Musician, writer, artist, gardener, Jane-of-all-trades.
I keep astonishingly busy with a wide variety of things and this blog may seem random in consequence. Expect Mass Effect fanfic (including the ongoing saga of pilot-lovin' Rhi Shepard), thoughts on disability, politics, and a liberal helping of goats. Especially baby goats.
Just so’s y’know, it’s mostly been queue lately cause I’ve been ferociously busy both at work and home (and work’s cracking down on social media). Hopefully I didn’t offend anybody or start a flame war or something right before I left :P
For followers of the fic: I wrote a thousand words today, and I think they might even be GOOD words. This b it’s been tough, but I desperately want to give you a chapter before the end of the month.
i want the kind of funding that scientists in comic books have. where are you getting this money? do you publish papers or do you just turn people into giant lizards and call it a day? do you have to get that shit peer reviewed? who is paying for your research? can you give me their email address
i have googled ‘evil science grants’ and the results were not satisfying
I refuse to believe it. I read about Evil Science Grants in Narbonic, and Narbonic has libertarian hamsters, official lab pajamas, and uncovers the conspiracy of Daves, so it must be true.
“Crap is a sign of life. New bad stories are a sign that this genre — fan fiction, the genre I adore the most - is alive and well. Bad stories mean new people are trying to write in it, and people are trying to do new things with it, and maybe new people are joining the audience, too. When only the best and most popular are writing in a genre, it’s on its deathbed. (See: Westerns and Louis L’Amour.) I want this genre to be here forever, because I want to read it forever. So I’m happy that teenagers are posting Mary Sue stories to the Archive of Our Own. Does that mean you have to be happy? Nope. I can’t make you do anything. (I can think you’re wrong, but hey, being wrong on the internet is a time-honored tradition among our people.) But when you start making fun of a writer and bullying her in the comments of her story, simply because she’s writing something you think is bad and embarrassing, well, that’s when I say: shut the fuck up or get the fuck out. Because she’s not a problem. She’s just doing what we’re all doing — having fun, playing with words, throwing something out there on the internet to see if other people like it. But you. You’re trying to stop someone from having fun. You’re trying to shame people into not writing anymore. And that, folks — that is the definition of shitty behavior. (Mary Sue fantasies, on the other hand, are just the definition of human behavior.) It’s bad for people, it’s bad for the future, and it’s bad for the genre. So you’re a problem.”
This? Is really, really important (not re: me, as I am old, mean, and soulless, but re: writers who are not old, mean, and soulless), especially when you are talking about public commentary, and especially when you are talking about commentary that is unsolicited.
If you really want to improve the quality of Fic At Large, by all means, strike up relationships where you can have meaningful dialogues with other writers and provide trustworthy and meaningful commentary on their work, and (ideally! mutual beta love is the best love!) where they can do the same for you. In fact, if such a concept tickles your fancy, I know of a writing/making shit club that you might find interesting! But there is a world of difference between participating in a community in which people mutually solicit and provide suggestions for one another to help each other out, and leaving mean, snarky, abusive comments directly on someone else’s fic.
This is extra extra true if you could be construed as being in a position of power relative to them, which, if they are a new writer and you are not, you are.
I do not have enough words or reaction gifs to truly emphasize just how incredibly, incredibly important this is. The culture of mocking fanfiction on the internet (which almost always entails mocking girls when they write, and particularly young girls) is toxic and really sexist at its core, and, in a culture that mocks literally almost anything and everything young girls do, takes away one more space for young girls to do things. And those spaces are really, really important, because they’re places where young girls are creating and sharing things because they want to—they have a vested interest in this thing, and are taking a really big risk by trying something new (writing) and sharing it publicly (AO3, FF.net, wherever) for others to read (who are, more often than not, strangers, even in fandom communities). And mocking that process or leaving vitriolic, spiteful comments, mocks the girl who took that risk. And that’s teaching her to not take risks; to not share her work; to not, in fact, write or create ever again. And that’s the most detrimental thing you can do—to a girl, to a community, to a genre, and to art and creating in general.
also i’d like to note that there’s some painfully obvious self-insert, painfully badly written slash
some of it with an original male character, even
but it doesn’t get attacked like mary sue fic
which sends the message that girls and women can only find safety in identifying with male characters and living out their fantasies through male avatars
you’re not safe as a woman. what you want is wrong when channeled through a woman character. it’s only okay to want things if you imagine yourself male
trying to live out fantasies through a female avatar is evil and wrong and disgusting and deserved to be shamed into the ground
and that is sick and twisted shit
and ain’t nobody gonna convince me the overwhelming popularity of dudeslash isn’t pernicious while that double-standard exists
are there women and girls who would independently enjoy fantasizing through male characters in dudelsash if there weren’t that obvious, coercive fandom pressure?
but as long as the pressure is there, you cannot fucking tell me it’s not shaping how women and girls feel and where they direct their pleasure and you cannot pretend that the predominance of dudelsash is entirely innocent and simply a byproduct of female fans following their bliss
not when certain avenues of bliss are ruthlessly cut off by misogynistic hate
I’d just like to say so much THIS to all of this, that I’ve become the word itself.
I keep saying:
I grew up, from the age of five, doing forms of performance art (dance, vocal performance, theatre, instrumental performance) where critique and workshopping are literally a weekly event, because that’s what our teachers do. And then we sign up for bigger ones, in festivals and the rest of it.
Fic-sporking? Isn’t fucking critique. It’s mockery.
Showing up to tell some kid she shouldn’t write what she’s writing when she didn’t fucking ask you? Not critique. It’s mean.
I have literally stood on stage and been told my performance was a disaster area. I am not saying this as someone who hasn’t had her art torn to pieces or who hasn’t gone backstage to cry until her makeup comes off (and that’s hard with dancer makeup). I am saying this as someone who lived art critique for twenty years, and even went to school for it. (This is more or less what going to music school is: signing up to have people criticise your work for four years.)
And if you’re really concerned about bebe-writer’s improvement as a writer?
Tell her to write more. Lots, lots more. Because lemme tell you, no critique will eeeeever ev. er. give you as much as hours of practice. Tell her to read more, and deliberately imitate favourite authors. Or even authors she hates! It’s practice.
Don’t “critique” her stuff unless she asks you to. And anyone who does want it will probably ask.
All of these things are true and I am SO GLAD to see other people saying them, because four or five or ten years ago, nobody was saying them, and three or four years ago, saying them got you harassment and and abuse.
Critique comes out of conversation - and conversation can only happen when theres’ respect. Sporking? Is the fandom equivalent of running somebody’s underpants up the flagpole. You may THINK that this kid is too old to be wearing Barney underpants, and you may THINK that the only way they’ll learn to wear regular ones is by publicly displaying them for everyone to sneer at, but holy mother of fuck you would be wrong, so wrong, look how fucking wrong you are Anakin, LOOK.
So you’ve read a story that is some good bones but the execution is off and the execution is off, the SPAG is not great, and you don’t really like the OCs.
Guess what: That story is done, it’s posted, it’s not changing in any significant way. The time for that story is past.
If you’re unwilling to open a dialogue with the writer, to help each other become better writers in the long run … to offer yourself as a friend to this person, then you can keep your noxious bullying harasser-abuser opinion to your damn self.
Saying nothing costs you nothing.
Sudden mental image of a well-meaning but immensely powerful necromancer who refuses to raise people from the dead, but is constantly resurrecting long dead fashion trends.
No seriously, I’m in love with this. “Leave me alone to study, young man, or its denim pant suits for everyone!”
This is why lucite and dayglow had a mini resurgence in the early 2000’s. Thankfully, the threat was localized to fashion week, and a paladin of Good Taste was able to stop it before it got out of hand.
musanocturnis replied to your post “E and I just started watching DS9 from the beginning, because Star…”
From memory, “I intend to be in here until supper, not senility.”
YES! I KNEW SOMEONE WOULD UNDERSTAND!
Me: Oh, thank you! Cute little pixel people!
Him: I know you love pixel people that die horribly.
Me: That's how they know I love them!
I had grand plans of getting a lot done today, but then I got cramps (because that time of the month is that time of the week at the moment, boo) and now I’ve wasted the day and all I really want to do is ask housemate Xed to order a pizza with a steak on it.