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quiet_tiger ([personal profile] quiet_tiger) wrote2012-09-10 04:56 pm

Back Button!

I think I've posed this question before, but I was recently bombarded with examples again--

What really throws you out of a fic?

I was invested in a long fic so I didn't actually back button, though I contemplated it, when the sentence described the main character's eyes as being blue, when they are clearly brown in the movie. Brown and blue are usually difficult to confuse!

The story had a lot of other issues, but basic fact problems really are annoying.

[identity profile] roxymissrose.livejournal.com 2012-09-10 09:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Ach, I hate that--but you know, I've done it myself. I think I've wanted something to be so and have subconsciously worked whatever wrong thing it was into a fic. That's why I always try to double-check, especially when something works just a leeettle too well. And in fact, I just did it in a story I finished--thank goodness I checked my facts or I would have been embarrassed.

[identity profile] quiet--tiger.livejournal.com 2012-09-10 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I know everyone is guilty of it at some point, myself included, in this instance it was just on top of all this other weird stuff.

Double checking is always super important! Don't want to screw up an age or height or hair color or something! I like to think I've gotten better at it myself.
cycnus39: (9-Cup-Day)

[personal profile] cycnus39 2012-09-10 09:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Hmm, I once ranted about this awful Batman novel in which the author hedged his bets by saying the pov character couldn't tell if Bruce's eyes were blue or brown. Why, yes, i did throw said Batman novel across the room. :-D

[identity profile] quiet--tiger.livejournal.com 2012-09-10 10:58 pm (UTC)(link)
But...but it's Bruce Wayne... Comics!Bruce has blue eyes...

I'm surprised the writer didn't just make a vague comment about not being able to see the color at all, because his pupils were dilated or something. Not, like, look silly.

[identity profile] larsinger29.livejournal.com 2012-09-11 02:28 am (UTC)(link)
My biggest fic turn offs are unintentional OOC (i.e. it's not supposed to be AU, but the characterization is just so flawed I can't even stomach it) and repetitious sentence structure/poor writing. I'm not trying to be a snob, and I'll normally give a story a good try, but if every sentence is the same structure and there's no depth or attempt at it, well I can only read so much before my brain just revolts.

It's sad sometimes, too, because the author might have a very intriguing premise or alt-canon take on something. But if they just are too heavy with their structure or are too big on exposition I'm bound to just give up (and I mean that in the "Bruce went to find Alfred. When Bruce found Alfred, he asked him to bring tea down to the cave. Bruce then went to the cave and started scanning the police files." type of manner. I DIDN'T SIGN UP FOR A PLAY-BY-PLAY!). I've also skim finished a few badly written fics just to see what the author did with them, and felt really disgusted with myself for wasting my time afterwards--even if the ending was satisfying on a purely plot level. Of course then I question why the hell everyone is giving such great reviews of these types of fics, and whether that's harming fandom or not (because if we just encourage bad writing, and not help people try to get better, are we damning ourselves? Though I'm to blame, as my review philosophy tends to be "if you can't give a good, detailed review of why you liked the story, then don't give any review (because not everyone likes unsolicited con-crit, and I can't be bothered to fake reviews I don't feel)").

Glaring factual errors can frustrate me as well, but I'll usually write off one or two in a story without hitting the back button. Any more than that, though, and I'm questioning whether the author has even read/watched the fandom their fic'ing in.

Yeah, just realized I way over-utilized the () in this comment. :o/ sorry 'bout that. But you brought up a topic that really spoke to me!

[identity profile] quiet--tiger.livejournal.com 2012-09-11 03:16 am (UTC)(link)
I actually had a sentence or two about OOC in my post, but I took them out because I didn't want to seem super negative! But yes, OMG, if my manly men are crying all over the place, or someone is being a jerk when they normally wouldn't be, or is using vocabulary they shouldn't be, it kills me. I have no problem with AU or different takes on the characters, but if the story isn't explained as being elsewhere--or elsewhen--then the characters had better be recognizable!

I've done what you do, kind of skim a fic to see if the idea is good, but I don't want to be bothered reading the whole thing. Sometimes that's a result of the summary being interesting, but maybe the header is missing a category or something. Or I just see long blocks of text rather than short paragraphs or conversation (too much description bores me, especially if, like you say, it's just endless what's-he-doing-now kind of stuff). The story that made me post has whole entire paragraphs that add nothing whatsoever to the story, and should have been sliced out.

Feedback seems like such a sticky thing. It's long been a lament that so much of fandom is a popularity contest, and just by having half a million friends a person is guaranteed tons of feedback on less-than-stellar stories, but people who keep more to themselves have to be content with only a handful of comments. Being in the latter category, I certainly appreciate every single comment I get--I assume if someone, especially someone I don't know, bothered to comment, they must have really liked the story! (which isn't to say people with hundreds of comments don't appreciate them, I'm sure they do, and which also isn't to say my stories are awesome; I'm sure some of them aren't worth people's time.)

Fact stuff usually isn't a problem in my fandoms, or at least I haven't noticed a whole lot, unless it's something major. But when it is it can be really jarring. It's like watching Smallville and realizing the writers of the middle seasons didn't watch any episodes from the first season, and therefore the continuity is all screwed up. (Onyx, I'm looking at you!)

Parens are fine, I can handle them! It's if you dotted the entire comment with ellipses I'd be wincing! I'm glad to have sparked such a thorough comment! I know I've brought the subject up before, before we were introduced; I know I had talked about anyone referring to the prostate as the "sweet spot" as causing me to lose focus in the fic, because that phrase makes me think of tennis raquets. That's more my glitch than the author's, though!

[identity profile] larsinger29.livejournal.com 2012-09-11 02:40 pm (UTC)(link)
I like to think I try to give some leeway with OOC-ness, since sometimes it has it's purposes (a character possessed, or with amnesia, for example). But there's a line, and usually I only see it as it approaches. I like AUs as much as the next person, but I like to know I'm reading an AU and that it's not an author who can't write the character. One of the fandoms I'm active in is based on a British TV series, and even though I'm an American I'll quickly back out of a fic if the characters are using too much American slang. You're spot on, the character has to be recognizable!

There's something to be said about knowing when to expand upon an idea or description in a story, and when to cut it out. I like description, but like you too much makes me skim it or skip past it, especially if it adds nothing to the plot. Similarly, I hate it when conversations come off "un-natural": I've a read a few fics where the characters almost give speeches at each other in place of dialogue, and rather than a natural back and forth the characters answer each other's multiple-topic speech with a multiple-topic response. It just throws me out of a fic, since I find myself thinking "that's now how people speak!"

I'm with you, feedback seems to have become a lost art almost. I was discussing this the other day with [livejournal.com profile] shiny_glor_chan about how with tumblr, which has apparently become a huge fanfic community now, people can basically "like" your story, but that doesn't tell the author what they liked or why. Similarly, I've noticed a lot of people on LJ (or fanfiction.net) simply say "Loved it!" or something equally brief. From my rather long ago forays into fic writing (I seem to have had writer's block for the last 4 years), I remember being frustrated by comments like this even though I was appreciative. I was like you, not really venturing out or putting my works out there much, so every comment was definitely cherished. But the ones that really struck me were the ones where my reviewer told me what they liked and why. Because that let me know what I was doing right, and if there was something I was trying to say or do with a fic and no one commented on it, then I knew what I was doing wrong. So I felt those comments really helped improve my writing, and really let me know if I got my intentions across. Hence my philosophy on leaving meaningful feedback. (Sometimes I'll even wait a few days after I read a fic, just to ensure I've had time to digest it and time to adequately write a complete review.)

I'm right there with you on fact stuff! Thankfully my fandoms (DCU and Torchwood/Doctor Who) are pretty good with facts and such, though a personal tick of mine is sometimes trying to figure out if something is canon or fanon. I used to somewhat obsess over this, but I've been working on reigning myself in since it's not really vital often, and fanon can be just as "factual" or compelling as actual canon. Still, glaring and major errors that go against canon can really set me off--and it's one of the reasons I've had difficulty embracing the post-reboot DCU (I mean, what still exists in continuity? Knightfall? No Man's Land? Officer Down? BW: Murderer/Fugitive? It's so frustrating at times!).

Well I'm glad you can handle my muddled mess of Parens and such! I try to use ellipses sparingly, though I used to be worse with them! And I'm glad for the discussion, because it's fun to meta on fanfiction at times, especially if we're hoping to grow as writers or readers/reviewers. Talking through issues we see in the communities can only lead to improvement (or at least, commiseration!) And I also know what you mean about certain references causing you to lose focus, there are a few I have as well, but one that springs to mind is when someone refers to someone's penis as a "dick". I know it's a common term, but being in the DCU fandom for so long, I just first associate that word with a character's name rather than a body part! Takes me a minute to refocus, and if the author persists in using the term I'll often just mentally replace it with "cock" to save my sanity some. :o)

[identity profile] quiet--tiger.livejournal.com 2012-09-12 01:27 am (UTC)(link)
Torchwood! I just rewatched the "real" Captain Jack episode the other day--that and Countrycide are my favorites. Well, a lot of season 1. And yeah, once you read enough of British people writing it, when you come across someone who didn't Brit-pick it well enough it can be confusing! Like the reverse, like if Bruce Wayne were to reference his "trousers" or a "bin." I was reading an Avengers story the other day where the author mentioned the character getting something "in the post" and I was like no! Captain America doesn't get anything in the post! If Ianto starts sounding like he's from New York City or something, it's not good.

I have stayed the heck away from Tumblr. I already spend too much time not doing what I should be doing! I'm not sure my brain can process yet another new way for people to share stuff online. I'm comfy in my LJ place. I dislike the whole "Like" concept that has stemmed from Facebook--I want to let people know what I like! And especially having people tell me what they liked about something I did. In a few generations people aren't going to know how to communicate with each other properly. Everyone will just be giving a thumbs up.

There is *nothing* like getting a legitimate well-thought-out comment.

Oooo, canon or fanon! Like if Ianto is officially TW's archivist or if someone made it up and it stuck. It's so hard coming into a fandom in the middle, versus the beginning of a new show or movie. When the fandom is established everyone just kind of assumes stuff and it all gets confused. One thing I like about DC is because there's so many incarnations of everything and everyone (though I'm avoiding anything related to the reboot because I don't want to read fic that takes place without Lian Harper existing), to a certain extent almost anything goes. You still gotta be careful--I had to rewrite part of a story because I had gotten the month of Bruce Wayne's parents' deaths wrong, or maybe it was when he visits Crime Alley and puts down the rose. Something was wrong so I had to just set the story at a different time of year.

I'm glad we can talk! I haven't had a lot of good discussions lately; most of my friends aren't around a lot because of RL stuff or they're on Tumblr or AO3. Poor Dick... he'll never live it down. For some reason I prefer the work "cock" too; I think it's less coarse, which doesn't seem to make sense. Maybe because I associate it now with porny fic rather than vulgar terms/insults using "dick"? Mostly so long as it's not refered to as "member" or "hardness" I'm okay. :)

[identity profile] quiet--tiger.livejournal.com 2012-09-12 01:32 am (UTC)(link)
Also on the Torchwood/jumping into fandom thought, I was never more intimidated than when I wrote/posted TW fic. I was so worried I'd have all my British stuff wrong, and it's such a huge fandom, especially when combined with DW, it was hard to feel comfortable. But I had to find a good American-->British dictionary to try to minimize mistakes. I was sooooooo confused before I realized a "jumper" was a sweater, not a little girl's dress.

I need to renew my paid account so I can get my TW icons back. Have Kon and Tim slapping 5 instead.

[identity profile] larsinger29.livejournal.com 2012-09-12 06:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I know exactly what you mean about being intimidated to write something for Torchwood. I’ve only so far posted one story (and even then, just to my LJ and not to the comms) because of my fear of getting terminology/continuity wrong. I feel like I’ve done a good job immersing myself in the fandom, and that I’ve picked up on British colloquialisms now, but I’m still hesitant. Maybe because it just bugs me so when authors don’t take the time to Brit-pick or American-pick their stories. Because I’ve read American based stories where the American character sounds wrong, and just no. Put a little more effort into things, take the little bit of extra time to make sure your characters actually sound like they should! (And yes, “jumper” being the term for “sweater” threw me off the first time I saw it! I ended up googling a lot of terms when I first got into the TW fandom, and now I’ve read so much in it that I find myself thinking in British terms on ocassion!)

Oh man, I’ve stayed away from Tumblr too. My only real interaction with it is via links, but my impression from perusing it is that it’s so not for me. It’s just too…overly simplistic and doesn't seem to invite real engagement between members, just posting something and people commenting on it/sharing it (which I guess is good in some ways, but it's just not for me). Plus, like you, I spend waaaaaay too much time on LJ when I should be doing other things (like working!). And I’m familiar and comfortable with LJ, and even if many of my fandom friends from the DCU seem to be MIA as of late (and possibly migrated to Tumblr), I just can’t be bothered to try and expand someplace new. Hell, I didn’t even migrate to dreamwidth when that whole giant migration took place (though I did set up an account, I just didn’t do anything with it!).

The canon v. fanon thing is just too juicy to not enjoy. I honestly took it as canon that Ianto was the TW archivist, but your comment now has me wanting to investigate. The one that really set me off was the common reference to Ianto’s mother being in a psychiatric hospital, which after hours of hunting down clues and references I discovered was actually based on an off-handed comment that Ianto made about knowing (well) a certain psychiatric hospital, and people theorizing that his never mentioned mother must have been there. DC is great to play in because you can just go from so many different starting points or incarnations (though I’m with you, I refuse to read the new Roy Harper stuff (even though he’s one of my favorite characters) because I don’t like how they’ve completely removed Lian). Certainly there are a number of “facts” that are still constant in the DCU, but there are also the possibilities to play with those facts or reinterpret them.

I know what you mean, too, regarding people being MIA. It seems like there was some sort of exodus or something in the little corner of the DCU fandom that we both play in. Partly I blame the reboot, which I know turned a lot of people off, but I suppose real life and maybe the appeal of other communities or sites also lured people away. It’d be great if there could be one conglomerate site, which pulled together tumblr, livejournal, dreamwidth, AO3 and other fandom platforms postings into one “feed”. I’d sign up for that in a heartbeat if it meant keeping track of all my authors and friends!

(Oh, and porny euphemisms are a riot. Weeping Cock can often have me in stitches with the purple prose or “that’s now how that works” anatomy people employ! Seeing “member” in a fic makes me giggle for some reason, though I guess at some point you have to come up with another term for “cock” so it doesn’t get too repetitive. Still, makes me giggle.)

[identity profile] quiet--tiger.livejournal.com 2012-09-13 11:10 pm (UTC)(link)
TW fandom is just so big. I was really into it for about a year, and then Children of Earth came out, and, well, like the DCU reboot it killed the fandom for me. I just lost all enthusiasm. Even rewatching the first three seasons with my boyfriend and seeing it through new eyes didn't help. Though getting a friend into it helped--she loves Janto and Tosh--until she inevitably got to Exit Wounds and COE... Yeah.

The familiarity of LJ is what I have trouble leaving. I like my layout and my comms and everybody. I made an insane journal back when it looked like fandom was moving there, then again to Dreamwidth, but the problem is that while my friends for the most part moved, the comms didn't, or at least not with the volume. And then having to move entries over, and everything... As much as Livejournal is so much made of horrible, painful fail, I can't leave. I'm even going to give them their 20 bucks for a paid account again soon so I can get my icons back and edit comments.

I think canonically Ianto really does start off as the "tea boy;" I forget what Jack introduces him as in Everything Changes, but it's definitely not archivist. I know he spends the first many episodes just making coffee, ordering food, and cleaning. We must be reading different fics, as I don't remember a reference to Ianto's mom being committed at all! I don't recall ever thinking about his mother, really, just that his dad is a jerk.

Also, I'm not sure if you've noticed this with TW, or if I'm just really sensitve to it, but I found the fandom not welcoming at times because it truly wasn't. More than one person put in the header that if the fic is a spoiler for particular episodes, then why is the person considering reading TW fic. Like, I started reading fic before I got my hands on season 2, but why should I feel ostracized because I haven't yet seen Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang? I'll just not read the story so I'm not spoiled. It's like people don't realize not everyone has the ability to watch every show when it comes out, or even years later. I also like a spoiler warning if particular episodes are going to be mentioned so that I can get a basic timeline of where the story fits.

Outside of batfic_contest, Bruce/Clark, and the occasional Nightwing or Tim story, I barely read DC anymore, but I'm not sure if it's because my tastes have changed or if there's really not a lot of fic anymore. Even Bruce/Clark has dropped off a lot, and that's a really popular pairing with a steady comm.

The splintering doesn't help--where everyone used to use LJ now there's Tumblr, AO3, etc. Everything consolidated would be awesome!

Dude, weepingcock, oh man, the way people seem to think the body and sex work is just horrifying. Like, how do you become old enough to use the Internet and not learn the basic process of human reproduction?

Outside of "cock" I think I probably use "shaft" the most. Anything else sounds weird or simply not sexy!

[identity profile] larsinger29.livejournal.com 2012-09-14 06:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh yeah, it’s quite massive. It was intimidating as hell when I first began, and I’ve still got a number of people’s LJ’s bookmarked to read through their fics and such (and it’s now been well over a year and a half since I “joined” the fandom). But even though I was saddened by the outcome of COE and Exit Wounds (can’t deny they played on my emotions beautifully though, and I was enthralled in their events), I really love all the different ways people have explored alternative endings or what have you. It’s really quite imaginative and engrossing, and probably why that has become my main fandom.

I agree with everything you said about LJ. Every. Single. Thing. I broke down last year and got a paid account, and I’ll be renewing once again when my time is up. Even though I’m not happy with some of the stuff LJ has done, it’s still suits my needs/desires/interests best.

You’re right, Ianto’s basically just the seen as the assistant in the first episodes, hinting at being general support and basically a gopher/dogsbody. But I think people took to the idea that he was also the archivist because whenever Jack has something to go into “Secure Archives” he hands it to Ianto to do. Perhaps there’s also references in other mediums (books, audio plays, etc.), or maybe some slight references in other episodes that I’m forgetting. But it’s a good illustration of people inferring something from canon and making it fanon. As to his mom being committed, I’ve seen it in quite a few of the angstier fics I’ve read. Often when Ianto is grappling with his own mental health (either in terms of having OCD or battling some other mental illness). What can I say, I like the angst.

I can’t say that I noticed much hostility within TW fandom, but maybe it’s because we engaged with it in different times? I also mostly lurked for the first year I was reading, so that might impact it as well. I did see a few “if you haven’t seen X episode, well, why are you reading this?” type spoiler warnings, but I took them more as a cheeky British thing than said with malice. But I can see where you could also take it as a slight to people not having seen the episodes yet, because you’re right: we don’t all get it at the same time. And I didn’t start watching Torchwood until 2011. I think, in the modern day and age, spoiler warnings are a good idea and courtesy to your readers no matter what the fandom (and while it can be trickier in comics fandom, I try and give a general time period so people understand where and when the story would fit in).

The drop off in DC fanom is really quite disheartening. It seems like two years ago, there was a steady stream of new fics and stuff within the Bruce/Clark, Teen Titans, and Tim/assorted pairings and Dick/assorted pairings sub-fandoms. Now it’s significantly less, and probably for a variety of the factors we’ve discussed. Still, it makes me sad. Because I miss all the great stories and brilliant minds!

Man, the euphemisms in smut are just crazy sometimes. As are the expectations and delusions of how body parts work. It’s crazy to think how naïve people can be, but I think it’s like a vicious cycle: a person reads a “bad” fic, and assumes what’s described is realistic, so then uses that as basis for the scene in one of their fics. And on and on it can go. I read a ton of different smutty fics, and drew on real life experiences, before I tried my hand at writing a bit of smut. But I don’t think enough people attempt to do anything like that. Still, makes for some fun reading horrible smut like that, and gives us a great reason to have a comm like weepingcock!
Edited 2012-09-14 18:55 (UTC)

[identity profile] quiet--tiger.livejournal.com 2012-09-15 12:33 am (UTC)(link)
I've had stuff for TW, and even other fandoms, bookmarked for literally years because I've been busy or moved on or I've just gotten so used to seeing the title I don't feel like reading anymore. TW just breaks my heart because I was so, so into it, about six months before COE was when I got into fandom, and then I just lost it. I'll still read fic sometimes, but I guess I don't have it in me. Or maybe the summaries just don't look appealing? The same thing has happened with Tim/Kon--I used to love it and now I just... don't. Not sure what happened there, other than the whole Kon dying thing.

Ah, regarding angsty Ianto, I avoid angst most of the time. I like my ficcish diversion from reality to generally be angst-free. Not necessarily fluff, but I tend to veer into humor most of the time. Though Ianto and Jack (and Bruce Wayne depending on the story, or Dick) are built for angst, absolutely.

I think with the "spoiler warning" it struck me as odd because it's the first fandom I'd ever seen such a thing in, and I'd been poking around/heavily involved in several fandoms by that point.

I don't think I usually write stuff with a specific timeframe in mind, or it doesn't matter in other fandoms as much as it does with TW, where things change super quickly. My Batman, unless otherwise indicated, is always set in a very specific timeframe where Tim is Robin and with the Titans, Dick is Nightwing and with the Outsiders, and Kon and Bart are alive while Steph is dead. Other than those details I don't generally think my stories need timeframes.

Yep, the vicious "I saw it in a bunch of fics, so it must be true." I'm ashamed to say a lot of my early smut had some awful tropes in it due to reading so much stuff with the same thing, but after reading what weepingcock had to offer, I like to think I've gotten so much better at it!

[identity profile] svgurl.livejournal.com 2012-09-11 06:38 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, that kind of thing throws me off fics too. It usually doesn't make me stop reading but I definitely puts me off a little. I read a fic where someone messed up both Ollie and Clark's middle names, and it seemed as if they just made them up and not even tried to do any research. The fic had many other problems but that annoyed me.

Unless people mess up major canon facts multiple times, it won't stop me from reading a fic I'm already enjoying. Obviously, stuff like poor grammar and spelling will make me hit the back button immediately.

[identity profile] quiet--tiger.livejournal.com 2012-09-11 12:11 pm (UTC)(link)
I think I read a fic once where where the main character was Clark Michael Kent, and I was like who the hell is that? That kind of thing is easily researchable.

And yeah, if I'm already invested in something it's more of an annoyance than a reason for me to back out. But yeah, gibberish masquerading as English definitely turns me off. I'm so glad LJ is full of talented writers!

[identity profile] beef-wonder3.livejournal.com 2012-09-11 09:56 am (UTC)(link)
I'm going to derail the string of thoughtful and insightful comments you've had so far and go the porn route, because I'm classy like that;

My biggest hate on is one that is rehashed over and over again but nobody seems to let it sink in, I constantly see the prostate described as 'a bundle of nerves'. Constantly. I don't know why either, it's in the name; it's the prostate gland. Its even more annoying when the story is brilliantly written, paced and characterized and then that line pops up!

On a less porny note, I was reading a fic the other day that referenced an in canon joke, where a character was introduced with an alias of a common Latin American name but the fic writer, in all seriousness, mixed it up with an even more common Latin American name. Completely threw me out of an otherwise good story. It was very odd, and, I dunno, struck me as a little bit racist?

I also once read a Merlin canon-era fic that referenced genetics. My brain kinda twitched at that, with a vehement 'No.'

[identity profile] quiet--tiger.livejournal.com 2012-09-12 01:09 am (UTC)(link)
Basic biology seems to be beyond a lot of people. Spend some time at [livejournal.com profile] weepingcock to get a real look at what I mean! I can see how people messing up what should be simple stuff is so frustrating considering it's your field of study!

I just don't understand getting canon wrong, if it's something that is very specific to the story. Like when people say that Clark and Chloe grew up together, but she only got to Smallville in 8th grade.

See, I'm afraid to write stuff that takes place in a different time, because I know I'd screw something up and have the characters be all anachronisms all the time. But yeah, Merlin didn't have genetics research. I think I read a Merlin fic that referenced toothpaste, but I could be wrong. Granted the show screws up a lot of stuff--apparently the tomatoes Merlin gets thrown at him in the pilot wouldn't have been around at the time.

[identity profile] greenlady2.livejournal.com 2012-09-14 01:16 am (UTC)(link)
What throws me out of a story? It depends on the story, and why I'm reading it.

Small things don't normally bother me so much that I'll stop reading. If I like the story otherwise, I'll just mentally edit the mistakes out. Everyone makes mistakes, after all.

If it's a bigger problem, like out of character actions, I try to figure out how this happened, and what the writer may have intended. Sometimes this doesn't bother me, depending on the fandom.

However, more and more I'm bothered by fanfiction in the Smallville fandom, in which Clark is portrayed as a good friend and sweet and innocent. I want to know how such an amazing character change happened. If no explanation is forthcoming, I quit reading the story. I love AUs, but not AUs that aren't labelled as such.

[identity profile] quiet--tiger.livejournal.com 2012-09-14 02:00 am (UTC)(link)
Small things usually don't bother me either; in the story I was thinking about while posting it was the wrong detail on top of the other annoying OOC moments and general not-good-ness overall that killed it. It was one of those stories where I was engaged enough to keep going with it to see what happened, but had it been shorter I'd've backed out.

What seasons are the SV fics you're referring to from? I think that sort of characterization is okay for season 1 or 2 (granted it's been a while since I've seen them) but yeah, later on he becomes pretty horrible to his friends.

And yep, AUs are great, when you're expecting them!

[identity profile] greenlady2.livejournal.com 2012-09-14 06:23 am (UTC)(link)
"... it was the wrong detail on top of the other annoying OOC moments and general not-good-ness overall that killed it...."

Yes, I'm with you there. It's like adding insult to injury.

"... I think that sort of characterization is okay for season 1 or 2...."

I agree. If the story is set in that timeframe, or develops from it, that's okay with me. But then I want the writer to make this clear, somehow. For example, by saying that they're ignoring everything after Season 2, and giving a bit of a rundown on what happened between Season 2 and their own version of the SV universe, to explain why Clark is such a lovely person now.

"... later on he becomes pretty horrible to his friends....."

He does indeed, and I can understand why most, if not all, SV writers want to ignore all this in their stories. But it did happen. It's canon, and if writers don't want to deal with it directly, in my opinion, we should at least explain the absence of Clark's bad behaviour in our stories. This is just my opinion, of course.

But so much SV fiction just pretends it didn't happen at all, and that throws me right off.

"... AUs are great, when you're expecting them!"

I love them. Especially AUs in which Clark is a lovely person and deserves the adoration of the multitudes. :-)

[identity profile] quiet--tiger.livejournal.com 2012-09-15 12:35 am (UTC)(link)
I think with Clark's characterization, because so many stories--obviously--have him hooking up with Lex or otherwise at least wanting Lex, his change in behavior stems from there. A lot of his canon jerkiness is related to Lex, but if they're dating then things haven't developed the same way as in the show.

[identity profile] greenlady2.livejournal.com 2012-09-15 05:59 pm (UTC)(link)
"...A lot of his canon jerkiness is related to Lex, but if they're dating then things haven't developed the same way as in the show."

Oh, exactly, and so this is a kind of AU, and there is an explanation for his better character.

Just in my opinion, Clark was a better person when he was friends with Lex, so, if a story springs from that situation, with him sticking by Lex, despite the other man's undoubted faults, and realizing that he himself has tons of faults, then I can see Clark growing up into a remarkable person. When he turned on Lex, he became more and more of a jerk.

But a number of SV stories do follow canon, with Clark treating Lex the same way, and yet growing up to be that great person, kind and understanding, and the explanation seems to be that Lex deserved the way Clark treated him. At least, that's the impression I get from these stories.