What five nitpicky things do you wish writers in your fandom(s) would get right?
I have to say, I don't actually do a lot of reading in my fandoms these days, outside of certain archives, groups, etc. I probably should read more than I do. So... here's some stuff I came up with off the top of my head, that I vaguely remember from, say, the last time I trolled Fanficton.net. (Which has been, you know, a while.)
#1- Alias: Okay, I know the finale did some wonky stuff (some of us, me included, would say it went somewhat beyond wonky, into the realm of "J.J., put down the bong, and never drop acid again, ever.) but please please try to remember all the canon that came before it. Irina, for example. Not always evil, not always simply out for global domination.
(A special no love to J.J. Abrams on that one, for making Irina a Bond villain. Of course, what do I care? My Irina has been AU, one way or another, since the end of season 2.)
#2- Harry Potter. Slytherins are people too. No, really, stick with me on this one. Not all Slytherins are cardboard-cutout evil (are we sensing a theme here, btw?) ...and at the same time, not all of them can be redeemed, or should be. One thing Severus Snape does not need in any way, shape, or form, is your vapid, Mary Sue self-insert OC and her vapid, Mary Sue-ish purple prose. And his hair really is greasy. Please just deal with that.
#3- All fandoms. Okay, this is
really nitpicky. I write a lot of AU. Some of it's a little AU, some of it is a lot AU. It's all got one thing in common: I change stuff.
This really isn't that hard to understand. But people will insist on believing in the main AU (for example, I had someone review "Never To Be Alone In The Dark", which is an unfinished chapterd Babylon 5 story where Marcus survives. (I'd link it, but it's M/I, and most of my friends are sick to death of that one, and I don't want tomatoes thrown at me.) The reviewer was okay with that part, but told me I'd made it look like Marcus and his brother hand gone through Ranger training together, which they didn't do. Except that in "Never," they did. This isn't in any way really important to the plot, it's just something that comes up in a conversation Ivanova has with a Ranger who had a crush on William, Marcus's brother. And yet every time I go through my folder of saved reviews- and this one was overall nice, and I did save it- that comment drives me fucking crazy.
I guess it bugs me because it's not the only time that's happened. I had people- numerous people- accept the total freaking AUness of "Emerald & Ebony," in which Harry kills Voldemort in 5th year. (Happens 'offscreen', as it were, but still.) And what do they gripe about? I had Snape and Minerva the same age, and this apparently is a serious goof on my part. Except, you know, for the part where I meant to do it that way.
One of these people also told me how old Hagrid was. Hagrid played no major part in the story at all- I think I had him there for about two seconds, talking to the Trio. His age had no relevance. (And, not being a Hagrid fan, I really didn't care.)
It's fanfic, kids. It's all pretty much AU anyway.
#4 - Alias. History, people. If you're going to do something like write about Jack and Sloane running around doing CIA stuff back in the day, or Irina doing KGB stuff, please please try to get at least a faint grasp on what was going on in the area of the world you put them in, at the time you put them there. I know it's complicatd- I have a huge
book on the KGB that I still haven't made it all the way through- but I know we can remember the big stuff, like when the Soviet Union collapsed. There should be an obvious difference between AU ("What if the Soviet Union never collapsed, and Irina was running the KGB?" and historical inaccuracies ("It's, say, 1999, and we're still talking about things like the Iron Curtain, West Germany, and Krushchev, not in an alternate history kind of way, but in an "oops, I got a D- in history, sort of way.")
#5 - Star Wars. This, too, is quite bitchy on my part, but, look. I've read the majority of the books, particularly the Zahn novels, about a billion times, with particular attention to the characters I like best. Please spare me the "I think 'x' was standing over there, not there
when y event happened." Dude. I re-read
that chapter, just to make sure I got it right for the fic. I do know what I'm doing.