KVeronicaP
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Joined 05-11-20, id: 1141237, Profile Updated: 01-14-22
Author has written 10 stories for General, Humor, Religion, and Nature.

Mae govannen!

This year, I have made it my New Year's resolution that, for every review posted to one of my pieces, I will be reviewing one of yours. You took a moment to put down some genuine words, so I shall absolutely do you the favor back! It's an equivalent exchange, as the alchemists would say. Additionally, I resolve to review each story I read, no matter what. Reviews are the bread and butter of the author, and we mustn't let our authors go hungry! Not only do reviews brighten their days, but they also offer constructive criticism and new insights into their writing. I think it would be wonderful if everyone made this their own resolution, too; let's spread some good feedback and cheer in 2022!

I’m a casual writer with a penchant for poetry and a tendency to turn the silliest of ideas into stories and one-shots and poems. I love loves sticking my nose into random books and getting whirled into the world inside them. Fiction writing is perhaps my greatest passion, right along with reading Anglo-American literature. If I might be so bold as to indulge in my hubris, I sometimes like to call myself an author, maybe even a poet.

Feel free to find me at Fanfiction.net and at Allpoetry[dot]com under the same pen name!


If you’d like, maybe you can learn a little more about me through my favorite things and other random facts:

Author: The brilliant professor J.R.R. Tolkien, especially concerning LotR and The Hobbit. However, a little C.S. Lewis never hurt anyone (they were best friends anyway). Brian Jacques would be an excellent childhood third

Book: Absolutely anything that can be considered among the ranks of the TolkienVerse. I am, however, particularly partial to The Hobbit and The Return of the King

Couples/pairings: I got a number of these from current and past favorite fandoms in no particular order since this is just off the toppa my head. Edward-Winry, Alphonse-Mei, Faramir-Éowyn, Beren-Lúthien, Aragorn-Arwen, Luke Skywalker-Mara Jade, Han-Leia, Anakin-Padme, Obi-Wan-Satine, Neo-Trinity, Eragon-Arya, Steve-Peggy, Stephen-Christine, Tony-Pepper, Peter-MJ, Peter-Gamora, Newt-Tina, Jacob-Queenie, Hiccup-Astrid, Zuko-Katara, Cloud-Tifa, Gilbert-Anne, Sam-Rosie, Sherlock-Sherlock's ego, Darcy-Elizabeth, Mr.Knightley-Emma, Harry-Ginny, Laurie-Jo, Mark-Greta, Thomas-Mindy aaand the list could continue...

Drink: "Coffee, lots of coffee, shots of coffee, pots of coffee. Oh yeah, and make that coffee black!" (I won’t accept anything other than brewed black, either cold-brew or hot)

Eatables: “Tomatoes, sausages, nice crispy bacon…”

Fandoms (childhood and current): The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, The Legend of Zelda, the Marvel Cinematic Universe/comicverse, a number of shonen/seinen anime, The Chronicles of Narnia, Starwars, Nolanverse, Elder Scrolls, The Inheritance Cycle, Jane Austen, James Bond, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts, HTTYD, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Hollow Knight, BBC Sherlock, T.V. show Star Trek, Little Nightmares...

Grew up watching: The six original Starwars movies (Disney ruined it for me — sorry, even if the prequels were okay), Indiana Jones (I implore you, Disney, don't make a fifth), first Harry Potter movies (books were read first, don't worry), Narnia (ibīdem), Lord of the Rings (ibīdem)

Hogwarts house: Ravenclaw

Introvert or Extrovert?: Contemplative introvert who can push herself to act extroverted (due to years and years of productions and acting). For those of you people who view us as aliens, feel free to check out the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. She hits every nail on the head!

Joke: Politics

Kryptonite: 85% dark chocolate and up, though I of course would never pass up a Hersheys. Bueno Bars are good, too

Life advice: Exercise every other day and practice intermittent fasting (with a five hour window or less.) I’ve been doing both for a long time now, and I’ve never felt healthier. Consider this as the highest recommended life option from yours truly! Feel free to check out Gin Stephens' and Melanie Avalon's (oml she’s amazing) podcast, The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, for great information

Movie: I enjoy a whole lot of films and a few shows as well, though I'm awfully choosy now. I used to prefer action-packed movies that delivered sucker punch after sucker punch of plot point after plot point and character after character. Now, I've found my place in more quote-unquote "literary" film pieces, in which character is the driving factor and the ideas about the viewer's perception of the world are challenged or placed under a new light. Christopher Nolan and Hayao Miyazaki are perhaps my two favorite film directors. Twelve-year-old KVP might have been able to ecstatically recall every detail about the latest Marvel movie that had recently hit theaters, and sixteen-year-old KVP might have been able to comment her mixed thoughts on the show Dragon Ball Z from the 90s, but current KVP might smile a bit and amble through the gate into the wondrous world of Miyazaki's Spirited Away or wash up on the shores of her subconscious from Nolan's Inception or trudge through the trenches in northern France during Mendes' 1917.

Netflix series: I never really frequented this platform much, but I’m an ardent fan of Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009) which can be found there. Contrary to popular belief, I believe the 2003 version is a worth-while watch. Vinland Saga (2019) and Violet Evergarden (2019) are also favorites, the latter of which weaves a lovely Aristotelian, philosophical allegory into the story to boot!

OTP: (Didn’t leave it out—) ZeLink, of course!

Poem: Dulce et Decorum Est is a heart-rending, very disillusioned poem about the realities of war (If you have not seen the movie 1917, I highly recommend it; it's a very heart-shattering and sorrowful film that should have won many more oscars)

Quirk: I like working with my hands, and I can often "MacGyver" with whatever materials I have at hand. I love (amateur) tailoring and costuming (Halloween is a huge deal in my books), and I've cross stitched, latch hooked, and am always sewing. Those are my primary "crafty" avenues currently, though I absolutely loved arts and crafts of all sorts when I was a kid. I draw casually as well, from storyboards for my original fiction scenes to finished pieces in color.

Regret: That one time when I first took up writing quote-unquote "seriously" in the sixth grade and even started a semi-decently planned novel in which I actually very unknowingly ripped off The Mask of Zorro, The Scarlet Pimpernel, A Tale of Two Cities, and The Prestige all at once!

Secret dream: Voice acting. I've been told many times I'd do well in that. I'm not opposed if the opportunity presented itself

Theater Production/Written Play: Very nearly anything Shakespeare. Arthur Miller's The Crucible has a special place in my heart. I'm almost constantly in some production or another, but with the quarantine unfortunately, I haven't been able to remain in anything. Acting is one of my all-time favorite hobbies, and it's perhaps from acting that most of my other interests have stemmed, especially my writing. In a similar fashion to losing one's self in fiction, there's something exhilarating in stepping into the shoes of a character who isn't "real" per se, but by stepping into those shoes, I make that character real for others

U.S. state: Alaska by far. You can (of course) brag to family and friends that you’ve been way above the Arctic Circle. — In all seriousness, the state really is beautiful, especially Denali, and the hikes and trails are absolutely gorgeous

Video game franchise: The Legend of Zelda … just a bit

Word: "Mellifluous"

XKCD question: What would be the cumulative energy of the hundreds of thousands of keystrokes required to write a novel?

YT channel: Memento Mori. Unus. Annus.

Zelda installment: Breath of the Wild, what else? The gameplay and exploration was flawless, and while I’m hoping for more story in the sequel, BotW really takes the monster cake for me. I’m sure we all could talk about it for hours and hours, but ars longa, et vita brevis est. Ergo nunc indigeo scribere!


Bits of advice I've picked up along the way that I still need to drive into my thick skull

1) Let details and specificity speak for you

This is another way to say "show, don't tell," a classic piece of advice given to creative writers. Allow your details and description to show us your ideas; don't just directly tell us what we should think, how your characters feel, who your characters are, etc. There's a place for direct presentation and direct reflection, but indirect presentation — in which you allow your character to reveal himself through his actions — builds characters who seem real and stories that convey rich meaning. It's very rare that someone directly tells you everything they're feeling; you pick up clues along the way instead. As I read more experienced fanfics, I've often been struck by how strong use of detail also deepens the meaning of the stories I read. When you tell too much, you kind of cement your reader into just one view. When you show your character interacting with his environment in revealing ways, you open your story up to multiple views.

To allow details to speak, we need to imagine the world of our stories even more clearly. Think about the full environment in which our protagonists live. Think about what things our protagonists might interact with. Think about the details of our own lives as we try to figure out what the details of our protagonists' life might be to ensure a bit of realism.

2) Let characters drive plot

A hallmark of most literary fiction is that character drives plot. This is why, for example, they say that the initially stated reason for a character's quest is never the real reason (Feel free to check out Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor for more deets on that concept). The stated reason might be the real reason in commercial fiction, but for truly well-done pieces of writing, figure out what within your character drives them to take the actions that they do. Have your characters' back like you do the back of your hand. Pin down their insecurities, fears, formative experiences, and yearnings. Bring some of these explicitly into the story maybe; moments of reflection and dips into vivid scenes from your character's memories can be revealing and effective. Show how these deeper, secret elements of personality shape and drive your characters' actions.

3) Don't protect your characters

I suspect that some of you, absolutely just like me, grow so attached to your fic's main characters that you don't want anything bad to happen to them and didn't want anything bad to be thought of them. Augh, we gotta stop protecting those cinnamon rolls! I don't mean that we should hit our characters with meteors or turn them into evil fiends but instead allow them to struggle is the essence of introducing conflict into stories. These are questions I ask myself all the time: Does your story have conflict? Do your characters struggle with themselves, with society, with specific people or issues? If your story feels stagnant or if you don't feel like you know how to develop it, ask yourself: ehh, what's the worst that could happen? Then consider placing your character into this horrible situation. As your characters claw their way out of this predicament, I bet your story will gain suspense, energy, and depth. Of course, don't necessarily actually add a meteor into a Narnia fic; it's just an exercise.

That said, I think that death (while it's almost by definition the worst that could happen to the progression of a character) is not exactly an example of a complicating conflict— it can be the easy way out. If you resolved conflicts in your story through death, consider forcing your characters to live and deal with reality instead. OoOoOoOoh, complexity.

I've seen a fair share of fics willing to allow bad things to happen to their protagonists, but not to allow their protagonists to DO bad things or THINK bad things. I don't mean that you have to write a story featuring an unlikable anti-hero, but don't be afraid to let your protagonist be flawed. Allow your protagonist to make a selfish mistake and feel badly afterwards. Allow your protagonist to be petty, to be wrong, to be unintentionally (or intentionally) cruel, to be obtuse. Readers have some trouble relating to protagonists who are paragons of virtue, who are always dutiful children or resolute in the face of danger. I've only too often felt guilty about my own mistakes. Your protagonist might, too. Allow your protagonist to be truly flawed, and your protagonist has room to truly develop.

We need to stop protecting our protagonists; allow him to deal with REAL struggles, to be more than the cliche of the tiny, frail innocent. Along the same lines, don't be afraid if your story doesn't have a message that can be wrapped up in one simple moral, with your protagonist purely good (or evil) and the lines between right and wrong utterly distinct. In the real world, it's often difficult to figure out what is the right thing to do, no? We often disappoint ourselves or choose less than perfect actions, no? We're all fallible, and we all deal with complexity every day.

4) Listen to your reviewers

If people have reviewed your piece — ten, let us say — listen carefully to what they tell you. Smile and nod a lot through the screen, and be 100% absolutely sure to send them a gushing, lengthy hear-felt thank-you PM telling them how amazing they are (whoops, how'd that bit get in there ;) But then review what was said very carefully. If your critics are all telling you the same thing about some aspect of your story — a plot twist that doesn't work, a character who rings false, stilted narrative, or half a dozen other possibilities — change that aspect. Obviously you as author have complete control, but it doesn't matter if you really liked that twist of that character; if a lot of people are telling you something is wrong with your piece, it is. If seven or eight of them are hitting on that same thing, I'd still suggest changing it. That's just a part of commercial fiction. But if everyone — or even most everyone — is criticizing something different, you can safely disregard what all of them say, haha! ...Sorta

5) Polish your grammar

I'll be the first to cut in line to holler that English is weird. It just is, and it has so many writing rules and twice as many exceptions to those rules. Learn 'em! Learn 'em all! Because no matter how many SPaG rules, there'll always be more. On a simpler level, grammatical errors'll make anyone cranky. We want to make our work the best we can, and ensuring that grammar is the best it can be makes readers' jobs so much easier. Too often run-on sentences or misplaced modifiers take readers out of the immersion of the story, so you're doing the credibility of your piece a favor, too. Obviously, we can only do so much!

Caveat: writers often take liberties with grammar, especially in dialogue. Rampant ellipses and sentence fragments, for example, I've learned can evoke a particular feel, style, or voice. However, if we do include these kinds of "errors" in our writing, I think it's key demonstrate perfect control of grammar everywhere else (including in dialogue) so that it's obvious these were stylistic choices rather than sloppiness. I've been called out for that before.

If you're on the hunt for a good book to dust off your apostrophe placement or commas and conjunctions, I couldn't recommend higher that you read William Strunk's Elements of Style. This was my light and salvation through most of high school, and I keep it on my person still. Strunk is my god, after all.

6) Fear not this night long sentences as well as the Oxford Comma as well as the Em Dash as well as...

I wonder if everyone fears long sentences. Editors fear them. Readers fear them. And especially writers fear them. I can't seem to shake them from my habits. However, even I fear them. Look. Another short one. Shorter. Fragments. Just letters. Frags. F... f... f... f... Can I interest you in writing a sentence without any words — only punctuation? ... #:!? Dare to write what you fear. Until I try to master the long sentence, I'm actually no writer at all, for while length can make a bad sentence worse, it can also make a a good sentence better.

On the subject of SPaG, did you know that the Oxford Comma dispute has been going on for decades? I cannot stress enough how essential this tiny, little comma is. From the $5 million Oakhurst Dairy debacle, to this sentence: "We studied Roman emperors, Washington and Einstein," the Oxford Comma brings clarity to the sentence and relief to the reader. Fans of Strunk and White always keep it in while thrifty journalists decide it's unnecessary. Furthermore, I also spell the word parlor as "parlor," and I place my commas inside my quotation marks. However, a British friend of mine spells it "parlour", and she leaves that poor croissant out in the cold. That same friend has also tried to undertake the herculean task to eliminate that tree branch in the road — the Em Dash. Not only do these little buddies help clarify meaning when you want to pull an Inception on your appositives or any old clause — sort of, in a way, like this — but they also look fabulously sophisticated.

All of this is to say that, when it comes down to the nitty gritty of punctuation, we all develop styles and habits that buttress our writing in different ways. And that's all right. Just be sure that you understand the effect some of these choices can have. Mine include wearing out all commas thin and stretching out my sentences than average. I abhor unsightly scars on the page, so I turn my nose at colons and parentheses and opt for overusing the semicolon. I try to write an exclamation with enough oompf to avoid the weedy, informal appendage of an exclamation mark. I prefer the comma to the Em Dash but sometimes slip one into the mix — if only to piss off my friend. : )


KVeronicaP's enemies-to-lovers trope in her relationship with books

I truly don't think I have much to do other than begin at the beginning, so strap yourself in, I suppose; time to go on a cross-country trip — figuratively.

As a preschooler and kindergartener, I couldn't stand being taught how to read, and God, I hated books. I hated that big white and yellow book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, with the hard words like "knight" that were clearly intended to be read aloud as "kuh-nite.” It took until after the first grade for me to really appreciate books, when I read Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Toward the end of the first grade (I distinctly remember bragging to my friends I had to "play hooky" for the end of the school year), my family was preparing for that summer's tri-week cross-country trip by packing belongings in our fancy, flashy Toyota minivan, and I knew I was in trouble since I would be hours on the highway and nothing with which to amuse myself.

My lack of tolerance toward reading was a bit of a problem, as I discovered the only thing I could do all those hours in the car was turn to the many books my mother had stuffed in the back with me. Driven to such a point of utter boredom, I reluctantly picked one up. I discovered that... it wasn't ...bad. To be honest, I'd known for a while how to read; I just didn't like doing it because it was something I "had" to do (I mean, Polly Pockets were much more interesting than Winnie the Poo). Yet by the end of that trip, I had transformed from a lazy leach into an avid book worm. I finished every last book in the backseat.

I'd completely exploded into the world of books. Each time I came back from the library, the top of the stack in my arms would be precariously tucked under my chin — albeit a number of them at first might have been the early Daisy Meadows' fairy books. But it was a good start compared to my earlier stubbornness. Fast forward to God only knows when, I remember my oldest brother planning a Lord of the Rings movie marathon with his friends to celebrate his birthday, and — per what had become the family rule — I had to read the book before I saw the movies. Me being a chronological purest, I had to start from the beginning of this world called "Middle Earth" — not the Silmarillion exactly — by reading The Hobbit. I'd never read something as big as The Hobbit, and the closest thing to Tolkien I'd read was probably Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, but I was bound and determined to watch those movies with my two older brothers even if it killed me.

Now I think I'd swear my life on that rule.

It was almost as if I'd tentatively prodded the book cover open half an inch only to get sucked right into the magical world of Hobbits, murky caves, dragons, and dangerous quests for gold. Beginning that epic quest alongside Tolkien had not only marked him as my favorite author but also marked that moment for when my love for true literature began. I fell in love with the Professor's vague yet extremely detailed style of writing and his occasional informality as if he were speaking to me directly. I loved imagining myself in the scenes, sneaking past trolls and dropping dwarves packed in barrels into the River Running. Most of all, I loved the story of the unlikely hero found in Bilbo. It captured my young mind how someone so small could be surrounded by those who are so much stronger or wiser than he yet possess a profound good will that far out-shone the others.

Ever since then, books have become my life. Throughout childhood, the library became my home. Sometimes I would ride the mile on my bike just to read in the stillness I found there. There was a lifetime of books there. Because once I opened one, I opened a door, and I was no longer on the library floor but in the shoes of someone extraordinary, or someone just like me. My life outside the book ceased to be, and as odd as it may seem, the thought never bothered me. I simply entered a new life because of words on a page. And such words could form an incredible story, one that I could walk right into, because that world was now mine for me to love and enjoy.

My heart will always lie with the fantasy genre along with Tolkien, Lewis, and Paolini, but over the years, I've found a love for short stories, history, dystopian, and even a dash of romance when done properly. Thanks to that one book in the second grade, I got to see a fantastic adaptation of my beloved trilogy (and later a horrible train-wreck of The Hobbit), and I began to read more and more. Along with finding a home in Hobbiton, I stood under the lamppost in Narnia, rode my own dragon in Alagaesia, built a homestead on the prairie, learned magic at Hogwarts, cheered on Atticus with Scout, defended Redwall Abbey, turned my nose up at Darcy, and lost myself in countless other worlds hiding behind the pages of books.

What's your story about your love of, well... stories! Feel free to PM me; I'm always willing to chat for a bit and swap anecdotes.


"There, there, he's just a cartoon character"

That was something a good friend had once told me during a particularly intense bit of movie hangover caused by a Studio Ghibli movie that didn't exactly have the happiest of endings. I remember it had struck me in that moment that she didn't understand my emotional investment in the story, and it got me thinking — do people not understand fiction? Obviously, that wasn't nearly the much-less-extreme sentiment my friend was going for, and I admit that I arrived at a different stop with this train of thought. The *relative* leisure of quarantine allowed me to throw myself back into my lost world of fiction, from books to video games, and I've been wrestling with the concept of fiction since then — is it objectively better than reality in some ways? Does it tamper with one's perception of reality? Is it even worth it if, in the end, none of it is "real"? — boiled down to simply, why consume fiction?

After all, the events of a Jane Austen novel didn't really happen. And we can't really perform inception in artificially made dreams within dreams. What in the world is the point behind the history of Othello's military conquests or Gatsby's summer party debauchery? Certainly, reading The Great Gatsby will give you a sense for the mood of the roaring 20s, but wouldn't a history book or newspapers be better sources of knowledge? If Hobbits aren't real creatures, what's the point in sympathizing with them in Lord of the Rings? If "it was never meant to be," why do we feel so strongly about a small drug empire that was born inside a hot dog van? Logically speaking we shouldn't rescue Princess Peach if we won't get any reward through the screen. Still more, Frankenstein contains just endless scientific errors, and The Glass Menagerie contains several examples of blatant artificiality! Oh, the horror! The horror! Even more dark, perhaps, is the fact that literature can present a warped view of the world. For example, Heart of Darkness, an incredible work by Joseph Conrad, has been accused of perpetuating racist ideas about Africans. You perhaps might argue in some cases that The Legend of Zelda presents a sexist view of gender roles, and Othello depicts a spouse who sees murder as a justified punishment for infidelity. Why expose ourselves to ideas that could be so dangerous or negative?

To begin with, creators (whether that's authors, video game developers, mangaka, or movie directors) wish to produce an effect upon their readers, so it should come as no surprise to us that they hide deeper messages into their work. And so, we come to the critical question: do we wish to understand these messages, or do we close our eyes to them? If we do the latter, we instead end up only seeing the racism in Heart of Darkness, the "sexism" in Zelda, the scientific errors in Frankenstein... Consequently, the author’s efforts at producing a work of art sail right over our uninformed heads. If we miss this — the product of the author’s blood, sweat, and tears, believe me — we are left with a shell of a story, an empty depiction of events that seem to lack substance. At that point, it’s like consuming soup with a fork, like eating an expensive Belgian truffle like it’s a Hershey’s bar, like thinking a person’s mask at a masquerade ball is their true face.

I believe it was TS Eliot who said something along the lines of "literature turns ink into blood." Physically, fiction is a smear of black fluid on pulpy wood or the flash of an LED behind a screen of glass, but the written word is an expression of ideas, consciousness, and identity. Cognitively, fiction communicates to those who read, watch, play it the secrets and truths of the human condition in the form of storytelling — an art prevalent for as long as mankind can remember. Stories naturally run in our veins, and through fiction, that ink runs red with human life.

In short, my answer is this: You will not learn facts in fiction but will learn something intangible, and arguably something far more valuable: a way to think, a way to see, a way to listen.

Using literature as an example for now (movies and video games are too-recent an art form for this to apply), serves as a window to the past. Just as studying histories is important to learn from mankind's successes and mistakes, literature shines a light into the thinking and ideologies of that time. Dickens' Great Expectations makes see-through the prevalent prejudice in British society that was nineteenth century classism. Orwell's Animal Farm served readers as a cautionary tale in order to expose the gravity behind the dangers that emerged from Russia and the Soviet Union under Communist Party rule. Remarque wrote All Quiet on the Western Front in order to express his postwar trauma and shattering disillusion in the wake of WWI. Each of these texts of literature reveal snapshots of that time and the stories of that past, teaching its readers further what it means to be human in those times and with those ways of thinking.

The human person naturally seeks out what is good, beautiful, and enriching. Fiction in any form is like a whole host of birds that authors put into papery cages. Each one is a distinct, fluttery thought — different in nature and in emotion. Writers, authors, and designers breathe life into them with carefully chosen words that express what the beautiful truths and realities they want communicated. These carefully crafted worlds are pieces of art in their own respect, and each day sees more and more birds taking flight as more these creators turn to the enriching beauty of the written word, the camera, or the storyboard, teaching the human person how to live.

When spending time in fiction, we look into ourselves. The human person requires what is unreal to look into the reflection of what is real. Vita brevis, sed ars longa; though human life is short, the art of capturing it in writing will live forever. Creators invoke aspects of human nature universal to all — via emotion, thought, behavior — and shed new ideas, new situations, new methods of expression into them. Fiction, instead of fact, is a means of recognizing the integrity ("the whole") of oneself and entering a state of reflection. With new sources of media and entertainment blasting our faces with colors, lights, and constant sound, little room is left in the modern world to step away from that game of objectivity and competition. The stories told in fiction allow us to take a step back to reveal for us countless glimpses into ourselves as humans.

So let us seize these truths — the thoughts and reflections of the past — and bear them with us into the unknown of the future, turning that ink into our own blood.


Why FanFic demotivates me

Simple answer: commercial versus literary writing. Yeah, it's the age-old, well-rutted debate, but it's entirely true as well.

Before I get to my explanation, I think I need a caveat paragraph: I love both genre writing and literary writing, so I'm not trying to express a preference here. Also there are a bazillion exceptions to every rule in fiction, so of course there are going to be exceptions to my own explanation.

For those of you who've never heard of this debate, "commercial" fiction takes us away from the real world: it helps us temporarily to forget our troubles. I'd say series such as Harry Potter, Marvel movies, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon fall into this category. Literary fiction plunges us, through the author's imaginative vision and artistic ability, more deeply into the real world, enabling us to understand life's difficulties and to empathize with others. I'd say To Kill a Mockingbird, Inception, Violet Evergarden, even Hollow Knight fall into this category. While commercial fiction has the reader's immediate pleasure as its object, literary fiction hopes to provide a complex, lasting aesthetic and intellectual enjoyment for audiences rather than creating a simple, escapist diversion; its object is to offer pleasure plus understanding. There's nothing wrong at all with making commercial fiction (different strokes for different folks), but one is clearly a much more difficult, much more rewarding, much more effective endeavor than the other.

When I first heard this argument, I was actually somewhat irked. I felt that the distinction was meaningless and thought the article from which I was reading was being needlessly highbrow. Besides, many words of "literature" were commercial in their day. Charles Dickens was perhaps the 19th century equivalent of a hit TV screenwriter, as he published hit novels as serials in newspapers. In fact, ol' Darles Chickens was a bit of a celebrity, to be honest. This may be my personal dislike of the guy, but I wouldn't be surprised if he ever let that get to his head and got lazy with his writing *cough* *Bleak House* *cough*

Again, this isn't to impress a certain preference but to give you my side of the argument and maybe raise awareness to the fiction we're all consuming nowadays. I haven't (and this is going to shoot me in the foot) read Harry Potter in years, not necessarily because I think it would be a waste of time if I took 60 hours to read an entire heptatology, but because I could be exploring fiction that evokes deeper themes and that elevate my mind to a higher train of thought. It's kind of like the sprite fruit from the Spiderwick Chronicles (a commercial fiction series I absolutely loved) where you taste a the magical fruit and you just can't go back to everyday food. I'll admit that I turn on occasion to your average trashy romance noble with Mr. Trashy Abs slapped on the front cover, but do I remember anything from those? Not at all. Did I have any takeaways? Not at all. Did it inspire in me the true, the good, the beautiful? Not at all. Still, please keep in mind that THIS IS 100% A SPECTRUM!! I'd argue to my grave that Harry Potter is objectively a far more beneficial read than Mr Trashy Abs, but I'd also argue to my grave that Crime and Punishment is objectively a far more beneficial read than Harry Potter. It's hard to categorize, hard to put one's finger on, but it's definitely something to keep in mind.

If you can see where I'm going with this, you're already ahead of me since I can't seem to find the words exactly. Maybe I should just be blunt: Most, if not all, fanfictions are commercial fiction. Not to say that fanfiction is intrinsically bad just as commercial fiction is not at all intrinsically bad (if fact, it's great practice; I found my first writing legs of sites like this one), but we must admit that it is, in fact, a lower form of writing. We write fanfiction to be a part of the fandom that we love; we write stories that draw our readers in; we write stories that pander toward a specific preference (Ex, a Hinny pairing fic); we try to get more and more readers viewing our work. It's true, and there's nothing wrong with that, but looking at the art form that writing is, it seems to kill the originality of writing, the creativity. I'd even argue that using other's world-building in one's stories is a crutch — again, nothing wrong with that at all, just not fulfilling of one's writing potential. It's all about where one's writer intention is oriented. On the other hand, I've come across the rare gem that could almost be considered professional quality — like a Starwars extended universe tie-in that I might get at the library or from Timothy Zahn's writing. Similarly this is also not to say that anyone should expect Dostoevsky-level writing from a website populated primarily by fourteen-year-olds. I don't think that's possible, haha.

On a serious note, for all the younger writers out there, I think the most important aspect of keeping up motivation is to know yourself and know why you're writing and even more importantly — enjoy it. Until you know those things, nothing matters nearly as much. You should never start a project for the numbers or for the attention, and with how this site is designed... it's INCREDIBLY easy to fall into this trap. I've felt it, too! The determining factor for browsing readers in whether to click on your fiction versus the one above yours is reduced to the amount of reviews or favorites or follows your piece got (and maybe a short summary blurb). And that is not at all a healthy writing environment. Sure, it's the only way this site can function and properly categorize these fiction pieces, but it's incredibly damaging to tempt writers into a numbers mindset like that. And if you don't know for whom or for what you're writing, or if you don't have the proper motivation, you will become demotivated and you will abandon your work (Believe me, if even a seventeen-year-old British MCYT Twitch streamer can see that, I think we all can). The rise of the internet and self-publishing is enabling for writers, but it's undeniable that it's a nightmare for readers who can easily become swamped with half-baked, half-meaningful stories — in which already we can see the commercial side of fiction writing seeping in (nb, *doesn't just apply to fanfiiiic* ).

Now onto like, the original topic at hand, my — and I'm sure thousands of other fanfic/commercial writers have experienced this, too — lack of motivation to continue my stories actually stems from my love of literary fiction. When I read The Lord of the Rings, I'm compelled to think, 'Golly gosh, darn, gee whiz, I wish I could write allegory like the Prof does!' I look at my larger fanfiction pieces, and I see a shadow of the themes and symbolism that I'd love to embed in my fic but just can't because of the world limiting me. I don't want to compare myself to authors like the Prof of course, but I know that when I'm writing fanfiction, I'm not the writer I can be. It frustrates me, yes, and while reading is reading and writing is writing, some things feel less productive, less beneficial to me personally. I can't tell you how many people I know who feel the same way.

That said, I can absolutely see how fanfiction might be useful for someone just setting out in writing, to hone their technical skills a little in a familiar surround with which they are enthusiastic. But I think as anything more long term, it's easily a road to... stagnation. I've been able to finish and even polish every last one of my original fiction short stories, so it's strange that I have hundreds of fanfic ideas rotting in my wastebasket.


A few excellent quotes from my favorite authors, people, and/or characters who have inspired me throughout my life

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” - Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien)

"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." - C.S. Lewis

"It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.” - G.K. Chesterton

“To begin is easy; to persevere is sanctity. Let your perseverance not be a blind consequence of the first impulse, the work of inertia; let it be a reflective perseverance.” - Josemaría Escrivá

"That’s what the Humanities are about. They’re about how to live a good life, and concretely. If the abstractions in the Great Books are taught properly, then they help you understand what a good life might be." - Jordan Peterson

"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca

"Long was the way that fate them bore, O'er stony mountains cold and grey, Through halls of iron and darkling door, And woods of nightshade morrowless. The Sundering Seas between them lay, And yet at last they met once more, And long ago they passed away In the forest singing sorrowless.” - Song of Beren and Lùthien (J.R.R. Tolkien)

"Courage need not be remembered, for it is never forgotten." - Zelda (Breath of the Wild 2017)

"How much better that 'the audience pattered applause' than that it 'applauded politely.'" - Roy Peter Clark

“A time may come soon when none will return. Then there will be need of valor without renown, for none shall remember the deeds that are done in the last defense of your homes. Yet the deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised." - Aragorn II Elessar (J.R.R. Tolkien)

“A man provided with paper, pencil, and rubber, and subject to strict discipline, is in effect a universal machine.” - Alan Turing

“I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding— certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of other so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself." - Mr. Darcy (Jane Austen)

“It’s just a bit of bloody tin. It doesn’t make you special. It doesn’t make any difference to anyone.” - Schofield (1917)

"You have no enemies. No one... has any enemies. There is no one here... that you must hurt." - Thors (Vinland Saga 2019)

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.” - Lois Lowry

"When you want to fool the world, tell the truth." - Otto von Bismark

"Abortion stops one heart and breaks another." - The ProLife Generation

"Destiny doesn't always come when it's convenient or when you think it should." - Kelly Thompson

“Until we invent telepathy, books are our best choice for understanding the rest of humanity.” - Christopher Paolini

“Don't say: 'That person gets on my nerves.' Think: 'That person sanctifies me.'” - Josemaría Escrivá

“You can make the Ring into an allegory of our own time, if you like: and allegory of the inevitable fate that waits for all attempts to defeat evil power by power.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

“The thousand years of raindrops summoned by my song are my tears. The thunder that strikes the earth is my anger." - Flat (Ocarina of Time 1998)

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." - Aquinas

"Only the memory of this dream land will exist in the waking world… Someday, thou may recall this island… That memory must be the real dream world." - Windfish (Link's Awakening 1993)

"I am, but there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there." - Aslan (C.S. Lewis)

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” - Gandalf Greyhame (J.R.R Tolkien)

"When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world." - C.S. Lewis

“Love actually is a great act of the will. It's when I say, 'I desire your good, not for my sake but for yours.' To love is to break out of the black hole of the ego and say, 'My life is about you.'" - Robert Barron

"The right thing... what is it? I wonder, if you do the right thing, does it really make everyone happy?" - Moonchild (Majora's Mask 2000)

“He cannot ‘tempt’ to virtue as we do to vice. He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles.” - The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis)

"Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine." - Aquinas

"I don’t know everything about everything, okay? I only know some things about somethings, and that’s all I need to know." - Josiah Brooks

"The hole in one's heart gets filled by others around you. Friends won't flock to someone who abandons the memory of his friends and gives up on the world just because things don't go the way he wants them to. That won't help fill the hole in your heart. And people won't help those who run away and do nothing. As long as you don't give up, there will always be salvation." - Kakashi Hatake (Shippuden)

"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living; it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of the telescope, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities." - Dr. Theodore Seuss.

“Who’s more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?” - Obi-Wan (Starwars)

“If we really want to change the current course of our culture and challenge its guiding ideas, then we need to start with the author of that culture. That means examining man himself.” - Robert Barron

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.." - Atticus Finch (Harper Lee)

“I’ve taken all that you had to give… though I did not want it.” - Midna (Twilight Princess 2006)

"If we lived in a state where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us saintly, but since we see that avarice, anger, pride, and stupidity commonly profit far beyond charity, modesty, justice and thought, perhaps we must stand fast a little, even at the risk of being heroes." - Thomas More

“Children have one kind of silliness, as you know, and grown-ups have another kind.” - The Magician’s Nephew (C.S. Lewis)

"Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." - Red Smith

“The flow of time is always cruel... its speed seems different for each person, but no one can change it... A thing that does not change with time is a memory of younger days...” - Sheik (Ocarina of Time 1998)

“If we all keep smiling, the sprites may gradually go away and leave this place alone. Yes, I’m sure that somewhere up in that ceiling, they’re busily discussing plans for leaving the house.” – Nanny (My Neighbor Totoro)

"Whenever there is a meeting, a parting is sure to follow. However, that parting needs not last forever. Whether a parting be forever or merely for a short time... that is up to you." - The Happy Mask Salesman (Majora’s Mask 2000)

“America is made of different races and different religions, but we're all co-travelers on the spaceship Earth and must respect and help each other along the way.” - Stan Lee

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear." - F.D.R

“There is no place for selfishness and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice.” - John Paul II

“Put your heart aside. Duty comes first. But when fulfilling your duty, put your heart into it. It helps.” - Josemaría Escrivá

“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” - Thorin Oakenshield (J.R.R. Tolkien)

"May the light illuminate your path." - Kass (Breath of the Wild 2017)


Namárië friends,

KVeronicaP (KVP)

Sort: Category . Published . Updated . Title . Words . Chapters . Reviews . Status .

I saw at night how birds die reviews
"You know, chilly blanched fingers / Pressing feather pages with pain..."
Poetry: General - Rated: T - English - Tragedy/Angst - Chapters: 1 - Words: 120 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 2 - Published: 1/16/2022 - Complete
I'm from Jaffa, I'm Jonah reviews
"Sea, eat me for dinner / Instead of coffee..."
Poetry: General - Rated: T - English - Tragedy/Angst - Chapters: 1 - Words: 154 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 1/16/2022 - Complete
Migraine reviews
"The world is so cold and I so hot / I press my head to anything I've got..."
Poetry: General - Rated: K+ - English - Poetry/Drama - Chapters: 1 - Words: 117 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 1/14/2022 - Complete
Voidheart reviews
If you burn out, it will repeat...
Poetry: General - Rated: K+ - English - Poetry/Angst - Chapters: 1 - Words: 125 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 1/14/2022 - Complete
In the Bleak Midwinter reviews
Light rain wakes up the rust...
Poetry: Nature - Rated: K+ - English - Poetry - Chapters: 1 - Words: 46 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 1/14/2022 - Complete
Purgatory reviews
"In personal purgatory I look to the ends / By peaceful repose through smoke-fill lens..."
Poetry: Religion - Rated: T - English - Spiritual/Tragedy - Chapters: 1 - Words: 127 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 1/14/2022 - Complete
Captcha Gotcha reviews
"Are you human? / I am asked when I log in..."
Poetry: Humor - Rated: K+ - English - Humor/Drama - Chapters: 1 - Words: 124 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 1/14/2022 - Complete
Dawn reviews
I hate the morning when...
Poetry: Humor - Rated: K+ - English - Humor/Drama - Chapters: 1 - Words: 63 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 1/14/2022 - Complete
Distraction reviews
"Do not write this verse / You whisper to me..."
Poetry: General - Rated: K+ - English - Poetry/Spiritual - Chapters: 1 - Words: 82 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 1/14/2022 - Complete
Painter reviews
A painter casts his ink upon the canvas.
Poetry: General - Rated: K+ - English - Poetry/Spiritual - Chapters: 1 - Words: 122 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 1/14/2022 - Complete