Pet Peeves & small dogs

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Title: Pet Peeves & small dogs
Creator: Miriam Heddy
Date(s): 1999
Medium: text, online
Fandom: The Sentinel, Highlander, Due South, unspecified
External Links: list
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Pet Peeves & small dogs is a list of fanfic phrase clichés by Miriam Heddy, (with comments by Livia, Sandy, Destina, Ces, Brighid, Lucy, Julad, Rachel, and Merry.)

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The List

  • the phrase: "his wide, male mouth" (c'mon--show me the evidence that men have wider mouths than women. Sometimes men seem to have big mouths, but wide?)
  • song-stories with somebody else's lyrics lazily used in place of a narrative or dialogue supplied by the slash author. Check out Stephen King, one of the few authors I know of to put song lyrics to good effect.
  • "tongues dueling in moist caverns" (aka kissing cliches).
  • boys declaring their undying love to each other while exchanging rings (well, nipple rings are okay) Also to be avoided is guys calling each other 'husband.'
  • Mary Sues (you know who you are) both male and female.
  • "yenta" stories ("Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch").
  • stories told from an animal's POV (this includes spirit guides and beenie babies <tm>)
  • short men who are turned into children and then fucked (pedophilia is *so* not a turn on for me).
  • stories where one guy mentally or verbally (out loud) refers to the other as "lover" in the first few paragraphs of a story. It's a cheap and lazy way to establish that the story is not a "first-time" and annoys the hell out of me.
  • stories with skipping, ranging, or inconsistent POV (except for those stories I wrote 2 years ago--those are just fine <g>).
  • Elf men. Male elves. Female elves. Anything that belongs in a Tolkein story.
  • angels--Yes, I'll admit that sometimes Blair looks vaguely angelic, when the sunlight hits him just so, but let's leave it at that.
  • any man over 16 years old beginning a sentence with "Dear Diary."
  • spanking stories where the corporal punishment is *actually* punishment for doing something wrong (see note on pedophilia stories) and not an admitted turn-on for the characters or the author. NOTE: I believe in the freedom to express the full range of possible (and impossible) kinks in slash stories, but if you insist that "Domestic Discipline" is non-sexual and thus not a kink, then what you're writing/reading/defending is the fictional depiction of Domestic/Spousal Abuse, the practice of which is morally/ethically wrong.
  • Clichés of all makes and models.
  • stories where the guys, upon the removal of their clothing, suddenly morph into hard-bodies. This seems to happen to Bodie, oftener than not, and is guaranteed to throw me right out of a story. He's beautiful. He's gorgeous. He's lovely. He's brilliant. And stories where he's got a flat belly with rippling muscles drive me right 'round the bend. C'mon, luvs, there's a great big Swiss Roll in the center of the room. It isn't pink, and it's not invisible. Let the man have his pleasures and a human body.
  • fetishizing and sexualizing anorexia and illness/injury-derived weight-loss. I've noticed a disturbing trend, most especially inPros stories, but elsewhere as well, where one man (in Pros, usually Doyle), through injury or depression or both, becomes painfully thin. Strangely, this supposed sign of the character's poor health then becomes a sexualized and idealized state, with much eroticization of concave belly, rib-counting, and hollow-eyed, hollow-cheeked fragility. Beyond merely ordinary h/c, this seems to be a particular kink, and what it means that women are writing it worries and saddens me.