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Do you have fanfic red lines?

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Taure, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. WierdFoodStuff

    WierdFoodStuff DA Member

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    Muggle and/or Wizard Wank are always annoying to me, I feel authors always try to make one immensely more powerful than the other.

    I've never been able to read a self insert story, even the highly recommended of the bunch.

    If Harry gets some old/unconventional artifacts that's a no no.

    Smut in places where smut isn't needed.
     
  2. Scarat

    Scarat Third Year

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    Magic cores, exhaustion, and the like, not because I dislike them in general, but because I don't think they fit well in HP. I also think chakra exhaustion is unnecessary in Naruto when chakra already fueled by ohysical and mental stamina.

    I dislike fanfic where the author seems to enjoy making the mc suffer. Stuff like 1-800-Rent-A-Hero really bothers me.

    I also hate when the MC has real problems and every other character thinks they are unreasonable for considering them real problems.

    There are certain types of realism that feel unnecessary to include. I don't know how to explain this any better, but it includes stuff like heavy accents written exactly and stuff like excessive cursing. It feels like annoying fluff that I have to dig past to get to the interesting bits.
     
  3. Erotic Adventures of S

    Erotic Adventures of S Denarii Host

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    Here is a bit of a obscure one.

    I hate when people say anything as twice as bad, or ten times as bad as Crucio.

    Either you cast it well and it works as ultimate pain. Or you cast it badly and it doesn’t work.

    Crucio is so bad it sends you insane, it is literally one of the three worst curses there are. I always picture it as total pain, beyond and physical pain, as the human mind and body can only comprehend so much, this curse goes beyond that. It opens the mind to complete unimaginable pain.

    There is nothing worse than that, even Voldemort shouldn’t be able to do a Crucio worse than a standard death eater. As Crucio is already pain to its maximum.

    It’s also one of my most hated scenes in the movies. Movie 4, Graveyard scene, Harry gets crucioed and proceeds to apparently have a moderately bad cramp.
     
  4. Selethe

    Selethe normalphobe

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    - Also dislike any child/adult pairings. But I'll go a step further and say I also won't read stories where an adult Harry is sent back into his eleven year old body to defeat Voldemort the "right way" but can't help falling in love with the hotties in Year 1 along the way. Like, no. Pls.

    - Socially inept Harry. Some people like reading that take on his character, but it's one I absolutely do not want to read.

    - Harry doing Dumbledore-levels of magic as soon as he gets a wand.

    - Over the top bullying. I'll read through some, but it gets very boring very fast.

    - Muggles are superior/ what if we strapped several wands to an M134 and had them all spit out avada kedavras at once.

    - If the fic is obviously written by a ten year old. I looked at some of my old, old, favorites recently from when I was young, and they're basically stories written by kids for other kids. Which is fine. I'm just not that demographic anymore, and the golden trio getting stuck in Grimmauld Place with a bunch of Death Eaters where the only means of escape is by playing a game of truth or dare, doesn't have the same appeal, unfortunately.

    - If the story is a romance and I don't like the love interest.

    - Any of the typical LovePotion!Ginny, Dumbledore's been stealing Harry's money, Betrayer!Ron tropes. It's worse when the story starts off pretty good, but then out comes everyone burning Harry's photo album in front of him... like come onnn man.

    - Harem stories. I've read a few decent ones from other fandoms, but they were never from the perspective of "the guy" and they centered around politics, not romance/smut. They were all about backstabbing your way to the top. Which is interesting.

    - Too many PoV shifts. Game of Thrones did it well, but it's hard to pull off. Most of the time it's authors showing the same scene through everyone's perspective to bloat word count.

    - Over-use of italics. Dreams (which are actually memories)/flashbacks, in italics. It's jarring. Half the story shouldn't be in italics.
     
  5. douter

    douter DA Member

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    There is only a few things that will stop me after I've already committed to a story.

    In Harry Potter, its a lack of magic or over explained magic, world building is fine but we don't need to know how every spell was created. Also when it becomes very obvious that author has run out of ideas so the next 20 chapters will focus on 11 year olds.

    Speaking of children, authors who can't write children. I don't mind the protagonist being a bit more mature than their peers, but when everyone is acting like adults is just awful.

    Overall though its when an author doesn't understand the source material, where they'll get basic stuff wrong or mixed up. Where even a quick wiki search will fix it.
     
  6. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Minister of Magic DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    RIP @Taure Get rekt.

    I was thinking about this. I'm not certain I've got any red line in the sense that if someone I trust told me it was good, I'd give it a go. I didn't believe in null spots/anti magic stuff being done well until Beyond the Curtain, and there's other stuff like that.

    The closest, I suppose, would be any fic that opens with Variations 1 through 9 of: A/N "Me: OMG, muse, slow down. Muse: "teehee". Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm doing. Let's go. "
     
  7. Agravaine

    Agravaine Seventh Year

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    Author-endorsed bigotry, dash/hyphen confusion, and incorrectly punctuated dialogue. Most other red lines can usually be gleaned from the summary, including quality of prose and subject matter.
     
  8. soczab

    soczab Groundskeeper

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    I suppose it depends. I have TONS that if I stumble across it I will put a fic down or not start it even. More then I can count really (from Harry/Hermoine to it opening with "Lord Potter"

    But I wouldnt really consider them HARD red lines because in the right circumstances Id make an exception. Like if I saw a fic whose summary was

    "Lord Harry Potter-Slytherin-Merlin meets his true love, Hermoine Granger, and together they will take on the forces of Evil via their triple re-enforced Soul Bond and the alliance of a dimension hopping Nolder Elf named Sin-Fan."

    Yeah. Id not open it.

    But if say Ched or Halt, whose opinion I trust, went "No. Trust me. I know it seems like X, but it is worthwhile give it a try." I'd probably give it said try. Since im convinced ANY topic can be good in the hands of a skilled enough writer. My red lines are just guidelines because I find most of the fics (sometimes 99.9%) in that category trash or at least unappealing. And I only have so much time to invest. But im always willing to bend my standards for the right rec.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  9. Meerkats

    Meerkats Auror

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    I don't think I have any red lines but thinking back on it, ever since joining DLP and developing taste I don't think I've read a single fic that starts in year 1. Even the ones that have been praised as being really good like OTWTG, so there's something keeping me away from them.

    Edit to clarify that I don't have this problem with time travel fics.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  10. Newcomb

    Newcomb Minister of Magic

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    I think to make this a completely fair exercise, you have to imagine a story that looks great on paper, that you read the first two or three chapters of and are completely engrossed and pumped you found it and can't wait to read more, and then Concept X is introduced.

    When I think about it on that level, there really aren't that many things that would immediately make me click out.

    Like... do I hate magical cores? Sure. But I really couldn't see myself putting down a story that I was otherwise enjoying just because they became a thing.

    About the only thing I can think of is something someone already mentioned, and that's "contempt for the source material." I'm talking about those fics that put in little asides where a character will just randomly, in a situation where they've changed the entire first year plot, laugh about how ridiculous it would be to have the Stone at Hogwarts guarded by a series of puzzles. For whatever reason, that kind of thing just absolutely infuriates me. It's a combination of lack of respect for the source material, and extremely bad / clunky writing, and it just makes me see red.

    It's obviously never happened, because I can't imagine there's a story I'd otherwise be enjoying that employed such a hacky device, but in that theoretical scenario I don't think I'd stop my instinct to click the x.
     
  11. Silirt

    Silirt Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    HPMOR is easily the best example. The author literally just decided that Pettigrew was innocent, and that it was totally ridiculous he could have been hiding as a rat for twelve years, so that's what happened. I'm pretty sure Harry was in the library one day reading conspiracy theories about what could have happened to Pettigrew, read exactly what happened in the canon, dismissed it as totally ridiculous, and declared Pettigrew innocent. There's nothing in the rest of the story that contradicts his conclusion.
    It's not the only example in which this particular story demonstrates contempt for the source material, and it's entertaining enough with few enough technical errors that I would say it was ultimately worth reading, because it was hard for me to put my finger on what I hated about it until a while after I finished it. I wasn't going to stop reading it just because I disagreed with something the author was trying to say, after all. At length I decided that it's one thing to make fun of the occasional dumb decision Rowling made, and another thing to write fanfiction about something you almost entirely hate.
     
  12. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Dark Lord

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    I've only rarely seen it in HP fics, but I know it used to be quite prevelant in Worm fics on SB/V to either:
    1 - Have Taylor complain about her power, "But at least it isn't something disgusting, like controlling bugs"
    2 - Have someone else say "Taylor's so smart! I bet she could even make controlling bugs a good power!"

    Both of which were indicators that the fic was not going to be getting better.



    There's very little that would make me nope out of a fic on sight, although I deliberately avoid anything tagged Harry/Snape, so can't comment there.

    Childcare, I suppose, is about the only thing that makes me close out of an otherwise good story. I don't have kids, don't have any interest in raising kids, and don't care about the practicalities of raising kids.

    If I start a story and Harry's got children, that's not going to make me close out of it. But the trials of parenthood just aren't interesting to me, nor is reading about Harry coping with being a widower parent. It's not really a red line, but a beige one - unless the rest of the story is really good, I'm going to slowly stop reading once the focus is on the main character's kids
     
  13. ruki88

    ruki88 Squib

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    In no particular order:

    - Ron bashing – let me put it this way: if on Fanfiction, at characters, we have “Harry Potter, Hermione Granger” followed or not by other names, but Ron’s name is not added I don’t even bother reading the summary of the fic. It is clear Ron is either bashed or got rid of or barely significant in the friendship/plot. I would add here Dumbledore or Weasley family bashing followed by super secretly awesome Draco. Ugh.

    - Hermione “Magical Genius” Granger. I get it, she’s academically smart, but I would like it if people would remember that doesn’t automatically makes her an authority on everything. She is a voracious reader, but not a critical thinker. I want more of book!Hermione and less of Emma Watson!Hermione, please. Not that the books don’t praise at her altar to some degree but it’s not as bad as the movies.


    - Pairing Harry with Hermione (nope!)/Pansy/Daphne (whoever that is)/Tonks (kinda ew; also, I liked Remus/Tonks)/Fleur (nope, I like Bill/Fleur too much)/OC (which for me basically means self insert). I’m pretty conservative when it comes to pairing – I like canon or, more often than not, I avoid it altogether and seek fics that focus on plot and not romantic relationships.

    - Harry being abused by the Dursley to the nth level: beating upon beatings, sexual abuse (?!?!?), starved for days. Like….can we not?

    - Slytherin!Harry. Or any other House to be honest. I tried. I really, really did but I gave it up as a lost cause eventually…

    - Harry being weak mentally. I think this was one of his strongest points as a character. I admired that about him… In fact, if I think about it, all my favorite characters (books, movies or shows) have that in common. Taking that away from him just irks me so bad!
     
  14. Drachna

    Drachna Third Year

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    Whenever Harry gets his ears pierced, I press the back button.
     
  15. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    The only situation where this would be acceptable is if he was well past Hogwarts and either worked with dragons or was an adventurer.
     
  16. Drachna

    Drachna Third Year

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    No I don't think that it's ever justifiable. Ear rings, while apparently acceptable in modern day society, just look ugly as sin on a man in the vast majority of cases. Especially hoops, and when it's only one ear. Small studs in both ears is tolerable I guess.
     
  17. Othalan

    Othalan Order Member DLP Supporter

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    Yeah, and getting some crazy magical tattoo is another one for me. While part of this is purely personal preference (I don't like the look of most tattoos or piercings on either men or women, and I have zero desire to get any myself), the real reason is that this device is almost always a prelude to some variation on edgelord!Harry, who shocks his classmates with his "edgy awesomeness."

    Just last week, I got about 30,000 words into a novel-length fic that was pretty good, then took a sudden sharp left turn into garbageville when Harry finds a book of Potter family magic containing a power-boost ritual that gives him magical beast tattoos that cover his chest, back and some of his arms. Cue all the "Oooh, wow, when did Harry get cool?" fawning from secondary characters. I went for the red X so fast I almost threw my mouse across the room.
     
  18. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I think thats a bit of a weird red line to be honest. You'd genuinely close the tab on a fic you were 50,000 words deep in, that you were otherwise thoroughly enjoying, just because Harry got his ears pierced?
     
  19. Othalan

    Othalan Order Member DLP Supporter

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    In that context, where it's only being done because the author has the mentality of a twelve-year-old who thinks that "having cool tattoos/piercings" is a good substitute for "being a cool character?" Yes, I absolutely will not read further.
     
  20. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    In the fic you mentioned, clearly everything took a turn for the worse. Totally reasonable to close at that point. But my question is if you (or Drachna) would still close the fic if you were enjoying everything about it, and Harry got ear piercings. Nothing else wrong with the fic, nothing else to criticise it for.
     
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