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"The Pointless Fic"

  • Nov. 2nd, 2007 at 7:11 PM
Hullo all. :) Well, first of all, I hope you had a very hair-raising fun Halloween. :D Second of all -- and here's where the non-randomness comes in -- I promised [info]spastasmagoria that I'd post a while back, and, well...*smiles sheepishly* I didn't. I am so unreliable. But in my defence, I thought I did! *nods* I hit "post to fanfikshun" and everything! And, you see, when I went back to look at the community...*laughs nervously* Well, it wasn't there. Please don't stone me?

Anyways, the topic I was going to post about was this -- "the pointless fic". We've all seen 'em, so there's no use denying -- we've all probably written them before too. I know I have. And I don't mean the "it's-a-drabble-so-it's-okay" or the "this-is-supposed-to-be-a-contemplative-and-introspective-piece/essay-so-shut it" kind either. *shudders* Anyways, so here are my questions:

1) Where -- when reading a story -- do you draw the line? Is it when you're on Chapter 21 and they're still standing in the TARDIS (or wherever they happen to be) exchanging what is supposed to be witty banter? Or is it when you're on Chapter 3 and you can already tell where this story is going -- nowhere?

2) How far along the (metaphorical) path will you walk before you turn around and search elsewhere? Will you keep reading in the hopes that you're wrong and it will, in fact, get better, and they'll do whatever they're supposed to be doing, or will you give up and hit the giant "x" button in the corner of the screen in frustration?

3) What are your feelings upon coming upon one of these frighteningly frequent stories? Do you feel annoyed because you feel you've wasted your time? Do you feel sorry for the author, because you know it's going to take a while for them to gain back their reputation (if they had one to begin with)? Or do you simply feel a general sense of apathy -- sort a "oh well, time to move on" thing?

4) Most importantly -- what do you do? Do you comment? Do you sigh and simply decide to never read this author again? Do you go tell all your friends not to read it? What? And -- if you do comment -- what is it like? Is it constructive and polite -- such as "well, I certainly like your style of writing, and I see you have some potential -- but did you notice fill-in-the-blank?" Or is it more brutal -- "I'm sorry, but, did you realize you've written a completely pointless piece of work right here?" 

Have fun, and feel free to elaborate and/or add questions in the comments of your own. :) *waves*


bulky_monster wrote:
Nov. 2nd, 2007 11:28 pm (UTC)
In answer to all your questions, I simply wander away without comment and forget all about the story when my attention span runs out. That's my only reaction.
sundayschild wrote:
Nov. 2nd, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
Ah. *nods* Not surprisingly, that's usually my reaction as well.
bulky_monster wrote:
Nov. 2nd, 2007 11:34 pm (UTC)
I think maybe sometimes people are just writing as a form of escapism into that fictional world. In that case, more power to 'em.
sundayschild wrote:
Nov. 2nd, 2007 11:38 pm (UTC)
I agree. I know for a fact that a lot of the stories I've written (whether I posted them or not) have been for that reason. In which case, as you so aptly put it, "more power to 'em". I do think, however, that if the person actually truly believes that the story and/or their writing is great, and are considering pursuing a career in it, it might be a good idea to point out -- very politely, mind -- where exactly they went wrong. *shrugs* That, however, could just be me.
bulky_monster wrote:
Nov. 2nd, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
You're right, of course. I only fail to leave criticism when I forget, or can't think what to say.

Right now, I'm too worried about my own story to see anything to criticize in other peoples' work. Unless, of course, it's terrible ;)
scarfman wrote:
Nov. 2nd, 2007 11:37 pm (UTC)

If I find I'm not engaged by a story a couple of screenscrolls in (for instance, if the story begins with exposition of things any fan would already know), unless it's short enough that I've already read the majority of it I'll run off to the next thing on my flist from there. I don't have the time.

sundayschild wrote:
Nov. 2nd, 2007 11:39 pm (UTC)
That seems to be the general consensus. Honestly, I'm of the same opinion myself.



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