Enjoying Badfic!

Romance novels are badfic given covers and a picture of Fabio.

I have recently had the joy of writing badfic for the fun of it.  For those of you who are not familiar, badfic is the term given to really poorly written fiction based on a previously existing work or character.  It is filled with clichés, bad dialogue and improbably events that center around the complete de-characterization of a character some other author worked long and hard on.

It can be enjoyable to write badfic though.  How often do you get to throw caution to the wind and make your heroine into either a carbon copy of yourself (because you’re absolutely certain that Riddick would totally change his murdering ways for you) or a complete paragon of womanhood that would put Martha Stewart to shame in the dominatrix of perfection category.  Speaking of which, how often do you get to write your main male character as your dream guy?

Actually, male badfic characters have a lot in common with really expensive vibrators.  Think about it.  They are always characterised as strong, hard bodied, able to run all night, and able to satisfy a woman every time.  I can’t think of any man who fits all those categories without rechargeable batteries being involved.

I love laughing at the clichés, how the hero will always fall immediately in love with the heroine, how she will save him from his own loneliness, how he will find her the sweetest woman alive, and not to mention how he is the greatest warrior around.

If you write badfic without knowing it, it can be sad.  But writing it for fun?  Putting in things like alabaster brows and hard muscled arms and certain a face like an angel or two, can make you laugh as hard as a cleverly written joke.  Take the time, write your own badfic, or enjoy someone else’s.


Melts in Your Mouth

These are crack to some people. Delicious crack.

I learned last night that M&Ms are made up of 25% blue candies, 25% orange candies, 12.5% brown candies, and a mixture of the rest of the colors.  I had no idea it was that simple and yet that scientific.  It reminded me of writing, and how formulaic and yet unique it can be.

Using a percentage can be invaluable when you are writing.  Thinking about what is most important to get in there, what is less important, and what needs to be left out all together (I’m looking at you, weird pretzel piece M&Ms) can help you craft your story as easily as if you had already planned the entire thing out.

Cultivating your own ideas is excellent, but pouring out your elements in exact proportions can be invaluable to the idea of your story.  Adding in elements too thickly, such as too much sex, or too much exposition at the beginning of the book, is something that can ruin a story that has a very good start.  Balance is very important, and should always depend on what kind of story you are writing.

If you are writing a zombie horror epic, I think it would probably be best if the sexy bits were part of that “assortment of red, yellow, and green” that you get with your M&Ms.  While the horror should definitely be your 25% of blue, the zombies your 25% of orange, and smart writing should always be your 12.5% of brown.

No writing is going to be as formulaic as this.  If it is, you’re doing something wrong.  But thinking about the M&Ms percentage mix can truly help you decide what is most important, what is least important, and what should probably be left out of your world-roving zombie horror epic. 

I’ll give you a hint.  It’s the sex.