What are your pet peeves in fan fiction?

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Rabbitearsblog

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#1  Edited By Rabbitearsblog

What are some of your pet peeves with fan fiction? My pet peeves are:

Writing characters out of character- Just like comic books, I usually get annoyed when my favorite characters are written out of character, even in fan fictions. It's true that many fans are going to view their favorite characters differently from the source material, but they should also read enough of the source material to get the character's personality right, even if they are writing a different story for the character. It doesn't matter what the setting or the situation is for the fan fiction, the important thing is portraying the character correctly.

Grammatical Mistakes - This is a problem I sometimes have with some fan fictions as the grammatical errors would strongly distract me from the actual story.

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batkevin74

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#2  Edited By batkevin74

Spelling mistakes! These are unacceptable in this day and age of spellchecking

Bad formatting!: Also unacceptable in this day & age, especially when there's an EDIT button

Not voting! Having to beg, borrow, cajole, plead and haggle to get people to read Character Creation Contests to get votes

Lack of comments! Even if it's just "good job" or "s'okay, but not for me" would often make a writers day, especially when you have things that have 25 views and ZERO comments!

Lack of OC love: I know fan-fic is primarily about Batman with the Infinity Gauntlet and What if Spider-Man & Wonder Woman's baby married Savage Dragon's son, but OC stuff often gets ignored because you're all afraid of what's different!

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Fallschirmjager

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#3  Edited By Fallschirmjager

@rabbitearsblog: On top of the two you listed.

  1. Too much story or not enough. I think one of the hardest things for any writer is balancing out the story. Many times stories are either too short, and more was needed to make it complete. On the other hand, I also find writers who tend to just write their fingers off, and the story has too much bulk. Sometimes they can get long winded and needed to be trimmed down. Its pretty hard to balance it right it my opinion, but when you do...that's when magic happens ;)
  2. Sex scenes. Very hard to do right in my opinion. Again its mostly a case of one extreme or the other. Sometimes writers will just have sort of a "fade to black moment" perhaps because they're not comfortable writing the scene (or whatever the reason) - which is fine. But it also leaves you wanting just a little taste sometimes :P. Other on the hand, some scenes are so smutty that it tends to go overboard and takes me out of the story. Again though, when someone writes a scene in which is detailed enough to know exactly whats going on, but not smutty enough to feel like you're just reading porn, than its really good stuff.
  3. Sub-plots. Another really hard concept to get right. I think most people can write an entire story with their main plot hammered out. (Its probably why they wrote it in the first place...) The problem comes when introducing sub-plots. A lot of the times they introduce too many, or not enough. Or the sub-plots go off in random directions that don't fit with the main one.

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dngn4774

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#4  Edited By dngn4774
  1. Poor continuity- I understand that writers have a certain amount of freedom over their stories but there has to be some level of respect for continuity. This applies to PIS, OOC, and misinformation on cannon facts. For example, if a writer publish a fanfic about Superman living in Star City, dating Police Commissioner Vicki Vale, when his arch nemesis Sinestro tears their apartment with his Indigo Power Staff, something is terribly wrong. As writers it's important to research the subjects we're writing on, because if we don't appreciate what we're writing about, none of the viners will either.
  2. Crossovers- Some can actually be pretty good, but most suck, especially when you do it with anime.
  3. Lemons- Again a few are good but most are just awful. Plus PWP is an insult to this artform.
  4. Bad Slashing- It pisses me off when a writer puts a couple together that they know full well should never be together (Jason Todd/Barbara Gordon, Hal Jordan/Black Canary, Namor/Sue Storm, Scott Summers/anyone who isn't Jean).
  5. Horrible Grammar/Formatting- I'm usually pretty lenient on this, since most new writers make this mistake and I don't feel like shredding into a prospective writer, but if the user has been on this bored for months there's no reason the grammar should still be weak.
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#5  Edited By RichGenX

@rabbitearsblog: @batkevin74: @fallschirmjager: I've noticed all of your pet peeves, and I agree with some of them, to an extent.

Writing characters out of character - I am familiar with this, given how long I've been writing fan-fics and such. Of course, we all view characters in our own unique ways. I must point out, however, that now that the Comic companies now acknowledge the existence of alternate realities, we can easily accept the 'out of character' problem.

Grammatical, spelling, and formatting mistakes- This is an annoyance in my mind as well, but I also except that they exist. None of us are perfect, and I have spotted in a few books my major authors the occasional 'the the'. Also, some authors include the mistakes to help add to the story. If you ever get the chance to read Terry Pratchett, he includes spelling mistakes to fit in with the characters, to show how they write, at the times they must right. The one that bothers me most is the ones we can't always catch, even with spell checking. You type there, but you mean their. You type effect, and it should be affect. Sometimes even proofreading misses these, and from time to time, I am also guilty of this.

Not voting and lack of comments - This is a slight annoyance to me. I would like to see acknowledgement of my work, however, I admit the for some, they might not have the time to type up a review or comment. At least, thanks to stats on some sights, you can see that things are being read. Over the years, I've only been contacted by a few fans, and fellow writers. Personally, however, I only worry about this when I'm getting depressed, and wonder if I have an impact at all.

OCLove- This is, by far, one of the banes of the writer's existence. In the beginning, an OC ended up being a Mary Sue. Even my own OC, Richard Cale, was initially that. The truth is that when a fan starts writing, their initial idea of a character is themselves. With experience, the OC's become something else. I will be honest, when I first thought up my OC, his purpose was to bring Hollow (at that time Penance, and will always remain Penance to me) into a speaking role, and a more active and normal role. With a power like hers, and a past, you have to think that all she wants is something normal. This is a fact. Besides, the main characters started out as OC's once as well.

Too much story, too little story, and sub plots - This is another bane, and sometimes the sign of a fledgling writer. When you put too much into a story, it ruins the story, and makes it look like a mess. I personally have a fic that has never been posted anywhere but my own website. The reason is the fact that it is a god awful mess. I put so much into it, that after looking back at it, I shake my head thinking, "What was I thinking". Conversely, putting too little in a story makes no sense. Sometimes that is unintentional. We put stuff into a story, and when all is said and done, it doesn't make sense, or it remains unresolved. This can also cover sub-plots. Sometimes a sub-plot, or Story B as some episodes of shows call it, is something that works better over several stories. A sub plot is perfect if you don't plan to write just one story, or you have a possible romantic relationship that needs to form in a story.

Sexscenes - These little things are another bane. If done right, they fit right into a story, as a key story point in character development, and appear tastefully done. BUT IT MUST BE JUST RIGHT. Done right, but not just right, you can just shelve the story as erotica. If characters must have sex, it can be kept off scene. A married couple can have relations, but off scene. If the scene must have effects on others, like a walk in on the act type thing, you don't have to detail the scene. A comic 'whoops', accompanied by a quick exit is fair enough. Ironically enough, when I had to see about adding such a scene in a past work (which remains unpublished due inexperience at the time or writing), I purposefully looked at other works to see if it can be done tastefully or not. Much to my own surprise, even some of those fall into the typos, bad formatting and grammatical errors. It literally hurt to read them, and some were mercifully short, not even 1000 characters, including spaces.

Now I add my own personal pet peeve, and this is not limited to fan fic:

Obscenely short chapters- I hate obscenely short chapters. I can accept these if the chapter is short for a reason, like an interlude, or a point is made that not much is done. If this is done, however, because you have a change in POV, it is annoying. Late author Robert Sheckley seemed to excel at that. I have two books he wrote, and it was page 11, chapter 3, page 12, chapter 4, page 14, chapter 5. Some writers can write in a way that allows one to switch characters paragraph to paragraph. Some write with a slight break to denote a character POV change. Now, if you have short chapters because of a reason, like the POV character dies, that can be fine. But if you write a paragraph or two, change POV, and that means a new chapter, that is not good. You can just put a divider in to denote that the chapter is the same, but in different locations, not write in Obscenely short chapters. You don't write, using ST:TNG as an example, "Data got of the turbolift. When he approached his station on the bridge, he could see there was trouble." Next chapter, "Capt. Picard was thankful when Data reached his station. The current dilemma the Enterprise was facing was catastrophic, and the android would be able to come up with a plan of attack....." I'm sure you understand what I'm getting at.

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Wolfrazer

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#6 Wolfrazer  Online

Lack of comments! Even if it's just "good job" or "s'okay, but not for me" would often make a writers day, especially when you have things that have 25 views and ZERO comments!

Lack of OC love: I know fan-fic is primarily about Batman with the Infinity Gauntlet and What if Spider-Man & Wonder Woman's baby married Savage Dragon's son, but OC stuff often gets ignored because you're all afraid of what's different!

Too true...

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#7  Edited By Jonny_Anonymous

Nobody reads/comments

Nobody is willing to help edit

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TommytheHitman

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How about someone saying your story is terrible and then doesn't tell you how to improve?

Oh and spelling or grammar issues.

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@tommythehitman: Oh I had that when I had someone beta read my first Gen X fic when I started it. They told me I should just stop there. Glad I didn't listen to them.

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batkevin74

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@fallschirmjager: @dngn4774: @wolfrazer: @jonny_anonymous: @richgenx: @tommythehitman: @rabbitearsblog: Let's attempt to change one thing. Changes happens slowly and in increments. Here is first foot forward

Character Creation Contest #15http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic-8/character-creation-contest-15-voting-thread-1493546/#49 ,we had 6 entrants and have 8 votes, meaning only two non competitors read and voted. The contest closes in 48hrs the 8/09/2013. I urge you to read, comment and vote for the story you liked the best. Change also starts with YOU! And then come and write a story in Contest 16 because its fun, its challenging and I dare you! I dare you to step up out of your comfort zone and write as story as dictated by the winner of contest 15!

I salute you, see you on the battle field! :)

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#12  Edited By Wolfrazer  Online

@batkevin74: I would write a story, but honestly I only write when I get hit by a truck of inspiration really lol which usually its just a spontaneous thing that I have no control over.

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batkevin74

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@wolfrazer: Sometimes you gotta hijack the truck! No harm in trying

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RichGenX

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@batkevin74: I would write something for the contest, but I have a couple of projects on my plate. Aside from my Marvel Mayhem title, I have a King's Quest fic, an Eternal Darkness sequel fic, a Gen X based fic that is a sequel to one I wrote, a Gauntlet Dark Legacy fic, a rewrite of my original Gen X fic, a special project I am working on, a Shadow of the Colossus fic, and a fic based of the game The Witch's House, plus two other projects.

I keep myself busy with writing. Plus my real life situations.

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dngn4774

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@fallschirmjager: @dngn4774: @wolfrazer: @jonny_anonymous: @richgenx: @tommythehitman: @rabbitearsblog: Let's attempt to change one thing. Changes happens slowly and in increments. Here is first foot forward

Character Creation Contest #15http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic-8/character-creation-contest-15-voting-thread-1493546/#49 ,we had 6 entrants and have 8 votes, meaning only two non competitors read and voted. The contest closes in 48hrs the 8/09/2013. I urge you to read, comment and vote for the story you liked the best. Change also starts with YOU! And then come and write a story in Contest 16 because its fun, its challenging and I dare you! I dare you to step up out of your comfort zone and write as story as dictated by the winner of contest 15!

I salute you, see you on the battle field! :)

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I knew this was gonna happen, which is why I didn't b!tch about the comments. Seriously this site's a cake walk compared to Fanfiction.net

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batkevin74

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@dngn4774: I tried Fanfiction.net, I had enough of CV and was going pack up and go...and then couldn't work out how to use their site, f%^& nightmare. CV aint perfect, but its good....speaking of good have you voted in CCC#15? :)

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Rabbitearsblog

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Spelling mistakes! These are unacceptable in this day and age of spellchecking

Bad formatting!: Also unacceptable in this day & age, especially when there's an EDIT button

Not voting! Having to beg, borrow, cajole, plead and haggle to get people to read Character Creation Contests to get votes

Lack of comments! Even if it's just "good job" or "s'okay, but not for me" would often make a writers day, especially when you have things that have 25 views and ZERO comments!

Lack of OC love: I know fan-fic is primarily about Batman with the Infinity Gauntlet and What if Spider-Man & Wonder Woman's baby married Savage Dragon's son, but OC stuff often gets ignored because you're all afraid of what's different!

I agree about lack of comments! I do understand that sometimes it's hard to give comments on other people's works when you are busy (especially me), but I do like a little praise here and there whenever we can.

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batpala

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No warnings about major character deaths, no warnings in general for possibly triggering topics [suicide, rape, self harm].

I have a few others but they aren't really pg rated to be honest, so I won't mention them.

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dngn4774

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#20  Edited By dngn4774

@batkevin74: I'll vote tomorrow after I read all of the entries. I'm not much of an expert when it comes to G.I. Joe though.

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cbishop

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@dngn4774: pfffft! You don't have to be an expert - it's same as always: vote for the one you like best. ;)

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#22  Edited By Yung ANcient One

I. Writing characters out of character-

Simple solution. This is NOT your super hero. This isn't Fantomex from 616. This is Fantomex from 919 totally different character. Get over it. This is just my strong honest opinion. I believe everyone has a right to make their fan fiction however they want. It is literally THEIR Universe not the "actual" Universe so the character in question cannot act "out of character." It is a totally different Universe.

On one Universe Superman is Russian. On one Universe Scott Summers is Black. On one Universe Captain America rocks a mustache. On one Universe Sabertooth is a hero. I can keep going. This is fiction and no one has to bow down to another persons "interpretation" or have to do research for a hobby. A hobby doode, they are not getting paid for this.

FanFiction to me means = Alternate universe. Think about ti bro. In the Marvel WORLD they have at least 6 hundred and 16 Universes.

II. Grammatical Mistakes- Yeah it sucks. what can i say?

( + )

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@dngn4774: @batkevin74: I will say only this about Fanfiction.net. I use the site. It gives the writer the power to post. They also abide by the wishes of those who don't want things posted. They set some guidelines about posts, and I think the guidelines are reasonable. Mind you, I have years of experence using the site.

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Rabbitearsblog

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@richgenx said:

@dngn4774: @batkevin74: I will say only this about Fanfiction.net. I use the site. It gives the writer the power to post. They also abide by the wishes of those who don't want things posted. They set some guidelines about posts, and I think the guidelines are reasonable. Mind you, I have years of experence using the site.

I also use Fanfiction.net whenever I am writing my fan fictions. I usually post fan fics that are from other TV shows like "The Angry Beavers" or "Hey Arnold!" with some X-Men fan fiction on there that's not apart of the Marvel Mayhem universe.

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dngn4774

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@richgenx said:

@dngn4774: @batkevin74: I will say only this about Fanfiction.net. I use the site. It gives the writer the power to post. They also abide by the wishes of those who don't want things posted. They set some guidelines about posts, and I think the guidelines are reasonable. Mind you, I have years of experence using the site.

I also use Fanfiction.net whenever I am writing my fan fictions. I usually post fan fics that are from other TV shows like "The Angry Beavers" or "Hey Arnold!" with some X-Men fan fiction on there that's not apart of the Marvel Mayhem universe.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the site. It just a pain in the a** to get feedback around there. Comicvine looses a lot of the organization that ff has but it has way more socializing imo.

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@dngn4774 said:

@rabbitearsblog said:

@richgenx said:

@dngn4774: @batkevin74: I will say only this about Fanfiction.net. I use the site. It gives the writer the power to post. They also abide by the wishes of those who don't want things posted. They set some guidelines about posts, and I think the guidelines are reasonable. Mind you, I have years of experence using the site.

I also use Fanfiction.net whenever I am writing my fan fictions. I usually post fan fics that are from other TV shows like "The Angry Beavers" or "Hey Arnold!" with some X-Men fan fiction on there that's not apart of the Marvel Mayhem universe.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the site. It just a pain in the a** to get feedback around there. Comicvine looses a lot of the organization that ff has but it has way more socializing imo.

In truth, it's a pain in the keister to get feedback where ever you post. Fifteen years I've been posting stuff, and the amount of feed back has been on the minimal side. I am thankful that my stuff has viewers, and on the occasional polls I've done, I've had people respond. I think the important thing is that people read the stuff.

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BumpyBoo

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#27 BumpyBoo  Moderator

@batkevin74 said:

Lack of comments!Even if it's just "good job" or "s'okay, but not for me" would often make a writers day, especially when you have things that have 25 views and ZERO comments!

This part was actually a revelation for me, there are plenty of comments like this that I wish I had left now. But I have seen so many writers here complain about the shorter, more generic comments that it does dissuade me from doing it. Or at least, it has up until now. I don't always have time to read and critique everything, but I always have to time to just say "nice work" to someone. Always got the impression a lot of people don't like that.

Hmm. Noted :)

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#28  Edited By cbishop

@bumpyboo said:

@batkevin74 said:

Lack of comments!Even if it's just "good job" or "s'okay, but not for me" would often make a writers day, especially when you have things that have 25 views and ZERO comments!

This part was actually a revelation for me, there are plenty of comments like this that I wish I had left now. But I have seen so many writers here complain about the shorter, more generic comments that it does dissuade me from doing it. Or at least, it has up until now. I don't always have time to read and critique everything, but I always have to time to just say "nice work" to someone. Always got the impression a lot of people don't like that.

Hmm. Noted :)

It depends. If "nice work" is all you're getting, it's akin to someone hitting the "Like" button on Facebook, but not saying anything else, and that can get frustrating. However, "nice work" or "wasn't my thing" beats no comments at all.

Something to remember though, is if someone comments on your writing, comment back. If you really don't have a response, at least say, "Thanks for the comment." When I was blogging regularly on here, I got more readers because a) I was posting regularly, and b) I'd converse at length in the comments. On some of my CV blogs, I enjoyed the conversations in the comments more than the blog itself. I found that the people commenting seemed to enjoy that as well.

I think it's the Internet, and being on the Internet, it's kind of social media whether it was meant to be or not. CV has its wiki, but with the forums, it *is* meant to be social media. And shocker, people want to connect on social media. If you take your five "nice jobs" and don't say anything in return, then next time, you're only going to get four "nice jobs" ...or less. So the comments are a two way street.

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BumpyBoo

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#29  Edited By BumpyBoo  Moderator

@cbishop: Oh absolutely agree with you there :) And ideally I would like to go into a lot more detail in comments, especially when it is clear someone has put so much time and work into it. "I liked this" might work in a pinch, but I would not want that to be my regular feedback comment to others.

Also, I am with you about commenting back (to the point where I thanked everyone individually on my birthday thread rather than tag/tag/tag/tag/thank you). It can be equally as disheartening to not have your support acknowledged. It isn't a nice feeling when you take the time to look over something, to let the person know they are not just talking into a void, and then to be ignored - or worse, skipped, I am not a fan of that either.

It's all common courtesy really. But unfortunately, like common sense, it is not as common as I would like :)

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ImpurestCheese

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@bumpyboo: But what can you do about it. Sure commenting and replying should be common knowledge but there are plenty of readers who leave nothing to show they read it. And if you don't get any comments sadly you can't reply to them.

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cbishop

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@impurestcheese: That's tough too. I try to comment always, but sometimes, I wish CV just had a "I read this" link (akin to "Like," but it doesn't mean I liked it or hated it - just that I read it. Because sometimes I don't have anything else to say. Sometimes it's garbage, but I don't want to take the time to make "it's garbage" into something constructive, so I'd like to be able to say "I read this," and go on. Or on the other side, I may have just thought it was ok, but I'd rather say "I read this" than "Hey, your work was just average." Or I just don't have anything to say, or no real opinion, but would still like to be able to tell the person I was there. Because as batkev' often points out, 144 views and 5 comments gets old. It would be nice to at least be able to see who viewed it.

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deactivated-5a162dd41dd64

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Bad writing, inconsistent or innacurate characterization, bad spelling and grammar...pretty much anything that annoys me in any form of fiction.

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Rabbitearsblog

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@bumpyboo said:

@cbishop: Oh absolutely agree with you there :) And ideally I would like to go into a lot more detail in comments, especially when it is clear someone has put so much time and work into it. "I liked this" might work in a pinch, but I would not want that to be my regular feedback comment to others.

Also, I am with you about commenting back (to the point where I thanked everyone individually on my birthday thread rather than tag/tag/tag/tag/thank you). It can be equally as disheartening to not have your support acknowledged. It isn't a nice feeling when you take the time to look over something, to let the person know they are not just talking into a void, and then to be ignored - or worse, skipped, I am not a fan of that either.

It's all common courtesy really. But unfortunately, like common sense, it is not as common as I would like :)

Usually I don't mind if I get the occasional "nice work" on my comments as long as someone comments, but if someone said that they don't like my work, then I would like to know why they don't like my work so that way I could improve upon the work in the future.

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cbishop

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Usually I don't mind if I get the occasional "nice work" on my comments as long as someone comments, but if someone said that they don't like my work, then I would like to know why they don't like my work so that way I could improve upon the work in the future.

The problem there is how to know when to offer the constructive criticism? Some people can't take it, and some people don't think they need it. My general rule of thumb is: if I think the story is good, but it needs a little work, I try to tell the writer that. If the story is a complete mess, and it seems like the author just needs to be educated on writing in general, then I'm probably not going to say anything, because those tend to be the guys that think they're the greatest writers in the world, and I don't have the energy for that.

As I get to know other writers more, I'll offer the level of constructive criticism I think they can handle. Sometimes though, I don't have anything to offer.

Personally, I prefer constructive criticism.

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Avenging-X-Bolt

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@dngn4774 said:
  1. Bad Slashing- It pisses me off when a writer puts a couple together that they know full well should never be together (Jason Todd/Barbara Gordon, Hal Jordan/Black Canary, Namor/Sue Storm, Scott Summers/anyone who isn't Jean).

: P, it was an idea that i had for like 5 minutes and shelved along time ago, its time to let it go. besides, its not nearly as bad as Namor/Sue and JAson/babs

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@cbishop said:

@rabbitearsblog said:

Usually I don't mind if I get the occasional "nice work" on my comments as long as someone comments, but if someone said that they don't like my work, then I would like to know why they don't like my work so that way I could improve upon the work in the future.

The problem there is how to know when to offer the constructive criticism? Some people can't take it, and some people don't think they need it. My general rule of thumb is: if I think the story is good, but it needs a little work, I try to tell the writer that. If the story is a complete mess, and it seems like the author just needs to be educated on writing in general, then I'm probably not going to say anything, because those tend to be the guys that think they're the greatest writers in the world, and I don't have the energy for that.

As I get to know other writers more, I'll offer the level of constructive criticism I think they can handle. Sometimes though, I don't have anything to offer.

Personally, I prefer constructive criticism.

I definitely agree with this. Sometimes when I see something wrong with another person's fan fiction, I just say they have some grammatical errors, but I wouldn't go into too much detail since I don't know how that person would react to that kind of criticism.

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