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LongSelfindulgentReviews PM
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Joined Oct '13

If you came here after reading one of my long, self-indulgent reviews expecting that my brilliant and insightful criticism could only have come from a mind that has produced some work of staggering genius then I have bad news for you. I am not creative in any meaningful way, and will likely never produce any non-technical writing that is worth a damn. I write long reviews, as the name would suggest, for me. I hope you, dear reader, enjoy them too, but they are principally for my own satisfaction.

If you are an author who received a bad review and are upset about it, please take solace in the fact that I know that I could never produce anything approaching the quality of your own work in the arena of creative writing.

There is one principal exception to this rule. If you write a sequence of chapters where the protagonist goes around to a bunch of different stores buying things for him-or-herself then you earned the bad review, and in fact I can produce something better than you did, just by copying your story word for word and then replacing the shopping trip with a single sentence summary. No matter how incompetently crafted my single sentence is, no matter how awkward and stilted, no matter how long it runs on, it will at least end in less than 20,000 words so the torment will be over faster than your shitty shopping trip.

That was cathartic. I should update this with more things that irritate me later.

It's later. Another thing I could do better than you just by summarizing: canon rehashing. I know what happened in the original Harry Potter books. I don't need to see Harry's first quidditch match again. If the obstacles to the philosophers stone are the exact same sequence of rooms it is perfectly fine to just tell and not show, because when I read your tell I can show it to myself. I remember what happened. Here's a fun thought exercise, take your fic and copy it all into a word document (you don't have to actually do this, but think about it). Do a word count and write that number down. Now read your own work, and every time you encounter a scene that is, in terms of plotting, principally the same as one from the books delete it. Do another word count. Divide the second word count by the first. If the result isn't 1 then explain why it was a good decision to write those scenes (not to me, to yourself). I think that, if you're honest with yourself, you'll find that you always knew that you were spinning your wheels to avoid the challenging work that comes later, and to linger over the stories that you (and the rest of us too) love. I get it. No hard feelings towards a canon rehash that comes from a place of love. If your answer to the question is that they had to preserve the time stream then I don't know why you bothered writing a time travel story to begin with. Laziness? Power fantasy? Can you just put in the fic description the chapter number when they finally decide to do something so I can start there? More to come next time I'm bored.

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