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Funniest amateur writing mistakes

Discussion in 'Author's Roundtable' started by Janus3003, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. Janus3003

    Janus3003 Skyrim Marriage Counselor

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    I'm a huge fan of unintentional comedy, as much as I may groan and facepalm at it at times. Amateur writing can be a great source of it. I'd like us all to share some of the worst things we've seen in fiction, though it'd be best to do it without publicly shaming the author, so no names or links, please.

    I'll kick us off with some things I've seen in Legend of Zelda fanfiction (though it won't require knowledge of the games)

    -Zelda becomes Queen and spends all her time pining for her lost love, the hero Link. And I really mean it when I say "all her time." We're supposed to hate the people who try to overthrow her, but honestly, she was so useless in this story that I really couldn't blame the rebels.
    ---Same story, both of Zelda's legs are broken during the coup. A few paragraphs later (probably just a few minutes in story time), we're informed that she tried to move, "but couldn't because her legs were still broken" (emphasis mine).
    ---Same story, Link and Zelda are reunited, and Link informs Zelda that he wouldn't have cared if everyone in the kingdom died so long as she still lived. She's touched by this and thinks it's so sweet that he was willing to sacrifice the whole kingdom for her. This is already quite psychotic of both of them, but remember that this is the frickin' Queen talking.
    ---One of the villains in this story (specifically Marth from Fire Emblem) rapes young boys. If memory serves correctly, Link kills him by stabbing him up the butt.

    -Ganondorf (the main villain) goes to check out some plot related stuff. His method of transportation across the plains? Running. It's hard to take a villain seriously when you imagine him in track shorts.

    -We're informed that Zelda generally smells like daisies. Link reflects that during his quest to rescue Zelda, he would roll around in daisies whenever he missed her. He was nineteen at the time. Having been a nineteen-year-old male myself, and having known many other nineteen-year-old boys, I strongly suggest that this is highly irregular male behavior.
    ---Same story, Link slaps a guy for disappearing for a day or two. Again, highly irregular male behavior.
    ---Same story, Link gives another guy a handshake and a pat on the arm. The author informs us that this is "the highest honor among men."
    ---Same story, Link and Zelda share a bed for two years without once ever having sex (or even coming close to it, so far as I could tell).

    -Link's dad makes a joke at his wife's expense, and she lightly swats him on the head with a frying pan. I can't think of any way to swat your spouse with a frying pan and not be considered abuse.
    ---Same author, different story- Zelda "playfully" swats Link on the arm. Repeatedly. We're informed that he's getting a bruise from all the swatting.

    -One fanfic was all about different "kisses" Link and Zelda accidentally have. I remember two:
    1) Masquerade ball where one stumbles into the other, they fall to the floor, their faces crash hard enough that their masks break and their lips meet. I'm trying to work out how there were no injuries involved.
    2) Zelda nearly drowns, and Link performs CPR. Firstly, mouth-to-mouth breathing is not romantic in the slightest, I don't care what form of media tries to portray it otherwise. Secondly, he pushes on her stomach instead of her chest, so she really should have died.

    -Link is horribly injured in a fight (with an OC villainess who could lose a lot more blood than humanly possible without any hint that there was something that made her stronger than most), and he’s bleeding out quickly. Without binding him up or anything, Zelda puts him on a horse and they ride across the country back to the castle for medical care. Link somehow survives all of this.

    -Link is fighting a bunch of people and trying to protect his friends Talon and Malon (hooray, Nintendo naming conventions). A bad guy stabs Talon and starts twisting the blade and whatnot. Malon wants to run and save her father, but Link holds her back for… some reason. The scene wasn’t exactly clear as to what made it dangerous for either of them to run and stop this guy, so I’m forced to conclude that Link simply wanted Talon to die horribly (and he wanted Malon to watch. What a dick).
    ---The same story often described blood as “shattering,” and Link once slices a guy’s leg open, drops his sword, grabs the guy’s leg, and starts pulling on it. I remember rereading that description, and yeah, that’s exactly what happened.
    As for some other stories:


    -EverQuest fanfic- paladin rescues his girlfriend from a dark elf brothel. He’s not particularly subtle in his breaking, entering, and stabbing, but gets away with it because “apparently people were used to hearing screams around here.”
    ---Story ends with the paladin making some speech about how stopping the orcs is not enough, but they must continue and wipe out the dark elves, ogres, etc. You know, genocide. We’re supposed to agree with him.
    ---Discontinued sequel featured the paladin running into battle and reflecting on the past year or so. Specifically, he thinks about his wedding night. We learn that his wife “apparently had more skills than tracking and fighting.” Glad that she’s a well fleshed out character (and he’s thinking of all this during a big fight).

    -One trend I’ve seen with stories based on RPGs (be they MMOs or tabletop) is the author throwing a crapton of named characters in there without bothering to explain who they are and why we should care. I’ve always figured it’s the result of, “I wanna put my alts and my friends’ characters in the story!”

    -An author once started some of her chapters with, “Hey, guys, _____ is going to happen later on. You can skip it if you want. You won’t miss anything plotwise.”
    ---Same author honestly did a decent job with character development (for the most part). Then came the final chapter where she told all her readers that she doesn’t like happy endings (despite the story being set up really well for one) and sacrificed character development for an ambiguous, bittersweet (more bitter) ending.

    -In a short story class, one student described two characters: “a large Lebanese man” and his companion, “a simple Caucasian.” Our teacher asked what the heck “a simple Caucasian” is supposed to mean, and his final draft changed it to… “an ordinary Caucasian.”

    -Another student wrote about some ecological utopia called Neo Terra, and our protagonist remembers her lessons in school about some horrid land called… America, and how they destroyed all the trees and ate meat and she was so happy she didn’t live in America. I’m totally cool with stories having a message, but when the reader imagines the author sitting in a chair next to them and lecturing, something has gone wrong.
    ---Our protagonist later had the marvelous insight that roses, while beautiful, have thorns.
    ---Quoth the protagonist, “I promise I’ll never become a rose, Jack!”
    So, what unintentionally funny mistakes have you found?
     
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  2. AS88

    AS88 Well-Known Member
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    This one was my favourite. I can't think of any off the top of my head, that's either because I, a) lose patience with reading it and do something else, or b) my writing's terrible.

    Hopefully a) :p
     
  3. Janus3003

    Janus3003 Skyrim Marriage Counselor

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    -In a Super Smash Bros fanfic (focusing mainly on Zelda characters), Zelda is assaulted by Dark Link. The real Link decides the best protection for Zelda is to put her under complete lockdown. Everyone (including Zelda) is okay with this.
    ---Dark Link strikes again and rapes Zelda. She learns she's pregnant the very next day (morning sickness and everything).
    ---She runs away with Dark Link and the author tries to get very dark and edgy to show how evil Dark Link is. The English language is thoroughly butchered:
    [​IMG]

    -A mistake I'm certain I've made is trying to fill plot holes by having characters discuss them.
    "Oh, Evil Villain, why do you not simply do _____?"
    "Because, Minion, I must ______."
    "Ah, I understand! Well played, sirrah!"
    ---Breaking my own rules a bit, I've seen discussions like this in Metroid: Other M and Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith.

    -"*character explains something*"
    "How do you know?"
    "Because I'm an Indian and I know these things."

    -Mortal Kombat fanfic had the Author Avatar romancing a redeemed Mileena (the most sexualized character in the game, save for her monstrous teeth normally hidden by a veil). Of course, this means sex. What makes this particularly bad is that Mileena has a rather childlike approach to things (constantly giggling while tearing people apart), and the author nails (ha ha! Nail!) into our heads how childlike she is. Not cute, sweet, or innocent, but childlike. When he's about to bed her. Holy crap.

    -Other Mortal Kombat fanfics present a world where the author's black belt in a local Karate dojo somehow surpasses the skill of supernatural warriors who've been fighting for their lives over thousands of years.

    -A Street Fighter fanfic had Guile (married in canon, but I'm guilty of ignoring that for my ships) get together with Chun-Li. For some reason he hangs back and confesses his love to her while everyone is in a pretty desperate life-or-death struggle. Seriously, they just sit back and watch.
    ---The villain, Bison, later spies on their bedroom shenanigans, saying something like, "Yes! Bang her! Bang her until she can take it no more!" :confused:
     
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  4. imaginepageant

    imaginepageant Slytherin Alumni

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    I did a couple of MSTs for some supremely bad Harry Potter fanfics. I should dig those up.
     
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  5. Inquisitor Saken

    Inquisitor Saken polan can into space?

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    I hope people here have read My Immortal. It's a Harry Potter fic with all the characters turned into 'goffs' and a Mary Sue OC as the main character. It's amazing(ly bad). :D
     
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  6. imaginepageant

    imaginepageant Slytherin Alumni

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    A small piece of me just died. Why did you make me read that?

    OH MY GOD THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR HAS THE SAME NAME AS ME. I quit this world.
     
  7. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Oh my, what did I just read? :eek:
     
  8. Wolfbane

    Wolfbane Why change the past when you can own this day?

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    I feel like I'm ready a teenage girls dairy more than a story. Even with the Harry Potter elements. This story is just eeeww
     
  9. Janus3003

    Janus3003 Skyrim Marriage Counselor

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    I've read parts of My Immortal. Main thing I remember is Dumbledore having a headache. That's now my go-to excuse for people overreacting.
     
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  10. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    I stopped at the part when she got depressed and slit her wrist.
     
  11. Delusional

    Delusional Connoisseur of Hallucinations

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    Well... I've read all of My Immortal.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it was the absolute worst piece of "literature" I've ever read. Hell, maybe even the worst piece of "literature" ever written in the existence of human life on this planet. I feel like I've lost my grasp with the English language after reading every single painful chapter. All 35 of them.

    At least I made it without gouging my eyes out. Whew.
     
  12. Tyer032392

    Tyer032392 Active Member

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    Well, I do not have any story in particular, though I do know of one that I liked and there were seventy reviews, and about sixty of them from one guy.
     
  13. Chadonraz

    Chadonraz Well-Known Member

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    My Immortal is a prime example of how NOT to write.

    It's so terrible that it's hilarious. One of my favourite parts is Voldemort (who I don't think is ever called Voldemort in the story) speaking old English or something that's supposed to be old English. xD
    And Dumbledore's constant headache, of course. :D

    I think I've read it two or three times, simply because it never fails to make me LOL pretty much throughout the story.
     
  14. Tyer032392

    Tyer032392 Active Member

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    Yeah, I took a look at that I'm Immortal story and noticed that there is a website dedicated to it.o_O
     
  15. Janus3003

    Janus3003 Skyrim Marriage Counselor

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    I just read a story that describes a black character as "the colour girl." I wanted to give the author the benefit of the doubt, as it was first person and based on Bioshock Infinite, which is set in 1912. However, the story's also a "all the characters in HIGH SCHOOL!!" fanfic, and was later confirmed to be set in modern day.

    Speaking of first person, I've been seeing a lot of fanfics that like to change first person narrators. Oftentimes, it's:

    Bonus points to the people who sometimes write in "Narrator's POV" and switch to 3rd person. The Bioshock story I was just looking at also showed us things from a puppy's point of view.

    ----
    EDIT
    Almost forgot- in that Bioshock fanfic, a 14 year-old-girl is nearly mugged and raped in front of a busy movie theater. She manages to beat him up, getting only a couple of scratches and bruises in the process.
    The crowd quickly disperses because the scene is no longer interesting.
    .......WHAT.
    ------

    I think fanfiction is starting to drive me insane. When I die, it'll probably be with these words:
    [​IMG]
    I've... seen things you people wouldn't believe. A girl mourning the losses of 9/11 while being pleasured by quicksand. I read about a mare sprouting a penis, then throwing herself into the lovemaking of two humans. All these... tales... will be forever online, like an itch that won't... go... away...
    Time... to die...
     
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  16. Wildroses

    Wildroses Well-Known Member

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    This probably shouldn't be in this thread as I found both in a published book, which means technically they are professional writing mistakes, but I have to share these:

    "An anguished cry escaped him. It didn't disturb Madeline for he trapped it deep within his soul." Somebody really ought to send this woman a dictionary so she can look up the meanings of cry, escaped and trapped.

    This came from a different book:

    "And you look very handsome too" she said feeling the blood rush to her head like the red liquid in a thermometer on a hot summers day.

    This same book also made references to the American gold rush miners: "literally searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow" and the American pioneers: "literally pushing the boundaries of our glorious nation from sea to shining sea" both of which I found utterly hilarious as I know what literally actually means and the images evoked made me decided to memorise them on the spot.

    As laid down in the first post I will not name the books or authors, but they are real and if challenged I can name them.
     
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  17. Janus3003

    Janus3003 Skyrim Marriage Counselor

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    Heh, there was a church leader that once told a story with the phrase, "She literally dissolved into tears." Cue the memes on Facebook (I particularly liked the one with the Wicked Witch of the West melting).
    Your examples remind me of one I heard from 50 Shades of Grey (I seem to be breaking my own rule when it comes to professional works): "His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel... or something."
     
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  18. Janus3003

    Janus3003 Skyrim Marriage Counselor

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    Last night, I found a fanfic with a questionable grasp on the English language. It was... wow.

    -Guy ("American ninja of justice") likes Girl. Guy sees a magical illusion of Girl sleeping with "another man" (I figure "another" is an error, as it's made fairly clear later on that Girl's a celibate priestess, and she's not with Guy, anyway). Guy runs away, and later sees (real) Girl. He totally flips out and yells at her.
    She starts thinking of how "she would never even approach sleeping with another man! Not even with her grandfather-"
    :confused:
    "-and she only did that when she was too little and needed protection"
    :eek:

    I had to set my phone down and laugh at that for a while.

    -Later, Villain (who made the illusion) kidnaps Girl. We're given the kinky details of exactly how she's tied (they made no sense), and he tortures her by forcing her to smell cheese until she cries. (I've been wondering if this is a troll fic, but I really get the feeling it's not. I don't know)
    --Villain later tortures her by letting her befriend a kitten, then killing it in front of her.

    -Guy meets Mentor, who tells him that Girl wasn't sleeping with another Man. He knows this because he was at her house at that exact time. He says something like "She couldn't have slept with anyone. I was watching." o_O

    ----
    ----
    EDIT
    Almost forgot one!
    -Bunch of Male Heroes go to save their Girlfriends from Possessed Girl. One guy is given a syringe full of some stuff to cure the Possessed Girl or some crap like that. The description when he reveals it was something like this:

    Suddenly, he pulled something out and showed something to the girls.​
    "Do you know what this is?"​
    "No, what is it?"​
    "It has a substance so potent that she won't be able to withstand it."​

    Do I just have a dirty mind or something?

    -The author then makes a strike for women's rights by showing that *gasp!* the Girlfriends are actually useful! And he makes a huge deal about it! How progressive!
     
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  19. Dustman

    Dustman The Silver Blade

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    So, I frequent Skyrim Nexus. A major part of that place, besides mods, is pictures. Occasionally they are more than supermodels in bikinis and high heels, and are instead supermodels in bikinis and high heels with a back-story or story description of some sort.

    As a writer who focuses on sentence quality and readability when I write, I find some of the description-stories are...lacking. Specifically, lacking periods; like, they'll have some epic, artistic, fantastic picture requiring massive artistic talent...and then a description-story that makes the talented photographer sound like a second-grader. It takes the dramatic backstory of, like, being kidnapped, escaping, and then being raised by wolves, and just...eugh.

    The worst part of such posts is when people think they can fix it by massive metaphors and deep insight on the human condition, all of which of course, is just adding more run-on sentences. I once read an entire paragraph twice the length of this post that NOT ONCE ended a sentence.

    I understand amateur writing. I even understand flowery bruh-haha. But Talos H, I cannot understand how some natively-english-speaking people cannot comprehend how to achieve proper sentence structure.

    Rant over. Hi Janus.
     
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  20. Start Dale

    Start Dale I got 99 problems but a Deadra ain't one.

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    Er... Yeah i know my grammar is not great as my girlfriend will remind me when i post my fanfic. Thankfully i am being tutored slowly to improve it. I think i manage to switch between first person third person perspective in error. Hopefully the story itself is compelling has i am enjoying writing it and plotting out the overall arc.

    I had originally posted the fanfic here as three seperate threads however i then had them removed so i could rewrite the story as one continuing thread and make it more coherent and less choppy. I think i have created something remotely sensible.

    Anyway the link is in the Signature. Let the butthurt begin.
     

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