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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Top 50 Actors of 2019

(image credit: as marked)

Translations:

1. Zhu Yi Long / Chu Nhứt Long

2. Deng Lun / Đặng Luân

3. Jackson Yee / Dịch Dương Thiên Tỉ

4. Xiao Zhan / Tiêu Chiến

5. Wang Yi Bo / Vương Nhứt Bác

6. Yang Yang / Dương Dương

7. Hu Ge / Hồ Ca

8. Li Xian / Lý Hiện

9. Luo Yun Xi / La Vân Hy

10. Wang Jun Kai / Vương Tuấn Khải

11. Luo Jin / La Tấn

12. Lay Zhang Yi Xing / Trương Nghệ Hưng

13. Jin Dong / Cận Đông

14. Li Yi Feng / Lý Dịch Phong

15. Alan Yu / Vu Mông Lung

16. Liu Hao Ran / Lưu Hạo Nhiên

17. Wang Kai / Vương Khải

18. Roy Wang / Vương Nguyên

19. Zhang Ruo Yun / Trương Nhược Quân

20. William Chan / Trần Vỹ Đình

21. Xu Kai / Hứa Khải

22. Huang Zi Tao / Hoàng Tử Thao

23. Ray Ma Tian Yu / Mã Thiên Vũ

24. William Feng Shao Feng / Phùng Thiệu Phong

25. Vin Zhang / Trương Bân Bân

26. Zhu Ya Wen / Chu Á Văn

27. Lei Jia Yin / Lôi Giai Âm

28. Lu Han / Lộc Hàm

29. Shawn Dou / Đậu Kiêu

30. Jia Nai Liang / Giả Nại Lương

31. Zhang Jia Yi / Trương Gia Dịch

32. Zhang Yi / Trương Dịch

33. Lai Guan Lin / Lại Quán Lâm

34. Chen Xiao / Trần Hiểu

35. Wu Lei / Ngô Lỗi

36. Xing Zhao Lin / Hình Chiêu Lâm

37. Johnny Bai / Bạch Vũ

38. Guo Jing Fei / Quách Kinh Phi

39. Zhang Yi Shan / Trương Nhứt Sơn

40. Bai Jing Ting / Bạch Kính Đình

41. Yang Shuo / Dương Thước

42. Kenny Lin Geng Xin / Lâm Canh Tân

43. Xu Wei Zhou / Hứa Ngụy Châu

44. Joseph Zeng / Tăng Thuấn Hy

45. Johnny Huang / Huỳnh Cảnh Du

46. Wallace Huo / Hoắc Kiến Hoa

47. Huang Lei / Huỳnh Lỗi

48. Jeremy Jones / Từ Chính Hy

49. Hu Yi Tian / Hồ Nhứt Thiên

50. Jin Han / Kim Hàn

Top 50 Actors of 2018

(image credit: as marked)

Once again, here’s the list of the most popular people based on searches on Weibo.

Translations:

1. Yang Yang / Dương Dương

2. Hu Ge / Hồ Ca

3. Zhu Yi Long / Chu Nhứt Long

4. Wang Jun Kai / Vương Tuấn Khải

5. Lu Han / Lộc Hàm

6. Jackson Yee / Dịch Dương Thiên Tỉ

7. Wu Lei / Ngô Lỗi

8. Deng Lun / Đặng Luân

9. William Chan / Trần Vỹ Đình

10. Li Yi Feng / Lý Dịch Phong

11. Jin Dong / Cận Đông

12. Lay Zhang Yi Xing / Trương Nghệ Hưng

13. Zhu Ya Wen / Chu Á Văn

14. Huang Zi Tao / Hoàng Tử Thao

15. Wang Kai / Vương Khải

16. Wallace Chung / Chung Hán Lương

17. Luo Jin / La Tấn

18. Cai Xu Kun / Thái Từ Khôn

19. Zhang Jia Yi / Trương Gia Dịch

20. Ray Ma Tian Yu / Mã Thiên Vũ

21. Liu Hao Ran / Lưu Hạo Nhiên

22. Zhang Yi Shan / Trương Nhứt Sơn

23. Roy Wang / Vương Nguyên

24. Elvis Han / Hàn Đông Quân

25. Huang Xiao Ming / Huỳnh Hiểu Minh

26. Zhang Han / Trương Hàn

27. Allen Ren / Nhậm Gia Luân

28. Yu He Wei / Vu Hoà Vỹ

29. Shawn Dou / Đậu Kiêu

30. Kenny Lin Geng Xin / Lâm Canh Tân

31. Michael Chen He / Trần Hách

32. Louis Koo / Cổ Thiên Lạc

33. Lei Jia Yin / Lôi Giai Âm

34. Johnny Bai / Bạch Vũ

35. Bai Jing Ting / Bạch Kính Đình

36. Deng Chao / Đặng Siêu

37. Wallace Huo / Hoắc Kiến Hoa

38. Alan Yu / Vu Mông Lung

39. Dylan Wang / Vuong Hạc Đệ

40. Mark Chao / Triệu Hựu Đình

41. Huang Xuan / Huỳnh Hiên

42. Wu Xiu Bo / Ngô Tú Ba

43. Bosco Wong / Huỳnh Tông Trạch

44. Zhang Dan Feng / Trương Đan Phong

45. Nicholas Tse / Tạ Đình Phong

46. Ma Ke / Mã Khả

47. Chen Kun / Trần Khôn

48. Guo De Gang / Quách Đức Cương

49. Song Wei Long / Tống Uy Long

50. Zhou Yi Wei / Châu Nhứt Vi

Maestro: A Wallace and Yang Mi drama

I saw this posted on HuaJae’s Facebook page first. Then I got curious and went on Weibo to do some stalking. (Go here for their Weibo page.) I thought it was going to be a movie like their previous collaboration but I was wrong. This will be a TV series, possibly about 50 episodes. The director of this drama is Jin Sha. Anyway, the drama just started filming so no official English title yet and the Chinese title might change later too. Not sure. But for now, that was all I managed to find out.

Wallace’s character is Shen Qi Nan (沈其南).

Yang Mi’s character will be Fu Han Jun (傅函君).

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

Status of Fan Fiction XXI

The last time I updated this was more than two years ago. I thought I need to bring this up again, despite having literally no progress at all for almost two years now. What happened? The crazy and/or dramas just kept piling up that I couldn’t catch a break to do it. Well, I did write a lot but I kept backspacing or just scratching it out altogether. To be totally honest, my focus for the past few years has been the three parts of Wan Xin Bang (萬心幫). It’s listed in some of the other updates, but I pulled it from the fanfiction section because I was changing it around too much. When I’m finally done, like absolutely no more changing my mind about the plot, I will post it up. Yes, there are three parts of Wan Xin Bang. It’s also my first wuxia attempt ever so it’s really hard but also fun. I also ended up starting my second wuxia, which would also be having multiple parts, lol.

Anyway, getting back to this current update, the current total vote is 69.

Current Fan Fics:

Hide & Seek – 25 Votes – One vote up from last time YET I’m still not moving. Again, I’m trying to preserve some sort of light tone to it, even if some details are leaning toward a more serious route. I don’t want to end up killing some characters senselessly just to finish the story off. So yeah, sorry, but I’ll try somehow to finish it. It’s just hanging in limbo for now.

Honey In Tea – 9 Votes – One up from last time I updated. Once again, didn’t want to ruin it.

Payback – 3 Votes – Regarding this, I merged part 2 with part 1 so now there’s only 1 part, nice? Yes, hence the updated poster to include Dou Hua Mei. She will be an essential character, and that’s all I’m saying for now.

Stranded – 3 Votes – Totally scrapping it. Or more like some of the cast/characters and revamping it to make it my version. It’s not working out. Not to mention a tragedy happening at the beginning of last month also drove my decision.

The Business – 7 Votes – Will finish it. I actually like this one so I’m not giving up on it. It just needs time for me to not ruin it.

Upcoming Fan Fics:

I know it’s like ridiculous to still maintain this section when I’m up in my heads with a lack of updates for all the others. Yet I just couldn’t help myself.

Slanted Thoughts 3 – Okay, I know. You’re all like: This thing needs a 3? Yes, it’s crazy. I actually thought of part 3 like two years back. It’s mostly the first chapter and notes. But I think it’s going to happen. But rest assured that like some of my past sagas, this will only be three parts.

The Dating Game 6 – I’m almost done with this. Just need a few more chapters. I actually want to do another read over to see if I should go with that route or backtrack. I might post it up to keep my lack of updates for fan fics less pathetic.

One-shots is now at 22. I’m not sure what I should be writing about, even if it’s just one-shots. I actually have some drawn up, but then ended up scrapping it, because of recent events, etc.

So overall, all I can say is I can’t promise anything regarding updates, considering how the craziness just keeps piling up. Now, I have other more pressing things in my life to take care of. Maybe when that front is more stable and I’m less stressed, updates will happen. If you haven’t noticed yet, I don’t want to get updates out for the sake of it.