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Go Back   Pokemon Forum - Pokemon Elite 2000 » Interactive Boards » Creative Writing

Creative Writing Share your fan fiction, stories, poems, essays, editorials, song lyrics, or any other related written work. All written must be your creation. Start a new thread, and keep replying to that thread as you add on more chapters. Anyone can join in at anytime.


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  #1  
Old 07-14-2011, 08:59 AM
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Default Shane's Guide to Not Sucky Fanfics

I hope this is the correct place, but I've wanted to do this for a long time, and why not do it on the forum I've grown to call my home?

I want to note, I plan to do this like a story... Kind of in Chapters. This is meant to be satirical, informative, sarcastic, and snide. You have been warned.

Without further ado:

Shane's Guide to Not Sucky Fanfics
Introduction
I figure I'll start this whole thing off with an introduction. The reason I can legitimately say I know what makes a good fanfic is because I actively seek out all the BAD fanfics. My friends and I have been working on a project involving bad fanfics for quite some time, so I've seen all kinds of bad fics.

I plan to hit some touch and go subjects, but I hope all-in-all, this will give fic writers some little pointers on things they may want to avoid, and non-fic writers a nice chuckle, because I do plan to try and find quotes if I can, but I may have to censor myself. First things first, I don't want to insult anyone with this, but it will be extremely satirical. For awhile now I've read the worst of the worst and I can say this much: I'll never get enough. Fanfics are a great way for aspiring authors to get a start in the writing world.

I'm a writer, however everything I write is my own work. I know that it can be difficult to avoid certain booboos and errors, but it needs to be done. Writing is a form of art, so every time I see bad writing, it makes me sad. I hope that, every time I add a chapter, one, even just one fic writer will realize a mistake they may have made within their writing and work on fixing it.

So I guess, as you read this, have fun, laugh, learn. I'll put up Chapter One as soon as I 1) know if this is alright to do, 2) think of what subject I want to do first, and 3) am not up at 2 in the morning typing this. So, readers, I hope you enjoy it. See you on the other side.
-Shane~ <3
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2011, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Shane's Guide to Not Sucky Fanfics

If you see a horrible work of art, it means the person is trying to make a good work of art, which should make you happy that art is in the heart of said person.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Shane's Guide to Not Sucky Fanfics

I'm no admin, but I do think that this would probably be better off in the Writer's Corner. It's not an actual fanfic, after all.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Shane's Guide to Not Sucky Fanfics

Technically we're not the Fanfic section anymore, we're Creative Writing. So I think it's fine here.
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Dali: "I know what the picture should be ... We take a duck and put some dynamite in its derriere. When the duck explodes, I jump and you take the picture."
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Shane's Guide to Not Sucky Fanfics

Well, okay, it's not a piece of creative writing then. It's more a guide, which has pretty much always been in the Writers' Corner. But whatever.
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"Wigglewigglewigglewigglewigglewigglewiggle."
~ World famous singing sensation, Stefan Gordy.

(For the longest time I was telling myself that I would come back to PE2K once I had something artsy and cool to contribute... but that's too much effort. GIRA IS BACK!)

(vpp da)

Last edited by Giratina; 07-14-2011 at 04:17 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2011, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Shane's Guide to Not Sucky Fanfics

Hmm, I think this sounds like a nice idea--though I agree with Pe2k Voices. Writing definately takes practice, and fan-fics are a good way to get that practice, I think. And once people see what works and what doesn't work in fan-fics, perhaps they'll be able to incorporate that into original fiction. :D I hope that can learn a thing or two about this ^^ Can't wait to see what you got for us xD
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Shane's Guide to Not Sucky Fanfics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giratina View Post
Well, okay, it's not a piece of creative writing then. It's more a guide, which has pretty much always been in the Writers' Corner. But whatever.
I suppose it depends on how the writing actually goes. Considering the board description includes essays, this could be counted as one of those depending on how it's written.
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Dali: "I know what the picture should be ... We take a duck and put some dynamite in its derriere. When the duck explodes, I jump and you take the picture."
Halsman: "Don't forget that we are in America. We will be put in prison if we start exploding ducks."
Dali: "You're right. Let's take some cats and splash them with water."
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: Shane's Guide to Not Sucky Fanfics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusankya View Post
I suppose it depends on how the writing actually goes. Considering the board description includes essays, this could be counted as one of those depending on how it's written.
Like I said, this is meant to be very satirical. I do want it to be even a smidgen informative, I really am writing this for others to get a laugh or two as well, since I'm sure a lot of fanfic writers even know how bad some of it can get.

Anywho....

Chapter 1: Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation
My biggest pet peeve in any form of writing is the spelling and grammar that it has. Even on a general chat forum where it really doesn't matter, I still believe a person should use as near to perfect spelling, grammar, and punctuation as they can. By not doing this, it promotes sloppiness in the real world. I can't even begin to imagine how often I see signs that say "thru" instead of "through". Hell, as I'm writing this, I'm glaring at my computer because it is not registering "thru" as a spelling error, even though "thru" is not a real word in the English language; it is simply a lazy shortening of an otherwise easy to spell word.

I'll start with punctuation, which seems to be the worst of it all. I'm going to count paragraph breaks in punctuation, since they work like punctuation, indicating a place where there would otherwise be a pause in a person's speech. The most common error I see is run on sentences. I have seen so many people who do NOT know what a period, comma, or semi-colon is and instead choose to have ONE giant sentence, that doesn't even end in a period! I wish I had an example at hand for this absolutely annoying error. To me, when I'm reading these long, drawn out sentences, it feels not like I'm "enjoying", and I use this term lightly, the story, but instead droning on and on without end. I should also note, I read fanfics out loud because I do normally ready them with friends.

Another very annoying punctuation error I see often is either a lack of commas or an over-use of commas; this includes peoples usage of a comma where a semi-colon should be. Anyone aspiring to be a writer should know the basic function of these very important punctuation marks. A comma is used to separate two clauses that support both each other and the main idea. A semi-colon is used to separate an independent clause from a dependent clause that, while both support the main idea, are not entirely related to each other. A comma is also used to separate a secondary idea or a small note that, while adding depth to the idea of the sentence, is not needed for the sentence to make sense (e.g. "As Tom walked down the street, which was main street, he noticed a dog limping."). Commas are also used before a conjunction to state that you are joining two independent clauses together to form a compound sentence.

Paragraph breaks, oh paragraph breaks, are one of the most biggest errors I see within any work of writing, and this does not extend to just fan fiction. Paragraph breaks are important, they separate works into smaller sections to allow for the reader's mind and eyes to take a slight break by having to move down and over for a slightly longer period than just moving down the line. They can also indicate that a piece of dialogue has ended or that the idea of an essay or story has changed. Writers who use too many paragraph breaks are just as bad as writers who do not use enough or any paragraph breaks, in my opinion. A writer should always and only use paragraph breaks when 1) the subject or idea of the work has changed (e.g. the story, but not the characters, is discussing one subject, such as the main character, but then changes to focus around the locale or the setting.), 2) a piece of dialogue ends (e.g. during a conversation, when one character finishes speaking, you end the sentence with a period, the end quotation marks, and then a paragraph break. You can then either begin the next piece of dialogue or more narration, but always remember: when a character is finished speaking, the paragraph is also finished!) or 3) It is the end of a main part; usually this is followed by a page break and a new chapter or even five or ten lines are skipped and a new paragraph starts there. This is usually reserved for time elapse or flash backs, however.

There's a lot more topics on punctuation that I could touch upon, but let us instead move on to grammar, shall we? Grammar errors are easy to fix, it simply requires a proof-read, either by you or a friend or colleague. A lot of grammatical errors I see either have to do with syntax, improper usage of a word, or lack of proper diction. Syntax is a big thing within the English language; it defines how a sentence work by placing the words in the order we have learned to know that clearly shows what part of the sentence they are. For example, "Sally tends to her hair with a brush." is correct and proper. We know that "Sally" is the subject, "tends" is the verb, "to" is a preposition, "her" is a possessive pronoun being used as an adjective, "hair" is the object, "with" is another preposition, "a" is an article, and "brush" is the instrument with which the action is being performed by.

All of these words have a use and a meaning that is clearly defined by the order of the sentence. Let's scramble the words up and see if it makes the same sense. "With a brush, Sally tends to her hair." yes, it does. Notice that a comma was included, however. This is because "with a brush" is a dependent clause and the comma is showing that the dependent clause that starts the sentence is not the main idea and the idea can still be clearly shown without it. "Sally, with a brush, tends to her hair." is another example, but is a little more sloppy. Always remember that the subject-verb-object is the basic structure of an independent clause and should always be followed.

Improper usage of a word happens a lot. I believe the most common type of misused words are reflexive personal pronouns. Reflexive pronouns are words like "myself", "yourself", and "itself". They are used for when both the subject and the object are the same entity (e.g. "I dressed myself", "you look at yourself", and "he talks to himself".) and nothing more. Personally, I choose to not use reflexive pronouns, as there are other ways you can word a sentence and avoid this confusion. Here's a short list of what these pronouns are NOT used for:
1) A synonym for " (blank) too". E.g. "A lot of people are mad at him, myself included."
2) To indicate the object of a sentence when the subject is not also the object. E.g. "Can you contact myself or my staff with the details?"
To properly write these sentences you would say, "A lot of people are mad at him, me included" and "Can you contact my staff or me with the details?".

This brings me to another quick point, improper usage and order of pronouns in general. People become scared when needing to choose between "I" and "me" when more than one subject is included. There are two easy ways to remedy this, either 1) Change the subject or object to "we" or "us" and eliminate the need for multiple subject/objects or 2) Take out the other subject or object FIRST and see how the sentence looks with just "me" or "I". "You and me go to the store" may seem write, but "me go to the store" is not. In both situations, "I" should have been used.

Bad diction is small and does not need its own paragraph, but I'll give it one anyway. Diction is the ability to speak and/or write fluidly without stutters, or "bloat" words, as I call them. Over-usage of words such as "like", "uhm", "and", "so", and "but" are all examples of "bloat" words. They unnecessarily lengthen a sentence to the point where it can get bothersome. I can't even explain how sick of reading or hearing, "And I was like so going to get the shirt but like it was totally like 10 dollars more than I like had so uhm I like had to go for this shirt instead". It drives me insane because this lengthens a sentence to such an unimaginable point that it did not have to reach! So all I'm saying here is that, please, refrain from adding words that serve no purpose.

Spelling is the biggest point in this. In a lot of, if not all, web browsers it will place a red-line under an incorrectly spelled word. This makes proof-reading a lot easy, but people still make elementary spelling mistakes. Things such as "leik", "cn't", and "totaley" are simple mistakes that ANY writer who wants to make a name for themselves should avoid. "Texting" language should not exist in any writing. I have read fan fictions where a name was misspelled in multiple ways in the same paragraph! Spelling is important, because it allows the reader to easily understand all the ideas that the author is trying to portray within their work. The way I see it is, if a writer can not proof-read before they post, they should not be writing at all.



Sorry that this one is kind of, not funny. This will probably be the only part that is being serious. This stuff is basic material that does matter and a lot of aspiring writers tend to overlook. So sorry for the lack of funny, will definitely fill it in more next chapter when I cover the world of the main idea and the major lack of it these days.
Until then, cheers!~ <3
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2011, 12:02 AM
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Default Re: Shane's Guide to Not Sucky Fanfics

But wait! D:

See how there are no guidelines stickied at the moment? That's because Scytherwolf and I are writing something like this. No offence, but we were doing it because we're both experienced writers (and have been acknowledged on Pe2k for it), so we're gonna write about such things. I do like the idea that you want to help out and teach people about this, but we're gonna have a 'guidelines' thread and sticky it soon, and this seems like a version of them. Only...more like a story, as you said, and it won't be stickied.

I can easily link to this thread in the guidelines we hope to publish, but please don't expect this to be an official sort of source. To all those that realise I'm not a creative writing mod: SHH! XD It's Scy and I, and she's a mod, so I guess I have some credibility.

Quote:
I read fanfics out loud because I do normally ready them with friends.
Should that be 'read' instead of 'ready'? o:

I do like this grammar post, however, and since I wasn't looking forward to writing up a giant post about grammar, I might link people (in the guidelines we're going to put up) to that grammar post of yours. If there are more things we think could be linked in with the "official" guidelines, I'll let you know.

I don't know if you were expecting this to be stickied or what, but just letting you know in case. :3

~GS.
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  #10  
Old 07-15-2011, 01:22 AM
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Default Re: Shane's Guide to Not Sucky Fanfics

Spelling and grammar depend on the area people are from. For instance, English people spell favorite (< an American would spell it) as favourite (< English).

Also, grammar depends on how it is written.

For instance:

Quote:
The person stammered for obvious reasons, "I-I-I don't know! Wh-wh-why did the chicken c-c-cross the road?"
The dash "-" indicates a more rapid, "scared" stammer or stutter. However, a period "." or an ellipsis "..." maybe be used to indicate stammering because of thought or emotion.

Quote:
The person stammered for obvious reasons, "I... I. I don't know. Why. Why did the chicken cross the road?"
Strictly speaking, the above is definitely NOT considered proper grammar. An ellipsis is only used properly to indicate a continuation of speech, not to indicate a pause. A period is to also indicate the end of a sentence, also not a standard pause.

Of course, grammar for speech does differ from grammar when it comes to narration, but still. So, keep in mind, when it comes to dialogue, grammar Nazis should be more lax when it comes to it.
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