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Do you have fanfic red lines?

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

  1. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    On a similar note I don't think I'd ever click onto a fic that was advertised as a "coffee shop AU" or a "college AU".
     
  2. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    Jesus Christ yes. It's especially prevalent in Pokemon and Avatar: TLA/Korra fandoms. Why are you taking the most interesting part out of the worlds and just making Asami some CEO and Korra an olympic softball player or some shit?
     
  3. Othalan

    Othalan Order Member DLP Supporter

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    Right? I was trawling through some A:tLA fics yesterday and kept running into this crap, which is what inspired me to post that. Why anyone would deliberately take the "escape" out of "escapism" is beyond me...
     
  4. aAlouda

    aAlouda Seventh Year

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    Isn't that basically what 50 Shades of Grey did to Twilight. Clearly there is an enormous fanbase for such things for some reason.
     
  5. Othalan

    Othalan Order Member DLP Supporter

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    Nah, 50 Shades just traded supernatural fantasy escapism for sexual fantasy escapism. The goal was still largely about portraying extraordinary situations and settings. Mundane AUs explicitly do the opposite, and attempt to make everything as low-stakes and un-exceptional as possible, which is just baffling as a creative choice, since exceptional situations and serious stakes are pretty much cornerstones of fictional storytelling.
     
  6. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    To be honest, I've found myself warming more to coffee shop AUs and the like over the last couple of years. I don't have any solid defense of them, and I can't really picture myself reading them for HP - although that's as much to do with not really reading HP fic these days as anything else - but when they're done well, with a good grasp on the characters, they can be fun.
     
  7. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    There's just something really offputting about a summary that goes:

    Draco is the Assistant Manager at Cult of Coffee. Harry is a new barrista, who desperately needs to succeed at the job, but who struggles to relate to his cold and aloof manager. To make matters worse, Harry's best friend Hermione has gotten a new job at the book shop next door and has decided the best way she can help Harry keep his job is to seduce Draco. The whole situation is a mess, how will Harry survive!

    I suppose I could maybe read a one shot that was a "coffee shop" setting...in Diagon Alley. An AU where there's no return of Voldemort, and the gang all get summer jobs in the Alley before their final year of Hogwarts perhaps? It'd be a fluffy, feel good piece, but I don't think I'd refuse to read it the way I would a more stereotypical coffee shop AU.
     
  8. Nevermind

    Nevermind Order Member

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    I can’t tell if that’s real or something you made up on the spot.
     
  9. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Made it up on the spot, but based on having read too many such summaries over the years.
     
  10. Goten Askil

    Goten Askil Seventh Year

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    I think the point of those is to focus on the character inter-relations without there being a setting and a universe as a "distraction". Which is why I think every fic I've seen like that seems to be a pure romance, they think the magic/war/prophecies/general setting would detract from and/or prevent the love story they want to tell. So they kinda transpose the relative positions into real life to make it more "relatable", and voila.

    Well, that was probably the reasoning for the first few anyway, nowadays people write that for the same reason they write the same tired cliches for the thousandth time: lack of imagination and trying to emulate what's popular.

    And before you misunderstand my opinion, I do agree that they make for complete garbage stories. Even the one from Annerb a few months ago was readable (because duh, Annerb's Ginny is awesome) but ultimately boring and uninteresting. But I probably would have a different opinion if I could stomach plot-less pure romance.
     
  11. lopeck

    lopeck Seventh Year

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    I think another reason why a lot of people write those kind of AUs is that they're what I'm gonna call "reverse self inserts".
    Instead of placing themselves in the story and getting to interact with all these characters, they place them into a context where they could interact with them. It's probably also why a lot of the time they feature very idealized versions of characters with low stakes conflict.
     
  12. Stealthy

    Stealthy Groundskeeper

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    This is it, more or less. The core fantasy isn’t escapism, it’s attainability. Sure, at their best the concept can let the author tell a slice of life story or something, and let them focus on writing a good character drama without having the baggage of canon to maneuver around. But at their worst this is basically a step up from “Draco Malfoy is the mysterious and sexy new student at MY school! And one day, he sat next to ME!”. Either way, the fantasy isn’t focused on the world, it’s focused on the characters. It’s about living with the characters rather than living vicariously through them (but sometimes both).
     
  13. Othalan

    Othalan Order Member DLP Supporter

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    Not exactly a red line, but forcing myself to ignore it gets exhausting after a while:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. zugrian

    zugrian Second Year

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    Slash is pretty close to a redline for me. For some reason, it seems like the vast majority of HP slash pairs him with Draco, Snape, or Voldemort-- people that want to murder him or at least make him as miserable as possible. Why can't the yaoi fangirls write something a little less ridiculous?

    MPreg definitely is a redline-- I'm not reading that bullshit under any circumstances.

    And the one that maybe bugs me the most-- Dramione. You'd have to make both of them wildly OOC to have such a pairing even possible, plus it seems like its usually an excuse for all the girls who had some of their first celebrity crushes on Tom Felton and completely ignored the fact that Draco is an arrogant, bigoted, evil little bastard as well as being a failure at everything he tries to do-- very much not the OC they swoon over.

    Snape/Lilly or mentor Snape fics are redlines for me too. I have , occasionally, found a story where Snape can be redeemed into something other than needing a Reducto to the face, but the ones that completely ignore what a petty, cruel, abusive bully he is are not something that I'll ever read.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
  15. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    Incest and unambiguously dodgy pairings (eg Hermione/Snape while Hermione is still at school). You'd also have to do a lot to convince me to read an Omega-verse fic.
     
  16. Alindrome

    Alindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I can't stand reading marauders-era fics for some reason... Something about about the prospects of reading an entire year of teen drama and nothing else fills me with existential horror. Fuck that.

    Now, witness: I'm about to trigger half the thread...

    My other red line is the romance tag/genre. Romance-centric fanfiction is boring. I only give romance fics a shot if they're a non-Hogwarts pairing - because then the setting at least needs to be interesting enough to justify it.
     
  17. LT2000

    LT2000 Heir

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    I disagree with this, but only on the grounds that said Reducto would improve his appearance.
     
  18. Othalan

    Othalan Order Member DLP Supporter

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    I usually agree with this, but for different reasons. The main problem I have with them is the fact that we already know how it all turns out, so there are some pretty sharp limitations on the kind of stories that can be told in that time period without going full AU. It's a bit like reading the last couple of chapters of a mystery novel, then later trying to read it from the beginning.

    It's almost impossible for me to maintain interest in that kind of story, unless the author does something brilliant and completely unexpected that is also totally believable in the context of what we already know is going to happen. Which is so vanishingly rare that it barely deserves to be brought up as a hypothetical.
     
  19. Gaius

    Gaius Fourth Year

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    Yes, Marauders fics bore me too. I think this is a testament to the greatness of Blackpool though, since it opens up the world and creates a dark, mysterious ambience while filling out the Black family and especially Regulus’ character. Highly recommended!

    Although I think you’re right to point out the limitations of the genre Othalan, as the movement and themes of the fic butt up against the limited outcome a reader of canon expects.

    Edit: link for those who haven’t read it https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12948481/1/Blackpool
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
  20. Rakkety Tam

    Rakkety Tam Professor

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    Isn't this basically an issue with all of Harry Potter fanfiction at this point? You've read the 7th book and you know where the story has to end up. The only thing you can really change without going massively AU is how you get there unless you try to do something post Hogwarts, but those tend to be pretty terrible.

    Anyway, I'd say any fic where Hedwig becomes human is a giant red line for me. I thought those had died out years ago, but I recently discovered that I was wrong.
     
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