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Instant-kickers when choosing a fic to read

Discussion in 'FanFic Discussion' started by ip82, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. ip82

    ip82 Prisoner

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    I presume that most of you look through several different information fields when deciding whether some fic is worth your time or not: story summary, parameters below the summary (genre, word count etc...), author’s profile, reviews, chapter contents before the story actually begins etc...

    So, what do you need to see in these fields to instantly drop the fic without even trying to read it? What are your biggest peeves in a summary? What about author profiles? What kind of reviews tell you instantly that the fic is total crap (besides flames)?

    Oh, and notice that this is not fanfic cliché bashing thread. This is just for the stuff surrounding the story, not the story contents itself.

    Here are my peeves:

    - Stating the pairing in the summary. Stating MULTIPLE pairings in the summary.

    This is not an instant-kicker by itself, but definitely a big minus (even if it’s a rare pairing). I just know that the fic will be totally romance-oriented, indicating that it isn’t something I’d be overly interested in reading.

    - Summary in which the author whines how he SUCKS at writing summaries.

    Hey, if you can’t manage to piece together 200 characters worth of summary, what can I expect from a 10K+ words fic?

    - ‘Mysterious’ summaries

    Summaries that contain only an excerpt from the story, or some vague philosophical bullshit. This usually indicate emo crap-fests or slash. There are probably stories that are exception to this, but I can’t think of any ATM.

    - Words like ‘Ginny’ or ‘Slash’ appearing anywhere in the summary.

    Duh. :)

    - The authors that use their profile to give away personal information about them - height, eye colour, tan, taste in clothes, personal likes and dislikes in RL etc...

    Sorry, but that’s just screams “teenage girl, in love with Draco!”. I hardly ever bother with stories written by these types.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
  2. LT2000

    LT2000 Alchemist

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    Bad spelling and/or grammar in the title or summary. If there are typos in the summary, no way am I going to subject myself to the actual fic. Agreed with the 'I suck at summaries' statement. I rarely bother with an author's profile unless I like something within his or her work, so that's not really a factor for me. Ditto with the story's reviews. Really I don't read those in any circumstance. I care about MY reviews but couldn't give a a turd about somebody else's. I don't like when the writer begs for reviews in the summary. I'm a review whore myself, but all I do is nicely ask people to review at the end of a chapter in my A/N. I don't demand them in the summary before anybody even reads what I've written. I turn away when the author says that their work is a 'good story' in the summary, because it never is. Finally, either the title or the summary be written in capslock. Smacks of an unprofessional and crappy writer.
     
  3. ip82

    ip82 Prisoner

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    Agreed with asking for reviews in the summary. Even simple R&R is a minus in my book.

    Caps-locks and grammar errors I can get over, but I don't expect much from fics like this.

    Few other things I just thought of:

    - Summaries that begin with a character name other than 'Harry'

    Indicating that the main character is not Harry, but this person they are referring to. I usually don't even read the rest of the summary, just move on to the next fic on the list.

    - Snape being referred to as "Severus"

    ... or any usage of the word "Severus", unless it's followed by "Snape", "also known as Snivellus" or a random explicative (e.g. "Severus the slimy bastard"). This usually indicate Snarry, Severitus or nice!Snape story. Notice that I didn't say redemeed!Snape, because those stories are at times bearable.

    - Malfoy being referred to as “Draco”

    ... or any usage of the word "Draco", unless it's followed by "Malfoy", "the bouncing ferret" or a random explicative (e.g. "Draco the spoiled brat"). Reasoning the same as for “Severus”.

    - Any review mentioning something being beautiful and/or the reviewer bitch crying after reading some part.

    Emo fests. Stay away unless the summary is really cool. A rare good angst story can be found in this bunch.

    - Phrase “Don’t like it, don’t read it” appearing anywhere in the summary, profile or author notes

    Hey, I’m just following the author’s own advice.

    - Author speaking directly to the readers in the summary

    Usually something like “I’m trying to write, I really am, but I’m just stupid”, or something like it. It’s usually a waste of perfectly good summary space. Not an instant kicker, but a definite minus.

    - If the word count divided by the number of chapters is less than 1500.

    Small chapters usually indicate fics not worth reading (unless it’s humor).

    - When authors request that they receive no flames either in their profile, summary or author notes.

    Err, I don't think flamners will care much about your whining. Not some grand peeve, just something I find both amusing and irritating at times.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
  4. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Administrator Admin

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    Sera and Ip's lists with the modification of:

    To include Ginny, Slash, Snape, or Draco.
     
  5. ip82

    ip82 Prisoner

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    Exception to this rule is if one of these characters are dying, getting tortured or turning out traitor.

    Examples:

    "Having tortured and executed Ginny for using a love potion on him, Harry turns to the brighter things in life... like starting a career as a male stripper."

    "After realizing Ginny is a slash writer under a fake pseudononim, Ron decides to take her to a muggle therapy... muggle electroshock therapy."

    "Professor Snape, watch out for that safe! No, don't look up! ... Never mind. Harry Potter/Loony Tunes crossover"

    "Draco the bouncing ferret finally lives up to his name - he's turned into a real life ferret! A sad story of strife and struggle, ending with a tragic accident on a highway."
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
  6. Dark Syaoran

    Dark Syaoran Persona 4 Admin

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    - Words like ‘Ginny’ or ‘Slash’ appearing anywhere in the summary.

    Don't mind the second word if 'No' is put before 'Slash'. Actually, I like it when the word is used in the summary, that way I dont waste my time reading several chapters before it jumps out of no where and smacks me in the face. I think all stories that have slash should state so in the summary so as to not waste the time of readers that like straight couples.

    - If the word count divided by the number of chapters is less than 1500.

    This is the main one I look at when thinking about clicking on a stories link, along with spelling mistakes in summary/title and 'I suck at summary' comments. I like chapters to be atleast 1500 words long, but even then I'm still wary unless it's around the 2000 words mark.

    - The authors that use their profile to give away personal information about them - height, eye colour, tan, taste in clothes, personal likes and dislikes in RL etc...

    I really only look at the profile when the summary sounds okay, yet still has me doubting. Most of the time when this happens, the summary sounds alright but then I find in the profile that they only write slash, Harry/Ginny, ect.

    Them putting their likes and dislikes is fine. Sure, it normally screams 13 year old fangirl and/or emo bitch, but that bio is there for a reason. Some people just fill it in because they are bored. Mine was empty for 3 years before I put anything at all in it and that was because I was bored shitless, couldnt find any decent stories, and didnt feel the need to search another site.

    - Stating the pairing in the summary. Stating MULTIPLE pairings in the summary.

    I actually like them stating the pairing, though only one. As soon as they state more than one then you can tell its focused on romance, even if the genre says otherwise. It's not such a big deal, they normally state the pairing in authors notes of the first chapter anyway.

    - Phrase “Don’t like it, don’t read it” appearing anywhere in the summary, profile or author notes.

    This is mainly used for slash stories anyway, meaning I aint touchin' that shit with a pole.

    - Summaries that begin with a character name other than 'Harry'.

    The only other name I accept other than Harry's is Voldemort/Tom Riddle. If it's Voldemort, then most of the time it's still focused on Harry, so it's all good. Tom Riddle normally means it's based on his early days and I dont mind his character. Any other name puts me off.
     
  7. ip82

    ip82 Prisoner

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    I'll grant that this is mostly getting on my nerves when the pairing is placed at the BEGINNING of the summary. That's twue low story in 99% of the cases. If it's at the end, that is usually much more bareable.
     
  8. Amerision

    Amerision Galactic Sheep Emperor DLP Supporter

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    'oh my godz, I suckz at summarys but the story iz good XOXOXX plZ Review! will turn me away from a story before I even read it. If you can't write a summary, then you suck at writing anyways.

    "...head over heels"... - Bullshit/cliche

    "Head boy" - cliched Head/boy/girl dorm sharing story

    Ginny - If Ginny is mentioned at all, then she plays a significant role.

    Sevvie. - Gay to the highest degree

    Slashy - Since when do cude and cuddly terms like this refer to hardcore fudgepacking?

    FF.Net should have a Slash filter in there.

    Good for everyone.
     
  9. ip82

    ip82 Prisoner

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    Few more come to mind.

    - When an Action/Adventure story is rated K or K+.

    K is just gay. Any fic rated K is usually crap, unless it's humor or light drama. If it's action/adventure I immedietely know what I'll get - totally pussy-whipped duels using stunners or shit like that. Good fics were ruined by this (Sweet Apple Pie's stories come to mind). Stay away unless you know what are you doing.

    - Polls with questions about future plot

    Pairing polls aren't THAT bad, especially if there are multiple rare pairing to choose from. But plot pollls are a clear indicator that the author dosen't give a damn about their story, but only fishing for attention.

    Thankfully, FFN forbid this option in its entirety. One semi-good decision they've made.

    Half-arsed summaries

    When the author doesn't use the full extent of the space given for a summary, but only write a few quick words, like a pairing, genre or a single line of plot description. Now, that's just lazy.
     
  10. KeshinNoAkui

    KeshinNoAkui Seventh Year

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    I agree with 90% of what most of you guys said, so I'm not gonna both C/Ping all of your posts.

    "Plot pollls are a clear indicator that the author dosen't give a damn about their story, but only fishing for attention."

    The only exception I can give for this is if the author has 2 or more different directions they can go with the story, but can't decide on one for sure as they like them too much.

    And I agree that most people are bored when they fill out their profile page, I was when I gave my fav/hated pairings and such.
     
  11. ip82

    ip82 Prisoner

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    I wasn't talking about things related to HP, but when preteens whine how they like to go out and hang out with their friends and how they hate homework and going to school etc... stuff like that.

    Stating fiction-related likes and dislikes is perfectly fine. I actually like reading those, give me an insight about the author.
     
  12. KeshinNoAkui

    KeshinNoAkui Seventh Year

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    Yeah, not to mention it helps you figure out if the story you want to read is gonna have Slash in it or not....
     
  13. Master Slytherin

    Master Slytherin Headmaster

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    Word Count = more than 100,000 words.

    Don't have time to read it unfortuntely so I know I can't read it.

    Chapter lengths are above 15,000 words

    Once again, I'm not prepared to spend a ridiculous mount of time reading ONE chapter. People need breaks in between chapters sometimes.

    Starting with Harry with the Dursleys in their car on the way from the station.

    This is usually a sure fire way to tell if the story will take absolute years to finish with nothing happening and/or will be cliched. There are exceptions but these are few and far in between.

    Harry/harem in the summary

    Yes it will end up with no plot whatsoever and yes it will end up as a complete gang bang.
     
  14. Lord Ravenclaw

    Lord Ravenclaw System God Admin

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    The sad thing is, EoH had a review like that. Note past tense. :)
     
  15. ghst.san

    ghst.san Sixth Year

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    Dont agree with that. Isn´t it equal to you if you spend your time reading one good story instead of ten? What bothers me with long chapters is that updates are often slow, but again you cant say that for all fics.


    I thing I allways look for is the last update and release date. I got no interrest in reading a fic who is abondened for sure.
     
  16. Amerision

    Amerision Galactic Sheep Emperor DLP Supporter

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    Any misspelled words in the summary.

    If you can't bother to grammer/spellcheck 3 lines, then I'm not going to bother to read your fic.
     
  17. Randeemy

    Randeemy Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Anything under 50K words is dropped unless some recommends it from here

    And anyone that writes "unless i get X reviews i wont post the next chapter..."
     
  18. Antivash

    Antivash Until we meet again... DLP Supporter Retired Staff

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    *pouts* BLuer has almost a harem! Do you dislike Bluer as well?
     
  19. Fuegodefuerza

    Fuegodefuerza Minister of Magic

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    aNyTiMe ThErE iS sPeLlInG lIkE tHiS, I ain't touchin' it no matter what.

    All of the ones above apply also.
     
  20. Master Slytherin

    Master Slytherin Headmaster

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    I haven't read it yet tbh. I've just had very bad experiences with other Harry/harem stories (yes, I'm talking about the thirteen year olds who replace genital names with "flower" and "stick of love" - they taught me to look at author profiles before reading a fic.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006