Jun. 30th, 2011 05:05 am
kitsjay: (Drunk Fran)
Things I Need to Stop Doing:

1. Posting fics while drunk
2. In fact, trawling the kinkmeme's at all while drunk is probably not a good idea
3. Drunk is really hard to spell while drunk
4. Above is evidence that I should probably just stay off lj entirely while drunk
5. Reading "Texts From Last Night" and going, "Dude, I've totally gotten that one!"
kitsjay: (Indiana Too Old for this Shit)
1. Describing clothing in excruciating detail (especially when it's fugly) and making it OOC

Your characters are going to a club. Okay, let's assume that they're the type to go to clubs and do that sort of thing. Character A comes out wearing a white tank top with the bottom cut off to show off his stomach, the sleeves ripped off, a mesh shirt over it, and leather pants.

We're supposed to think this is hot. Maybe to you, the author, the mental image is. You know what I think?

I think I wouldn't stop myself from pointing and laughing at this person. Maybe in a gay 80s club, sure, but no classy joint would allow someone wearing that mess in. People have different tastes and it's really hard to get into a fic when Character B is going on and on about how hot he looks and all I can think is, "Character B is into clowns now?"

Seriously, keep it simple if you feel you must describe it. Tight black jeans and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top is a classic and therefore more universal. Leather pants and mesh and glitter or whatever else you're imagining is just going to throw me out of the story immediately. Also, keep it OC. When your character is a small town football star, he also probably won't be wearing eyeliner to the club.

2. Think about the reactions of the characters before you write about them, please!

I actually read a fic the other day where Character A calls his friend and asks the friend to drive him to the hospital. The friend stops on the way to buy food before getting there.

Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY?

Your friend calls and asks to go to the hospital and your first thought is, "Mmm, right after I get that Taco Bell"?

Believability isn't that hard. Stop and think, "What would I do if my friend called asking to go to the hospital? How would I react?" And if this is honestly how you would react... your friends need to call someone else the next time they need help.

3. It's disdain, not "distain".

I have seen three writers do this recently. I can't believe I have to say this, but spell check before you post! If you don't have a beta, it will at least get rid of the most glaring of mistakes, and trust me, I am counting "distain" as a glaring mistake. It's scowling, it's so bad.

4. Author's notes

No, seriously, just... author's notes. These are meant to impart some kind of information about your story. They can include warnings for the story, update notices, maybe that the story is a sequel, whatever. They're not there just to make an ass out of yourself, despite that seeming to be their most commonly used function.

I was about to read a story when an author actually said something to the effect of, "All mistakes are there to annoy my English teacher".

Well, congratulations, you also just annoyed your would-be-reader. That note tells me that you're (a) immature, (b) going to have grammar mistakes and know about them but refuse to fix them, and (c) I'm not going to read your fic. So I guess thank you for saving me the time.

The same goes for "cute" things like "talking" to characters, writing in the third person, and trying to be clever in your disclaimer (hint: putting, "If they were mine, they would be X-ing" is not original anymore). I can't believe I just had to type that. Moving on.

5. Your summary? Should actually be a summary of the fic.

Whoa, I just totally blew your mind, right? I was reading [livejournal.com profile] epic_rants and as [livejournal.com profile] jane_elliot so awesomely put it:

Sometimes I wonder if people really understand that these summaries are supposed to make people *want* to read a fic.

To give you an example of what not to do, I present you with an actual summary from The Listener fandom:

Takes place during final ep. Hope you enjoy. Minor language. I know this summary stinks. Sorry. ENJOY! Fixed Becker's name, I know it was bugging some of you. R&R

Where to start?

1. Write out episode, please. It's a few extra letters. Also, this is an ongoing show. Final episode of the first season? Final episode that has aired? What is it?

2. "I know this summary stinks. Sorry." -- Okay, this is one of my biggest pet peeves. If you know it stinks, then why not change it? Are you that lazy? This doesn't bode well for your writing, because it says to me that you're one of those people who says, "I know my characters are really OOC, lol, sry". Fix it or be prepared for me to immediately hit the back button; I'm not going to bother to read your story if you can't be bothered to fix the things you know are wrong with it.

3. Besides the fact that I will either enjoy it or not, there really is no need to tell me to do so twice.

4. I'm torn: I want to give the author props for actually fixing a mistake pointed out to her, but messing up a major canon character's name is generally not a good sign.

And hmm, what else? Oh, right, IT DOESN'T MENTION ANYTHING ABOUT THE STORY. Seriously, NOTHING. There are seven sentences (loosely speaking) in there, and not ONE thing about the plot. I know it has Becker in it, apparently! Is he the star? Is it about his secret addiction to terrible gay 80's clubs? Is it about someone who says "Enjoy!" a lot?

I have no idea!

Authors, take note. I put books by professional authors back on the bookstore shelves because they don't have a summary on the back cover; why the hell am I going to waste time on your fic when you can't be bothered to give me one?


Jun. 22nd, 2010 02:39 am
kitsjay: (Magical Dreams)
I've started watching a new show with Colin Hanks and Bradley Whitford called, "The Good Guys".

I ... really have no idea what to make of this. On the one hand, they're playing "Jukebox Hero" by Foreigner in the middle of a shoot-out, which is very cool. On the other, the best description I can give it is if you were flipping channels between "Law and Order" and "Simon and Simon" (or "Miami Vice", if you prefer) while drugged up on cough medicine and then fell asleep and had a particularly vivid fever dream which combined the two in Dallas.

The jury is still out whether this is the greatest thing ever or if the maker of this should have his rehab paid for.
kitsjay: (Satisfactory)
I read Poul Anderson's Boat of a Million Years yesterday, which I highly recommend. It is loosely science fiction, which I usually detest, but save for a rather boring part near the end, it eschews that and instead focuses on historical times.

The book is a collection of short stories about people born with a genetic mutation that allows them to live forever. Naturally they are feared as witches or worse throughout history; others forever seek a companion that will not die within their lifetime. It's incredible. The first story, featuring Hanno--who became my favorite shortly--is set in 310 B.C., when he sails aboard a ship with Pytheas. Later, he is featured in another tale when he meets with Cardinal Richilieu. The Crusades, Vikings, ancient China and Japan, the Founding Fathers, the Wild West, nothing is left untouched.

The first three hundred pages or so are wonderful. Characters that you fell in love with return with a new name, in a new time, and you watch their progression. After a while they all find each other, and the story drags from that point, but it is well worth it before then.

And now, for the slashy interlude. Yes, I know but this book fairly begged it.

I present to you, from the very first chapter, after Pytheas declares that he has "opened his soul" to Hanno and how he cares and wants to protect him, a quote. They are discussing a girl Pytheas falls in love with and this line shows up:

"It's more than that," Pytheas said. "She's . . . free. Unlettered, unaware, but quick and eager to learn. Proud, fearless. We cage our wives, we Greeks. I never thought of it till lately, but ... is it not our doing that the poor creatures turn so dull that we're apt to seek sweethearts male?"

I have an idea for a slash fic, but writing it not near so fun as reading. I wish I didn't have such obscure fandoms. This book has every combination of slash you could ask for, very nearly in canon.

ETA: My doctor is an absolute moron. I went to her a while ago to ask her what I needed to eat while on a vegan diet (calcium, iron, etc), and she did bloodwork and said everything was fine.

Mom went to see the insurance agent today and found out that the doctor had written that I was anemic. Except she hadn't told me!
kitsjay: (emotions)
Angel fanfic! The first (and only) idea I've had for this fandom so far, and all because, honestly--what does he tell them?

Title: Virgin Pig's Blood for Eternal Youth
Author: Kits
Fandom: Angel
Rating: K
Summary: "So, what exactly do you need this blood for?" the butcher asked curiously, handing over the filled ice chest.

Virgin Pig's Blood for Eternal Youth )

As always, comments, suggestions, feedback welcomed and encouraged.

Coming soon: A short that features Angel using all of the excuses he mentions in earlier fic!
kitsjay: (emotions)
More fanfiction pet peeves:

1. Randomly throwing in Japanese.

Don't get me wrong, Japanese is cool. It has its place, particularly in fics based around anime and manga, or fandoms where characters are (a) Japanese, (b) have a canonical interest in Japan, or (c) may have an interest in Japanese where it's relevant.

But then you have just the, "I learned this from anime and want to use it in my fic, k, reader-san?" wherein Johnny of Fantastic Four miraculously speaks Japanese and randomly decides to call Ben "brother" in Japanese.


Oh, no reason.

But, is there any documented cases where he called Ben that before?


Any comics where Johnny's shown an interest in Japanese?

Not really.

Then for God's sakes, why?

Parts of you will come through in fic. It's unavoidable. Your beliefs, your philosophy, to some degree your slang--it will come through on its own. Don't force it by changing the characters to fit your interests.

2. Making up nicknames.

Okay, just, no. If there isn't a documented case of Angel calling Spike "Spikey", there's probably a really great reason for it. Mostly, it's out of character. Also, it makes any sane human being want to hurl.

Be wary of nicknames in fic to begin with. They're extremely easy to overuse, and it's really annoying when one unfortunate nickname (this means you, Spacemonkey) is used ad nauseum. If everyone calls Daniel "Danny" in the show, go for it.

But no one calls Sam "Sammy", so keep it to yourself.

3. First person.

We all know my hatred of second person because it's extremely hard to do well. If you can do it, then it's great, but if you can't, it's worse than awful. I hate to say it, but play it safe and stick with third person, at least until you have a better handle of writing in general. First person is complicated because it requires a lot more thought. The reader has a limited insight and it's very easy to lose track of some things unless it's a very short, simple piece.

If you're writing a full-fledged story, then pretty soon you have the reader thinking, "But wait, he wasn't there when that happened and no one told him..." or the, "How the hell did he know that the other character was thinking that?" syndrome.

It also leads to really confusing paragraphs because the author suddenly realized that they really needed to impart some piece of information or thought but had no way of doing so. Most of the time, they forego the rules of point of view completely and throw in a brief insight into Character B's mind, then go back to seeing only Character A's.

So just do readers a favor: unless you're really comfortable with writing, stick to third person.

4. Emotions.

55% of our information in a conversation comes from body language. 38% comes from tone of voice. Only 7% comes from the actual words.

Apply this to writing, and you have a serious problem unless you account for it.


"Why are you doing this?" he said.

doesn't tell me anything. Is the speaker angry or just confused? Maybe he's just curious. I don't know.

When you add:

"Why are you doing this?" he said in a confused manner.

helps, but sounds rather cheap. Dressing it up further:

His forehead wrinkled. "Why are you doing this?"

And so on, so forth. And be sure and build up the emotions. I cannot tell you how many fanfics I have read that are going only with mostly dialogue, then suddenly the author adds in, "Now they were shouting at me". Whoa, wait up! When did they get angry? I mean, a second ago, they were just talking.

Build gradually.

5. "I say this," she began, "but please don't go the other way and abuse dialogue tags."

She paused. "I think I would almost prefer 'he said, she said' to 'he opined, she sobbed'," she lectured.

"So," she sighed, "try not to do what I'm doing now."

The Triad

Jun. 29th, 2007 11:44 am
kitsjay: (Default)
1. Fanfiction:

It is definitely, not defiantly. If you have trouble remembering the difference, pronounce them phonetically.

I'll help you out. Definitely begins like "deaf", whereas defiantly begins "deef".

And also they mean absolutely different things.

Now, I'm struggling to accept "loose" and "lose", but this one I'm not backing down on.

2. Simon and Simon. AJ and Rick break into a building in the middle of the night and the phone rings.

Rick reaches for it.

AJ stops him. "What the hell are you doing?" he asks incredulously.

"No one calls a real estate agency in the middle of the night," he replies. "It could be something."

So he answers and it's their police contact, Downtown Brown.

"What are you calling for?" Rick says. "One does not get calls in the middle of a black-bag job. It just isn't done!"

They have a chat.

"Oh, and guys?" Downtown Brown says before he hangs up. "Get out of the there!"

I love this show.

Speaking of which--

3. The ubiquitous "real estate" plot of '80s detective shows. If at least 3/4 of the plots don't include real estate companies throwing their muscle out to clear out poor homeowners so they may build their strip mall, then clearly the writers are suffering from creative bouts and should be silenced immediately.
kitsjay: (Default)
So, I'm reading a Fast and Furious fic (yeah... I know), and I come across this gem:

“The Mitsubishi was found abandoned right…here.” She’d tapped a fingernail over the tiny dot. “Junction, Texas.”

“Population 2?” Dom joked.

“Yeah, once a month they play bridge and it balloons to eight.” Mia said seriously. Her face was so impassive that he almost asked, “For real?” Then he caught the twinkle in her eye and checked himself.

--Female Trouble by Khaleesian

What's sad, guys? Junction, Texas has a population of 2600 people. Somerset, where I live? 1500.

No frets, though! Lovelady and Dimebox are still smaller than us. That said, Dimebox has a song written about them and Somerset hasn't. Yet, my friends, yet.
kitsjay: (happy sam)


Vote for the top ten favorite episodes!

We all know

1. Window of Opportunity
2. 1969
3. Urgo
4. Citizen Joe

What else?

Crystal Skull is good... What was the second one with the androids? The one where Jack and Android Jack get in a fight?

And, um, Little!Jack episode. That one was good. (Found it! Fragile Balance!)

Oh, and that one... what's it called? Fifth Race! Kruvis!

By the way, the 200th episode? Love. Seriously. They finally got their act together and stopped fucking up the show with storylines. Well, for this episode only. And it's got Jack! Yay!

Anyway. I'm busy spazzing. Will update without bursting into nostalgic tears and occasionally weeping, "Jack......shippers must die........nerdy Daniel! please!......"

Oh, right, also, went to the doctor, I have bronchitis. And the doctor thought I had asthma because my lungs "squeak and whistle".
kitsjay: (of course i'm not frightened.)
Recap for tonight’s episode, because some things deserve to be pointed out. Major spoilers and snark ahead.

In a brilliant stroke of symbolism, the double SG-1’s come through wearing all black. This is known as Fashion Foreshadowing and has proved accurate for everything but the original Star Wars.

Stargate: SG-1 )


kitsjay: (Default)

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