive things about the story. Nor did I rip the thing apart. But, still, I got reported for it and there was a long rant from the author about the whole thing basically saying I need to quit pretending this is a professional writing site or Hollywood and stop leaving those kinds of reviews. I was... STUNNED. Then I laughed my ass off! Am I mad about it? No, I thought it was funny as hell! Am I in trouble for it? No, because I did nothing wrong and I didn't flame or attack anyone. Is this odd? Yes and no. It's odd that I got reported but these kinds of tantrums over concrit reviews are quite common. There are plenty out there, more than just a small handful of them, that want nothing but fandpoodling OMGWTFILUFFIT reviews and for you to say nothing else though they ask for reviews. Other examples are just as bad. Plenty pimp the hell out of their stuff all over and ask for reviews but when you give them an honest one, they just delete it and don't bother to fix any of the issues you pointed out even if you give them a very easy way or solution to fixing what is wrong. Talking to Rogue, another member of the RA, we figured out that we are running about 50/50 with reviews we leave. About 50% stay up and the other 50 either get rid of the review or out and out delete the story (this month's 5 I did serious concrit for has resulted in 2 reviews already being deleted and one reporting me for what I had to say so you can see this is not an exaggeration). That is sad but true. And, generally, they all but beg for reviews in the story, the thread in the forum to promo the story or elsewhere. But if you don't just gush, they get rid of it. How many times are you going to go through with this until you give up? It generally doesn't take long before you throw your hands up and say 'I give' then quit. It get's worse though. Though many of you might think I’m joking (I can assure you, I’m not), it goes downhill from there. Like I said at the beginning, I’ve seen a lot over my time as a mod and a common thing to happen is the flame baiting by authors. BW and I have both had this happen to us because we're mods and the author didn't like something we told them to change. We've had them say something in the story then had their readers go after our stories with reviews that are intended to be retaliatory and bombing our ratings. And if they'll do it to a mod, who knows what's going on and how to handle it, you can damned sure bet they do it to reviewers that say something they don't like! They have too, many, many, MANY times. They leave a butt-hurt, whiney ass AN about how someone was so mean to them in a review or that they think they should just stop writing because of something that is said then BAM the reviewer gets nailed. It happens more than you think, folks! And if you think it's just younger authors that do this, think again! There are plenty of older ones that do the same thing. This, more than anything, has made it to where people are afraid to leave a review. Would you want attacked because you were honest or were giving feedback to someone that's not mean but intended to help them improve what they do? The majority of you would say no to this but it's what happens. And plenty have seen this so they back off and say nothing rather than be on the receiving end of that kind of flaming. That results in people not reviewing. Since this has gone on for years, the end result is what you see now; reviews are minimal. If someone gives one, it's just standard fanpoodling OMG update soon or something like that. So, know what? You want to bitch and complain to someone about this? Go find the authors that do this bonehead stupid stuff, and more I didn't mention, and let them know because they are the ones that have killed the reviews for the rest of you more than just the readers that never bother.
  20. 6 points
    Actually - I'm not. It's foolish to think that someone who owns and operates the 2nd largest fan fiction website on the internet would be ignorant of copyright laws. Not only have I had discussions with various legal sources, I did my own research prior to consulting with them. Your arguments hold no water. Please also note, that as you are intent on infringing on EL James' copyright, your information including IP address data has been sent to both her and her editor along with copies of what was posted to this site and our removal of it. I wish you luck with your faulty arguments if and when they decide to send you a C&D letter I'd say happy writing, but it is apparent that you much prefer taking someone elses work in it's entirety as opposed to creating something of your own.
  21. 6 points
    Sadly, Guest_Leah, we're pretty used to dealing with immature morons who threaten to hold their breath unless they get their own way. It's all about them and what they want, or didn't you know that? The world owes them a favour and it's our duty to trip over ourselves to accommodate them, even if that means us risking jail time. So in the future, when you come across one of these childish numb-nuts, you'll know to commence your deferential kowtowing immediately, since they deserve it you know!
  22. 6 points
    The first thing you should know is that this forum is for promoting your own story that you’ve uploaded to the AFF archive only. That is, no stories that you’ve uploaded to other websites not connected to AdultFanFiction. With that established, the first thing you need to do is to click on the ‘Start New Topic’ button. In the ‘Topic Title’ area, the simplest thing to put is just the name of your story. The main body of your post could begin with a brief intro, telling people you’ve posted a new story, or a brand new chapter of your story. That isn’t required, but the following information is: Author: Title: Summary: Feedback: Fandom: Pairing: Warnings: Solo story or chaptered story: URL: Review Reply thread: An example of what it should look like is below: Author: Melrick Title: An Interesting Story Summary: A really interesting thing happens, and then something else even more interesting happens! (Here you can write as detailed a blurb as you want to. A catchy summary to entice the reader.) Feedback: Feedback and constructive criticism much appreciated. Fandom: Original Pairing: N/A Warnings: M/F, Oral, Anal Solo story or chaptered story: Solo story URL: http://original.adul...ion.net/FakeURL Review Reply thread: Link to review reply thread in the appropriate forum, if and when you make one. You could, if you like, finish your post by thanking people for reading, or that you hope they enjoy it. And you really should make sure that your spelling and grammar is good, otherwise it won’t exactly leave a good impression about your writing skills! And that’s all there is to it!
  23. 5 points

    Losing a reader

    Honestly? No, I wouldn't change a chapter if I really believed that was the direction the story needed to take. I've upset readers before, and I'm sure I'll do it again. I understand that in fan fiction, their perception of a character may differ greatly from mine, but if I've taken that character to a certain point, I can't back off and wave a magic wand, and make it all better. I love my readers, and I value their input. Ultimately, however, it's my story to tell, and I have to tell it the way that feels right to me.
  24. 5 points

    Lack of reviews.

    ::chuckles:: I promise not to pummel anyone. I'm going to speak strictly as an author here, and not as staff, so keep that in mind. I love reviews. I love the quick "That was great!" reviews, and I love when someone takes the time to leave a long and thoughtful review chock full of the kind of concrit that will make me improve as a writer. I like to know what works, and I like to know what doesn't, because I'm not suffering from the delusion that I'm awesome. I'm good, but I can be better. Lots better. Now, I don't care if you want to leave me a quick line, and then come chat on my review thread. That's wonderful, and I'd love to hear the concrit portion there. I'm fine with forum PMs, too. But the whole point is that I like to know I'm not just wanking here. I like to know people are reading, and I like to know how they reacted to what I wrote. I don't always have a lot of time to leave long reviews, but I'll try to at least say something if I take the time to read a story. If I get the feeling an author wants real dialogue, as opposed to just pats and squeals of delight, I'm happy to chat more. That's how I've met some marvelous people. I won't fanpoodle, though. That is just beneath me, and anyone over the age of twelve, actually. You want blind adoration, get a dog. I'm more of a dragon myself.
  25. 5 points

    Mobster M/M

    Actually, the email that we provided is valid as that is the email address from which we received her rather whiney email about being disciplined for violating our ToS, so if you aren't getting a response then she is probably off sulking. If you are getting a error, then she must have deleted it and we have no further contact information for her. As the owner, I can emphatically state that while I understand that many users would like her to return, we will not be contacting her to ask, even on behalf of users, to return. She violated our ToS with complete disregard for the possible legal consequences I could face by being on the site underage - While it may seem prideful, I refuse to send that type of email to someone who apparently couldn't care less if I paid huge legal fees, ended up with a criminal record, or even in jail.