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Do you have fanfic red lines?

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

  1. Rakkety Tam

    Rakkety Tam High Inquisitor

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    Not just a problem in slash fics. H/Hr fics also do this to Hermione constantly to the point where while I have no actual objection to the pairing I often see it as a red line just because of how terrible most of the stories are.
     
  2. Othalan

    Othalan Order Member DLP Supporter

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    Really? I mean, I have similar feelings about the H/Hr pairing, but in my experience Hermione is usually the one they make super dominant while turning Harry into a complete simp (well, more so than he already is in canon, anyway...).
     
  3. Rakkety Tam

    Rakkety Tam High Inquisitor

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    I think Hermione is actually probably one of the toughest characters to get right just in general. She is really developed well in canon and as such most fanfic authors can't do her justice. They tend to lean more towards a few traits that she has and forget about the rest. She is a bossy know-it-all that has an unhealthy relationship between her self-worth and being seen as intelligent. Despite the fact that she doesn't put a lot of effort into her looks (outside of the rare special occasion), she does care about them and has a bit of a girly side. You see that through her insecurity about her teeth, drawing hearts around Lockhart's part of her schedule, giggling about Molly's love potion stories, etc. She is absolutely atrocious at expressing herself properly and can get upset/cry when Ron and Harry are angry at her because she has no concept of why what she did would upset them. Hermione is also just straight up ride or die when it comes to Harry. She knows she isn't that great at practical defense situations, and she often knows that Harry is probably walking into a trap, but when she can't change his mind, she follows him anyway regardless of the risk which is actually significantly higher for her than for Harry.

    I think a lot of that gets left out in fanfiction because it's really difficult to write a character with that much depth. With H/Hr in particular, I think it is made worse/more obvious because of how big a role Hermione tends to play in those fics. That's why I tend to prefer lesser known female characters dating Harry in fanfiction even though I think Harry/Hermione probably made the most sense to me in canon at least given the options presented in canon.
     
  4. Eleiren

    Eleiren Squib

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    My main ones are probably:

    Harem, I don't mind a threesome but harem just isn't something I enjoy.
    Meek Harry/Blindly following Harry, just give me a protagonist with some critical thinking will ya?
    Snape/Harry, unless there's time travel and an OOC Snape involved that's just disgusting.
    HPMoR like dialogue, I don't like being lectured by fanfics, much less by ones that seem to suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect.
    Lastly anything written under the Reptilia28 Reaper challenge, I like the base idea of reincarnating because of whatever but I don't like the way this challenge sets up stories. Also, Hermione is a good best friend but I happen to like the interpretation of purely platonic best friend.
     
  5. ExperiencedGamer

    ExperiencedGamer Third Year

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    "So and so character can go faster than the speed of light"

    Not a red line per se, but more of a three strikes kind of thing, and I noticed I hate this when I read it in a fic today. I don't have true red lines except maybe the downright disgusting anyway (Voldemort x Harry pairing for example, and even then, I might give it a chance if it has something else interesting).
     
  6. douter

    douter DA Member

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    At this point after reading fanfic for so many years, I've become rather picky just reading the summary so to stop reading in the middle is rather rare and is usually to meandering plot. I won't even begin reading anything with a hurt/comfort or slash tag or harem/multi or even a confirmed pairing.

    Also a big turnoff which I've come across in many asoiaf fics, upgrading society to a modern standards. Which is just the worst.

    My big red lines are a poor understanding of the material and when characters all start to sound the same. As well as when a story never branches away from cannon and it becomes it's own story.
     
  7. LucyInTheSkye

    LucyInTheSkye Second Year

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    I'm a late-comer to fanfiction and after an intense period of reading a lot I now barely read anything. From the little I do end up reading, what would still make me drop a promising fic is, I think, down to non-canon (my head-canon?) characterization of Ron, Sirius Black or Snape. Book characterization and not movie. If they feature, then I need them to be how I see them. I think it's from me as a kid using Ron as a bit of a self-insert and I think I still to some extent greatly admire Sirius and detest Snape. Preferably Sirius is still mean and grouchy but otherwise a good person and Snape gets thrown one crumb of sympathy but nothing more in fics I want to read. I actually don't think I've ever read far into a fic that features Ron as a main character, but hearing from others how bad he's usually characterized I'm glad I'm not very interested in fics about Harry's generation.
     
  8. Gaius

    Gaius Fourth Year

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    You're right about fanon characterization of Ron being rather one dimensional. There was a short fic I liked (maybe here in the WBA? forgetting the title) where he has a more central role after CoS. He and Hermione are trying to pick up the pieces after Harry's interaction with Riddle goes differently and Harry ends up in the diary. It wasn't continued but it had a similar feeling to "Forging the Sword" by Myst Shadow because Ron and Hermione were driven to do desperate things they might not otherwise have done. Also echoed "Harry Potter and the Boy Who Lived" by Santi because of the Durmstrang element. Unfortunately it wasn't finished, but it was a cool idea.
     
  9. Othalan

    Othalan Order Member DLP Supporter

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    How... How do you read anything then? Not trying to be snarky, I'm genuinely curious. 'Cause even with non-romance-focused fics, like 98% of them have confirmed pairings.
     
  10. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    What? How does that even work? Why does there being a confirmed pairing, even if its completely background, put you off?
     
  11. LT2000

    LT2000 Heir

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    From what I read, it meant that if the author is talking about the pairing in the summary then the story probably isn't worth clicking on.
     
  12. douter

    douter DA Member

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    Yeah, I like some mystery. Same goes with future tags, I don't want to know the conclusion to a story before starting.
     
  13. Silirt

    Silirt Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    It's not really a red line for me, but if the first part of a story tags a character, and then the sequel doesn't tag that character, there you go, now I know the character died.
     
  14. Othalan

    Othalan Order Member DLP Supporter

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    Or they just don't play a major part in the sequel. I've read plenty that do that.

    That's fair. I like the mystery aspect too, but I don't let the lack of it stop me. If the author gives away the plot in the description/tags, I just take a more "the journey is more important than the destination" attitude, and look forward to reading how the author gets there. It's not all that different from reading something that starts with a flash-forward prologue, before backtracking to the story's beginning in Chapter 1.
     
  15. Zeemz

    Zeemz Second Year

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    1) Character bashing
    2) Re-hash of canon. Common in time travel fanfics where the author doesn't have the guts to change crap except making Harry less likeable
    3) Romance before year 5
    4) Lately, I drop fics that even attempt to go through the first and second years. Can we all agree that Harry Potter fans are older now and we should at least start at year 3?
    5) This is a weird one, but Harry without his glasses. I feel like it's such a pointless thing and usually leads in a SI power wank with Harry's name
    6) Nice Snape. No thanks
     
  16. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    This isn't a red line for me, but I'm certainly wary / less excited about stories that mention a pairing in the summary. If the author feels their pairing is important enough of a story element to be in the summary then odds are good that they're going to have more romance in their story than I want to read.

    Not always, and I will open/read anyway, but I go into these with a healthy grain of salt expecting to encounter romance and click back out.

    For me this hadn't got anything to do with wanting mystery or not wanting it to be spoiled though. It's all about me not wanting to read stories with a romance focus.
     
  17. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    No - I greatly prefer stories starting in years 1-4. Stories starting in year 5 once the kids are getting to be older teens tend to be shittier in my opinion. But this is an opinion most don't share.
     
  18. Acquiescing Avian

    Acquiescing Avian Second Year

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    Might sound weird, but I generally prefer stories which start in Year 1. Fics which start after 3rd or 4th year barely, if ever, make an effort to show why characters change so quickly or stick annoyingly close to canon but with a more skilled Harry or a different "one true love".

    Speaking of red lines, if 11 y/o Harry starts sneering at the Dursleys, talks in a "cold, frosty voice" and scares everyone with his glare in the first chapter, I'm dropping the fic.
     
  19. Distended Destiny

    Distended Destiny DA Member

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    My red line is changing the gender of the protagonist(s) and/or antagonist(s). I'm fine with side characters having their gender changed, but it just feels wrong when I read fem!Harry or fem!Voldemort stories. It does rule out reading any of good fem!Harry stories though, and it's so irritating.
     
  20. James

    James High Inquisitor

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    This person/author on reddit is my redline personified:

    I hate every one of those ideas.
     
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