A Guide to Not Making Your Tribute Suck, published on Fanfiction.net began as Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Originally posted a straightforward list of dos and don'ts (but mostly dont's) in the creation of original characters in The Hunger Games Fandom, it had gone through several evolutions, both at the author's whim and in attempts to better conform to the Fanfiction.net content guidelines.
Currently, the story features an actual plot, centering around Gamemaker Deyna Balthazar. As the Only Sane Employee, he tries to teach his fellow Gamemakers how to choose tributes that won't make the public suspect the reaping are less than random. Eventually he leads them on a Sue-hunt through the internet, joined by a Parody Sue they nickname Spot.
A Guide to Not Making Your Tribute Suck provides examples of:
- Author Tract: The story is, primarily, the author telling people to stop writing Sues.
- Anti-Hero: The Gamemakers fancy themselves this, some of the time.
- Books on Trope: It primarily addresses Mary Sue tropes in The Hunger Games fanfictions.
- Brain Bleach: Cleo is promised some after a brush with a lemon fic.
- Deadpan Snarker: Deyna, and the author in the editions where she addressed the audience directly.
- The Ditz: Most of the Gamemakers aren't brilliant, but Tibbi stands out.
- Expy: Katniss expies are strictly forbidden. And judging from the rule after that, it's possible that this also goes for Peeta expies.
- Gender Flip: "No one wants their tribute gender-switched or something like that. ...Unless they do. Fanfictioners are weird like that sometimes. But still."
- Hammer Space: Where Cleo stores paper and writing utensils.
- Improbable Weapon User: Deyna tells the others to avoid reaping these, at all costs.
- I Need A Drink: Deyna, all the time. He also downs a lot of headache pills.
- Lemon: Cleo stumbles across one while in the internet.
- Mary-Sue Hunter: Deyna works to shape the Gamemakers into a team of them.
- Medium Awareness: The Gamemakers, at the moment.
- No Antagonist: Discussed. Deyna points out that the story, now having a plot, needs an antagonist.
- Noodle Incident: Tibbi's first mass murder.
- Original Character: The story offers a guideline for designing The Hunger Games tributes.
- Overly Long Name: Liana Raolin Kiyera Rosemary Abigail Reyna Catalina Milania Sunshine Glitterwings Mc Fluffysparkle.
- Surrounded by Idiots: The first chapter is even entitled "Deyna Balthazar Is Surrounded by Idiots".
- This Is a Work of Fiction:Disclaimer: All fics, users, and tributes mentioned in this story are completely fictional. Any resemblance to existing fics, users, or tributes, living or dead, is purely coincidental, although it might mean you're doing something terribly wrong. On second thought, if you're a dead user and you're reading this, that's kind of awesome. How are you doing that?
- Unexplained Recovery: Spot gets blasted in the chest with a machine gun. Two sentences later, she's fine.
- Villain Protagonist: One of the Gamemakers suggest they are this.
- What Beautiful Eyes!: Deyna warns against the use of fantastically entrancing eyes.