Because yes, you are being paid to WORK not write porn, er, fic.
But as I was walking back to work, I realized something. I realize a lot of things, but here’s something new I realized.
I finally figured out what I classify as ‘good’ fic and ‘bad’ fic.
Oh sure, there are obvious signs. Bad spelling. Angel pounding into Buffy’s cock (poor helikedmyshoes witnessed that horror, I’m just reporting it as it is now burned into my memory). Molten cores. Character bashing. Angel spelt Angle. OOCness that makes you seasick. Poorly written, aka, Maybe You Should Figure Out How To Do ‘Its’ and ‘It’s’ Properly Before You Start Posting Fic.
I love writing 18th century-style with the extreme capitalization. And yes, I know, they only capitalized Nouns. I will remember that this very Day.
No, what gets to me, is something that I can relate to Singin’ In the Rain. In the beginning of the movie, Kathy Seldon basically makes fun of silent movies to Don Lockwood by making a lot of overdramatic gestures, which represent how the actor is feeling.
Besides this being hilarious, it also points me towards what I find good in a story and what I find terrible. Ultimately, my fic ‘turn offs’ are overdone, melodramatic stories which overuse gestures, have characters crying or flipping out over the littlest detail with no reason save to further along the story with no basis in character development and then wrap up to a far too simplified conclusion which has very little emotional connection, save giving a very definite ending.
For example: Everybody dies, Everybody is happy, only our Heroes end up together, Nobody ends up together, Character X cries over Character B’s Tombstone, while pregnant with their Child, like OMG11!!!!!1
And along the way, everyone drowns in their pain for no good reason; they burrow deep inside themselves, they think EVERYTHING in fucking italics, and lament over the beautiful perfection that is their lover.
Along that way, I am vomiting.
So then, what is good fiction?
It is something that goes beyond the easy surface of the story, such as Buffy is sad that Angel went to hell so she becomes a cutter and then she does drugs and then she kills herself, but as she dies, Angel comes back and OMG!!!!1 That’s SOOOOOOO sad.
Instead it is this: Buffy cannot deal that she has just sent Angel, the Angel she thought she lost, the Angel that told her he loved her, an innocent person, she has sent him to hell. And she lied to him, she told him to close his eyes and he did, why did he listen to her? And it hurts raw as anything, but she can’t – think. No, she won’t think about it. Because she’s starving and L.A. isn’t her home anymore and she doesn’t want it to become a home. She – she doesn’t want to be Buffy anymore. She can’t live with being *her* and there’s a help wanted sign, so she takes it and somehow, she won’t forget, but she can breathe just for the next second and that’s all she’s looking towards. Just another second before she can remember.
It’s the complexity that makes a fic *good.* Check your easy answers at the door, I read fanfiction in order to delve into the characters (and also for the porn, but that’s way off course, a sexy course, but way off) and just ‘playing to the ship’ or pandering for the quick and easy answers, that isn’t good.
I want to be challenged. I want to get to the end of a fic and feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut, stomped on, that I’ve walked across the fucking earth for the characters, and dammit, the writer made me *like* it and want more. Damn you, writer, that fucking hurt, but thank you, that fucking *hurt.*
So, you have to pull apart the characters until they don’t resemble them anymore. Shatter them and pick up the pieces, find that one line that always affected you, find that one aspect that always troubled you and fucking run with it. Reassemble the pieces until you find yourself staring at the words on the page, and god, you’ve written that one line, that one paragraph, that one *thing* you always meant to write, that you never knew you’d write, that make you go, “Whoa” or “Fuck” or “God I can’t believe I wrote that” and then?
You have good fic and I rejoice.
And I will probably give you crappy feedback along the lines of “gaaaaaaaah.”
Sorry about that.
*All aspects of this rant are purely my own random thoughts on the subject*