I’m loving me some FrostIron right now. I love how hot both guys are, I love how they’re dark and light mirror images of each other (life experience-wise), I love their snark, their wit, their fucking genius brains. In the hands of some awesome writers out there, this pairing has quickly become my personal crack. Between tumblr and AO3, I’ve blown solid days of my life soaking up the Loki/Stark goodness.
I have, however, noticed an unfortunate trend resurfacing, one that’s sure to yank me out of an otherwise good fic every single time: the epithet. i.e. “the taller man”, “the redhead”, “the mischief god”, “the mad genius”, “the [insert descriptive word/phrase here]”. These might not seem so bad, and used in moderation - moderation being once per page, if that - they aren’t. But when they’re used constantly in an effort to avoid using proper names, there lies the badness.
This isn’t anything new. I abused the epithet when I was a new fic writer (likely back when the majority of tumblr users were in diapers), but I was lucky enough to get to know a few professional writers who steered me away from it with explanations of why the epithet is such a bad idea when it comes to striving for good writing.
Basically it comes down to this: does the epithet (description) you’re using in place of a name have any bearing on what’s taking place in the scene? Are Tony or Loki’s hair colors, heights, or job descriptions important to the action at hand? If yes, hey, cool, carry on, my friend. If no, then why are you using them? Is there some danger that the reader is going to forget what Loki, Tony, any other character looks like? What they do for a living? Because that’s what you’re implying by slinging out an epithet multiple times, that the reader can’t be trusted to remember anything about them. It’s annoying, at the least, actively off-putting most times.
If you’re tired of seeing proper names over and over, sorry, you’re in the minority. The extreme minority. Most people’s eyes skim right over them, accepting, processing and moving on in a fraction of a second. Epithets, however, force the reader to stop and think and try to place things. It interrupts the flow of the story, another check mark against them.
There have been many articles written over many years on this, many of which are far more eloquent than I and if you’re still ambivalent on the subject, I highly recommend giving them a read:
In conclusion…Jesus fuck I’m on a soapbox! I haven’t bothered pontificating on writing in a good ten years. Normally I’m just “whatever” and moving on to a fic that doesn’t make me grind my teeth. But this is what happens when I ship a pairing that doesn’t have a ton of fanfic and some of the awesome writers are the worst offenders. I want my plotty (or not, because yay porn!) FrostIron, I want them as egotistical and narcissistic as we know they are, as brilliant and cutting, as emotionally broken and over-compensating as they can get. But I want Loki and Tony, not a bunch of stand-in epithets.
There are now almost 100 fics there for your reading pleasure. There are a multitude of fics; humour, crack, mpreg, AU, highschool/university, series, and more!
I’m sorry it too me this long to get everything sorted and put down, I’ve been working on this list for a long while now. I hope it will be useful to you guys. Before asking the blog about ‘if you know of any…’ check out the list and maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for. If not then please feel free to ask the blog. If I’ve missed including anything on there or I’ve made a mistake let me know.
That would be awesome.
when you finish a complete one
waiting for the next chapter
when you see that one is updated
Title: Of Liars’ Gifts, and Gifted Liars
Rating: Obscene (here and there)
Word Count: 23,100-ish
Warnings: Flagrant amorality, varying degrees of psychosis, a bit of sex, and a lot of snark. Welcome to the S. S. Frostiron.
Summary: A series of exchanges between a pair of talented showmen: mutual torment of a verbose nature, unexpected gifts, and the peculiar honesty of a pair of craftsmen proud of their own work, and willing to admit admiration of another’s. Also featuring: Loki talking his way out of incarceration, Tony Stark making reckless business decisions on a whim, and much much more.
AHHHHHHHH SO GOOD.
[INTERNALLY GUSH AT HOW WELL WRITTEN AND AMAZING THE STORY IS (Fanfic Flamingo) SPEND ONE HOUR TO WRITE A HALF ASSED TWO SENTENCE REVIEW]
story of my life.