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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?

Comments

( 6 comments — Rave and Rant )
sa_kun
Sep. 30th, 2011 09:30 am (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean. It's particularly annoying when the first #select a number of chapters in a fic are genuinely good. Then, suddenly, they start ripping off the dialogue word by word. It's just not interesting to read, mostly because I already watched the show/read the book etc.

Oh, Harry Potter is a vampire, you say? Then I want a good, original story that has nothing to do with the original books, because everyone already knows what happened the first time around.

I know what happens, I'm not interested in reading about it. Again. Just because you oh, so ingeniously added a new character.

Another "plot device" that peeves me is when a character unexpectedly changes gender. As in, say, Harry Potter swallows a potion and ends up a girl! Gasp! Two sentences later, all the pronouns are female, his name's "Harriet", he's grown out his hair and started shaving his legs. Now, if you're a guy who is turned into a girl, well, in my mind you'd still be a guy. Right? You wouldn't think of yourself as a girl, because in your mind you know exactly who you are.

I'm sure there is a lot out there that irks me about fanfic, but this is just what your entry prompted me to think of.
phoenixtorte
Sep. 30th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC)
Lol, I think I know the exact fiction you're talking about with Harriet.

But yeah, that plot device annoys me too. I don't mind when an author uses plot devices, as long as it's somewhat believable. But something like where a character changes into a girl and there's not even a bit of gender confusion or anything like that? A total ripoff.

That lovely rant about plot device reminds me of mpreg. The main reason mpreg annoys me (besides dubious biology and the ever present concern about how the character poops with a baby wedged up his butt) is that every mpreg seems to follow the Twilight school of thought (i.e. the mother/father thing is super happy/delighted/blessed to be having a baby, and never once stops to think "Holy hell, I'm a boy! I'm not supposed to have babies popping out of my pooper! Get this hell-spawn out of me!). Not everyone is delighted to have a baby, ya know.

Anyway, thanks for the comment! I really enjoyed your rant! :)
sa_kun
Oct. 2nd, 2011 09:37 pm (UTC)
The sad thing is, it's not just the one fic: There are several out there like it. Very annoying when you're looking for something that's got this pesky little thing called 'realism' in it. I've dabbled in writing something that actually deals with what an unwanted gender-change would actually mean, but it's hard, and complicated, and takes time, and most of the time I've got no idea what I'm even talking about.

Oh, please, do not get me started on the mpreg. I can count on one hand how many mpregs that actually moved me (three), and out of those, only two were actually mpreg. The other involved an egg/pouch thing that needed to be carried around, or something to that effect. I think all three had sort of happy endings, but the fics where a guy was randomly knocked up, well, let's just say they weren't thrilled. I think they did the best to ignore that they were pregnant more or less the entire way through.

You know what else I don't like about mpregs? Suddenly, the option of abortion would actually kill the 'father' as well. I know abortion is a tricky area at best, what with PC and religion and all, but...if a guy managed to get pregnant in the first place, what are the chances of actually going full term?

Anyway, I'm rambling again! =)
phoenixtorte
Oct. 3rd, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
Yeah. I get that fanfiction is kind of like wish fulfillment, but when it's someone that professes to be a serious author or something its kind of hard, cause then you wonder what they're doing.

"I think they did the best to ignore that they were pregnant more or less the entire way through."

Yeah, if only girls could be so lucky *sigh*.

I think if a guy somehow managed to get knocked up with some experimental new technology or something, the chances of carrying to term would be infintismal. Meh.

Anyway, I like it when people ramble. I'm guilty of it myself.
sa_kun
Oct. 3rd, 2011 09:16 am (UTC)
Something else I like and enjoy is that you can have the weirdest discussions on the internet, ever. And, no one thinks you're weird for it! =)
phoenixtorte
Oct. 4th, 2011 01:09 am (UTC)
True!

Hey, it's not that weird...

I think.
( 6 comments — Rave and Rant )