Let's see ... I'm old enough for a mid-life crisis - don't have the tattoo to prove that (yet?) though, have kids, dogs, cats and a really great hubby. I'm a stay-at-home-Mom and am busier than I'd like to be, but there's nothing in my life I'd be willing to give up ... well, bills and taxes would be nice to ignore, but that's in an AU. I volunteer at a dog rescue shelter and that work means a lot to me - dogs are the nicest people I've ever met. For "pocket money" I sew and design for dolls. Reading is my escape at the end of the day ... I'd like to write at least one fanfic at some point soon, enough to be eligible to help edit others' works as a Beta reader at any rate.
I've come to love reading Twilight fanfics - admit to liking many of them better than the original novels, to the point that referring to the original books as "canon" seems a bit silly to me, that term seems more applicable to great works, not popular fiction geared to pubescent fawning girls.
So why read the Twlight books in the first place then? Because to me books are better entertainment than TV or movies, and sometimes you read schlock because it may be entertaining. A friend described the books to me as laughable but went on-and-on about why, which piqued my interest because anything that one can be so passionate - even negatively - about must be interesting in some way. So when I came across the 1st two in paperback and deep discount I grabbed 'em to see what was so interesting ... and as much as I agreed with my friend that the books were hokey, I was hooked enough to want to read all four. (IMO the best is the first of the series, after that they become increasingly more fantastic, and not in the good sense.) There is something about the original characters and their situations that is appealing; yes, the whole vampires are sexy thing, and the every-girl-who-feels-plain-fantasizes-about-the-hot-guy-finding-her-irresistible thing, but mostly the characters are ones you can identify with from your own life or wish you had in your own life; who wouldn't want Carlisle as a Dad or Alice as a good friend?
Someplace I saw a reference to TwiFF and was curious; I'd read Pamela Aiden's Fitzwilliam Darcy series and liked that as much as BBC's Pride & Prejudice (yes, yes, I admit, I enjoyed the DVDs more than the book!) so Googled Twilight and fan fiction and hit the mother-lode at FanFiction.net. I've found I like of-age canon pairings, Bellas with spine, and Edwards with baggage. And I very much agree with Algonquinrt's list of rants in her bio page.
Rant Warning: This is where my English Lit/Creative Writing major comes into play ... I do especially love reading well-written and well-edited fanfics. However there are some things that drive me freakin' batty when I come across them because ruin the flow of the story and put me off reading any further. Here is a list that I'll add to as I come across goobers as they annoy the frickin' dickens outta me ... (and when I find them on Beta'd stories it makes me want to send a virtual-duh-slap. Mind you, this all comes from the woman who sent out a department-wide memo having spelled "cattle chute" as "cattle shoot" ... talk about DUH.)
- There/Their/They're are not interchangeable. Ever. Period.
- Nor are "Too" and "To" interchangeable. Too basically means "as well as" or "also", and To is better defined here on the Free Dictionary site than by me ...
- Neither are Bare and Bear - the first either means to be naked or unembellished or (in verb form) to expose, the latter is an animal, or means to suffer or to carry.
- It's is a contraction for "it is" or "it has." Its is a possessive pronoun meaning, more or less, of it or belonging to it. (I admit I've mixed these two up when I've been tired or not paying attention.) It's been said before but there is absolutely, positively, no such word as its'!
- Apostrophes are for conjoined words and to indicate possession, not for plurals. Gah.
- Spell check is my friend, let it be yours too.
- I keep seeing "illustrious" used in lieu of "lustrous" ... I suppose that's fine if one wants to laud Rosalie for hair respected for its past achievements, but it you want to describe her shiny hair the latter spelling does the job.
- Inane "trendy" words that can easily make the writer or character sound like an idiot. "Totes" is the biggest example of that I can think of. Unless the protagonist is using the word in a mocking tone, it just "totes" like makes me wanna vom.
- It's "bated breath" not baited. This phrase is not supposed to evoke worm breath to attract fish with, just breath that has been 'bated, an old shortening of abated (meaning stopped or slowed by excitement) that has carried on because of its pleasant alliteration.
- The overuse of the word "whilst" in place of while just makes me cringe. From the Wiki article on the word while: "... there are no style guides that explicitly recommend the usage of whilst over while in any circumstance whatsoever. The general consensus among scholars of English is that whilst is an unnecessary and archaic word whose primary usage is by Britons who prefer what they perceive as a more 'noble' word. Its etymology derives from the early English whiles and, simply put, while is the word that has replaced whilst in modern English, just as thee and thou were replaced by you." Whilst is not incorrect grammar, but unless your characters are speaking lines from an old old play or are from Renaissance/Medieval times, just please, refrain from using that word.
- The garbling of parts of speech ... especially things like the mixing of verb tenses (past, present, future), and the lack of verb agreeing with its subject. For example: it's not "She don't has a clue" it's "She doesn't have a clue", and it's not "She don't never has a clue" it's "She never did have a clue." Sometimes these mistakes can sound like the writer edited their own work when tired and missed correcting tenses etc in the process, and sometimes it can sound just G.D. ignorant. (Here's a great page on the Interlink Language Center website that links to lessons that explain it all better than I can in this small space - or just get yourself a copy of "The Little, Brown Handbook" to reference at whim, really doesn't matter what edition, correct grammar hasn't changed in a very long time.)
- "cause" used instead of "because" (if it's the character speaking and the colloquialism is to shorten it to 'cause then don't forget that apostrophe indicating the word has been shortened), it's "a lot" not "alot" ...
- it's not "Him and Alice ..." it's "He and Alice ..."
- Starshinedown also has a list of things that make her crazy on her bio page that I agree wholeheartedly to ...
Things in writing that may not be "correct" but don't tweak my chain ...
- run-on sentences - ever read a 50+ year old edition of a classic from the 1800's? A sentence would easily run a whole long paragraph. So long as there are commas, dashes or parentheses where they belong it will still make sense and the reader will most likely not notice. Again, this is where reading aloud comes in handy, where you find yourself taking pauses for whatever reason think about what punctuation is needed if it doesn't exist already.
- colloquialisms - these can be GREAT for emphasis! For example; y'all, ain't, gonna, or verbs ending in -ing that are shortened to -in' (so long as that apostrophe is there, it shows purpose not lack of knowledge).
Uh, I played on Polyvore a while ago and made a "me & my life" collage ...