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Thread: SPEW Babble #43

  1. #31
    Fifth Year Gryffindor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vorona
    Incidentally, Ariana, you're next on my author list -- I think it was for helping out with the infertility post, but I'm not sure.
    Yay! I'd nearly forgotten about that . You have a nice way of doing things!

    Have you learned anything about hooks, catching reader's interest, avoiding infodumps, etc. in your classes or here? What would you do if you read a story that had that much detail about something completely unrelated to the central conflict?
    I've been learning this since forever. Really, I can remember in fourth grade our teacher being angry with us if we didn't use a hook and then "reel" our reader into the story. I think it's a very important part of the story, because if you can't control the readers' emotions from the beginning of the story, they could quickly lose interest.
    For the second question: I think a short anecdote is okay, a page or so would be fine. But I don't see the point of going ONANDONANDONANDONANDON about something completely irrelevant to the story. It gets boring after a while.

    To you, what marks the difference between a 'well fleshed-out' character and one that you know way too much about?
    Relevant vs. Irrelevant, which practically everyone already said. But I think it's okay if the author slips in irrelevant stuff a teeny bit, very subtly. I think that helps you get to know the character without really realizing it. But, I don't think we need to know the favorite color, favorite number, favorite fortune cookie saying, great-great-great-grandmother's middle and maiden name...because that just pulls the reader away from the story.

    School time!

    xx Ariana

    Thank you to Hokey for the beautiful banner. And thank you to everyone who nominated and judged --I'm so grateful to you <3.

  2. #32
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    *gasp* TQs in the babble! What has happened. Where has the lovely lovely spam gone *faints*
    I know! I thought I was in our house chatter thread where you have to answer TQs, until I got to Hannah, who quoted Jess. And I was like, wait, Jess isn't a Hufflepuff >.>

    Do you all tend to get your stories to review from the Most Recent list, or do you mentally catalog ones you want to review for later until you get around to it?
    No, not usually. Sometimes I review from MR, but generally not. And I don't really read any fanfiction, so tbh I don't do any mental cataloguing. Lately, I can only give half decent reviews to poetry, so I mostly just browse until something catches my eye in that part of the archives. Occasionally, one of you lot might gush about a story and make me want to read it... but yeah.

    Do you look at the date the story was updated, or whether the recent reviews have any responses before leaving reviews?

    Personally, and somewhat hypocritically since I am terrible as an author at responding to reviews, I love to receive responses to the reviews I leave, so I know that my feedback has been read and i can see what the author thought of it.
    // that's kinda what I'm like. I tend to read my reviews if they're from a SPEWer, since I see them in the review thread, then forget to reply for months. I've probably done that to quite a few of them, and I'm honestly not being intentionally rude or anything... I just don't log into my archive account that often, really. When choosing stories to review, though, I try to review stories with only one or two reviews, so that everyone gets a chance at feedback. It's rare I'll add my review for a fic with several decent reviews when I could be reviewing somebody with just a one-liner.

    And I'm not answering any more TQs right now, cos I gotta essay to write!

  3. #33
    CoolCatElly
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    Hello everyone

    So today has been nice, we went to visit friends of ours who live in a castle. Yes, a real one. It's small though, and split into 4 units (our friends live in one) and very modern inside, but looks gorgeous from the outside, and is on a hill overlooking a valley and forests and stuff.

    Apart from that, I've watched the New Vampire Diaries and Nikita, both great, and we had a house invasion from people who are considering renting it.

    So how is everyone?

    *Is defiantly trying to make this a SPAM-SAFE zone again* *so keel me why don't you*

  4. #34
    Vorona
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    Elene - that's really cool about the castle!

    I suppose I like topic questions because I find my own life boring, so don't like to talk about it much. So, I'll come on, and there are several posts, so I feel I need to get involved, but don't have anything to say. On the other hand, I like there to be SPAM/babble and not just topic questions, because it seems when people run out of topic questions, the thread just dies for awhile. So, I kind of like a mix of both.

    So as for this:
    Do you look at the date the story was updated, or whether the recent reviews have any responses before leaving reviews?
    No. I'd definitely be a hypocrite for that, since most of my stories were published in 2007. Incidentally, I have it set up so I get an e-mail anytime someone leaves a review, and so I always respond to reviews. But yeah -- all my stories are old, so I don't really look to see when a story was last updated *unless* it's a chaptered story. That said, in general, I tend not to read chaptered stories until they're complete. I don't like to be waiting on the next chapter. And, when I write, I tend not to post stories until they're complete because I want to make sure the end matches up with the beginning.

    And this:
    To you, what marks the difference between a 'well fleshed-out' character and one that you know way too much about?
    To be honest, it depends.

    As a writer, I have to know enough that I can write them convincingly, and some characters need a lot more knowledge up front. But sometimes, if I know the character too well, it stifles my creativity, just as too much outlining can do. I need to know enough to write them convincingly, but not enough that they become boring to me because I already know too much. As a writer, it doesn't really matter if the information is relevant or irrelevant, because I usually do this before writing. As I'm writing, I keep everything in mind, but only actually include the relevant or interesting information. And sometimes, I don't have that information, but I can use the irrelevant information to help me come up with the needed relevant information.

    As a reader, it really depends on the type of story I'm reading. I like to know enough about the characters that they don't fall into stereotypical roles, but not so much that the actual story is compromised. And some characters need to stay mysterious for awhile, or there's no interest in reading. If we all knew everything about Snape when Harry sees him kill Dumbledore, it wouldn't have been nearly as interesting. I think it's important, though, that the author knows what's up with the character, so that you don't end up with a hodge-podge story.

  5. #35
    CoolCatElly
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    *Chirp Chirp?*

    *pokes dead babble*

    Uhm... helllooo there SPEW! What's that I hear? The dust is gathering, a cricket is chirping? Why the silence guys?

    Hem Hem

    There once was a thread full of SPEW
    But no-body knew what to do
    So enter a triplet
    To squash the little cricket
    Into a squashy pile of goo

    Now without further ado
    I welcome all of you
    Back to the babble
    Where you're welcome to come dabble
    In some spam or a lovely TQ...

    Yea, wow I'm having some flashbacks to a Puff event some time back lol.

    To you, what marks the difference between a 'well fleshed-out' character and one that you know way too much about?
    In my opinion, as a reader you can never know too much about your protagonist. I mean, take Harry - you're inside his head so much, you feel comfortable with him and enjoy his interactions. I have read books, however, where I never really understood the protagonist, or to be honest just thought that that were severely underdeveloped. That makes reading them a bit hard sometimes, especially in first person narration. As a reader especially, I'm all about character development, and the better a character is developed the more I like them, whether they are good or flawed. For example, I hate Snape's persona, but as a character he's wonderful and I find him intriguing. Leading from this, of course, is when as an author you can choose only to show certain traits or a small bit of a character so that he/she remains a mystery - we see this with Snape again.

    Hm I seem to have deviated from the original question a bit now, but I don't think I can answer that because... how could you know way too much about a character? Do you mean pointless information we didn't really need to know?

    Do you look at the date the story was updated, or whether the recent reviews have any responses before leaving reviews?

    When I'm reviewing for SPEW I always go to the most recent to look for a story with very little feedback. I also ask my f-list if they need any stories reviewed, and I also bookmark good stories I want to leave a SPEW review for for later. Unfortunately I'm not at the point yet where I can leave brilliant quality shorter reviews when I read for pleasure, but hopefully this can change after I've been in SPEW for a bit - when i think a story really deserves a great review I take my time.

    xxxx
    Much love all
    Please come Babble some more!

  6. #36
    'Til the end of the line Ravenclaw
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    Happy birthday, Ariana!!!



    Do you look at the date the story was updated, or whether the recent reviews have any responses before leaving reviews?

    I don't look at the dates on the story at all when I review. In fact, I don't start reading a fic with the intention of giving it a SPEW review. When I read something, I will know if it will be of SPEW quality or just a brief synopsis of what I enjoyed and maybe anything helpful I have to add. If that fic happens to be from 2006 or from the Most Recent page, it doesn't matter. When a review becomes a SPEW review, it just does.
    Jess WritesJess DrabblesJess DuelsJess PoetsJess Draws



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  7. #37
    Fifth Year Gryffindor
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    Thank you so much, Jess!!!

    EEP, guys, House comes back on tonight! In about a half hour, in fact. I can't wait!

    I'm definitely for making this a Spam safe zone again, but this post does seem a bit TOO spammy to me, so....

    Does anybody (and by "anybody" I mean if your name starts with a V and rhymes with Morona) know how to tell when to conjugate an IR verb like choisir and when to conjugate it like dormir? For French, by the way. We have a test on it in two days and I'm terrible at memorizing. And my teacher is terrible at teaching us tricks.

    xx Ariana

    PS,
    I love your poem, Elene!

    Thank you to Hokey for the beautiful banner. And thank you to everyone who nominated and judged --I'm so grateful to you <3.

  8. #38
    Fourth Year Gryffindor
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    First of all, that was an excellent poem, Elene. Are you part of the PA? I think you are (and if you aren't, you bloody well should be).

    To you, what marks the difference between a 'well fleshed-out' character and one that you know way too much about?
    A well fleshed-out character is one that I find simply real. The tiny things that make them mad, how they show their emotions and their reactions in every kind of situation, what they think is right and wrong, their flaws in social interaction, relationships, intellectuality, and physical appearance - all of those make a personality.

    But personally, I find characters who are much different than others even when compared to RL are the ones that intrigue me the most. This is why Snape, Dumbledore, Tom Riddle, and Dolores Umbridge are the characters that whose personal stories I would very much like to find out - I mean their childhood and adolescence age, and everything in between.

    Like Elene, I can never see how one reader may know 'way too much about' a certain character. It takes a lifetime to know one person, and in consequence to that, one may either like or dislike the person more - and that, I think, is the most important of all. That a reader has a reaction to the character itself. It's quite a failure for an author if his reader doesn't know what to think of his characters. Better to have them hate the characters than have them make no sense of it all. There is no difference to a 'well fleshed-out' character and a character that we know way too much about.

    Do you look at the date the story was updated, or whether the recent reviews have any responses before leaving reviews?
    Well, I don't really give reviews to stories that has been dormant for the last two to four years. I think that those authors who are still continuing writing fanfiction till today deserve more feedback. As long as the story has been fairly recent (like 10 months to the max), I will give a review that sometimes may be fangirly or SPEW worthy, depending if I do like the fic, no matter if the author responds or not (though if I do write a SPEW worthy one, I'd appreciate it if the author would reply so that at least I know my hard work was acknowledged).

    I bought new jeans today, and guess what. A HARRY POTTER SHIRT! I bought it for like, $20 and I think it's worth it. It says, 'Undesirable No. 1'. Below it is a picture of Harry and below that says 'Harry Potter'. Below that, 'Reward: 10, 000 Galleons on his head'.

    YESSSS.

    I've been dying to ask the professional reviewers (and by that, I mean all of you): What makes a pairing real? What factors should be considered in order for them to 'click'?

    And another: What kind of romance entertains you the most? Do you still read cliches every now and then?

  9. #39
    'Til the end of the line Ravenclaw
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    What makes a pairing real? What factors should be considered in order for them to 'click'?

    First for me, there has to be an initial element of realism and a chance that it could ever even happen. That's why I tend not to read Dramione and awful, brain-melting things like Hermione/Snape, because I really can't see in my mind, if the characters are drawn in the mould of JKR's work, that they could and would ever get together.

    Second, there has to be a connection, a part where they learn something about the other person and, even though they may not like it, they understand it and still choose to move forward. True love should never depend on one side keeping his/her deepest secrets from the other.

    What kind of romance entertains you the most? Do you still read cliches every now and then?

    Mainly, I just want characters that I like to be involved, or at least ones I don't know much about. What the author brings after that, unless it's just something wildly fantastic that doesn't make any sense or just plain PWP (well I can deal with PWP actually if the pairing is good enough), is okay by me. I don't mind cliches if they're done well. For instance, one cliche in fan fic that is particularly gruesome is the James/Lily 'James is an arrogant toerag and Lily yells her head off at him'. If the reasons behind these actions are shown and not simply passed off as a fact or a given, then I don't care. It's when fanon (fan canon) is written off as fact and not substantiated that cliches (fanon ad nauseum) bother me.

    Henceforth, if I review a fic and it's full of cliches, but the cliches are built well, I won't say a word. If they aren't, I might mention that the particular concept isn't very strong and is a bit overdone, maybe making a few suggestions to strengthen it or change it to where it's more original.

    If we all worried about cliche (which is, by definition, something that is overdone), some spectacular stories might never have been written. Just about every plot for major and even most minor characters in the Potterverse has been done by someone somewhere, but that shouldn't affect what we write/read, because no two people write the same.
    Jess WritesJess DrabblesJess DuelsJess PoetsJess Draws



    Gorgeous banner by Dinny / Evora.


  10. #40
    Vorona
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    Wow! So much has happened since I was last here.

    Happy Birthday, Ariana!!

    Next, your birthday present!!! Err, maybe not:

    -ir verbs:
    Almost all of them are like choisir.

    If your textbook is any good, it should have a list of verbs like dormir somewhere. If your textbook doesn't have this, get 501 French Verbs. Unfortunately, I do not have the list memorized, so I can't tell you exactly myself. And all my French resources (besides dictionaries) are up in storage. I know that sortir and partir follow the dormir pattern, though. I can't remember any off-hand.

    Next, some topic questions to answer:

    What makes a pairing real? What factors should be considered in order for them to 'click'?
    I need to see them actually like each other, you know, like as friends. AND I also need to see them respect each other. Going from troll to dating doesn't work if the two people have such completely different values that the only thing really holding them together is another person or a war. I can't see them constantly bickering and/or rolling their eyes at each other, or talking down to each other, and think that they're going to have a healthy relationship. I need to see tenderness and respect.

    This is why I have such a hard time with some of the canon romances. I just don't see what's holding them together (particularly Ron and Hermione, but Ginny/Harry was also kind of out of the blue).

    They also need to face difficulties--challenges to their love--and overcome them, showing why and how the other person is more important than the challenge.

    And another: What kind of romance entertains you the most? Do you still read cliches every now and then?

    Jess is going to gag, but the only pairing I read regularly and on purpose is Hermione/Snape. One of my missions, though, is to find a really good Ron/Hermione that takes what Jo did and actually turns it into something much more real than what's in the canon. I haven't actually read any fanfiction versions of that pairing, and I need to. And yes, I read cliches all the time. They don't usually bother me, since they're not really cliches to me. I haven't read enough stories to have gotten sick of anything yet. I have a few pet peeves, like strange nicknames (thankfully, 'Mione isn't common in Snape/Hermione, but there are variations on Severus that make my ears curl).

    As for what kind . . .well, again, I like a lot of heavy conflict: things like betrayal, secrecy, danger . . . I tend to prefer the romance to go along with some other plot, and I tend to get frustrated if it's all just romance all the time. I think this is another reason I like Snape/Hermione: a lot of the stories have to do with trust issues in the entire wizarding world, not just between Snape and Hermione. Also, a lot of the stories I'm currently reading were started *before* Book 7 and involve conflicts with Voldemort or the Aurors (Snape did actually cast the Killing Curse, and even if it was on Dumbledore's orders, it's the curse itself that's illegal, not "murder"). I like it when the romance is more of a side note to that kind of story.

    Then again, I'm a total sucker for innocent people arrested for something. I loved Sirius in Book 3, but once he stopped being a "bad guy" to most of the characters, he kind of lost my interest at the same time.

    And on to some actual babble:
    I'm so STRESSED right now. Here's my schedule, as of tomorrow (I didn't have any of the observation hours until then):

    Monday: 8:30-10:00 class; 11-4 work from home.

    Tuesday 8-11 tutoring; 11-12:15 class; 12:30-2 tutoring, 2-3:15 class, 4-5 tutoring, 7-8 tutoring in a nearby town.

    Wednesday: 8:10-10 class, 12-2:30 Observation (in another town), 4-5 life coach, 6-7 yoga.

    Thursday: same as Tuesday, except 5:30-7:00 class, and no tutoring in the nearby town.

    Friday: 7:45-10 Observation, 11-8 work from home.

    Saturday: 7am-11am work from home.

    AAARRGH!!!

    *breathes* This is just one semester. I can do this.

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