Poem of the Week: WTH is Wrong with This Fanfic?

Happy Father’s Day, readers!

This week’s “Poem of the Week” deals with yet another YouTube phenomenon, dramatic fanfiction reading. In a nutshell, anyone who pays close attention to the YouTube commentary community—not to mention various individuals aside from YouTube commentators—knows of the popular trend of picking out certain written works that have been published on such sites as FanFiction.net, Fanfic-FR.net, TrekFanfiction.net, Fanfiktion.de, and HarryPotterFanfiction.com (just to name a few) and read them aloud solo or with friends for the amusement of one’s audience. Occasionally, the reader will present unto his or her listeners a carefully written and truly enjoyable short story or poem that does well in honoring the preexisting franchise upon which it is based and as such does said franchise justice. On the other hand, most of these videos feature the host narrating a work of fanfiction that proves to be so dreadful that it simply begs to be exposed for whatever faults it has, from horrific grammar and writing mechanics to nonsensical plot elements and character relationships to even tacky (e.g., sexually explicit) content and nigh-invincible and often self-based original characters. It is from this latter assortment of videos that fanfic writers—and, quite frankly, writers in general—can learn both what to include and what to avoid when composing their own works, even though such lessons often enough come at the expense of the presenter’s sanity. As such, though these videos might often enough embarrass the writer of the featured fanfic, there is always hope that said writer will find it within himself or herself to shrug off the presenter’s harsh criticisms of his or her work and try to improve his or her writing style via his or her next fanfic. Likewise, these videos tend to educate many a viewer a very important lesson: Be careful what you post on the Internet, for submitting the wrong material can very well damage your credibility, which is a consequence that no writer—professional or amateur, poet, novelist, short story author, journalist, et cetera—can afford to endure.

Of course, if you’d like a clearer idea of what I’m talking about, here are a couple of videos that best describe what dramatic fanfiction reading is all about on YouTube. Be warned, though, for these particular videos are not meant for the easily offended.

YB And The Great Reading Triumvirate Analyzes: KexAndy’s Wacky Foodstuff Adventure

Blonde Guy Gamer, WellUnreal007, and SCXCR of the River City Gamers read awful fanfiction on YouTube

Needless to say, this particular form of video is the topic for this week’s poem, which—as was the case for Folks Who Won’t Let Go—is a haiku chain, albeit shorter (hopefully much shorter at that, too). Without further ado, then, enjoy!

*****

WTH is Wrong with This Fanfic?
June 8, 2012

This fanfiction sucks.
I weep for humanity
Based on how bad
This fan-made story
Is. How bad is it, you ask?
Well, for one thing, the
Writer’s grammar is
Atrocious beyond belief,
With spelling errors
Aplenty, a lack
Of capitalization,
Poor punctuation,
Improper subject-
Verb agreement, and sloppy-
Ass sentence structure.
That’s not all, though, folks.
The characters in this tale
Don’t even act the
Same way they would in
The franchise they’re from. Really,
Now, there’s a pairing
Of two characters
Who, according to canon,
Hate each other’s guts,
And yet here they are,
Doing consensual yet
Unspeakable acts
With each other like
Two hormone-crazed teenagers.
What the hell, people?
Worse yet, why the hell
Is this one person killing
Off this other guy
When they’re supposed to
Be on friendly terms within
The source matter? It’s
As if the writer
Hates this second character
So much that he feels
The dire need to kill
Him off any which way he
Can, regardless of
How illogical
The notion is. Oh, but wait—
Speaking of lack of
Logic, how about
The fact that the events in
This fanfic have no
Flow to them? Really,
The story just jumps from one
Scene to another
With little to no
Transition between any
Of them. Honestly,
How does the writer
Expect us readers to pay
Any attention
To what’s going on
With the way he shamelessly
Rushes his story
Along? One more thing,
I just love (sarcasm) how
He introduces
Characters of his
Own creation into the
Mix so suddenly
As well as how they’re
All souped-up paragons of
What humanity
Is “supposed” to be
With nary a single flaw.
Great—just what we need:
More Mary Sues and
Gary Stus in modern-day
Fanfiction—as if
We haven’t endured
Enough author’s pets by this
Point already!
Anyhow, these new
Characters that the author
Introduces to
Us are all just so
Unrealistic that they’re
Unsympathetic,
And I can’t relate
To them. Can anyone else?
I highly doubt it.
Come on, now! Where’s the
Humanity in these guys?
Where are their faults? Why
Must they be so…well…
Invincible? Doesn’t the
Author know that there’s
No room for any
Character development—
No room for any
Sot of growth at all?
Tell me, what’s a character
Without growth and change?
I’ll tell you what: Stale!
And I hate things that are stale.
They bore me to death.
So yeah, this fanfic
Sucks big time, and quite frankly,
I wish that I had
Never read it. Now,
If you’ll excuse me, I need
A nap. My head hurts.

*****

Well, that ought to do it for this week. Thank you for taking the time to read this poem after my five-day-long absence from this blog, and hopefully, this week won’t be quite as stagnant for me in terms of producing content. As such, if I manage to come up with any new topics to discuss between now and either next week’s “Poem of the Week” or the publication of my next book, whichever comes first, I’ll be sure to include it here. Until then, however, have a very safe and joyous Father’s Days (especially all you dads out there ;)), and as always, keep your eyes peeled on my author page at Smashwords.com for the latest releases as well as current publications. Thanks again, and happy reading!

Regards,
Dustin M. Weber

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