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Non-work related rant

I know! I'm amazed myself! :)

So, some of you may know that i write fan fiction. Yes, i'm now a super-geek, but that all right with me. The downside is that the fandom i write for (X-Men: The Movie) isn't like other fandoms that have big sites with lots of people to read your stuff. No, every other site i've found have been centered around pairing Logan and Rogue and well...no. Just no. I don't write that, i WON'T write that, so i had very few choices. I could write these stories and post them nowhere. Or, i could go to ::gulp:: FanFiction.net.

Well, i wanted to share, so FFN is where i went. I had heard from my sister that it wasn't a very good site, that it was usually called "The Pit of Voles" in the greater fanfiction community, but there were still plenty of people who, like me, have nowhere else to go.

I have to say, at first it wasn't so bad. I must have lucked out and found the handful of stories in my chosen fandom that weren't complete and utter dreck, because i couldn't understand why the place was called "The Pit". And then it happened. I clicked on story that looked all right in the summary, but the actual story?

Bad spelling? Check
Bad grammar? Check
Spotty punctuation? Check check check etc.
Ignorance of source material? BIG CHECK
Horrible original character? Check

So, i did what any normal, helpful-type person would do: I left a review with suggestions on how to improve their story by simply fixing the technical aspects. I received a reply from the whiny bitch, wanting to know "y r u flamming me u dum bich? Tihs iz jsut my riting stile, yo!"

That was over a year ago.

Now, there's a movement on the site of good writers who want the posting guidelines to be enforced. For those of you who don't know, the guidelines aren't that difficult:

Spell and grammar check your work, or enlist a beta reader. (I do both)
Don't write in "chatspeak".
Don't write about non-fictional or non-historical people.
Don't post in all bold/caps/italics.
Don't put comments in the midst of your story.
No "choose your own adventure" type stories.
No script/screenplay format.
No polls, "bloopers", lengthy author's notes or original fiction.
No "songfics" or use of previously published works not in the public domain.

Doesn't seem that difficult, does it? You'd be surprised. (Well, YOU won't be, sis and neither will you, Zac. But others might. Really.) I decided to check out the forums, see what people were saying and i found one run by the most awesome guy on the whole site, an unapologetic flame reviewer called "Flame Rising". And through that forum, i discovered that these problems were EVERYWHERE. And through there and other forums is where i found out i wasn't alone in wanting the aforementioned guidelines to be strictly enforced, because it isn't fair that a small percentage of us take them to heart, while the rest pretend they don't exist at all.

And then i found this:

"It's all well and good to have a policy of "always make it readable", but how do we enforce it, and for that matter, SHOULD we enforce it? It's not simply a matter of overactive 8-year-olds posting drivel. What about authors for whom English is not the first language? What about dyslexics? What about the ten thousand other exceptions, and for that matter, what about the person who's just a bad writer?

Seriously, what about them? What about the people who cannot write to save their lives, who write flaccid, horrible, cliche-ridden prose that barely qualifies as legible? If they wish to write... why SHOULD they be shut out? I'm asking honestly." (Posted by General Havoc in the "Writing Improvement" forum.)

There's a lot more, but in a nutshell he's saying that enforcing the guidelines is unfair to the untalented and the lazy. WTF? If they're untalented, they should learn early that maybe writing isn't the best outlet for them and if they're lazy, they need to learn that laziness will not get them any points ever in life. I can just see a legal brief written by one of those idiots:

"So liek teh compunnny wuz puttin toksic waist in2 teh layk n liek, taht's reel bad lol."

Or how about a police report?

"Teh dood holded up teh likker stoar wit a 9 mil n he shooted teh clurk."

How about a newspaper article?

"Tehy keep sayin taht spellin wurdz rite iz imoprtnat cuz if u dont u luk stoopid. I tihnk itz ghey, yo lol."

(On the other hand, this could explain how Dubya got to be president...but i digress..)

Tell me, if you came across spelling like this on a job application that crossed your desk, would YOU hire them? Or would you go with the one who took care to make sure you knew what they were saying? I can't see how they're going to pass JUNIOR HIGH, much less make it in the real world after they get out of school!

So, is it unfair? Should these morons be allowed to continue to post in the manner i used above or should they have to make their stories readable too? Should we "give them a break" or make them conform to the minimum standards that they HAVE to agree to before they can even post?

I say yes. I could spell circles around everyone since first grade. I learned grammar basics in elementary school, had further grammar education in high school and by the end of my senior year, i had all the rules down. I had points taken off my work if the spelling and grammar were poor, so i don't understand how these kids are getting through school if this is the standard they hold themselves to! Why should a handful of decent writers on that site be looked down upon by the greater community, simply because of where we choose to post?

These lazy ass children need a wakeup call and if taking down their stories until they're fixed is what it takes, so be it.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Nov. 7th, 2007 06:37 pm (UTC)
You're right
It is I Morgomir.
I was wondering how you were doing. So I read your journal. You're completely right. It's not just in English, Dutch to.
I was also wondering how the NaNoWriMo was going. Good luck.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )



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