Normally I read a lot of slash fanfiction, but over the last several months, I've been reading a lot of gen and het stuff. You know, the stuff that most normal people start off with. But, something has been annoying me about this stuff.
Don't get me wrong, a lot of the stuff I've been reading is really good (like Kyubed, Shinobi's Revenge (Naruto), Stranger in an Unholy Land,(HP) and Naruto: Myoushuu no Fuiin), but there are a few that are really, really annoying me. The ones that are super devoid of meaningful imagination. You know the ones I mean. The author is super lazy and wants to change some aspect of Harry Potter/Naruto/Twilight/etc. However this change (Naruto's a girl! Harry Potter's a vampire! Bella's not an idiot!) does nothing to change the plot of the story. Instead, the plot is ripped, almost line for line from the original.
Take Unknown Relations by ksomm814. The story is well written, and the theme of (spoilers) Harry Potter being the "boy-who-lived"'s brother is somewhat well done and a bit less cliched than usual. However, the first two books I've gotten through so far, are largely the same as the actual Harry Potter books. The only thing that changes are the names and some minor details (such as which twin the book event happens to). At least the third book might start to diverge a little-though I haven't read it, Sirius Black never went to Azkaban, ergo he cannot escape it.
This stick-to-the-original theme is old hat in other fandoms as well. Most gen Naruto fanfic I've read pretty much follows the script of the original, though many start to diverge past the chuunin exams. It doesn't matter that the characters may be portrayed as "different" from the original (Naruto's evil, Sasuke's not, the Yondaime never died), the characters quote word for word from the original series roughly half of the story. I get that you want to stay loyal to the original show. But for Pete's sake, change up the dialogue at least. Keep certain events (trip to Wave, chuunin exams, etc) but have the characters do something interesting and actually say lines I haven't already heard in about sixty other fanfictions. Change where you start off in the timeline or the main character (as beautifully done in Fuzzy Logic, Naruto) or change the events once you've shown that the characters are different from the original (as seen in Methods of Rationality). Some idiots might flame you for not sticking to canon, but many a weary reader will thank you.
Anyway, I don't mean to rant, especially after I haven't posted for about sixty bazillion years, but I just had to get that off my chest. Sooo...what irks you about fanfic?
- Mental Balance: cranky