Cuzosu

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  1. Like
    Cuzosu got a reaction from Arian-Sinclair in How long do you prefer chapters?   
    I personally don't like posting a chapter with less than a thousand words--unless it's in response to a challenge or is one of my drabbles. I think drabbles are my biggest challenge; describing a scene so that it draws people in with such a limited amount of words is difficult for me, because I. Like. Words. All of my actual chaptered stories, I try to keep a minimum of a few thousand words. Some are longer. Some are a lot longer.
    As a reader, I'm pretty much the same in preference. I love longer chapters, longer stories, the intricacies and details that can be revealed in a well-written work. Knowing this about myself makes me more aware that I need to branch out periodically, though, and so occasionally I find myself reading short stories, drabbles, and poems. Some are absolute gems--like the drabble collection A Karakura Ghost Story by black.k.kat on FF. And some writers are just worth reading, whatever the length of story or whoever it's focused around.
    DG and Kurahieiritr are right: the length of a chapter should probably depend the most on the story flow, style, syntax, and how it reads--both as a standalone chapter and as part of the whole.
  2. Like
    Cuzosu got a reaction from Arian-Sinclair in How long do you prefer chapters?   
    I personally don't like posting a chapter with less than a thousand words--unless it's in response to a challenge or is one of my drabbles. I think drabbles are my biggest challenge; describing a scene so that it draws people in with such a limited amount of words is difficult for me, because I. Like. Words. All of my actual chaptered stories, I try to keep a minimum of a few thousand words. Some are longer. Some are a lot longer.
    As a reader, I'm pretty much the same in preference. I love longer chapters, longer stories, the intricacies and details that can be revealed in a well-written work. Knowing this about myself makes me more aware that I need to branch out periodically, though, and so occasionally I find myself reading short stories, drabbles, and poems. Some are absolute gems--like the drabble collection A Karakura Ghost Story by black.k.kat on FF. And some writers are just worth reading, whatever the length of story or whoever it's focused around.
    DG and Kurahieiritr are right: the length of a chapter should probably depend the most on the story flow, style, syntax, and how it reads--both as a standalone chapter and as part of the whole.
  3. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to JayDee in The Art of Foreshadowing   
    If you’ve been carefully following Melrick’s posts you’ll have been able to work out this guide was coming for some time.
  4. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to Melrick in 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. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to Desiderius Price in Creating characters   
    Good reading.
    After I decide I’ll need a character, I typically use a random picker to give me a list of traits/hobbies/allergies/phobias, and I’ll see if any work for what I want out of the character.  If it’s a marginal character, I’ll pick more freely.  If there’s a specific/important reason for the character, I’ll be more selective and reselect until I get something closer.  And, after I select, I will record them (I’ve got dossier files for each character) – this is perhaps the most critical, because if I work with the character later, I can keep him/her consistent.
    At the threat of a mild spoiler, this process helped me this week, because a character needed to eat a lot of a particular food.  As I was editing his dossier to make it his favourite, I noticed that I had previously made him allergic to it.  This suddenly made the character richer in his personality for deliberately eating something he’s allergic to (and suffering the consequences of it later), and strengthened the plot a bit since I no longer had to make it ill-prepared food. 
    So, for me, my process helps me, helps me have a diversity of characters with different traits, and it helps me when writing because it can fill in those awkward moments, like, when one character gives a gift to somebody else, where the friendship is deep, then what’s the gift? 
    My day job involves software so I have to be very rational, logical, and considering subtle nuances; this is something I carry over into my writing.  So, maybe somebody else will find my process useful. 
     
  6. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to Melrick in Creating characters   
    Creating Characters
     
    Have you ever heard of the term, “Mary-Sue”, in relation to stories? If you don’t know what that is then I’ll explain. A “Mary-Sue” story is where the hero of the story is basically you. But not exactly like you, though; a better looking, stronger, braver, more popular, richer you, with super powers! These type of stories are usually pretty obvious, and often draw a lot of flack from people. Mary-Sue’s are not popular, other than with the person that wrote it.
    But I’m going to go against popular opinion somewhat and say that Mary-Sue’s aren’t all bad. If you’re starting out in the big scary world of story writing then a Mary-Sue type story is almost certainly one of the first types you’re going to write. And that’s okay, it truly is! You’re still learning, and the only way to learn is to write, make mistakes, learn from them, keep writing, make mistakes, etc. So go on, write those Mary-Sue’s, but perhaps you should just keep them to yourself, or maybe only show them to select friends. But you really should be striving towards writing non Mary-Sue stories as soon as you can.
    But don’t let anybody tell you that published author’s never base characters on themselves, because they very much do. They always have, and they continue to do so. Most successful authors have written novels containing characters that are them to varying degrees. The lead characters in some of the most successful novels have been a carbon copy of the author. But that’s the whole point: the character is just like the author, and nobody is perfect. Every single human being has flaws. And it’s their flaws that makes a character interesting, not their perfections.
    When people write Mary-Sue’s, what they’re really wanting to see is them as the kind of person they wished they were, so they make them gloriously perfect. Because don’t most of us wish we were perfect? I know I do. But that makes for boring reading for everyone other than the person who wrote it. People can’t relate to perfect characters, because we’re not perfect. People can relate to flawed characters, though, because we ourselves are flawed. But that’s why we like to see the flawed hero triumph, because we can put ourselves in their shoes, and we cheer them on, wanting them to succeed against the odds!
    You can go overboard with the flaws, though. Unless you really want your character to be thoroughly broken then don’t forget to give them some positives. A character that is so utterly damaged can be difficult for most people to warm to, which is a potential problem if this person is going to be the hero of your story. Those kind of characters can work, though, but usually only if they find some kind of redemption at or near the climax of the story. Still, if they’re thoroughly unlikeable then the journey to that point can be a tough one for your readers.
    But what about your hero’s friends? What are they like? The temptation for some is to follow what we see in movies and TV series: one friend is black, one friend is gay and one friend is Asian. This sort of political correctness has no part in stories! Take a look at your own circle of friends? Is that really what they look like? Do you actually know anybody who genuinely has a circle of friends like that? Don’t get me wrong, if your character is white then I’m not saying they can’t have any black friends, gay friends or Asian friends. Sure they can! But unless a person lives in a highly multicultural and diverse neighbourhood then it’s extremely unlikely that a person will have that exact make-up of friends.
    Another temptation is to follow a different type of movie or TV series, which is where each friend is wildly different than the other friends. Opposites attract only in bad fiction. In reality, opposites tend to get on each other’s tits after a while. Again, think about your own friends. Do you have friends who are all totally different from each other, as in nobody has anything in common? I highly doubt it. Maybe you might have one weird friend who is quite different from you, but there’ll still be at least some things about this person that you like, otherwise they wouldn’t be a friend, now would they. Make the friends realistic, not politically correct.
    What about the villain of your story? Unless you’re writing a super hero or anime-based story, then your bad guy shouldn’t be a cartoon-style super villain, not if you want them to be believable. Just as you want the hero of your story to be someone the reader can warm to, the villain should have the opposite effect on the reader. You really don’t want people to be cheering on the bad guy, unless that really is the type of story you’re going for. Exactly how bad the person is really depends on what type of story and character you’re writing. Is the bad guy you’re garden variety bully and thug, or is he a psychopathic murderer? If he’s just a thug then you don’t want to go overboard and inadvertently turn him into a small town super villain. While you don’t want your audience cheering on the bad guy, you do want the readers to find them believable. If they’re too unbelievable then the reader can start to loose connection with your story.
    Creating realistic, believable, relatable characters shouldn’t be so difficult. All you really need to do is to take a look at yourself and your friends. If you’re having a hard time warming to your character then so will everybody else.
  7. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to Melrick in 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.
  8. Like
    Cuzosu got a reaction from GeorgeGlass in What women (and men) want...in their fiction   
    Being female myself (though I'll admit that my username doesn't necessarily convey that), I will say that I agree with the points BW, DG and PW noted.
    I can and do read rape; that tag is not going to turn me away from a good story. This doesn't mean that I like it, but I'm not utterly revolted by stories that didn't happen to real people. For actual people, I tend to muster more empathy; my own mother has been raped and traumatized by it, so I learned a number of methods to help with what I could.
    Personally, what I find most off-setting is fluff. Yes, that's right: fluff. I have never once in my life had a moment that could qualify as fluff, and I have an aversion to reading it. I don't mind angst as long as it's not overdone, supernatural creatures are usually successful lure on me, and a good action/adventure/fantasy gets me every time. SciFi is great, steampunk is awesome if done right, and romance is okay. Comedy is perfect if the author can use it right; I don't care if the story is dark or light or tense with action/drama. But sheer drama? If I want drama, I will go see my family before I read it or watch it on television. And dark stories tend to get looked at two out of three times.
    I'm not into F/F; just not my thing. I like males too much. Sometimes I read het, but I don't generally go out of my way to look for it. Slash is much more to my tastes.
    I agree, too--tags are as much ads as they are warning labels.
    And part of the issue with readers/reviewers is probably that most of the people who come here appear to be looking either in specific fandoms or for PWPs. Frankly, I'm not much into original PWP stories; I want time to get to know the character. In fandoms, I don't have to, so PWP is fine there. Still not my favorite, but acceptable.
  9. Like
    Cuzosu got a reaction from KendraC in Looking for an m/m and D/s friendly beta   
    Will PM you in a minute.
  10. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to BronxWench in Losing a reader   
    Oh, I was going to ask George RR Martin to plan my next wedding! I like a wedding with a body count.
  11. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to Squallfan in Losing a reader   
    Thanks for all the feedback. In the end, I appreciated her opinion, I was just a little surprised that she said she was going to stop reading it. And no, I have no intention of changing it, as I stated above. I really do love to write my little stories, and I do it for myself too. You just can't please everyone. Even professional writers get complaints. I'm sure George RR Martin gets plenty for killing characters. lol
  12. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to DemonGoddess in Losing a reader   
    As a reader, that's something I would never do. Authors write, first and foremost, for themselves. You know that getting in to reading any given story. Hell, you know that when you buy a book. No, absolutely do not change the story. Your story, your words, your rules.
  13. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to Melrick in Losing a reader   
    I would never, ever write or change a chapter just to please others. My story, my rules, and if others don't like that then it's not like there's a shortage of other stories out there for them to read. Ultimately I write stories to please myself first and foremost, and if others like them too then that's just an added bonus.
  14. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to BronxWench in 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.
  15. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to pittwitch in writing a blow job   
    Close your eyes and imagine the scene unfolding before you like a movie. Describe it.
    Personally, I can't stand when someone feels like they have to beat me over the head with things as a reader. I don't need a blow by blow. Set the stage. Engage the readers' senses: sight, touch, taste, smell, hearing.
    Are the girls giggling? Does he hear that? Is the blanket scratchy or soft? Does someone's soft hair tickle against a bare thigh?
    I don't necessarily need the mechanics of ejaculation spelled out ... we've all seen it, experienced it in some way or other.
    I agree with BW - sometimes less explicit is far more erotic and sensual.
  16. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to GeorgeGlass in Plot bunnies must die   
    Okay, I haven't tried to kill it, but I wish I could at least put it on a diet. This thing is turning into an epic in my head, like some kind of crazy Disney direct-to-video sequel written by a Russian novelist.
  17. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to foeofthelance in Plot bunnies must die   
    Its true. They're like some sort of vampiric hydra that way.
  18. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to JayDee in Plot bunnies must die   
    Some cartoons just have that effect. Like when I saw Watership Down and had bunny plot bunnies.
  19. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to GeorgeGlass in Plot bunnies must die   
    Wow. Suddenly my situation doesn't look so bad. At least my mom isn't involved.
  20. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to BronxWench in Plot bunnies must die   
    My most evil plot bunny (currently locked in the closet) was spawned while driving with my mother. I was passed by a tanker carrying jet fuel, and moments later, a truck loaded with industrial lubricant passed me.
    I blame my mother for pointing out the truck of lube.
  21. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to BronxWench in Plot bunnies must die   
    You do realize that plot bunnies are impossible to actually kill, don't you? They just respawn, and you never know what they'll pick up on their way back. Trust me on this.
  22. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to GeorgeGlass in Plot bunnies must die   
    My cable company made all the premium channels free over Thanksgiving weekend, so I recorded some movies. One of these was Frozen, because I wanted to know what half the kids on the planet Earth were so excited about.
    So a few nights ago, I watched it. And frankly, I thought it was brilliant. Not only did it have great music and wonderful visuals, but it's written really well: The writers know that this is probably not your first Disney movie, and that you therefore have certain expectations about what is going to happen. And they use those expectations to completely screw with you, in some really good ways.
    So now, fresh off NaNoWriMo with well over a dozen neglected in-progress stories waiting for me to work on them, I find that there is a stupid, stupid, stupid Frozen fanfic writing itself in my head. And the only thing I fear more than the shame of writing it is the disappointment of not writing it.
    For Christ's sake, I'm a childless man in my mid-forties. Shouldn't I be immune to this sort of nonsense? I mean, it's freakin' DISNEY.
    Please kill me. Then the bunnies. Then me again, just to be sure.
  23. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to BronxWench in Ungrateful readers   
    We all tend to be picky about what we read for pleasure. That's only natural. I may read in all subdomains in the course of my work as a moderator, but when I read for pleasure (and review), it's only in subdomains and genres I find enjoyable.
    I will say that I don't praise people simply because they write. That's a large part of the entitlement issue we see so much of these days. I will review a writer, as honestly as possible, and I will try to say what I liked. If I really didn't like a story, I'll try to find a constructive way to explain why it didn't work for me. But I won't toss out lauds and accolades because someone wrote something I never even read. That's condescending and entirely without merit. Would you recommend a restaurant you've never eaten in simply because it's there?
  24. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to GeorgeGlass in Ungrateful readers   
    If you're saying that writing in an obscure fandom means that you attract fewer reviewers of the type that KH is talking about, I'm inclined to agree. When I write fanfic, I mainly write for fandoms that are either somewhat obscure (the original ThunderCats) or that don't have a lot of "adult" fic written for them (Phineas and Ferb), and my experience with reviewers of these fics has been extremely positive. By and large, they are appreciative of my efforts, they often go into significant detail regarding what they liked or didn't like, and while they sometimes express disappointment that I didn't include some element they wanted to see, they don't harp on that or make it central to their reviews.
    Certainly, there are exceptions, but usually those people just leave one-line reviews, not paragraph-long diatribes, so they don't really bother me.
    I feel very fortunate that my fanfic has attracted such a good readership here. My original stuff, not so much, but I've still had several well-written reviews even there. Besides, this isn't OriginalFiction.org.
    Thank you, super-reviewers. (You know who you are.)
  25. Like
    Cuzosu reacted to BronxWench in Ungrateful readers   
    It's even beyond being a freebie seeker. It's the notion that the world owes them something, and everyone needs to jump through hoops to provide exactly what this person wants. Even worse, the demands are frequently lacking in grammar, punctuation, or even any notion of sense. It made me quite happy to have dabbled in obscure and unpopular fandoms.
    I always want to hug authors who tell such reviewers that sorry, it's their story, they will write it their way, and the reviewer is welcome to write the story the reviewer wants to read. (And then, if they're like me, they go and wonder if they were over the top saying that. )
    We all love a review, though. Even those quick, "I loved it!" reviews can keep us going.