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.