BLUE SUN ROOM

Do you cringe at your own stories?

POSTED BY: REGINAROADIE
UPDATED: Monday, July 21, 2014 09:58
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 4968
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009 2:26 PM

REGINAROADIE


Hey All

Around the time of the movie before and after, I got into fanfic writing here on the site and wrote a few stories. I created a new character that was kinda Mary Sue-ish although I do think that he could have been a character that could have easily existed in the Firefly verse. And I like to think I contributed a few new ideas of stuff I hadn't seen before (really getting in depth with Simon and what made him tick and making the Tam's actually human beings and not one dimensional bad guys like I had seen in so many fanfics).

But looking back on them and just the writing style and prose and syntax and writing for characters and their particular way of speaking, I find myself just cringing at what I wrote. My River is almost nothing like the River we know and love (although to be fair, I never liked River too much to begin with, and I can't do "River-speak" at all. I like writing characters who speak in complete sentences.), the anachronistic references I make with music is just bad (and the only reason I did it was so that I would have River actually do something), and I guess I just ran out of steam at the end.

I still think there were good ideas in them. The whole main plotline with Simon and River returning home to confront their parents and what had happened with Kaylee along to see for herself the former like her husband and sister-in-law had was always the thing I wanted to see the most in the series. As well as Simon actually cracking (in both SHOTGUN TAM and the last few chapters of YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN) and the role reversal between him and River in that she says in the Core and he stays out in the Black and how she ends up taking care of Gabriel whose just this broken man. And there was one stand alone story I always wanted to do about Shooter and how he was the sole survivor of a Reaver attack on an Alliance cruiser and in the process of escaping on a jet pack he attained spiritual clarity and then broke almost every single bone in his body.

But I think the way I just wrote about it has that stink of a new writer trying to figure his stuff out. I heard somewhere that if you want to be a writer for a living, that the first 10,000 words you write will suck. Which in a way, I'm glad I did it here with fanfic and the anonimity of the Internet as opposed to the actual original work I do that I hope one day will be made into a movie.

But I'm just wondering. Are there any fanfic writer's here that look at their older works and just cringe and say to themselves "I can't believe I actually wrote that."

**************************************************
"And it starts with a sentence that might last a lifetime, or it all might just go down in flames. If I let you know me, then why would you want me? Each day I don't is a shame. Each day I don't is a great shame."

Loudon Wainwright III - "Strange Weirdos" off the "Knocked Up" soundtrack


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Wednesday, June 10, 2009 4:42 PM

PIRATENEWS

John Lee, conspiracy therapist at Hollywood award-winner History Channel-mocked SNL-spoofed PirateNew.org wooHOO!!!!!!


No. I let the gentle reader do that.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009 8:47 PM

TUJIAOZUO


YES.

Every once in awhile I'll go back and read something. Something from here, something from another fandom I did. I'll appreciate the challenge I gave myself, the plot, the story, because my intentions were good and with each story I was pushing myself to better my writing. However I 99% of the time will hate just about everything else. whther it be prose, structure, canon, OC, something's horrific.

Sometimes, if something is minor, I may go back and change it, other times... well... let's just say I'm thisclose to deleting the first attempt of a Firefly series I posted here because I am pretty embarassed over the two MarySuetastic OCs I pretty much wrote the entire series around. Personally, I think they both need to be metaphorically taken out back and put out of their misery as they hit every MaruSue mark pretty much to a T. Then there are other fandoms, and how just about everything I wrote for those is nothing but fluff and shipping and kids and tru wuv 4eva were they ride off into the sunset happy after some convuluted angst/drama. THAT right there, makes me bang my head against my keyboard. The funny thing is is that I got GREAT reviews for that stuff and it got me to #2 rank as one of the fandoms writers. Now though? *Headdesk* Most of it is just soooooooo bad, but the fangirls lap it up and praise and want more, meaning no sincere critqiues to further improve your writing.**

I also have the fist ever fanfic that I wrote when I was fifteen (six years ago). Now THAT is so bad, I just laugh now.

But then I also think, Hey, if it weren't for that shitty first fic, I wouldn't be where I am, a B rate fanficcer. Trying to tackle more serious plots then that teenage fluff I started out in with actual aspirations of being a screenwriter and animation director.

Your Indian Pirate Lord,
Ash

**for the record, I still on rare occasion write fanfic to that fandom. Mostly as a form of challenge I've put upon myself where if I do write it has to not only appeal to the fangirl populace, but also stick to canon and/or avoid all cliches of the FluffFic and actually be thought provoking.

(Ash apologises if this does not make total sense, this has been a somewhat sleep derived post)

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 1:15 AM

BRIGLAD


I know what you mean.

My OC Allan is the jack of all trades. Quite mary sue but still, people seem to like the stories as I get consistent 9's and 10's for ratings and I have only gotten one scathing review (Not on this site either)

I occasionally read back through my earlier story's and find that they still hold up.

My grammar has improved significantly over the last year or so as has my punctuation. Mostly thanks to my Beta readers, Woonsocket (BSR)and Chris (FF.net).

I never expected that this... obsession with writing fanfic would steamroll like it has.

Being... under employed,(And formerly unemployed) the last year, if not for writing, I would have gone nuts.

And don't sell your self too short, Roadie...

I liked Shooter and if not for "You Can't go home again" I wouldn't have a new favorite U2 Song (God I love City of Blinding Lights)

To be honest, I don't see anything wrong with a Mary Sue-ish character. Sometimes it's needed.

I also wouldn't mind a small sequel to you can't go home again.

Like River and the boys going on tour and chartering Serenity to fly them from gig to gig...


But that's just me...


Brian




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Thursday, June 11, 2009 4:21 AM

BYTEMITE


I only really started writing fanfic maybe about a year ago. I saw Dr. Horrible, and wanted to write a fic about how

Select to view spoiler:


Billy might have dealt with the ELE if he had managed to save Penny with his freeze ray.

Shortly after I finished that, a friend of mine convinced me to check out Firefly, and oh boy, if I thought I'd been fangirl-ing THEN...

The main change between then and now is that my chapters have gotten longer. Before I used to struggle to write two or three pages, which is strange, because my original work I usually managed around seven. Also in my earlier fanfic, I planned for scenes with a lot of action and some violence, then kind of just skipped over them. Course, I've only really written ONE chapter so far that I can call action intensive, so we'll see how that goes.

Through my public school days, I worked on a lot of original stories, and I can definitely say that yes, the stuff I wrote in elementary school and junior high pretty much did suck. I had decent grammar and spelling, but I had no personal style and I used a lot of overdone plot devices. At least I never started crushing on my own characters and making them invincible, but they probably were still a bit overpowered and generally tended on the one-dimensional side of things.

I think that deep down I must have known they were pretty bad, because I never let anyone read them and never finished them. The one time my parents did read something of mine when I was five, I was mocked and criticized pretty mercilessly, so, I've kind of become obsessively private about my creative work. I've known people on the internet for ten years who haven't known I could write or draw until about two years ago.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 5:23 PM

REGINAROADIE


Quote:

I also wouldn't mind a small sequel to you can't go home again.

Like River and the boys going on tour and chartering Serenity to fly them from gig to gig...


But that's just me...



It's funny you should mention that, because I had an idea for a sequel of sorts with YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN that follows the four month period of River and her dealing with The Signal and their rising success, her relationship with Johnny but primarily with the relationship between her and Gabriel. How at first it's insanely tough since he's just in this massive depression and doesn't even want to leave his bed let alone the apartment. And with her rising career in music, she doesn't have as much time as she'd like to. But very slowly, he starts coming around and he even comes to one of their rehearsals, overhears The Dude talking about money, and it sparks something in him that brings some life back to him and he becomes their financial advisor. He learns to adapt to the new economy and helps the band with their money. And two songs I wanted to feature in it is "Top of the World" by The Dixie Chicks (one of the saddest songs you'll ever hear. The lyric's pretty much describe what is going on in Gabriel's mind) and "Still" by Alanis Morrisette (which is River's way of showing Gabriel that she's forgiven him).

I just wanted to explore the role reversal I had between them. How River is the caregiver and Gabriel is the one whose lost his shit and now has to find his way back. Like a more tender version of the Walter/Peter Bishop dynamic in FRINGE.

I also had one more chapter in mind with YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN where basically Simon and Kaylee come to the conclusion that they can't stay on Serenity anymore, they go to Kaylee's homeworld and set up a garage/clinic in her hometown. They say their goodbyes, and on the night before they open, Simon gets a package, opens it, finds the equivalent of an iPod Shuffle from River with a note from her with instructions to play it on the night of the first snowfall, which is that night. Simon goes outside, looks at the falling snow, listens to the song, thinks about the life he's had and has an epiphany that allows him to finally forgive his father.

Those two and the Shooter stand alone were the remaining fanfics I had left in me. That and an epilogue series of the crew members each leaving Serenity on their own. First Book, then Jayne, then Wash and Zoe (and as a funny little epilogue, they do meet up with Signal and Wash fulfills his drummer fantasy and subs for George one night) finally leaving Mal and Inara as the last two people. You can imagine where that goes.

Also, with the Shooter stand-alone, I wanted to expand his character to show how obsessed he is in getting unbelievable footage. You know how in FIREFLY/SERENITY there were those exterior shots of the ship that looked handheld and intentionally amateurish? Shooter would be the guy holding the camera. How he's a mix of those cameramen who get those unbelievable shots of extreme sports and Howard Hughs from THE AVIATOR (At one point in his life, Shooter would have yelled "WHERE THE HELL ARE MY GORRAM CLOUDS!!!).

But just due to real life, terrible procrastination and just a waning lack of interest in the FIREFLY franchise, I just don't think I have it in me to finish or even start these off.

But I'm glad that I can finally share with you guys what I was going for. And just to pay back those who actually cared about my stuff, here's the final scene in my YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN saga.

It was a quarter after two in the morning. It was his turn to tend to Brooke. He noticed that she tended to cry and fuss at around this time in the morning. He slipped out of bed, letting Kaylee go back to sleep and silently entered her room. She quieted a bit upon seeing him and was asleep by the time he had changed her and rocked her for a few moments in his arms. As he put her back into the crib, he paused for a few moments to watch her sleep. “She sleeps like her mother.” He thought this as he noted how she slept on her left side, how her head tilted upward by a few degrees and had the trace of a smile on her lips. As tired as he was, he felt humbled to see his daughter sleep in peace, unaware that peace would be something she would know for her whole life.

After he had closed her door, he went downstairs to check the office and the infirmary to see if everything was ready. Tomorrow was the first day of their new business, and he wanted to make sure everything was in order. After a quick, but thorough inspection of the premises, he decided to go back to bed. But as he stepped past the door, he saw the package that had been placed in the mail slot. He bent over and pulled it out. He checked the return address. It was from River.

He went to the kitchen to get a knife to open the package. He sliced it open and dumped out the contents. In it was an envelope, some earphones and a music pocket-box. He opened the envelope and squinted. All it contained was a note.

He pulled it out. There was a simple message scrawled in River’s handwriting.

ON THE NIGHT OF THE FIRST SNOWFALL, GO OUTSIDE, LISTEN TO THE FIRST TRACK AS YOU LOOK UP INTO THE SKY AND THINK ABOUT THE LIFE YOU HAVE. R.

Simon was puzzled by these simple instructions. The first snowfall? When was he supposed to-

Simon looked back at the window. For a brief second, he thought he saw something. He then saw it. Then another. And another. Then even more. “Okay, that’s downright creepy.” He thought as he grabbed the pocket box and the earphones wired to them. He opened the door, stepped out and heard the crunch of snow as his boot touched the ground.

It was snowing. Big, large snowflakes were coming down from the darkened sky, illuminated by the floodlight of the building and the few streetlights that dotted the town that stretched ahead of them. There was already a thin layer of snow that blanketed the ground, with more accumulating as Simon pulled out the pocket-box and the earphones. He hit play, adjusted the volume and looked up into the sky.

Ever since he was a small child, the one sight in nature that truly dazzled him was falling snow. It was amazing how, like people or stars, there were seemingly infinite numbers of snowflakes out there. And yet, each one of them was distinct in their crystalloid formation. And that they all would come together to create a tapestry that would hold promise for those who set their gaze on them. If the city was a body, then snow was a disinfectant. A shot of antibiotics that would briefly purify everything. To wash away the dirt and disease and give hope for a new beginning.

That is what Simon thought at first as he heard the opening notes of the song he was listening to. It was one of Signal’s new songs. He didn’t recognize the song at all, but it didn’t matter. The song was soothing him and making him feel at peace as he felt the tiny kisses of snowflakes as they landed and instantly melted on his face. The lyrics were about hope and redemption. It moved from a simple piano accompaniment to an acoustic beat. As he listened, he searched his thoughts and thought about everything.

He thought about his entire life. He thought of his life as a child. He thought about the day when he was introduced to his baby sister. He thought of his dreams and desires to become a doctor. He thought of his determination to become the best doctor he possible could. He thought of all that he shared with River. He thought of the monumental sacrifice he took in order to save her. He thought about his last five years on Serenity. He thought about the crew and how in retrospect they were the most amazing individuals he had ever met. He thought about how in the darkness of existence, he was able to discover a light that would guide him. He thought how lucky he was to love and be loved by the avatar of light and life that was Kaylee Frye. How she accepted him for who he was and how she pledged to be with him for the rest of his life. And how they were able to create their own angel of grace whose diaper needed changing an unholy amount of times a day. And he thought about their decision to leave their temporary home to start a brand new life and create a new home.

While it had pained them to leave the place they called home, now it only seemed natural. All life is, he mused, a succession of places you call home. The old saying happened to be true. You can’t go home again. You just create a new one. A new place for your family that you would do anything to make sure they were all right and would succeed at whatever they set out to do in life.

And it was then, when River’s electric lead kicked in that it came over him. The realization of why his father did what he did. How he really was misguided in his intentions, but only by his love for his children. How he was able to rationalize in his mind at the time why he allowed for it to happen, and the dire consequences Gabriel experienced upon the realization of the truth. It was then that all the anger and silent resentment Simon had towards Gabriel dissolved. It just seemed so pointless to be angry towards him. Tomorrow, he would call him to tell him directly, but here and now, with just himself and a universe of snowflakes falling around him, Simon forgave his father.

He closed his eyes, smiled and let the music and the snow swirl in and around him. He understood it. The enlightenment River felt the morning she played the guitar for the first time in the cargo bay he was experiencing right now. A sudden rush and excitement flowed through him as he realized the beauty of the ‘verse that surrounded him. Of the satisfaction he felt for having the most genuine life he could ever have. He had his family; he had his patch of land he called home, and his own clinic to help those in need. It wasn’t much.

But it was enough.


**************************************************
"And it starts with a sentence that might last a lifetime, or it all might just go down in flames. If I let you know me, then why would you want me? Each day I don't is a shame. Each day I don't is a great shame."

Loudon Wainwright III - "Strange Weirdos" off the "Knocked Up" soundtrack

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 5:43 PM

BRIGLAD


Wow. You still have it my friend...


Brian


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Thursday, June 11, 2009 5:46 PM

REGINAROADIE


Thanks. That's actually been sitting on my hard drive for a few years now. I had just never gotten around to writing the scenes that get us there. That's kind of my writing style. I write what scenes are freshest in my mind. Like I have my endings and beginnings figured out, it's the middle parts on how to get there that are tough.

**************************************************
"And it starts with a sentence that might last a lifetime, or it all might just go down in flames. If I let you know me, then why would you want me? Each day I don't is a shame. Each day I don't is a great shame."

Loudon Wainwright III - "Strange Weirdos" off the "Knocked Up" soundtrack

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 6:06 PM

BORIS


I don't write my own stories but I retell the mundanaties and "not-so-mundanaties" of my life in story format. I mainly got into the habit when working with kids as they were highly entertained by it and kept begging me to tell them stories. Now it's a habit I can't shake....my adult friends are not as keen as the kids, though I can usually be relied upon to provide the entertainment whenever things get boring or awkward. I hear myself telling the stories and cringe inwardly. the length of the cringe is determined by the audience's reaction.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 6:03 AM

MAL4PREZ


I can hardly get through a paragraph of any of my fics without wanting to re-write. Mostly wording arrangement details, though there's occasional blatant mistakes in POV *shudder* or lazily formed transitions or stupid lines of dialogue that don't work.

But, really, I try not to worry about my poorly written stuff. You never get good at anything unless you spent a lot of time being bad first. Fact of life.

So I have to say that my biggest cringes come from the "deep" scenes, the ones that contain strong emotions, whether happy or sad or whatever. I can't reread many of those. Whatever it was, I really, really believed it when I wrote it. I *felt* it. That's revealing in a way that I'm not quite comfortable with. Even if I think it was a decently written and necessary scene, I don't want to revisit it and have to imagine what readers must think of me. Now that's scary!

Fic-writer pyschology 101. :)


-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 1:33 PM

YERSINIA


No.

Then again, I haven't written any Firefly fanfic (yet).

"Call me if anyone interesting shows up..."

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Saturday, August 15, 2009 5:57 PM

SAFEAT2ND


I agree with Mal4prez. In fact her line "You never get good at anything unless you spent a lot of time being bad first. Fact of life. " is so incredibly spot on its uncanny. But then again, when you consider her skill....

I've looked back on the stuff I've written and yes I've cringed at some of it. But that is when i realize just how far I've progressed.

I'm sorry to say, I've stepped away for writing in the verse, (I really want to continue my Firefly Battlestar Galactica crossover) and I've tried my hand at writing in various differnet genre's (not wanting to be pigeon-holed).

I think the thing that drives me is the over-whelming need to improve, get better, hone my skill, stretch my legs.

Everyone is entitled to a "Shitty first draft". What was the line from the kids show The Magic School bus? "Make mistakes, get messy." It's the only way to improve.

There is no such thing as a bad idea, the only fault lies in pitching it to the wrong audience.

_______________________________________________________________
"Got a headful of lightning
And a heart full of rain
And I know that I said
I'd never do it again
Oh and I love you sweet baby but I always take the long way home."


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Sunday, August 16, 2009 12:58 AM

SIMONWHO


I've only done one proper Firefly piece and re-reading it, it's not too bad, especially given that I wrote it purely as catharsis for a break-up:

http://www.fireflyfans.net/sunroomitem.asp?i=12021

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Friday, August 28, 2009 12:48 AM

SYDNEYDEBS


Quote:

Originally posted by reginaroadie:
Hey All

But I'm just wondering. Are there any fanfic writer's here that look at their older works and just cringe and say to themselves "I can't believe I actually wrote that."



God yes, ever time I re-read over something! Seriously though, my writing background is fanfic and I do love it but getting the characters right can be a challenge.

I find Firefly particularly difficult to write, firstly as I've only known about it for about a month or so and secondly their way of speaking.

I am nothing if not persistent so I'll just keep at it as its something I love.



Cheers, Debs

http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/CastleDownUnder/
http://z6.invisionfree.com/Crazy_for_Castle/

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Friday, August 28, 2009 3:02 PM

DMAANLILEILTT


i agree that whatever you're doing, you're always entitled to a period of shitiness, whether you're writing stories, songs or whatever.

although whenever i think of my own work, i always say at least i'm not the worst. if you want to hear some of the worst go to this website:http: // www.thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/bt/the-sage/fanfic-theatre. a guy reads some of the worst ANYTHING ever written i think some people here might enjoy it

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Monday, June 16, 2014 5:16 PM

FEMMEFAN1946


I'm actually a professional writer and editor-- as in that's what the Canadian government paid me to do up until June 13, 2014, when I retired.
But very little of what I wrote was actually fiction, no matter what people say about government policy.
Actual writing, putting words on paper, is not difficult for me. Grammar, spelling and punctuation are easy. Typing is hard-- when I started working a woman who could type was a typist. Period. So I tried really hard to do it badly and unfortunately that stuck.
I spend a lot of time correcting typos. Which gives me time to think.
Oddly, I often read my stories and think, hey, did I write that? I don't remember. Then I find my first draft which is handwritten and learn that I did. Automatic writing?
So far my only OCs have been crew children and a couple of women in Monty's life plus Simon's husband. Introducing new crew members is much harder, since they have to pull their weight in the crew, but avoid MarySueism. (Yes, that's a word!)
My only problems are with sex scenes. Apparently mine are rather graphic and tend to startle people who slap an NC-17 on anything past chaste kisses.

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Monday, June 16, 2014 5:31 PM

BYTEMITE


Revisiting this thread after several years, I can safely say that my fanfic I was writing at the time also turned out to be garbage.

So don't despair. Get through it, learn from it.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014 7:27 PM

BRENDA


I like to think mine has improved.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014 11:30 AM

AGENTROUKA


Hee, I don't think I saw this thread before. :)

I don't re-read them much. I started out writing Farscape and, yes, I would cringe at most of that stuff. Those were my first attempts at writing and in spite of the bad, those are good memories.

But I'm pretty okay with what I created for Firefly. They're not all winners, and I'm sure many could use some tweaking, but I don't hate them. I'm not ashamed of them.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014 12:40 PM

CAPTAIN_COOPER

...by my pretty dim sum bonnet, I will end you...


I think most writers I know are their own worst enemies.

Or... at least the good ones are! The ones who are confident their work is fabulous are the ones I usually make any excuse I can think of NOT to read...

Captain Bet Cooper,
Firefly Transport Jin Dui

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Monday, July 21, 2014 9:40 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
Hee, I don't think I saw this thread before. :)

I don't re-read them much. I started out writing Farscape and, yes, I would cringe at most of that stuff. Those were my first attempts at writing and in spite of the bad, those are good memories.

But I'm pretty okay with what I created for Firefly. They're not all winners, and I'm sure many could use some tweaking, but I don't hate them. I'm not ashamed of them.



I would second the opinion of AR's stories being generally fabulous, and affirm that I want to steal her writing ability somehow, perhaps by mugging, as I lack subtlety.

THIS IS A STICKUP ROUKA, PUT THE SKILLS IN THE IMAGINARY BAG.

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Monday, July 21, 2014 9:58 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Originally posted by Captain_Cooper:
I think most writers I know are their own worst enemies.

Or... at least the good ones are! The ones who are confident their work is fabulous are the ones I usually make any excuse I can think of NOT to read...

Captain Bet Cooper,
Firefly Transport Jin Dui



There's also something to be said about watching out for the ones with false modesty too.

A lot of people complain that their stories aren't very good just for the attention, instead of their stories being legitimately flawed and terrible in retrospect. Get off my lawn you mangy kids!

Some of us have worked HARD to be awful and take pride in that, then we have to watch someone trot out some 1k drabble that they churned out in a few hours and whine.

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