If there’s a plot device that I really hate in fic, it’s the use of “meddling friends”. You know, when friends and/or relatives of the main character(s) take the stand of “this is for your own good and we know what you need better than you do”. They then proceed to completely disrespect the opinions of the main character(s), contradict their earnest wishes, and occasionally push them into situations in which they are extremely uncomfortable. All this, of course, to advance the plot—romantic or otherwise. The actions of these so-called friends are presented in a positive light by the narrative, and the main characters inevitably forgive them because “everything turns out well”.
… YMMV, of course, but, in extreme cases, this trope makes me ragequit stories and hope that the affected character ditches all of their friends and family and moves to another country.
For example, there was this truly horrifying fic in which all of character A’s loved ones ganged up on him to push him together with character B, despite the fact that interacting with B put A into a really unpleasant mental state. These loving individuals ignored A’s wishes and figured that, when he said that no, he doesn’t want to see the other guy, he actually meant yes. They knew every detail of A and B’s sexual interactions, because obviously they were entitled to this information, and they spent a lot of time pushing A into adopting a sexual practice he didn’t want because “it would be good for him”.
Severing ties with all of them would be good for him. Like, what the actual fuck?
I could pull up quite a few other examples of such extreme meddling, but there’s a low-grade version of it, too—and it’s depressingly ubiquitous in romance fic.
In stories like this, the friends and relatives aren’t actively manipulative; they’re just terribly presumptuous. They will believe they know better what character A feels for B; they will insult A for being “slow on the uptake” and might even get angry at A for not making a move. Under threat of repercussions, they will demand that A “tell them everything” about their feelings or the latest developments in the relationship with B. (They “ought not be disobeyed” because “the consequences will be severe, so it’s easier to just do what they want”.) If character A and B hid their relationship, the friends will throw a tantrum for being kept out of the loop. These friends’ advice—quite often unsolicited—sounds more like orders which they expect to see followed.
It leaves the reader wondering just why A is friends with these creepily over-invested douchebags in the first place.
Of course, I understand why so many fic authors do this. It’s convenient, right? There are often points in stories when the author needs the main character(s) placed into a certain situation, and meddling friends can save the day there. Similarly, sometimes a character needs to have an epiphany, and the easiest way to make it happen is to have another character serve as the authorial voice in imparting truths and demanding action. I can see that.
But it’s still hard to view this as anything other than lazy writing. The same goals can be achieved through much better means—as evidenced by the many stories out there that do perfectly well without this plot device, and are the stronger for it. But, sadly, this trope doesn’t just come up in badfic; it also appears in stories that might otherwise have been called great and well-written. Sometimes, it’s played for laughs, but it’s not funny. It’s unpleasant. And frustrating.
And I’d be glad never to encounter this plot device in any fic I read ever again.
So, my friend is stage managing Macbeth and made this status today…
I’m quite pleased with this.
Rapping this out loud in my empty classroom like swag.
WALK INTO THE CLUB LIKE WADDUP I AM A BIG SCOT
I’M SO PUMPED ABOUT SOME VISION THAT THE WITCHES GOT
I WILL BE THANE, SO SAYS THE PROPHECY
THAT PEOPLE LIKE “DAMN, MACBETH DESERVES GLORY”
I reblogged this so fast guys
In my experience, writers tend to be really good at the inside of their own heads and imaginary people, and a lot less good at the stuff going on outside, which means that quite often if you flirt with us we will completely fail to notice, leaving everybody involved slightly uncomfortable and more than slightly unlaid.
So I would suggest that any attempted seduction of a writer would probably go a great deal easier for all parties if you sent them a cheerful note saying “YOU ARE INVITED TO A SEDUCTION: Please come to dinner on Friday Night. Wear the kind of clothes you would like to be seduced in.”
And alcohol may help, too. Or kissing. Many writers figure out that they’re being seduced or flirted with if someone is actually kissing them. Neil Gaiman on flirting with / seducing writers (via illfightyourdemons)
it’s not an obsession until you search for fanfiction
It’s not a true obsession until you run out of fanfiction to read.
And then there’s that obsession phase where you need new fanfics so badly you start to write them yourself.
jeez i would love to order that thing online, but i don’t know what size to order it in because women’s clothing sizes are determined by the alignments of the planets in relation to the fuck you galaxy
i found a threatening bookmark
THEY GAVE THIS TO ME IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL