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Writing quality has declined in recent years


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  • Administrator

About fanfiction of course.

Do you think writing quality of stories has declined in your fandoms? I feel the stories have definitely gotten worse in my fandoms - bad writing, riddled with bad grammar and awful Wattpad inspired plots.

What do you think?

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I would assume so since all the veteran writers have left. What's left is just word vomit, sadly. I'm sure there's some quality writers out there but they're pretty scarce, not on FFN, or migrated to AO3. Read one today and the writing was beautiful.

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Unfortunately most of my mutuals were good writers. They all have left the fandom for good. But many lost the habit of reading, which is a sad truth. Due to this reason, writers are no longer feeling encouraged. 

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3 minutes ago, Moonblossoms said:

Unfortunately most of my mutuals were good writers. They all have left the fandom for good. But many lost the habit of reading, which is a sad truth. Due to this reason, writers are no longer feeling encouraged. 

True that. A lot of writers sometimes needs a muse again to write. Something that resonates with them to spark that light again. It's difficult with media or books nowadays since everything's so homogenous. 

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I said it in the discord, but legit I have not found anything worth reading in years on FFN. Doesn't help that my fandoms are rather small there too.

Archive seems better, but I do find lots of crap there too, badly worded stuff, general stuff of terrible taste and I'm pretty sure I've run in a number of AI bullshit fics too.

My current process is, if you wanna read something decent, do it yourself, can't trust others to do it.

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  • Administrator

Kids also just don't write or read often either anymore if the kids in my class are any indication of the future.

So we have a generation of teenagers coming through and most of them don't like reading/writing - they get their narrative knowledge from tv and movies and that's not usually the best way to go about stuff - you're not picking up the vocab skills necessary to be a decent writer.

A03 has better quality writing but most of it is just erotica - no real character development, no epic narratives etc.

Wattpad is the definition of trash. You cannot find anything good there at all. 

As for FFN itself.... it continues to be a shitshow. It looks ugly as hell - they never modernised it (hence why Wattpad excels - it's modern). 

There are definitely still great writers out there - but they're getting harder to harder to find... or maybe I'm just getting older and I care less.

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Touching on what Sakura mentioned, the best thing is to do it yourself when the masses can't produce what you're looking for.

It's sad that a lot of good writers are gone and it's now replaced but cheap, quick fix stories that add a momentary high. There's no prose, no imagination, whatsoever. Sadly, FFN has been stagnant for years and the other platforms aren't as in-demand, I suppose. AO3 is nice but the amount of allowable tags is a turn-off. 

I guess the good writers have either quit writing or have evolved to write their own original stuff which they can control.

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  • 3 weeks later...

@AquilaTempestas
As an English teacher that specializes in writing, I think writing quality has declined in general. it’s hard to talk about fandoms because I left most of mine a few years ago so I don’t read much fanfiction anymore even though I still write it. The thing I’ve noticed that most public schools they don’t teach writing the way I was taught, and it might be because at least in the United States, the restrictions are pretty strict.
 

It might’ve also been because I was lucky enough to go to a private school in a good area. Longer novels are also in decline, and schools have been teaching shorter stories from what I’ve heard. I don’t know why that is, but I can think of a number of factors. One is that the rise of social media (especially those that don’t use writing) and very short form writing on the Internet among other things has led to decreased attention span. And even if you’re a good reader, reading and writing stories requires focus.

Another is the ease of self publishing, but there’s not really a filter to let someone know that it is not good writing or that’s something else is wrong. So the better writers that probably would go to fanfiction to practice or at least get their muse out if they chose not to write professionally are probably going to those sites. And that brings down the writing quality overall. There is an entire genre based off of video games for example and most of it’s indie fiction. I’m willing to bet that had this not existed, a lot of those writers would have stuck to fanfiction. It’s not necessarily bad that many people might’ve chosen to become indie authors instead, but it’s definitely different and harder for the fanfiction writers that remain.

The final thing I was thinking of was long-term goals. Writing by itself it’s just not a stable career, even though it’s possible to make a good career out of it. And especially with the rise of STEM, people that might have used fanfiction to express themselves or practice for a career probably were encouraged to turn to other interests. And it’s especially the case because you cannot legally make money on it, so there’s a little practical return unless you’re OK with it being a hobby. And the increase in stem over writing is something I do have strong feelings about, especially because I was someone that practiced my skills using fanfiction at the same time I was learning how to write professionally and eventually went into it as a career (combined with teaching and almost all my teaching is in writing) but that’s neither here nor there. There might be a chance for better writing and reading to make a comeback, especially stem probably gets over saturated, but it has to go through a dark age first.

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Writing is beautiful, but reading helps in improving the writing. The quality has declined because nobody loves reading books anymore. A few may prefer digital reading like Kindle which is also fine, and that's another way to gain access to variety of books if it's difficult to purchase them. However, kids these days learn to use mobile phones and iPads from a younger age, but nobody likes to read books. I and my sister shared a phone when I was in grade 11, and I got a phone for myself before I joined college, but kids learn to use phones when they are in playschool. I barely invested time time on a phone when I was 10, sparing the laptop. The attention span has significantly dropped off charts as well.

Digitization has made people disinterested towards reading books, since social media eats up their time. It's not just that but they don't utilise the digital advancements in the judicious way as well.

A lot of them want to simulate or image their favorite characters in certain scenarios. They end up joining sites like FFN or AO3 to express them. But, most of them don't have the resolve to improve the writing quality. They write just for the sake of expressing their interest towards their favorite characters and don't enhance the story quality. Worst case scenario, they don't follow the basic rules such as full stops, commas, colons, capital letters, and paragraph breakage. It's still sad to see children are not able to write well. Not everyone should be a prodigy in writing from birth. I used to be weak in English because it was not my mother tongue, but the school helped me improve and I took the initiative to make it better. It's just the mentality, in my opinion.

It's not just the language, it can be the poor story making too. They tend to be bland and boring sometimes, but maybe subjective from the reader's point of view.

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  • Administrator
On 5/30/2024 at 8:39 AM, onewiththewheels said:

@AquilaTempestas
As an English teacher that specializes in writing, I think writing quality has declined in general. it’s hard to talk about fandoms because I left most of mine a few years ago so I don’t read much fanfiction anymore even though I still write it. The thing I’ve noticed that most public schools they don’t teach writing the way I was taught, and it might be because at least in the United States, the restrictions are pretty strict.
 

It might’ve also been because I was lucky enough to go to a private school in a good area. Longer novels are also in decline, and schools have been teaching shorter stories from what I’ve heard. I don’t know why that is, but I can think of a number of factors. One is that the rise of social media (especially those that don’t use writing) and very short form writing on the Internet among other things has led to decreased attention span. And even if you’re a good reader, reading and writing stories requires focus.

Another is the ease of self publishing, but there’s not really a filter to let someone know that it is not good writing or that’s something else is wrong. So the better writers that probably would go to fanfiction to practice or at least get their muse out if they chose not to write professionally are probably going to those sites. And that brings down the writing quality overall. There is an entire genre based off of video games for example and most of it’s indie fiction. I’m willing to bet that had this not existed, a lot of those writers would have stuck to fanfiction. It’s not necessarily bad that many people might’ve chosen to become indie authors instead, but it’s definitely different and harder for the fanfiction writers that remain.

The final thing I was thinking of was long-term goals. Writing by itself it’s just not a stable career, even though it’s possible to make a good career out of it. And especially with the rise of STEM, people that might have used fanfiction to express themselves or practice for a career probably were encouraged to turn to other interests. And it’s especially the case because you cannot legally make money on it, so there’s a little practical return unless you’re OK with it being a hobby. And the increase in stem over writing is something I do have strong feelings about, especially because I was someone that practiced my skills using fanfiction at the same time I was learning how to write professionally and eventually went into it as a career (combined with teaching and almost all my teaching is in writing) but that’s neither here nor there. There might be a chance for better writing and reading to make a comeback, especially stem probably gets over saturated, but it has to go through a dark age first.

English teacher myself and I really do think the way we try to teach writing is all wrong. We focus so much on 'hey, make your writing pretty by using metaphors/similes' etc but that kinda isn't encouraging students to write in the way that is most natural to them (if that makes any sense). I really do think we're limiting creativity by insisting creative writing must be done in a certain way. In terms of just general writing, kids are used to 'social media' type writing and using AI - they're not really developing their own natural tone.

On 6/6/2024 at 10:58 PM, Moonblossoms said:

Writing is beautiful, but reading helps in improving the writing. The quality has declined because nobody loves reading books anymore. A few may prefer digital reading like Kindle which is also fine, and that's another way to gain access to variety of books if it's difficult to purchase them. However, kids these days learn to use mobile phones and iPads from a younger age, but nobody likes to read books. I and my sister shared a phone when I was in grade 11, and I got a phone for myself before I joined college, but kids learn to use phones when they are in playschool. I barely invested time time on a phone when I was 10, sparing the laptop. The attention span has significantly dropped off charts as well.

Digitization has made people disinterested towards reading books, since social media eats up their time. It's not just that but they don't utilise the digital advancements in the judicious way as well.

A lot of them want to simulate or image their favorite characters in certain scenarios. They end up joining sites like FFN or AO3 to express them. But, most of them don't have the resolve to improve the writing quality. They write just for the sake of expressing their interest towards their favorite characters and don't enhance the story quality. Worst case scenario, they don't follow the basic rules such as full stops, commas, colons, capital letters, and paragraph breakage. It's still sad to see children are not able to write well. Not everyone should be a prodigy in writing from birth. I used to be weak in English because it was not my mother tongue, but the school helped me improve and I took the initiative to make it better. It's just the mentality, in my opinion.

It's not just the language, it can be the poor story making too. They tend to be bland and boring sometimes, but maybe subjective from the reader's point of view.

And I agree - you learn a lot simply by reading. I can tell immediately who reads books in my classes and those who do not.

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