Fan Fiction Rants

Ah yes, fan fictions. The bane of canon. The birth of slash fics and weird couplings. The ultimate playground for Mary Sues and self-insertions into the realm of fantasy.

How I loath thee. Let me just list a few reasons for this claim:

1/ Long before I was introduced to the concept of BL in Anime (I don’t need to give an explanation to those who know this. To those who don’t… you don’t need to know, honestly) by a Japanese friend of mine, I stumbled upon horrible fan fictions on http://www.fanfiction.net (or as I call it, the colossal garbage dump for fan fictions) labeled with ‘shounen-ai’ or ‘yaoi’ on them. Being the cautious person I was, I checked the summary and length before reading them, and the words IchiRen or AkuRoku (well, this is for newer stuff, I forgot what I used to read back then) warned me of the horror I would experience should I click on that seemingly innocent link.

Yup, that was my first encounter with the concept of homosexuality, and how I learned of the meaning of Shounen-ai and Yaoi. I shudder having to write them down, and I beg my keyboard pardon for making it spout of such words, but alas, I need to make it clear that I absolutely despise the fact that most of Fanfiction.net is populated with this kind of writing. This is accompanied by a potent apprehension for what girls are capable of (most of these fics are written by girls. That is a fact. I’m not even gonna go into what the other rest could be)

2/ And then there were the Mary Sue fics where people either create a Mary Sue character in their own image or (worse yet) put themself in their fic as the Mary Sue character. Needless to say, I don’t read this kind of fanfiction, though I must admit in middle school I still sometimes imagine myself as the hero in one of my videogames or books I read, most notably Final Fantasy VII. But yeah, I didn’t really put that into a fanfiction to bloat my ego or anything. I’m awful glad I didn’t in the end.

3/Another pretty much universal trait shared by most fan fictions I tried reading are the lack of proper grammar and spelling, along with horrible paragraph placement and an overabundance of dialogue. Writing “you’re” and “their” instead of “your” and “there” is not at all hard, but somehow people still do it (and not just in fan fictions). A lot of people also try to cover up space by spamming dialogues between characters without any description whatsoever. A fanfiction can even play itself out like this:

A: “I will kill you now, big bad boss!”

B: “Come then! Here you shall die!”

A: “ULTRA POWERFUL MEGA ATTACK OF DOOM!” (yeah sometimes they have their characters shout out the name of their attacks. It’s not Dragonball, people. I understand the feeling of wanting to keep it close to canon, but attack names just interrupt the flow of a story for no good reason. It also makes the character look ridiculous. Stay away from attack names please)

A slashes B 15 times and smokes a cigarette after the deed is done. (the descriptions can be this short, honest!)

B *pants, wheezes* “You… got… me…” *dies* (I have no comment for this)

Oh and obviously you won’t see phrases like “Here you shall die” and “After the deed is done” in fan fictions resembling the above example often. Those are phrases I put in out of sheer habit.

Thankfully, not all fan fictions are that bad. In fact, within the garbage dump, there lie some special gems that I have found after hours of mucking around in the trash. My friends often shake their heads and roll their eyes at me because of my tendency to talk about these fan fictions all the time. No one bothered to try and read them :(. Well now that I found an easy way to promote them without having to repeat myself too much (I hate doing that and I hate seeing people do that. It’s a pity everyone does that during discussions in my old school), I’m definitely going to take advantage of that. So, without further ado, here are the ones that I found worth reading: (Do keep in mind that most if not all of this are intended for a more mature audience, so those under 16 should stay away or at least tread lightly around these)

My Disjointed Life

A Final Fantasy VII fiction with a college setting. Sound familiar? Feeling disappointed? The school setting never did work out well for me. I found the writing and the characters too shallow in a lot of “Fictional characters go to school” fics, but this one was drastically different. A unique writing style sets it apart from other fan fictions, and the sheer psychedelic fun I found within means it’s gonna rank high in my book (I love weird, but well delivered, humour). Meanwhile, all the twists and turns kept me coming back to it. I’m going to tell anyone reading this what I told my friends perhaps one too many times already : “Go read My Disjointed Life!”

Megaman X: Terrornova

A Megaman X fan fiction set after the Repliforce incident. A mature writing style (and by that I mean polished, highly descriptive, and practically error-free) that continued to evolve with the story, fresh and memorable original characters, awesome battle scenes… and a lengthy 400000 words. What more could I want from a piece of literature? Less set up time, one could say, but that’s part of the fun of reading this monster, at least for me. Pity the author just up and vanished after having written only 5 chapters of the sequel.

Bungle in the Jungle: A Harry Potter adventure

I’m not that big a fan of the wizard kid, and considering Rowling’s Deathathlon for her characters starting from book 4, I’ve come to dislike the franchise even more. Sure deaths are not uncommon in adventure stories, but making it so that a main character dies each book does not seem natural and more like a gimmick to me. This piece of fiction completely threw all that Rowling had created out of the window and succeeded in fleshing out a whole new look at the wizarding world (emphasis on world. England is no longer the only authority in magic mentioned) and a more believable Harry Potter (not the angsty teenager Rowling came up with). Told in the 2nd person, which makes it interesting to look at, though a bit weird at times. (Mature warning must be repeated especially for this fic. Too much sex and violence here)

Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past

Yet another HP fic. On account of the popularity of the franchise, this particular genre has garnered a huge following made up of fans, amateur and professional authors alike. The above two fictions were written by two such authors. This fiction takes a “what if…” approach, sprinkles a little bit of scientific and magical theory on it, and gives birth to an uncommon take on time travel. The piece can sometimes be a bit overly optimistic to the point of unrealistic, and Harry Potter is as angsty as ever (if not worse) but the storyline and writing kept me reading it. Now if only the author could find time off from his official works to write more…

That’s it for now about fan fictions. I think I’m pretty much done with them for now, and after more than 6 years reading them on and off, I must say I’ve had enough of them. Even the good ones seem to take too long to read now, and I’m growing increasingly lazy. I’ll make this post serve as a sort of final word for the realm of fan fiction… for now.

Here's some Nagato Yuki to sooth the mind and undo the effects of bad fan fiction on the psyche

Here's some Nagato Yuki to sooth the mind and undo the effects of bad fan fiction on the psyche

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