tommygirl: (entourage - vince & eric)
Happiest of birthdays to both [livejournal.com profile] ethrosdemon and [livejournal.com profile] shattered! I hope you both have a fabulous day and are completely pampered!

**

Another Monday morning is upon me and I'm so not in the mood for it, especially since it's freezing. Bah.

But what can I do?

I had Gibbs/DiNozzo centered dreams last night, which were wonderful. I think it comes from starting in on my season 4 episodes. Soon I will be up-to-date on the show. And then what will I do? I've been mainlining for awhile now and that will have to stop. So very sad.

I'm still trying to figure out why in the NCIS fandom so many of the writers are obsessed with using the word "lover" repeatedly. Saying "Tony walked into the room" would work just as well as "Gibbs watched his lover walk into the room." It just makes me want to cry.

It also seems that NCIS fiction suffers from the same sad fate as some Supernatural fic - the inability to differentiate between lose/loose. My mind boggles at the image of Tony loosing Gibbs...is that some sort of sexual act I've never heard of?

**

I feel so unproductive on the fannish side lately. I'm hoping to get back into it soon, but real life and certain goals I've made for myself in regards to my real life have been keeping me busy.

I did manage to start updating my website with stories I've written over the past six months (so far behind on that) to get ready for the Remix Redux challenge. I think the only stories left to add are a few Jared/Jensen stories.

In the meantime, I'm just attempting to keep up with the friends list and bookmark stories for reading when I have more time.

Such a fun life I lead.
tommygirl: (alias - syd)
Dear fanfiction writers,

For the love of God, "lose" and "loose" are very different words. Dean would not be upset if he looses Sam. I'm not even sure what that means. The word is lose. One "O" - now if you wanted to say "Dean decided to loosen the ropes pinning Sam to the bed" that would work.

No love,

Tommygirl

**

My sister and I rented the first two discs of Prison Break to get ready for Monday night and new episodes. I may or may not have also rented "She's the Man" with Amanda Bynes because I'm a dork.

**

Am highly depressed that there are only two more episodes of Entourage for the season. I think this means y'all should write me some fic. I think there should be some Jensen Ackles/Vincent Chase fic out there. (My birthday is in 10 days, wink, wink. Hee.)

**

Off to do some writing until my sister and I start watching PB. So very behind.
tommygirl: (supernatural - dean (dude))
Dear Supernatural Fanfic Writers (again, especially those on fanfiction.net):

I realize that Dean uttered the words "no chick flick moment" in the pilot episode. We all know that Dean has an aversion to expressing feelings and emotions and all those other dirty words. Anyone who has watched the show more than once understands this.

Must we really have Dean utter "no chick flick moments" in every scene. And if he doesn't utter it, that doesn't mean we need it in the exposition. We get it. Dean is uncomfortable when it comes to emotional talks.

But thanks for making me fear those words.

Love,

Tommygirl
tommygirl: (alias - syd (pissed off))
Dear Supernatural fanfic writers (especially those at fanfiction.net):

It's LOSE or LOSING...not LOOSE or LOOSING. Nothing ruins a story for me more than reading, "Sam couldn't loose Dean." What does that mean? Is Dean too tight? That's really dirty for a gen fic, people. Good god.

It's not that hard to catch. Seriously. If Sam or Dean is worried about the other brother not being around anymore, please use the word LOSE from now on and spare me the injury of a rusty spoon to my eyes. If you don't think you can catch it on your own, I beg you to get a beta who does realize that adding an extra "o" changes the entire word!

Thank you!

Tommygirl
tommygirl: (writing)
I think we've established throughout the history of this journal that I read a lot of fanfiction. And because of that, it's a given that I've also read a lot of bad fanfiction. Sometimes it burns us. Sometimes it makes me want to give up completely on the education systems in place. But I find that the worst are those stories that have so much potential. These stories either never deliver or they get lost in grammar/spelling/formatting issues.

I decided, “Self, maybe it’s time you revisit Tommy’s Tips for Writing. After all, you are perfect and wonderful (and have I mentioned sexy hot?). Okay, so you at least know how punctuation works.” So here it is.

Because I want to make the badfic stop, but alas, I think this will only be read by people I already trust...still, I must get this off my chest! )

I don’t mean to come across as a bitch. Well, okay, I am a bitch, but I think these are things that every writer needs to learn at some point. Good plots and great ideas can only take any writer so far. That’s why a beta is essential in my opinion. A beta can be the difference between an okay story and a fantabulous-everyone-MUST-read one.
tommygirl: (supernatural - dean - christmas)
There is nothing worse than getting to the end of a good short story to have it ruined by the last line. It's just the worst feeling in the world and it colors the whole story...it's the last thing I read, and it totally doesn't fit the character and is completely...

Ugh.

I hate that.

And here I was, enjoying this story, thinking the characters were well done and that the dialogue fit...BAM! Lone tears falling.

Is such a thing even possible?

One, lone tear?

Gah! I think it might be time for me to vent and do another round of Tommy's Tidbits on Writing.

**

I'll be doing the Supernatural recs today if it kills me - yesterday my doctor and the tests almost did kill me...so yeah, I collapsed in my bed at about rpm yesterday and didn't move until this morning for work. Such is life.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] iamtheenemy and I might be doing a joint-rec journal. We both read a lot of fic (she's much less picky than me sometimes though), but alas, we are both the biggest procrastinators in the world. You have no idea how many brilliant ideas of ours have fallen to the wayside because we suck.
tommygirl: (house - chase)
I cannot get this evil Lee voice out of my head at the moment. He wants me to let him go on and on about how hard it is to be Adama's son, Kara's friend, and the CAG during a war. he wants me to let him take control of some things while he tries to work out that ending to KLG.

I just don't have time for this, but how do you resist a pretty, angsty voice?

Especially when you also have this weird frelled-up idea of a quadrangle O.C. story where you know that Seth and Ryan are totally in love with each other, but Seth turns to Trey and Ryan turns to Zach because it just seems easier somehow, even though it's not and only complicates things. And both Trey and Zach know that they're just the rice-a-roni, consolation prize, but they want so badly to be the one that they overlook it. Yeah, someone should write that for me so I don't have to.

**

I passed off my first review for [livejournal.com profile] plan_9_from_lj off to my wondrous, never-fails beta...so soon that should be posted for everyone's viewing pleasure.

Still have a ton of things on my to-do list, including getting caught up on all my tv shows. I'm a tad bit behind. Of course, I saw GG and could've really waited for that.

**

Amongst all these plot bunnies that were attacking, I was searching for some good fic in some smaller fandoms that I love (Thunderbirds, Tru Calling) and it, of course, inevitably led me to fanfiction.net

Now this stuff below is not only for fanfiction.net - others have these problems as well - but it's much more frequent over there.

Tommygirl's Pointers:

1. I've blathered on about this before, but really if you tell me your story sucks or is horrible in the summary, I'm not going to bother reading it. If the author isn't convinced it's a worthwhile piece, why should I be? It's in a writer's nature to be a bit neurotic and unsure at times, but we all try to hide that as often as possible. Saying it sucks means two possible things: 1) it really does suck and I'd cry if I read it or 2) you're fishing for compliments and assurances that you are the best thing ever.

2. Paragraphs. Learn to use them for we all love them. They let the reader know when a thought is changing or someone else is speaking. It's a really nifty invention, something we learn in first grade. I accept to an extent that fanfiction.net's program can make things a bit wonky sometimes, but really...USE PARAGRAPHS!

3. POV was not meant to be all over the place within one story, let alone one page. There's is nothing more off-putting for a reader trying to get into a rhythm with a story then to suddenly have it completely shift to a different point of view. Pick one and go with it, but remember, if you pick 1st POV, I don't want to see the other character's thoughts anywhere near it.

4. Canon is your friend. And I don't mean this as a bashing of A/U's or OC's added to stories because those can work within the established canon. I've seen it done and know it's possible. It seems some people don't even try.

5. Don't screw with characters I love. This is the big one. Because I'm a character girl. Shows I watch/books I read/etc, it's because I *love* the characters (at least some of them) and in fanfiction I want to seem them, not some weird version you've thought up. For example, Michael on Roswell is never going to be the overly-lovey-dovey type of guy. He will never utter sentences like "you complete me" or "you are my soul" randomly in a conversation. Therefore, I do not want to see that. It's jarring and completely unbelievable for the character. And don't use writing fluff or schmoop as an excuse either - because you can write good fluff without messing up *any* character.

6. Finally, get a beta. A literate, grammar-knowledgeable one is preferred. Honestly, we all make mistakes. I personally still have issues with the you/you're when I'm writing that Steph loves to torture me about. When you're writing, you're going to make mistakes and chances are *you* won't notice them. This is where your beta comes in handy. They notice these things - they can tell you when you haven't made something clear or went a bit overboard with adverbs. They're really handy people to have around and there are communities dedicated to finding you help.

**

that interview meme is going around and minotaurs as me some questions... )

**

Okay, I need to go try to catch up with [livejournal.com profile] sdlucly, so I have to write before she kicks my ass. She's beating me already.

Ciao.

ruh-ro

Mar. 10th, 2005 07:34 pm
tommygirl: (lost - jack)
Dear Remix Story,

Why don't you want to come out right? The deadline is fast approaching and you keep just folding your arms and getting obstinate with me! Do I have time for this? If I wanted an obstinate muse, I'd be attempting to finish the next chapter of Trouble In My Head.

It doesn't help that my throat is killing me, my head is pounding, and my apartment is freezing.

I give up for the night, Remix story, and it's all your fault. I'm gonna get a shower and watch The O.C. and read into the Seth/Ryan, plotting the next story to force [livejournal.com profile] sdlucly to write me (hee-hee), and forget you exist for the night.

No love,

Tommygirl

P.S. - Speaking of evil muses, I totally started that house Chase/Cameron fic, dammit! And y'all encouraged this...heh.

**

Does anyone know if the torrent of Tru Calling 2x6 is up yet? I have the first five, but I need to get the last one so I can send it to [livejournal.com profile] iamtheenemy.

**

Alrighty, off to get that shower.

Ciao people!
tommygirl: (luke/lorelai squees)
Have you ever found yourself reading really bad fanfiction because it involves a pairing or crossover that intrigues you and this is all you can find? Or am I the only one?

I find myself saying, "Self, this story is so bad." and "Self, spelling and grammar are not that difficult to use correctly." Still I read, cringing all the while.

And why is it so damn hard to find good stories at fanfiction.net? I mean, when looking for really rare stories, I find myself at that site...searching for hours for a decent story. They do exist - I've stumbled upon some in my day. But there are so many bad stories to go through to find those gems. Is it to make the discovery all the more sweet?

I think it says a lot about education in general these days. Take a look at some of those stories and weep for our future.

To an extent, I do believe that writing is something you either have a knack for or you don't. Not everyone is a storyteller. It's not a bad thing. It just is. But, at the same time, there are simple things that can make any story better.

1. Beta. Even if it's just a quick read-through on the beta's part, it's better than nothing.
2. Spell check. It's everyone's friend. I understand typos and not worrying about things while trying to get it down...initially. But how hard is it to hit f7 in word?
3. What is the appeal of one big paragraph? Can anyone explain that to me?
4. Read other stories. See how dialogue and other technical bits work.

I know I'm a bitch and I'm definitely picky when it comes to what i'll read, but I just don't understand. If I submitted things like this in my high school classes, my teacher's head would've exploded.

**

Which Harry Potter male is meant for me...and I didn't cheat, I swear... )

**

It seems that television is getting back in full swing. This makes me, the television addict, quite happy. I love good television - hell, I love cheesy television (how else do I explain away my Mutant X adoration?).

Reviews of things may come later - but I'll say that I love my shows for a reason. They rock.

**

If anyone is interested, sign-ups for a new round of MP3 exchange are going on at [livejournal.com profile] m3p3. It's a lot of fun and I was introduced to a lot of great music last time. All you have to do is sign-up and agree to send at least 5 (I think that's the minimum to sign-up for) mp3's via yousentit.com

Check it out. Sign-ups are going until January 14th.


**

Not much else to report. At work. Friend called to tell me that she bought us tickets for a Phantoms game for...tonight. Yikes! But I'm going and will have to watch 24 on the Tivo later.

I've been reading a bunch of stories recently in different fandoms, so I'll be making a rec post when I find the energy.
tommygirl: (selene underworld)
So last night I got another one of those weird emails from some person who would like to borrow one of my stories. I can't speak for most fandoms but is this something that happens anywhere outside the pop fandom? Because it's always in reference to one of my older Nsync stories that this question arises. I don't know.

Gah.

I don't know how you borrow stories. There is enjoying and asking to archive with credit given and then there is stealing the story and passing it off as your own. I don't get these people who think it's okay to take a story someone else wrote and pass it off as their own if they ask first.

Needless to say, my response was that I wasn't sure what she meant by "borrow" and that if meant taking my story for her own use, well, no. I don't claim brilliance. I don't claim that my stuff is the best out there. But I do claim that everything I write is 100% percent mine, stuff that I've procrastinated and slaved over all in the same breath, and it's important to me.

How is it important to them?

And I guess that's why I don't get the whole idea of plagerizing someone else's writing - because what gratification do you get out of the feedback you receive? You know that it's not yours and, despite its size, the Internet really isn't that big. You'll be found out sooner or later. Is it all about the attention? There are easier ways to get attention.

Oh well, what can I do?

**

The Friday Five )


The fannish five for the week )

**

Much writing to do this weekend. I can procrastinate no longer because there are only two weekends left until Nano gets underway and I'm going to need to focus on that if I plan to actually finish the novel in the month.

Why do I do these things to myself again?
tommygirl: (xander by trickster_)
So [livejournal.com profile] musesfool posted about ficathons, the over abundance of them, and such...and it got me to thinking. Because I have an addiction to doing these. I do too many ficathons, but I enjoy them and I don't think it interferes too much with my other fandom writing (though those who had to wait for TIMH might disagree). I like to stretch my boundaries at times, to try something new that I normally wouldn't, and I think a ficathon or fiction challenge provides me with that sort of opportunity. Because I'm not as likely to undertake it otherwise, but if I know someone is depending on me getting this story done--again, it goes into my whole I-never-like-to-disappoint-people personality disorder. Plus, it's always nice when you get a great story in return from another great author.

That said, I do have some pet peeves about the ficathon. Mostly about other participants. In that...is it really that hard to comment on a story written for you? I've had it happen in the past and all I wonder is, "Did they even bother to read it?" because grrr...that bothers me. I'm usually very fortunate that I truly love the stories that were written for me, but even in those cases where I thought, "it's okay" or "not exactly what I had hoped for" I still left feedback and let them know that I appreciate the time they spent on my story and that it was written by the deadline.

And I think that's probably where I find myself getting dissuaded most from participating anymore. Because, while real life does happen (I know this first hand--with such things as my fall and sudden surgery), it's not incredibly hard to churn out 1000 words within a month's time. And it's definitely not a big time constraint to let the author of your story know that you saw the effort they put into a piece for you. It takes a minute to say "thank you" in a comment. I mean, I try to provide feedback on as many stories as I can, but I realize that's not always possible and that we all have lives outside fandom. But c'mon, at the very least, read the one written for you and let the author know that you've read it. Otherwise, why participate?

{/end of ranting}

**

So what should I work on today? The Charmed WIP, the Roswell WIP (which I haven't updated in over a year--eek, I didn't know it had been that long!), the new [livejournal.com profile] musemuggers_2 prompts for original stuff, or try to begin the next chapter of TIMH while it's fresh on the brain?

Anyone know? Anyone, anyone?

And I've been feeling the desire to write some crazy comedy stuff again like with the Stalker Trilogy (insanity at my best), but hhhmmm...I'm not sure if I have it in me without large doses of sugar.
tommygirl: (jakeguitar by here_isgone)
Do you want to know what really ruins a story for me? Someone who can't use proper punctuation. I realize I'm a nazi-esque freak when it comes to these things, but I will let a lot slide before I finally click the x in the upper right corner of my screen. I think my big pet peeve is the misuse of the comma. It's abused by people. Abused. It cries out for help, not willing to be stuck into sentences all willy-nilly, but to no avail. It seems no one cares.

The other one is the period. It seems that some people like to put periods at the end of fragments quite often. It drives me insane. Sometimes an overuse of fragments can work if you work it the right way...or ya know, you're Hemingway (and even then, he drove me batty with that). Then there are those that go for what feels like miles without any sort of break. It makes me think of Sister Dennis, who used to harp upon us poor youngsters in grade school, "Read that aloud. Can you? Can you and still breathe?"

I'm hardly perfect myself. I have an elipses fixation that I haven't been able to break since I was sixteen years old. I have to go back over first drafts and remove about twenty of them at times. It's a sickness, an addiction with no twelve-step program, but I do try to remedy it as often as possible.

All I'm asking from people is a little editing/revisions to works. Most of us do it, I know. It's the minority that ruins it for me though.

But it could be worse. It could be stories written like this: U r 2 kewl, he said.

**

I'm taking ficlet/scene requests from people. You can give me a setting or a line to start with and a fandom/original and I will give it a go. I need to write something and my latest chapters are not coming as easily as I like. I find that conquering writer's block on one piece can be accomplished with new pieces.

Fandoms I'm Familiar With:: Orlando Bloom, Nsync, X-Men (movieverse mostly), Pirates of the Caribbean, Alias, Dark Angel, Sports Night, West Wing, Tru Calling, One Tree Hill, The O.C., Joan of Arcadia, and Charmed.

Just comment with what you want and I will attempt to get it down asap.

**

I'm a little behind, but I will be updating the challenges/prompts for the week at [livejournal.com profile] quillandink, but I was wondering if anyone has any ideas of their own that I could post (will give full credit for it)? I don't know if it's brain fry or I'm simply out of challenges, but I've got nothing.

**

Before I sign off for the time being, let me add that the The Remix Redux maintained by [livejournal.com profile] musesfool is up. So far I’ve stumbled upon some great stories—both originals and the remixes.

Have a great Saturday night!
tommygirl: (charmed - piper)
Today while I was working on some writing (of the real life variety), I ended up getting into this discussion with a friend about the things we hate in other people’s writing. It seems like a caddy thing to say almost, but I am not beyond pet peeves and I’ve been known to stop reading some of the “best fanfiction” simply because of grammar issues. Now I understand that everyone has their bad days/stories/etc and that we all make mistakes. I am anything but perfect. That’s why I have an editor.

So, in lieu of our conversation, I have decided to post the TommyGirl Pet Peeves of Writing. It's what any disgruntled writer with a terrible case of writer's block would do, right? Feel free to add your own in the comments as well! I know we all have them! It’s that feeling of “I can’t get to the x in the upper right hand corner fast enough” when you stumble upon them.

1. Writing in one big fucking paragraph. I do not understand the appeal of this. I comprehend the idea of free flow writing, but how does one not know how to work the enter button on their computer? Is it really that difficult to remember? I actually talked to someone once who did this. She had asked me to read something she wrote and I tried, I did, but I’m human and have my limits. So I emailed her and explained the problem and she said, I kid you not, “It’s a style choice.” A style choice? I’m all for using fanfiction to experiment with styles and work out the kinks before attempting to utilize it in your mainstream projects, but where is that even a choice? In illiterate land?

2. Adverbs. Adverbs are our friends…in small doses. I find this especially true in the Harry Potter fandom and I wonder if it’s partially to do with the fact that JK Rowling has a strange affinity for them. I tend to be a bit more lax in that fandom for that reason, but it still drives me insane. An adverb is not necessary at the end of every line of dialogue. You should be able to get across a character’s emotional state through the words being spoken and the actions they make in most cases. If you’re not, you’re doing something wrong. I don’t need to read something like: “I’m so mad at you right now,” Harry screamed angrily. I’m not a complete moron. If you say he’s mad or uses the verb “screamed”, I’m going to figure out that Harry is, in fact, angry.

3. The word “just” is not the new “the”. This one is more my own pet peeve due to a Nazi-like creative writing professor in my undergrad studies who beat the words “just” and “only” out of my writing vocabulary for the most part. It’s okay sometimes in dialogue because that is conversational. We do use the word, but it’s not necessary and a lot of the time you can remove it without anyone noticing. My dear friend, Steph [livejournal.com profile] iamtheenemy has dealt with my relentless and sometimes brutal attacks of her stories due to overuse of the word though.

4. If there is one thing I hate (possibly even more than people who write in one big paragraph--okay, maybe not that much), it's people who don't bother to do the briefest edits to their writings. I'm not even talking about finagling a friend into being your beta-bitch; just the simplest read-over that will point out the most glaring of mistakes.

5. Long-winded, unnecessary exposition. While I understand the attachment a writer creates with their characters, I really don’t need scenes where Harry is brushing his teeth unless where it serves no purpose other than to show that British people do believe in dental hygiene. There are some writers out there with sixty chapter novels and almost half of them are that purple prose sort where nothing happens. It causes the reader to skim and then that’s when people end up missing those important bits of the story…not to mention, it’s annoying. Less is more sometimes.

6. You’re/your, there/their/they’re, here/hear, etc, etc. This is why betas are good to have—because you might have read over your story fifty times and missed it whereas a fresh pair of eyes spots it right away.

7. Incredibly cheesy or out-of-character reactions to things. I’m not saying you can’t have a character be romantic with another, but have it fit the personality you’ve created, or in fanfiction, the character we love.

8. Improper punctuation. I think that says it all.

I think what really bothers me about most of these is that they are all fixable transgressions. If you know you tend to use you’re/your improperly (like I do—that’s my Achilles Heel), do a find all to verify they were done correctly. Edit a story. At least look it over before you publish it. Have a little pride in what you share with the world. I know that in the beginning we are all learning, like everything we get better with writing the more we do it (I cringe at some of my first stories), but there are some things that are avoidable with a bit of willingness.

**

To end on a hot sort of note. Orli looks like his usual beautiful self in People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. Raar. Love Orli.

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