Self-insert fan fiction is crap. For those of you who don’t know what self-insert fan fiction is, they are stories written by fans, about worlds from books, movies, et cetera, where the author or authoress of said story has decided to put themselves in the story. Now, I’m not saying all self-inserts are crap, I’m saying some self-inserts are crap. When I say that, one self-insert comes to mind. Two words: My. Immortal. It’s a Harry Potter fan fic. I can’t even remember who it’s by, but just Google it. You’ll find it [You have to add ‘fan fiction’ to the search, otherwise you’ll get nothing but stuff about the Evanescence song.]. That self-insert is so horrible, it’s the kind of horrible that you know is utterly depressingly bad, but you can’t stop. For what reason, even you don’t know; maybe you want to find out why exactly they had this flying hatred to the written language in their brain, let alone typed it up and put it on the Internet for all to see.
Actually, the entire fic isn’t bad. Up until chapter sixteen, it was actually legible as something resembling the written English language. But then, the beta reader left. For those of you who don’t know, the beta reader is the one that edits/corrects the fic for grammar/spelling/all that jazz, then sends it back to the author/authoress before they post it. Now, there are times where you can tell that the beta reader only did small things, like a comma here, an apostrophe there, putting in the right pronoun when the writer accidentally slipped up. There are other times where you can tell that the author/authoress absolutely and positively depended on the beta reader like a lifeline. Guess which one My Immortal had?
After chapter sixteen, she couldn’t even use quotation marks right! Forget quotation marks, she couldn’t even spell the word ‘them’ right, for crying out loud! And she’s supposed to be sixteen years old! I’m not even sixteen yet, and I’ve know how to spell that since kindergarten! And you know that thing that creative license that authors/authoresses have? She completely and utterly blew it out the window. It wouldn’t have been nearly as bad if she had had a disclaimer, like saying that it was an alternate universe fic, [Not defining that one. Google it.], but she didn’t say anything like that. There were some parts that amazed me, where I thought things along the lines of, “Have you even seen the books in your entire life, let alone read them?!”
You’re probably thinking, ‘Now, it can’t really be that bad, can it?” Well, in response to that, let me ask you two questions: “Since when does Dumbledore have black hair?!” and “Since when does Voldemort speak in Shakespearean tongue?!”
I think I’ve covered all the finer points of how much of a piece of crap on a stick this self-insert is, so why don’t I talk about something much less crappy? Snake Boy is much better. It’s a really epic fan fic, only about twenty five-or-so-page-long chapters. It’s about Harry [Potter; who else?], who gets abandoned by the Dursleys in a forest when he’s four, and he gets raised by Syrens [poisonous snakes with large wings]; later, the Dark Lord takes him as his Familiar; I can’t tell you anymore story without ruining the ending. The plot is slightly predictable, but it’s only got a couple of grammar and spelling errors. The characters are kept semi-IC [in-character], with actual reasoning about why that happened. Severus has his dry sense of humour; and even though the Dark Lord is sitting before one of the highest-up serpents, and she is telling him that he will let her and her hatchlings [children] can go anywhere in his lair, he actually has to repress the desire to want to Crucio her; instead of simply saying yes, as others would. I’ve never read fan fics where they’re kept completely in-character, though; if I wanted that, I’d read the books, as other fan fic authors/authoresses have said, actually logically.
That’s about all I have to say on that. Read them both; or at least give them a chance. [Next time, I’ll be ranting about Mary-Sues. *rubs hands together eagerly* Very fun!]
~Tobi, Teen Center Advisor