BLUE SUN ROOM

Story notes/warnings - Common courtesey?

POSTED BY: AGENTROUKA
UPDATED: Monday, February 19, 2007 20:10
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 2952
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Saturday, December 23, 2006 9:57 AM

AGENTROUKA


Hello BSR dwellers!

I had harboured the illusion that it was a universally accepted practice, but apparently not everyone is as fond of story notes and warnings as I am, so I thought I'd make a topic about it and.. raise awareness or incur the wrath of the secret opposition or just inspire conversation. :)


This sort of ties into the good old pairing flame wars for me. The general consensus seems to be "if you don't like it, don't read it".

But if there are no warnings, how can someone know not to read something?

For some it's slash, for others it's AU's, for yet others non-canon pairings, crossovers, certain characters, character deaths, spoilers... and so on.

Also, series chapters. If they aren't marked as such how do the uninitiated, who do not know that a particular author is writing a series - and thatseries only -, know that something that looks like a stand-alone is, in fact, a chapter?


So, dear writers, use story notes!

Characters, setting (pre-, mid- or post-series/movie), warnings for pairings that occur, darkness level and such. Series title and chapter number of applicable.

It's good karma!


Thoughts?


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Saturday, December 23, 2006 10:03 AM

GLADIATOR32


I couldn't agree more. Saves time, confusion, and anger/disappointment.

-------------------------------

www.myspace.com/32dan32

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 3:35 PM

GOLDY


Unsurprisingly, I totally agree!

I was just thinking about this the other day, and how annoying it is when certain things (particularly pairings) are not stated in the Author's Notes. Even if it's gen, there's no harm in saying so. It really doesn't take any extra time to say so.

Of course, there's also the A/N's that go on FOREVER (of which I've been guilty of myself, I know), but that's a different topic.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 4:37 PM

ARCADIA


I agree for the most part. I don't feel it especially necessary to be warned about character death, because that takes away the surprise of it. :-)

Arcadia (aka Greyfable and/or Katie)
www.stillflying.net -- picking up Firefly were Joss left off. We will hold 'til he gets back.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 8:55 PM

2X2


I completely agree in regards to pairings. There's only so much time I have that I can devote to reading fic, and telling me what pairing it is is helpful - though I'll join Arcadia in saying I don't mind it if a character death is not mentioned so as to avoid ruining the impact.

Truthfully, beyond the pairing thing, the rest is actually incidental to me. Insofar as violence, I'm pretty desensitized, and not much fazes me. Same with the sex *shrug*

But, I understand that there are people out ther who absolutely do not want to read about rape, or graphic sex, or extreme violence, and out of respect for those people, I feel that Notes at the beginning are a basic courtesy. You won't lead someone into reading something they're not comfortable with, and you won't get angry flames for it.

It just makes sense.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 9:28 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


I won't read a story if there isn't a little note saying what it's about and what the pairings are; there's plenty to wade through without that.


[]

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Saturday, January 13, 2007 7:04 AM

VALERIEBEAN


So I mention pre-BDM, post-series and such. I assume setting the place in time is a way of saying "hey, anything that came before is fair game for being spoiled".

But I don't do non-canon pairings, and I don't think I have anything violence-wise that wouldn't have been aired on Fox...

Also, my fics encompass all the characters, so I can't even classify canon-character pairings for a given chapter...

For those who like author notes, what do you want to know if it's just meant to be like another episode? The most I usually do, besides the time frame mention, is put in Chapter 1 a link back to the Prologue in case someone forgot to start there. Or in Book 2, a link back to Book 1... Do you want more?



"Just like handgrenades, you don't want to run into a horseshoe stake in the dark." -Gouda, FFF.net

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Saturday, January 13, 2007 7:12 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by valeriebean:

Also, my fics encompass all the characters, so I can't even classify canon-character pairings for a given chapter...



Well, there would be really no point to make a warning difference between a chapter and the overall story. Even if nothing pairing-wise happens in the first few chapters, that might after all change and someone reading those first chapters might be in for an unpleasant surprise later on, and be disappointed because they already invested a lot of time reading.

(Or, for that matter, miss out on a pairing they are interested in because it's not advertised in a particular chapter posted later.)

Pairing warnings should apply to the story as a whole, in every chapter, I think.

Quote:


For those who like author notes, what do you want to know if it's just meant to be like another episode? The most I usually do, besides the time frame mention, is put in Chapter 1 a link back to the Prologue in case someone forgot to start there. Or in Book 2, a link back to Book 1... Do you want more?



The pairing warnings aside, I happen to think that your method seems perfectly sufficient. *g* No need to spell out the plot beforehand, or even the style, unless you feel others might want to avoid it. In fact, including links is very courteous! I love when people do that!

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007 9:53 AM

EMPIREX


I ABSOLUTELY AND WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE! Warnings and labels, whether it be character death, romantic pairings, no romance, AU, or Works-in-Progress, help the author find their audience and helps the audience find what they want to read. It's mutually beneficial.

Also, I can't help but be a bit put out when I start reading a fic and suddenly Mal's making out with a Mary Sue or River's going at it with a Marty Stu... It just gets annoying. Makes me want to leave nasty feedback and low ratings. I don't, of course, because I'm far too polite... But I think about it!

Most of the time, I don't read fics that don't have a pairing label of some kind. I wonder how many good fics I'm missing out on because of that. But I just don't have the time to wade through all the stuff I don't want to read.

On another note, a little off-topic, perhaps... How the heck do some of the pieces of crap posted in the BSR get rated at 9 or 10?!? Seriously! Some of you are way too nice. What's the point of having a rating scale if people aren't going to use it honestly? If a fic has ridiculous spelling errors and is written in some bizare format by someone with very little understanding of grammar... Should you really be giving them a 9 just to be nice??? If you don't want to leave negative feedback, fine. Don't leave feedback. But don't give an undeserved score.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007 1:37 PM

LEIASKY


Quote:

Originally posted by PhoenixRose:
I won't read a story if there isn't a little note saying what it's about and what the pairings are; there's plenty to wade through without that.



Agreed. Wholeheartedly. I'm sure I'm missing out on some really good stuff but I'm not going to invest myself in a story where it starts out as one pairing, and then goes into one that I can't stand/believe would ever happen.

I will read something without a pairing listed usually only if someone I know recommends it to me OR its a really good, enticing description.



"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007 2:37 PM

WILLIAMJAMESW


Quote:

Originally posted by EmpireX:

(snippage)

On another note, a little off-topic, perhaps... How the heck do some of the pieces of crap posted in the BSR get rated at 9 or 10?!? Seriously! Some of you are way too nice. What's the point of having a rating scale if people aren't going to use it honestly? If a fic has ridiculous spelling errors and is written in some bizare format by someone with very little understanding of grammar... Should you really be giving them a 9 just to be nice??? If you don't want to leave negative feedback, fine. Don't leave feedback. But don't give an undeserved score.



Speaking of the ratings; is there any way to actually use them? I don't see any way of sorting or searching by rating. (It would be interresting to see if there is anything here with a 1 or 0.)
Of course, most of the stories here are of quite good quality; but there have been the occasional (few and far between) stories that were nearly unreadable, and it would be nice to use the ratings to weed them out.

I could stand to hear a little more.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007 3:57 PM

QWERTY


Quote:

On another note, a little off-topic, perhaps... How the heck do some of the pieces of crap posted in the BSR get rated at 9 or 10?!? Seriously! Some of you are way too nice. What's the point of having a rating scale if people aren't going to use it honestly? If a fic has ridiculous spelling errors and is written in some bizare format by someone with very little understanding of grammar... Should you really be giving them a 9 just to be nice??? If you don't want to leave negative feedback, fine. Don't leave feedback. But don't give an undeserved score.


Wow, that's a little harsh...just because a fic may not be up to *your* standards, doesn't mean that it doesn't have an audience that appreciates it. Though I'm one of those that if I don't like a fic I more than likely won't leave a negative feedback/rating, but again that doesn't mean that other folks don't like it...

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Sunday, January 21, 2007 5:58 PM

EMPIREX


You're right, qwerty. That probably was a little harsh. But it really does seem like the majority of fics here are rated 9 or 10... And when I compare some fics that were rated 9s to other fics here that were rated 9s... It seems a bit unfair to rate them the same when one author clearly surpasses the other in craft.

I've come across writers in the X-Files and Firefly fic community that are ridiculously talented. A few of them *are* writers in real life but most of them aren't. At any rate, some of the fics I've read are of *publishable* quality and these are the fics (in *my* mind, at least) that deserve to be rated the highest. Doesn't matter what it's about. If a fic is well written, the characters are *in-character*, the dialogue is sharp, the story is fresh and original, if it's grammatically correct... IF IT'S LEGIBLE!... If it makes you go, "Wow! That was awesome!", then give it a 9 or 10.

When I come across a fic that is rated a 9 and it reads like a 13 year old wrote it... What am I supposed to think? I've read fics that, while I appreciated the effort the author put into it and they were somewhat enjoyable, I've rated them anywhere from 5-8. This was because they needed work. Maybe it was in a bizare format and I couldn't tell who was saying what. Maybe the characters sounded like they were fifteen instead of thirty. Whatever the reason, if it's undeserving of a high rating, I'm not going to give it one. I mean, we all went to high school, right? Did the whole lit crit thing. If something is well written, you can just tell. I guess I hold fanfic up to the same criteria as a book I would read. Is that unfair? I don't know. Does that make me a fic-snob? Probably.

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Monday, January 22, 2007 5:10 AM

AGENTROUKA


My office day is boring, so... To add another angle...


What are the thoughts about warnings done in certain "code words". Like pairings that are pushed into a new word?

"Rayne" comes to mind. Or "Jaylee". Less often the hair-raising "Maliver" or "Malnara"

Personally, I can't really stand them. They make my teeth hurt.

But find them acceptable because they're all over fandom. You can't really escape seeing them and learning what they mean, so their function as a warning is still fulfilled.

But it seems kind of unhelpful to make such contractions involving the names of original characters that the author made up. Especially if the resulting word sounds like another name entirely.


What's the public opinion about new word formations? It's all the rage in every fandom, apparently?

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Sunday, January 28, 2007 8:12 PM

ARCADIA


I think its annoying as hell, personally. We'll see how long it lasts, which will hopefull not be much longer. Damn Ben Afflek and Jennifer Lopez. Bennifer. This is all their fault.

Arcadia (aka Greyfable and/or Katie)
www.stillflying.net -- picking up Firefly were Joss left off. We will hold 'til he gets back.

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Monday, February 19, 2007 8:10 PM

STORMWOLFDAWN


I usually give warnings in my stories, unless it totally gives away the plot. Myself when I read fic there are only a few warnings I would really like and one of them I never see.

I don't like Jayne/Kaylee, River/Mal, or River/Simon fics so pairing warnings are good, I will agree with those especially since it tells me where the Jayne/River fics are so i can go read those hehehe.

But the biggest warning I would love but never get is Mary Sue/Marty Stu warnings. The problem is that most of the author's who write them have no clue that that is what they are writing. So basically if they would just warn me that they have written in an OC that will be warning enough because in the BSR 99% of the time OC=Mary Sue/Marty Stu.

Yes I definitly agree warnings would be nice. They don't always work though, I warned in one of my stories and got flamed big time and personally attacked. It was very hilarious.

I'll be in my bunk-Jayne

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