Story: A Sarcastic Git's Golden Rules at Hogwarts
Author: Twisted Biscuit
Fandom: Harry Potter
Stats: 29 Chapters, 38,500+ words, Published in 2007
Summary: A humour story to get us started, someone in Hogwarts has been placing notices around the school, they are dripping with sarcasm and we are seeing the results. It covers topics from teachers to Gryffindors to Muggle lovers to people with flower namesakes and takes a bash at almost every character in the book with it's tongue firmly stuck inside it's cheek. Not so much of a story as it is a highly amusing collection of lists, poking fun at the plot holes and clichés of the Potter series, Potter fans however, should get a good kick out of it. Some chapters are stronger than others, but all in all, totally enjoyable.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Stats: One shot, 12,041 words, Published in 2011
Summary: I've never read a Supernatural fan fiction before, but wanting to come up for air out of the Potter fandom for the purposes of this reading challenge I thought I had better branch out. I wouldn't say I'm a big fan of Supernatural, I've watched every single episode, but all my favourite characters have been killed off over the course of time and I think I now watch it out of habit rather than pure indulgence. I found this by doing a general search in the Western genre, because I'd never read a Western fanfic and to my understanding, they are in fact, quite rare. (Well, they are in Potter anyhow.)
There are some grammar problems, but nothing major, I think they are perhaps more due to tired eyes not catching the odd slip-up than genuine error on the authors part. At 12k, believe it or not, it's not the longest one shot I've ever read. I have a bit of a soft spot for long one-shots, stories that would otherwise be poorer for being split into smaller sections. The story takes place around season 3 of the show and diverges from the canon in order to tell the story.
The Winchesters are in 1874 and they are hunting evil, but get caught by a lawman who is sure that the boys demon hunting activities are just a series of spree murders, rather than helping people. I felt that the writing overall was quite good and some of the dialogue is peppered with little character moments that help to encapsulate the feeling of the show and how the characters are portrayed in the canon.
I feel quite bad for saying this, I mean there's nothing really wrong with the writing and it was written for a challenge and I know how challenge fics can sometimes end up a little odd due to the nature of how they are written, but, it's little on the boring side. Nothing really happens. Well, things happen, but those things aren't really all that interesting and I found my rebellious forefinger kept reaching for the downwards arrow key, but I persisted in reading it.
I kinda wish I could give it a higher rating, as I said there's nothing wrong with it, it's just not my personal taste and so it's probably a bit lower than completely unbiased reviewer would mark it. Saying that however, I have seen some of the supposed 'unbiased' reviewers kicking around fanfiction.net and some of them have a tendency to be rather cruel and seem to forget that fan fiction writers put just as much hard work into their writing as published authors, but these guys aren't being paid for it.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Story: Practical Solutions
Fandom: Harry Potter
Stats: 4 Chapters, 18,341 words, Published in 2011, Pairing HG/SS
Summary: Now I feel a bit bad for selecting this one, the lovely Jennifer Mabe gave me a quite a nice list of rec's from Harry Potter and Twilight and she gave me a strong recommendation for the author and suggested the fic Of Muggles and Magic. So I followed the link and clicked to the authors page so I could read what the synopsis was for the story and realised that it was a Regency HG/SS fic that was 192k long. Now weirdly, although I am proud to sail aboard the great ship Dramione, I have a bit of a soft spot for HG/SS fics, their authors tend to be a little older and therefore the stories are often really quite good and usually have more plot to them than just snogging in a cupboard. That being said, I'm not a huge fan of Regency fics and though I'm supposed to be using this to branch out and read stuff I wouldn't normally read, a 192k Regency fic might not quite be the right place for me to start. So, instead I selected the next one of this author's list, which is Practical Solutions and for the Regency, there was another one on the list which was a Dramione, so I'll probably give that one a go instead as it's also a bit shorter.... only 155k... *gulp*
"Hermione doesn't have time for a relationship. Snape doesn't have the patience. It's a good thing they are not having one..." Is the summary for this fic. It also contains a warning that it's shameless, smutty, fluff. Ah smutty fan fiction, the internet's female equivalent to tentacle porn. This fic is indeed shameless, smutty, fluff, utterly shameless. Snape and Hermione are quite out of character, but I really didn't mind as this fic is quite hilarious.
About 3 paragraphs I began copy/pasting all my favourite quotes so I could share at least one, then the entire thing became far too long and I spent ages going over the list trying to decide what my favourite line was. Eventually I settled on this:
""Why? Did I excite you?"
"You? No. Little PVC skirts sans knickers? I'm a simple man, Granger. Umbridge would excite me in that get-up.""
The basic story is that Hermione and Snape hook up due to mutual horniness and disinterest in relationships, it's a nice, little, fluffy, smut piece, which should capture the attention of any Hermione/Snape fan. It's funny and well written and I think I feel safe in recommending it to all.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Story: Dancing in the Dark
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender/Avatar: The Legend of Aang
Stats: 7 Chapters, 64,000+ words, Published in 2006, Pairing Zutara/Blutara (Zuko/Katara Blue Spirit)
Summary: Before the rumours begin that I selected this one because I am a closeted Zutaraian, I would like to quosh this rumour here and now. I am in fact an out and proud Zutaraian, I just arrived to the fandom a little late... that's all. Actually it was one day late, the day I discovered it was the after the last episode had aired, so I missed the shipping wars. One of my favourite clichés for this pairing is the use of Katara's Painted Lady meeting Zuko's Blue Spirit, but it's not seen often and rarely seen done well, so if someone sees one of these, point it my way.
Alright let's get this out of the way with while we're at number 4 instead of number 74, when it comes to fandom, I become a right girl's blouse. That's not an insult to the lovely ladies who may be reading this blog, if you're unfamiliar with the term. What I mean is that I always, and not intentionally mind, end up shipping the doomed ships, but get caught up in all the fever and romance of it all, trust me this is not an easy thing for a guy to admit. I have known of more than one young man who has created for himself a fanfiction.net account with a female sounding name so they can get away with reading the more smooshy, romantic, fluff. Over the years I ship and have shipped, Draco/Hermione, Zuko/Katara, Eric/Sookie, Buffy/Spike and yes, I know that last one happened in canon, but they cocked it all up in the comics, so much so that I doubt I will read anymore Buffy comics again.... Xander/Dawn in season 8 comics.... not even kidding about that... *shudders*
But you didn't come hear to read the ramblings of my shipping history, you want to hear what this story's about! Probably.
Fun fact! The author of this story is called DamageCtrl, I once had a friend in real life, whose name was Damage Control, no joke, that was his name, he's no longer with us, but he was crazy and awesome.
So the basic story of this one is that it's set at the point where the gAang are in Ba Sing Sei and the girls happen to discover the tea shop where Iroh and Zuko are working while they are posing as refugees. Katara meets Zuko while he's in disguise as the Blue Spirit and of course, doesn't know who he is and they end up falling for each other through the medium of dance.
It doesn't really get going until Chapter 2, but it maintains a nice speed once the two characters are actually thrust together and the scenario that's set up does feel like one that actually could happen to these characters within this context.
The characters, aren't all that in character, they do more or less act in character for most point, but seeing that this is one of the author's earliest fics, I'm guessing they just hadn't got the hAang (<- see what I did there?) of the characters yet, and at times while they do seem like their show counterparts, others they do not. Katara is probably the least in character, she doesn't do anything that Katara would never do in a million years, she's just not very Katara-like at points. I think the problem is that the show is very comedic and relies on visual humour, being anime style, and this fic, while having some jokes and some very funny ones at that, is a more serious story so it's missing some of the more defining character moments that you would maybe see in a typical episode.
There are some problems with the writing that I think could have been helped by an experienced beta reader, some mistakes which are common enough, even in published novels, but still end up jumping out at you. For example:
""No, I don't," she hissed. "Now do you mind? You're being quite rude." Katara narrowed her eyes. "
This line isn't actually said by Katara, it's a woman Katara is speaking to. It's just a few little awkward mistakes like that, but these really aren't huge glowing errors.
It's your standard, fluffy romance fic, there's a rather amusing subplot involving Iroh and some of the old guys who visit the tea shop betting on who Zuko will end up going out with and there's some nice Toph moments, though a few feel a little forced. I enjoyed it quite a lot and I think most Zutara shippers would probably enjoy it, but it's definitely one that Kataang fans should avoid.
Rating: 7 out of 10
I didn't think that setting the rules; must be in English, must be complete and must be at least 1000 words was being too hard, but guess how many American Psycho fanfics meet that criteria on fanfiction.net. If you guess 10, then you're right! And three of those are for some reason filed separately because fanfiction.net only just recently decided to give the book it's own category instead of just combining the two.
So from 10 fanfics I didn't really have a great deal of choice over what I was going to be reading. American Psycho is probably the book I've read the most, I stopped counting when I got to 200 and decided it had already reached an unhealthy number. It's definitely one of my favourite books of all time, but I get why it doesn't have a huge fandom, being in Bateman's head is not a pleasant place to be.
So for this reason, I have decided to cover three short ones, because ALL the American Psycho fanfics are short and these three barely hit the 1k mark, but I'll be dammed if I'm going to cover 200 fan fictions and one of them not be an American Psycho fic.
Fandom: American Psycho
Stats: One shot, 1665 words, Published in 2012,
Summary: Escort is an ok little one shot, told from the third person POV of a prostitute named Desiree. It's basically just a short kill story, she gives Bateman some sexual servicing and then gets killed for her trouble. There's not really much to say about it on the whole, it's ok and while it's about American Psycho, it doesn't feel like American Psycho, but I'm going to assume that it's a film fanfic over book fanfic and with a grand total of 10 to choose from, I'll take what I can get.
I would say it's definitely a good start, but would offer the following advice for the author: American Psycho fans know what they're in for, so don't be afraid to be crude. It's ok to use the most vile language you can think of because no matter how bad you think it may be, I can guarantee that it's much worse in the book.
I'd be very interested in seeing what this author could do in the future, perhaps with a longer fic, it's certainly to do something out of Bateman's POV, so props for that.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Story: Girls Again
Fandom: American Psycho
Stats: One shot, 1141 words, Published in 2008,
Summary: It's a nice little one shot, the author said it was written to see if she (I'm assuming from the picture) was able to write like Bret Easton Ellis, I'd say she probably can, but there's four or five lines in there that are right from the book and I think it would have been better to maybe make homage to those lines rather than quote them word for word.
The story is 1st person and from Bateman's POV (yes!), during about the mid-point of the novel, though it diverges a little from the canon, and recounts the state of a few people he's just killed and the things that he will be doing later. There's plenty of gore in there so it's not for the faint hearted, then again, American Psycho on the whole isn't for the faint hearted and this really feels like an American Psycho story.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Fandom: American Psycho
Stats: One shot, 1087 words, Published in 2008,
Summary: Full disclosure, I was actually already aware of this author because of another fic which I would have included in the 200 if I hadn't already read it, but I hadn't read this one, I wasn't actually aware it was hers until opening up the authors page for the link as she's mainly a Harry Potter writer.
Again this one is in 1st person and Bateman's POV (yes, again!) it's set in present time, or at least I'm guessing 2008 when it was published and has some nice Batemanesque mentions of the things lying around his apartment and how much they cost, but I really want to know what he's wearing. The story is about a girl Bateman is in the process of killing and the reasons why he is killing her, I won't say what they are because it's quite funny when you find out and I don't want to ruin the surprise. There are some very run-on sentences (pot/kettle, I know), but that's very much Ellis' style in the book, so props.
Rating: 7 out of 10