In 2004-2006, I wrote a crap ton of fanfiction and much of it around two stories, Seeing Red from Buffy and Home from Angel and sometimes you end up wondering were was an editor? Did they test these ideas at all before dropping them.
Red gave us a strong heroine being nearly raped by a character that was unquestioningly one of the most popular on the show. first question was, should it have even happened? Second question should we not have had some consequences of this? For me this ended up a deal breaker. I stopped watching the show full time. I didn't see chunks of S6 and most of S7 of Buffy as a result. Partly because I was attacked like that, had to fight my way out of it.
Now if Buffy had hated SPike afterward I might have been okay but no, once again we see a woman being able to look past the abuse and say 'I still love him.' And nope, I'm out. She at one point BLAMES herself for the attack (at least Giles tries to point out it wasn't her fault which was surprising because at that point Giles was so out of character he was insulting in and of himself) Way to reinforce that women bring the abuse on themselves and are expected to forgive it. (Though in a way I think Noxon was trying to work something out). I do remember the trade magazines having on this and the actors themselves being upset.
So upset was I, that Spike disappeared from my stories. He was my favorite but stories after that either revolved around not forgiving him or trusting him or just plain old fashioned 'he died' at the end of S7. It was my process for dealing with this. By the end of S5 of Angel I was a bit more okay at least enough to let him back on the page.
As for Home, this story was SO dumb that most of my fiction (and there was an ungodly outpouring of it before S5 of Angel ever happened). I assumed that they decided Connor was unpopular so they're were going to write him out...in a way that made SO little sense, they had to undo it the next year with Origins.
I think this episode really shows the important of honest beta reading (because I'm pretty sure this did NOT have it as they were pulling half this season out of their ass to compensate for Cordelia's pregnancy which could have been SO easily done as She went to Pylea to help Groo who she was STILL with up until a few minutes before Connor arrived at the end of S3 and then just let her come back after the baby was born but whatever)
So we have a story line that turns Angel into an asshole who betrays his friends (but at least he was trying to save his son or something by giving his son to the people who were trying to dissect him for the entire season (so Angel is either stupid or brain dead) But that's not the worst thing a simple beta read might have been able to say 'are you sure you want to do this?' Because when you boil it down nothing about the scene in the mall makes a lick of sense. Granted Connor is very strong but there was no signs of violence so how the hell did he capture a dozen people and get them to sit patiently while he wired them up with explosives? Hell, how did he carry an unconscious woman into the mall in the first place without someone alerting authorities?
For that matter, how does Connor, raised by a man from the 1700s in a place with no technology (judging by his buckskins when we first see Connor) know how to make bombs from car batteries and propane tanks? How the fuck does he even know what car batteries and propane tanks are? Does anyone see Fred and Gunn explaining this to him at some point? Angel, at least has the excuse of being distracted by his son's pain that he doesnt' question this but it is NEVER questioned on the show, not once. None of it, not how Cordy got there, how he rounded up all those people and got them to sit there while he wired them up and how did he learn it in the first place.
And at the end of the day, we assume that he's acting on Connor's wish for a rest (but now 15 years out I can't remember if Angel ever heard that because I only remember it in the church with Cordy) which is why he gives Connor away instead of rewriting him and giving him away (and since Angel has knocked Connor out in the past, why murdering him and bringing him back was needed seems to be hey it's stupid but dramatic) and never does he think 'what happens if Connor gets into a fight at a frat party or something and KILLS someone with one punch' (which at least is addressed in Origins)
Ironically as dumb as Home was, I'm not sure David Boreanaz or Vincent Kartheiser had ever acted better than they did on that episode. They did absolutely nailed it. Stupid storyline, fantastic acting, go figure.
So yes, work out stuff with your writing be it fanfic or original. Get someone's eyes on it (I need to be better at not being a jerk and forgetting the stuff I'm supposed to beta read)
And have some links to go with my rambling.
From around the web
Use All Five Senses To Enrich Your Writing
On Day-Jobs And Starving Artists
Your Ideas Aren’t That Interesting
Making the Most of Author Bling
The Basics: So You Want To Write A Novel
And from Betty
Forget Strong Female Characters! We Need Complicated Female Characters Who Screw Up (A Lot) Loved this one
15 Questions Authors Should Ask Characters
How to Double Your Story’s Conflict in Seconds
Worldbuilding: Creating Fictional Cultures
Backstory: How Not to Tell Too Much
How to Write from a Guy’s POV
I’ve Interviewed 300 High Achievers About Their Morning Routines. Here’s What I’ve Learned.
How to Advance Your Plot with Careful Scene Design ~ 5 Steps
Compound Sentences and Conjunctive Adverbs
Six Mistakes That Can Kill a Great Plot
Optimizing Your Story Ideas for Stronger Engagement
How Do I Write Exposition in Close Perspective?
Rewatching Nirvana in Fire
I've just started this, so if anyone wants to join in - either rewatching, or as a first-time viewing - I'd love to have company. :D At the moment I'm just four episodes in. If other people are interested in watching along, we can come up with a specific schedule and I'll make regular posts designated for discussion! If it ends up being just me, I'll probably be quieter about it; I feel like I've flooded everyone with NiF reactions lately, and you've all been very patient about it and deserve a break in return. :D
Reading Yami no Matsuei
I started this a while ago but got sidetracked, so I plan to start over at the beginning. I'll try to post after each volume completed, to avoid being sidetracked again. No specific schedule in mind, but I should manage at absolute minimum a volume a week.
Watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Believe it or not, I've never watched FMA:B before! I didn't want to watch it before finishing the manga, and when I'd finished the manga it wasn't readily available, so it's taken me all this time to get round to it. :D The first anime will probably always be my true love, but for completion's sake I do want to get through Brotherhood as well. There may not be much to post about, though, given that this is the third incarnation of FMA for me.
Reading new SF/F from my To-Be-Read Pile
Most of my reading thus far this year has been rereading, but this pile needs to shrink, and this year is as good as any. :D No idea what will call to me first when I start going through it, but as long as I pick something, it's progress! (Reminder to self: take a picture of the pile and post it!)
Rec Some Fics
The lack of fic recs in this journal is just sad. Gotta get back in that rec habit, even if it means stumbling through different ideas on how to approach it till I hit on one that works. (By fandom, by trope, by length?) DW friends, if you have suggestions for recs you'd like to see, now is the time to toss them out here! I had fun posting about Identity Porn, and I've made at least one other post about a beloved trope before, so maybe that's a good approach. Or maybe it should be under a separate heading like "Write Some Meta" that would include stuff like characterisation notes and thoughts on archive warnings.
I hit up Target for some necessaries late-ish Saturday night - the new one in Porter Square – and decided to take the stuff directly back to the new apartment, so I could find out what it's like at midnight.
I lied on the floor. I didn't detect any vibrations.
The sound isolation between apartments seems very good. The sound isolation between building and the outside seems not so good – that is the windows aren't so great at sealing out sound. My window isn't right on MassAve, but the sound of traffic on MassAve through my window was loud enough to make me think, "Oh, hey, I should shut the window", but the window wasn't open.
The heat is steam heat, and it is abundant and very clangy. I have earplugs, so I assume this, and passing traffic, won't be an issue.
The hot water is very hot, and also abundant.
Today (Sunday), tn3270 and I drove over a load of fragile stuff that can be put away, out of the way of movers, in the kitchen and the closets. So my booze, and my glassware, and my fancy dress clothes are all now moved in. Am now ready to party. I also brought over all the outerwear I'm not currently using (the spring and autumn weight stuff mostly and my summer sun hats, and my back-up winter coat) and populated the coat closet.
Getting my formal-wear and outerwear out of the closet under the water heater that's overdue to blow is a relief. I still have stuff in there to wisk away to safety, but... soon. Not right now. Were I not so sore, I would be tempted to call a cab and take a second load over tonight.
But I think I'm rapidly approaching the point – like maybe one car load more – where everything left is either something I will need here until the day of the move, or it is something that requires the rugs or the furniture to be there already to go on top of or in, or will be in the way of movers and so should go in the truck.
( Hades is a buff man but not a happy one, Hera reminds Zeus who's really in charge, Hephaustus isn't paid enough to be the family therapist, Ares is only what he was made to be and yet somehow for Zeus that is not enough, and Persephone is so bored )
There's still shows I'm a fan of - Legends of Tomorrow is so much fun - but the characters / pairings I liked best are... not around. So the fanfic is not exactly flooding in for them. And because I watch like a year behind on DVD I'm not there for the meta and speculation parts of the year.
Doctor Who fandom is forever, but sort of diffuse, since I'm mostly dipping in to Big Finish and more than a year behind on that. New episodes time was exciting but not where my fanfic interests have been at for some time. Canon is always giving me new stuff and I don't currently ship anyone hard enough I have to go looking for it elsewhere.
Other fandoms have just sort of... worn off. I mean Marvel movies did the thing a while ago now, where they went where many of us did not follow. Whichever corner I was interested in was not the one they followed up on. And I haven't watched Infinity War or Ant Man & The Wasp, because they haven't fixed it yet. Don't know if I'll like how they do.
Agents of SHIELD has long since proven its politics does not overlap much with my own, and even the interesting bits didn't keep me.
I am very much looking forwards to Captain Marvel
but with this track record I am... apprehensive.
I still have a stack of Marked to Read fanfic for Stargate Atlantis that I intend to read eventually. Still have some for Stargate SG1, though less of it seems to turn up. There's old fandoms and old pairings I can go looking for.
But I've also been following random recs. Reading book fandoms. Reading book fandoms for books I have not in fact read, having filtered it to post canon where they're actual adults, and quite a lot of varying degrees of AU. At that point it's pretty near original fiction but with characteristic concerns? And I've read fic for Teen Wolf when I have not watched a single episode. It was an AU fusion but it left me wondering what the good stuff is considered to be there. Plus I just spent a long weekend reading Pride and Prejudice fanfic, and am currently on the alternate endings, and it's interesting.
So I'm looking for stuff I'm not getting in my main fanfic reading, as well as looking for more of stuff people aren't writing, partly because some of my favourite pairings are from comics twenty or more years old and at some point people are just not going to go there any more. *sigh*
If I could figure out what I was looking for I'd have more success finding it.
I mean some of it is revisiting old friends and their emotional attachments and hoping that at some point in the last twenty years things worked out for them, which you'd think would be a weird reason to read fanfic, but sometimes I find fic written by someone who obviously had that exact same set of feelings and it's like, twenty years later they meet up and everything still matters but they're different people now, and then there's Story.
There's characters I still miss after twenty years. Characters who got such a bad ending I still get sad of it. Fanfic is a balm for that.
But some of what I'm feeling about platforms fading is probably that thing where that particular corner of fandom, or that fandom as a whole, is fading, and there's never much to be done about that.
Still, the state of tumblr is not encouraging, since I can't keep my queue full lately.
I don't know, don't know why it's useful to write this, don't know what's to be done about it.
Find a new fandom?
Talk more about the ones I have?
I keep deleting posts before they post, or in the case of one FB post, after they post. (I do that. Delete. I refuse to apologize for it. My journal/my FB, my rules.)
1. Cousin on FB...
"I unfollowed another bigot."
Okay, first I posted this on FB and I will post it here:
Just want to thank everyone on my flist on DW for not being a bigot, a homophobe, an asshole, or an insane trump supporter. I've not had to unfollow, defriend or avoid anyone because of this. You are all exceedingly kind and gracious people, who care about others and refuse to demean anyone on the basis of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or beliefs. And you are all willing to stand up to people who are bigots and hurt others. Thank you. I'm feeling very grateful and lucky tonight. Not everyone is so lucky to have such wonderful friends.
It's true here as well. Thank you for being kind and wonderful people. And a haven from the insanity.
I am exceedingly grateful.
Second, I'm admittedly obnoxiously opinionated and liberal about this -- and I honestly think I've scared the bigots, etc off ages ago. Because I have no problem kicking bigots in the pants. I'm obnoxious when it comes to bigotry. Zero tolerance for online bigotry. Also I will stop talking to, and ban and block and unsubscribe to bigots online. ZERO TOLERANCE is ZERO TOLERANCE.
2. Saw two articles online this weekend that..I felt the need to comment on.
* Ok Cupid Ad...
I had bad experiences with online dating. Although to be fair, unlike most people, I'm not really that invested in getting married and having a family. AND I'm picky. VERY picky. Why? My parents are basically soul mates. My brother and his wife? Ditto. My sister in laws parents -- a nightmare. My friends' parents? A nightmare.
My extended relatives -- somewhere between soulmates...just okay and nightmares.
I've met a lot of folks who went through horrible divorces. And then got married again, and just no.
OK Cupid was by far the worst experience I've ever had. It turned me completely off online dating.
* Chris Pratt and Ellen Page's fight over a church.
I don't remember the name of the church, Hollyspring something or other. It's an evangelical. And endorsed by Justin Bieber.
( Read more... )
3. Queen's songs are ear-worms. I can't get various lyrics out of my head...right now I have "Supersonic" going about. Also, apparently they've released the movie soundtrack which has twelve previously unreleased Queen songs.
Me: So I rented Bohemian Rhapsody and did not like it.
Mother: Well, your brother really liked it.
Me: My brother's favorite films are Titantic and Ang Lee's The Incredibly Hulk. His taste is hardly reliable.( Read more... )
I'm still taking questions here if you're interested.
1. What made you start writing fanfic?
Probably unsurprising to anyone who has read this journal for any length of time, but Star Trek novels. When I was 11ish, I got it into my head that if other people were writing Star Trek novels, all I needed to do was write one, and then I would send it to Pocket Books and get published. I don't even think I considered the monetary aspect of the venture. I just liked reading the books, and thought it would be fun to write one, and assumed that if I wrote a good one, I could get it published.
Of course I never finished it, and of course even if I had it would never have actually been published, but I was clearly primed to leap from "I like this thing" to "I want to write this thing", and when I discovered FF.N a few years later, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to write and post Batman fanfic, since I was super into Batman at the time.
10. What's a theme that keeps coming up in your writing?
Skimming my last 20 works on AO3, there are a lot of stories that deal with people moving from one stage of life to another, and often changing direction in the process. And also mingled in that same character arc, finding a home, or at least a respite.
It's very explicit in Safe Landing with Gaye. She not only gets her respite in the hotel, but there's also this line:
Back in Chicago, little Maggie Mooney's greatest fear was to grow up to be a maid, like all the other Irish girls. And now--Well, life's funny like that. A right kick in the teeth sometimes.
Let'thieri, and Veral coming home from the war and realizing that he likes his wife's town, and wants to stay there and do his work in a tiny little clinic by the sea. (It's not in the story much, but Veral was ambitious pre-war, and always imagined himself in a prestigious spot at a major hospital, so this is a huge departure from where he thought he was going.) Later in the same series, Masu-kastra has a character who comes right out and says, "I want to catch my breath. I want to get my feet back under me. I lost control of my life two years ago, and I need to figure out...everything."
Change of Vector is all about Will Riker finding his way home, both in the immediate sense of getting out of his situation and getting back to his ship, and also in the sense of finding a place to call home, and also there's the element of figuring out that his initial career plan was maybe not the thing that's actually going to make him happy, and making adjustments accordingly. It's not only in the title, but I got rather heavy-handed with the line: Life was full of unexpected vector changes.
Even The Inheritance (warning for abandoned WIP) has a similar finding-home element to it, especially in the beginning. And Forward Momentum has a sense of Janeway and Tuvok finding a home in each other, at the same time they're working out what the next part of their life is going to be.
(I could naval-gaze about the reason this particular theme appeals to me, but I will spare you.)
4. Do you think your style has changed over time? How so?
I think style is like an accent. Yeah, I have one, but I don't think of myself as having one. So I know I have a style, but I couldn't for the life of me describe it to you.
If I compare baby's first fic to my more recent work, obviously, my recent stuff is a lot better. But I have a hard time noting the actual stylistic differences. I write longer paragraphs, and I'm less dialog-heavy. My sentence structure is more varied. I show more, tell less. I guess those things count as stylistic changes, but I mostly think of them as learning to do words better.
7. Name three stories you found difficult to write.
Laid Bare, aka the Troi fic that I complained about often. When I sent it to beta, poor beatrice_otter had to put up with me ranting about how much I hated it. (I'm happy with it now, but I really did not like that story in the weeks after I finally finished it.)
Let'thieri had to be revised about four times before I got it right. And there was a good 4-year lag between initial beta and posting of Beneath the Rule of Men, because when it came back from beta, I totally saw what my beta meant about the changes needed, but for some reason I could not make it work, and I ended forgetting about it until years later.
14. You're applying for the fanfic writer of the year award. What five fanfics do you put in your portfolio?
An Ink-Stained Year [P&P, Caroline Bingley/Colonel Fitzwilliam]
The Surface is a Strange and Wonderful Place [TOS, gen]
And There's Screaming in the Stillness [SG1, gen] (DW link because apparently I still haven't gotten around to putting all of my SG1 fic on AO3. Good heavens I was prolific in that fandom.)
Let'thieri [Star Trek, no canon characters, OFC/OMC]
Laid Bare [TNG, gen]
Seriously, this could not be more spoilery!! ( Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers. )