New year, new news

Hey, Halfworlders. I would have posted that last chapter of Fifty Shades several days ago, but unfortunately my laptop containing the in-progress review is away for repairs. I’ll have it back in a few days, no worries.

Over the last couple days, I’ve been going through my old MSTs — doing some minor edits, mostly. It’s been a bit of a nostalgia trip for me, as odd as that sounds, but it also got me thinking. Back when I first started doing MSTs, I was a fifteen-year-old kid; not much older than the authors whose works I was mocking, and, indeed, younger than at least a couple of them. Now, though, I’m a few months away from turning nineteen, and it’s starting to feel a little unfair of me to be picking on bad fanfic writers; many of them are in their early teens, or even pre-teens. They’re just kids. They may not know how to write, but their poor attempts at writing are basically harmless, and for me to be ripping apart the work of barely-pubescent kids seems pretty cruel now that I’m past that age myself.

That isn’t to say I’m condemning the idea of MSTing fanfic in general, or that I’m never gonna do another MST, but I think it’s time to refine the criteria a bit. Many of the fics I’ve MSTed in the past have been author-insert fics written by fangirls in their early teens, but that sort of thing doesn’t seem too fair for me to criticize — if young girls wanna pretend that they have super awesome powers and that they’re married to Zim from Invader Zim, then more power to them, I guess, and far be it from me to judge them for a little harmless escapism. Seemed like fair game when I was around that age myself; doesn’t seem fair now.

On the other hand, stuff like My Immortal and Forbiden Fruit will forever be fair game for reasons I’m sure don’t need explaining (you can’t not laugh at one of those). I stand by my sporking of Love Knows No Race, as it was the literary equivalent of a hairball and also contained multi-generational alien twincest (somehow presented as totally okay?). Trollfics, like those of MarissaTheWriter, are practically written for people like me to pick apart and have a laugh at. (Well, in the case of MarissaTheWriter’s fics, they were literally written for me.) And I feel justified in MSTing Dibra, as the way it portrays sex and gender is pretty screwy and deserves to be criticized.

I’m not gonna swear off MSTing; I think it’s fun, and I think there are fanfics that deserve it (hell, some authors are totally fine with their work being picked over in this manner, too — I’ve even had authors request that I MST their fics a few times). But I’ll be more careful in choosing my targets. I don’t want to turn into some sort of internet bully here; that’s never been my aim with these MSTs. I don’t want to dissuade any twelve-year-olds from becoming writers simply because they wrote a second-rate fanfic (and, honestly, I’m not sure what other kind of fanfic you could expect from a twelve-year-old).

You know what is always an acceptable target, though? Published fiction.

I don’t know if I can continue on to the rest of the Fifty Shades saga right away; I might need a break. But there are plenty of bad books out there. There are so many works of fiction — bestselling ones, even — that are absolutely dreadful. Look at Twilight. Look at all the shitty young adult novels inspired by Twilight. And now remember that everything written in those books is being read by a large and impressionable audience. Surely that kind of writing deserves to be ripped to shreds here on THW.

In short, what I’m saying is that this blog is gonna be shifting focus a bit; there’ll still be MSTs from time to time, but I’m planning on doing mainly bad book reviews. Please do not send me any submissions for fics to be MSTed at this time. I may decide to close MST submissions indefinitely. 

I’ll be finishing up the MSTs in progress; no worries.

Thank you all for being a great audience. Here’s to another year of awful writing and despair-inducing blog posts here on The Half-World!

19 Responses to “New year, new news”

  1. Speaking of MSTing terrible published fiction (more specifically, Twilight), there’s a blog that’s ripped apart the entire Twilight saga. Don’t know if you’ve come across it, but it’s pretty damn funny

  2. Inbar Ink Says:

    “.Please do not send me any submissions for fics to be MSTed at this time. I may decide to close MST submissions indefinitely. ”
    Does this also include Author’s Request MSTs?

  3. Progeny Ex Machina Says:

    Truth be told, I could easily have been a completely genuine version of Tara Gilesbie back when the fic was posted, so I definitely see where you’re coming from. I still make up idiotic Sue fantasies, and my age and experience may well be the only thing stopping me from uploading my crap and expecting people to love it.

    One question: if I finish my MST of “Becoming Female”, will you still consider posting it? I think there’s a lot more wrong with it than simple childishness, but it’s your call. It’s fine with me if you feel it wouldn’t be right.

  4. You’re welcome! Are you still going to do Fanfic Reviews?

    Also, if I may suggest a published series for criticism, the House of Night series is essentially bad fanfiction but original. I’ve been thinking of reviewing it myself…

  5. As for books, I would recommend EVERYTHING by Christopher Pike, the man is talented in all the wrong ways. I would suggest checking out ‘The last vampire’ series, it’s basically Twilight for men, with a sexy, (supposedly) bisexual blonde vampire girl, who alternates between a heartless killer, and an angsty tortured soul. It’s written in first person, and she is even more insufferable than Bella.
    As for Twilight, it’s so overdone, I don’t think anyone cares about it anymore. I think you should look for other terrible books instead of just rehashing old territory. Like look through blogs making fun of bad books, and avoid ones that have already been done. Here’s a few good bad fiction blogs The Hawkmistress mock is really good, but the book itself is terribad. Miscellaneous snark. I hope this helps.

  6. This is…


    I always thought you were game for MSTing anything, given it is sufficiently bad (and in case of Grimdark Skep, even when it isn’t bad, outright making up reasons why it is bad purely for the audience), but I guess not.

    • It’s turning into a “why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” issue. I don’t wanna be the asshole on the internet who picks apart the works of 12-year-old girls. There are plenty of bad works of published fiction out there that deserve to be laughed at.

      It’s not an issue of being “game”, it’s an issue of me not wanting to be a complete dick.

  7. I would reccomend the Inheritance Cycle. Now *those* are some terrible piles of fecal matter.

  8. Whole L33t Bread Says:

    If you’re looking for published pectin, but don’t want to read to much, may I suggest the manga series Princess Ai?
    The series only has three volumes and the character is literally as author-inserty as it gets. Everyone loves her even though she is a huge snob, and apparently she’s also a ~*~ supah speschul~*~ angle or something?
    It was also popular enough to get an official English translation so, yEAH…

  9. Any chance of doing other famous bad published stuff, like… I dunno, Chris-chan/Sonichu?

    • Self-published stuff is a different ball of wax, and enough people have already picked on Chris-chan that I don’t feel the need to. (Also, he’s got some mental issues, and as a neurotypical person I don’t feel comfortable ridiculing the work of someone with mental impairments.)

  10. Hey Skep, got any tips for a fellow MSTer? I’m currently sporking a godawful Wizard101 fic and the chapter I’m at is mostly filler, so I have nothing to work with except if I were to repeatedly point out that it’s fucking filler. Have any advice on how to get through it?


    • Yeah, that’s the tough part.

      You could cut some of the text and summarize what happens in order to get to a part you can comment on more easily, maybe.

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