What tropes in the billdip fanfiction do you think is out of character or overused?
Oh. Ohohoho. OHOHOHOHOHO
@angel-fieramente-humano and @lanxborealiss and I were just up until 4 am screaming at each other about a fic that was very very….frightening. I will not be naming any specifics about it because fanfiction authors are people and I’m not going to publicly drag them, but I’m just amused this question popped up considering how I spent my night.
Now, I’m about to get VERY critical here.
For one, the “Bill becomes immediately emotionally distant after sex” trope is one I’ve seen a few times and it’s weird because the way they usually play it is that he’s becoming emotionally distant because that exact second they had sex, boom he started developing feelings and was scared. It…doesn’t work that way. I’m sorry but it just doesn’t. And while I agree that Bill would INDEED be scared of having feelings for Dipper, he’d also not want to even dwell on them or give them credence and would probably keep on screwing Dipper because A) sensation is good and sex is good and B) can’t let the kid know. It’s also a trope I’ve seen variations on and when it’s done well it can be very good.
Just in general having their personalities be completely out of character. There are at least two fics that immediately come to mind that I will not name, and while I understand that sometimes it can be difficult to keep EVERYTHING ic when you’re writing a relationship that has no basis in canon….come on, people. There’s a difference between an AU, and altering the personalities and backstories of the characters so much they might as well be OCs. That’s why I heavily dislike a lot of Reverse Falls; the entire world tends to be portrayed as faaaaarrrr too out of character for the characters and even the setting. Yes, I know, that’s the idea–but listen here. There’s a difference between a successful and engaging literary mirror of a character who is recognizable as the original and yet is still ‘reversed’, and a fucking mess.
Slow burn is heavily overused because if you don’t know how to write it, it kills the entire story. Now I’ll admit that’s a hard one to write sometimes, but I’ve seen two things come out of this trope:
• Fics that label as ‘slow burn’ and then have the big thing they were leading up to happen in chapter 1 (this is a bit of an exaggeration, but what happens in this case is the author seems to imply that it will take time for the characters to fall in love and then they’re falling for each other on day 3. Now it can go two ways from here; they draw it out before the actual confession of love to the point of excruciating, or the Big Thing happens in chapter 5 and the rest of the fic is mindless fluff or smut and that is not, my friends, how Slow Burn works.
• Fics that label as slow burn and are, indeed, slow burn, but there’s no progression. You can have a 29-chapter fanfic that’s slow burn and have them finally confess their love to each other in the very last chapter, sure. But you need to actually throw your readers a bone and get closer and closer to that point in the process. You can build up all you want, but the build up needs to be realistically paced and appropriately engaging or you will lose the reader’s interest and just annoy them with the inability of the two characters to get ANYWHERE and then BAM out of nowhere they’re fucking on the floor like ok wow. Now, that’s kind of a separate version of slow burn all its own and if you’re into the kind of a fic that spends most of its massive-number-of-chapters time lingering at 0 and maybe pushing it to 5 and then shooting to 100 real quick, that’s your prerogative.
Background Mabcifica is a trope I want to beat into the ground. I’ve only ever once or twice seen it used with success, because it’s usually thrown in there as either A) a way to have a lesbian couple next to the gay couple, B) Dipper has a boyfriend so Mabel needs an SO too C) Dipper has a BOYFRIEND so Mabel needs a GIRLFRIEND D) They want to lure in potential readers with the promise of background Mabcifica fluff. Whenever it’s put there? It’s dry, meaningless, boring, and has no functional fucking purpose and no value to the plot, and if the author is going to dedicate a few chapters here and there to it; I came here for BillDip thank you.
“Tragic backstory"ing Bill to the point that you’re excusing and apologizing for all his atrocious crimes because ‘he’s just a misunderstood sweetheart’. You stop. You stop right now and stick your head in a bucket of ice water until your brain cools down and gets a clue.
Illuminati Memes. It’s one thing if it’s set in the canon universe and Bill is being a dick and referencing stupid memes because he is or was, in fact, a triangle and knows about the Illuminati or memes. But when he’s not a demon and never was, or especially when it’s A UNIVERSE WHERE THE ILLUMINATI PROBABLY ISNT COMMONLY KNOWN AMONG PIRATES? I know you’re trying to be funny and witty, but you’re not and that’s a surefire way to get me to walk away from your fic. If there isn’t a REASON for him to be making illuminati references IN YOUR STORY and it makes NO SENSE to the story or its environment, DON’T FUCKING DO IT.
Some situations can really get removed from beyond the realm of possibility. I know Bill is a reality-bending demon but to do your research before you start talking about physics.
Any time at all that Bill and Dipper have basically just encountered each other for the first time and Dipper immediately wants him and Bill is immediately like “I am here to ravish you Elizabeth”
Like wow what is this calm down Mr. Darcy
They knew each other when they were younger/when Dipper was younger and now it’s okay that they only just met each other again an hour ago, the recognize each other immediately, and are In Love. Hooah.
Bill is made Native American and they haven’t got the first foggiest fucking clue about Native American culture. He’s only a Native American for ‘diversity points’ and that’s obvious. Stop. Just stop.
Dipper being straight up 200% ok with tentacles on the very first date. Listen I’m freaky too but I wouldn’t even go for SEX on the first date nevermind TENTACLES. YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HIM
Stan and/or Ford disapprove of his relationship with Bill and are therefore the villain(s) of the piece.
Stan and/or Ford disapprove and then magically approve the very next day for no specific reason
If you’re following canon and this is after Weirdmageddon and no one at all reacts to Dipper dating a PSYCHOPATHIC TRIANGLE MONSTER, well.
Bill is hot. Bill is so hot. So beautiful, all the women want him. All the men, too. Everyone is consumed with lust for Bill. No one cares that it’s Bill. He is just so very hot.
Bill is a sex god. Even though we watched him fall backwards down the stairs as Bipper and pour soda into his eye. You really think he knows what he’s doing? REALLY? Watching and actually doing are two VERY different things. The Mindscape and being all-seeing does not make you amazingly and mind-blowingingly, orgasmically fantastic at sex unless you’ve done it before, and more than once. EspECIALLY not if you’ve NEVER DONE IT BEFORE ///AND/// NEVER HAD A BODY BEFORE BUT OKAY BE A FUCKING HUGH HEFFNER/TONY STARK/MICK JAGGER/ADONIS ON THE FIRST TRY SURE THANK YOU THAT’S TOTALLY HOW SEX WORKS IN REALITY
Dark Dipper. Just Dark Dipper in general but especially a poorly written Dark Dipper who’s dark to be Edgy with his Edgelord boyfriend. A Dark Dipper who is only dark so that Bill can be a terrible person and Dipper 'is into that’ and doesn’t leave him like he should. A Dark Dipper who’s basically Harley Quinn, and I mean the Harley Quinn written by awful writers.
And here’s a HUGE one: when Bill is abusive in the fic AND either it’s played off as possessive and attractive and 'sexy’ of him, OR it’s acknowledged in the fic that he is abusive in some way and then HE CHANGES and Dipper gets back with him for whatever reason so that Bill can be included in the happy ending even when he was emotionally/physically and sometimes even sexually abusive.
If you’re going to write Bill as abusive? Go ahead, but don’t pretend it’s romantic. And don’t write it and acknowledge it and then have Dipper fall back into his arms for a 'happy ending’ a la 50 Shades of Shit. That invalidates Dipper and he abuse he suffered, that invalidates real abuse victims who might be reading this to cope and are now being told it’s okay to forgive your abuser and return to them. Do not. Do it. You cannot justify this to me, I don’t care how you write it, it’s a shitty trope and a shitty concept and if you KNOW that, well, go fuck yourself. Most of the time people who write this don’t UNDERSTAND that it’s a very unpleasant and uncomfortable thing to read and don’t mean to do that, and I understand that. But it’s still…unpleasant. Now I can’t stop people from writing this and I’m not going to police it because I have no right to. But I want to make it known that I’ve seen this happen in fics and its gross and that, if you’re doing it inadvertently, please realize.
NOTE: Everything screamed about here I have seen in ACTUAL FANFICTIONS, not comics, not narrative interactive stories on blogs, not in art–actual written works on Ao3 and FF. No I will not be giving you examples, these authors are people and I won’t give out their works after calling out the shittiest parts of it. To be entirely honest if the fic is bad I forget about it and who wrote it.
A lot of women say “I couldnt date a soldier, I couldnt do the distance”, I always correct women by telling them that the distance is the least of our worries as Milso’s, if you love a soldier enough you’ll face your biggest fear by his side while he’s deployed. Love knows no distance. If you have to question if you can do it than keep walking before you hurt ‘em.