cat’s in the cradle

mssmithlove1
2016.05.27 21:57

anonymous asked: Some facts: Your fans do not read junk. I do not read junk. IRL, I am a professional editor. I read, edit, and publish for a living. You are one of my fav authors. Your writing is great, and flat, unconstructive comments to the contrary are wrong.

YOU ARE SUCH A KIND SOUL TO COME BY AND BE AMAZING LIKE THIS!! THANK YOU!! YOU ARE SO LOVELY!!

I suppose that might be true; I’m not her fan, I…rarely read junk. And if I do I know it’s junk, that’s for sure. What’s funny about this person claiming that their professional status makes them qualified to judge her writing is that they didn’t offer any of their actual credentials; for god’s sake, someone read, edited, and published the Twilight and Fifty Shades books. Also, wait a second, if they claim to do all three, does that mean they’re a self-publisher or what? I mean normally it’s a whole bunch of people involved in the process. Anyway, all this post tells me is that no matter what they “publish,” it’s gotta be pretty low-quality.

Also it occurs to me that her loud, flaily responses to people praising her are really irritating and reek of insincerity; even though I’m sure she means all the sentiment, I’d much prefer a thoughtful, personal response than a bunch of excited screaming.

mssmithlove1
2016.05.27 22:42

anonymous asked: You are an amazing writer, and you deserve all the happiness in the world, all the happiness you give Johnlock and more. Anyone who believes differently is simply, as Sherlock would put it WRONG.

THANK YOU ANON!! THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!! I APPRECIATE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK!!

Excuse me. Anyone who believes differently is wrong? Wow, no. Anyone who believes differently has a different opinion or different tastes, which is perfectly valid. Also, speaking as someone who reads a lot of, you know, actual good writing, I’m quite sure that I’m right when I say that her writing is substandard. Or at least, I believe it is. Fucker.

dance of the lemons

mssmithlove1
2016.05.20 22:22

anonymous asked: You are nothing by an attention seeker. Your fanfic writing is mediocre at best, I don’t know why people read what you write. Unfollowing now.

Thanks. Think I’m done for the night,

Well then. Yeah, sure, it’s a shitty thing to say, especially when this is (I suspect) born from her original message that she was feeling “on the verge of tears for no reason at all,” but. You know. They’re not wrong. Everyone’s always going on about how she’s the queen of teen!lock, or at least one of them, but actually her writing is pretty mediocre. The stories aren’t especially inspired; her magnum opus, as it were, I’d Probably Still Adore You With Your Hands Around My Neck, has this summary:

When Sherlock and John become roommates in their first year at University, they both end up finding things they never realized they were looking for- in each other.

I mean…that’s right up there with the coffee shop AU, I think every fandom has one. Or thirty. So basically what we have here is a generic story written by someone who isn’t a bad writer but also isn’t a particularly good writer, and who doesn’t bring anything I would call novel to the theme. Also her dialogue is kind of crap.

This is from chapter 1 (the story was begun 3 July 2015):

“Yes you were. I don’t know what you’re so worried about. He might be cute, you know.”

It takes a fifth of a second for that to sink in.

And then the blood fills Sherlock’s cheeks rapidly, heating his face immediately at the implications of those words. “Mrs. Hudson!” he cries indignantly, mortified that she would even think… that she might know

“Would you calm down?” She laughs, tucking his shirts into the drawers beside his bed, neatly folded the way she’s done his entire life. “It’s alright if you like-”

“Mrs. Hudson-”

“I’m just saying dear, boys can like other boys, you know Mrs. Turner’s got married ones and I think-”

“MRS. HUDSON!” Sherlock hollers, drowning out her final words, face flaming hotter than the sun, brow scowling with fury mixed with complete humiliation.

So my biggest issue with this clip, aside from the quality of the dialogue itself (particularly Mrs Hudson’s run-on sentence about Mrs Turner’s married ones), is the timing thing; is a fifth of a second supposed to indicate an unusually long time? Because it’s profoundly not, but the use of the term “And then” to begin the next paragraph implies to me that there’s been at least an awkward pause between the instigation and the response, but a fifth of a second doesn’t leave time for that. Also “the blood fills Sherlock’s cheeks rapidly, heating his face immediately” is on par with “Silently, he slips quietly into a room filled with priceless artifacts.” Also what’s that crap about his brow scowling? How…what? How? And if the humiliation is “complete,” how can it be mixed with fury?

this bit is from chapter 11, the most recent (4 may 2016):

“Uh-” Sherlock clears his throat and moves away again, reaching forward and settling his body further down the sofa as he rocks back with his bag in hand, shoving his hand down the flap to appear to be rummaging for something, attempting to distract himself from severely snapping. “Seriously, nothing is wrong. Shall we-”

“Sherlock,” Victor murmurs and Sherlock turns to find him even closer now, hand settling fully on Sherlock’s shoulder, squeezing it gently before stroking over his collarbone with a reassuring thumb, clearly having no idea he’s currently attempting to settle an extremely agitated genius. “You know you can always talk to me, right? About anything.”

Biting his tongue so sharply he swears he tastes blood, Sherlock keeps his mouth firmly shut as the very real fear of a guffaw is threatening to make its way out of it.

Just to be clear: Sherlock reaches forward as he moves away [from Victor] as he settles into the sofa as he rocks back as he holds his bag in (one?) hand as he shoves his hand…down the flap? I think that’s supposed to mean into the bag, all in order to distract himself from snapping (unclear as to whether it’s verbal, i.e., “No,” he snapped, or mental, i.e., “something in his mind snapped and he went on a killing spree”). Wow, he is talented. And how is a thumb reassuring? Maybe “squeezing gently before stroking his thumb over Sherlock’s collarbone reassuringly”? Maybe? I still don’t like it, I have trouble imagining the action coming off as reassuring in really any context. And then, “the very real fear of a guffaw is threatening to make its way out of [his mouth].” That indicates that the fear is the thing threatening to come out of his mouth, which is frankly stupid. Sloppy writing, actually, very sloppy, even ignoring the vaguely anthropomorphic reference to a guffaw, or a fear of one, “making its way” anywhere.

So, yeah, it’s not like she’s improved or anything.

Interesting side note, she credits ishaveforsherl (who, funny story, has no posted stories to her own name) as her beta reader, I think; she doesn’t actually use the word “beta” but she thanks them for “brainstorming, listening and reading all the things I ask.” Oh, here we go, chapter 3: “Special thanks as always to my wonderful ishaveforsherl, you are INCREDIBLE, thank you for taking the time to proof read and brainstorm and be my soulmate.” But wait! Chapter 9: “Quick note of epic THANK YOUs to ishaveforsherl for help with all ideas and storylines and being AMAZING and awkwardtiming (whose single T-rated story [there’s one early G and everything else is E] is short but mediocre at best and boring as fuck) for grammar help, future beta-ing and generally being a FANTASTIC FRIEND! Love you both so very much!!”

Speaking of chapter 9…

“Who-… Victor, you moron!” Irene barks rather loudly before ducking her head again, rechecking her surroundings. “You can’t be this blind? Seriously, all he does every time we meet up is eye-fuck the shit out of you and it’s honestly repulsive and I’m over it. He’s so creepy.”

Sherlock doesn’t need a mirror to know his skin is flushing bright red from the base of his neck to the tips of his ears at Irene’s crudeness. “What?” he attempts to demand, although it comes out as more of a squeak.

“Why must you be so oblivious to boys who are mad about you?” Irene asks almost angrily, frowning at Sherlock as though he’s the most irritating human being she’s ever met. “Victor likes you. He wants to fuck you. He got you drunk at a party at his house on purpose. I cannot believe you are making me spell this out for you. It’s not rocket science, which is a stupid comparison in this particular situation since you’d actually be able to sort it out if it were rocket science.”

Alright, pro tip: A dash as the “closing” punctuation point of a sentence indicates a short stop, usually due to an interruption. An ellipsis indicates a slow trailing off, usually because the person thinks the rest of the sentence is implied and would rather not say it or because they don’t know how to finish whatever they were saying in the first place. You cannot put them together. They are contradictory. Also, using “barks” rather than “says” is a good indicator that the speech is loud, so “barks rather loudly” is just pretentious. Or, no, it’s pretentious (“rather”?) and redundant.

And I know we don’t have the world’s greatest canonical read on Irene, and teen!lock is kind of an open book anyway, but what the hell is with that dialogue? “Eye-fuck the shit out of you and it’s honestly repulsive and I’m over it”? What? What is that? That is crap, is what that is. Crap. Complete crap.

“Sherlock doesn’t need a mirror to know his skin is flushing” except that even if he feels warm, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s turned “bright red.” Also talking about how he feels, i.e., warm, I assume, is better to engage the reader than describing an external cue like “his skin is flushed.” And “attempts to demand, although it comes out as more of a squeak,” like, I get it, but…I can’t help thinking there’s a less stupid way of saying it. Maybe I’m just prejudiced because the rest of the paragraph is such a dump, but it sounds ridiculous.

Oh, god, “almost angrily.” Why can’t anyone commit to an actual descriptive? It’s all “almost” this and “nearly” that and it is so. Frustrating. And Sherlock is a chemist, not a physicist, so why would you possibly think he’d be able to understand rocket science? I mean, maybe, if he put his mind to it, but why would he bother?

And then in chapter 10:

Also special shoutout to essentially my beta but also awesome friend and confidant awkwardtiming, you saved my grammar ass and continuity stupidity in this chapter and I cannot thank you enough!!

So I guess ishaveforsherl is her…cheerleader? Co-author? But awkwardtiming is her “official” beta reader?

Chapter 11:

Also special thank you to awkwardtiming for giving me sound advice and grammar lessons!

What “grammar lessons”? Back to school with you, woman.

ash

hang, hang on a second; this from chapter 154 of “between each beat are words unsaid”:

“I wish I could tell you all of this, but I can’t email you from here and I don’t dare to call. Not with her in the house.”

“can’t email” because they’re afraid she’ll hack them, or tap them, yeah? well what the hell do you call this? i call it “blog post saved to drafts” because that’s literally the title of the chapter. they key here is “saved to drafts,” you fucking moron, which means it’s on the internet. meaning she doesn’t even need to hack your computer, she just needs to hack your blog account, which is likely to be infinitely easier.

this story is a goddamn train wreck. i can’t look away but i can’t wait for it to be over.

unauthorized use

you know how a lot of the time people write fanfiction about situations or places or professions they’re unfamiliar with, and sometimes it’s really obvious, and sometimes someone will step in to correct them? or like that missive on how to properly write a military fic because good lord most people don’t know how to do it, apparently. that was very kind and i appreciate it (but i’m sure not going to tread where i don’t belong, i don’t know how to write a military fic, even with instructions).

i wish, i wish people took the same attitude toward inserting transcriptions into their fics. most recent offender: “between each beat are words unsaid” chapter 150.

just, this is the beginning of the “transcript”:

9:42 AM. SHERLOCK and JOHN come into the flat via the door to the staircase into the sitting room. Both men take off their coats and throw them over the arm of the sofa closest to the door. JOHN turns to SHERLOCK but does not manage to look him in the face.

wow. you know how an actual transcript would record those actions?

09:42. SHERLOCK and JOHN enter the flat via the main door. They remove their coats and drop them over the nearest arm of the sofa. JOHN turns his body toward SHERLOCK and looks over SHERLOCK’s shoulder.

a bit into the conversation:

J: [Firm but impatient: a commanding officer.] No, I’m going to search your flat while you take a nap, and then I’m going to wait. Do you have any on you, or did you leave it in your coat?

S: [His shoulders and head drop, in embarrassment or defeat.] You don’t–There’s no need to search the flat. There’s nothing to find. I didn’t have anything here before we went to my parents’, and it’s not as if I’ve been home since. [He stops, looks down toward the sofa, and brushes his fingers against the sleeve of his coat. He takes a deep breath and resolutely steps back before he looks at JOHN again.] Inner pocket.

fucking hell, what kind of movie script directional nonsense is this? there are no inflections in official transcripts. and you cannot impose a motivational force like “embarrassment or defeat” on a figure! and “resolutely steps”? fucking no.

so on “page 2” we finally get some additional time stamps, and oh my god they’re so irregular. literally, there’s no notation at the top of the page, then all of a sudden it’s “10:01 AM” and then a random “10:10 AM” time stamp to notify readers that, btw, john hasn’t done anything since last time he did something at 10:01 am and apparently he doesn’t do anything visible until the next time stamp at fucking “10:27 AM”! and they all begin with “Continued silence”; like, i know they’re not speaking because if they were speaking there would be transcript of the words they were speaking.

but then all of a sudden we’re on “page 3” and now the time stamps are at regular 10 minute intervals, for some reason.

“page 4” introduces the gem of “A pause; approximately 56 seconds.” this is a goddamn official governmental document, so either you round to 56 seconds or you get your precision down to a tenth of a second but there is no “approximately 56 seconds” crap permitted. also who fucking cares that the pause is 56 seconds? if this thing had proper time stamps like a proper transcript, the long pause would be evident from the minimal action between the time stamps.

i can’t really persuade myself to give this thing an attentive reading, but on “page 7” sherlock literally gets the notation “[Half-laughing, half-sobbing. He may be crying; video quality is unclear.]” like…i don’t even know what to do with this. it’s crap, it’s utter crap.

and all the comments are variants of either “omgfaweifhaerp put this on my tombstone because you’ve killed me with the cute and holy shit i’m in love!!!11!!!!1!” or “your descriptions are amazing i can see it playing out as though it were on the screen.” and i mean, i get it, you want to be descriptive and shit, but if that’s your goal this is not the way to do it. actually, a transcript could be suitably moving, i guess, but this is not a transcript. this is the unholy fusion of an amateurish fanfiction and the third draft of a film script. just…get the fuck out of my kitchen with this nonsense. go. just go.

eta: i’m thinking about doing one when i finish “some pieces they adjoin”; like, seriously, do a proper transcript fic written like an actual transcript and still delivering an emotional impact. it’ll be difficult but i think i can do it.

episode 15

i have this problem where as soon as i find out how old a fic author is (or some benchmark to indicate their age range, at least) i become incredulous at the quality of their writing. just because usually the ones who give some indicator are in their 30s, more or less. like verityburns, or this lady kitty howell on ffn (whose age indicator is that she has a kid who was born probably around july 2015). kitty’s actually not terrible, but the story of hers i’m reading, barely legal, is a wip clocking in at 22 chapter so far; i moved through the first chapter pretty easily but then at the second, i noticed a lot of little things, typos and such, that are easy enough to overlook i suppose but i also find that the story isn’t exactly blazing along at the speed of light. maybe i’ll skip ahead a few chapters.

eta: nah, fuck it, this crap isn’t worth my time.

anyway my point is that tons of people suck at their hobbies, and tons of people suck at writing, regardless of their age or education level, so why am i surprised when a person whose writing i find to be sub-par turns out to be old enough to be a parent? (come to that, why does it become somehow more surprising that their writing sucks when i find out that they are a parent? the two are utterly unrelated.)