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Bad!fics, your thoughts?

The topic we'll be discussing, "crappy fanfictions". How much preparation do you give a story before publishing it and what is your definition of a badfic? Something that I've noticed about many new fanfictions is they often end up being "bad!fics" because of a lack of preparation or actual true commitment in writing them, no my comment isn't meant to come off as condescending. The definition of a bad!fic is one without an official definition, it's just something I decided to use to describe poor stories, I don't even know if people even use it. So, I'll say that badfics often include bland/bad characters, crappy grammar, bad pacing, bad description, shoddy dialogue, clicheness, choppy length, and/or unoriginal plot lines and points. There's a saying to describe badfics, "Rome wasn't built in a day", I feel as though some are caught up in the "hype" of how fun it would be to write a fanfiction at the time and race to write it down in a hurry and post it, expecting, of course, to get immense amount of attention for their newly published work. Because of this it more then likely will come off as mediocre and poorly handled, the writers will usually abandon the story.

Then there's chapters which are handled similar in essence, poor length and choppy grammar in an attempt to get it out to the public faster. I feel as though the things that keep fics from being mediocre is the amount of work, patience, and time one is willing to put into the story, especially in its early phases. Bad chapters and badfics often makes one look desperate for glory or attention and can reflect bad on the community and/or author. I think if we all gave a little more time and patience toward making our fics. a little better and focused less on timing we could get more activity as a whole in the section and more recognition. Again, this isn't a call-out toward anyone, just my two-cent.

Length in particular is something I've noticed that people put emphasis on when describing a fic, I've seen some describe my stories' chapters as being "intimidating" naturally because of the length, but they usually don't complain too hard about the length after reading the story and finding out it isn't half bad despite the length of the chapter. Being completely honest and saying my utter and own opinion from experience of reading various fics. on other sites and here on Serebii, if a fic. is chaptered, a.k.a not a drabble, and each chapter is in the neighborhood of 500-1,500 words it's most likely a piece of a crap that was rushed. Keep in mind length doesn't completely dictate whether a fic is bad or not, this is in addition to several other problems I listed. I'm just saying that fics of this length usually contain the aforementioned problems. People seem to usually complain about fics being too long but most of the longer fics I'm encountered are the exact opposite and manage to be very compelling and usually only elicits whining for the first few chapters or so and are stuck to and better stories overall.

Another thing to note is "filler" chapters. Chapters in which no progress is really made in the grand scheme of things for the story. Chapters where nothing is really gained are pretty pointless for fanfics imo. It usually comes off as a stall for the authors and screams being unprepared imo.

So what do you think? Are my conspiracy theories a load of crap? Does a badfic turn you off? Thoughts? What do you think a badfic is?
 

JX Valentine

Ever-Discordant
Most of what you said is pretty much a given when it comes to the difference between good and bad fics. Naturally, a fic's level of quality would have to do with premise, execution (grammar, spelling, and so on and so forth), and generally how much effort a writer puts into it.

However, there's one point I'd like to talk about here (before launching into a more detailed explanation of my thoughts).

Length in particular is something I've noticed that people put emphasis on when describing a fic,
That would be because most people who point out length are newbies or mini-modding.

Sorry to say, but it's true. Length has absolutely nothing to do with a fic's quality unless you're new to the craft. Yes, you say this later on in your post (or some variation of it – although you still generalize short fics), but a lot of newbies to fanfiction make assumptions based on five-second glances at a chapter. So I figured this is worth saying. If not to you, to other people who might be reading.

See, the truth is that if you write a long chapter, that doesn't mean you're writing a quality one either. I've read short fics and chapters (especially on LiveJournal and Dreamwidth) that were amazing all over. Meanwhile, I've also read fics (and note the plural there) with chapters that were well over ten pages long, and those chapters would be extraordinarily boring or cringe-worthy pieces of crap. The reason why was because of the chapter content itself. The short, amazing fics on LJ or DW did a lot with the space their authors used: they had incredible characterization, well-done pacing (believe it or not), fascinating premises, and a showcase of a high level of writing skill (in terms of detail and mechanics) on the part of the writer. Meanwhile, the lengthier chapters here or elsewhere in the fandom might have had massive filler scenes, slow-as-eff pacing, wooden characterization, and pretentiousness up the wazoo. For example, I once read a fic by an author who bragged about her writing skills and produced fifteen-page chapters, but when I took a look at her work, nothing happened in two very lengthy installments except massive amounts of infodumping to force-feed readers information that wasn't important to the story. Also, angsting. Lots and lots of angsting. Despite the fact that the plot at that point involved the main character planning on escaping an island to get away from an evil organization who would kill him if they found him. You'd think an escape plot would be exciting, but apparently, infodumping about the history of a castle was more important than getting to the relevant story.

That wasn't the only instance, either. Believe it or not, I've found myself utterly bored out of my skull while reading lengthy chapters by pretentious authors who believe lots of filler text (read: wordiness all over the place, not just scenes that don't even affect the overarching plot) more frequently than I've found myself cringing at the quality of a short chapter, if that makes sense. I've also found that there were more longer fics than shorter fics in which I hated the characters or thought the plot was generic. Or in other words, I've found myself disliking more longer fics than shorter ones. It's pretty simple why, anyway. It's quality, not quantity, even with word count. Honestly, I think that a lengthy or even "average-length" chapter has an equal chance of being a pile of crap in one way or another compared to a short chapter. There is no usually for one or the other. It just depends on the skill of the writer.

That isn't to say that all or most short fics are good or that all or most long fics are bad. Certainly, the kind of fic – the ones where there's short chapters that the author just threw together without bothering to put much effort into them – exists. It's just that I wouldn't say that most of them are like that. It depends on where you're looking and whose library you're browsing.

Tl;dr, quality, not quantity.

That being said, surprisingly enough, do you know what I would say is the best way to describe a good fic? A fic that's got a sound premise, an interesting cast to back it up, and enough general content to fill in the gaps. That's right. I don't define good and bad fics based on grammar, spelling, length, or goodness knows what other surface flaws people come up with.

Here's the logic. While good grammar and spelling certainly help a person enjoy a fic (and while I will be less inclined to set fire to kittens if you format your fic in a sane manner instead of just ~for art~ or ~because you want to~), that's something that can be fixed rather easily if you bothered to edit. There's no fixing a terrible premise, insanely flat characters, and sparse description/narration except dumping the whole thing and starting from scratch.

That and, for the most part, if you have an amazing premise, I would be less inclined to notice the few grammatical errors you might make, and if you have an amazing premise and terrible grammar, I'd be kinder when trying to help you polish everything up and take your story to the next level. The reason why is because your premise serves as my distraction. If I'm having fun guessing what's going to happen next, if I'm getting impressed by your display of creativity or your attention to detail, and if I'm feeling something for your characters, then I become less focused on anything but your story. In other words, I'm not bored! Yay!

On the flip side, if you have a generic premise, flat characters (or problematic ones – hello, stereotypes and generally horrendous personalities), plot holes everywhere, and/or logic fails, you can have the most poetic writing, clean-at-first-glance grammar/spelling (or a handful of errors a chapter), and decently long chapters, and I will nitpick the **** out of you and tell you you have a crappy fic. Why? Because I'm bored.

In other words, my definition of badfic goes like this. First and foremost, writers are entertainers. If you fail to entertain, then you have a badfic. The problem with this is that the definition as I see it is incredibly subjective, so that's why a lot of people flock to the fics I tend to see as mediocre or terrible. That's okay, though, because a lot of people call what I consider to be good mediocre or crap for entirely different reasons. Good fic tends to be a subjective concept; even the best fics in this fandom will be considered to be crap to others. (Fun exercise: Go read Pokémon MASTER by Acey. People praise this as an incredible fic and a must-read for the fandom. I couldn't get through it without MSTing the crap out of it because holy eff there are so many things wrong with it. And actually, by "get through," I mean "I got bored somewhere in chapter seven and never finished it.")

So really, I guess the answer to your question is it's incredibly subjective, but I personally look for content and then nitpick the hell out of the smaller details. Or in other words, I personally believe that a good fic is defined by:

1. A well-built and somewhat original plot (Is your fic another new trainer fic without any variation? That's not considered "somewhat original," then.)
2. Multidimensional characterization (natural-sounding dialogue is grouped in here)
3. Great pacing
4. Interesting scenes
5. A dash of vivid imagery.

You could theoretically write a good fic with less-than-stellar grammar and spelling, but it'll be seen as something to polish up. However, if you have:

1. A generic or absent plot
2. One-dimensional characters (including characters who end up filling roles like "token love interest") or unnatural character interactions (rushed romance is a huge trap for many new writers)
3. Rushed pacing
4. A ton of predictability (As in, if I know exactly how your chapter is going to go down because I've seen it goodness knows how many other times.)
5. A crapload of pretentiousness (Protip, teen/young adult authors: Your character is not being philosophical and intelligent by going on and on about the nature of good and evil, politics, art, science, God, or whatever else smack in the middle of your story. It just makes you look like you're trying too hard.)
6. Logic fail. (WTFery in terms of characterization and plot holes are covered here, but I also mean, "No, really, science-y things/people/procedures/sane government systems/those other things you're talking about do not work that way.")

…Then yeah, horrendous grammar/spelling won't help you in the least. Also, there's of course a limit. If your fic is rendered completely unreadable or difficult to read because you fail at stringing together sentences properly, it won't matter how awesome your fic is because, y'know, we sort of need to read your work in order to enjoy it. However, most people who write unreadable or nearly unreadable fic also lack any sort of decent content (if they're not trolling), so chances are good that if the fic lacks readability, it would have been bad even with decent grammar.

Tl;dr, content >>>> everything else. But really, "good fic" is a pretty subjective term, and that's probably why there's no official definition for it or even agreement as to whether individual fics are good or bad.


That said, in answer to your other questions:

How much preparation do you give a story before publishing it?
Writing it takes a couple of nights. I've been able to write entire chapters in the space of four hours. (The reason why they take so long is because real life > fanfics.) After that, it's usually a four-hour proofreading job after a twenty-four hour cool-down period, and then I send it off to my beta and get it back within a couple of days. In all, it really doesn't take more than five days to produce an entire chapter. Yes, I also realize this is a lot more than can be said for others, but I'm also insane. *shrug* I mean, I do research for chapters. On Google. My time-frame and the amount of effort I put into each chapter is probably not something to be emulated as a result.

Are my conspiracy theories a load of crap?
There's certain bits that I'd agree with. I just think the length part is really irrelevant and that grammar/spelling is strangely enough not a sign that you have a terrible fic, but other than that, it's pretty much a given that you've got a badfic on your hands if you've got nothing good in terms of content to speak of, even if you've done your best to proofread and string together scenes and whatnot. The problem really lies in the questions of, "Okay, so what's good and bad content, and how do you determine the levels of awesome and 'kill it with fire' for both?"

Does a badfic turn you off?
I already answered this, but I think it'd be entertaining if I said it again. Yes. But that's because by my definitions, if you've successfully written a badfic, that usually means I'm bored while reading your fic. Sooooo... yeah.
 
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Dragonfree

Just me
I don't think that's a very good definition of badfic. Fic that's lazy and rushed is usually bad, yeah, but it's unremarkably bad. Lazy, rushed fics are generally just forgettable; there's no reason to care about them or give them a special name or discuss them in forum threads. Real badfic that people care about is generally fic that manages to be horrendous on multiple levels while also obviously having had effort put into it. There needs to be something far deeper wrong with it than just that it was hastily slapped together; it needs to inspire real bile fascination, either by including extremely disturbing content, operating on some kind of bizarrely warped logic, being unintentionally hilarious, or otherwise standing out as interestingly bad rather than just bad. Lazy rushedness generally doesn't do that.

Of course people should put effort into their fics; that's kind of a given. It's not like those people are sitting at their keyboards going "I will write a fanfic chapter... AND PUT NO EFFORT INTO IT!", though, so making a thread suggesting people put effort into their work is probably not going to magically increase the quality of fics.

As for length, it's more that rushedness produces short work than that short work is automatically therefore rushed (or even that shortness is only valid under exceptional circumstances).
 
I generally see a bad fic as something with good intentions but it was written in a way that makes it... bad such as it's content. Like for example and I'll be honest: cupcakes... it's so bad, it's good.
 

The Great Butler

Hush, keep it down
I personally wouldn't count Cupcakes as a badfic because it sure seemed to me to be deliberately written to be a parody.

I kind of dread bringing this up, and I might get in trouble just for mentioning something this sick, but a better example in my opinion is Rectified Anonymity, better known as "The Pokemon Story." If you don't know what it is, be glad you don't. Just know that it's the tale of a trainer named David, his Gardevoir and a Nurse Joy that quickly becomes one of the most disgusting things you can ever think of.

To me, a badfic is something that first of all is written completely seriously. If it's done as a parody, the "bad" part is almost certainly deliberate, which kind of lessens the point of the badfic term. It has to be written completely seriously and either be exceptionally boring, exploitative or disgusting to truly fit the term, if you ask me. That's not to say bad parody fics can't exist - because they do - but I think the term we're talking about here is more of a serious one.
 

JX Valentine

Ever-Discordant
To me, a badfic is something that first of all is written completely seriously. If it's done as a parody, the "bad" part is almost certainly deliberate, which kind of lessens the point of the badfic term.
This is one of the rare moments where I have to say I disagree. Sorry, Butler. It's just that badfic is simply bad fanfiction. You can completely fail at comedy and therefore fail at doing what you set out to do, and that will still be considered a badfic in the same way we're talking about here.

See, the logic is this. On some level, parody writers do take what they're doing seriously -- insofar as they're trying to be successfully funny and write something that people can enjoy. If you tell them that they're not funny, then chances are they're going to react to you the same way as an author who's just been told their completely serious action fic is boring or that their completely serious romantic fic has a rushed and forced romance in it. There's still a lot of authors who slap together comedies, sure, but not all comedy or parody writers are trying to write bad fanfiction by the definitions we've brought up so far. If anything, a number of them are actually still trying to avoid the definitions already mentioned in the thread because, well, not doing so would mean you've written a fic that people aren't finding funny in the way you want them to find it funny.

(But I do agree that Cupcakes was meant to be so bad it's hilarious good. Helps that the author mentioned that it was digging into the rabid pony shippers, iirc.)
 
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Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
I swear, everything Jax touches instantly makes the thread answered to the point all other posts are pointless. I feel so pointless right now, I don't know why I'm bothering to give my own response when I'm just going to be repeating things she and other people have brought up.

/fauxangst

Anything can be a bad fic in terms of content, writing, grammar, characterization, the works. Someone out there is bound to have issue with one or more of these things whether the story is bad or good, and immediately label it a bad fic. It's typically more based on opinion than facts.

Bad fics are like what My Immortal, My Inner Life, legolas by laura, Harry Potter Turns to the Lord, Cori Falls' Pokémon stories, stories featured on Fan Fiction Friday, to name a few, exactly are. (It's also very, very hard to tell if any of them are actually troll fics, which is in a different category of its own, but is still essentially bad fic.) In brief explanations:

- My Immortal is full of grammatical errors, character defilement in all directions, Mary-Sueness to the extreme (perhaps), and too much goff for a story that takes place in the '90s in England.

- My Inner Life is a self-insert in the Zelda universe where the main character and Link immediately fall in love, and have perfect tiger sex (yes, it's labeled that way at one point in the narration) making perfect babies, and the Mary-Sue self-insert has special powers and is a long-lost princess of sorts, I believe. The author actually believes this is her second life.

- legolas by laura, laughably bad as it is with poor characterization, poor grammar and sentence structuring, and a Mary-Sue self-insert who was raised from infancy by Legolas (and then when she was older, decided to be his girlfriend), mercifully ended in mid-sentence to save us from more awfulness.

- Harry Potter Turns to the Lord is proof that someone can write a fan fic and not know diddly-squat about the fandom they're writing in, and uses it to pretty much bash the fandom and shove religion down your throat distastefully right out of left field without any rhyme or reason. (Being a religious person myself, I found this story laughably bad while being ashamed of this person even though he's a prime example of how not to insert religion into a story.)

- And Cori Falls is a very interesting case. She was actually a decent writer from the start who wanted to write about her favorite characters (the Team Rocket trio), and what they do in the background outside of their mishaps. No harm in that. As time went on, however, she started rewriting their characters to try and prove her point as to why Jessie, James and Meowth are the best characters AND the cutest couple in the whole damn show, and how they've been shoved aside by Ash without giving them a chance to show who they are. I'm going to leave a link to an essay someone wrote about her and her stories because the person who wrote it explains it way better than I can. It's worth reading.

- Stories on Fan Fiction Friday... do I really have to say anything? It's pretty much a section about how not to write erotic/exploitation stories while being sporked. (Though there are a few exceptions.)

That said, new writers easily fall into bad fic territory because they're amateurs (we all are, really), and probably haven't the slightest inkling on how to write a story. All they know is they come up with characters and place them in wacky situations. That is why reviewers exist, so errors are pointed out, and tips are given to help this person go down the right path. If done correctly and the author is obedient and has a desire to learn, over time, they will be able to write a good story. If not, and it's left to fester and/or reviewers come in and just say “Like this story, good job”, “Great chapter, keep it up”, and so much more, the author doesn't learn anything, and they continue writing they way they do.

As for length, it mostly just depends on the person. Most beginning writers write short chapters at a time (speaking from experience) so they can get the ball rolling on the plot until they get the hang of fleshing out scenes and characters. But even then, you can still accomplish that no matter the length, it just depends on the writing skills. I don't really see nothing wrong with it (the longer the story is, the more reading I get to do), but if it goes nowhere fast, it does become a problem. There is such a thing as being too overly-descriptive. (Again, speaking from experience.)

Oh, there are questions. *picks through them*

How much preparation do you give a story before publishing it?

A good few months at the least. Usually, something will pop up seemingly out of nowhere, and if I spend a good week obsessing over it and fleshing out the character(s), scenery, and the main points to the story, I can get right to writing it the following week. I try to write a good few solid chapters before I go ahead to post it up in the off-chance it attracts someone's attention. I do sadly lose interest a lot, and so these projects will go untouched for months (though for a special few, years) before I return to it. It just depends on how many stories I have floating around in my head.

*angrily attempts to strangle Chapter Twenty and seethes* I'm almost done with this story, why won't you let me write you out?!?

Does a badfic turn you off?

Oh, how it turns me off. (That... sounded wrong.) However, if I'm giggling within the first paragraph, I'll keep on reading for the laughs. I will read it out-loud if it entertains me enough.
 

Diddy

Renegade
I personally wouldn't count Cupcakes as a badfic because it sure seemed to me to be deliberately written to be a parody.
As Jax pointed out, Sergeant Sprinkles (the author of Cupcakes) pretty much wrote the story to "stick it to the man" etc and just bash people who think pony is all sunshine and rainbows and it has to stay that way forever or you will be SHUUUUUUUNNED. Also shippers even though I like PinkieDash way more than something like AppleDash >.> <.<

He's also pretty unrepentant about his love of the infamy and complete and utter apathy about people who say the story is bad (in terms of story and not just the murder scene detailed within)

You also can't hate cupcakes too much because of some of the things created because of it. There have been multiple fantastic pieces of music written about it, incredibly awesome fanart etc. It also provides a legitimate universe for grimdark pony lovers to gather and write/draw/tumblr about things without disturbing the peace of love and sunshine regular universe. So in a way, it actually helped the "pony must stay pure" white knights by allowing the grimdark lovers to play elsewhere.

I kind of dread bringing this up, and I might get in trouble just for mentioning something this sick, but a better example in my opinion is Rectified Anonymity, better known as "The Pokemon Story." If you don't know what it is, be glad you don't. Just know that it's the tale of a trainer named David, his Gardevoir and a Nurse Joy that quickly becomes one of the most disgusting things you can ever think of.
Daammn. I know what I'm doing later on xD


As everybody else has been saying, badfics are just that. Fics that aren't good. It's a completely subjective term (although it's a more universally accepted kind of subjectiveness in that most people agree that it's bad. As opposed to the subjectiveness of good.)

There are things that slip through the net however, fics that somehow brainwash hundreds of fans into thinking that they are reading sacred text. These fics tend to ride on the waves of popular trends and recieve undue praise and attention for merely including a certain character or theme. A good example is the influx of Queen Chrysalis fanEVERYTHING prior to the showing of the Season 2 finale of MLP:FiM. When you compare it to the level of fan stuff she gets now, which is to say I haven't seen a popular fanfic featuring her particularly in quite a while (the only one I can think of right now features the changeling race and not Chrysalis) To a lesser extent (and a less relevant one that I'm only bringing it up because I'm listening to one) you could also compare the amount of fan remixes of the Winter Wrap Up song during Season 1 and compare it to the amount of fan remixes of the same song during Season 2 and beyond. It's generally considered the best (if not, then easily top 3) show song thus far, so it isn't a case of just having nothing else to remix during Season 1.

Badfics often luck out on "catching the fever!" or are strategically planned to cash in on "the fever". The latter version of the fics are often badfics purely because they have to be rushed out in order to still be relevant. You don't want to release a fad fic a week after the fad has been replaced for example. When Black and White 2 gets released in North America and Europe, I'm sure that the pokémon fandom will be inundated with an influx of Unova fics, fics featuring the new Plasma guys, fics featuring the new protagonists. I'm sure even I'll be tempted to write something non-pony for a while... quite possibly a fic exploring the relationship between the Player Character's Mother and Professor Juniper. Perhaps finding out where the rest of Elesa's clothes went. Maybe pondering how exactly Bianca suits glasses so well.

tl;dr badfics can be fixed by being vogue. (Warning! The linked video may feature unintentionally hilarious dancing.)
 

Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
Just realized this now, so...

I personally wouldn't count Cupcakes as a badfic because it sure seemed to me to be deliberately written to be a parody.

I kind of dread bringing this up, and I might get in trouble just for mentioning something this sick, but a better example in my opinion is Rectified Anonymity, better known as "The Pokemon Story." If you don't know what it is, be glad you don't. Just know that it's the tale of a trainer named David, his Gardevoir and a Nurse Joy that quickly becomes one of the most disgusting things you can ever think of.
Cupcakes, I think, was written for the shock value, which would wear off after a while. There are people out there who say Pinkie Pie was kept creepily in character when it came to her dialogue, but I haven't watched enough of the show to say for sure.

Rectified Anonymity is hard to say for sure why it was written. I have stayed far away from the story as much as possible, but I have heard bits and pieces of things that have happened, and I still feel icky from it. But I know of two worse stories from different fandoms:

Dragon Ball Z has How Videl Discovered Her Abortion Fetish. If you value what's left of your soul, don't go looking for it. The title is all you need to know.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has a story worse than Cupcakes and Rectified Anonymity. This story, Sweet Apple Massacre, basically combines the two in a way. This one I did read, and it is godawful in terms of content (it's probably not as vivid as Cupcakes, but I think it's because the shock of it erases the story from memory at times). The worst part is the person CAN write (aw hell, Sergeant Sprinkles can write as well, he just wrote a bad story), and I remember reading somewhere that it's possible the author knows his stuff. Basically, Macintosh gets upset over the little Cutie Mark Crusaders for getting into his things or something, and so he takes them to his barn, ties them up, beats them to a bloody pulp, rapes his sister (I believe it's his sister) to death, and continues to rape her corpse until it's nothing but a blob of flesh while Scootaloo or Sweetie Bell watches (I can't remember who watched it), then kills the last Crusader. And at the end, it's implied he's still horny, and calls Applejack over.

The person wrote this to counteract a post he saw on a Halo forum or something, I don't exactly remember, but he wanted to show he could write something very shocking. And he succeeded in making it (arguably) worse than Cupcakes.

So yeah, proof anyone can write a bad fic whether they have the writing talent or not. The post just reminded me of it this morning, so thought I'd bring it up. I should be sorry for bringing it up in the first place, heh...
 
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Bad fanfics are characterised by: disregard for grammar, lack of punctuation, bad formatting, generic plot, and shallow characters to name a few. A good fanfic would generally just consist of the opposites to aforementioned traits.

The issue of length is debatable.

Length has absolutely nothing to do with a fic's quality unless you're new to the craft.
I beg to differ. The longer a fic is the better it is written, generally speaking. If you stop and think about why a fic is so bloody long? There are really only two answers. The first being the fic is a good read, implying quality. The second being, the author is bad but determined. Quite frankly, the bad but determined kind of an occurrence actually happening is highly unlikely.

Meanwhile, the lengthier chapters here or elsewhere in the fandom might have had massive filler scenes, slow-as-eff pacing, wooden characterization, and pretentiousness up the wazoo.
Meanwhile, the shorter chapters here or elsewhere in the fandom might have had a bland plot, fast-as-eff pacing, wooden characterisation, and pretentiousness up the wazoo.

For example, I once read a fic by an author who bragged about her writing skills and produced fifteen-page chapters
You should have known where that would have gone.

That isn't to say that all or most short fics are good or that all or most long fics are bad. Certainly, the kind of fic – the ones where there's short chapters that the author just threw together without bothering to put much effort into them – exists. It's just that I wouldn't say that most of them are like that. It depends on where you're looking and whose library you're browsing.
And why is it most smaller fics aren't bad? Have you ever been on FF.NET!!! In all honesty, those kind of fics, are the most common. Check any fandom (except the intelligent ones like EVE) and most of the fics will be of that sort, small and crappy.

To conclude, you have heavy bias against longer fanfics. Hell, the longest story in your favourites is 88,000 words and 100 chapters. The reason being? I don't know, maybe you had a traumatic experience with them when you were a child. Seriously though, why the hate? Quality wise they have a much better representation than smaller fics.

On a lighter note, in your opinion what is the ideal length for a fic and chapter?
 

Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
Ooh, someone dared to disagree with Jax. This should be interesting. *places bets*

xD

The issue of length is debatable.
Depends on the people you ask. Length shouldn't matter to you if you're a good or a bad writer. What matters is the quality, not quantity.

I beg to differ. The longer a fic is the better it is written, generally speaking. If you stop and think about why a fic is so bloody long? There are really only two answers. The first being the fic is a good read, implying quality. The second being, the author is bad but determined. Quite frankly, the bad but determined kind of an occurrence actually happening is highly unlikely.
Determination is not going to save you if your story is bad, though. I've run into pretty lengthy stories that weren't great stories. *coughCoriFallscough*

And why is it most smaller fics aren't bad? Have you ever been on FF.NET!!! In all honesty, those kind of fics, are the most common. Check any fandom (except the intelligent ones like EVE) and most of the fics will be of that sort, small and crappy.
Once again: quality over quantity.

To conclude, you have heavy bias against longer fanfics. Hell, the longest story in your favourites is 88,000 words and 100 chapters. The reason being? I don't know, maybe you had a traumatic experience with them when you were a child. Seriously though, why the hate? Quality wise they have a much better representation than smaller fics.
Not going to speak for Jax about whether she's biased in terms of length or not, but so what if she doesn't have any favorite lengthy stories? Perhaps the story you mentioned is a great story, but it's also easy to read and follow and get back into at a personal convenience.

Not sure if anyone would agree with this, but I'm pretty sure anything over 10,000 words can get hefty.

On a lighter note, in your opinion what is the ideal length for a fic and chapter?
Gonna give my own opinion as well.

There really isn't an ideal length. Personally, I prefer long stories, both in terms of reading and writing, but I have written short stories mainly because they turned out that way. (I try to aim for 1,000 words as the minimum word-count in a story.) Stories with a simple plot are rarely ever good when stretched out longer than needed. You usually save simple plots for one or two-shots. More complex character development and plots require a longer word-count, and the length of the chapters of the story varies on the writer. Everyone has their own personal comfort zone when it comes to writing, though I have noticed people make goals when it comes to chapter lengths. People try to shoot for the maximum of X-amount of pages per chapter, which isn't a bad idea. I have done this before, but I chose not to do it for my current story, which is a mistake on my part, but it was more or less because I didn't know if the chapter would be shorter or longer than the intended number I chose.

(I'm weird like that.)

So there really shouldn't be an issue over story lengths and whether-or-not it determines if the story is bad. That's like saying such-and-such poem is awful because they don't have the number of stanzas you (the reader) wanted. You don't have the say on how a writer can write their stories in terms of length. Let them write at their own pace and comfort, while you decide whether to read their story or not.
 
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JX Valentine

Ever-Discordant
I'm not sure if I should even bother going into a serious debate with someone who thinks the most mature argument against someone who backed up their points with carefully worded explanations and a few name-drops is, "You were traumatized by a long fic as a child." Seriously, dude? You have to make this personal by implying I was molested traumatized by bad fic? I mean, wow. Talk about trying to escalate things to unnecessary levels.

But hey, since you asked, my thoughts. Let me show you them.

I beg to differ. The longer a fic is the better it is written, generally speaking. If you stop and think about why a fic is so bloody long? There are really only two answers. The first being the fic is a good read, implying quality. The second being, the author is bad but determined. Quite frankly, the bad but determined kind of an occurrence actually happening is highly unlikely.
Actually, a lot of trainer fics are that way in my opinion. You have quite a few authors who believe their work to be absolutely amazing, but they actually have bland characterization and take forever to get into the story. The unfortunate part is that quite a few readers buy into superficial bits. They believe that a story is good just because it's long. But listen to what you just said. You said that a fic is long because it's a good read. Except what is a good read? You said it earlier than that: it has to do with the content. It's not dictated by length at all, and you could very well have all the makings of a crap fic that goes on for thirty chapters with twenty pages a chapter. That would still constitute a bad fic in that case, and yes, it's happened.

So in a way, you're contradicting yourself by saying that the difference between a good and bad fic has a lot to do with its content, but then you turn around and say that it's impossible for there to be a short fic with all the makings you've specified. None of those things you've mentioned -- good grammar, good formatting, deep characters, and so forth -- are necessarily tied to a fic's length. You could write a drabble with incredible grammar, spelling, punctuation, formatting, and so forth as well as a pretty awesome snapshot of a character, and that would be logically better than a fic that uses terrible grammar, barely coherent spelling, and shallow characters but happens to span across fifteen chapters.

Of course, as I've said repeatedly, my judgment about trainer fics and some of the more popular fics in this fandom is also subjective and my personal opinion. I've been in the fandom since 1999 (back when we actually wrote about more than our OCs going on trainer journeys), so of course I'm probably also going to be biased... against trainer fics.

Meanwhile, the shorter chapters here or elsewhere in the fandom might have had a bland plot, fast-as-eff pacing, wooden characterisation, and pretentiousness up the wazoo.
Aaaaand you've simultaneously missed and proven my point. That entire post I wrote? Was an argument that length is irrelevant. Yes, you can have short crap fics, but long fics can be crap too. (I've even brought up concrete examples -- even a title -- of long fics that were bad.) Yet not all or even most of either are crappy, too. It all depends on the content, not the length. If a bunch of awesome writers wrote short but amazing fics (which happens quite frequently on other fandom outlets besides this one) and if a bunch of terrible writers wrote eighteen lengthy and boring chapters, then, well, they don't fit in with the generalization both you and gotpika brought up.

You just happened to get caught up in the idea that most of the fics I've disliked were also lengthy, but I was saying that as a means to tell gotpika that, yes, it's entirely possible for a longer fic to be unlikable to some people for reasons that had nothing to do with length. It just happened to be a coincidence that, in my experience, bad lengthy fics or fics that were meant to be lengthy (crapfic chapter fics that were abandoned shortly after launching included) outnumbered the good short ones that I've read. I didn't say that most lengthy fics were crap; in fact, I said the exact opposite. I mean, did you just skip over this part in my first post to this thread? Legit question because I know I tl;dr sometimes.

It's quality, not quantity, even with word count. Honestly, I think that a lengthy or even "average-length" chapter has an equal chance of being a pile of crap in one way or another compared to a short chapter. There is no usually for one or the other. It just depends on the skill of the writer.

That isn't to say that all or most short fics are good or that all or most long fics are bad. Certainly, the kind of fic – the ones where there's short chapters that the author just threw together without bothering to put much effort into them – exists. It's just that I wouldn't say that most of them are like that. It depends on where you're looking and whose library you're browsing.


You should have known where that would have gone.
Unfortunately, a writer bragging about their work is nothing new and not necessarily a sign that the masses will think it's a bad fic. There's a lot of authors (not naming names or places -- and note that plural again -- because lol drama) who were egotistical jackasses, but their fics were either insanely popular for some reason or actually not half-bad. I'll bring up a Sailor Moon/Doctor Who fic later on in this post in which the author even outright insults their potential reviewers, but... the fic is unfortunately awesome.

There's also plenty of mediocre fics that could very well be turned into awesome ones if the author put forth a bit of effort, but the author was too egotistical to take criticism of any sort. I can't tell you how many people I've encountered who were like that.

And why is it most smaller fics aren't bad? Have you ever been on FF.NET!!!
Have you? The majority of long fics there aren't exactly examples of quality either. A Little Night Music, for example. Most people think it's awesome, but its characters are obnoxious in all the wrong ways, it makes light of suicide, its grammar (one of your points for a good fic) had plenty of room for improvement, and its writing gets extremely pretentious at times. That's only one example. Another reborn fic there had over 300 reviews and thirty chapters... except its grammar was also not the best, and it started off by killing the unlikable-to-begin-with main character via 9/11. Then, there's plenty of lengthy shipping fics with characters being massively OOC (never mind the grammar, which in some cases renders fics unreadable to experienced readers), trainer fics with trite and boring plots, parody fics that just aren't funny, and so on and so forth. And yes, note I said "lengthy." I'm talking ten or more chapters here.

That isn't to say that short fics there aren't by comparison better. It's just saying that FFNet is a terrible place to use as an example because there's a reason why it was at one point called the Pit of Voles.

Meanwhile, if you head anywhere else (like LJ or DW), you're very likely to find a lot of interesting fics that are well-written but not necessarily the longest fics out there. These fics build pretty interesting premises, use likable characters, or generally show off some pretty awesome writing skills on the part of the writer him or herself. For example, there's this lovely Doctor Who fic that's only 530 words long, and it accomplishes a lot in those 500+ words. This is a hilarious NPR (yes really) fic that keeps everyone in-character despite the absurd situation they're in. This Pokémon fic does an amazing job of building something interesting out of a character who barely has three lines of dialogue in canon. This one is a very short fic that does a beautiful job of capturing Green's frustration with Red. You also have writers like moon_blitz and Larky, who create amazing, in-depth characters and a lot of interesting tension between them in just a tiny space. Even this one, which is slightly longer (unless we don't count the author's notes) but does an amazing job turning something sparkly and "good" into a parasite of pure evil. There's a lot of tension and emotion in that space (and, in fact, in any of the spaces I've mentioned -- including the works by Larky, et al), and in the end, it doesn't matter how long these fics are. Their authors are skilled and perfectly capable of writing incredibly powerful stories; it's just that these fics don't need to be long in order to get their messages across. That's why I said what I did about short fics versus long ones. It's not that I hate long fics; it's just that a lot of people miss the point. As a result, there's a lot of longer fics that just plain aren't as powerful or memorable as my favorite short ones, not because of their length but instead because the content isn't as great. If the authors of the long fics I've shrugged off as bland wrote short fics using the exact same techniques they use for their epic-length fics, then it wouldn't matter that they've written short fics; I'd still say their fics are bland because, well, they write bland fics.

That said, to be fair (and to counter that hilarious bit of potential flaming you did right there), I can like long fics... if they're well-written. One of my favorite fics in this fandom is a trainer fic and over forty chapters long. (Unfortunately, it's also down at the moment for revamping, but just in case you want to stalk its website, it's called Ultimatum.) Likewise, one of my favorite fics ever is this hilarious tome that spans probably the longest nineteen pages ever. (Note: Some of its pages are actually more like twenty pages in Word.) Then you have this amazing fic that not only does script fics correctly but also pays an insane amount of attention to detail when it comes to everything from science to its own fandom. It may look like it's eighteen(-ish) chapters long, but its chapters have chapters. And all of them are worth if it you're an Eva fan. And if you want something right here on Serebii, there's a tome I can recommend for that too.

Point is -- and the point I was trying to make all along, thank you -- that it's quality, not quantity. There's so many people in this fandom who look at a lengthy fic and, without opening it, automatically go, "OMG IT'S LENGTHY IT MUST BE AWESOME." Except that kind of mindset causes you to pass over a lot of good fic out there that's actually not that bad (or even pretty awesome) while you settle for fic that's comparatively mediocre. Length is by no means a guarantee for quality, and a good reader or reviewer understands that and looks past the stats of a fic in order to judge that for themselves.

I mean, if you think about it, it's true for professionally published literature too. A lot of people said Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows wasn't that great compared to earlier books in the series, and it was one of the longest. Likewise, Twilight spans three decent-sized volumes, and need I say more? On the other hand, a lot of people loved Order of the Phoenix, and it's a door stopper, and I have to say that the Artemis Fowl books are pretty awesome, even though they're shorter compared to Twilight. Length just isn't a reliable indicator for quality. Quality is a good indicator for quality, and you only figure out what level of that a book (or fic) has by picking it up and looking at its parts.

In all honesty, those kind of fics, are the most common. Check any fandom (except the intelligent ones like EVE) and most of the fics will be of that sort, small and crappy.
Just because that's (half-)true on FFNet (as in, it's true that short fics are common and true that crap fics are common but not necessarily true that they're the same thing all the time) that doesn't mean that one type is better or worse than another most of the time everywhere. As I've said, quality is subjective, and I've seen just as many long fics on FFNet that were piles of crap in my personal opinion as I have short fics on FFNet that were piles of crap... because, well, that's how FFNet is. It just so happens that the short ones there outnumber the long ones because more people write short fics or abandon their fics shortly after starting. Of course, this also doesn't mean that all fics or even most fics on FFNet are automatically crap either (especially given that many of the favorites I've just linked to are on that site). It just means that saying that there's a ton of crap on the most accessible and popular fanfiction archives, which is full of writers who have just started out or can't take criticism, is unfortunately a given. And also a bit unfair, but that doesn't really stop the fact that FFNet has been a bit of a joke to fan writers in every fandom for almost a decade.

But rambling aside, tl;dr, FFNet is a terrible example for quality because it's far too easy to point out crap in every genre, category, rating, length, and insert-what-have-you here. Because it's FFNet.

To conclude, you have heavy bias against longer fanfics.
Or maybe you missed the point of what I was trying to say.

Not to mention that's not a comprehensive list of my favorites. I have a second account with older favorites (no, you may not look because the fic archived there are my old shames), and I'm more likely to bookmark fics I like via the favorites feature of my browser, rather than on my profile that I barely ever update anymore. This is probably the closest thing to my favorites right now, and even then, it's only a fraction of the huge chunk of fics that is my favorites folder.

Quality wise they have a much better representation than smaller fics.
You have yet to bring up solid arguments as to why.


That said, because I've mentioned repeatedly that quality and length do not necessarily go hand-in-hand, all I can say to your last question is that there isn't one, in my personal opinion. So answering that question would actually be off-topic because any reason I could possibly give to back up a specific number has nothing to do with the quality of the fic (and everything to do with the reader's/writer's comfort).
 
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Can I say that I had a fic, which I never finished and it's 7 chapters so far and there's been people on here that thought it was bad? And it's supposed to be loooonnngg. (SegaFrms thought it was good tho so I was cool) But as for positive comments, the most I've gotten was on a fic that was like only 1k words long. I know it was only two parts but I was surprised. So yeah, long does not equal awesome.
 

AbsolXWolf

Well-Known Member
To conclude, you have heavy bias against longer fanfics. Hell, the longest story in your favourites is 88,000 words and 100 chapters. The reason being? I don't know, maybe you had a traumatic experience with them when you were a child. Seriously though, why the hate? Quality wise they have a much better representation than smaller fics.
Don't mean to drop in on a heavy debate, but I am extensively curious about one part of your post.

You seem to insinuate that a 100 chapter story is to be considered "short". I simply want to know why that is.
 
Kutie Pie, your going to have to wait until I try my hand with JX.

I'm not sure if I should even bother going into a serious debate with someone who thinks the most mature argument against someone who backed up their points with carefully worded explanations and a few name-drops is, "You were traumatized by a long fic as a child." Seriously, dude? You have to make this personal by implying I was molested traumatized by bad fic? I mean, wow. Talk about trying to escalate things to unnecessary levels.
It's good to know that I'm not the only one with a sense of humour.

Actually, a lot of trainer fics are that way in my opinion. You have quite a few authors who believe their work to be absolutely amazing, but they actually have bland characterization and take forever to get into the story. The unfortunate part is that quite a few readers buy into superficial bits. They believe that a story is good just because it's long. But listen to what you just said. You said that a fic is long because it's a good read. Except what is a good read? You said it earlier than that: it has to do with the content. It's not dictated by length at all, and you could very well have all the makings of a crap fic that goes on for thirty chapters with twenty pages a chapter. That would still constitute a bad fic in that case, and yes, it's happened.
A lot of trainer fics have determined writers? There are only 613 fanfics exceeding 100,000 words in the pokemon fandom. Since trainer fics are the most common type of fanfics, how many would there be in here? A very liberal estimate is 400. These are good and bad. Now, a good fic should have 100+ reviews correct? If we assume that there are about 8 fics with under 100 reviews in every page, then we get about 160 fics with under 100 reviews. So that's about a quarter of the long fics.

The total number of stories reviewed is 48,508. Subtract 613 from this and you get 47,895. Those are the stories that are short of a 100,000 words. Out of them 13,000 have more than a hundred reviews. So, you get a quarter. What does this mean?

The quality is more or less the same? Sure. But, how many of these are going to exceed the 100,000 mark? Assume 5 complete fics per page, so, 20 fics can go up the ladder. That's 1040 gone. So 260 good fics left. That amounts to about 0.5%. I should end this here.

Since you have an obsession with examples just go to Ffnet and search for the most reviewed fics. Right of the bat 21 of them are 100,000+. So really it is safe to assume that the longer the better. XD

That isn't to say that short fics there aren't by comparison better. It's just saying that FFNet is a terrible place to use as an example because there's a reason why it was at one point called the Pit of Voles.
Terrible to use examples? Lol.

The largest base for fanfictions is a bad place to use for examples? It doesn't matter about the quality. It's like this:
X: There are 7 billion people on the world
Y:Nooooo, don't include Asia, Africa, and South America
X:Why?
Y:Cuz there are bad people there. I mean Africa is plagued by AIDS, Asia has terrorists, and South America has drugs!!! So really there are 1.2 billion people.

Stupid right?

Well, yeah, but that doesn't mean that one type is better or worse than another
Cool. So being stupid and crappy puts you at the same level as being smart and funny?

You have yet to bring up solid arguments as to why.
Solid argument= 21 of the most reviewed fanfics are 100,000+.

Point is -- and the point I was trying to make all along, thank you -- that it's quality, not quantity.
My point is, quality occurs more often in lengthier fics. Reasons? Look at the mathz!

Yes, you can have short crap fics, but long fics can be crap too. (I've even brought up concrete examples -- even a title -- of long fics that were bad.) Yet not all or even most of either are crappy, too. It all depends on the content, not the length. If a bunch of awesome writers wrote short but amazing fics (which happens quite frequently on other fandom outlets besides this one) and if a bunch of terrible writers wrote eighteen lengthy and boring chapters, then, well, they don't fit in with the generalization both you and gotpika brought up.
No poo, both can be bad. You're stating the obvious.

That isn't to say that all or most short fics are good or that all or most long fics are bad. Certainly, the kind of fic – the ones where there's short chapters that the author just threw together without bothering to put much effort into them – exists. It's just that I wouldn't say that most of them are like that. It depends on where you're looking and whose library you're browsing.
The math says otherwise.

Aaaaand you've simultaneously missed and proven my point. That entire post I wrote? Was an argument that length is irrelevant
Naw. The entire post you wrote seemed to me like it stressed the fact that small fics are better. Don't know why.

I'm sorry if I missed something you wa ted me to answer. If you want me to comment on something else just let me know. Okay?

+++

Absol, 100 chapters and 88,000 words. Do the math and that's like 880 words per chapter. That's like a third of the length of JX's post. In my opinion that is really small. For me the ideal chapter size would be like 3600 words, I try for that most of the time, when I write. When I read though even if the chapter is long but good I'll read it. For example Transgressions by Crukix has 80,000 words and 9 chapters. Also by Crukix Regret has 520,000 words and 60 chapters, and I love these fics.
 
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gorgonfish

ribbit-ribbit
Since you have an obsession with examples just go to Ffnet and search for the most reviewed fics. Right of the bat 21 of them are 100,000+. So really it is safe to assume that the longer the better. XD
The reason longer fics on Ffnet have more reviews has nothing to do with them being 'better'. Ffnet, or any forum for that matter, puts the most recently updated story/thread at the top of the list so people browsing can see them. A random person looking for something to read is more likely to click on that recently updated story than search through pages and pages to find a oneshot story to review. 100k+ stories generally update over a longer period of time allowing for them to rise and fall on the list of fanfics, bringing back old readers by email alerts and catching new readers by hitting the top of the list. An amazing oneshot story only has a small window of time to be seen before it drowns in obscurity. Review numbers themselves don't show whether a fic is good or not, so I don't really think using that to say 'the longer the better' works. A really horrible fic that updates frequently and has a large wordcount just might be attracting trolls and flamers.
 

JX Valentine

Ever-Discordant
A lot of trainer fics have determined writers? There are only 613 fanfics exceeding 100,000 words in the pokemon fandom. Since trainer fics are the most common type of fanfics, how many would there be in here? A very liberal estimate is 400. These are good and bad. Now, a good fic should have 100+ reviews correct? If we assume that there are about 8 fics with under 100 reviews in every page, then we get about 160 fics with under 100 reviews. So that's about a quarter of the long fics.

The total number of stories reviewed is 48,508. Subtract 613 from this and you get 47,895. Those are the stories that are short of a 100,000 words. Out of them 13,000 have more than a hundred reviews. So, you get a quarter. What does this mean?

The quality is more or less the same? Sure. But, how many of these are going to exceed the 100,000 mark? Assume 5 complete fics per page, so, 20 fics can go up the ladder. That's 1040 gone. So 260 good fics left. That amounts to about 0.5%. I should end this here.

Since you have an obsession with examples just go to Ffnet and search for the most reviewed fics. Right of the bat 21 of them are 100,000+. So really it is safe to assume that the longer the better. XD
To be blunt, if you're going to have a debate with me, you'll want to actually read what I have to say.

That being said, I mentioned the word "subjective" a lot throughout many of the posts I've made here, and there's a reason why. Yes, the long fics there are popular. Does it mean they have deep characters, interesting plots, and decent grammar, three of the points you've said made a good fic? No.

Moreover, if you look at some of those reviews, they're usually one-liners. Sorry to say, but that's what FFNet is notorious for: circlejerks and one-liner praise to everything, regardless of actual quality. You can slap together a terribly written, barely readable Drew/May fic, and you'd still get legions of reviewers. Meanwhile, someone who has spent a ton of time hammering out chapters with deep characters and original plot could be skipped over because they're not on the bandwagon or otherwise well-known. That's why FFNet makes for a terrible example: because people have a tendency to flock to fics for reasons other than the depth of their characterization and plot.

The largest base for fanfictions is a bad place to use for examples? It doesn't matter about the quality. It's like this:
X: There are 7 billion people on the world
Y:Nooooo, don't include Asia, Africa, and South America
X:Why?
Y:Cuz there are bad people there. I mean Africa is plagued by AIDS, Asia has terrorists, and South America has drugs!!! So really there are 1.2 billion people.
At this point, I'm going to assume you don't want to read anything I have to say, regardless of what I'm actually saying. :/ I've already explained to you in detail why quantity doesn't necessarily mean quality, and your response is, "LMAO NUMBERS LOL UR SO STUPID." Yeah, except for the fact that we're not talking about populations but instead whether or not people can spot quality fanfiction. You're again contradicting what you said in the very first paragraph you wrote on Serebii by insisting we throw out content in favor of popularity contests.

That's what it really boils down to, honestly. You said that bad and good fanfiction is characterized as: "disregard for grammar, lack of punctuation, bad formatting, generic plot, and shallow characters to name a few. A good fanfic would generally just consist of the opposites to aforementioned traits." Except you're insisting that no one should look at these things because something is popular or lengthy. You're saying we should look at length, not at grammar, formatting, plot, or characters. You're saying all of that matters less than everything else.

And yes, the largest database for fanfiction is a terrible example for how fanfiction communities are run because much of the rest of the internet has mutually agreed it's a pit of voles. Seriously. Feel free to Google its reputation. Or the actual phrase "pit of voles." Helps that there's communities centered on FFNet drama and lulz like this one and this one (which admittedly is mostly about the administration but still) that don't really improve said reputation.

That and FFNet fics really only account for a small part of the fandom's library (when it comes to Pokémon and the larger, more popular fandoms, at least). It's the largest fanfiction archive for all fanfiction, but it's not the largest archive for individual fandoms. A lot of fandoms actually have their fanfic concentrations centered on places like LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, and Tumblr (which is why I keep mentioning two out of three), and Pokémon's is split between its massive forum scene and FFNet, and the FFNet side of things is in turn partly shared with deviantART (which itself is not exactly a bastion of quality fic). Moreover, its FFNet scene tends to be populated with fanfiction newbies; experienced writers tend to migrate to forums or post primarily to journals. To get a good look at what the Pokémon fandom is actually capable of, it's actually better to look at its forums -- and occasionally at its LJ/DW scene if you know where to go. That's where you get the most variety.

Cool. So being stupid and crappy puts you at the same level as being smart and funny?
Well, according to you, yes. Sure, let's forget about the short fics that are intelligent and funny because they're short. Surely there's nothing redeeming whatsoever about short fics. Except, y'know, the list of traits you mentioned that have nothing to do with length.

Solid argument= 21 of the most reviewed fanfics are 100,000+.
Many of which are actually problematic or crappy in one way or another but are well-accepted because FFNet reviewers flock like none other. Crack them open sometime and actually read them without automatically assuming they're good just because they're long/have tons of reviews.

I mean, I did say that A Little Night Music failed to pass a number of the qualifications you yourself brought up. (But again, this is subjective.)

My point is, quality occurs more often in lengthier fics. Reasons? Look at the mathz!
Because grammar and character depth totally have something to do with the number of one-liner reviews you've received that praised your work in badly-written English, amirite?

No poo, both can be bad. You're stating the obvious.
No, actually, I'm stating the line that you apparently didn't read from my first post. You know. The one that launched literally half my post there. Do yourself a favor and hit CTRL+F (or what-have-you) to search for that line. Do you see how it's occurring in the middle of my first post to this thread?

And, well, also the obvious. But considering this is what I was saying from the beginning, I guess this means you agree with me, which in turn makes this entire debate pointless?

The math says otherwise.
At the risk of invoking a chorus of geekgasms: "Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle."

Seriously, though, if you want to engage in an intelligent conversation (which is something we do here and not so much something you see on FFNet), you'll want to do two things:

1. Read what I have to say.
2. Respond in an intelligent, well-thought-out manner that doesn't either contradict yourself or imply that all you're doing is sticking your fingers in your ears whenever I bring up a point.

I mean, really, all this arguing about quantity is basically failing to address what I said earlier: that quantity doesn't necessarily mean quality. I've said since post #1 that some of the most popular fics in the fandom have a lot of issues that keep them from being quality fics in everyone's eyes (or by the standards we're talking about, even), but your response is, "It doesn't matter. LOOK AT THE NUMBERS"? Didn't you yourself say that a good fic had, for example, good grammar? So if the most-reviewed fic on FFNet actually had terrible grammar (and that bit is objective because fanfic authors can't change the rules of written language) and if no one pointed it out, does that mean it no longer has terrible grammar? And yes, the most-reviewed fic on FFNet at one time did have terrible grammar that was pointed out, but he shrugged it off for one reason or another.

Then, what about fics like My Immortal, a lengthy fic which amassed tons of reviews (and repostings with hundreds of reviews of their own) that contained negative feedback or accused the author of trolling (which they probably were, but that's beside the point considering there were people who took it seriously)? Is My Immortal automatically a good fic, just because it's got ~numbers~? What about some of the most popular fics in this fandom (like CoriFalls's work) that are only popular because people hated them?

All I'm saying is you know that brief paragraph that you wrote at the beginning of your first post here? The one that describes a good fic in terms other than length or number of reviews? You may want to try applying those rules to the fics you read.

Naw. The entire post you wrote seemed to me like it stressed the fact that small fics are better. Don't know why.
Because you didn't read literally half of it?

Seriously, if you don't want to read my post (which I'm pretty sure you didn't, considering the fact that I've clearly and explicitly stated things that are directly against what you seem to think I'm going on about), don't engage in a debate with me. If you misread what I had to say, then just admit it and move on instead of attempting to argue me into the ground over a point I wasn't even making in the first place.

Edit:

Absol, 100 chapters and 88,000 words. Do the math and that's like 880 words per chapter. That's like a third of the length of JX's post. In my opinion that is really small.
You do realize that the fic in question was a parody of bad fic and bad fic clichés and is in fact the most popular, most acclaimed, and best-written fic that does this. Even while taking into consideration the parodies written by Farla, FFNet's most notorious reviewer... right? In short, you're shrugging off a how-to guide and one-shot compilation by one of the most popular writers on the website. Sooooo... I guess this means you're not only judging a book by its cover via refusing to touch it for superficial reasons but also contradicting yourself again by failing to take into consideration the number of reviews it received for a fic of its kind? (As a note, no, I don't like this fic because it's popular. I like it because it has a few points here or there.)


Also, gorgonfish brings up a pretty awesome point that doesn't insult the intelligence of readers on FFNet (because I am a bitter, cynical person), and for that, all I have to say is brofist. And also thanks for bringing that up because that actually makes a lot of sense.
 
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AbsolXWolf

Well-Known Member
The reason longer fics on Ffnet have more reviews has nothing to do with them being 'better'. Ffnet, or any forum for that matter, puts the most recently updated story/thread at the top of the list so people browsing can see them. A random person looking for something to read is more likely to click on that recently updated story than search through pages and pages to find a oneshot story to review. 100k+ stories generally update over a longer period of time allowing for them to rise and fall on the list of fanfics, bringing back old readers by email alerts and catching new readers by hitting the top of the list. An amazing oneshot story only has a small window of time to be seen before it drowns in obscurity. Review numbers themselves don't show whether a fic is good or not, so I don't really think using that to say 'the longer the better' works. A really horrible fic that updates frequently and has a large wordcount just might be attracting trolls and flamers.
Also reviews =/= praise. It only makes sense that the longer the fic is, the more room for error. So chances are a number of those reviews come from readers who are striving to help the writer improve for the writer's sake, and not necessarily because they like the story. It's not like you click a link to a story for the first time with the assumption you're going to like everything you look at after all. There's always a chance that a story might have 20+ reviews, all of which are critiques on what can be fixed/better.

EDIT: Jax said something along these lines so I guess this post is obsolete.
 

Ememew

Emerald Mew
I hope this isn't too far off the topic of "badfics" but in regards to the length debate there are a couple of writing styles that emphasize the ability to say more in fewer words, such as drabbles (I think those are supposed to be exactly 100 words) or flash fiction (a story in 1000 words or fewer). Being able to convey a lot in a small space is pretty impressive and can make for a powerful piece of writing in the right hands. At the same time, saying a lot (for a longer story) is equally impressive if the author is able to say something new each time instead of becoming repetitive.

As such, length is not necessarily a factor in how good a work is, but rather how much a person actually says in the space that they work in. A "badfic" with short chapters might be bad not because the chapters are short, but because the author is writing what could essentially be a "scene," in which not a lot gets done, and calling it a full chapter. Characterization and worldbuilding can be well done over small and large spaces if the author knows what they're doing.
 
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