Categories > Original > Essay > Reasons I Will Not Give Your Story a Chance


by HatedLove6 0 reviews


Category: Essay - Rating: G - Genres: Humor - Published: 2022-09-25 - 2471 words - Complete

Titles Such as [Insert Canon Character Here] x OC/Reader (for fan fiction) or Emo x Prep (for Original Stories).

Nope. Absolutely not. I will not even click on it and give you a read on your first chapter. This is aimed more towards fan fiction, but the original story example is frankly just as bad to me, and here's why. (1) Do you know how many titles will be similar to that? Too many. So how am I supposed to tell your story from all the others right off the bat without clicking on it? (2) What if you want to write another separate story for the same pairing? Are you going to just put "CanonxOC 2" or "Emo x Prep 2"? No, because that would just look like the second chapter or the sequel to your first story when it isn't.

Don't get me wrong. For fan fiction, you can have the pairing in the title, and even though I would rather not have it in the title (although it's not an absolute deal breaker), that cannot be the only thing in the title. Think of an actual title, even if it's just going to be a temporary title that you'll probably change later. I'll be fine with that, even if, when you do change the title, I'll be a little confused at first. If I liked the story enough to put it in my favorites, I'll click on it to see if I've actually read it, and then it'll click that it's that story that I liked and that's the new title. So it's fine with me.

As for original stories, no. Not at all. Not ever. The reason it's OK with fan fiction is that people want to read about the canon characters and are usually specifically looking for one of these characters; although, again, I'd rather not have it in the title, but it's not a deal breaker. Emo and Prep? Shy girl and player jock? Teacher and student? Boy x Boy or Girl x Girl? (1) The first two are stereotypes and I hate reading stereotypical characters, so if you're going to just fit these characters into stereotypical boxes right in the title, that doesn't say "developed characters are here" to me, it says "I didn't put much thought into the characters, let alone the actual story." (2) For the last two examples, while it's not a stereotype, it's still rather useless to me because it's the kind of information you would put in the summary and in the story tags. For LGBTQA stories, I understand the want to put them in the most noticeable place to attract or deter certain people, but that is what the story tags and the summary is for. While the last two aren't deal-breakers, like CanonxOC/Reader in the title for fan fiction, it's still something I'd rather see in the summary rather than in the title. If there ends up being haters because you didn't put it in the title, but you did put it in the summary or in the tags, it's still plenty of warning, and it's not your fault that they didn't look at the story closer even though it was in plain sight.

Some of you may say, "But you put the pairing in your fan fiction, Cheater!" I actually have a reason for that. Originally, I only put "Cheater! [Ouran High School Host Club]" as the title, but that was because I only had one version of the story up, the Kyoya x OC version. Because I was asked to write a Reader-Insert version, and I thought it would be good practice to write outside my comfort zone at least once, I tried it. So now I have two versions of the story. Don't get me wrong, these two stories are very different, but they surround the same set of events, so it's also the same story. It's not like the Reader-Insert version was completely copied and pasted, and the OC was just substituted with a blank line; I don't work like that, but it's still pretty much the same story. Because of this, I thought having different titles would have been too confusing, so I just added "(Kyoya x OC Version)" and "(Kyoya x Reader-Insert Version)" so people know it's the same story, but a different focal point. I did put "[Ouran High School Host Club] in the title because I feel the disclaimer should be put in the footer, which may be too late to let the reader know that this Kyoya (that is in the summary and in the tags) is from Ouran High School Host Club instead of another fandom or that this story may be mistaken for a completely original story. The fandom in the title shows that the story is (1) fan fiction, and (2) it shows that the story is within this certain fandom so this canon character won't be confused with other canon characters with the same given name in case I don't have the full name in the summary. While I would put Ouran High School Host Club and OHSHC in the tags, the tags aren't shown in the list of stories when you're browsing or searching, so this just makes it easier to show that this story is Ouran High School Host Club fan fiction rather than Katekyo Hitman! Reborn or something else when you enter "kyoya" in the search bar.

Fandom in the title is good; pairing, not so much. Fandom and pairing as the only thing in the title are bad. Think of an actual title to accompany any extra (but necessary) information in the title.

Some of you might also say, "What about Romeo and Juliet?"

I'll be honest. If I had never heard of Shakespeare, and this story was in a list of others, I may not actually click on it for the same reasons as above, even though after reading it, I really did like it, but here's why Romeo and Juliet as the title work in this story. It's about these two people who are so madly in love, but both of their families are trying to split them apart. It isn't just Romeo's and Juliet's feelings for one another, it's also about each of their family's attitude toward each other and their attitude toward this specific romantic coupling, and it's about their death and the impact their death had on these families. So the title wasn't just solely because they were in love and were a (secret) couple, but it was also the impact their love and death had on the story as a whole.

Does this mean I should change my standards even though I could possibly miss a good story? No. The internet is vastly different from a book store or professionally published books in general because these books were already scrutinized by people who specifically look for quality and gave these books a pass so they can be published. Does this mean I would like every book that was professionally published? No, but this would be much easier to find books I like than if any original story was published and printed similar to online sites for original stories. I also make a distinction between professionally published books from self-published books because, without this stamp of this approval of a certain quality from a specific publisher, it could very much be similar to stories found on any general writing site, especially if the writer didn't hire a professional editor to pick at their work. I think it's great that people can publish their work and get money without going through a middleman, but because it's that easy, I am very reluctant to actually buy these books unless I can read at least the first four or five chapters.

And besides, there are exceptions to some of my standards. Not every little thing is black and white.

Titles Such as [Canon Character]'s Daughter/Son/Cousin/Sister/Brother/Niece/Nephew or Other Titles That are Just so Damn Common.

If you do this for fan fiction, I won't click on it at all. Ever. Do you know how many stories with "[Canon Character]'s Daughter" or "[Canon Character] x Daughter!Reader" as the title there are? Hell, just search "daughter" and then choose the Fan Fiction category. You'll start to see quite a few; although I am glad that there aren't as many as I first thought, still, it's quite prevalent. Even if this is a temporary title, I would not go with this. Choose something else, please! Even if you're the only one on QuoteV with this certain canon character and this certain familial relationship (adopted anything included), I won't click on it or read it because (1) little thought was put into it, (2) there are similar titles, just with different characters, and (3) it probably has little to nothing to do with your actual plot and the title takes the focus off of it. I have seen [Canon Character]'s Daughter stories but the focus of it was a different canon character's relationship with the OC, so it was CanonxOC romance, and yet the Canon parent, and the OC being related to this Canon character, was just a side note.

I do not mind OCs or Reader-Inserts being related to canon characters, but why make it a title, and then it has little to nothing to do with the actual story? Even if there is a bigger part to it than just a mention, like the OC actually does have a close relationship with the parental Canon character and it has been developed, it still would have little to do with the main plot unless this is a story focusing solely on the family relationship instead of CanonxOC romance or the OC going off on an adventure on her own or something else that doesn't have to do with the parental Canon character. And even if this story focuses on the family relationship, such as in a slice of life, points 1 and 2 in the previous paragraph would still apply. It's just not well thought out or original enough for it to stand out in the list of thousands of stories.

Now for original stories, it depends. If it's something like "The Pastor's Daughter" or "The Chief's Daughter," I'll probably not read it for the same reasons mentioned for fan fiction. However, if it's something like "My Girlfriend's Dad is a Cop," or "My Girlfriend's Dad Has a Shotgun," I may give it a chance especially if it's under the Romantic Comedy genre. (Rodney Atkins's "Cleaning This Gun," anyone?)

Now if in the story I find that the focus is on the relationship with the guy and girlfriend (or girl and girlfriend), and focuses less on the guy/girl trying to get on the dad's good side (because he is a cop and/or has a shotgun), I'm going to be disappointed and would give up in the middle of the story. The summary would probably hint at whether or not there is a large focus on mending the relationship with the dad or not, but in case I start reading before I read the summary, I would be disappointed. It just seems a little misleading.

Other titles that are common kind of fall into the cheesy puns category that I may still click on, but I'll be apprehensive about it. These include those titles that just gives away the story's content, like the titles including the words alpha, beta, omega, mate, or pack in werewolf stories or blood, bride, slave, or bite for vampire stories. It's those keywords or phrases that have most probably been done before by a lot of other people. Try having titles that don't have anything to do with werewolves or vampires, because it's the summary or tags that are probably going to provide that sort of information anyway. It's just those cheesy titles that scream "temporary" to me. And if the title is cheesy I might just assume that the rest of your story will be cheesy as well.

Titles that are Improperly Capitalized, Not Capitalized at All, Consist of Sticky Letters, or Every Word in the Title is Capitalized.

OK, I know the rules of capitalization can be fuzzy, especially since we—or I, at least—learned it way back in elementary school, but you can always review the rules on any number of websites. Yes, I know that there are different ways to capitalize titles, Association Press, MLA, Chicago Manual, and even the MTV website capitalizes every word in their titles (but it could just be that their website consists of articles, like newspapers instead of books or short stories). You can learn all about it at Grammar Girl or you can even use this neat tool that automatically capitalizes your titles in three different formats.

If you mistakenly capitalize or don't capitalize, a word, it's an honest mistake, but if it looks like you're not even going to put any effort into your title, I'm going to be really apprehensive about your story. I know I make mistakes, but now that I know there's that handy tool, I'll be going through my stuff and editing some things.

No chat-speak in either abbreviations or symbols. For example "jockstrap" vs "jckstrp" vs "!0(|{$+|?@|)." I bet you can't even read that last one.

No sticky caps! Sticky letters are when every other letter is capitalized. Using the jockstrap example, it would look like "JoCkStRaP" or "jOcKsTrAp."

Using Caps Lock or just not capitalizing at all is just lazy to me.

Some people use decorative titles, like in different fonts, and these fonts sometimes don't have capital letters. Eh, OK. As long as it's still easy to read.

There aren't a whole lot of stories here that do this, but for those few that do, I generally don't like decorations, like hearts, flowers, musical notes, etc. in the title. It really just isn't needed. Isn't that what the covers are for? Decoration? You can decorate your title on your cover for all I care about, but I really wouldn't like seeing it in the actual title. This isn't so much of a deal-breaker unless it gets in the way of being able to read your story. Unneeded spaces within your title also count as decoration. For example J O C K S T R A P or J o c k s t r a p.

What isn't readable to me are stories that are written in English—I know because there's a summary written in English right below the title—but your title is in pictograms, hieroglyphics, kanji, kanfu, hiragana, katakana, or other symbols I have no clue how to pronounce it let alone what it could actually mean. I will skip your story if you do this.
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