|Reviews for Plumblossom explains it all|
| Arethusa Cyberia chapter 1 . 4/26/2010
I have two questions for you.
First, why do you think that "ensemble storytelling" is "dangerous ground?" Last time I looked at the "How To Write A Story" cookbook, that was called "multiple viewpoints" and is perfectly acceptable. The trick is to not switch within a chapter.
Second, do you think that writing a character who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder is necessarily cliche if the author did not get the idea from any other work or writer? And, do you believe that such a character can be written realistically?
| frogs of war chapter 2 . 2/16/2010
Thank you. I think that in a well written story the mechanics of writing are invisible. Not that I can always do that.
I have a question: What is your take on using pronouns instead of the character's name until the character's name is mentioned in dialogue. This feels contrived to me, and I put a book down once for just this annoyance, but later I read another (I can't remember what) where the author did it seamlessly so I didn't noticed the first occurrence of the name. I only know it happened because I was trying to remember the main character's name and turned to the front and then realized that no name was mentioned for five pages (or so).
I have a point to this but I think I'll PM you so I don't clutter up this review.
| moirared chapter 1 . 2/3/2010
The thing abou seme and uke had me nodding the whole time-well, most of this whole rant did-but just hearing the words used makes me cringe. And constantly reading about really girly guys-ugh. They can be okay in moderation, but not every story.
Uh-oh. Now I have the sudden urge to write a crossdressing fic with a straight guy being the crossdresser.
And, please, yes, more love for women.
| Annelise Morgan chapter 1 . 1/21/2010
I was okay with everything you were saying right up until you started talking about people with obsessive compulsive disorder. For your information, it's not just decorating a story if you happen to have a character who has that particular disorder. I happen to be OCD, and I don't think I'm decorating my life by doing different things.
And, actually, OCD can be used to provide problems in the story. For instance. Maybe someone with OCD stumbles upon a crime scene. You're not supposed to touch anything in a crime scene because it's tampering with evidence. Of course, some obsessive compulsives just can't help themselves. . .
Believe what you want to believe. I don't mind.
| Luke chapter 1 . 1/17/2010
This essay is a thought-provoking critique for the interested writer, whether or not they may or may have not written such. I, myself, can take into account of a few things that I have written in the past that were mentioned. I no longer use them, but I find it slightly amusing.
Regarding critique, I don't really know how I can be constructive aside from point out a few things; cafre care[?], you accidentally added a 'G' on thin in your 'Extreme skinniness/ inability to eat' section. In the 'Hence there's this really heavy language about how ugly the thing character thinks he is...' sentience.
| Merkmon chapter 1 . 1/16/2010
Well said. I can't think of how many times I've been reading a fic and come across one or more of these things and it seriously does stop the story cold. Especially the "luxurious hair" description.
| Cattails chapter 1 . 11/5/2009
This was amazing well-written and a great read before class. I agree with all of your points. Wholeheartedly. And I can honestly say I am guilty of a few (thankfully, in a story I started in Grade 8 and I am fixing and another which is...purposefully full of cliches XD). I love the points of girliphilia and phobia (I think those should be added the the dictionary). I am so fed up with disliking female characters in stories because writers don't put effort into their development. I don't understand why female writers do this and appear to think that gay men hate women. I mean, really. I mean, sure, they may not want to get with them, but I have yet to meet a gay man who is all "OMG BOOBS AND GIRLS ARE SCARY!". *sigh* Female friends of the gay boy are also terribly cliche. Yes, they do have them, but must they really all have the same personality?
...oh lord, I've ranted in my review. I am terribly sorry ._.
But really, thank you for writing this. And touching on the whole eyeliner, pink, etc. thing! And the crossdressers. It's just like drag queens: many are actually straight men. (But I'm sure you already know that!) And the disorders (again, guilty of that in Grade 8 story ;). One thing that bothers me is when OCD is used as this cute little affliction. It's AWFUL. I can only assume these writers have never heard of trichotillomania.
...and there I go again. Your rant has apparently awoken mine! I'm sorry.
Anyway. Again, I am in love with this and am now filled with the urge to reread all of my stories to scour them of any accidental cliches XD Except for the one built on them, of course. :3
| Jumping Jack Flash chapter 1 . 10/4/2009
You've got some really good points here. I've thought about writing a rant very much like this on several occasions. (I ended up doing kind of a humor essay instead, but it's satisfying to know this is out there.)
I disagree on a few points - which isn't a criticism, more like making conversation. :D
I think you took the smoking thing to kind of a weird place; maybe it's a generational thing? Some people think smokers are ashtray-stinky walking insurance risks, and some people think a cigarette is a paper-wrapped metaphor for a cock. I haven't really encountered a lot of 'whe smoking is cool' attitude around FP, but if it's turning up in characters who are teens in the 21st century, yeah, that's a bit of a WTF.
There is, I agree, way too much of 'too skinny' substituting for 'too fat'. But a skinny boy does not 'conform to the beauty standards of the day', at least not in most social contexts a teen is likely to encounter. He won't get as much crap for it as he would for being fat, probably, but 'pencilneck' and 'stringbean' still sting. That said, though... I believe we have ALL had enough of twiggy emo boys angsting about their lack of biceps. ;p
Haha, now you've got me wanting to write a high school story about a chainsmoking stringbean that somehow doesn't suck. :D
| Miz Mizery chapter 1 . 10/1/2009
Haha, I almost peed myself laughing. Its so true. I really have to watch what I say in my stories. I follow so many of these things that even I think are stupid. Glad I read this. I think this should be published as "Ways to Not Fuck Up a Story." Sorta has a ring to it, doesn't it?
| crack the sky chapter 1 . 9/14/2009
i love you for writing this. i spent the entire time trying to figure out whether i actually used any of these, haha.
but then i re-read it and realized i didn't mostly.
| mer chapter 1 . 9/13/2009
This is not so much a review as it a response and a support of your complaint. I've been on this site for quite some time and boy does the romance section reflect a lot of shit. The hetero romance section is flooded with cliche. After the first few months, I couldn’t read any more. Not when there is this totally pervasive uninteresting and unappealing set high school hierarchy, this obsession with beauty and worst of all, this shallow and easy idea of love. When I first started reading slash, I thought - something new, something interesting. But as I read on, a lot of what you talked about, everything, really, didn't sit well with me at all.
The material on fictionpress has had an effect on me as a writer. I've read all kinds of stories on this site - good, run-of-the-mill, bad, practically porn, practically gold - and have often thought of writing something similar myself. But...I can't! Whenever I set out to write a romance, it doesn't work that easily! Cliche is boring to everyone. It's very boring for writers. Writing cliche is so hard! It makes me feel alien to my own creation, and yet I somehow feel compelled to include some amount of cliche in my writing, even if it has NOTHING to do with me (I live in India, you can imagine how different my life is) to fit in with the fictionpress theme.
Your insightful essay has presented well thought out, hard-hitting and absolutely relevant observations. It's probably the most defiinitive thing I've ever read on the internet about romance writing of this sort and I can't tell you how much it's got me thinking and how it's going to help the story I'm struggling to write. By emphasizing what romance stories should NOT be made of, you’ve givn food for thought as to what meaningful romance writing IS about. Actually I'd love to see an essay about that. What is a good romance?(...Can a romance plot exist on its own or does it need to be embedded in some larger flow of action to stop it from almost certainly being an inherent cliche? Hmm…)
Once again, thanks for writing this! Tremendously refreshing and helpful.
| Hainanibaka chapter 1 . 9/8/2009
Wow. I must say that was absolutely refreshing! As as avid original slash reader it has gotten increasingly hard to find good stories such as yours. I would frequently run into problems as described in your essay and would either be like "OK it sounds fine so far, maybe I can see if I can get through this" or "Nope. I'm out." While I am not a writer myself, I thank you for having said this. It needed to be said. . . . It seems good authors are hard to find these days.
| Jazzy Soul chapter 1 . 9/7/2009
Y'know... I sat down and read this whole thing, then went back and took a closer look at some of my writing, and it kinda made me hate some of the characters I've written about...
And the oddest part, I think, is that even with that, I agree with you for the most part...
Hm. What a terrible pickle. _
| AnnaG.Luv chapter 1 . 9/2/2009
| Dianaartemis chapter 1 . 9/1/2009
I am incredibly happy that you wrote this. Especially the critique on giving boys eyeliner. It is such a small thing, but it really ticks me off when I see it, as well as other gay stereotypes.
And I do believe that seme and uke should never be used in writing, it's like using lol or wtf.
Keep up the standards!