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March 6, 2003

Just checking
Posted by Teresa at 04:08 PM *

I’m sorry to say that the search string get published now! turns up over 3,000 hits on Google, with or without its exclamation mark.

Back on 08 June 2001, in my second-ever post to Making Light, I reported that the search string She loved him. She really loved him. would infallibly Google up “between twelve and twenty specimens of online fiction, not one single piece of which will be good.” The only change on that front is that now you’ll get about forty of them, less my post and Mitch Wagner’s post on the subject.

On a more cheerful note, if like my friends Scraps and Martha you collect bad poetry, peom, peotry, poerty, a new star in the, and that fateful day still work just fine.

Comments on Just checking:
#1 ::: Karin ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2003, 04:50 PM:

Searching on "black leather" and "mirrored sunglasses" will turn up quite a few William Gibson wannabes. I bet you could male a whole game out of this sort of thing.

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2003, 05:02 PM:

Bet you could. This is fun.

#3 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2003, 05:08 PM:

I've done some trial runs, and mirrorshades black leather seems to get the most cyberthingummy hits with the least noise.

#4 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2003, 05:16 PM:

I find that beautiful shyly phaser will get you a lot of bad Trek fic. I don't know whether it's optimal.

#5 ::: Karin ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2003, 05:41 PM:

Try "noble ranger" for a lot of D&D-esque fiction, and a ton of actual gaming stuff.

#6 ::: Karin ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2003, 05:44 PM:

"billowing cape" and "sword" are also good.

#7 ::: Castiron ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2003, 07:21 PM:

I haven't found a search string that's narrow enough to only get the fanfic, but "curse owl nimbus" gets plenty of Harry Potter fanpages. If the rules require avoiding words that are proper nouns in the story, "curse owl broomstick" works too. (Earlier attempts with "blond broomstick" were quickly discarded.)

#8 ::: --k. ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2003, 07:45 PM:

You realize, of course, that (aside from entertainment value) this is (something of) a challenge.

The moreso, as no one seems to have taken it up since your first post on the phenomenon.

(I think it could be agreed that including the relevant phrase, "She loved him. She really loved him," as dialogue would be a cheat. --How about playing a Kenosha Kid with it? Not that I can see any interesting Kenosha Kid possibilities there. Maybe I should get back to work. Enough procrastinatin'.)

#9 ::: Steve ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2003, 11:07 PM:

"She loved. Him, she really loved. Him." doesn't have quite that Pynchonian swing.

"Snitch" seems to be an excellent Harry Potter tip-off. "Passionate snitch broom" is the best I've found so far without using proper nouns.

#10 ::: redfox ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2003, 11:14 PM:

lingering watcher kiss

#11 ::: Jon ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 08:43 AM:

I also see that "get published tomorrow!" only gets about 12 hits. The impatience of this busy, busy world, I'm guessing.

#12 ::: Rivka Wald ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 03:35 PM:

I am pleased to see that "That Fateful Day" is also the name of a rock band.

#13 ::: Rivka Wald ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 04:56 PM:

Oh my goodness.

If you really want to catch the golden Snitch of Harry Potter fanfic, try Googling for american transfer student hogwarts. Sure, by this point you'll find a fair number of parodies, but there are still plenty of gems. I quote:

[the Sorting Hat, critiquing the new American transfer student:] "Hmmm.... What an interesting specimen we have here. You know quite a bit of magic already, don't you? Yes, very intelligent you are. Proud, and yet humble at the same time. Very brave, lots of courage here. And.. oh yes, definitely crafty too. Hmmm.... Where should I place you?"

Where else but Gryffindor, of course, for Mary S- uh, Ellen. Whereupon:

"You're Harry Potter! Glad to meet you," she said, extending her hand. Harry shook it. "Sorry I cut you off, Harry. I mean, I just know who you are because we learned about you in school. And I just want to let you know up front, that I'm not going to be one of those people who fawns over you all the time. No disrespect meant by it, I just know how I feel when people do it to me. So, I try hard not to do it to others."

Ellen smiled around at them, and they all felt themselves taking an instant liking to her.

Every time I read something like this I come one step closer to writing a story myself. Because really, could I possibly do worse?

#14 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 05:01 PM:

"Steely blue gaze" gets 220 hits, the second from (I wasn't curious enough to visit). "Steely grey gaze" got 10, most of which appear to be sf type writing. "Steely gray gaze" got 12, one of whcih is a cowboy tale. "steely green gaze" also got 12.

There were no hits for "steely chartreuse gaze", though there were 85 without the quotes.

#15 ::: Steve ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 05:33 PM:

I bow to Rivka, who has won the House Cup for HP fanfic filtering.

Every time I read something like this I come one step closer to writing a story myself. Because really, could I possibly do worse?

Oh, I'm sure someone could. The bottom for fanfic quality is lower than you'd think. Adam Cadre, who did a painfully funny MSTing of "The Eye of Argon" has taken a shot at these, as have many others.

#16 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 07:32 PM:

claws stripe touch bub

#17 ::: Bill G. ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 08:25 PM:

I tried a few phrases that would be characteristic of E. E. Smith, and hit paydirt with "gold flecked blue eyes". Not only does that turn up some Lensman fanfic, but it also brings up a pile (some might call it a steaming pile) of other fanfic too.

#18 ::: Bill G. ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 08:38 PM:

Good (bad) results are also found using "not just for her body" as a search string.

#19 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 08:40 PM:

Rivka, you rule. That piece of HP Marysuismo is painful to read.

Has anyone else here tried Redfox's lingering watcher kiss? It turns up perfectly dreadful Buffy fic. The very first hit mentions Giles' buttocks, which is not a subject I want to know more about.

K., say what, Kenosha Kid? I thought that was supposed to be Orson Welles or summat.

Bill, that's a good one. I'm off to check it out.

#20 ::: Rivka Wald ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 09:25 PM:

I should add that, curiously, the author of that Harry Potter fic I quoted has the same name as her main character. What are the odds of that?

Bill, "not just for her body" is inspired. You frighten me.

#21 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 09:32 PM:

Given that it's a raving Mary Sue, I'd put the odds at close to 100%.

Not just for her body is horribly apt.

#22 ::: Bryant ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 09:56 PM:

preserver kiss highthing

Oh, the horror.

"'As you remember,' intruded Washuu's voice into the still silence of the room. She cast Ayeka a meaningful, if questioning glance as she spoke. 'Leetah here possesses a healing power. I haven't quite worked out the specifics of it yet, but we've seen it in action, at least on her kind. And if my hypothesis is correct, she should be able to do the same on Mr. Masaki here?'"

#23 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 09:58 PM:

For the benefit of those contemplating the relative merits of steely-blue eyes as opposed to gold-flecked blue eyes as opposed to some other improbable characteristic, I've just posted MaggieFic92s Handy-Dandy Mary Sue Generator out in the main sequence.

It gives you Mary Sue's Name (Giselle de Smytheford, DeLacey Ravenwing, Felicitie de la Fleur), Eye Color (smoky azure, swirling topaz, silver jade), Hair Color (tousled mahogany, burnished bronze, abundant wheat), Signature Scent (antique tea rose, spicy peaches, summersweet patchouli), Paranormal Power (Force adept, talks to animals, Power of Love), Specialized Skill (scientific genius, linguistics expert, CEO), Distinguishing Mark (streak of white hair, flawless skin, pointed ears), and Newly Revealed Relationship to a Major Character (Xander's girlfriend, Q's long-lost twin, Captain Picard's student).

(Oh yeah, her.)

#24 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 10:44 PM:

I've been subtracting poem, poems, poetry to keep things tidy.

To get a bunch of way girly fiction, google on billowing silken teardrops. Barf.

#25 ::: Sue Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2003, 07:03 PM:

I couldn't figure out why you'd need 'stripe' in the search for
'claws stripe touch bub'
So I googled it, like a good girl, all makes sense now.

tailor doctor gaze lust

#26 ::: Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2003, 11:39 PM:

I liked this from one site: You know something's popular when it starts to inspire new fiction based on it. Uh, no. There is fanfic about everything, no matter how obscure. Little-watched shows that lasted only a few episodes have fanfic -- The Phoenix for example, which ran 5 episodes in 1982.

#27 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2003, 12:07 AM:

Alan, when I found that piece of Tony Blair/Gordon Brown slash I blogged a while back, I knew anything was possible.

Sue, claws and stripe define the characters, touch sorts for theme, and bub gets rid of a bunch of natural history websites.

#28 ::: Sue Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2003, 05:21 AM:

I didn't twig 'stripe' at all, couldn't think what it refered to untill I did the google. I suppose my problem is that I wouldn't think of looking for fanfic between those two characters.

I suppose 'claw tail stroke bub' would do for me.

Not that one would, of course...

#29 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2003, 05:02 AM:

Slightly tangential to this, likes to occasionaly run the result of googling phrases like 'staff access only' and so on, to show the wonders of website security.

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