Not completely sure how I can post longer entries, such as cross posting the fanfics I've written so far. Can I even do that somehow? I guess I must do research. I only have three fanfics total, with another four in some stage of progress, even if it's only the title and an idea.
Something I'd like to mention about fanfics though. I've found that both FMA and FFVII have sparked my writing interest once again. I used to write a lot more back when I first started playing online games with Asheron's Call. It was a great atmosphere to write in and I lost a lot of work by posting it only to message boards and not backing it up anywhere. My bad and I've learned my lesson long since. Since I've started writing again and have posted my stories to fanfiction.net, I've noticed a bad trend on the site. Mainly that of bad writing.
Yeah, I know it's the internet and all and people don't seem to care anymore, but the sheer amount of just plain bad writing bothers me. I'm not even talking about the ideas. In fact, some of the story ideas are really good and pretty original, but the writing itself is horrible. I mean, I personally think I can write a freeform ramble with absolutely no point at all better than some of these stories are executed. Maybe because I'm so much older than the majority of those posting there; I'm pretty sure I'm old enough to be their mother in a lot of cases, which means that I benefited from a completely different school atmosphere. Not to mention that whole "Catholic school with nuns" thing I had going for me. I can remember being made to diagram sentences when I was a kid. Most nowadays would have no clue what that meant.
I can even understand typos. Everyone has them, they sneak in and sometimes the most careful proofreading can't catch them. I have one I missed in a story where I had an "if" instead of an "is." It happens. I'm talking about the plain bad spelling that permeates these stories, honestly, MSWord, while part of the devil's empire, has this thing called spell and grammar check. While I don't always agree with the grammar check part, it at least alerts me to something that should be looked at. Spellcheck is the same. But it seems as if these writers just want to get something out there as quickly as possible. That's bad in several ways. You should always, ALWAYS, reread what you've written several times before considering it complete. I edit my stories as I go now, and tend to reread what I'd previously written before I start any writing session. You have to make sure your story makes sense.
This last part really makes me nuts. The leaps of logic that take place in some stories just make no sense at all. I don't mind if you're goal is to get two characters together, but please don't have them look into each others eyes in one sentence, then in the next one declaring their undying love and intention to get married. Background and "filler text" help these things out. I tend to write boring stories because they are more descriptive than anything else (IMO), but I don't make leaps of logic either. Or I try not to.
I can't help but think this has something to do with how English and Creative Writing and Literature is being taught in schools today. One of the best friends is a college level English and Literature professor. My mother-in-law taught English for years. And I was taught how to write theme papers, thesis papers, persuasive arguments, etc. when I was in school. I can't imagine not writing the way I do, even if it does come off as stiff (been accused of that more than once on message boards).
The other side to the argument of letting people post no matter what it looks like is to prevent stifling creativity. If they enjoy it, over correction could give them a bad feeling and they'll stop posting/writing/drawing/whatever. I don't agree. If you're making serious mistakes, someone should tell you so that you'll avoid those in the future. Except that I've seen a trend on ff.net where people say "no flames" or don't want anything negative posted. Maybe it would be better if that sort of thing is done privately, but I can't help but think that's just a cop out. People don't want to be told they are doing something bad, or that what they did is crap. They want just good news and happiness and light. Constructive criticism is dead apparently. There are so many stories that I start reading because the summary sounds interesting but I stop within a few moments because the writing is so badly constructed that it's unreadable.
I'm not sure if there is anything that can be done. I'm not a teacher, and I'm not sure I could provide feedback that doesn't get me flamed as being a complete and utter bitch when I do so. But for god's sake, please at least take the time to read your own story before posting it for the world to read. Read it outloud so you can hear the rhythm of the words.
Gah, I just felt a need to rant about this. Don't get me started about some of the pairings I've read about that make no sense at all or are so badly set up it's not worth the pixels they take up on the screen.