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  #1    
Old March 15th, 2013, 01:52 AM
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Hi! I've realized that whenever I begin reading a fic - or a book or comic for that matter! - there are some times when I feel right from the start that this will be a good read and something I want to keep coming back to, but there are some times when I just lose interest and stop reading. The story is just not interesting or eventful enough, or has too bland characters.
What makes you want to keep reading a story? Mostly regarding fanfiction in a forum like this, now. What catches and keeps your interest?

Are there certain things that rather quickly tell you that you'll probably get bored with this?
Questions asked in honest curiosity, since I sometimes grow bored even of my own stories and want to improve when it comes to keeping interest up O.o
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Old March 15th, 2013, 11:32 AM
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If there's an interesting plot premise, perhaps something a touch different or slightly weird, that would draw me enough for me to want to see how it plays out. But I think one thing that really draws me in is interesting characters, because a lot of plots have been done, or new ones are variations on an old formula. So, give me an interesting character and I'll want to read on - to find out how they react to certain situations they're put in. For example, it can be hugely entertaining to have a character who's usually sarcastic and a touch apathetic put in highly serious situations.
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Old March 15th, 2013, 12:07 PM
Cutlerine
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Evidence of two things: that the author knows what they're doing, and they're enjoying themselves doing it. It doesn't matter what genre they're working in or what style of writing they're using, but it lifts my heart to see someone who knows their way around a story weaving a narrative on a page. Plot, characterisation and the rest might play a part too, but to a much lesser degree; if someone really loves what they do, it comes through in what they produce and it's just wonderful to partake of.

Other than that, I'm always up for a really good alternate reality - one where everything functions perfectly according to its own rules, and where placenames, organisations, politics and the rest all seem plausible while at the same time being very different from their real-world equivalents.

Weirdness is good too, if done right. I do like a nice bit of weirdness, whether the 'Lovecraftian cosmic horror' type or the more informal 'bit odd' sort.

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Old April 6th, 2013, 02:31 PM
Killalao
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Hello, some of you may know me as the writer of the Forbidden Love series, I'm new to this site BTW.

I think what it really comes down too, is whether the writer is able to put there full soul into the story, mixing tragedy with ectasy, basically not letting the story become predictable, and not writing about too much of the same thing. They have to switch things up everyonce in awhile. They have to keep the readers on edge, and keep them guessing as to what will happen next. And a little comedy doesn't hurt either. They have to pay attention to every little scene, and make it come out just right. And if not, they might as well erase it and start again, until it is perfection. Writing is an art form. And as the old saying goes. You can't rush art. And if they're writing a tragic or sad scene, if they themselves aren't crying, it isn't sad enough. Their emotion has to match with what they're writing. And thats that. Or atleast thats how I wrote mine. I mean I've rushed some parts of my story before, and I hated them afterwards, ended up editing the living daylights out of them, and there is still some parts I'm trying to fix. Anyway what makes it hard, is trying to come up with new and fresh ideas each chapter, that don't stray too far from the original plot.
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Old April 9th, 2013, 04:35 PM
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Adding to what the others said.

Wonder, comedy, and curiosity all keep me rather entwined.
As another matter though, the feelings of the writer is very much noticable. Robert Frost once said,
"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader." and the man certainly had the right idea.

Unpredictability, impressive prose, and originality are also highly commendable in my book.
I can't help but feel compelled to quote countless of my favorite poets, authors and writers, and whilst as I could in my own words go on at length on this subject, i'll cut this short.
You get the picture, and I won't be a windbag.
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  #6    
Old May 10th, 2013, 07:04 AM
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Originality and the feel that it's being written with a meaning and an end goal in mind. I ignore every piece summarized as anything like "a trainer goes on an adventure full of friends and fun," but I eagerly jump on anything with a description more like "a trainer who slept in and missed getting his first Pokemon finds unexpected adventures at home that teach him about both humility and courage." I want something with an ending. Endings are beautiful. Don't underestimate them.

Amateur fiction should offer me something that neither cheap used books nor the current hot titles can, and if it doesn't then I have no business with it. I feel a little stuck up saying that, especially considering how much I simply refuse to read or reject after a few minutes of reading, but I grew up in writing communities where people had wild ideas and I read because they swept me away rather than out of a sense of duty (gotta give out those reviews!). It didn't matter that some of the writers were in 5th grade and had the kind of structural problems you might expect. I still have a copy of one from 10 years ago.

I have more respect for people who take wild ideas and fail terribly or offend me than the opposite extreme. Write about a bipolar Leafeon with a chronic farting problem before you write a journey fic centering around John Doe without an end in mind.
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  #7    
Old May 10th, 2013, 12:33 PM
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Generally, when a writer knows what they're doing, they'll find a way to keep you interested. Usually reading a story that comes off as forced will turn the reader off of the story all together.

For me in particular, it's about the bounds of imagination. If I read a story that described every single nook and cranny, I would eventually stop reading it. The writer has created a world all their own. Rather than letting me submerse myself in my perspective of this world, they've made sure to establish everything for me.

Likewise, I don't enjoy reading stories that have too litte description. For example, if someone was writing a battle and didn't explain the setting, intensity, or even the emotion of the characters in said battle, then I can't properly imagine it. I don't know what they were going for.

It's all about a balance. Describe the area, but don't lock the properties exclusively. Tell me the grass is green and long. Tell me that the long, dark green grass is consistently blown by the wind as the dew moves from blade to blade. Don't tell me that the dark green grass blowing in the wind was grown by an old farmer who eventually moved away, hence why it is so long. Don't tell me that this time of the year is normally relatively windy. All of that is usually unnecessary and I can't stand that. Once you take away and describe every single part that I would normally leave to my imagination, I kinda feel like the story is more of one that you wanted to tell rather than one you wanted me to read.

There's nothing wrong with extra description either. Seeing too much of it in a single story, however, would just be plan off-putting.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 01:59 PM
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I'm not picky.

Actually, that's a lie. Let me try again:

I'm picky when it comes to good writing. The plot doesn't have to interest me all that much nor does the author have to be spectacular. I simply want some nice old prose that keeps me going because it's simply entrancing. You have my attention. Make use of it. Oh, and good characters make it all. Just all-around good portrayals (omg psyanic you can't use good in two consecutive sentences) keep me in the game. Even one interesting character with an awesome depiction will get me reading to the bitter end, even if that one character dies or leaves or something. In that case, it's an especially bitter end because they didn't come back. But they were a good character anyway. One character can make a story for me.
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  #9    
Old May 27th, 2013, 12:20 PM
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Thank you for all your answers, I've really gotten some nice tips!

Quote:
It's all about a balance. Describe the area, but don't lock the properties exclusively. Tell me the grass is green and long. Tell me that the long, dark green grass is consistently blown by the wind as the dew moves from blade to blade. Don't tell me that the dark green grass blowing in the wind was grown by an old farmer who eventually moved away, hence why it is so long. Don't tell me that this time of the year is normally relatively windy. All of that is usually unnecessary and I can't stand that. Once you take away and describe every single part that I would normally leave to my imagination, I kinda feel like the story is more of one that you wanted to tell rather than one you wanted me to read.
This is very wise. I struggle to maintain this balance when writing anything fictional.
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