Actually, I take back about the series I was going to cover, because this... needs to be seen and said. Why? Well, I found a fic recently on Ao3 and recent YnM works? VERY rare nowadays.
I was also boggled by the amount of comments on this work. Skimming through the YnM section on Ao3, very few stories had more than 4 comments (This is discounting author replies btw) unless it was multi-chapter, multi-fandom, or older than a year. And this story was less than a month old! So curiosity compelled me to take a look at it.
I am FLOORED that this fic got as many comments as it did and NOT ONE FUCKING PERSON pointed out a GLARING mistake in this fic.
Series: Yami no Matsuei
Title: Closer to Me
Warnings: A good idea that falls flat (Is that even a warning?), bland writing, Misspelling the MAIN CHARACTER'S name
Couple (if applicable): Tsuzuki/Hisoka
Plot: 7/10 - Okay, I'm going to give the author credit here. Basically, we see flashbacks of Tsuzuki and Hisoka interaction covering each of the anime arcs where one character visits the other. I thought it was creative idea and showing the reader how their relationship changes over the course of the anime. A perfect set up for build up fic or just random drive by fluff.
Now, if it was well written, this actually would be a better example of how to write fluff than the previous story I reviewed.
Writing: 2/10 - The biggest mistake an author can make, and that instantly takes me out of a story isn't boring writing. Not common word spelling errors. Not period misplacements or comma splices. Not bad characterization.
It's spelling the canon character's name wrong. Worse, the main fucking protagonist. And yes, 'Clean Kill', I am ESPECIALLY looking at fucking you.
I counted a total of THREE times that this fic spelled Tsuzuki as 'Tsuzki' (2 times) and 'Tszuki'. And two of these are near the end of the story and one of them is the LAST FUCKING PARAGRAPH of the GODDAMN FIC! There is no excuse for this, like none. It's like the author just threw this up and didn't either read it herself or get someone to read it over for her.
Shame on you readers who left comments and failed to point this out. Because if this was my story? I'd be beyond embarrassed and would fix it asap!
This isn't going into how bad some sentences sound, how flat the story runs, too much 'noun verb' sentences, Surgatanus (It's Sarganatas and I looked it up on anime news network to make sure it's correct) and just... how overall bland this fic runs.
A few examples:
"(Hisoka had never used a computer before the Shokan division, but he was learning just fine. He wasn't an idiot. Unlike some people.)"
For some reason, the first sentence didn't translate properly into my head, and I realized it was because my mind kept trying to put a verb inbetween 'before' and 'the Shokan division'. It is grammarly correct, but it just... doesn't sound right. Also, this doesn't need to be in parenthesis, mostly because it doesn't add anything to the sentence before it. It wrecks the overall flow of the story.
And this isn't the first time this story has interrupted/overall bad flow, trust me.
"Tsuzuki's joking tone and expression faded. “Sorry. I wanted to talk to you,” he said again"
A period is missing at the end of 'he said again'. Not to mention, you don't even need it, because we already know who is speaking thanks to the beginning part of this.
"Tsuzuki needed comfort, that was clear. The problem was that Hisoka was terrible at comfort. It wasn't that he never looked out for Tsuzuki, but he did it by shoving antacids in his hands when he was hungover (or by nearly killing him to prevent the demon possessing him from killing everyone Tsuzuki loved, but Hisoka was trying not to think too much about that), not by saying the right things. For a mind reader, Hisoka was shit at knowing the right thing to say."
I'm going to admit right here, I had to reread this entire paragraph several times before it finally translated into my head. And then it took another read for me to understand just WHY it wasn't catching with me. And I found the answer: the parenthesis sentence interrupted the flow of the original sentence.
The sentence in the parenthesis doesn't even need to be in parenthesis yet again. It could exist outside of it. The sentence flow is way off, it almost feels like a really bad run-on sentence and I blame the sentence in parenthesis for that. This story has a pattern of interrupted flow thanks to the parenthesis that doesn't even need to be there.
Also, Hisoka isn't a mind reader, he's an Empath. While Telepathy and Empathy can co-exist with each other and there's canon evidence that Hisoka does have a bit of telepathy, his powers lean to reading emotions.
And really, did we use 'shit' as a description? Not to mention, that last sentence sounds really awkward.
"But he knew that if he had called in advance, Tsuzuki would have insisted he was fine. (It was what Hisoka would have done if Tsuzuki had ever called him before showing up.) Luckily, Tsuzuki was home, which meant Hisoka didn't have to feel any stupider than he did already."
An example again of a parenthesis that isn't needed. And again, another paragraph I had to read a few times before it made sense in my mind, because a lot of the sentences in the parenthesis? Really badly interrupt the flow of the story.
I'm going to stop because if I had to point out every goddamn nitpick at this story, this would turn into a beta read. And I'd be repeating the same problem over and over again. Basically, the writing flow is a complete mess.
Characterization: 5/10 - The characters are flat as pancakes and this is more tied into the flat writing rather than characters acting OOC. For the most part, the author was on par with the characters, but the writing makes them... flat. I also think part of the problem was me having to reread parts of the story because it didn't seem to translate right in my head. And having to reread the same paragraph 3 times or more totally threw my mind out of the story.
It's a shame, because I find a lot of fics that are decently written are wildly OOC. I don't come across too many fics where the characters are IC, but it doesn't feel like them because of the writing.
Negatives: Flat writing, canon names are misspelt
Summary: Sniplits of Tsuzuki and Hisoka, covering each anime arc, and how they fall into each other
Overall: 4.6/10 - Flat writing can destroy a really good idea. This fic is a perfect example of this.
Again, shame on you commenters who didn't point out Tsuzuki's name being misspelled. We constantly complain about quality of fanfiction. Well, how are we going to improve the quality of fanfiction when we can't point out obvious errors like this and not be called a 'troll' or whatnot??? Yeah, it's a hobby and what not, but have some mother fucking PRIDE in what you post up!
Anyways, I'm going to stop before this becomes a rant. NOW next time, I'm really going to do a series I promised last time!