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Daily Prompt: Pungent

via Daily Prompt: Pungent

Today I got into a conversation with some fans of the youtubers Phil and Dan, and found myself amused when they claimed that no fandom has stories which are badly written smut that make ones eyes water, and one feel like throwing up, and yet a fandom which is only two years old can’t possibly compare to a fandom which is nineteen and a half years old in regards to the stuff that comes out. However, I’m not sure I really want to talk about the pungent stuff found in the Harry Potter fandom that involves obvious kink. That’s just…

Here instead is a list of things that make me face palm within the Voltron: Legendary Defender fandom.

First, there are a group of writers who think that Shiro/Allura is canon fact despite the fact the two have never shown signs of liking each other in the first season, and the canon pairing for the original series was Keith/Allura. (I’ve read some good stories for S/A, but they also don’t write the pairing as fact either.)

  • I read one story where the writer jumped to the two being married as the begining of their story, but also where Allura was already pregnant with their first child. Nothing really bad happened except to add a brief bit of angst to the series, and everything was sugar coated.
  • I read another story where the writer forced the two to act as a married couple for diplomatic reasons despite not explaining the customs of the aliens upfront to the reader because the aliens wouldn’t accept help from the paladins unless diplomatic measures were taken. Why the paladins of Voltron needed permission to save the day, and then leave as soon as the task was done, I do not know, except the writer kept explaining “this is the customs of the aliens, and their religion, so the paladins have to respect that”. In reality, they just created an excuse to force two characters together. The two also weren’t in love with each other, but lusting after each other, and acting majorly out of character, something the writer claimed would be explained through flashbacks, but in reality, having looked at the reviews on their later chapters – they just can’t be bothered to keep any of the characters in character.

Second, I’ve come across quite a few stories where writers think AU means do whatever you want, not realizing that while the AU genre covers possible alternate universes, it does not cover impossible ones. For example, it is not possible for an alternative universe where alternate universes do not exist to exist. A lot of these seem to also tie into the Galra theory as well.

  • I read a story where they were in a fantasy setting AU, and suddenly Keith was Galra – as if that were canon fact, when there is no hard evidence in the canon material, and = well, the piece read like original fiction.
  • A story where Shiro was a youtuber with black eye shadow. (Please, the fact his eyes have the dark lines around him does not equate him having eye shadow, so while this may be used with a meme, it should not be used as if it were canon fact!)
  • A high school AU where Lance was suddenly wearing different colored nail polish on his nails because he was “so gay” and that’s how the writer wanted to see him, and not because she could back it up with canon fact.
  • A non-AU where the writer attempted to work out the Galra theory, and – well, made a story where his being Galra would not have at all gone unnoticed.
  • Alpha/Omega, where people are only doing the AU to write an mpreg, not because they really want to explore the concept.

As for some good fics, I can’t remember the tiles or names of the author’s off the top of my head, but I have read a good Shiro/Allura where the others are kids in preschool, and Shiro is having to raise Katie, and then another with Keith/Lance where they’re in college, and getting to know each other. One where Lance gets PTSD, and no romance. And some ones that did well with the Galra theory, and various others.

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Broken Wish (Voltron: Legendary Defender)

You are extremely rude. You take fanfic to seriously you forget the fact that most writers on this site are tweens and are not going to write to the impossible standard you set. You think your reviews are helpful and that you are bestowing your great writing knowledge onto us but you are not you are annoying and hurtful. You also forget that fan fic writers do this for themselfs not for your stuck up self and do it for free. If you are such a great writer who knows so much more than we do then why are you on fanfic and not published? It’s sad and sick that you get a kick out of giving negative and overly harsh reviews on fanfic to people most of which are tweens. Please stop or at least stay out of the Voltron fandom where I reminded you most of the writers are tweens and your are doing more harm than good and all of us just really do not like you.

I actually have an idea of who may have sent this particular anonymous review to me, but also why this may have been sent anonymously, though I may be wrong. In July I reviewed a story which featured a ten-year-old purple paladin with her own purple lion. To be exact, the character was ten and a half, which gave away the fact the writer was in fact ten and a half, but more on that in a bit.

In my review I told the writer that a sixth lion was an impossibility, but also that their character stole the spotlight from another canon character, of whom one of the defining traits is being the youngest paladin. For those who don’t know the Voltron fandom, Voltron is a robot comprised of five unites with no room for any more units, and as such almost every character which comes with their own lion is a Mary Sue or Gary Stu. Even prototype lions mean your character is a Mary Sue or Gary Stu if they can out perform the final product. I then told the writer that there were better ways to add in an OC than what they were doing.

I of course got a negative response from the writer who told me to stop being rude – but in reality told me that negative reviews had no place on their story despite the fact there is a rule on the pit about accepting critique even if it’s not something you want to hear. They then proceeded to make up their own definition of fanfiction – “not real” – despite the fact fiction means “didn’t really happen”. My response was to tell them not to throw tantrums, not to make up their own definitions, but also to pay attention to canon due to the fact they claimed their story as “non AU” even though it wasn’t, which meant they either didn’t know what an AU was, or wasn’t paying attention to what was or wasn’t canon.

They then responded with an author’s note instead of by replying to the PM. They thought not naming me actually made them look like the better person, and yet this resulted in a poor reviewer on their other story thinking they were the one sending demanding messages as they’d made a few requests of things they’d like to see in the said story. They also left out the fact the demanding messages constituted a legit critique, and a PM not putting up with the tantrum they threw in response to said critique in an attempt to gain sympathy, but also tried holding their story hostage for reviews, another sympathy ploy.

Normally I ignore tantrums which show up in author’s notes. However, this one was posted as an individual chapter, which is against site rules on the pit. I’d also reviewed quite a few stories, and came to have a great deal of respect for the other writers and reviewers in the Voltron: Legendary Defender fandom, and did not like the level of disrespect this writer showed them. I let the writer know their author’s notes were against site rules, to actually earn their reviews like everybody else on the site, but also made it quite clear that the writer didn’t like critique, thus giving a heads up to the other reviewers I’d seen critiquing in the fandom that they might get a negative response in return. I’d also called the writer out for probably being ten and a half, something I’d meant to do in my original review. People after all, don’t normally refer to a ten-year-old as ten and a half unless they are that age.

They then threatened to out me – which I told them was pointless because I purposefully outed myself. They also tried telling me they weren’t ten, because “I never put my real age in stories because of internet safety. I’m suprised you don’t know about this. You should have learned about it in almost every grade,” only to thus reveal the fact they were indeed ten and a half. Age, like gender, is not personal information which can allow someone to identify you off line. Exact birthday, yes, but not your actual age. I know quite a few people who are upfront about their age on the site. I also blocked them as I did not wish to deal with a ten-year-old throwing tantrums.

Their account went silent after that. I suspect their next move was to turn to their parents, which in turn outed them to the parents as having signed up for an account on a site they’re not old enough for, but also that they weren’t following other rules on the site. I also suspect they got their internet privileges revoked until yesterday, when the anonymous review was sent, but they didn’t get their account back, either because they forgot the password, or their parents purposefully changed the password on them, even possibly changing their account to the parents e-mail. And yes, it would be within the parents rights to do so. I’d also blocked them. This made them mad, so the only way to lash out was through an anonymous review.

You are extremely rude.

Critique is not rude, or mean, and as long as someone thinks this way, they are not mature enough to have an account, even if they are old enough. Calling someone out for throwing a tantrum is also not rude either. However, what is rude is…

  1. Throwing a tantrum.
  2. Claiming the person calling you out for throwing a tantrum, or such, is in fact throwing a tantrum.
  3. Expecting an exception to the rules be made for you.
  4. Expecting an exception in regards to critique be made for you.
  5. Making up definitions for fandom terms which are already defined, and don’t match up with the already defined terms just to try and argue your point.
  6. Labeling your story as “non-AU” when it is AU.
  7. Lying to ones readers about getting rude messages when you didn’t.
  8. Holding ones story hostage for reviews.
  9. Posting an author’s note as an individual chapter, thus bumping another writer’s story off the front page.
  10. Going behind your parents back and signing up for a site you’re not old enough to be on.

You take fanfic to seriously you forget the fact that most writers on this site are tweens and are not going to write to the impossible standard you set.

I’ll start off with the fact there should be no tweens on the site what-so-ever, as a tween is between the ages of ten and twelve, and one needs to be at least thirteen to have an account on the site. The next thing to point out is, yes, the writing standard I hold other writers and myself to is an impossibly standard for most tweens, however, said tweens aren’t even supposed to be using the site in the first place. The standard though is not impossible for someone who is old enough to have an account, even though said standard may take time to achieve depending on the writer.

Second, if you’re not willing to take fanfic writing seriously, why should I or anyone else take you seriously. The writer in question complained about me wasting their time in their first PM, but isn’t that what a writer who doesn’t take things seriously doing – wasting the time of everyone else in fandom? Those who aren’t willing to take things seriously, they think fanfic writing is a game, and they’re only here for positive reviews to stroke their ego, hoping to get said reviews without actually earning them. I say, that’s the attitude which isn’t right, as reviews are something you earn.

You also forget that fan fic writers do this for themselfs not for your stuck up self and do it for free.

This is a lie. First off, if your posting something online, you’re not doing it for yourself anymore. You post something online for others to see and enjoy, unless of course you’re only in it for the reviews. Which brings me to point two, it’s a lie that any writer of fanfic who posts their stories online does it for free. While it is true that they’re not getting any monetary value from the posting of their story, they are being payed in reviews, follows and social contact with other people in fandom. Add to this, I suspect a lot of the people claiming they do it for free actually would try to earn money off what they write if they could under copyright law, but only don’t do so because this would get them into legal trouble.

In the long run, the person being stuck up is the person who thinks they shouldn’t earn the reviews, follows and other forms of social contact that other writers are working towards. It ties back to the for most writers, this isn’t a game, but a for a few it is, and they get mad when someone comes along ruining this game. Writing is a craft, whether it be a hobby or not, and as such a person should treat it as such.

You think your reviews are helpful and that you are bestowing your great writing knowledge onto us but you are not you are annoying and hurtful.

The funny thing about this comment is, when I entered the Voltron: Legendary Defender fandom, I found out exactly how helpful me reviewers were to the majority of fanfic writers, which would be those who take things seriously. Said reviews were appreciated by both newbies and old timers alike, as they found the reviews helful, but a few also voiced the fact they ached for critique. Those who found the reviews annoying were those who either didn’t take things seriously, or those who were in serious denial in regards to the issues in their stories, and would rather run from the truth.

As for critique being hurtful, I really wish people would stop. I found a quote from Gerhold K. Becker’s book Ethics in Business and Society: Chinese and Western Perspectives.

Not quite. Hurt feelings or even the feeling of revulsion are certainly harms we can well do without, but there is another sense of the word “harm”in which it is intelligible to say: “Despite being hurt, you are not really harmed.” For example, some medical procedures, such as injections, hurt but are not harmful – quite the reverse.

In other words, yes, critique hurts. However, one can not become a better writer without getting critiqued at some point. In other words, while critique hurts, it is not hurtful, which means causing “injury, detriment, or suffering”. Yes, ones ego may end up a bit bruised by critique – I should know – but it’s not something which causes the “injury, detriment, or suffering” that bullying does. It pales in comparison, and is something which has positive effects if only one takes the time to put aside the hurt feelings.

If you are such a great writer who knows so much more than we do then why are you on fanfic and not published?

How do you know I’m not published? Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. I don’t let people know if I am or I’m not because I consider that to be a conflict of interest. Add to this, the fact a writer is published doesn’t mean the shouldn’t write fanfic either. You just don’t normally hear about it because it is considered a conflict of interest, as each should stand on it’s own merits.

As for why I write fanfic – this tells me the person leaving said review honestly doesn’t get fanfic at all.

I write fanfiction because there are stories stuck in my head that only work with already existing canon characters, but also because I want to share these stories with other people. Funny how this attitude differs from the idea that fanfic is only for oneself. I feel it is my duty to give my readers the best story I can, and that this is something I owe my readers. That’s why I decided to call the particular writer I mentioned out, they felt they owed their readers nothing, not a single ounce of respect.

It’s sad and sick that you get a kick out of giving negative and overly harsh reviews on fanfic to people most of which are tweens.

I find it sad that this person thinks there’s something wrong with negative reviews, when the site rules clearly state not all reviews will praise the work. I’ll admit that I’m blunt in my reviews, but I found a long time ago that sugar coating things always ended up with the exact opposite effect on those who wanted the reviews, and those who threw tantrums would do so no matter what I did.

I also find it sad that this person doesn’t get the fact tweens are NOT allowed to HAVE an account!

I also don’t get a kick out of leaving negative reviews. How I feel about the reviews I leave is actually complicated. I do worry about the younger writers I review, so when I suspect the writer might be a younger writer for some reason, I do try to adjust my review accordingly, but this can also be hard. Some might say, “just avoid reviewing”, but then I feel like I would be lying people. Negative reactions to said reviews do also bother me, but not because people get mad at me, but because nobody enjoys seeing a teen or adult throw a tantrum like a toddler in an attempt to get their way.

Please stop or at least stay out of the Voltron fandom where I reminded you most of the writers are tweens and your are doing more harm than good and all of us just really do not like you.

Talk about an majorly self entitled tween here, though I’d actually use the word preteen. As already stated, those under thirteen aren’t supposed to have an account. Thus the vast majority of writers are going to be teenagers. There are a few other amusing things about this though.

First, I’ve been in fandoms aimed at tweens, and Voltron: Legendary Defender isn’t one of them. While a few tweens sneak in, most of the writers are in their early teens, thirteen or fourteen year old’s, maybe some fifteen year old’s, older teens and adults. This fact doesn’t mean the older writers should get lost, but the demographics for the fandom are far from being a fandom which favors teens, because…

… second, Voltron isn’t a new fandom. The fandom is actually over thirty-years-old. I’m sure a lot of the writers are around forty to fifty years old, and remember the time of fanzines, unlike this young whippersnapper. This person talks about being rude at the beginning, but the fact they just told every single adult who grew up loving Voltron to get out is most certainly rude.