1. Hi there, Guest

    Only registered users can really experience what DLP has to offer. Many forums are only accessible if you have an account. Why don't you register?
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Introducing for your Perusing Pleasure

    New Thread Thursday
    +
    Shit Post Sunday

    READ ME
    Dismiss Notice

Do you have fanfic red lines?

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

  1. Othalan

    Othalan Order Member DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    810
    Gender:
    Male
    No, I wouldn't close it down just for that. To a degree, that could be considered an in-character thing for Harry to do. After all, in canon he does think Bill's ear-piercing and leather jacket are pretty cool. As long as it wasn't turned into some kind of critical plot-point, or used as a substitute for real character development, it wouldn't annoy me too much.
     
  2. Drachna

    Drachna Third Year

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Ireland
    High Score:
    0
    I know that I don't come out of this looking particularly rational, but I really would quit a relatively decent fic if Harry got his ears pierced. I don't really know why it bothers me so much, but there you go.
     
  3. DukeC

    DukeC Squib

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Give me the names of some of the those Harem stories. Those sound delightful. Political backstabbing ,when done well, is engaging to read.
     
  4. EkulTeabag

    EkulTeabag Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    246
    Location:
    Sandy, England
    What if his ears were already pierced, and it's just given an offhand mention after 50,000 words? Would you consider everything up to that pointed RUINED FOREVER because of it?
     
  5. Kevizoid

    Kevizoid Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Messages:
    226
    Gender:
    Male
    Given the fandom reaction to the whole "oh yeah Hermione coulda been black this whole time" thing, I'd imagine it would. Mentioning something you don't like late isn't much better than mentioning it early.
     
  6. Fiat

    Fiat The Chosen One DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    2,230
    Edit: needed to rewrite a lot because I wasn't paying attention.

    I'm not sure you're right about this, and moreover I think it's kind of inapplicable here - I know a lot of the rage just came from "I don't like the idea of hermione being black" but for a lot of people, I'd like to think the majority, that wasn't what that outrage was about. At the same time, it was less about retconning everything so much later and more about how uniquely stupid everything about it was. A billionaire major author, a household name, looked at an inaccurate fan theory (it was all based on the lack of references to skin color for hermione in the books, but they were wrong because those exist) and went "You know what? You're right, I like that. It's canon now." People would have been more pissed if she'd done it when the books (or her) were still relevant, not less.

    IMO. back then the outrage would have been much lessened (the people who were mad because they're awful would have been mad either way) *wouldn't* have been (as) angry if she'd genuinely deliberately made it ambiguous, someone spotted it, and she'd publicly acknowledged that was her intent all along, to allow anyone to project themselves into Hermine (because she was her Self Insert), and had something vaguely meaningful to say, which is admittedly what I think most people who believe her and the Hermione Is Black thing think happened, back in 2006. Early DLP would have probably still had a lot of backlash, but much less to "yeah, she could be anyone" than "yeah, she's black now, the movies and books are different, deal with it".

    (FYI, I have no problem with the idea of Hermione being black, like, if that was an actual thing in the books,. or it really was ambiguous and that gave black youths someone in the books that they can imagine as looking like them; representation is a good thing. It's just not the books we actually had and acting like Rowling's ongoing Word of God (fuck, any author's honestly) which she throws out with zero thought acts as a suitable replacement for actual representation, or should even be treated as canonical in the world of the books/films, is absurd.)

    Frustration/outrage at the things Rowling says really does fall into two groups: shit that DLP would have been actively raging about and writing spite fics surrounding in 2009 even if they had been part of the books, and stuff where the problem actually is that she's saying it outside of the books/films and it's too late. What she's doing these days is the equivalent of when shitty Fanfic authors explain major plot things in the Author's Notes at the end of a chapter rather than in the story proper, except worse because a lot of the time it's pretty offensive to real people because she expects it to be treated as real minority representation.

    Example of the first: when she forgot that Vanishing is actually advanced magic you need to pass an exam to be allowed to learn, meaning that until Indoor Plumbing Hogwarts must have had whole teams of professional Shit Removers wandering the castle at all times. Example of the second is unnecessary, I think; we all know about the Intensely Sexual Relationship Johnny Depp wasn't even asked to imply in the way he played his character.

    Well, that ended up being a long tangent on Rowling in response to something barely about her. That's always fun. Really need to look closer right after I wake up. I actually assumed that was meant to be a response to a post that just wasn't on this page and so I hadn't seen, rather than the one directly above it, because I couldn't see how it could be relevant to that one. Mea culpa. Not deleting it because I still think I had something to say.

    So...yeah. The hermione is black thing wasn't so much an example of something people hate coming late, after they were invested, rather than early, where it would be better. It was a matter of Rowling's unique brand of awful. Weirdly enough, Rowling also serves as a decent example of what the person you replied to was talking about - people kept reading and stayed invested in Harry Potter well after The Monster In His Chest and the utter madness that was Wand Lore.

    And now, to get that derailed train back on the tracks, here's a long but not comprehensive list of my red lines in fanfics. I'm just going to put this in spoilers too because it got long.

    I have a ton of red lines in fanfics. Already discussed a big one - author's notes that explain things rather than doing so in the story. This kind of extends to original fiction too - it isn't an instant Nope button there, but the amount we 'know' about the setting of The Dresden Files, much of which is inconsistent with what's actually in the books, purely from Jim saying it somewhere is a real problem. Same goes for Wildbow. I love the guy, and some of his work, but that so much of the setting of Worm only really exists in what are in effect Author's Notes, again not necessarily consistent with the world as presented in the story, is a major problem I've seen a lot of others complain about too.

    Jokes/lines stolen from movies and other books (even back when the Denarian Series was generally considered High Quality Fanfiction on this site, rather than a product of its time and a nostalgic guilty pleasure, seeing lines stolen from Anchorman and the like always made me alt-tab for a few minutes). On a related note, concepts lifted from other books/movies/popular things, when it isn't an actual crossover. You always get the feeling the author watched/read/played whatever it is recently and thought "wow, that's so cool, I need to have that in my story!"

    Magical cores (ctrl-w immediately, every fucking time). Talking about relative levels of magical power (I used to get into that argument on AskScienceFiction, about wizards having different inherent levels of power rather than some people just being more talented than others like they are in math every week).

    Muggle Wank (I'd get into the "kill voldemort with an assault rifle" argument pretty frequently too, enough so that I just reused the same post every time without bothering to change it).

    Another secret world out there, more powerful than the wizarding one (outside of crossovers; I'm talking about "the ancient and secret world of the Vampires, who are stronger than Wizards and secretly rule both worlds" or "You aren't a wizard, you're a mage, totally different, way better, we'll go erase Dumbledore's memory of you and take you to a real school.") this one was a red line for me back in 2008 and it's never become less annoying. Though, while I was actually thinking of a specific fic from when I was a preteen when I wrote that, a Mage The Ascension crossover with that specific trope sounds kind of cool now that I think of it.

    "You remembered my name!" from Goblins. Just...no. The "shopping sequence", present in so many terrible stories from way back when, no idea how common it is now. Where Harry goes and gets his magical tardis trunk and a pet phoenix and a wand with a basilisk venom core from Nocturn Alley. Basically anything where Draco Malfoy's character strays substantially from his characterization in the books, unless it's the entire point. Even Rowling finds the fanfic community's take on Draco fucking weird.

    Harry actually getting to live with Sirius and everything being good because of it. Like...I think a huge part of the point of his Character was that his life basically froze as a young adult who was all about taking risks and having fun, and then his life collapsed, he Broke, and began to self-destruct. His story's a tragedy, and Harry moving in to Grimmauld place with him or whatever only works in my head if that backstory changes (which is a shame) or if that is also meant to be a tragedy.

    Bashing basically any of the characters. It's just not good writing, ever. And since the main purpose of it is usually to facilitate a pairing...well, I've heard it said (paraphrased) that if you need bashing to get your OTP together, there's a fundamental problem with the story you're trying to tell, and not all stories need to exist, and not all are worth telling. Exceptions apply, though it depends what you call bashing. I'm really not partial to Snape and have never understood how Rowling thought he'd been redeemed by the end of the story, and a story just not accepting that redemption is 100% a valid thing for me, it's just super easy to make it gratuitous which turns into shit writing.

    Contempt for the Source Material is a huge one. I mean, it's not just limited to it - this was really common in a lot of fics for years, back when people routinely said Joe's or Shezza's fics were better than the books. Methods of Rationality is and always was a piece of propaganda, meant to 'educate' and propagate Scientism, as practiced by an 8th grade dropout, and the only reason it's Harry Potter is that it was the most popular fandom so most likely to get his propaganda to the most eyes possible. And his hatred for the thing he was hijacking practically dripped off of the screen. Honestly, that's where a lot of the hate from DLP came from - the fact that he was just using our subculture and couldn't even be fucked to pretend he didn't despise it. Personally, I'd have outgrown my hate for him if the science in the thing wasn't painfully inaccurate all over the place.

    That thing definitely produced so many Jordan Peterson fans by conditioning people to think in a certain way and respect people who speak in certain terms, without actually knowing anything about science. But I digress.

    The contempt for the source material thing is something I find pretty frequently in other fandoms, particularly those fandoms where most of the fanfic community got into it through fanfic and has limited familiarity with the source material. And on SB/SV.

    An old red flag was the classic "Wizarding America is its own thing with gunwands and it's better and Britain is a primitive backwater", but that's mostly dead with Fantastic Beasts, where it turns out Wizarding America isn't based on the American Exceptionalism version of it many of its citizens imagine it to be, but a totally unsubtle metaphor for the way it actually was at the time and the way everyone else sees it. "Britain as a magical backwater" in general kind of does it for me.

    "If Luke gets a lightsaber, Darth Vader gets the death star" - arbitrarily making the villain more powerful when you give the protagonist new powers is actually pretty stupid. It's like in a bad RPG where it doesn't matter how high your level is, because the random mooks get stronger too and you're basically just on a treadmill. The point of giving a character new powers is that it makes them more powerful, which necessarily changes the course of the story. Keeping the relative positions of everyone fixed defeats the point, and is lazy.

    The idea that most or all 'powerful' magic involves some kind of willpower/emotional component tends to bug me enough to ditch a story just because it's such an old fanon concept I thought we'd all moved on from, which indicates to me what kind of other stuff will be there. That's true of most of these, honestly - relics of a time gone by, which serve as indicators for other things.

    I think I actually have a decent metaphor to explain how this many generally minor things (I mean, not all are minor, some really are a big deal on their own merits) can be instant Nope buttons: they're Escherichia coli in a body of water. Mostly harmless, you don't want them around, but they're not a real issue. The problem is, they're only really found in shit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  7. Drachna

    Drachna Third Year

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Ireland
    High Score:
    0
    It really depends. Perhaps if Harry had progressed into the sort of degenerate likely to get his ears pierced, then I wouldn't immediately quit the fic, but I've been further than 50,000 words into a story and quit it for lesser reasons.
     
  8. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Englandshire
    High Score:
    3,485
    o_O

    Now, I don't have pierced ears myself but I do think calling anyone with ear piercing degenerate is going a little bit far...
     
  9. Fiat

    Fiat The Chosen One DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    2,230
    I kinda get the ear piercing thing - not because I have a problem with pierced ears or 'degenerates' (god's body that term has some unpleasant connotations, I didn't expect it to feel gross to type, but here we are), but because everything in a written work is there for a reason. It's not like reality where some people happen to have pierced ears and some don't and it doesn't matter, someone went out of their way to write that scene, not because it advances the plot or reveals something about anyone's character (other than that their Harry is the kind of person who has pierced ears), but because the author wanted that to happen, presumably either to better self-insert into the character or because they liked guys with pierced ears. It's the equivalent of him going out and getting a cool leather jacket and a specific haircut.

    Again, it isn't the be-all end-all; most fanfiction has stuff that happens just because the author wanted it to rather than serving the story in any way or really meshing with anything else.; a decent amount of major films with budgets in the millions and dozens if not hundreds of people involved who all had the chance to say "Does this really need to be here?" make it to a theatrical release with shit like that in it.

    It's still e.coli in a swimming pool, though. Potentially a low enough concentration for it to be legal, but nonetheless an indicator of shit.
     
  10. Zeelthor

    Zeelthor Scissor Me Timbers

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    3,492
    Gender:
    Male
    Yes. It's called Kinsfire.
     
  11. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator DLP Gold Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,894
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    I maintain that Rowling supporting the choice to cast a black actress as Hermione in a play amidst a racial backlash is a bit different than her word of godding that Hermione was black all along. All she was saying was there isn't any reason Hermione couldn't be black and if people want to portray/imagine her so she supports this.

    She is wrong, but not because Hermione is a SI it that her face was described as pale one time, or because she was played by Emma Watson.

    The issue is that Hermione, the only significant black charecter in the entire series, would have a side plot when she discovers a slave race underpinning her new world. Her trying to free them is then framed by the narrative as insensitive, unwelcome and against the natural order of things.

    Fucking yikes.


    To un-derail the thread

    The moment I see song lyrics. Now don't get me wrong. I have seen snatchs of lyrics used in non cringe ways, but very very rarely. Most of the time it is beyond awful.
     
  12. neongreenbeast

    neongreenbeast First Year

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
    49
    Ballpoint pens end it for me.

    Harry: Quills suck! Pens are so much better! I'll start selling pens to the other students.

    Wizards: Mind blown!
     
  13. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Englandshire
    High Score:
    3,485
    To be fair...quills do suck and pens are much better.
     
  14. neongreenbeast

    neongreenbeast First Year

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
    49
    No doubt. But this trope requires you to believe that HP is the first person to ever try it, when every other muggleborn would also have been using pens pre-Hogwarts.

    It wouldn't be such an issue if other muggleborns also used them as quill substitutes (I think I've read one such fic). Instead, what is most often seen is that Harry is the first to have such an ingenious idea, which he immediately starts commercializing- usually with Goblin help.

    Edit: Notebooks instead of parchment is a similar pet peeve.
     
  15. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Englandshire
    High Score:
    3,485
    I wonder whether the use of non-regulation stationary is something thats not permitted, but is generally handwaved as it doesn't really matter, but is something used by arsehole teachers and prefects as an excuse to punish students they have an unreasonable desire to punish (for reference see the Well Done Slytherin thread).
     
  16. Drachna

    Drachna Third Year

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Ireland
    High Score:
    0
    This can annoy me too, although only when he pushes it onto other students. As a stationary aficionado though, I can appreciate muggleborn/half blood students using fountain pens and nice stationary in general as an alternative to quills and parchment.
    Given the amount of co-opted technology in the wizarding world, I find the backlash that some authors write into their fics when Harry whips out a ballpoint pen to be a bit ridiculous.
     
  17. darklordmike

    darklordmike Order Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    897
    Location:
    USA
    Harry as the sole heir of all four founders is one of mine, especially when it involves a silly goblin inheritance test. Even more so when it means he owns the castle. The writers who use that idiotic trope never realize that if Harry is the heir of all those people, so were his ancestors. You'd think Harry's great-grandfather would have been smart enough to realize he owned Hogwarts.

    Mercifully, this stunning revelation always happens in the first chapter, saving valuable time.
     
  18. aAlouda

    aAlouda Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2019
    Messages:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Germany
    You dont understand, Harry is the heir through his mother who is the descendant of several squibs born the founders families, him being the first wizarding male descendants makes him the only viable heir in centuries.

    Yes, I have actually seen that explanation used several times.
     
  19. Othalan

    Othalan Order Member DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    810
    Gender:
    Male
    I remember one fic (can't for the life of me remember which one) where the author actually came up with a semi-sane-sounding explanation for this where the Wizarding World is totally aware of the existence of pens, but chooses to use quills instead. Apparently quills are better able to accurately render certain magical symbols/sigils/runes that have variable thicknesses in their lines by using different portions of the quill's edge, where that calligraphic nuance is lost with a ball-point pen. Supposedly the difference in the line-shape is significant to the magical meaning and efficacy of those symbols.

    EDIT: Also, iirc self-inking quills are a thing, but can only be used for mundane essay-writing because the enchantments on them interfere with the creation of magically-charged symbols, which is why inkwells and unenchanted quills are still in use.

    Anyway, I've also come to realize that the phrases "Modern Setting AU" and "High School AU" are instant deal-breakers for me. If a character has a personality and background that is heavily informed by the culture and setting they come from (which any well-written character should), then altering them to fit into the modern Western (mostly American) world is, by definition, a horrible literary mutilation of that character. Authors that do this are ripping away half of what makes these characters who they are, so they can be clumsily shoe-horned into mundane modernity. I absolutely refuse on general principles to read that kind of crap, no matter who is doing it or how well written it supposedly is.
     
  20. ExperiencedGamer

    ExperiencedGamer Second Year

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2019
    Messages:
    62
    Gender:
    Male
    Same on those mundane AUs, unless it's like that Naruto fic where
    It was an Infinite Tsukuyomi dream or something
     
Loading...