hells_half_acre: (Dean/Books OTP)
[personal profile] hells_half_acre
Here are two pet peeves I have with other people's fics that I see a LOT of. Please, do me a favour, and try avoiding them when writing:

1. "That's when he realized he had said that last part out loud" - How many times have you seen this? Usually it's something along the lines of:

Jason didn't know why Andrew was so down on himself. Personally, he thought Andrew was awesome, really smart and really hot, and pretty much the epitome of the perfect.

"You think I'm perfect?" Andrew suddenly asked, and Jason realized he may have actually said that last part out loud.


Let me ask you a question: When was the last time you said something WITHOUT KNOWING THAT YOU ARE SPEAKING?! Seriously, is this actually a common affliction? Because personally, I'm always aware of when I've spoken or not. I'm pretty sure even deaf people know whether they've spoken out loud. I know this is a common device used to have characters reveal something that they normally would be too uptight to reveal - but, really, if Jason is too uptight to tell Andrew he's perfect, he's ALSO too uptight to speak without thinking first.

And I apologize to those who have used this - I really mean no offense - I've just seen it far too often and it's not truthful to the reality of the human experience. If you want an uptight character to reveal something, then get him drunk or angry. I always reveal things when I'm drunk or angry.

2. Do not tease an event that you are not going to write about. Example (and is basically directly from a fic I just finished reading that has no sequel and no plans for a sequel - only paraphrased and with names changed):

Jason held Andrew tightly, and he knew that this was it for him.

"My parents want to meet you," Jason told Andrew. "They want to try to understand."

"Yeah?" Andrew said.

"You don't have to," Jason said, knowing how awkward the dinner was probably going to be.
"I want to."  Andrew said.

Jason kissed him and they lived happily ever after. The End.


Dude! You cannot TEASE an awkward family dinner and then not deliver! Some of us live off the drama of homophobic parents. I want to see that dinner, because until I see that Jason's parents are ACTUALLY going to get over their homophobia, I don't trust that everything is going to work out. Maybe Andrew will go there and it'll all go to hell, and Jason will have to really choose between Andrew and his parents - and he'll choose Andrew and then be estranged from his family and Andrew will feel guilty and they WON'T BE ALRIGHT. You have to SHOW the dinner so that I can say "well, yeah, that WAS awkward, but they ARE trying and everything really IS going to work out."

....

Is it strange that I suddenly want to write slash about two guys named Andrew and Jason? Hahaha....I'm so weird. That'll teach me to make my own examples.

Date: 2010-03-27 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jillsjourney.livejournal.com
the only time i find the first one acceptable is when the person is drunk.

Date: 2010-03-27 09:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hells-half-acre.livejournal.com
Yeah, talking to yourself accidentally while drunk is fine.

Date: 2010-03-27 02:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ianthe-echo.livejournal.com
I totally agree with you on both points.

Date: 2010-03-27 04:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-03-27 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] auriliawestlake.livejournal.com
I talk to myself all the time - a side effect of having grown up in relative isolation, verbalizing thoughts has a way of making you feel not quite so alone - and that habit tends to surface even if I'm in a room full of people. But, with me, the fact that I might be saying something out loud an not realizing it is a lifelong habit; in a fic, for that trait to pop up outta nowhere, is kinda contrived.

As to the second...well, it's not just fic where you see that sort of situation. Hell, wasn't 'missing scenes' one of the main reasons fic exists in the first place?

Date: 2010-03-27 09:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hells-half-acre.livejournal.com
Yeah, I talk to myself sometimes too, SOMETIMES without any regard to who is in the room...but, like you said, it's a character trait, it doesn't just happen out of the blue.

PLUS, if I were in a room with someone I was romantically interested in (and I was completely sober), I would be hyper aware of my own actions.

As for the second...I hate it in shows too. Hence my slight complaint on this past episode that there was no mention of Sam's detox. :-P

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