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Things that annoy you in fanfiction


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I keep wondering what people's thoughts are on here about things that crop up in fanfiction that may annoy or distract you. I don't exactly want arguments or anything, but genuine "I just don't get this" or "I find this personally aggravating" or "this breaks suspension of disbelief on me completely." Discussion is encouraged.

Mine's a little meta: I dislike people that assume "because I saw it in fanfiction A, it should apply to fanfiction B and/or the world in general."


I also dislike certain types of fanfic writers... specifically, whenever they don't have intimate knowledge of the series they're writing for and try to flamebait other fans with their "canon", and then pull up the "it's my own headcanon!" debate against them when said older fans respond. And vice versa! I roll my eyes whenever those with intimate knowledge of the "rules" of the original works lord their knowledge over the newcomers/those who like coming up with their own stuff, and proceed to cut them down just because it didn't follow "canon" exactly. Geez.

Bottomline: There are fans who like coming up with their own things in their stories, and there are fans who like adhering strictly to the original works when writing. There is a clear division between them, and this is perfectly fine. There are even those who mesh both perfectly well, all the more power to them!

So those who try to cross over that line of common decency and try to force their own standards on the other writers? They are just trolls or 4-year olds who think the world revolves around them.


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Bestiality in fanfiction. Humans having sexual relationships with Pokemon. There is nothing on the planet that can ever convince me that this is perfectly a-ok. 

Aside from that pet peeve, I'm okay with fanfiction. It's the authors that piss me off, especially the ones that try to shove their ideas down your throat, then get all their friends to gang up on you. Yes, I've had this happen numerous times.

Shipping Wars. Why does it matter if you like a certain pairing over another? There are no set rules saying you must write this!

But yeah, it's the attitude of the authors that have caused me to leave FFN several times. Why are you reading something you clearly hate? Why are you getting so upset because someone doesn't support your pairing choice? Get over yourselves people. Fanfiction is supposed to be a fun hobby to write and share your ideas with other fans, not get into internet flame wars and enter 'keyboard warrior mode' with other anonymous people.

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Long lost relatives of canon characters or the canon characters' kids

Granted I know of several ways this can work (actually read a really sweet story starring a daughter of Brock long ago and more recently a series starring a cousin of Brock--Brock is often the common target for kids, but I've seen plenty of Ash and Misty kids too), but far too often it's done horribly wrong--either the kids are exact carbon copies of their canon character parent (s), or are Mary Sues/Gary Stus in their own right.


Tragic sob stories for backstories

Again, these can be done right (see N's story from BW as a good example), but again, far too often it's done horribly wrong and unrealistically

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I agree on the last line. For a pairing to work, you need to build up the relation. You can't just throw two characters from extreme ends together and then let the 'opposites attract' thing do your work. The uniqueness of the pairing depends on one's imagination, Clinton and Trump can be a pairing too, but it needs to built and justified. 

Bad quality smut. Honestly, there's nothing better to wreck a perfectly good story. Such intimate scenes need a proper tempo. Besides, any story needs a lot more than just sex in every chapter to be classified as good. It often looks like the lemon has been squeezed in to get more views. Ugh...

STEREOTYPES. I loathe them. Cliche is one thing, stereotype is another. You've no idea how many so called writers are out there, who never get tired of portraying India as some exotic land untouched by man, meant to be made into a NatGeo documentary. Yeah, we do have natural beauty, but that's not all about us. Personally, I'd like to pack them all in a glass ball and roll them through out the country, hopefully this would teach them some more facts. Not just India, there are authors who'd characterise every European as a snob, every Japanese as some technology infested geek , and virtually every Westerner as someone who has no value for morals.

What the Holy fuck! There goes my vow not to swear. 

Speaking of swearing, pointless swearing is annoying too. I recently came across something like this-

"This fucking galaxy has a fucking whole lot of stars. We may have sent a fucking mission to fucker planet mars, but that doesn't changes change the fact that we're still an inconspicuous piece of shit in this vast nothingness" 

Let's just say, this destroyed the sanctity of the word 'fucking'. 


...Whew. All this makes me a choosy reader, I guess.


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Screwed up lemons. I came across Warriors (yes the cats one) lemons. I lost faith in humanity. I pretty much cried to myself there. I'm pretty sure my sanity went on a one way holiday when it saw that. Anything with non human lemon is dis-fucking-gusting. Really now, Gardevoir is my favourite Pokemon. When I say that people automatically assume i'm some kind of weird Rule 34 hentai guy.... I mean, I think we all know what Gardevoir really is 'popular' for on the internet. Seeing those images scarred me. I mean, really the only reason I caught one was because I thought it was cool when Wally caught a Ralts in Emerald and I was all "holy shet thats so cool im gettin one". In my third playthrough, it was the first shiny I ever got. When my friends asked me which Pokemon from my team I'd like to get irl, they were suprised I'd said Salamence. I was about to say Gardevoir, but hey, flying, man. 

And then a guy sitting near us give me a lewd smile and said "Pussy is more important."


Bad romance. "And then, having vanquished the evil villain, the heroine lovingly fell into the hero's arms and they shared a deep embrace." Seriously now, if only getting paired in real life was as easy as getting some in a fanfiction....

Deadfics. I know that sometimes the author has no choice but to abandon their fics due to real life stuff, and I respect that. But I cannot even begin to describe the feelings of disappointment I feel to go through this absolutely amazing in-progress fanfic and then suddenly realise it was last updated in 2009.

Honestly though, I see a lot of people here who hate fanfiction dot net. I can't mirror those feelings. Sure, there is toxicity in every community anywhere, but I've met brilliant authors and had conversations with them over there. Not to mention I owe that site for leading me here :P





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On 3/9/2016 at 0:24 PM, Soumita said:

You've no idea how many so called writers are out there, who never get tired of portraying India as some exotic land untouched by man, meant to be made into a NatGeo documentary.


Sorry, not making fun of you. It was the way you worded it. I sympathize with you very much, in fact I've come across people who write all asians as sex deviants.


On 3/7/2016 at 10:24 AM, Lucifer said:

Shipping Wars. Why does it matter if you like a certain pairing over another? There are no set rules saying you must write this!



Sooo much.

*note: common 10 year-old flame review/rant that is meant to destroy the author and/or make the author commit suicide

"Oh? So you think you can write this story without adhering to my favorite pairing? WHAT'S THAT? YOU THINK THE SUN IS HOT AND THE GRASS IS GREEN? Well FUCK YOU, you retarded piece of shit! Who gave you the right to plot your story like that? I don't think the sun is hot, and I prefer to write my grass as purple. And because I want the story to pander to the couple I'm wanking to, YOU should write it like that too! Cause if you don't, I'm gonna insult you, and act like pseudo-intellectual by nitpicking everything you say and trumping them with opinions that I treat as actual facts! Because in my warped, fucked up mind, I am GOD, and I created everything, and EVERYONE should agree with me and think what I think!"

When I was younger, I made the novice mistake of fighting these trolls. Now I just block them.

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  • 1 month later...

I do like to stick to canon, but I've noticed that blocks some of the creative paths I could take, so I'm trying to ease back on it. What I don't like about this is when a writer really goes away from canon "just to make it work".

Mary Sues (and Gary Stus) are annoying, but I might be writing one or two, so I shouldn't complain about that.

As long as male/male or female/female pairings are not shoved in my face like "it has to be this waaaayyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I can tolerate it. (I am not tolerant when it comes to characters that are canon straight or you can pretty much tell that they are. If it's questionable, than I'll be more tolerant to it)(I'm like this in real life, too. I used to have internet crushes on two guys -writers-. And then, well, I read about the wedding plans).

And for the relationships where the male char is in love with the female char even though that never happened in the fandom (this guy, a human, was in love with an elf girl. Some fans want him to be paired with the human girl). In a story I read he was being very immature and "No! I should be with her, not you!" to the other main guy, an elf prince. I prefer the girl and elf prince, while the people who prefer the two human chars together think this is disgusting. Really? You're pairing the human girl with a human guy that's been the living dead for the past fifty years? I find that a bit creepy.

-This fandom is Amulet. The human girl is Emily, the elf prince is Trellis and the human male is Max (who has been proven to be dead. It's really hard not to be when you rapidly age to a skeleton).

--But if some people prefer this and it turns out that Max is somehow alive, than that's okay. I just usually go for what is or what I see as the canon pairing. (I still find it a bit creepy they're pairing fifty-years old dead guy with living human girl).


There is this one not very popular fanfiction out there written by a guy (you can tell by the writing style)(and it's either obvious or because I grew up with three brothers, he's about fourteen) that doesn't understand girls. At all. He says they're ten, but with how they're described they would be closer to eighteen at least, and they are in a human x Pokemon relationship that's apparently supposed to be funny (when, really, it's gross how it's worded and how the girl is all giggly and doesn't even care). So stories like this. Where the writer doesn't know what they're writing about and is writing inappropriate content because it's somehow funny (and then at some point inviting you to join their Mature Content Stories group thing)(I was part of it until I knew what it was for, and then I left).


And then stories that have inappropriate content just because "that's what makes all stories great". 

--As far as I know, Disney, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings doesn't have inappropriate content (or swearing) and they're some of the highest selling franchises. 


I can sometimes tolerate constant spelling mistakes, but if it's every word than I'm not even going to try to read it (and this was done on purpose. The summary had almost perfect spelling and so did the rest of the posted stories. Just not this one).

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  • 1 month later...
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Sticking to close to canon.

It's fanfiction. Be creative. I don't want to read a story where the characters are portrayed exactly like they are in their fandom - where's the joy in that? You're not giving me anything new. If I wanted pure canon, I'd read/watch the fandom in question. I'd prefer it if you took the canon characters and took them some place new. I want to see how they develop overtime.


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OOC characters. Since I write fanfiction of real people, it's so frustrating to see a shy, quiet type be portrayed as the exact opposite. Same goes for fictional characters too. 

Mary Sue/Gary Stu type characters also annoy me.

Sometimes, I also cannot stand the use of OCs. This goes for all of my fandoms. 

In my main fandoms, our fanfics are based off of real people and events, so when a writer ignores that and decides to bring back a person who died/left a group/etc., or changes the date an event took place, I just throw up my hands in annoyance and close the fanfic.

Bad English is also annoying. I saw that a lot in my old fanfic community. 

When I read fanfics with straight pairings, I really hate it when the romance goes overboard. No, you do not have to make the two flirt, kiss, and hold hands in every sentence!

That's about it, really. ^^"

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I really really detest people who shove their Mary Sues into their fanfiction, it's the most absolute cringeworthy thing I have ever seen.

OOC'ness gets to me hard. At some points I'm okay with it but majority of the time I just stop reading the fanfic and move on to find something else. Writers who force the characters to bend a certain direction that fits the plot but no their personality bug me to no end.

Oversexualization of characters gets to me q.q I really don't like it when a nice and gentle character is suddenly acting wayy too sexual than they would/should be.

Bad English doesn't often bother me, since everyone makes mistakes and there are people who don't speak English as their first language (me included) but there are points where I cannot stand it.

that's about it .3.

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  • 1 month later...

OMG, I can relate so much to how people over sexualize characters, I read a fanfiction before and in it Hermione  goes from shy: book smart girl to va-va vroom sex goddess. Fan fiction is about expressing a new outlet with the characters we love it's supposed to go against the norms but to a degree if not it  then you might as well be writing an original work. 

I can't stand it when people would interrupt their own writing to tell you something either irrelevant or dumb,  am talking about the dreaded author notes 

" one day Sara decided to go the store ( AN. she's wearing a green top with sparkles , so cute rawr XD)"  then she met her best .....

That's something I was guilty of doing that when I was much younger and now have been in author note rehab lol I do my best to leave to the end of the chapter or not disclosing anything unless I receive a question from a reader. 

I don't mind OC's so much if the Fandom naturally has a small cast to use you may en d up needing to make a OC  character. ,but I don't like it when there not fleshed out and serve no purpose if you make a OC it should serve a way for the story to continue.   

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ah, the pet peeve list.

Originally, I used to be on the anti-Sue/Stu crew, too. As I've grown as a writer, I realized they actually had a purpose: They're a learning tool for new writers, to figure out that writing wish-fulfillment is actually pretty boring. Of course, I've also noticed a pretty aggressive trend in assumed Sues with readers that hate the introduction of any original characters into their fandom at all, or (*gasp*) if those characters dare to be female. They take a bit harder of a hit. 

What does grind my gears, though, can be summed up in a few sentences:

  • Over-sexualized characters.
  • Droning on and on about how "hot" a character is, period. The POV finds them sexy, I get it, let's get back to the story.
  • Instantaneous shipping between characters without any build-up (unless the fic in question has them pre-established as a couple and supports it without love triangle angst).
  • Writing abusive relationships without acknowledging that they're abuse. (Caveat: I am not hating on people for writing about real world problems - I tackle those in my novels and fanfiction alike - but if you do it, you need to do it respectfully and you need to do your research. I've poured so many hours into properly developing these characters, and it wouldn't hurt other people to do the same. It'd certainly make their story more believable - the effects abuse has on a person certainly doesn't go away the second someone, usually a love-interest, comes to kiss their boo-boos.)
  • Block descriptor paragraphs.
  • How "Mary Sue" has become a short-hand for "I don't like your character" in so many fandoms.
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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't know what to say. I agree what you're saying. If I write better in english, I may describ than you're right. Some of things (bestiality) is confusing. In Digimon, I saw one fanfiction with a insect and a human. it's disgusting. I don't wish to be in a furry community, despite I really like werewolfs, because I think that will be disturbing. Also, I can say that I dislike the Mary-Sue. If I could, I quote all what you're saying, because you're really right.

Also, I appreciate when great stories continue, because one of my prefered story on Digimon fandom didn't finished. It was about Osamu, my prefered character, and was written well. I was disappointed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a pathetic, voracious crack-shipper who literally ships everyone underneath the sun. Nothing is sacred . *bolts away at the speed of light* 

But shipping does bother me despite however much I like vehemently deny it. Especially where, virtually everyone has to be paired up together. Like A/B and C/D, And E/F, and that's just the only way to end a story with a happy-endingTM for everyone. I don't know why this bothers me, but it just...does. I mean you don't have to force a pairing on E and F when they show no romantic inclination toward each other throughout your story? 

Something that really bothers me is character bashing. Just...why? I mean I get it, it's your fanfiction but your fanfiction comes off as bullying a fictional character. That just makes me not want to read it. So I don't get it. 

Conveniently dead parents/lovers/sisters/brothers. Conveniently dead characters for the sake of a tragic, epic plot to pander to audience sympathies (but oops, I might be guilty of this one myself).

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  • 1 month later...

A lot of things…


Things like walls of text or spelling errors… How do you expect us to read your fanfic if you don't even formatted to make it readable? Most people have spellchecker, but even if you don't know things about paragraphs, you can always look up how to make one properly.


Having contradictions that don't make sense in characters without any foreshadowing. Recently, I was reading a fan fiction where it seemed like the villain and the protagonist’s roles are reversed. However, all the sudden, the villain starts acting like his canon self, even though he's been acting differently the entire fan fiction. There is no foreshadowing or anything.


People worshiping the reader up and down when the writer is not really that good… I've seen this happen a lot, especially with younger writers. There are some very good writers who are worthy of that praise, but they are few and far between.


Tough topics that aren't handled well… Big one is depression, but another one is romance (especially if the character goes through some difficult times romantically)


People calling other characters Mary Sues without really having an understanding of what the word means…


I'm part of the Pokémon fandom, so I see a lot of “Smarter Ash!” fics that are not done well… Plus, I don't really think Ash is dumb rather than there's the rules of the anime versus the rules of the game…


Also, I'm not a fan of a lot of gay fan fiction… I don't have anything against those people (gays), but a lot of what is written about them is not written well or realistically… Not to mention a lot of the pairings seem to come out of nowhere…



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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Community Leader

To be honest, I don't mind reading the strange/other pairings, just as long as it's a good story. I can't stand lemons and... other stuff though. And I cannot take too much romance anyways, so it works out.

I can't stand walls of text either. And when there are, there are usually a lot of grammatical errors that make me want to tear my hair out. It's saddening when there is such a good story and plot, but the errors and walls of text don't make it enjoyable to read, causing me to stop and look for something else.

I do understand why there may be walls of text though. You have to press the ENTER button twice, and most do it once. FFN requires double spacing. Mine would have been a wall of text if I didn't accidentally come across the part saying "You must double space." I found it completely on accident, so I understand, but at least use the correct grammar.

Also, reviews that are just pure "you did this wrong." Its so damn annoying when you get excited that you got a review, only for it to say "Yadada, it's not this way, it's that way." I know that you think it's wrong and all, but you can at least add something positive in there! How do you think the authors feel? If they don't get any encouragement, they feel like they may as well quit. (And even though I recently started writing, I've already felt that).

Next, stories that have automatic Mary Sues and pairings.

First, the Mary Sues. It is fine to have them, just don't say that they are invincible and skip all the hard training stuff. Don't give them invincible powers right at the start. I want to see the characters struggle, want to see them train, want to see them lose, then get back up after getting advice or encouragement or whatever comes after. It just leaves for a boring story so much worthy of more.

Secondly, auto pairings. What I mean by that is that two characters immediately have love at first sight for the other or somehow end up together without any explanation whatsoever. I need to see what happened to make it this way. Like, for example, if someone wanted to do Ash and Dawn, I want to see when they first started realizing their feelings, even if they don't at first. Like, Ash could at first see Dawn as a good friend, then feel "strange" and not realize what he felt until later, efficiently building up the romance.

You know what, if you find my explanation wrong, that's fine. I am bad at romance. Just saying. So please ignore what I have written about romance above, if you want. Thank you.

Anyways, I think there's more, but I can't think of it right now. Thank you for reading my rant on things that annoy me about Fanfiction. ^_^

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Mary Sue characters,  right off the bat. Overpowered characters, obvious plot holes. Bad grammer and sentance/paragraph writing can put me off reading a story, that normally happens when someone tries to write a fic in English where it isn't their first language or haven't gotten a good grasp. Not saying branching out to learn another language is bad, keep trying!

Something else I hate is when established characters suddenly gain a new family relative/s or when people just don't try hard enough and write shallow or overpowered OC's which takes me back to Mary Sues.

Is it too hard to ask that people writing fanfiction have a good/decent grasp of characters before starting to write? Some can kind of come over as OC themselves, I do try and avoid this myself.
I think thats all for now.


An extra note about fanfiction in general I hate is when people go around adding stories to their favourite story lists without dropping a review. I could go on and on talking/ranting about that.

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1 hour ago, Beywriter said:

An extra note about fanfiction in general I hate is when people go around adding stories to their favourite story lists without dropping a review. I could go on and on talking/ranting about that.

I know what you mean. Reviews: 147 - Favs: 248 - Follows: 360. That's the stats for my current Star Wars story, which boggles my mind as it is. Even so the review count should be much much higher. Oh well I'll just plod along.

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Just now, OfficerDonNZ said:

I know what you mean. Reviews: 147 - Favs: 248 - Follows: 360. That's the stats for my current Star Wars story, which boggles my mind as it is. Even so the review count should be much much higher. Oh well I'll just plod along.

On rare days I've had like 15-20 emails in one big chunk saying a person has faved a load of stories. No idea if they've red them at all. Can't improve my stories if I don't get crucial feedback. I usually check their profiles, some have huge lists of faved stories, some just have that. If they write themselves I check to see if they ask for reviews, on occasion they do. They ask for reviews but don't give them themselves.

Feeling anger rising just thinking about it...

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