moonlite_tryst: (Weeping cock by Red Scharlach)
[personal profile] moonlite_tryst
Remember folks, this is my idiosyncrasy, YMMV (thanks [ profile] geoviki for introducing me to that acronym). I'm not using this as a bench mark for quality of fic writing.

*cries* I was reading this original slash fic about a widower with a young son who was developing a relationship with the new doctor in town and really enjoying it until... that word appeared. *cries some more*

No matter how much I'm into a fic, nothing turns me off it quicker than a bolt of lightning than that word.


*shudders* I don't know why I can't bear it, but the moment 'babe' is spoken the fic is ruined for me. I can bear 'silver/emerald orbs' 'globes' 'duelling tongues' 'pearly strings of come' - even though for most men it's less than a teaspoon - fundament and all manner of language but babe. I just... can't.

What word or phrase does it for you?

Date: 2010-02-06 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If more than two words in a summary are misspelled or misused, I cruise right on by. In double quick-time if it's in a "summery" instead. ;-p

I'm with you on "babe", though. Unless it's being used in an ironic or sarcastic fashion, I don't want to hear baby-talk.

Date: 2010-02-06 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Or even summaries that say 'I suck at summaries'. *nods*

I've got a friend who's used babe for years when she's talking to me, it's just her way and it doesn't make me cringe, but in a fic it seems so 1960's. My other back button is modern dialogue in supposedly 'period' fic.

Date: 2010-02-07 11:17 am (UTC)
drgaellon: Turchwad Institute: from <lj user='copperbadge'>'s _Trying to Communicate_ (Turchwad)
From: [personal profile] drgaellon
I'm with you on spelling. Grammar, also. I have no trigger words, but if you can't use proper English, I won't read your story. (I often post "SPaG rants" on my own journal when I encounter particularly egregious errors. This week was about "envelope/envelop.")

Date: 2010-02-07 11:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As a native english speaker it used to seem odd that folks could get words so wrong. But now I'm learning spanish and have discovered that one letter can make such a difference (pollo - chicken, polla - cock/penis) I'm more sympathetic if I know the author is not a native speaker.

Date: 2010-02-07 11:52 am (UTC)
drgaellon: Unexpected naked snowglobe Jack (with Jareth) (Labyrinth Jack)
From: [personal profile] drgaellon
I'm not... there are lots of good, willing betas out there. If you know you're not a native speaker, you had better get someone who is to proofread for you. I'm especially unsympathetic when they proudly announce at the top, "No beta, all mistakes are mine."

(Spanish is HORRIBLE: all those accents! It's like using an alphabet with 50 letters.)

Date: 2010-02-07 11:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
there are lots of good, willing betas out there

True. Using a beta probably depends on how serious an 'author' is about their writing.

I'm not at the writing stage of Spanish beyond simple statements so I've not had to grapple with all those accents so far.

Date: 2010-02-08 11:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thing is... in my (reading) experience, non-native speakers (present company excluded) tend to get it right more often - probably because they learn to write at the same time they learn to speak, or because they take extra care in checking they got it right. Also, misuse of homonyms? I almost only see that from native speakers.

Date: 2010-02-08 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am constantly in awe of authors with english as a second language, especially someone like yourself or spark_of_chaos. Incredible.

Date: 2010-02-09 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It is a learning process. :) You can usually recognise non-native speakers by strange grammar formations and speech patterns that are slightly alien to the English language. :P

Date: 2010-02-06 05:56 pm (UTC)
megyal: (Default)
From: [personal profile] megyal
"YMMV", actually. I dislike that phrase a lot, and it doesn't have to do with if it's a fiction or a regular post ...although I've never seen it used in fiction, so that argument is invalid. But there is something about it that pisses me off, and I have no good reason to explain it. Once someone writes that, I feel weirdly defensive.

But more to the point: if I see too much "the blonde" or "the brunette" (especially if the subjects are male) and too much occurrences of interchangeable your/you're, their/they're and so on, I really am not going to waste any more reading time.

And now that you say 'babe', while I might not back-click, I know that I might not get past the first chapter without feeling mentally sarcastic about the whole thing.

Date: 2010-02-06 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*whispers* what does YMMV stand for?

slinks away

Date: 2010-02-06 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Your mileage may vary. I can't remember where it originates from but it often means your POV may be different from mine.

Date: 2010-02-07 12:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It originates from American car commercials in the '80s. Back when the government required car manufacturers to state the miles per gallon a car would expect to get (city/highway is tha way it was posted), the manufacturers would add this disclaimer to whatever inflated number they claimed. So they'd say something like: "The Uberwundercar gets 23mpg highway/19 mpg city, but your mileage may vary." Which, I suppose, meant if you were a weirdo who stopped at red lights or something, your fuel efficiency wouldn't be as good.

But the disclaimer was everywhere, so I think it was natural for us Americans to pick up on its other uses.

Date: 2010-02-07 01:34 am (UTC)
megyal: (Default)
From: [personal profile] megyal
Oh, that's a great explanation, thanks. Now I think I won't feel so homicidal when I see it!

Date: 2010-02-06 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
if I see too much "the blonde" or "the brunette"

This is one of the reasons I've stopped reading H/D fic. After reading 100's of fics I know Draco's blond and Harry has dark hair, I don't need it spelt out to me every bloody time.

Date: 2010-02-07 01:33 am (UTC)
megyal: (Default)
From: [personal profile] megyal
Exactly. I mean, we have SOME idea what colour hair they have, yes? It never fails to make me go like this:


Date: 2010-02-07 01:35 am (UTC)
megyal: (Default)
From: [personal profile] megyal
Oh! I wanted to ask you, if not 'babe', which endearments can you stand?

Date: 2010-02-07 08:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
God, that's got me thinking.

Um... beautiful, gorgeous, sweet heart, off the top of my head. Certainly not any of the ones I use in RL. *G*

Date: 2010-02-07 02:17 pm (UTC)
megyal: ([reach out and] glomp someone)
From: [personal profile] megyal
:D Those are actually quite stand-able. I'm particularly enamoured with reading 'sweet heart', although in RL my common form of endearment is, "HEY. YOU."

Date: 2010-02-07 09:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Seconded. And it happens in every other fandom as well ¬__¬

Date: 2010-02-07 12:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was going to say that new authors forget there's already a glut of fic out there mentioning the same physical traits over and over again, but there are also more seasoned authors who still include such details in every fic they write. Grrrrrrr!

Date: 2010-02-08 11:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, and I just found "those mercurial grey eyes", and "blonde" three times in less than 20 lines. I feel like stabbing the keyboard.

Date: 2010-02-06 06:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Blonde. Every. Damn. Time.

And see, here's the thing about 'babe', or more specifically, 'baby'... I have these very dear friends, a gay couple, who have been together for nearly forty years, and one now and has always called the other baby. And I kind of love that about them, so that one doesn't bother me at all.
Edited Date: 2010-02-06 06:44 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-02-06 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
oh thank god. my ex-hub used to call me babe sometimes, so consider it a fine male-used endearment. but after seeing the other comments, I was totally going to slink away and not say anything.

maybe the issue is that endearments often look a little odd/fake when used in written dialogue [*ponders*]

Date: 2010-02-06 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No slinking allowed. This is what makes us so fascinating: one person's meat is another person's poison.

maybe the issue is that endearments often look a little odd/fake when used in written dialogue

Maybe it is. Beautiful or gorgeous work for me in dialogue, can't recall having seen 'darling' anywhere in the m/m I've read.

Date: 2010-02-07 12:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You probably read too many Americans! "Darling" is considered old-fashioned here, so that would stick out for us.

Date: 2010-02-07 01:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd also consider it old fashioned. :)

Date: 2010-02-06 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've got a friend who's used babe for years when she's talking to me, it's just her way and it doesn't make me cringe. Even mr lusi calls me baby from time to time. *snorts. baby elephant more like* I just cannot read it in fic. We humans are a fickle bunch. ;)

Date: 2010-02-07 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think it's the word spelled, specifically, 'cum.' I can take it spelled the other way: 'come.' Cum just sounds too bad-porn for me.

Date: 2010-02-07 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know what you mean. I was reading the epic military fic Special Forces recently and that had cum instead of come, but I could ignore it because I was so hooked into the developing relationship between the SAS and Spetznaz soldiers. Well, I was until half way through book 2 when the fic lost its way and became a shag fest chapter after chapter. Such a shame. :(

Date: 2010-02-07 01:27 am (UTC)
mordyn4: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mordyn4
Haha. We all have one - that pet peeve that isn't your average "turgid" or "gotten".

Mine is "better access". It makes me want to take a fork to my LCD and I feel unaccountably betrayed by the author when they use it. If I'm feeling iffy about a fic, it will break the camel's back. Otherwise I grind my teeth and try to pretend I didn't see it.

And I have no idea why it's the one thing that sets me off, other than it being a sign of lazy writing or something.

Date: 2010-02-07 11:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, when I think of my early fics they're full of those cliche phrases. Or they were until I went back and edited them out after several good betas showed me the error of my ways.

Date: 2010-02-07 04:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'll try to remember not to use that :-))

I can't say there's a single word that always makes me back-button as soon as I see it. On the whole a single, or a few mistakes doesn't make me stop reading if I like the fic as a whole. If I really like the theme, or the fic so far, those things together with the occassional overused cliched word or phrase only makes me shrug and go on. I must admit that I find it a little bit strange that people would instantly dismiss the whole thing on the spot for a single word they don't like, or a few mistakes, if they think they otherwise would like it. I mean, okay if they didn't much like it on the whole, but if they actually do, how can a single word, no matter how annoying destroy the whole story? If it's used one million times, then maybe... :-)

For me it's more a question of the over all writing style, is it in my taste or not? Or it's about if certain themes and tropes are my thing or not. If I see clear indications that a fic will develop in a way that is not interesting to me, then I'll back-button. And yeah, sometimes it doesn't take more than a single phrase to be reasonably sure that that's where this certain fic is going. For me, who prefer to read slavefic on-line, that phrase is "Call me by name!" I just... hate that :-) Even so, some stories have been so good that I could still get over even that my worst back-button-reason :-)

As a writer it's a bit tricky, because even though you eventually learn to avoid the worst of these words or phrases, that annoys the most people, there's really no way to write that someone wouldn't be annoyed by something. It's the old 'you just can't please everybody'.

But yeah, there is no instant back-button-thing for me that will always make me stop reading. A good story, a good writer can make me read almost everything. But if the overall impression of the story is that it's probably not so much my thing (because of theme, writing-style or excessive amounts of mistakes) then a single pet-peeve might be the straw that broke the camel's back, and make me back-button.

Date: 2010-02-07 11:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I find it a little bit strange

I know. I can barely explain it myself. If I'm loving the fic I'll have an ugh moment and carry on. If I'm not completely engaged with the characters or plot then it's back button.

there's really no way to write that someone wouldn't be annoyed by something

I wouldn't want to cramp your writing, or anybody elses for that matter, so if Nickel calls Taven 'baby', (I'm sure he has done already) I won't stop reading because I'm invested in their lives and what happens to them.

Date: 2010-02-07 12:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If I'm loving the fic I'll have an ugh moment and carry on. If I'm not completely engaged with the characters or plot then it's back button.

I think we are saying the same thing, really :-) I do agree. If the fic didn't already succeeded in pulling me in I might do that too for minor things that annoys me. But I'm much more forgiving if I already like it. I'd never back-button at certain things on principle, so to speak :-)

I wouldn't want to cramp your writing, or anybody elses for that matter,

You're not! And it's often good to read what people find annoying, and how certain things sound in native speakers' ears, because writing in a second language you're not always 100% aware of things like this. To me a word or phrase might sound completely neutral in English, while a native speaker will cringe at how corny it sounds :-))

I often visit fanficrants though, and there seems to be a lot of the kind of rants where people say they won't give a fic a chance at the smallest things, really, and that does surprise me a little bit. Do they really think there exist an author in the world, professional or not, who doesn't make mistakes, or that won't sometimes use a silly phrase or a chliched word? Or that there are a single editor/betareader out there that occassionally won't miss a mistake or two? I can't help thinking they will miss out on some good things.

I don't think that that is what most people mean though. Maybe it's just that there are so much fic out there, especially in some fandoms, that people simply have too much to wade through, and so their criteria gets stricter? And of course there ARE also a lot of badfic out there, and people who read much will become very good at spotting the tell-tale-signs of it. Past experience tell them that there's a much bigger risk that certain signs will reveal yet another badfic, and not so much chance of a near masterpiece where the author really only "sinned" one or two times in an otherwise excellent fic. And of course there is the whole OOC-thing when it comes to fanfiction. No matter what you think of the word 'babe' in general, some characters just wouldn't say that. So it's not that I don't understand people most of the times :-)

But yeah, the rants where people go. "This fic was excellent in all ways, but I found one misspelling, so now I have to rant at fanficrants." ... not getting that :-))

so if Nickel calls Taven 'baby', (I'm sure he has done already) I won't stop reading because I'm invested in their lives and what happens to them.

He hasn't done that yet :-) I don't think he will either, not his style I think. He did call him 'Dear' once :-)) And I am really happy to hear that! Thanks! :-)

Date: 2010-02-08 08:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
there are so much fic out there that people simply have too much to wade through, and so their criteria gets stricter

Absolutely. This has definitely happened to me.

Date: 2010-02-07 09:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I haven't read a Potter fic in ages (I stopped when the books ended, as another closure), but I've continued with other fandoms every now and then, and everywhere it's the same: bad spelling and worse grammar. I'm not a native, but my English is good enough to recognise mistakes at once and that, being the geeky snob that I am, always throws me off. And I never read fics in Spanish because there the mistakes are even worse - not that I notice them more, they are worse. Imagine this terrible English: "Dere waz a dak at the dor." There was a duck at the door, in complete I-don't-care-about-language.
*slinks back to obscureness and non-commenting status* :P


Date: 2010-02-07 11:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nice to hear from you. :)

I had a brief fling with the Generation Kill fandom while my H/D was waning, bit now it's mostly original m/m that I read and Oh boy! Have I read some absolute gems. If you want any recs let me know what you like, or don't like of that's easier.
Edited Date: 2010-02-07 11:51 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-02-08 11:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Anything but mpreg and character death, pick whatever you think it's good.

Also, it's too early to be awake (stayed up all night knitting @_@) and perhaps my English is failing, but here: (insert famous manga character name here) felt a frown tug at his lips
I thought frowns involved eyebrows, not lips. I forgot the equivalent for the mouth gesture, but I'm almsot certain it's not frown. Correct me, please?

Date: 2010-02-08 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Adam's got the Spidey Sense but he'd rather be The Invisible Man. Your regular Marvel Action Hero minus lycra and enthusiasm for saving the world, he'd rather just ignore it and his dormant to extinct love life. Going nuts is more of a problem. First person but writen so well.

The Seventh Veil (historical fantasy). I read this without reading the summary, which doesn't do it justice and gives too much away:

The God Eaters by Jesse Hajicek. I read this online then paid £20 for the book, I loved it so much:

Date: 2010-02-08 11:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If it is fanfic then non-canon nicknames. Also, baby. And arse cheeks. *shudders* And cum.

But when a fic contains those, I'm usually turned back before because of the general quality. There is never just one thing wrong with a fic.

Date: 2010-02-08 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If it is fanfic then non-canon nicknames

Mione! Drakey!! *runs for the hills*

Date: 2010-02-09 05:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Right. "'Mione" is one of the worst. Every fandom has them, some are more obnoxious than others (because they are more generally accepted).


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