[identity profile] thepouncer.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] the_comfy_chair
I’ve been thinking about making this post for a while, because I read a lot of Atlantis stories, and frequently I’m thrown out of a story (that isn’t an obvious alternate universe) because of deviations from canon that seem random or nonsensical. In my less charitable moments, I chalk those deviations up as errors, as mistakes that could have been caught by a good beta or by researching the show a bit more. Other times, I’m able to shrug and continue. But it always lessens my enjoyment of the story in question and if the deviations are too egregious, I stop reading and go on to the next one.

There have been stories that I thought were otherwise marvelous, but the canon deviations were too overt for me to embrace them fully. I’m not talking about characterization, because that’s often in the eye of the beholder. As a reader, I try to immerse myself in an author’s words, but if a story contradicts canon for no good reason that I can see, my critical faculties blare an alarm: wait, what was that? Why? Why would XYZ happen given that the show said ABC? Instead of going with the flow of the story, I’m busy trying to problem-solve. I can’t relax and enjoy the writing, because I haven’t been given a basis for the changes. Suspension of disbelief only takes me so far.

Of course, I like canon. I like the show; I think it has room for stories that are humorous and funny and romantic and adventurous and serious and angst-filled – an entire spectrum of emotion and potential without venturing into alternate universes, although those can be cool too.



For the purposes of this post, I want to discuss Sabine’s ([livejournal.com profile] iamsab) The Pegasus Society (McKay/Sheppard, NC-17). She does what writers are told never to do and switches point of view freely between John Sheppard, Rodney McKay, and Atlantis and it works. The story takes place after the events of The Brotherhood, and this is where I start to have problems with canon deviations.

There seem to be three types of deviations:

(1) Things that directly contradict what was shown on screen, during an episode.

Bates is a Lieutenant in the story, while he was clearly a Sergeant throughout the first season.

(2) Things that are logically inconsistent with what was shown on screen, yet don’t contradict anything specific.

There is coffee in the story, while Rodney says Atlantis is “almost out of coffee” in Underground. Maybe he had a secret stash, but it stretches my suspension of disbelief that no explanation at all is given for the continued existence of coffee in Atlantis some weeks later.

(3) Things that contradict reality, given that Atlantis is supposed to take place in the “real world”.

Rodney eats donuts. We were never told that there weren’t donuts in the latter half of the season, but I know enough about cooking that it seems farfetched that scarce resources would be devoted to mixing flour, sugar, and yeast and deep frying in oil to produce nutritionally-bereft sweets. Especially given the episodes devoted to locating food for trade and the emphasis on Atlantis’ isolation and need for supplies to ensure basic survival.

The latter point is more fluid, because the way things happen on the show doesn’t always align with the real world, so it’s definitely subjective. If the show is patently unrealistic about something, should a story hold itself to a higher standard or go with the show canon? Try to find some sort of middle ground?

The truly weird thing is that small changes would have made The Pegasus Society into an ideal story for me. Have Rodney eat some sort of Athosian sweetcake, drink tea and complain about running out of coffee. Remember that Bates was a Sergeant and didn’t get a surprise promotion to the officer corps. The writing in the story is fresh and enjoyable, and it doesn’t retread ground already walked in Atlantis fanfiction, but the things I list above pull me out of the flow just enough that I’m not fully satisfied.

In other stories (that I haven’t bothered to track down for this post), I get confused when it’s first season but Major Lorne is present and best buddies with Ford. Or when Ford and Ronon are palling around Atlantis. Or when Weir and Sheppard and McKay and Beckett took the Daedelus back to Earth at the end of the siege, since it was established in The Intruder’s dialogue that they opened the stargate and walked through to Stargate Command. Or (and this is definitely a personal tick) something having to do with recent military history on Earth is wrong, like the US being in Afghanistan during Desert Storm.

[livejournal.com profile] serialkarma and I were discussing this topic a while back and she said that whenever she notices one thing that deviates from canon, she no longer feels she can trust the author, and spends the rest of the story wondering what else is going to be off. And that kind of sums it up for me. Deviations from canon bother me. I notice them, they jolt me out of a story, and then I can’t immerse myself in reading for a fully satisfying experience.

How do you feel about deviations from canon? Do you notice them? Do they bother you or not? Are there things that you see all the time? Things that don’t fit into the three categories above?
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Date: 2006-07-10 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mari4212.livejournal.com
I sometimes don't notice deviations, if they're subtle or it's been a while since I've seen the episode which contradicts. However, I agree, when I notice them they do really jar me out of the story.

I think the main thing that upsets me is the sloppiness it shows, because it makes me think that the author of the story didn't care enough to get their facts right. And then, as you say, it does make me start to doubt the rest of the story, especially characterization-wise.

Date: 2006-07-10 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] terrie01.livejournal.com
Deviations from things that HAD to have been known to the author annoy me. Enless there's an obvious reason for it, it just strikes me as sloppy. If it's one of those "I started this prior the that coming up on the show," it doesn't bother me. So, for instance, if the story was written between seasons, I'll let the Daedelus example go. Since I don't go around rewriting stories because of the show, I'm not going to make others do it.

Contradicting Reality

Date: 2006-07-10 10:41 pm (UTC)
ext_1637: (Default)
From: [identity profile] wickedwords.livejournal.com
It's very odd, but while contracting canon bothers me, contradicting reality...doesn't. I already have the stargate universe set as an AU in my mind, so as long as the rules of that universe aren't violated, I tend not to notice. Example: The navy helicopters don't bother me as I write that off as one of the rules of the stargate universe, that air force guys can fly those planes as well. Which means that something like Afghanistan doesn't bother me, as obviously, the stargate universe's military history is different from ours, so it's possible that that could have happened. Nothing excludes it, and canon makes it clear that it's different, so I just go with how the author sets it up. It doesn't violate stargate canon, so that works for me.

I do appreciate it when authors work to reconcile reality and stargate universe stuff, as I don't expect them to do that. It's extra credit to me, and they get props for working it.

Extending those thoughts, something like 'eating donuts' doesn't bother as I just mentally assign it to the 'they have a flour-like substance, and an oil-like substance, and a sugar-like thing, and they make something that are like donuts' without the author having to tell me all the details behind it; I am happy to take the short cut.

(And I am growing tired of all the something-like stuff that shows up in fanfic. Mentally, the expedition would just call it 'butter' if that's what they used it for, even if it came from a 3-legged sloth-like thing. They'd stop using the long versions within a few months, and then when the daedelus arrived, everything would taste weird and wrong. It's like baking powder in the US is different from baking powder in the UK, but both are called baking powder and they do approximately the same sort of thing. It's still called baking powder no matter where it comes from, and donuts would be approximately the same thing. Only blue and tasting ever-so-slightly of fish.)

So I guess I'm saying that only direct violations of canon bother me, and it has to be something easy, like Lorne and Ford together.

And I'll forgive almost anything for good pacing and clever banter.

Re: Contradicting Reality

From: [identity profile] wickedwords.livejournal.com - Date: 2006-07-11 04:41 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2006-07-10 11:37 pm (UTC)
ext_1246: (Default)
From: [identity profile] dossier.livejournal.com
I think it depends on my overload factor. Some days I'm willing to forgive if it's not too egregious, other days the slightest taint will cause me to hit the back button.

I think the examples you've mentioned would probably:

1. Bates. If I'm recalling my research correctly, if he's a sergeant, then he's NCO, and no way ever will he make LT. I could be wrong. If I'm given enough AU back story that he started out that way? Sure, I'll go for it, but random errors like this are definitely frowned on.

2. Coffee. Well, I probably wouldn't have remembered the reference where they were almost out of coffee, so it wouldn't ping me much. I generally fall on the side of they are out, not just coffee, but probably a whole hellalot of other things. It just didn't look like they brought that much stuff with them.

3. Donuts. Hhm. I couldn't say, WickedWords makes a good point in that they might have a donut like thing, but I would still think of it for story purposes as a donut-like-thing, to keep the reader grounded in the situation.

4. Totally wrong characters in the wrong place? Just confuse me, and then I wander around trying to figure what I've missed, do research, and then I would probably not finish.

But I'm more easily turned off by crossovers where I haven't see the show (but that's not a complete given), truly atrocious characterizations such as Emo!John. yeah we get that he's repressed, but he wouldn't go emo because of it--he's far more likely to really tuck it in and avoid thinking about it.

Date: 2006-07-11 04:18 am (UTC)
ext_129022: (a court-martial waiting to happen)
From: [identity profile] introductory.livejournal.com
I tend to forgive most deviations of the inconsistent kind -- sometimes there's a reason for such deviation to be explained later, or it's just not that incongrous as to bother me. Sure, I'll blink and go, "Huh?", but unless it's completely off I'll let it go, especially if it's just a minor detail in an otherwise well-written story.

I'm more of a stickler for canon in SG-1 rather than SGA, since I haven't seen all the episodes yet, but general off-characterization bothers me. I recall, however, a relatively uninteresting SG-1 story in which Daniel owned a house (instead of an apartment) and Jack was strangely over-affectionate, and after the requisite blink I closed out the window and started on the next fic.

Date: 2006-07-11 06:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mswalter.livejournal.com
I tend to be a canon-freak, both in my own writing (obviously not in SGA, but other fandoms) and in my reading. I love love love it when good writers are sticklers for canon. And while I can forgive some deviance from canon, especially in a really well written story, I am so much happier when it doesn't happen.

I think I remember the Daedelus story (where the author wrote that the characters had taken the Daedelus back instead of walking through the stargate), and I stopped reading. That's the kind of canon mistake I just can't move past. Same with combining first- and second-season characters for no good reason. I mean, that's just a matter of paying attention, it's not even *research*.

Things like the donut and coffee examples you mentioned? If I notice them they'll bug me, but they probably won't take me out of the story completely. And the sergeant/lieutenant mix-up? I agree with what serialkarma said: It won't kill the story for me, but it makes me distrust the author just that little bit. It's called fact-checking, and in a lot of ways, I consider it an authorial responsibility to get the basics right.

I'm glad you wrote about this, because I've often wondered if I'm just particularly hard-core about my devotion to canon. I don't notice it quite as much in SGA as other fandoms, probably because I'm not *quite* as obessive about SGA, but when I write, I fact-check like crazy, both in regards to canon and real life (in the last OC story I wrote, I actually looked up the floor plan for a local hospital to find out what floor ICU is on -- but, um, that's probably overly obsessive). And while I don't quite demand the same level of accuracy from other writers that I expect of myself, I do appreciate it, and I do notice the mistakes.

Date: 2006-07-11 07:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carolyn-claire.livejournal.com
It's interesting, what pings negatively with whom and why and all the differences there. Those with a military background are bothered by this, and those with science backgrounds by that; English majors get thrown out by writerly technical slips I probably make myself, and canon hos can get worked up over even teeny deviations from the show that I might never catch. I'm thinking about the review you did where several people were bothered by Rodney taking classified work out with him on his laptop, for instance; that one sailed right over my head, didn't bother me at all.

[livejournal.com profile] tightropegirl made a series of posts (beginning with this one (http://tightropegirl.livejournal.com/10920.html?nc=16)) about doing the research and getting it right and how rarely one succeeds at that with everyone. I agree, though, that if an error is more objective (a character's rank) than subjective (the presence of donuts) and is easily checkable, I'm probably going to tend to read it as laziness or sloppiness, or maybe just a level of glee for the characters that's so high it bounds over mundane things like facts. (The donuts might bother me, though, unless I'm told they're some kind of alien donut substitute--and I do think that McKay might note, in an annoyed way, that they're not real donuts. Or maybe not; if he's busy enough while he's eating and has had enough time to get used to them, maybe they don't jar him when he takes that first bite, anymore. They jar me, though. *g*)

I know the science in the SG uni is, well, silly, a lot of the time (the 'instant aging' thing bothers me SO much, as does the retrovirus mutation thing), but that doesn't mean I don't want writers to at least try to make the science (or anything else) in their story plausible. It's annoying on the show, so it's okay to make your story annoying in the same way? Erm. I really appreciate an author who works at reconciling what we're given with what's somewhat more real and who doesn't add to my annoyance over the implausible aspects by adding some of her own. That said, sometimes a story is otherwise so good that I'll bound gleefully over the unlikely or incorrect bits. *g*

I do find myself on the 'huh, that really didn't bother me' side of the discussion a lot (when it's a story I've really enjoyed, usually), but I know what you mean about wanting that perfect story that's brilliant in every way, with no niggling (and, sometimes, easily catchable, woe) flaws. I think stories get harder to write 'accurately' the more like an episode one tries to make them. I mean, once our OTP gets out of bed, the potential for factual error just increases. (Well, and even before, I suppose--sometimes people just don't bend that way. *g*)

The stories that really blow me away are those that are jam-packed full of plot and people and setting and action and still seem to get it all right, in that nothing seems to be wrong, you know? I'm thinking of some of Auburn's stories, here, and I know there are others. That level of attention to detail awes me.

Date: 2006-07-11 10:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maryavatar.livejournal.com
It probably sounds weird, coming from someone who is mainly known in the SGA fandom for writing crack, but I loathe canon inconsistencies. I will actually get angry with the author if they throw in something that is just plain wrong because it either develops their story or they didn't bother checking their facts. My two personal bugbears are:

Rodney rigs the ZPM to power the stargate both ways. Just... no. The ZPM is in Atlantis, you'd need a connection between Atlantis and Earth for the energy to get to Earth. Which would mean Atlantis would have to dial Earth, making it impossible for Earth to dial out at the same time.

and

They find a quarter-charged ZPM that will power the city for... a few years? Three ZPMs powered the shield that held back an entire ocean for ten thousand years. Unless they were running the shield at full power and detonating 50 nuclear warheads on it every five minutes, I doubt a quarter-charged ZPM would run down in under 500 years.

Date: 2006-07-11 05:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rosewildeirish.livejournal.com
They find a quarter-charged ZPM that will power the city for... a few years? Three ZPMs powered the shield that held back an entire ocean for ten thousand years. Unless they were running the shield at full power and detonating 50 nuclear warheads on it every five minutes, I doubt a quarter-charged ZPM would run down in under 500 years.

Depends. If you use my car for an example, the miles I get from full to 3/4 of a tank greatly outnumber the miles I get from 1/4 tank to empty. *g* That acually does have a reason - mostly, being that fuel tank indicators are a little inaccurate - but it's easy to see a ZPM might have similar properties; cascading energy useage is something I could buy.

Granted, I know nothing about the laws of the kind of physics the ZPM is supposedly subjected to, but if, for example, the engergy level helps to maintain the efficiency of the ZPM, or somesuch, I could buy that it drains faster and faster, the less power it has.

...Now, a good author would explain that. *g*

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From: [identity profile] parisntripfan.livejournal.com - Date: 2006-07-11 07:05 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2006-07-11 12:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kalikahuntress.livejournal.com
I find deviation from canon annoying when it affects characterization. The science thing I could care less about because I have yet to see any sci-fi show take science seriously so I don't get too upset about it, even though I am a genetics major. Also, contradicting things that have been said or have happened on the show are really irritating to me as well.

Date: 2006-07-11 03:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mmmchelle.livejournal.com
I haven't read the story you used as an example, but I would have stopped as soon as I hit Lt. Bates. It's the kind of mistake that would cause me to wonder if the author has seen the show, or is just drawing on the fanfic she's read.

The donuts would also have thrown me out of the story for the reasons you mentioned, although I might have been willing to accept careful coffee rationing.

Getting history wrong makes me mutter under me breath and also tends to make me question the writer's awareness and knowledge of the world. Including Afghanistan in Desert Storm would annoy me to no end, and I would probably stop reading. History matters and I tend to look askance at people who don't know basic facts about their own country's history. If I knew the author wasn't from the US I might be able to overlook it. I have the same reaction whenever someone has Jack serving in Vietnam in an SG-1 story. It throws me completely from the story.

Of course that extends well beyond fanfiction to real life where I have little patience with people who have scant knowledge of recent history.

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From: [identity profile] mmmchelle.livejournal.com - Date: 2006-07-11 08:46 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2006-07-11 03:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thegrrrl2002.livejournal.com
I had to think for a while before answering this, because like most things in life, my answer is 'well, it depends'. For the most part, deviations from canon don't bother me very much. The canon issues with "Pegasus Society", while noticable, weren't a huge issue for me. (Maybe because I don't really like the "sentient Atlantis" genre in the first place, so that took precedence.) But in general, if a fic is entertaining, and hits the right characterization notes for me, I can overlook a lot. As long as its not too overt - the kind of thing where I wonder if the person has ever seen the show.

But if the characterization feels off (and I know that's a very subjective thing), I'm bothered a lot more. I'm much more likely to stop reading a fic if I'm pulled out of the moment by "John would never do that".

Date: 2006-07-11 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reginabellatrix.livejournal.com
I have to agree with those who say that how much canon issues bother me depend on what mood I'm in when I'm reading. Some days I'll run up against something that makes me go, "bwah?" and will just keep reading. Other days it's an instant back button.

Generally, though, if the problem could have been solved by watching the show and paying a moderate amount of attention, I will stop reading. Either the author is very sloppy, or she doesn't know the source material. Either way, I don't want to waste my time on it. If it's a small point, easily caused by a faulty memory, I can usually roll with the punches ... up to a point.

One thing that drives me nuts is the X-302 v.s. the F-302. It's pretty clear that they're X-302s in SG-1's "Redemption". This makes sense, since they aren't regular fighter planes and are based off of eXtraterrestrial tech. I've noticed that this gets shortened to just 302s in SGA (like in "Allies"). However, given that some of the (unofficial) trascripts call them F-302s and the similarity of the "f" and "x" sounds, making the mistake somewhat understandable, I'm usually willing to ignore the error after my initial pause and flinch. Still, <a href="http://www.gateworld.net/omnipedia/ships/links/x-302.shtml>a little research in more reliable sources</a> would fix that.

Date: 2006-07-11 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reginabellatrix.livejournal.com
Where, oh where did the rest of my comment go?

I was saying that a little research (http://www.gateworld.net/omnipedia/ships/links/x-302.shtml) at more reliable sources would fix the problem calling the X-302s F-302s.

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Date: 2006-07-11 05:55 pm (UTC)
ext_1142: zooey deschanel (chicken shit out on the brave frontier)
From: [identity profile] overchay.livejournal.com
In stories that are meant to be AU only in the way that "They are on Atlantis and all that is being changed in the events in an episode," I hate deviations from canon. They are distracting, as I notice the problems in the story, and irritating, as I get annoyed that the author didn't notice the problem or didn't care to keep things similar to the actual episode due to either laziness or their own random whims.

Well, like a few people here have said, it depends. If I were reading a story and they wrote Bates as an LT without any discernable reason as to why, I would immediately drop out of the story in disgust. Actually, if there even was a reason for it, but the character could have potentially been any LT, I would still feel the need to stop reading.

However, as I don't usually watch an episode before reading episode-related fic, things like 'running out of coffee' would not really register on my radar. It's one of those little details that might prove irritating if I was aware, but nothing worth hitting the backspace over.

With donuts? Well, it depends. A few people mentioned their distaste for the 'Sort-of-food' type talk, but I actually appreciate it. Not only does it give us insight to what they're eating, but it also reinforces the fact that they're using completely foreign foods to supplement what they do have. So if the donuts were presented as donuts, with some sort of mention to the slightly different taste due to using ground ______ instead of flour, I would say rock on. When it's just, "mm, donuts, move on to the next part," that could potentially be jarring. It may, or may not, depending on the severity of the oops, be bad enough for me to leave from that kind of thing.


For the most part, it's usually just character-related things that are established and completely disregarded without any reason that really throw me off.

Date: 2006-07-11 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hardlyfatal.livejournal.com
Not to be hugely contentious, but the assumption that McKay and Sheppard's relationship is/becomes something romantic/sexual is a significant deviation from canon in itself. If you're going to be nitpicking re: whether Bates is a lieutenant or a sergeant or if they'd waste resources making doughnuts, I think discussing the application of bi- or homosexuality to two characters who have both demonstrated interest in the female gender in canon could be a pertinent addition to this discussion.

Date: 2006-07-11 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sweetvalleyslut.livejournal.com
Well, we've never heard Rodney or John specifically say, "I'm 100% straight, and I don't like to have sex with men." (Not that that would stop any of from writing slash, probably.) We *do* know, specifically, that they are running out of coffee and basic food sources, from statements made in canon.

I'm not saying that I think McKay/Sheppard (or any other SGA pairing other than Laura/Carson and John/Random Bimbo, for that matter) is canon, but it's a totally different issue.

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Date: 2006-07-11 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kodiak-bear.livejournal.com
It doesn't jar me. I go into fanfic automatically assuming that to some extent, all fic is AU because it's not shown on the TV. I'm more interested in being entertained, and if an author can do that for me, fantastic, if not, I hit the back button and move on.

Date: 2006-07-11 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] percysowner.livejournal.com
Ah, my fanfiction soulmate! I'm really out of place here, because I'm just renting season one SGA from Netflix, and I missed several season 2 episodes, so cannon mistakes totally bypass me. That aside all I really want is an entertaining story, that has people as characters I can relate to. Now, repeated bad spelling and grammar are another story. They can take me out of a story completely, but that is a discussion for anther day.

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Date: 2006-07-11 07:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] parisntripfan.livejournal.com
I am pretty much a canon girl, particularly when it comes to characterization. Like others, if something directly goes againist canon if there is a good reason for it, (such as an idea predates the viewing of an episode that estiblishes that canon or the writer wanting to see what might have happened if outcome B had happened instead of outcome A) but the lack of research - such as saying that Bates is a Lt instead of a Sgt.- does get to me. One or two of them would not stop me form reading a fic, but if there are enough of them I might.

One nit I have is

using canon form one series in a franchise to another series.
For example having the teams in Atlantis using call signs in the same pattern as SG-1. They don't do in this show. It is not SGA-1, it is Major/Col Sheppard's team or Lorne's team. They do not recive SG-? IDC they wait for Sheppard's IDC, for McKay's IDC.

Now this may change with the start of season three, but so far they haven't used that terminology.

Date: 2006-07-11 09:16 pm (UTC)
veracity: (SGA - Gate Home)
From: [personal profile] veracity
*slowly walks into metadom again* Last time, I didn't have so much fun when I went atalking.

I honestly don't mind a deviation, such as food or coffee, because it doesn't really impact the story. For me, during those times, I usually assume the person is giving the readers a reference point to get the image of it. It's a lot easier to say "doughnut" than "a small, circular fried food with a hole in the middle that was nearly the exact same thing as a doughnut on Earth." Like I said, "doughnut" means I can move on to the more important aspects of the story, like plot.

And to be perfectly blunt, the science and military mentions fly completely over my head. I can't pass college algebra and I've tried three times (maybe more, I stopped counting after awhile), so I usually just smile and nod along like I understand what the heck they mean. Physics was passed in high school by being a senior in junior level clases and whining. Whatever it took to graduate. Before I Sleep's theory of infinite universes within each other (I'm guessing that's what they meant; see: math and science stupid student.) was only slightly clarified when they demonstrated it with Elder Weir. And as for military terms, so lost on those. I just enjoy the story, canonically speaking, so in fics it doesn't bother me.

If they can set up where the characters interact, like Ford and Ronon in a plausible plotline, I'll read it. And like the Daedelus (and I really need to stop making that "e" into a second "u") trip to Earth, well, I thought that until I rewound and watched that part again. Then the lightbulb went off of "Oh, right. They did the wormhole way, much quicker. Makes sense." I can't fault someone for thinking that since I did it. Little things, and to me there's so much information about the series that something to that extent falls under little, don't annoy me. Not even rank half the time. Unless, of course Sheppard is suddenly Lord King of Military Command, and then it's like "uhm, even I know he's not that high up the totem pole, thanks."

The biggest thing that makes me back button is characterization, and as everyone has a different view, that's extremely subjective. Doesn't mean that I can see Rodney suddenly becoming James Bond and getting all the girls though. That has a tendency to make me backtrack more than anything. The good thing is that those usually happen from beginning and before I get in too deep, a back button is quickly clicked. Though I've read some recently that just make me cringe and hide because I don't understand their perceptions of the characters at all.

Mind, these rules never apply to AUs, like crack ones, since that was the first thing I read in the fandom to begin with. So my perceptions might be a bit off, especially since I hadn't seen more than maybe 2 hours total of SG-1 before SGA. That might help too, who knows.

Enough babble to get my point across, I think.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] veracity - Date: 2006-07-12 02:08 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2006-07-11 09:46 pm (UTC)
ext_21:   (fanfiction critic)
From: [identity profile] zvi-likes-tv.livejournal.com
I tend to get annoyed by major deviations from canon and 'simple facts your high school should have taught you' problems (these are things that tv writers often get wrong, like on Smallville, when Lana Lang is a sophomore in high school and also the manager of a coffee shop not owned by her family. Child labor laws, anybody?). That being said, I would not have noticed the issue with Bates, and I would chalk up Rodney eating donuts to Rodney's relationship with food, which seems to favor quantity over quality. If it's round and sweet and doughy, it seems to me he'd be quite content to call it a doughnut instead of mumbling through whatever they call it on P3X 432, you know? But I tend not to sweat the details of canon unless it's something that I think would impact the characterization of a major character.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] millefiori.livejournal.com - Date: 2006-07-12 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2006-07-11 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skeddy-kat.livejournal.com
I like to see canon, especially in the areas of characterization. Weepy "I hate myself so much and I'm worthless" characterizations will usually make me move on to something else. Mismatching characters and timelines bothers me, too and is likely to keep me from reading. I really hate glaring physical and factual errors. (For example, Rodney's eyes are so obviously blue that making them something else tosses me way out of the story.) The "Bates as lieutenant" thing would bug me if offered without explanation. If you really want to make him an officer, there are reasonable ways to do it. Mistaking someone's branch of service when it's been firmly established is another no-no. (As an aside, canon John in sneakers instead of boots bothers me, too - but I write it off as an Air Force thing. I've found that I really have to suspend my disbelief both on screen and in stories when it comes to many matters military. And I won't even go into stories that have John being reduced in rank or court-martialed.) Another thing that bothers me is when characters call the expedition leader "Liz" or "Lizzie". I can see others calling her Elizabeth or Dr. Weir - but nothing else.

The whole food and coffee thing doesn't really bother me at all. I don't even really notice it. The other thing that doesn't bother me is when new canon appears in later episodes and contradicts something in an existing story. Lots of good stories contradict canon that appeared after they were written. Most science errors will go right over my head. If I do see a science error, it bothers me because most of my science knowledge is fairly general and the things I know any reasonable person should know.

For me, the biggest distraction isn't deviation from canon. It's poor writing. I can't even wade through stories that look interesting when there are too many spelling and obvious grammar errors. That, though, is another story all together.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] skeddy-kat.livejournal.com - Date: 2006-07-12 05:04 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2006-07-11 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] minnow1212.livejournal.com
A giant “it depends.”

Characters who were written off in season 1 showing up in season 2 bugs. But a lot of other things I won’t even notice unless I’ve been watching the source material lately. Some things I notice only because I’ve read them on someone else’s pet peeve list. (I.e., someone on my flist posted a little while ago about how McKay’s piano teacher is identified as a guy in Redemption, and I made a note to myself of, "Don’t forget that!" and now I’ll notice when the teacher is referenced as female. Or the spelling of Kavanagh.)

For the things I do notice, it doesn’t usually stop me from reading the story. At least, ones of the sort you mention above wouldn’t bug me. (I probably wouldn’t even notice the donuts thing, not least because I’ve read the "faux-donuts" conversation in enough other stories that I can fill it in myself.)

I know as a writer I worry about making that sort of mistake--because I’ll fact check the things I *know* I don’t know, but sometimes it doesn’t occur to me to check because something’s In My Head as a Fact I’m Of Which I’m Convinced. Like, I would double check Stackhouse’s rank before I used him in a story, because I’m not 100% sure of it. But it wouldn’t occur to me to confirm that Ford’s a lieutenant. So I don’t necessarily read that sort of mistake as lack of care/willingness to check/sloppiness, but as the experience where something enters your brain as undisputed fact, just, it’s wrong.

Date: 2006-07-12 01:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-starfish.livejournal.com
For the most part I'm not bothered - to read any sizeable amount of fanfic at all I just prepare myself to gloss over the little niggly things. (I was a lot more forgiving when I was reading fic mostly on ff.net last year.) If there are major characterisation problems or spelling/grammar niggles that even I can spot (and I am rubbish at spelling/grammar) then I will stop reading. For the most part though I'll just take what I can get in the way of fic that hits the right spots for me.

My merry ignoring of non-canonical things negatvely impacts on pretty much any attempt I make at writing fic because canon isn't the first thing on my mind (characterisation is what I fret over 99% of the time and what I'm most aware of). Quite frequently I'm left me at the end of an evening of hard work with 4000 words of absolute rubbish because I totally forgot about a major canon element. Last night it was the Life Signs Detector, why oh why do they have it?! It's so much harder to be taken by surprise with a Life Signs Detector, and any attempt to work around that major plot error makes the characters look sloppy and careless in their actions.

I generally give lots of lee-way on the real world elements of Stargate as under scrutiny in the context of the real world the military, science etc bits don't stand up to much scrutiny. And then I just think, well why should they, they have Stargates. As someone said previously I treat Stargate as AU as a baseline - that's not to say that when the Stargate world contradicts itself that it's not painful and weird, but I don't subject it to pretty much any level of scrutiny over the 'realism' of certain elements of the show.

Date: 2006-07-12 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-starfish.livejournal.com
ah hell. I make no sense anytime of the day. I promise you I did read your post originally I just managed to wander in my comment onto something else entirely. D'oh. Sorry!

Date: 2006-07-12 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] atlantis-fan.livejournal.com
I'm coming into this a little late, hope you don’t mind. I've been reading the other comments you've gotten and I agree with a lot that's been said already so I won't repeat it again.

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned that REALLY bugs me is medical stuff that is just plan WRONG! Once I read a story where Rodney is having a seizure (not related to Duet) and Carson sticks his fingers in Rodney's mouth to stop him from swallowing his tongue! Yes I realize the older first aid guides for seizures say that something needs to be placed in the person's mouth when they are having a seizure but everyone should know by now that it is a very bad idea to do so! Especially since swallowing your tongue is impossible and the person would probably end up with cracked teeth or a broken jaw. And if someone stuck their fingers in the mouth of a person having a seizure they'd probably get bitten off and the person would choke on them!! Its even more stupid for Beckett to be doing it since he's a doctor!

Um yeah… rant over… going away now….

Date: 2006-07-13 02:20 am (UTC)
ext_1246: (Default)
From: [identity profile] dossier.livejournal.com
Oh, me again. I went and read The Pegasus Society just to make sure I ws working within the same reference frame.

1. Lt Bates. It didn't even see the words, actually. I'm sure it's there, but I was so totaly distracted by the Math Porn, that it completely escaped my notice.

2. Donuts & Toast. I read them, rolled my eyes and moved along. Ditto for Coffee. I think I was more focused on the Alteran database, and the level at which the AI focused on the Dysfunctional Duo.

I think that I was able to disregard the glaring errors because Sab's very interesting writing style. I did notice the constantly switching POV, and I was thrown a bit here and there by it. What I did notice was the amount of time & resources McKay's allocated to a MENSA test, with the Wraith only a few weeks away. However, I can be easily distracted by Porn, so I just rolled with it. Also, it was an interesting take on McKay & Sheppard, their interaction on the gymnastics mental and physical. I'd still rate it as a damn cool story, despite the issues!

Date: 2006-07-13 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nightspring.livejournal.com
I just read this post and many of the comments yesterday, then today I was reading a story, and -- two-way wormhole! *sigh* And really, there was absolutely no reason to go against canon that way, the desired function could have been achieved through some other device. That the wormhole goes only one-way is such a huge and often employed plot contrivance in the Stargate universe, going all the way back to the movie, it really seemed as bad as suddenly making a character switch gender w/o explanation. *headdesk*

And I'm asking myself if I would have had such an extreme reaction if I hadn't just read this post... ;)

Date: 2006-07-13 04:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stungunbilly.livejournal.com
I've noticed that it depends heavily on a few major factors:
1. What kind of story it is.
In a story pitting a character against a challenge that involves logical deduction and the use of detail (surviving alien wilderness, figuring out a logic puzzle, etc.), any deviation from internal logic or canon BLARES at me like a foghorn. In a romance? Not so much, except for poor psychology (if only SG:A-brand psychology, which is weird enough).
2. My mood.
3. How much SG:A fiction I've been reading, and what it consisted of/its quality.
If I just read something that highlighted certain aspects of canon, then I'll notice a random deviation in the next story I read.
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