Just wanting your opinions, on what a good fic should contain.
I personally think that Grammar is one of the most essential things to have inside. It gets really irritating when your fic is nothing but bad Grammar. I’d do my fic in MS Word, then use Spell/Grammar check, then I’d post it up =)
What do you think?
Just wanting your opinions, on what a good fic should contain.
I don’t care how bad the spelling and grammar of a fic is, as long as it’s readable, and the stroy is good.
As someone who has been writing fics since I was 7 (no lie!!) (OK, so only the ones from the last 10 years are any good 8P) I can give you some advice:
*First of all, write what YOU WANT when YOU WANT. So many of us -even I, when I started- worried SO MUCH about pleasing the audience. But then I found out that THE PUBLIC IS FICKLE! FAR better writers than I have had their work mocked by people… and sometimes POOR works get all the fame. You see that in the movies all the time. Are the movies that make the money always the best ones? No. So, unless you’re being PAID to produce a story in a certain way, forget about the public and just write what you feel like.
*Now, if you want to write things well BECAUSE it makes YOU feel good, then certainly do so. In that case:
-Make sure the story MAKES SENSE. Don’t have things happen just because they are cool. Make sure your characters’ reactions fit their personalities. Make sure events follow the laws of science. Do a little research if you have to. And always have somebody else (that you trust) give you his or her opinion- because it is VERY easy for a writer to ignore his own mistakes. It’s human nature.
-About grammar: Yes, it’s best to have good grammar, so the story is readable. But remember, in the internet, people often misspell a LOT. Just read our posts and you’ll see. Most of us don’t mind as long as what we mean comes across. Don’t panic if you post and then notice a minor error, like writing ‘th’ instead of ‘the’. Happens to everyone. On the other hand, a mispelled word can sometimes look like a different word, and foul up your meaning. Example: You want to write, “He was a real man” but accidentally type “He was a real mean”. See? Worst part is, automatic spellcheckers don’t catch errors like that. So, always reread what you wrote carefully before posting. And have it proofread by someone else, if possible.
That’s ALL you really need to know. Now, go have fun, take the compliments, listen to the criticism, and ignore the insults.
I only really have one suggestion. A good plot must not too unbelieveable, unless it’s for humour. For this I have a quote from Larry Niven;
A dragon the reader can believe in. A time-traveller the reader can believe in. But a time-travelling dragon asks too much
Oh, and 18ft swords are always a winner.
Everything is so subjective. You can’t just ask what the contents of a good fic are. The only universal answers are stuff like structure, grammar, etc.
Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you need to decide how much detail and how to convey it appropriately.
One tip though, don’t be pretentious. Don’t use huge words like “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” just for show. Get to the fuckin’ point, don’t make your audience pull out a medical dictionary.
I’m a fan of spelling and grammar. When I bump into the occasional glitch it’s okay, but it throws the whole story off if the mistakes are constant. I’ll shut the thing even if it’s interesting rather than read bad grammar.
Write smoothly… don’t use short and choppy sentences unles it’s essential for the scene. Rich descriptions are great too, and they can lengthen a scene without compromising the actual writing.
The best thing you can do for your writing style is read other writer’s works. Read novels, read short stories, read anything that isn’t a comic book or a magazine article. Get a feel for how some of the great writers of the world do their thing. Read, read, read!
You sound like my English teacher. You’re quite right, but still…
And I agree with you on too many mistakes. One or two a paragraph I could take, but otherwise I’ll just leave until it gets better.
Picking out what makes literature good is like picking out what makes people good. You can try to invent rules for it, but there really are none. Whether a book is considered good depends completely on whether the right people like it.
So a story rife with spelling and grammar mistakes can be considered good?
No not rife, but some can be tolerated.
I was actually speaking to Xwing since spelling and grammar are part of the rules she/he says don’t exist.
Ahem: As a longlife fan of comics, I can tell you there have been many good, even GREAT, comic book stories. And I’ve read and seen just about every genre and medium, including classic literature, and believe me, some of them compare just fine.
Yeah, it can. It just depends how much of a turn-off those things are for the reader, and how much they interfere with that reader enjoying the book. Or maybe the “errors” make the book better. Not every spelling or grammar idiosyncrasy is unintentional or undesirable, particularly in dialogue.
People’s pickiness about spelling and grammar is mostly indoctrinated by English teachers. It’s useful to know the agreed-upon spelling and grammar “rules”, but not necessary to follow them. Everyone knows this, on some level: someone that speaks with formally perfect grammar in casual settings comes across as, at best, odd, and at worst, cold and arrogant.
I stand corrected. However personally reading a novel that’s all dialogue doesn’t do it for me. I was thinking on principle that a comic book turned into a story–straight out that is-- would be all dialogue, and I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to read Pride and Prejudice, but I just can’t take it. I didn’t mean to say that comic books are bad, because I love them, believe me. The stories are fantastic, I think it was more the writing style I was referring to?
Didn’t mean to get your back up =)
Plot first, characterization second, grammar/spelling third. Why do I rate characterization above grammar/spelling? Because if the people are OOC, it’s not really fanfiction. It’s a bunch of new characters in familiar settings/situations. Oh, and using canon names is pretty important too. I once started a CT fic where the author used different names. It looked interesting, but I couldn’t get through it…
That’s just my opinion, though…
Man, I love you guys. Actually, the reason why I started this thread wascuz I wanted to improve on my fic =) This really helped.
And, can I have your comments on names? Like, do you prefer fantasy names (Cloud, Alicia etc.) or the normal names we use in our everyday lives? Thank you.
Well… I’d say that the #1 is plot…
If you’ve got a good plot you can always get help fixing up the spelling and stuff…
And you can just write a story that has really crappy grammar and just send it through MS Word and it will be readable at least…
So if you’ve got a plot that you think is great, then just go for it…
Names? It all depends on the type of story you’re writing. Assuming this is still for fanfiction, you’d have to look at the types of names in the world you’re using. Do they use ‘normal’ names, or more creative ones? Or a combination of the two? If you have a specific name for a character in mind, I find it’s best to use it, rather than giving them a name that doesn’t fit. It can sometimes make the difference between a hard to write character, and an easy to write character.
Elysial: Actually, I’ve seen some comics adapted into novels, and the stories are, if anything, better. Try to find KINGDOM COME, the adaptation of the comic book miniseries of the same name (wich tells the final fate of Superman, Batman, etc.) and you’ll see what I mean. Great story, too.
Cyber Sanctuary: Glad we’re helping. As for names, yeah, JadeDixon is correct. As for what I prefer, well, I never liked real names much- names like Cloud are easier to remember. But remember: use what fits into your story.
Edit: And will you please give your avatar some cold syrup already!? Heh