What WebFiction Isn’t
That’s “published,” not published.
In the purest sense of the word, publication means making something available to the world. However, when people use the word, they generally mean commercially published. That’s okay, but the distinction between “published” and published is an important one for the purpose of the dedicated cheap ass because of the next thing that webfiction isn’t…
WebFiction writers will do every single thing that commercial writers are not allowed to do. Things like:
Webfics will have mispelings and misplaced, commas and maybe an inconsistent number of spaces after periods. There will be sentence fragments that leave you.
Webfictions will tell you about the breakfast of tomatoes and eggs with pepper but no salt that the main character was eating as the phone rang-startling him because phones never ring in this character’s house–as if it were the most important thing of the day.
Time jumps. Head hopping. Disorienting. Isn’t something missing?
4. Adjectives and adverbs–TO THE MAX!
The jade and unbent grass on an offensively hot summer’s day will be both sharp and blade-like, the wind will be too swift and loud like an angry sylph, screaming.
5. Missing descriptions
Once past the language barrier, the commercial fiction reader will notice some differences in the stories themselves.
6. Stories will begin by talking about the weather.
Joe looked at the grey skies with the unfathomable clouds, like fuzzy bladders about to burst over the city. It was a cold day, but the grey went deeper than the cold.
7. The character’s life story, hair color, and skin tone will be described soon after the weather.
As the rain fell on Joe’s black hair it tinted the jagged and too-long locks an odd orange-yellow color in the reflection of the streetlights. It reminded him of that time when he was eight and his father had left. It was raining then. And there were streetlights.
8. There will be long passages of languages that haven’t been introduced yet, languages that are definitely not anything at all in the least little way like Quenya or Sindarin–not one tiny bit.
Liliyana purred into Celevorgion’s ear.
“Aratorilla callraamana osi cartolla,” she said. “Nga nga! Ona sisi trii ovanamoocarro sii. Cora nin sella rocco. Coro lin, neelan, ella.”
9. On page 63, the story might start.
The unpolished nature of webFiction can go two ways:
Either it gets in the way of the story, or it doesn’t.
If it gets in the way of enjoyment, put the book down and go enjoy something else.
But before you judge to0 harshly, remember one thing:
You are reading the literary version of graffiti art You may not want to stand in line for $20 tickets to a gallery opening for it. But somewhere in the scrawled mess of spray paint there may be a picture that sticks with you. And it gives you something better than a brick wall to stare at while you’re waiting for the gallery to open.