The writing styles on AO3

seitora

Well-Known Member
#1
I've briefly mentioned it before, but the community on AO3 seems to have perpetuated multiple weird quirks of writing style. I see it on numerous stories, and it's really only on AO3.

One quirk is that writers seem to love to write brief 'asides' that break up the narrative flow. Here's an example from a Persona 4/Persona 5 xover fic that was linked a few months back that I've been reading.

-//- (and elsewhere in Tokyo, never thinking that he'd be figured out so easily--)

(Because he has always been alone, because the idea of Naoto and Akira talking to each other, comparing notes, being honest with each other, has simply never occurred to him)

(--elsewhere in Tokyo, Akechi is comfortable in the knowledge that Naoto will soon be gone from the city, she'll be far away from the Metaverse, and his plans for the metaverse can continue on, without any more surprises)

(He has no idea how wrong he is) -//-
Look at the punctuation on that thing. Never mind that it's also just leaping all over the place. I see this type of thing lots.


Another thing I notice is that there is a lot of writing in present tense. Instead of 'he thought to grab the mail', it's 'he thinks to grab the mail'. Again, it seems very obtrusive on AO3, and almost non-existent as a writing style off that specific site. Basically almost anything written in English anywhere else will use past tense.

I wouldn't have even cared to bring this up, except...these 'quirks' simply aren't very good writing. I'm baffled as to how they even seemed to have gotten popular enough to be repeated over and over by multiple authors. Like, is there a writing guide on the site that says to do these things?
 

AoMythology

Apparently a report-er
#2
I've briefly mentioned it before, but the community on AO3 seems to have perpetuated multiple weird quirks of writing style. I see it on numerous stories, and it's really only on AO3.

One quirk is that writers seem to love to write brief 'asides' that break up the narrative flow. Here's an example from a Persona 4/Persona 5 xover fic that was linked a few months back that I've been reading.



Look at the punctuation on that thing. Never mind that it's also just leaping all over the place. I see this type of thing lots.


Another thing I notice is that there is a lot of writing in present tense. Instead of 'he thought to grab the mail', it's 'he thinks to grab the mail'. Again, it seems very obtrusive on AO3, and almost non-existent as a writing style off that specific site. Basically almost anything written in English anywhere else will use past tense.

I wouldn't have even cared to bring this up, except...these 'quirks' simply aren't very good writing. I'm baffled as to how they even seemed to have gotten popular enough to be repeated over and over by multiple authors. Like, is there a writing guide on the site that says to do these things?
I've experimented with present tense in a few fanfics, or rather false starts. As for the other quirks, it's likely imitation and memetic behavior.

Edit: as in, they spread like a particularly virulent disease :p
 
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seitora

Well-Known Member
#3
I have to bring it up again because this present tense third-person omnipotent everyone writing style is seemingly omnipresent on AO3 and it's omniaggravating.
 

PCHeintz72

The Sentient Fanfic Search Engine mk II
#4
Its an odd way of writing I admit, and would give me pause while reading it... but I've not actually seen it there. The issue is there is very little I read from AOOO...
 
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