Review #196

Just The Way I'm Not

Ray does careful analysis on a potential trollfic.




Why did the quality of that comic drop so suddenly in the last two panels?

I lost interest in making it after I finished the beard.

Ah. Well, goodbye.

Speaking of Severus Snape, here’s a Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter crossfic. I believe it’s a trollfic, and in this review, I’ll be going over some ways that you too can identify a trollfic if you come across one in the wild.

Alright, let’s start off with the basics. First of all, this was found on Archive of our Own: already, we should be skeptical. To help us figure this out, let’s look at the custom ‘additional tags’ the author chose to use on this story.

Explicit Sexual Content, Alternate Universe - High School, Hobbits, martin freeman - Freeform, Crossover, Crossover Pairings,

So far, not too bad.

Originally Posted on FanFiction.Net,

Uh oh.

Teen Pregnancy, Pregnancy, Group Sex, Graphic Description, Violence

Uh oh.

Sherlock's Mind Palace, Mind Palace,

These are canon to the Sherlock series, so alone, they aren’t concerning tags. But what this does tell us is that in addition to this being a crossfic between Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, we’ll also be dipping our toe into the Super Who Lock fandoms. I don’t know about you, but I feel like it’s getting a little crowded in here.

I Love You, :3, Xxxxxx, Titans, HAHAHAA, Sexxxx, all TIEM loww!!!!!, i luv alex, Gaskarth, he's da best guitarism evr, luv u all, fhanks 4 reading.

Okay, it’s this last set of tags that’s putting up the most red flags. Jokey tags on their own aren’t bad: some non-troll artists on DeviantArt do this kind of thing all the time. As an example, tiny deer guy tags much of his artwork with #poo, even though (thankfully) none of it actually features #poo.

One thing that makes the tags on this story more red-flaggy is the wildly inconsistent tone. It goes from sentimental to cutesy to attempted-raunchy to fangirling and back to sentimental very quickly.

But really, it’s the spelling errors that deserve the most attention. We can’t go much further into this without addressing the elephant in the room, and that elephant is named My Immortal. It’s a Harry Potter fanfic by Tara Gilesbie. Go read it if you haven’t: it’s regarded as the Worst Fanfiction of All Time*, and it’s an interesting example of postmodernism.

*Now My Immortal is not remotely the worst fanfiction of all time to anyone who’s read enough bad fanfiction. The important thing here isn’t whether or not it’s actually the worst, but that it has the reputation as the worst. It’s because of this reputation that trollfic writers (trolls) will often reach to My Immortal as a shining example of what to strive for. Note how the spelling errors in the tags above look an awful lot like Tara’s spelling.

So now that we’ve acclimated to our environment, let’s see the title.

Just The Way I'm Not

By Xxxkawaiikandixxx

At this point, we can be 95% certain that we’re looking at a trollfic. In addition to the evidence gathered from the tags, let’s have a look at some more similarities to My Immortal.

The fanfic My Immortal was named after an Evanescence song, also called My Immortal. Tara, in her author’s notes, often expressed how much she liked the band Evanescence. The title of this story—Just The Way I’m Not—is the title of an All Time Low song. Say, what was that tag from earlier?

all TIEM loww!!!!!

Exactly.

And of course, we can’t ignore the author’s nom de plume: Xxxkawaiikandixxx. Kawaii was a recurring piece of vocabulary from My Immortal, but even more importantly, let’s take a look at Tara’s pen name: XXXbloodyrists666XXX. HMMMMMMMMM…

Anyways, thank you for joining me in figuring out how to spot a troll fic at a glance. Next time, we’ll—

You’re seriously done?

Yeah why?

Because you literally just reviewed the tags and the FUCKING. TITLE. THAT’S IT. WHAT THE FUCK MAN.

You fucking read it then. The similarities to My Immortal go on: the protagonist’s name, the sex scenes, and the author’s notes are some easy examples. I just wanted to do this to show the vetting process that goes into picking stories to review, since for every possibly-real bad one I find, there are two or three just like this to sift through.

Any chance this one was real?

I mean, there’s a chance My Immortal was real. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But most likely, there’s not anything else worth picking out of this one.

Fine. I’m reading it anyways.

Cool you do that. I’m gonna go format the review of Mother Goddess that Warnuts sent me over a month ago so that it can finally go up on the website. Until next time everyone!