Fan Fiction: Critiquing Your Own Stories

Years ago when I was still active on Winglin and other online communities, there was an explosion of different authors and readers alike coming out with websites or their own page to critique different fan fiction authors. Whether it was to help the authors improve their writing techniques or just something fun to do, it was quite an experience. I never submitted my stories to any of those websites but found them intriguing because I learned of how an author’s perspective could be versus how readers see it. It’s so obvious for everyday, published authors to go through this process. But at that time when I started posting my stories online, it was a new experience for me and it opened my eyes to some levels.

So, what’s the point of this post, right? Especially when I’ve been lagging soooo much on stories. This is an attempt to get back into it. Because the following will be an activity like the title said. I’m going to have fun and critique all the fanfictions I’ve ever written. Yes, I won’t leave anything untouched. But before I do, here’s a disclaimer for those who haven’t read the stories yet (so don’t say I didn’t warn you):

NOTE: The following contains spoilers (obviously from the title), SO if you haven’t read my stories yet, DO NOT proceed.

The beginning of the story had great potential and felt refreshing. It paved a nice and peaceful picture and a hopeful feeling because it described the two major characters’ feelings and goals in life. The humorous exchanges between several characters led readers to believe it would be a fun story. Although it had some typical formula of a small-town family with the scenic backdrop to pave the way, there was some mystery with various characters that readers could look forward to exploring. All in all, it paved a promising picture.

The problem with this story was that it was too wordy. It was one of my first attempts at writing fanfiction so it got so messy with descriptions. It didn’t take into account “show instead of telling” so it felt flaky and corny. In addition, because there was a setback with the last few chapters so it dived into the morbid side without intending to in the first place. It completely took away from the main plot and its lighthearted feeling that was established in the first place. A bad call. Like the feeling when the writers totally gave up and just wanted to end it already like how I often criticize them, lol. Also, the feeling of the celebs chosen was so random and unorganized, like lumping a bunch of people together just because. It felt like a test run.

Heaven’s Gift

The setting at the beach at the beginning of the story was promising and lighthearted. It presented a typical picture yet also let readers see a glimpse into each major character’s personality with a dash of humor. It seemed like they didn’t change much over the years, except for the circumstances around them. Light humor continued to occupy the scene, paving the story and pushing the major characters together–or apart–as time went by. There were some surprising details to the plot but it lacked some details here and there, not allowing the full potential of the plot to be explored.

HIDE & SEEK

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Honey In Tea

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Neurotic

Like some other stories, it started out describing the scenery and then introducing the characters. The weather, once again, like some other stories, gave hints to what the plot was going to be like. There was some side humor but just subtle, not too much. It was saying like the story meant business and it was no time to joke around, not really.

It was an interesting concept although it didn’t take in a lot of rules of sci-fi and went off the rails regarding technicalities. However, what made up for it was the layout of the major characters. It kept consistent and featured three female leads. What broke the rule for the third one was leading into a happier, hopeful ending than was predicted. It also gave more character and depth to one of the so-called villains and even allowed for that person to redeem himself and had a start over.

Payback

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Scheming Nature

This was a typical setup of two pairings that were living on the opposite side of society. They met and interacted and somehow became entangled in a complex scheme. It provided a sense of mystery to the overall story and made the readers want to know what was to come and where the story was heading toward. The ending was a bit of an unknown, especially after the intense confrontations between two of the major characters and how it went down. However, it proved to be going on a typical route with allowing all problems to be resolved in a more favorable manner.

This story attempted to mock the life of gangsters and how it was supposed to be yet failed because, in the end, it was equally cliche and was corny in a sense of allowing some bizarre details to come into play. Although having the theme of gang-related activities as the backdrop for the plot, it failed to achieve its intended effect because of the halfway compromise of the mood as an overall. Sometimes, it edged toward the side of intensity or darkness that could push past the barriers of safety but it was shy of making it into something much more.

Slanted Thoughts

The story started out really random, bordering childishness because of the constant fights between two of the major characters. However, it evolved into a sadder story because of what happened at the end. Although it attempted to resurrect the atmosphere with some side humor, the plot never recovered with the happiness felt at the beginning of the story. It was later explained in the second part why it was so and eventually leading the plot into a darker path than was originally intended to–or so it seemed when compared to the beginning of the first part. What the plot lacked severely was the explanation and more details into a certain mysterious organization that impacted some characters’ lives so many years and ongoing. Some of the undertones provided a hint about how they were a big deal and were not to be messed with. Yet it failed to back up the claim as the story went along and eventually wrapped up. It also never explained why Tammy’s character had so much impact on what Wallace’s life was going to be and yet left him alone after he had apparently restored his memories. Or was it because it was to emphasize how scary he was if he returned to his past self? Or because the organization didn’t care how things turned out and that it was only important they kept everything a secret? Some things were never answered.

Slicing Boundary

This was a fun read, at least at the beginning. Sure, there were childish humor and constant competition between the two siblings–or so readers thought as it was with typical siblings rivalry. However, it took a dark turn, killing a major character unnecessarily. Was that an attempt to be overdramatic? Or was it because the writer just decided to give up and end it that way?

The Business

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The Dating Game

The story seemed really random but that wasn’t a bad thing. It hinted potential with so many major characters involved and how each was at a different point in their lives. It was fascinating to see how they all met and would become important–one way or another–in each other’s lives. The story shifted between humor and intensity and back again. Yet always managed to push the plot forward, introducing new characters or circumstances into their lives and how they would react to those situations.

Although the cast was so extended that it provided an outlet for many story arches yet because it was so crowded that it didn’t allow for a focus on some characters. Also, some of the characters had suffered from the inconsistency of personality, except for the main characters. It also created an unrealistic atmosphere with so many of their gatherings and their strong bonds over the years. It could be both good and bad but mostly it was unrealistic. Not to mention how ridiculously meddlesome most of them were of one another’s lives. The occasional stalking of various parties was equally bizarre.

The Other Extreme

The first scene already gave a snapshot of what the story was going to be about and how the dark mood predicted the inevitable ending for some characters. The weather foreshadowed a lot of the scenes that were to come for the story. The layout wasn’t bad yet the constant side randomness and humor involving the characters downplayed the overall theme for the majority of the story. It was actually character-based and not plot-based like it should have been. The lack of information on both gang’s background made it hard to relate and didn’t allow for more interest toward that side of the story. It became a wannabe gangster story because it didn’t say how or why they were fighting or fleeing for their lives. It was only covered briefly at the beginning of how both sides had been fighting since forever yet never revealed the real reason why.

Tri-Visual

The storytelling style was strange yet intriguing. It made readers want to read more and find out what was going on and what was the deal with these characters. Or if they could get out from the current prison they were in. However, there were only glimpses here and there and some side details of the characters. They could have been extended to a much more complex story.

True Friendship

This story started out introducing the main characters right away and hinted at their established relationship and how it would come into play later on. The story began lighthearted with some side humor and then took a more serious turn as the characters acknowledge much more complex issues surrounding their lives. In some sense, the story allowed the characters to face reality with a hard punch. But in other sense, it felt a little dramatic and forced. Yet the story was still written a dialed down sort of way, like some subtlety of daily life happenings that could edge toward blandness but jumped back with a kick to tell us that reality will strike again. It was a mixture of complexity and simplicity. It had this balance and one tip of the scale would lead the story spiraling away.

When Wishes Come True

The story introduced some promising aspects, such as the story being told from the main character’s point of view. There were also inspirational quotes involved. So that sort of gave a feeling of a legit book. However, it took a shaky turn and ended up being a typical high school, mean girl type of war. There were some interesting ideas but the execution was terrible and the plot dull. If at all, that was.

Winds & Rain

Extremely disappointing because it seemed like an attempt to crank out something that involved the two main characters. It seemed like an unfinished story and didn’t involve a lot of details. It would have been better to wait for some sort of idea to come forth before continuing with the story. It should have been a one-shot, then it would make more sense.

Conclusion

So, aside from being random for this post, what’s the point here? Of all the stories I’ve written, I only liked True Friendship. Yes, that sad. I took it slow and made it through without feeling like I needed to rush anything or wanted to write to please readers. It wasn’t like I didn’t add in random conversations or some bizarre humor. The story had both. But what was different was how the two main characters didn’t end up together but also didn’t downplay their relationship throughout. It acknowledged some of the more realistic aspects of life, even if it didn’t allow for the story to cover all. I did get stuck on it at one time but the time spent thinking about the plot as an overall and side brainstorming, it had allowed me to change the ending for the better, at least to me.

I also realized some things about my writing styles. Well, I already realized it for a while now but here’s an outright confession, lol. Some characters, especially the main ones, tend to fall into one formula. So I think that’s something to take into account to try to make it different in the future. Or least mix it up a bit.

If anyone noticed, I think I got influenced by Gu Long and Jin Yong at times, lol. No jokes. Sad, but I read those two a lot so I got influenced, especially with describing sceneries and stuff. But of course, I couldn’t go to their level. Not yet. The reason I said “not yet” is because I at least want to reserve some hope that one day I could reach another level. Or like find my own styles. For now, just recognizing the flaws is enough.

So that’s the fun post. More to come in the future, hopefully.

NOTE: This post will be updated from time to write as I add more stories to my blog or finish the current ones.

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Here To Heart: 3-Minute Trailer

The drama’s page recently released a 3-minute trailer. (Click here to view it.) It looks super intense! Wah! I guess can’t have it all, right? I guess better modern soapy drama than if they put all the soaps in an ancient one. And as always, I’m behind on a lot of stuff so I’ll be sharing and gushing over some details.

Anyway, Hebe Tian will be singing the main theme of the drama. (If you haven’t recognized her voice for the song in the trailer already.) Exciting, eh? If you want to listen to the full version of the song, go here.

Hunan TV recently shared this collage that hey made of Janine and Zhang Han, comparing their past and recent roles, wondering about time travel or possible reincarnations, lol. How cute though! Just because of this, I think I’ll try to be more patient and stick around. I’ve gone through worse, lol.

The page shared this image to celebrate International Women’s Day awhile back. I thought it was pretty cool. All right, until next time.

*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.

Status of Fan Fiction XIII

Vote count is now up to 51.

Past Fan Fic(s):

Neurotic – 1 Vote – Much thanks to syko for the time spent on posters, etc. It’s done so that’s that.

Wan Xin Bang (萬心帮) – 0 Votes – No, it’s not done. I just decided to take it out for the time being. Until I feel like it again, I’ll bring it back. Possibly until it’s finished. I actually worked out the majority of the plot already.

Current Fan Fics:

Hide & Seek – 18 Votes – It took one cliff hanger for some people to come out with threats. OKAY, was exaggerating, more like syko’s twin and her bear friends. (YES, typo also has bear friends. What do you know?) BUT the thing is, I tried to work on the next chapter and kept back-spacing. SORRY, not in the right mood yet.

Honey In Tea – 0 Votes – Still stuck, nothing new. It’s one of the happy stories so trying to put it aside for now.

Payback – 1 Vote – I’m shifting gears and trying to get back on track. Can’t promise progress soon.

Slanted Thoughts 2 – 1 Vote – OMG, one vote finally! I’ll try harder! This is motivation IF at all. BUT still putting it aside though I did write a paragraph or so.

The Dating Game 4 – 4 Votes – I updated one chapter, aren’t you guys proud of me? But will be back to slow updates again. SORRY, I can’t stress enough yet still trying to balance it out a bit with some scenes.

Tri-Visual – 11 Votes – I thought I would be done with this already BUT no. Will try harder. IF only.

Upcoming Fan Fics:

Neurotic 2 – YES, there’s a 2, because part 1 was left hanging, right?

One-shots is now at 16.

Oh, if you guys haven’t noticed, I changed the ‘Fan Fiction’ page to plain and simple. YUP, no more detailed information regarding each fanfic since a) it takes too much each time I update a fanfic, b) no one reads it anyway (i.e. the amount of questions I get regardless of how I try to make things clear SO I might as well reduce the effort so it makes more sense–though NOT that I discourage questions, just feel like I’m doing it for nothing and would rather focus on writing stories instead of just ‘updating’ status), and c) too lazy to do banners for the stories each time.

Anyway, been watching the Olympics all these times SO that was one of the reasons for my lagging in updates as well. However, after I try hard to update all the current stories and finish them, I won’t be around as much anymore. SO…I’ll just see what happens by then.

Status of Fan Fiction XII

Some progress so worth updating sooner? ‘Cause I tried to spread out my general updates lately. The current total is 42.

Past Fan Fic(s):

Scheming Nature  – 1 Vote – YES, this is the untitled ‘Vic, Cyndi, Jacky, and Joanne’ fanfic from the last update. AND yes, I finished it already. AND YES again on all chapters have been posted already. With no poster and whatnot but I’ll try to get it together somehow. I’m seriously running out pictures for them, except for Vic. OH WELL…

Current Fan Fics:

Hide & Seek – 14 Votes – I know, I know. People are getting impatient. BUT I’m still in morbid-land. I managed to post another chapter yesterday. SO it’s not like I’m not trying. This might be picking up again since it was a cliff-hanger and at an exciting point (or so I hope). BUT again, no promises.

Honey In Tea – 0 Votes – Trying to focus on H&S right now? Still no votes so I guess I’m safe?

Payback – 1 Vote – For some reason, I’m mad stuck. Like I kept thinking of a scheme but it eventually wouldn’t work or sound so cliches. I’m trying though.

Slanted Thoughts 2 – 0 Votes – Put it aside for a while. For some odd reason, I can’t focus on stalking Wallace’s latest projects and write fanfics at the same time, or can I? OY!

The Dating Game 4 – 4 Votes – WOW! I was surprised that this got bumped up. Though more than glad since that means at least some people are enjoying this saga? I need to backtrack a bit to think about the ending and if I want to go that way. Seriously, it’s so hard at this point. I landed myself into it, I know. I thought of Wallace’s ending already but can’t decide on Jacky’s.

Tri-Visual – 11 Votes – Might be another chapter coming up. NOT sure.

Wan Xin Bang (萬心帮) – 0 Votes – MAD ahead but I’m still having trouble with translations. I can’t seem to find the right terms for it. SO I’ll just get creative again. OR try. Maybe the storyline would still be the same but the wording different? I still can’t get the audio version going since I’m never alone and it sounds MAD odd reading my own story out loud. YES, I just feel it’s too lame though I already agreed ages ago that I’m an amateur writer.)

Upcoming Fan Fics:

Neurotic – Since ‘Scheming Nature’ is out of the way already, I should post this? OR wait again?

Redish Orange – It might be scratched all together to focus on TDG. I don’t know. I have a feeling the cast/characters might change.

One-shots is now at 12 for votes. I got several on the burner. Still not finished yet.

Status of Fan Fiction XI

Update time again. Time sure does pass, doesn’t it? Anyway, remember some time back I said some of the fanfics were on-hold until I cleared one or the other out of the way? I decided to abandon that since I’m getting bored, LOL! YES, talking about trying to focus on clearing things up. I need variety so it would encourage me to update faster actually.

Past Fan Fic(s):

True Friendship – 15 Votes – WOOHOO! I’m done with my favorite fanfic ever! It took five years. But I’m done. Nice or what? Hope it was worth the wait.

Current Fan Fics:

Hide & Seek – 6 Votes – Stuck! Nothing new.

Honey In Tea – 0 Votes – This happened when I was sort of into ‘Honey & Clover’ BUT I promise I won’t copy it. IF there are coincidences, call it just that because I never really watched the drama correctly (aka might have missed some details).

Payback – 1 Vote – Finally one vote BUT I’m still not moving with this yet. Trying to think up of some more details so it wouldn’t clash with my other crime-related ones. I did post one more chapter though but that’s not saying much either.

Slanted Thoughts 2 – 0 Votes – So the story continues, eh? Let’s see what other crazy things happen. AND when some stuff unfolds, some people will go after me for it. BUT I already made up my mind. SO I’ll just prepare for the tomatoes coming my way.

The Dating Game 4 – 0 Votes – YES, the healing process continues. AND look, more madness–and randomness. What else is new, right?

Tri-Visual – 11 Votes – I posted another one. I was planning to post that one earlier BUT totally forgot about it since I was caught up in something else. (SORRY about that. I honestly don’t make people wait on purpose since I know what waiting feels like.)

Wan Xin Bang (萬心帮) – 0 Votes – 20 chapters and counting BUT I haven’t posted new chapters yet. OKAY, so I posted like one already because I had some time a while back (was it 2 weeks ago?) and sat down to do some grammar stuff. YET It’s not 100% correct because I find myself going back to correct some terminologies at times when I correct the new chapters. I’ll continue to post this. AND so far, after some back-track, I think I’m moving forward now so I might go into translating the first few chapters soon. SOON doesn’t mean like right now so please don’t hold your breath. I don’t want to be responsible. I need to shift some terminologies because it sounds different in English OR much weirder than it was intended to be when it was in Viet.

Upcoming Fan Fics:

Neurotic – This is the 2nd last story that involved Cyndi, Wallace, Tony, and Nic. This will probably post after ST2.

Redish Orange – Probably on-hold until I finish getting TDG4 out of the way since some of the cast/characters are similar.

Untitled Vic, Cyndi, Jacky, and Joanne fan fic – YES, this is the 2nd portion of fulfilling my promise regarding the ‘Holidays Fun Activity’. I got like 10 chapters finished already but still haven’t even come up with a title yet hence not posting it yet. Another major apology. I’m such a stickler when it comes to that.

One-shots is now at 7 for votes. I just finished a QiaoRu one BUT can’t come up with a poster yet though I had some ideas in my mind. Will post it up later when I get the poster done. And don’t be surprised that the poll went down since I took TF out. (The poll went from 40 in total to 25.)

So 1 down now, where to head toward? Since I just created some more challenges for myself, hopefully, I would be motivated to update faster? NO guarantee though since I should be busy with other stuff too. AND not to mention I’m not done with all of them yet. Just putting it out there so I might push myself a bit more, that’s all.

What else? Oh yeah, see that navigation menu on top of the page? YES, I took some links out under the drop-down menu for ‘Fan Fiction’ because it was bugging me to death with how it was extending down the page. So I took the ones that are completed already out. You could still access it through the ‘Fan Fiction’ page so don’t panic if you haven’t finished reading some stories.

See you guys in the next one!