So, I actually remember the story which involved the PM mentioned in my post PM – Their PMs are Off. The story was a Young Justice fanfic – sort of.
The story involved the pairing between Kid Flash and Robin, which I normally stay away from, but the story wasn’t even clearly marked. There was no warning for the pairing, nor was there any character tags used, so for all I knew going in the fic was het. Not that I have an issue with slash, but I’m not fond of this particular pairing. I mean, I just look at the summary for many of the stories for this pairing, and I already know one or both are going to be OoC, or that the writer is going to writing a slash fic using stereotypes, which includes emasculating the male characters. I decided to read the first chapters of a few, but hit the back button due to how cringe worthy the characterization is.
Slash – I’ve got this rule about reviewing everything I read, and this is one of the places I make an exception to the rule simply because I don’t like dealing with rabid fangirls who think they are being progressive simply because they write slash pairings, but don’t understand how insulting making the characters OoC is to the actual gay men in fandom. In reality, they just like their hot slash because it’s their kink, and they’re just not willing to admit it.
In this particular case, I was dealing with a writer who thought their story was inspired by Your Lie in April. Which, undeniably it was. Having seen the Anime, I found the similarities between the two works too similar, my reaction being “nails against the chalk board”. The writer’s other readers, I don’t think they’d actually ever seen the series, so they didn’t pick up on it. However, they relied so much on Your Lie in April, that the only thing left of Young Justice was the characters civilian identities. It was original fiction inspired by Your Lie in April, not a fanfic inspired by it. This puts their review in a whole new light. Not that it changes anything, but it is interesting.
Hey, man, I get it. Ok?
I don’t think they actually understood what was so wrong with their story, or why they got the lashing in the review that I did. Truth be told, the story wasn’t just original fiction and not fanfic, it came very close to plagiarizing Your Lie in April, but not quite, or at least at my first glance. I can’t go back and double check this one because the writer did delete it. The fact I’m not quite sure about the plagiarism thing is, though, bad. It’s one of those one would have to examine with a fine tooth comb.
I wrote this when I was 12.
While them being twelves does explain things, it’s not an excuse. I’m now wondering if the reason those two characters paired together is popular is because girls like to self-insert themselves in Robin, which honestly explains a lot of the awful characterization that goes on in most fics I’ve come across. It’s kind of disturbing, hearing this writer talk about their self-insertion as Robin simply because he’s super feminine, but it also brings up two issues I’ve got with slash fic.
- If a character is effeminate, he must be gay.
- Ignoring the canon character’s actual canon sexual orientation or claiming that the guy was jumping from girl to girl because he was really gay all the time.
The first is a bad stereotype. The second – that’s…
One day a couple of years I met a female who kept getting mad because of “gay eraser” over characters like Willow from Buffy who happened to date both male and females in the series when writers decided to pair her with a female, but also people who just wanted to eplore alternatives to the canon just because it interested them. Well, the problem was she did that to male characters. These male characters only ever showed an interest in female characters, yet that interest was gone. It’s hypocrytical.
And no, the “we’re under represented in media” doesn’t cut it anymore, as I’ve looked into things and found the LGBTQ+ community as a whole is actually over represented.
That said, a twelve year old girl writing slash? Probably not a good thing at all.
And for that time it was something I was really proud of.
It’s original fiction which came very close to possibly being plagiarism, but which also made a slash pairing OoC. To a clueless twelve-year-old, they are going to be proud of that story simply because they don’t know better. Let me repeat, someone who’s twelve probably shouldn’t be writing slash as they likely know little to nothing about it. Not unless they themselves were LGBTQ+, which I doubt it. The writer wasn’t exploring their own sexuality in this fic. I’ve read those kinds of stories, and the tone is definitely different.
However, this also makes me wonder if their parents still found out and freaked. Now, I’m not saying the parents are necessarily homophobic. If I were in a parents shoes, I think I’d be using this as a good time to discuss the subject if we hadn’t already, but I wouldn’t have been pleased with how the kid handled the topic, and that would have gotten a lecture about how to properly handle the subject, and that it needs to be done with respect.
To be honest, I was biting my tongue because I know the pairing is popular and didn’t want to deal with its rabid fanbase, so I didn’t bring up the fact you don’t make characters OoC for pairing whether the pairing is het or slash, but that I didn’t feel the writer was taking the pairing seriously enough. It wasn’t quite a situation to do so though either, as it was original fiction and could have worked as original fiction – if it wasn’t definitely plagiarizing.
Which, if I was a parent, I’d also be examining the work for that as well.
I was teasing with the idea of deleting all these things, the stories, the account, but every now and again I’d get a nice review and would want to keep the profile open for others.
The problem is, with popular pairings whether they be slash or not, most readers care about getting their pairing fix. That’s not the kind of reader I want, I don’t know why any writer would want them. (Not to be confused with readers who are young, still learning, or special needs, etc., as that’s a bit of a different situation.)
Worse though, most weren’t familiar with Your Lie in April, so they had no clue how similar the story was. In fact, there were key points that were definitely influenced by the Anime, yet who got the credit? Well, the writer of the original fic disguised as fanfic. That’s not a good thing, but also majorly bothered me. I mean, even if it wasn’t plagiarism, that the writer of what was posted got credit and not the original creator? No… not cool.
But YOU are the asshole who ends this.
Yes. Because I had no right to be a bit upset that my favorite characters were OoC. I had no right to be upset that the plot was way to similar to an Anime I adore majorly. I had no right to be upset that the writer got credit for an idea/ideas that were the Anime’s simply because they said “slightly inspired” or something similar instead of “majorly inspired”, let alone given credit where it was due.
Yeah, had I looked closer, I might have had to call this one on plagiarism, as all the warning bells were there.
I’ll freely admit, I was blunt with the writer, completely honest. I think the closest I came to being a jerk was my “nails on the chalkboard” comment, but I want the writer to understand how it felt to me as similarity after similarity kept popping up. (Maybe it could have passed as a fanfic for the Anime? So maybe not plagiarism, but just a fanfic for the wrong series. Still rather bad though.)
Me, I kept reading it going, “this isn’t your idea, this isn’t your idea”, and while the “nails on the chalkboard” comment may have been a bit harsh, that’s honestly how jarring it was to me as a reader, and a fan of both series. I’m still cringing because of this one, but the writer also crossed a lot of lines they shouldn’t have, and I didn’t know how else to let them know how bad the situation was with that particular story.
And you know what? How fucking pathetic is it that this is how you fill your time?
I tried taking the time to read the writer’s story and give them a fair critique. I couldn’t hold back on this one, as there is a difference between inspiration and plagiarism, and this one was majorly borderline. What if they had written another story? I even avoided the topic of slash pairings in the review, because the big issue was that it was to similar to the Anime, but also not a fanfic for Young Justice.
But to call my time a waste just because I actually care about the fandoms I am writing and reading fanfic for? How close the story was getting to actually be plagiarism – and it might actually have been, that still is bothering me, so is that pathetic as well, to be concerned about plagiarism, or the characters being OoC.
More and more though, I realize those who use the excuse of “you’re just wasting your time”, it’s actually those making the excuse who are wasting their time, but also the time of others.
P.S. Worst part, they said they were doing it for others, yet the others had no clue what was or wasn’t this writers, because they were likely not familiar with the Anime. That also still doesn’t sit right with me, nor do I think it should.