You are writing some completely hilarious, witty and well thought out short stories at the moment under the banner of Fixing Fanfiction Fuckery. The ones you have written so far are so incredibly insightful and thought provoking that I have found myself wondering what other ‘fuckerys’ annoy you.
Please let me know so that when I decide to write, I will know what to avoid in order to make my fiction fun, enjoyable and downright pleasant to read.
Dear A Fan
My, your letter is making me blush! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to let me know how much you enjoy my little ‘tirades’. My FFF series is mostly for my own benefit; getting the frustration out on paper in what I hope is a humorous way. I realise that I may come across as a grumpy miser a lot of the time but it is truly because I have devoured books for almost my entire life and it is saddening me to see the decline in story-telling.
There are things I am beginning to notice more and more as I read, reread and discover new fics. Since I’ve been immersed in the world of Eric and Sookie for so long now I have no idea if other fandoms have the same issues, but I can tell you now, TB / SVM fandom is stuck in a rut. In many ways it feels as though there is some kind of manual out there that I am not aware of and that all writers must adhere to this otherwise be cursed with boils and locusts. The stories themselves may not be the same but the character descriptions, profiles and certain situations are just cookie cutter copy and paste.
Please find below a list of some of the things that makes my brain explode with frustration. Enjoy!
Hugs and smoochy things
- Gracious Plenty. I swear to all gods that if I read that phrase again I will kill someone. It was eh when CH wrote it but now that I read it in EVERY SINGLE FANFIC, it is grating on me. Which leads me into my next point……
- Ridiculous phrases used to describe his penis. I kid you not, the following are actual examples of ones I have read and I either laugh or eyeroll each time I see them: engorged instrument, rigid member, lovestick, turgid pleasure. Just a small taste and dear sweet lord it makes me wonder who is writing these…..12 year olds? This also leads me into my third point……..
- He has a large penis. I get it. It’s larger than the average mans. Sookie is always astounded by its bigness, wonders how it’s going to fit inside of her. He’s always amazed when he is able to fit all of it inside her, like she is made for him. *snooooooooore* Again, alright if this was read in one fic but it’s EVERY SINGLE FREAKING ONE. You don’t need to convince your readers they are made for each other because we think so too otherwise we wouldn’t be coming to fanfiction to fix CH and TB’s mistakes!!!!!
- Eric must protect Sookie by NOT telling her things that will help with HER safety. Again, I understand that Eric is 1000 years old and Sookie is in her mid-20’s and she’s rash, impulsive, stubborn and prone to not listening……..according to the CH and TB version. Why the hell write a fanfiction that supposedly fixes the fuckery of these two things if you won’t fix their flaws as well? And even if she is kept like this in the fics, she’s not a total idiot. What the hell is wrong with Eric sitting down with her and having a rational discussion? EXPLAIN to her what is going on. Why he believes blah and blah should happen. If Sookie resists, remind her that because of his life experience, (NOT because he is a Vampire), perhaps he may be better able to read situations and events and that he didn’t get to be 1000 by being a moron. If they are supposed to be equals in these stories, treat them as such!
- Eric and Sookie, especially Sookie, being used as pawns in fate/destiny/prophecy/The AP/ Niall’s plans. In too many fics Eric gets Sookie away from Bill, teaches her to have a backbone, shows her she is worth more than being just a waitress so she decides to go to university then all a sudden, the shit hits the fan and she becomes Queen/a baby making machine/ part of the council / super-duper Supe girl or all of the above. Why the hell can’t the poor girl get a degree?!?! I know we read fiction to escape reality but sometimes it’s nice to read about ordinary people, doing extraordinary things but still being able to live an ordinary life.
- Everything must be designer. I swear in this instance it’s the writers obsession being put on poor Sookie here. I personally HATE designer. I pretty much almost always Google whatever the hell is mentioned in a fic (unless there is a pic already) and I so very rarely like any of it. Honestly, I swear designers have some kind of in-joke where they must make their shit as ugly as possible just to see if the snobs will still buy it because it’s a name brand. (“Quick! Grab that table-cloth over there, sew some peacock feathers on it, make sure it’s as shapeless as possible, and chuck it on one of those walker clothes hangers we call models. Let’s see if the wealthy will buy this shit!) And Tiffany. Aaaaaaalways Tiffany. I personally hate pretty much every single thing I have ever seen in a Tiffany store. Yeah it’s shiny but that’s all it is. May as well tape a torch to my finger.
- Sookie has a magical sex-drive. In a lot of fics she is a virgin when she meets Eric. Usually, within about 10 minutes of meeting, they are exchanging blood and having sex. Not only does it seem to never hurt, (I haven’t had sex yet but even I know that shit is gonna suck the first time but reading all these fics leads me to believe that maybe, just maybe it won’t which is setting me up for a MAJOR let down), but apparently she is miraculously able to take a Vamp pounding and come back for seconds…….and thirds and fourths and fifths and goodness eight hours have gone by. Seriously, he is gentle with her the first time because, well, it’s her first time but apparently that is all it takes for her to suddenly become, not only his perfect lover, but accustomed to rougher sex. One second he’s ‘moving gently within her and the next he’s pounded her through the wall, through some trees over a hill and half-way to China. Again, we get it. Sookie and Eric and made for each other. We don’t want them to want anyone else but you don’t need to make sex become magical between them to keep them together. Reading these fics it seems as though all they do is shag and nothing else. Let them go to a freaking movie!
- “Look at me, lover”. Self-explanatory. Apparently they must stare into each other’s eyes during sex in order to orgasm. *headdesk*
- Sookie and Eric are always perfect. I don’t mean personality-wise but physically. I know that a lot of what fiction is, is escapism. When we read about our heroes we want them to be sexy and rugged and cut sharper than a Lumberjacks axe but sometimes it might be nice to read about not so perfect people. See, I’m fat. I had managed to lose a bunch of weight but it’s crept back on for various reasons but even when I was half the size I am now, my body still wasn’t perfect. Very few people are naturally perfect looking. So sometimes I find myself longing to read or watch something where a chick that looks like me can score a bloke that looks like Alex. Let’s face it: Alex gave us the perfect canvas to work with Eric-wise. He is so physically unf that I feel sorry for every single other male because, well, Alex. Wouldn’t it be nice to imagine that someone that looks like him might fall for someone that looks like me? Like you? As much as I detest the Twilight series, I give kudos to SM for the original intent behind Bella. She was meant to be an every girl; not ugly but not gorgeous either. She was meant to be kind of plain and ordinary looking and yet still managed to capture the attention of this ‘amazing guy’, *bile*, BECAUSE she wasn’t gorgeous. Her difference is what drew him to her. Well, that and her blood was the best thing he had ever smelled but we’ll ignore that bit. This is why Twilight became so freaking popular. Teenage girls going through the most awkward phase of their life found a heroine they could relate to; plain, clumsy, and quiet with nothing making her really stand out. CH was the same with a ‘curvy’ Sookie. Why do we, as women, who spend most of our time bitching about the fact guys expect us to be perfect and gorgeous like blah celeb when real women just aren’t like that and yet we ourselves write heroines that are gorgeous and perfect and beat down other women when they aren’t gorgeous and perfect. I swear, we are our own worst enemy sometimes……….
- Lemons in every chapter. I’m not sure if this is a bi-product of 50 Shades of Crap or not but it’s almost to the point now that every fic must have minimum one lemon in each chapter which means they pretty much shag every day. Does Sookie never have her period? I know it won’t bother Eric but c’mon people. We understand that Eric (Alex) is hot as f*** and we all imagine that if we were in a relationship with Eric (Alex), we’d wanna shag him every moment of every day as well but from what I hear from friends who are married and in relationships, it just doesn’t happen that way. Again yes, this is fiction and we go to fiction to escape real life but once again, it is EVERY FIC. I swear Eric just waves at Sookie with his penis and she says hello back with her vag. He wakes, they start shagging and pretty much go at it for hours. The vag is pretty amazing, and can take a pounding, (hello childbirth!), but even I know that being pounded by a vampire, with his “huge penis” for several hours straight, is going to leave you a tad carpet burned. One night maybe, but every night? (See Sookie’s magical sex-drive). There is one fic out there that I do like quite a lot but every single chapter for maaaaaaaaany chapters follows this exact formula: Sookie wakes, misses Eric, reads note Eric wrote for her before going to bed for the day, eats breakfast (and we get details), does blah stuff with yadda people, heads back to the room, shags Eric (and it’s always screaming pounding seeing stars shagging), eats dinner, deals with blah plot point crap, shags Eric again (see prior description), goes to sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat. I wish I could say it is just the one story like this but it’s not; there are several others that follow almost the same formula. I know that imitation is meant to be the sincerest form of flattery but AAAGGHHHHH!!!!
- Angst. Every story needs a point; readers have no desire to read the day to day boring monotony of a characters life because, well, that’s our lives! We don’t, however, want to read a story so filled with angst that we go back to reality to escape your story! Tension can help further a plot. We like a bit of upset to put our fave duo off guard but goodness me, some stories over the last year have been so tense that I haven’t read them to enjoy them, but to simply make sure the characters are alright! There is one fic I am thinking of right this moment that I started to read but stopped about 4 chapters in because I was so darn depressed with how insurmountable their obstacles were that I held zero hope there will ever be a happy ending. (Will read the last chapter when it’s finished, see if the end is a bit more chipper and will make up my mind from there). Several of my favourite stories deal with angst and drama in the perfect way: they go through it TOGETHER without long separations, kidnappings, rapes, draining’s etc. Kjwrit comes to mind as the perfect example of how to do it. Her stories aren’t always fluffy bunnies and farting rainbow unicorns but the characters deal with the crap together and she also doesn’t have that shit drag on for chapter after chapter after chapter. (One fic I read had 27 (!!) chapters of gut-wrenching angst and I was so close to giving up on it when finally! A break-through!)
- Polyvore. I really don’t think it is much of a secret how much I am coming to despise this new fad. Don’t get me wrong: when describing a gorgeous outfit or wedding dress or stunning piece of antique jewellery, sometimes popping a picture in is easier and it’s nice to share the pretty you found! I am not against ‘illustration’, not at all. What I hate is turning your readers into a moron. The reasonable individual will actually know what a yellow tank top with crocheted butterflies looks like. That in no way needs a picture, and yet, 99.99999999999% of polyvores I see have everyday clothes and accessories that in no way need in-depth description. Again, special occasion outfit, pretties and maybe even hair-do’s I can understand but a tube of red lipstick? I am not sure if the writers are being lazy, are bored, or think we are all morons…. It’s so confusing!
- This one isn’t so much a FFF but more of a personal annoyance. When I discovered True Blood two years ago I was drowning in fanfiction updates. Every day one of the stories I put on alert would pop into my inbox, causing squealing and hand-clapping and much edge of seat anticipation. In the last year however……nothing. If I get one update A WEEK that’s a good week. I understand several things. 1. Life gets busy. 2. Muses can suck arse at times. 3. TB / SVM is winding down so the pretty new shiny toy is a tad tarnished now so writers a looking for something less stale and fresher to work with. 4. The SVM series end was such a MASSIVE let down that it kind of sucked the enjoyment out of our fave duo but we clung to TB as our last hope, only to find that things ain’t looking so crash hot there either. What all of this means is that a lot of stories have either been abandoned, forgotten or put in the ‘too hard’ basket. And then there is something even more devastating; fics that start out amazing! Like truly amazeballs! They managed to avoid most of the above FFF and were well written and enjoyable then allofasudden it ends. Stories that had quite a ways to go all of a sudden got a rushed end and what should have taken 15 chapters minimum, was suddenly finished 2-5. Plot points are lost. Endings meh. Events make no sense or are just way to convenient. On and on it goes. This means I am not sure which is worse: abandoned or finished but so incredibly disappointing for the last two chapters I wish I had never fallen in love with it in the first place. (I am thinking of a specific story right now that even has its own little nick-name due to its major letdown of a conclusion). I know the authors are probably think they are doing the right thing by at least ‘finishing’ the story but it many ways it’s more insulting: to both the readers and themselves. Be honest. Say you’ve lost the groove for the story because it was taking so long. Say life is just too hectic right now to give this wonderful story its proper conclusion. Put the story on an indefinite hiatus, (and tell people that) or see if a still active writer wants to take it over. These are YOUR STORIES! These are your creations. You put a lot of work into it and is such a shame that you aren’t giving it the proper respect. You wouldn’t half build a house……..
I understand that in actually writing about this and putting it out there I am going against the trend of what most people do; “Oh my god. Loved it! Update soon!” I will probably make no friends and will offend almost every writer of fanfiction for this but that’s ok. I’m not doing all of this to be a bitch or cause issues or to insult everyone. I am writing these because I respect the art of storytelling and I applaud anyone that gives it a go but get so frustrated when the same thing is repeated over and over and over. (CSI: Amish anyone?) So yes, this is a taste of some of the things that make me dent my desk with my head. I am sure to add to this in future.
Meanwhile, I have new pics of Alex to stare at now………..