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 YoruSoi fanfiction cliches

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PostSubject: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:39 pm

What are some of the cliches in YoruSoi fanfiction?

Do you think they are a problem?

If yes:
What do you think are some ways that they can be avoided?

What ideas would you like to see incorporated into fics instead?
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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:58 pm

Yoruichi is a self-centered whore who doesn't give a shit about anyone else and who can't keep it in her pants. Soifon is a dorky and violent bitch, unable to stand on her own two feet financially(AU for that last one). She's a cold hearted ice queen, who turns into a stuttering pool of mush the moment sex-god Yoruichi walks in the room.

I mean, there's no denying Yoruichi is laid back and independent and all that stuff. Nor that Soifon is violent and proud and adores Yoruichi (The last one is what the fandom is based on, after all). And I'll never claim otherwise. But they aren't made of just these things. Neither of them is the flat character they're often portrayed as.

Another one:
Sakura trees = sex/make-out scene.

...I could go on, but I'm currently too lazy to think of good ones that aren't in all fanfics, YoruSoi or not. ¬¬

To avoid them?
Get to know the damn characters, stop being an idiot and copying what a thousand of people have done before you.
But obviously it doesn't work that way, and I'm just being petty.
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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:03 pm

Thingy wrote:

To avoid them?
Get to know the damn characters, stop being an idiot and copying what a thousand of people have done before you.
But obviously it doesn't work that way, and I'm just being petty.

That's the key.

There is a large YoruSoi contingent that only knows the characters through fanfiction, and have a distorted image of them because.

As for cliches themselves:

Yoruichi is always experienced and has a very high sex drive while Soifon is almost always a frigid virgin.
Soifon is uncommunicative of her wants or concerns.
Yoruichi cheats, Soifon takes her back.
Yoruichi comes and goes as she pleases, even when she is in a relationship.
Yoruicih is an "unchainable free spirit" who will not commit.
Soifon cannot break herself of the mindset that Yoruichi is infallible.
Yoruichi and Soifon can never work out problems on their own, they always need an arbiter to help things along (usually Urahara or Kukkaku).

I could probably think of more, but that last one really irritates me.

As to how to avid them, well I've never had an issue with that. Of course I have a different mindset with writing than others.

A lot of fanfiction writers are writing to gain fame and validation for a community. They want reviews and praise, so they fall into the trenches that have been dug over the years because that's what gets them the mos attention.

They way to avoid this is simple; fuck reviews. Rarely are they anything other than inarticulate praise. I didn't start writing fics for this couple so people who I see as nothing more than screen names could tell me how "coolz ur ficz Rzzz!"

And you know what? People love my fics, because they are risky and original. Of course, my plots take more effort to think up than the average fic writer is probably willing to put in and I care about my stories presentation far more than most other fic writers.

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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:06 pm

SoldierG65434-2 wrote:

And you know what? People love my fics, because they are risky and original. Of course, my plots take more effort to think up than the average fic writer is probably willing to put in and I care about my stories presentation far more than most other fic writers.

I'm actually visualising you buffing your nails with a cocky grin "Of course, my plots take more effort to think up than the average fic writer is probably willing to put in." Hear me, hear me. Bow before me, petty human beings.
Of course, that's just my allergy to anything that even smells remotely close to arrogance.

Now you make it sound as if you're actually better than the rest of us, when what got you your fame is basically just taking shots at the clichés and the characters. Of course, it's original compared to others but saying "we the normal people" wouldn't be able to think of them... I'm not too sure about that. Anyone who sets their mind on thinking differently could come up with most of the stuff you did. Obviously not everything, because you are a damn good writer with original ideas, but making it sounds as if everything you do is purely original and awesome and praise the lord... That's dangerous ground to step on.

But you're right, people care about the responses they get, not the actual writing. Meaning they won't actually ever start thinking about things themselves but just keep copying. So perhaps you are better than us in that regard. -shrugs-
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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:28 pm

Thingy wrote:

I'm actually visualising you buffing your nails with a cocky grin "Of course, my plots take more effort to think up than the average fic writer is probably willing to put in." Hear me, hear me. Bow before me, petty human beings.
Of course, that's just my allergy to anything that even smells remotely close to arrogance.
Really, I was just taking the piss. But part of me was serious, and I do have personal experience that backs up what I said.

Having spent as much time the the YoruSoi fanfiction circuit, I can tell you for a fact that a lot (read: most) of authors don't spend a lot of time with their fics. Especially on the presentation side. So many people do proof read, or even bother to spell check. They just slap together an angsty high school fic and call it a day.

I've been in the game for a while, and dug a pretty deep hole in the process. I've interacted with authors and reviews alike, and I can tell you that the majority of authors are hypersensitive, egotistical, fan wankers looking for a circle jerk from the fandom at large. They recycle fics because it requires little to no effort on thier part and they get reaves reveiws because fanfiction has built a culture of "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Really, if you want to actually do something about the problem of cliches in the YoruSoi fanfiction community, start actively reviewing. Tell an author that their work is derivative and cliched.

But on a side note; I am a pretty arrogant person. I though that was a pretty well known fact at this point. Unfortunately, I don't have a nail buffer, so I'm going to have to settle with crossing my arms and grinning smugly.

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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:39 pm

SoldierG65434-2 wrote:
They just slap together an angsty high school fic and call it a day.

Yes, this. Why always high school? That seems to be a majority of the fics lately. I am to the point now where I see "high school" anywhere in the description and I ignore it altogether, no matter who the writer is, because it's just so damn common.

Especially since, the way writers are, no one is going to make something that will top BebopSamurai's The Cat and the Bee.

I suppose it's possible that many of them write with a high school setting because they are in high school and they want to write something they know. But it would be better if they would challenge themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:09 pm

SoldierG65434-2 wrote:
or even bother to spell check.

Hmm. I don't think you should use this as a point to prove your superiority, considering the fact you make plenty of spelling mistakes.

SoldierG65434-2 wrote:
I can tell you that the majority of authors are hypersensitive, egotistical, fan wankers looking for a circle jerk from the fandom at large.

Really, if you want to actually do something about the problem of cliches in the YoruSoi fanfiction community, start actively reviewing. Tell an author that their work is derivative and cliched.

Because they would actually listen? Taking your first point and my personal experience, I'm having a hard time believing that people will actually care one bit about it. Yeah, they'll bitch at you and that's it.
The only one who I actually got far enough to listen to me and not start wishing me to the depths of hell, only listened because she was also Dutch. And because I was the only one who reviewed that thing.

SoldierG65434-2 wrote:
But on a side note; I am a pretty arrogant person. I though that was a pretty well known fact at this point.

Oh, well. Good to know. So far I had been giving you the advantage of the doubt and told myself I was overreacting, as I tend to do with confident people.


CaptainYoruichi wrote:
Yes, this. Why always high school?
It's easy. You know the drill and as a plus you can even work in your own frustrations, problems, routines. And just look at the reaction most of the fics get. Who wouldn't want loads of positive (but empty reviews)? So it's easy to just copy something someone else wrote, insert yourself/your problems on other people, and voilá... you're a supposedly awesome fanfiction writer. o_od
Can't go wrong there. Why challenge yourself if it can all be so much easier?
It's the attitude most people seem to have.
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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:25 pm

This is somewhat tangential to the conversation at hand, but over at The Escapist there is an article about
Boss Fights in video-games that contains several references to the topic at hand: tropes.

To save you the reading if you are short on time, here are the two key paragraphs relating to the subject we are discussing:

Ben "Yahtzee"Croshaw wrote:
But every now and again it's fruitful to take a step back and critically examine the tropes that have osmosed their way into the cultural zeitgeist as standard fare, and wonder if they are still having any beneficial effect or if we're just blindly following the leader without even considering if it's appropriate. Like how mainstream Hollywood films insist on levering in romantic subplots even while the entire rest of the film is a succession of medically significant blows to the face in extreme close-up. Or that peculiar tendency for Japanese animation to attempt to simultaneously cater for as many fetishes as possible so that jiggle physics are laboriously animated even if the work satirizes gender politics with its very next breath.

Ben "Yahtzee"Croshaw wrote:
So why, gamers of the world, did people complain about the fact that Half-Life 2 didn't have a "proper" boss fight? OK, it wasn't too difficult, but there was a very challenging fight with multiple striders immediately beforehand you could have classified as the "final boss" if it was that important to you. This demonstrates the other problem with tropes - if you use them too much the audience starts to expect them, regardless of whether they're appropriate, like the good little sheep they are.

And it also illustrates my folly of addressing game developers in these writings when equal blame resides with the audience. So basically, the biggest problem here is you. Yes, you, in the stupid shirt. Sort yourself out, for god's sake. And buy nicer clothes.

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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:17 am

My problem with reviewing fics I don't like or that I feel are cliche is that I probably haven't read it to begin with. Yes, it would probably benefit those writers if I handed out some constructive criticism. On the other hand, it's a waste of my time to read something I don't enjoy. I wish that I was a big enough name in the circle that people would know just by not seeing a review from me that their fanfiction isn't up to snuff. However, I am not that famous. Or infamous, as the case may be.

As far as my suggestions on how YoruSoi fics might avoid some cliches, I'd like to recommend that more people try writing from Yoruichi's point of view or at least try to examine her character more. A lot of YoruSoi fans are primarily Soifon fans that write it because its the pairing that makes the most sense for Soifon. People are still hung up on Yoruichi's exile hurting Soifon and recycle it in fics as "Yoruichi hurts Soifon somehow because that's what Yoruichi does." Even though Yoruichi had perfectly valid reasons for what she did and even though the last canon interaction of Yoruichi and Soifon had them working together to hold down Aizen on top of the Soukyoku Hill in End of Hypnosis. Not only that, but Yoruichi no longer had any homonka marks on her, which means Soifon recalled them.

This kind of goes back to a discussion Soldier and I had on my LJ:

Soldier:
Quote :
"People percevie Yoruichi as insensitive (at best) because she didn't tell Soifon that she was leaving. The fandom, having nothing else to go one when writing Yoruichi, turned this intoo a pervasive character trait; she didn't tell Soifon that she was leaving, so that must mean that she is really only concerned with herself."

And my response to that was:
Quote :
I disagree to a point there. The YoruSoi fandom, not the Yoruichi fandom, turned selfishness into a pervasive trait of Yoruichi. Other Yoruichi fandoms don't write her that way, and that's why it bothers me. The YoruBya fandom has the same issue in which Yoruichi left without telling Byakuya, but the majority of the fics don't center around that.

I realize I am picking on myself here, but think about it. If you went to a Yoruichi fanclub and asked if Yoruichi was selfish to leave, I'm quite certain most of her fans would look at you as if you were crazy and ask, "Are you kidding? She saved a bunch of people."
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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:36 pm

I think one of the, or perhaps the largest, problem with fanfction in general as a medium is that the vast majority of the "authors" don't now what their doing from a mechanical standpoint. This trickles down to nearly every aspect of the fics produced, so I'll break it down to make things easier on me:

CHARACTERS
To be frank, they're is a large contingent of YoruSoi shippers that are into the pairing because of fanfiction alone. They may have been reading an IchiRuki fic or something and YoruSoi got mention tangentially or had a featured subplot. They become intrigued and start reading other YoruSoi fics after that.

There is nothing wrong with this happeneing. When things go awry is when people start to write YoruSoi fics based on the distorted, fanciful, and sometimes outright false representations of the characters that appear in fanfcition.

I'm willing to bet that the reason that unfaithful Yoruichi is such a pervasive theme in YoruSoi fanfiction is because of the above. Someone reads a cheating YoruSoi fic as one of their first introductions to the pairing and they assimilate that unfounded image of the character into their image of them.

In order to write good fics that are true to the characters, you need to familiarize yourself with the canon incarnations. It's a technique called a character study, and it's been around since literature. You use the dialogue and actions of character to construct their personality.
Granted, there is alot of conjecture and interpretation in this, but it still requires you to familiarize yourself with the canon.

PLOT
What I'm about to say is going to sound very harsh and arrogant, but it's hard to deny that it's true. About three-fourths of fanfiction is the author masturbating in your face.

They're wish-fulfillment stories. The author may change they way either Yorucihi or Soifon acts drastically because they are projecting themselves onto them. They want be or be with Soifon or Yoruichi, so they alter things to better fit their fantasy.

OC's are the best example of this. The "Mary Sue" phenomenon is well document, so I won't patronize you. There is a large amount of fics where Soifon is hurt by Yoruichi and then runs into the safe, loving arms of an OC. I can almost garuntee you that this OC is a Mary Sue. This is the epitome of a wish fulfillment fic. Not only does the author end up with the desired character, but they also get to rescue them.

Pacing and structure is also a major issue in plots. Many plots meander without any clear destination. The jump from one sex scene to emotional break down while the reader is left wondering where things are headed.

SOLUTIONS
The purpose of this thread is to expose cliches in YoruSoi fanfiction and to discuss possible solutions for them.

One thing that will solve many of these problems if those that wished to write fanfiction had at least had a basic understanding of the narrative structure and the writing process. There is a mystique around "self-taught" artists. We a society tend to hold them in a higher regard then thous who are trained. I can tell you, as a musician, that any artist that is both self-taught and good at what they do is a prodigy.

It's about the basics. Take a class on creative writing or at least read some articles on the internet. Once you understand the basics, then you can start discovering your own style. But if you are self taught, the best you can probably hope for is imitating other's plots and styles.

The other solution is that we as a community need to step up and start policing the fanfiction that represents the fandom. Internet communities tend to have two mentalities; unwavering hostility on unrelenting praise. Fanfiction.net falls into the later category. There is a philosophy of "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything" on that site that frankly damages the authors.

The unceasing praise creates egomaniac authors that cannot take any form of criticism, constructive or otherwise. If constructive criticism becomes more regular, at least in the YoruSoi community, then better fics will be produced.

But don't think that every single fic requires you to read it closely and anylze it so you can tell the author what is right and wrong and how to fix it. There is also a gurth of fics that are, frankly, a waste of everyone's time, and we can't be afraid to tell the authors that their fic is bad. They are posting it on a public forum, after all.

Another thing that needs to change is the mentality of fanfiction writers. Why are you writing your fic and posting of for all of the internet to see? Is your idea truly that amazing and original?

The reason I got into fanfiction is because I am considering becoming a writer and fanfiction is an excellent exercise in characterization. Your are dealing with characters with predetermined personalities and traits and (I would hope) that the fandom would call you on it of you misrepresented them.

I also do it to fuck with the fandom, I can't deny that. People get so worked over the pairing, it's almost hard not to mess with them.

There is nothing wrong with writing recreationaly as a sort of emotional catharsis, and there is nothing wrong with writing fanfiction. However, one needs to be aware enough to know when things are best kept to themselves. And if they are not, then we should be afraid to tell them so.

Wow, this was a lot more unstructured than I though it would be. That last part sounds pretty douchey too.

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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:18 pm

I've probably mentioned this, but I absolutely despise OCs in YoruSoi fics. In the majority of fics that I've read that had OCs, they ended up with Soifon and marginalized Yoruichi to a point where she almost wasn't even in the story. If people want to pair Soifon with OCs, be my guest, but at least be honest about it. Or at least, don't be surprised if people are upset about it, because if you say a fic is YoruSoi, that's kind of what people expect!

The only exception to this has been Rei from Soldier's Every Time I Make a Girl Cry.
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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:39 am

CaptainYoruichi wrote:

The only exception to this has been Rei from Soldier's Every Time I Make a Girl Cry.

Ah, man. That's a total self-insert xD

Nah, seriously. I don't think there are a lot of OCs that can be taken seriously in fanfiction. After all, it's the unleash your imagination bit. It's what you want to happen. And if you want your self-insert to make out with Soifon and make Yoruichi a nonessential character in the life of your beloved... who's gonna stop you?
I can't deny dozing off during a boring lesson and suddenly being the Listener of the Dark Brotherhood. Of course, I laughed at myself when I woke up again, but it did happen.
Just take a look at the dreams about Bleach thing. Plenty of people have dreamt something about it. The fact they don't turn it into stories, doesn't mean others won't.
I've read it more than enough; "yeah so like this was a dream i had so i decided to make it into a story hope u like it!"

OCs just can't be trusted. Unless you're actually dealing with a writer who knows what (s)he's doing. Hard to find those on fanfiction.net.
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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:49 am

Thingy wrote:
Ah, man. That's a total self-insert xD
Drats, I've been caught!

Thingy wrote:
OCs just can't be trusted. Unless you're actually dealing with a writer who knows what (s)he's doing. Hard to find those on fanfiction.net.
I'm torn on this subject. OC's can really add alot to a fic and enrich the universe. Often times, reading YoruSoi fics feels like watching a snow-globe; the same little particles, just shaken up. Introducing a new, original character can really make things more interesting.

On the other hand, as you both a have stated, more often then not, the OC is just the author inserting themselves into the story, so when they get reviews saying that not only is the fic awesome, but the OC is as well, it's a double ego stroke.

Very rarely do you run into an OC that isn't that, in fact. Sine were on the subject, in literary terms, Rei is (or more accurately will be. The fic only has two chapters and she wasn't even in one.) a foil. Her character was designed to accentuate certain aspects of other characters through contrast.

But for every OC that has a higher purpose, there are thousands that are the infamous "Mary Sue."


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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:08 pm

I honestly don't see that many OC's in YoruSoi. I did however Read a fic with Yoruichi with Kisuke and Soi with Kenpachi. When I saw that I was like "NOPE." That was the end my reading that fic. In general, I can accept OC's, but there is no way I go looking for them.
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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:25 pm

Contributing to the discussion...

I believe cliches (for example, bitchy-Soifon, selfish-Yoruichi, the sakura trees) can be born from the fact that authors usually don't care about the characters when they write. "Soifon is so cool! I have to write a fic about her!" - and then, when the resulting character doesn't resemble Soifon in the least, a cliche is necessary to link it to the original (and this doesn't even have to be intentional). If I write myself as a ninja with an abandonement issue, there I have Soifon, and everyone will see the connection.

Then, I don't think it's forbiden to write sakura tree scenes. Not all of the authors know it's overused by the fandom, and they might want to do it even if they knew. If the fic is well-written, it's just unfortunate that we are tired to read about that. Problem is, fics based on cliches usually aren't well-written, because the cliche is there for the purpose mentioned before.

But the root of mistakes like that is probably something Soldier poited out: do fanfiction authors know why they are writing? If they had a purpose for their fic (I mean, a purpose other than letting out their own frustrations/wishes and receiving positive, meaningless reviews), it would probably turn out a lot better, with cliches or not. It doesn't have to be something sophisticated; at least a basic idea for a plot, and some concept to develop the characters. I will admit two things about myself: first, my basic understanding of the writing process comes from highschool classes, so it's really, really basic (and I'm sure it shows, haha). Still, I try in every fic to develop some idea, maybe even a silly one, because to write supposedly is to convey a message, and you should at least think about what message you're trying to convey. Second, I've been reading YoruSoi fics for a long time, but I only started writing because I wanted to improve my English for a test - so I cared more about making spelling mistakes than making characterization mistakes - and that brings me even closer to cliche writers, which makes me feel even more inclined to find solutions to that problem.

About OCs: I usually don't like them because if I wanted to read the tale of some OC, I'd read an original work. I admit some are well-written and make the plot interesting, but if I read a Bleach fic, I want to see Bleach characters. I'm not as radical as I'm sounding, but that's my general opinion. Also, I don't write them whenever possible because I'm lazy. And now I'm noticing this post is crushing any positive image I may have had.

About reviews: I think everyone is free to post whatever fics they want to, unless their contents is offensive in a politically incorrect way (racism, for example). Everyone is free to review any way they want, in the same manner. Bad reviews are just more difficult to write, because if you write "ur fic rlz!", the author won't mind, but if you write "ur fic suks", it'll be seen as a flame, and disregarded in the best scenario. I think bad reviews would really do a lot of good to the fandom, but who wants to go to the trouble?
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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:10 am

I think that fanficiton cliches exist for a variety of reasons. One of the main things is that your not starting from scratch with the characters. They already have set personalities and as the author it is your job to expand on these. Even for the most talented writer this can be challenging and easy to slip back into cliches.

Soldier, I remember you saying "If it's been done before do it better." This could not be truer. I know that there are fantastic examples of fics that deal with the cherry blossom scene or their fight or other examples that are considered cliched. I also cannot agree with you enough that as a fandom we need to step up and start to make it better from the inside out. Maybe it's time for critical reviews to stop being dismissed like Anil said.
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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:52 am

Problem number 1: Yoruichi likes to hurt Soi Fon Emotionaly for some reason.
Problem number 2: Soi Fon dosnt have the back bone to do something about it.

Those are basicly the main cliches i see in the YoruSoi FF community.
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PostSubject: Re: YoruSoi fanfiction cliches   Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:10 pm

Kikyouwuv wrote:
Problem number 1: Yoruichi likes to hurt Soi Fon Emotionaly for some reason.
Problem number 2: Soi Fon dosnt have the back bone to do something about it.

Those are basicly the main cliches i see in the YoruSoi FF community.

This.

I hate reading Fanfics that show how Soi Fong having encounter her beloved goddess for over god-knows-how-long, and Soi Fong immediately forgives her. Atleast have Soi Fong fight to not give in so easily...
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