lunabee34: (are those men kissing? by animekittysama)
So, as you all know, I'm a NOTPer. I don't ship in the classical sense of the word. I am interested in lots of different pairings, and if a writer can sell it (no matter how unconventional the pairing may be), I will totally buy it with glee. I also enjoy writing rare pairs; so, for instance, in SGA, I'm just as likely to write Bates/Kavanagh as I am John/Rodney and to read Teyla/Sora as John/Elizabeth.

All this lead-up to say that I just realized I do kinda ship within the canonicity of the show. Oh, this wine makes the talking to be hard. LOL Let me give you some examples. When I watch episodes of SPN, I think Sam and Dean are totally straight. I don't really see canonical evidence to the contrary, and while I am sitting on my couch watching the show, I am rooting for Dean to figure out some way to be with Lisa and wishing Sam could have totally hot demony sex with Ruby again. But when I read and write fic for the show, I pair the two of them all over the place: with each other, with Castiel, with Ash (heee!). Or take NCIS. While watching the show, I am all about the Tony/Ziva. Love it. I have a hard time shipping Gibbs with anybody. He seems pretty much asexual to me; I think he gave up on that part of his life when his wife died, and any hints that canon gives us for relationships with him are all straight. But I can totally dig some Tony/Gibbs or Tony/Tim or Tony/Abby or whatever. Spander is another good example. I cut my fannish teeth on Spike/Xander, and I adore the pairing, but to me it makes absolutely no sense from a canonical standpoint. Or Harry/Draco. At any given point, I am more likely to be reading a Harry/Draco fic than anything else there is to read, and yet I never ever would have pegged that to be the dominant pairing of the fandom after finishing the series.

Does anybody else do this? Have kind of a disconnect between what seems plausible to you while watching the show or reading the book and what you want to read/write for fanfic? One set of ships for consuming the media and other set of ships for behaving fannishly about them?

(Caveats: Obviously subtext exists to some degree for all the pairings I've mentioned (even if it's just one arch look in one episode and a half season spent sharing a basement sullenly) and YMMV on that; not raining on anybody's subtext parade here. Also not saying that an unconventional ship can't be canonically compatible; in fact, that's the kind I like to read and write the most.)
lunabee34: (voyager: tuvok/neelix by dragonflyopera)
I frequently say to myself, "Lorraine, you are just like Walt Whitman with your multitudes and your contradictions," and if I am not alone in the room at the time, then I become so shortly thereafter this third-person declaration.

You see, my friends, I know what good writing looks like. I enjoy to read the good writing. I even produce it myself on occasion. And yet I can frequently be found consuming what is best categorized as melodramatic drivel. I don't know why I get sucked in by the pearlescent tears that fall from Draco's cerulean eyes to heal the mortal wound that Harry received while scaling the nearly impenetrable walls of Malfoy Manor to rescue him in a haze of true love and throbbing hearts. I have no words to explain why I'll spend hours reading a story written by someone who seems to know that Jack O'Neill is male and in the military but none of the other salient points of his characterization.

Surely the rest of you do this, too. Yes?

Remember, I'm not asking if you've read the particular fic mentioned or even anything in that fandom, just if you've engaged in reading a "bad" fic for the reasons given in the poll question.

[Poll #1752654]

So, why do we do read these kinds of stories? I honestly cannot articulate a clear and complete answer for myself, but it basically breaks down to a handful of things for me:

1. I find the story amusing in its badficcyness, or
2. I want to cry and be sad and melodramatic crescendos do it for me everytime, or
3. Something about the story is awesome and catches my attention (could be plot, could be character insight, etc), or
4. It hits a bullet proof narrative kink for me (like mpreg or everybody-misunderstands-everyone-else-and-cries-about-it), or
5. It's such a rare pairing that I have to take what I can get, or
6. Just because.

What about y'all?
lunabee34: (hp: pimp by mas_mervin)
If everything I learned about life I learned from fanfic, this week I learned that what we all really want most in life is for the person who rips off our button down to not merely suppress nausea at the sight of our hideously disfigured bodies but to love the freaking shit out of those burns and knife wounds.

I have seen this trope in every fandom I have ever spent more than two seconds in--whether it's Xander Harris's daddy-broken back that Spike lovingly licks into coagulation or a more milder take on the theme such as a Rodney McKay who despairs of Laura Cadman seeing his unfit naked body as she wears it.

And just this week, I saw it again in [livejournal.com profile] warholhp's Incurable, a Harry/Draco non-magical AU HP fic in which Harry spent four years at St. Brutus's Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys before transferring to Hogwarts. [Chapters are listed out of order; scroll down and find chapters 1-2 somewhere in the middle; all chapters are linked internally. However, there is one chapter towards the end where you get a "this journal has just been deleted" Frank message. I was all, "Nuh-no-nuh-no. I did not just read almost all of this fic and the writer DELETED HIR JOURNAL WHILE I WAS READING?! *wail* Never fear, my friends. The internal link is FUBAR; go back to mems, and you can click on the chapter just fine.]

In this story, Harry has multiple burns and knife wounds courtesy of Uncle Vernon (including the word freak carved into his chest) and a plethora of whip wounds on his back and buttocks from the corporal punishment meted out at St. Brutus's. Part of his romantic journey with Draco is allowing Draco to see and touch those parts of his physical body that Harry sees as irreparably damaged.

And here's why I love you, fandom, because rather than reading this trope as very obvious and anvilicious (I don't like my body, and I am using Harry and Draco to work through those issues), I see a lot of very interesting things going on here. Yes, there is a not insignificant part of this trope that is about the very real desire of all humans beings to be accepted and loved despite their physical flaws. But I also see that physical disfiguration as symbolic of internal darkness. The characters in these stories don't just hide their scars because they think they're ugly; they hide them because of what they represent--what they see as the consequences of a shameful event or their own propensity for violence perhaps, that dark passenger that rides shotgun with us all. And so when the beloved accepts--nay, even adores--that broken flesh, what s/heis really doing is accepting the inner demons, that darkness within. And that is ever so much more powerful than simply seeing beyond an imperfect body.

I think there's also a fair amount of fetishization of the damaged body in these fics--a nearly Rabelaisian revelry in the grotesque--and I find that fascinating.

So. *chinhands* What do y'all think of this trope? Is it as ubiquitous as it appears to me? Love? Hate?

Talk to me. :)

Sooper seekrit message to [livejournal.com profile] crazydiamondsue: YOU WILL LOOOOOOVE THIS.
lunabee34: (Ouida by ponders_life)
[livejournal.com profile] the_emu has a fascinating post about writing HERE. [livejournal.com profile] the_emu is currently serially posting a story; the story is complete, but ze's using the interim between chapters to tweak and edit the unposted portions of the story in response to audience feedback.

This post got me to thinking about serial writing and posting of fic.

The very first fanfic I wrote was a Big Bang length Spike/Xander that I wrote out longhand on legal pads, typed up, edited, and then thought—How do I go about getting this onto the internet with all the other fanfic? LOL I posted the whole thing to a Yahoo listserv, met a handful of people who introduced me to livejournal, and set up shop over here.

The first thing I noticed on lj circa 2005 was that everyone seemed to be posting long fic serially—a part each week or each day or sometimes according to no discernable schedule at all. And so when I started my next long fic, I wrote and posted it serially as well.

After I’d posted a few chapters, I definitely could see the draw of posting a story this way. Posting serially generates a lot of energy and excitement for both reader and writer.

cut for length )

So now I want to know what you think. How do you feel about serial writing and posting of fic as a writer, as a reader, or as both? What are the pros and cons? Have you done it yourself, and if so, how did that experience compare to posting a fully edited story? Talk to me about writing!
lunabee34: (btvs: spike n dru by hsapiens)
It's a lazy, rainy night, and I'm thinking about BtVS. I'm thinking about the Buffyverse because some kind soul recced one of my stories from last year in [livejournal.com profile] buffyversetop5, and that got me to thinking about [livejournal.com profile] maleslashminis and how much I really enjoyed participating in that comm last year. I also happened to catch a few episodes of the show on LOGO this week--events all conspiring to make me very nostalgic for my first fandom.

One of the things I liked so much about [livejournal.com profile] maleslashminis was that it forced me to be really creative and think about canon in new and interesting ways. I'd never have written Ben/Xander on my own or Giles/Jayne or even Graham/Riley. I liked the uncertain nature of the request, the fact that I never knew exactly what my recipient was going to want from a story. I miss that comm. *sniffle*

I met most of you guys in Buffy fandom, and most of you have mostly moved on, I think. We all occasionally foray back into the old stomping grounds, but I think most of us concentrate most of our fannish efforts in other places at this point.

So, I'm wondering--if you're ever nostalgic like me, what's the Buffyverse story that got away? The one you always meant to write but didn't? The one you always wanted to write but didn't think you could? The one you think that time and distance makes nearly impossible to write now? The story you always wanted to read but never found?

I suppose I am asking for writing prompts in a way, but even more than that, I am endlessly fascinated by the stories that we hold close to our hearts but never quite manage to commit to paper. Also, bored now, and talking good. :)
lunabee34: (fandom is my fandom by laurashapiro)
Apparently there's another round of Mary Sue debate going around, and I wanted to weigh in on the subject.

This is mostly in response to [livejournal.com profile] friendshipper's very cogent response and is in parts a verbatim repetition of my comment to her post.

I'm a professor of English. Writing's my gig. I teach the next generation of newbies how not to sound like complete dumbasses when attempting to communicate an idea. Literature's my thing, too. The good stuff. And not just the old dead white guys. I'm a canon-busting broad.

So please understand me when I say what I'm about to say next.

Go to ff.net. Go to Wraithbait. Type in some search term to delicious. And I guarantee that you're gonna get a hit count of fics that don't live up to your (for general and random senses of "your") standards. And I also guarantee that a preponderance of those fics will have the kind of comment count that makes you go, "Hmmm?"

And here's what I have to say about that (in all my inarticulate, studying for my comps glory):

We Many of us* come to fanfic for other stuff than we come to profic. (And this isn't a discussion of quality either. The best shit I've ever read ever is fanfic and the worst dreck I've ever read was sold on the shelves of a bookstore.) Because fanfic for a lot of us* is about conversation: with the source text, with each other, with ourselves (especially if we choose to write in a fandom more than once). I find myself adoring stories that are about tropes that emotionally resonate with me regardless of the quality of writing. There are narrative arcs that mean something to me (often something quite profound), that satisfy something within in me, that grip me, completely independently of writerly skill. And often Mary Sues are the avenue of exploration for those ideas.

And a lot of us fans are still in our formative years. Who are we? What do we believe? What are our possibilities? And some of us who are past that time in our lives traditionally devoted to experimentation and questioning are also opening to new possibilities, to new scripts. If fanfic is for a lot of us a safe way to think about and explore sexual permutations that we've not had the opportunity to explore in Real Life, who wants to shit on that parade?

And so for me... that's the bottom line. A Mary Sue story isn't necessarily going to be my favorite. I may back button out of that sucker two paragraphs in. But when I realize that this might be someone's id fic in the best sense: his, her, hir struggle to understand him/her/ze self, who the fuck am I to cry foul? It should be celebrated.

(And I'm not trying to ascribe to fanfic powers outside its purview, but I've known too many people, myself included, who as fans who read fanfic were able to explore their sexuality or other avenues of their personalities that weren't otherwise available for exploration in their current lives.]

Does that at all make sense?

[*ETA: I wrote this really late last night after reading an undue amount of Victorian literature and did not mean to imply any such thing as a One True Fandom.]
lunabee34: (fandom is my fandom by laurashapiro)
So I just finished The Ordeal of Richard Feverel by George Meredith (which I highly reccommend; it's a well told story) and I've caught up on fannish gossip with Sue and I'm thinking about reading some Snape fic, but before I do, I wanna talk to you guys. I miss y'all. I'm making myself crazy with this reading regimen. Like scary crazy. I'm a have the vapors eeeeeny second now.

So here is a talking point, gentle flist:

What keeps you reading a piece of fanfic despite a horrific abuse of the rules of punctuation and grammar or rampant OOC-ness or weepy!Ron who weeps and weeps all over the place? What sorts of things in fic keep you reading when you'd have backbuttoned out of another story? In other words, what are your bulletproof fanfic kinks (and I'm defining kink here as that which you can't resist, which satisfies you deeply, which you are drawn to, which gets you off in some way (not necessarily a sexual one))? What are your narrative kinks (ex. mpreg, epigraphs, lots of dialogue, aliens made them do it), your character kinks (ex. Inara has a secret, Giles is a closet fan of Blakes 7, Sam is jealous of Dean), your fanon kinks (ex. Buffy smells like vanilla, Xander's parents are abusive)?
lunabee34: (hp: trio by mavray)
As I'm certain you are all well aware at this point, I have been using Harry Potter fic to alternately procrastinate and recover from reading for my comps.

I read this story yesterday in which Ron Weasley cries. A lot. Like at least twice every chapter of the story. AND I LIKED IT! *wails* The story, the crying, all of it. I even cried a little myself.

cut for interminability )

So here's where you guys come in. I always think better about this sort of thing in conversation. What do you think about crying as a trope in fic? Tell me everything.
lunabee34: (Default)
I'm back from Writercon wehre I had a fantastic time. Thanks for all the well-wishes for Josh. He's doing a lot better; it's still unclear if he has any nerve damage, but he's mobile and the pain is getting more manageable. (As a side note, somebody please write the story about realistic levels of pain for wounds. Sheppard does not just go and go and go after getting shot several times. Just saying.)

I will eventually make a more personal and namedroppy post about the social aspects of Writercon, but I wanted to start with a post about some of the panels I went to before I forget them.

IS FANDOM GONNA HAVE TO CHOKE A BITHC? LANGUAGE AND GENDER IN FANFICTION
Moderator: [livejournal.com profile] mosca
Panelists: [livejournal.com profile] enigmaticblues, Kristina Busse, [livejournal.com profile] denny_dc

This was a really good panel, and as all good weighty discussions should be, one that raised more questions for me than it answered. The panel initially proposed to talk about the language used in the source texts we fan, our own fics, and our fannish socializing and infrastructure. Unfortunately because of time constraints, the last talking point wasn't really covered. I would have loved a conversation on the implications of the language we use when we squee, when we post to comms, when we communicate outside of what our fics have to say. One of the thing things that I have noticed in my fannish interactions is a real shift toward the use of and the awareness of gender neutral pronouns, which I appreciate. Although many of us are women, I have a kneejerk negative reaction to the default assumption that fandom is a wholly feminine space because it feels very exclusionary to me. This does not mean that I do not recognize and celebrate that fandom is a place where women have created power and agency for themselves; it does mean that I am uncomfortable with the narrow definition of fandom as a community that is by, for, and about women.

Back to the panel: Who gets to use sexist language? Can women, in real life interactions and in fic, reclaim sexist language much in the same way that minorities and queer people have reclaimed words used to hurt them? And in mad props to [livejournal.com profile] alixtii for the best question asked at a panel I attended: at one point would language stop being reclamation or an accurate representation of the way a certain character acts or thinks and become mere perpetuation of the problem?

Nina talked about genderfuck stories and said some really interesting things about them.
1. They don't reflect trans reality and aren't really intended to, although that is changing.
2. If a woman is writing, they are often a form of venting about aspects of our lives that we don't like.
3. She read a quote for which I did not catch attribution and couldn't write fast enough to get all down, but essentially, the idea was that womanhood is a thing to be performed, a masquerade, and one of the draws of genderfuck is to transfer desire and expectation onto the male body (the "unmarked body"). Maybe one of y'all can link me to the actual quote used?
4. Nina also discussed the homophobia, misogyny, and heteronormativity that are often part and parcel of slash, particularly Old Skool Slash.

There was also a brief mention of We're Not Gay, and I just want to take a moment to reiterate how much I hate that trope. LOL I know it's an old stand-by for slash, but I just hate it. I think if you experience same-sex attraction and sexual activity then you are at least bisexual and possibly gay. I get that the trope is supposed to make the OTP special--what could be more special than changing one's sexual orientation, right? It's supposed to prove that they are so inevitable and magical that nothing can stand in the way of their epic LOVE, but mostly it seems to me to be a way to get two guys to have sex without acknowledging homosexuality at all. Although I have read it before and enjoyed, that enjoyment is usually despite the WNG trope rather than because of it.

[livejournal.com profile] denny_dc started her portion of the panel with a list of insulting terms, some of which I already knew like using "gay" as a perjorative. I had not realized that dreadlocks actually is a term originally used by colonizers of Caribbean peoples to describe their hair (dreadful locks).

ENOUGH KISSING, GET ON WITH THE MAIMING! GEN-FIC
Moderator: [livejournal.com profile] redeem147
Panelists: Debra Doyle (who I actually think was not there), [livejournal.com profile] general_jinjur, [livejournal.com profile] bastardsnow

This panel really made me want to read House of Leaves as SPN. Like really, really, really, really bad. Really bad.

There was a discussion of bob and gron and porny gen and I brought up queerly_gen on Dreamwidth (which only Jinjur seemed to have heard of) and essentially I thought the entire discussion was hampered by a lack of consensus about what gen really means and what its conventions are.

One of the panelists used the phrase "slash minus one" to describe stories that have slashy elements but seem very light on them or don't include sex and I think Dasha's "Salt of the Earth" was cited as an example. I think this story falls neatly into slash according to my personal definition (full discussion in comments). I also have never heard the phrase "slash minus one" and was tempted to ask during the discussion if anyone would ever use "het minus one" as a descriptor. My feeling is no. I suspect that were a story to contain a Buffy and a Spike who pined for each other and yet never consummated their relationship, that story would be called het.

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME: HOW THE INTERNET BUILDS COMMUNITIES AROUND FANFIC
Moderator: [livejournal.com profile] scarlettgirl
Panelists: Kristina Busse, [livejournal.com profile] shaddyr, [livejournal.com profile] kalichan, and [livejournal.com profile] versaphile

[livejournal.com profile] scarlettgirl was an excellent moderator. I mean, really really good. There was a plan and a structure and I was impressed with the way this panel worked in terms of each panelist's contribution building on the one that came before. [livejournal.com profile] shaddyr started out with an excellent discussion of pre-internet fandom, [livejournal.com profile] versaphile told us all about the vagaries of archiving (and OMG, y'all, the amount of work that goes into making fandom an accessible place for us all is astonishing), [livejournal.com profile] kalichan talked about reccing, the lovely mod discussed newsletters and what goes into maintaining a successful one (again with all the work!), and Nina finished with a discussion of OTW and how it is addressing a lot of the issues brought up in the other panelists' talks.

I've got one more panel to discuss but I think I'm calling it quits for the night. Sister-in-law is here and SHE IS AWESOME! I just introduced her to SPN and I think there's more of that on the plate for tonight. She's being too heavily influenced by Josh's opinion that Sam has cro-magnon forehead. Off to remedy that!
lunabee34: (Default)
So as I'm wending my way through the last of the SPN Big Bang offerings from this year, something struck me.

Are the art and the fic treated as separate entities? I never click on the art posts (well except for that steampunk story last year because OMG! so freaking cool); I look at the art as it's integrated into the story, but that's pretty much it. However, I know that there are art communities just like there are fic communities and lots of people who interact with fandom in primarily that way which leads me to believe that people less lame than me *are* clicking on the art posts. So I'm wondering, does the art post ever get a ton of comments while not so much the fic?

And what happens when the story is crap but the art is good? Does the merit of the story predict the response to the art?

You artists on the flist--how do you make art for a story you think is crap? Or that you wish heartily you'd gotten the change to beta? LOL Is it along the lines of writing for a ficathon prompt that you would never in a million years have chosen and that sort of makes your eyes want to bleed a little?

Now I am all interested in the visual art side of fandom. I was late to the "icons are cool" portion of fandom and super late to vids given that this is the first year we weren't suffering with dialup and I'm starting to realize there is yet another amazing aspect of fandom that I haven't yet explored.
lunabee34: (Default)
I've been thinking lately about fandom milestones, war wounds as it were, the kind that you're not so secretly proud of because they're evidence that you accomplished Something Awesome. And probably Porny.

So, in ascending order

1. Post fic to Yahoo listserv
2. Misunderstand how Yahoo listserv works; think no one likes your fic until you actually, oh, check your Yahoo mail
2. Get coerced into using Livejournal/Dreamwidth/Insanejournal/Fanfiction.net
3. The one-shot fic
4. The multi-chaptered, serially posted fic
5. The multi-chaptered fic posted all at once
6. Participating in your friend's ficathon
7. Participating in a stranger's ficathon and not getting a story in return
8. Running your own ficathon because, dude, exchanges are cool but also kinda sucky
9. I made a comm! I made a comm!
10. People are joining! People are joining!
11. Yuletide!
12. Maintaining a huge recs list
13. Remix
14. The Big Bang

I make this list because Big Bang is very much on my mind right now and it seems to be the pinnacle of the fannish milestone, the sort of "no really, my fingers were BLEEDING. THEY BLED. MY KEYBOARD DOES NOT WORK NOW" kind of moment we've all been waiting for. The second fic I ever wrote qualifies in length for Big Bang, if you know, I'd posted it all at once and the Buffyverse had had Big Bang. [livejournal.com profile] ariadne83 and I are writing this epic SGA fic right now that's at about 19000 words and will probably be twice as long by the time we're done and part of me keeps wondering, in an abstracted and rather facetious way, how we will post it because damn it! I want the war wound, but I think Big Bang (in SGA at least) has all these inexplicable rules about pairings rather than just being the free-for-all that SPN Big Bang appears to be (Good job, SPN!). I can't help thinking of Big Bang as the last established fannish thing that I have yet to do.

So, what are your fannish milestones? What did I leave out? Can I achieve top fannish street cred if I don't ever write a Big Bang fic? LOL Talk amongst yourselves.
lunabee34: (sga: john's ear by prone_tastic)
INSTA REC: Poker Face by [livejournal.com profile] crysothemis; SGA vid; McShep; a thousand squealy hearts

So, here's the thing. All my friends are big ole nerds. The larping, csa-ing, vampire the masquerading, totally memorized every line in LoTR kind. And naturally they are all gaga over SGA. Last week at volleyball, my friend Mert lamented the end of SGA and when I mentioned that I could totally rec her some fanfic if she wanted to keep the torch alive, she said, "I've run across some of that where everybody's doing it with everybody else and it's just so ridiculous." I jumped on my gen bandwagon and promised her that there's more to fandom than just the AWESOMEASS PORN and I think she halfway believed me. But then she threw me for a loop. "It's always John and Rodney and I just don't get that," she says. So I found myself trying to explain the McShep to someone who owns a pair of slash goggles and is currently focusing them on Rodney and Radek but does not get the McShep subtext at all.

I found myself saying things like, "But, but in that episode with the little girl, they're like totally married," or "He calls for John the whole episode," or "Teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeammmm!" and that was not working.

Y'all know me. I NOTP. A good writer can make me believe anything and the more novel and interesting the pairing, the happier a Lorraine I be. Bring me your Teyla/Jeannie, your Sheppard/Caldwell, your OMG Dean Winchester/Rodney McKay. *rubs hands together gleefully* I do not require subtext to write a pairing; see my Bates/Kavanagh epic. But sometimes, man, the subtext hits me in the face. I will admit that I didn't see the John/Rodney subtext until around season three and of course now that I've seen it, it's woven its little insidious tendrils into the first two seasons as well.

So here's my question to you guys: If you had to explain in a maximum of ten examples why John and Rodney *could be* [notice the conditional there; not ARE, but COULD BE; I ran out of tinfoil today] doing it behind the scenes, what would you choose? Elucidate the subtext for me in easy to regurgitate bullet points please.

Incidentally, does this happen to you guys a lot? Do you find yourself explaining to your friends why Sam and Dean are totally doing it or Buffy and Faith or Kaylee and Jayne and they're all, WTF? What do you do? Do you meet a lot of resistance? Horror stories? Successes?
lunabee34: (meta foucault by jjjean65)
I'm teaching Epic of Gilgamesh this week and there's that scene where Enkidu interrupts Gilgamesh's wedding, they fight, and then decide they absolutely love each other.

Mortal enemies that after their enmity becomes physical esteem each other above all others.

Sounds familiar. Spander*cough*Spander

So I've got questions. Why do you think this trope exists? Why is that a compelling storyline? It's really not a very plausible one (people that hate each other somehow being so impressed by the person who's giving them a black eye that friendship abounds) but it happens in published literature and in fanfic over and over. Why? And is it always guys that have this relationship trajectory? I'm trying to think of a story in which it's a guy and a girl fighting and then BFF-ing and the only thing I can think of is Buffy and Spike and that doesn't really fit.

Also, can you guys think of any other examples in movies or in published literature (fanfic examples welcome as well although I think my students will be less familiar with those *g*).
lunabee34: (meta foucault by jjjean65)
I have a question.

A few days ago, I read the delightfully funny The Awful Truth by [livejournal.com profile] blade_girl. The rec in which I found the story states: I rec this one with a caveat to slash fans - as a fan of both slash and gen, I must tell you this story contains apparently slashy elements, but is ultimately gen (regardless of the author's notes); and may prove unsatisfying to a slasher. That being said, I find it a plausible, positive, and touching take on the characters and their friendship.) I found this description intriguing and it was pretty much the impetus for me reading the story. The notes for the story itself state: A slash story AND a gen story at the same time. I can’t explain that without giving away the ending, so I ask you to read regardless of your preference. Both the writer of this story and at least one reader of the story (and I assume probably more) seem to think that labeling this fic as slash is problematic.

So my question is the following: what makes a slash fic?

SPOILERS for The Awful Truth )
lunabee34: (writer by sukibluefiction)
After the last post I made about the lack of femslash discussion in [livejournal.com profile] sga_talk, I was inspired to look a little more closely at my own writing to see how often I write het, femslash, m/m slash and gen.

A Breakdown by Fandom )

It's quite possible I added wrong in SGA and SPN as those are the biggest categories of fic for me, but these numbers should be close enough for government work. That means of roughly 140 total pieces, I have written roughly 57 gen pieces, 49 male/male slash, 25 het, and 9 femslash.

*muses*

It's gratifying to see that I write even more gen than I assumed (and so much gen that is from the POV of women), but I really thought I had written more pieces of femslash than that. Must rememdy soon.

When it comes to Writing People Who are Not White, I do even more poorly than with femslash. One of my Spander fics is an ensemble fic and Gunn is featured there. I have written one fic from Inara's POV and one Inara/Kaylee drabble. In SGA, Ronon appears fairly regularly in my writing and there's a drabble from Miko's POV. Teyla is featured in two fics and Bates is featured in two fics as well. In SPN, I have a Gordon-centric drabble and Agent Henricksen features prominently in one of the Sam-centric gen pieces. *boggles* That's pretty pitiful, actually. So yes, resolve on that front as well.

Stay tuned....Coming up soon, Whispers! Why SGA is made of Gigantic Fail.
lunabee34: (sga talk by monanotlisa)
I am a little disappointed.

And a little annoyed.

In no small part at myself, but also at fandom at large.

And so I come to you, dear friends who are wiser than me, for advice.

I dropped the ball on the last [livejournal.com profile] sga_talk discussion. This whole new assistant professor, teaching five classes, QEP, SACS, why yes you have to finish your Ph.D. right now or we won't give you tenure gig is a little exhausting. And stressing. And I forgot to do a reminder post for this last discussion. And I forgot to drum up participation once I saw that I was, again, the only commenter. And I forgot to assign a new piece to read for the 1st of September.

So, yes. Culpability, I own you.

But here's the thing, y'all. Here's the thing.

I think [livejournal.com profile] sga_talk is awesome for a lot of reasons. I love to write. I am a writer. I become a better writer when I talk with other people about writing. And I like having a structured place to do this. I love to read. I am a reader. I have made reading and nattering on about it to other people my life's profession. I love literary analysis of fanfic. I also love reading outside of my comfort zone. I have so little time to hunt for fic now that I pretty much exclusively read the flist or large challenges like Big Bang. I find the good stuff through [livejournal.com profile] sga_talk that I would never find otherwise. I also like to meet people and I have met through [livejournal.com profile] sga_talk some really cool people with interesting ideas about SGA and writing and fandom. I think [livejournal.com profile] sga_talk is poised to be a vital segment of fandom.

And yet, it saddens me that I have to beg and grovel for participation in what other fans say over and over again that they want.

Believe me when I say that I understand there are obstacles to participating in a comm of this nature. RL is in the way; you have no time to read this week; you hate the featured pairing; you vowed never to read amnesia fic again; you're too wrapped up in Big Bang. All valid reasons not to participate.

But a significant portion of fandom says over and over again that it wants constructive criticism. A significant portion of fandom says over and over again that it thinks of fanfic as having the same kind of value and interest as published works and that it wants literary analysis of fannish works. And yet, in a comm with 69 members, I can count on only four other people besides myself and [livejournal.com profile] lyrstzha to regularly comment.

So what am I doing wrong? What am I not getting?

And while I am showing my ass, as we say in the South, let me also make this complaint. Why oh why is it that we fans criticize again and again the source material for giving short shrift to women and fanfic for doing the same; why is it that we lament the representation of women and of queer female relationships both in our source texts and in the fannish works we create but when it comes time to read and talk about femslash, everybody disappears? Even in its honeymoon phase when participation in [livejournal.com profile] sga_talk was at its highest, the femslash selections received the fewest comments. This makes me angry, particularly since there is an AWESOME and truly unique femslash fic sitting in [livejournal.com profile] sga_talk right now that no one but myself has commented on.

I am having a really hard time reconciling what I think I hear fandom say that it wants and needs and what fandom actually ends up doing.

So, help me, y'all. I think [livejournal.com profile] sga_talk can be an amazing community, but I don't know how to get it to that point. What can I do (besides, oh, getting my head out of my ass and doing my modly duties like I'm supposed to; *is embarrassed*)? What are your suggestions?
lunabee34: (meta foucault by jjjean65)
I've been reading [livejournal.com profile] metafandom posts this evening and in one of them, [livejournal.com profile] musesfool makes a comment about hitting the fannish sweet spot, capturing the zeitgeist. You know what she's talking about. Those writers that manage to write the pairing/plot/kink/whathaveyou that suddenly becomes the rage in fandom X.

My question is, how do we predict the fannish zeitgeist? Are the writers who do so just extremely lucky and prescient, or is something else at work?

For example, is the zeitgeist ususally episode based? (OMG Rodney has to earn back John's trust! Bring on the lemon chicken and the moves to China!) Or is it BNF-based? ([livejournal.com profile] notlorraine wrote some Ruby/Bella that galvanized SPN to a flurry of femslash (oh, god please, this would be nice)) Or something else? Maybe interviews with the cast or writers? (Even in a non-RPF fandom)

If you are one of these kickass persons who manages to give us what we want BEFORE WE EVEN KNOW WE WANT IT *g* please to be explaining the whys and the wherefores.
lunabee34: (Default)
I've been thinking lately about politeness and civility in fandom and what it means to me. As I said before in a previous post, I believe that fandom is a collection of communities made up of individuals who come to fandom for very different reasons with very different emotional temperaments and backgrounds and who as a result participate in fandom in different ways. As such, I don't think there are overarching rules for how to behave in fandom.

However, I do believe that each fan has a set of *personal* rules for how to behave in fandom that may or may not be shared by the average fan. Since these rules aren't written and it's often hard to tell what's important to a fan just by reading journal posts, I thought that maybe if we talked with each other about what we thought was important in terms of acceptable fannish behavior we could . . . Hmmmm . . . not reach consensus, because I don't think there's a consensus to be reached. But I do think that maybe if we understand a little better what our flists (and the fans we are acquainted with to a lesser degree) feel is important in terms of fannish behavior then maybe the controversy over those few things we can't agree about wouldn't be as heated.

So, to that end, if you had to distill your ideas on what constitutes acceptable fannish behavior into three rules, what would they be? (Remember, these are your ideas about how fans should communicate and interact with each other rather than any other aspect of fandom.)

Mine would be: )

I don't have a lot of personal rules re: fannish behavior because for the most part my fannish experience has been extraordinarily positive. I've never gotten a flame before; no one has ever seriously hurt my feelings in a fannish interaction; fandom has been three and a half years of almost uninterrupted fun for me. I tend to not make rules about things until I have experienced them which accounts for what may seem the weirdness of this list.

ETA [livejournal.com profile] synecdochic is smarter than me, not surprisingly, and this post pretty much articulates much of what I feel on the subject of concrit, reviews, recs, etc.
lunabee34: (Default)
I've been following the latest wank, and normally when Wank Happens, I don't comment (usually because I know people on both sides of the issue and don't agree in a clear cut manner with either side and the thirteen year old girl in my heart gets sad when excellent writers whose work she admires argue with each other and also because I'd rather be reading about Chad Michael Murray boning Jay-Red) but I think that this time I will, if only to you guys.

I think I fall somewhere in the middle of this issue. For instance, I do believe that fandom is a community, or perhaps better said, a collection of communities. I enjoy the friends and acquaintances I've met. I enjoy that I have a built-in audience for the stories that I want to write via various newsletters and fic comms. I like knowing that if I just randomly wanted something--someone to tell me a good place for Spike to eat in London, or a black and white icon of Michael Rosenbaum *cough cough totally a request*, or advice on which DC comic I should start with as a newbie--these are all things I could find from someone through fandom.

I don't think that there are overarching rules for how to behave in fandom, although I think "Treat people how you'd like to be treated" is a pretty good one. We are a collection of communities, each with different standards and expectations; each of us comes to fandom for different reasons and those reasons dictate how we participate.

I also believe very strongly in concrit. I want people to offer it to me and I enjoy beta-ing because it is a situation in which I can really delve into something someone is writing. It makes me sad that as mod of [livejournal.com profile] sga_talk, I can never offer up my own work for critique because boy do I think I could benefit from that. I think [livejournal.com profile] sga_talk is a very good example of my middle of the road stance on this issue; [livejournal.com profile] sga_talk is a comm devoted to concrit but as a concession to what I feel is the very important communal nature of fandom, author permission must be given for a piece of fanfic to be discussed.

I believe concrit is important, not only for the author of the piece, but for other authors. I learn more about how to make my writing effective by discussing yours. As I dissect what you have written, as I discover what you do that works and what you do that doesn't, my own writing improves.

However, concrit and reviews are two different things and I think they're being conflated in this latest kerfluffle. Reviews are also not feedback. Posting a negative review in your own journal and posting a negative feedback comment to a fic are two different things as well.

I think that it is an acceptable practice in fandom to write negative reviews. I don't think it's acceptable to conflate a person with her writing (It's not okay to trash Author A's character because you think her McShep is cheesy, for example) and I think there are ways of registering dissatisfaction with a piece without being overly rude, but a negative review does not have to do either of those things.

I personally do not give negative reviews. This is because my recs serve a very clear cut function for me. I do not rec anything that I don't want to read/see again. My recs are a way for me to keep track of material that I would like to look at again in the future. I am glad that other people benefit from them and use them, but on the whole, they are for me. Sometimes I will make a qualified rec (as in, I want to read this again, but I think X story element was not so hot), but I don't review stuff that I'm never going to look at again. The stories I enjoy for the moment but forget about the second they're done, the stories I start that I don't like at all--these never make it to my journal because I am never going to be set with the burning desire to read them again. Other people rec/review for other reasons, and the content of their reviews will reflect that.

If I read a negative review of my work (which I have before; in fact, someone has delicioused one of my fics and in the notes has commented that I really didn't do enough with the story, which is SO TRUE) it might make me angry or hurt my feelings or it might make me go, "Yeah. That sucked," or "Okay, *that's* how I fix that," depending on what was said and the tone of it. But I still think that person has the right to evaluate what I've put out for public consumption.

I feel like I had more to say but I can't remember what it is and I'm not sure this is all that coherent anyway, so um. The end.

ETA Also, to be clear, I am linking to Grace's post here, not because she is the instigator of wank but because she is on my flist and it is through her post that I originally found the matter. In retrospect, I should have also linked to [livejournal.com profile] lamardeuse's post.

ETA redux I'm going to unlock this post; I'm not certain why I locked it in the first place.
lunabee34: (cool lesbians by jjjean65)
So, [livejournal.com profile] executrix posted the HANDOUT for the panel on the personal politics of slash that she and [livejournal.com profile] beanside moderated, and after I got over my, "OMG OMG OMG [livejournal.com profile] beanside! Who makes Jeffrey Dean Morgan do it with Chad Michael Murray! (It's the three names; they belong together)," I was all, "Oooooh, intriguing questions."

The one that caught my eye immediately was the following:

3. M/m slash and f/f slash: more similar than different, or more different than similar?

And BTW, I love how all of these questions are essentially unanswerable except in a very personal, subjective way.

So here's my personal and very subjective answer.

More different than similar. For me.

Nekkid girls under the cut! )

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