ratcreature: RatCreature is thinking: hmm...? (hmm...?)
Okay, so this probably has happened to many of us, that you read a story, that intersects with your life or experiences in some way. When that happens to me and I start writing a comment, my own experience is then what's in my head as reaction, and basically I recount whatever episode or life experience resonated with that story. Only then at the end of this, I come to the realization that my comment on the story doesn't actually talk about the story as such at all, but just about me. Then I feel really awkward, and more often than not I don't post that comment, and just click the kudo button instead.

However, most authors seem to like comments better than kudos. Does this still hold true for comments that don't actually talk about your story as such but are more or less (over)sharing of personal experiences a story resonated with?

Like okay, say you wrote a roadtrip fic where your characters look at a giant ball of rubber bands or whatever, and then you get a comment that is along the line of "here's my roadtrip experience of looking at a giant rubber band ball". It's not totally unrelated to your story, but not about praising your great characterization, awesome writerly skill or perfect timing either. And of course often it's not about a rubber band ball but some more personal resonance.

What do you think about such comments? Awkward? Still better than kudos? Better not posted because you don't really want to hear random strangers' anecdotes?
ratcreature: Flail! (flail)
I'm still not reliably back online, because the eye issues are still ongoing... but since I can do screen reading right now, and just came across another story with the trope "soulmates reveal their names to each other in body writing", I just have to ask: Are there any of these stories that actually have any explanation for how that is supposed to work?

I mean, I love soulmate tropes, and I can put aside the general, inherent practical problems of just two people being fated to match each other and be compatible, but -- It's one thing to handwave a premise of "humans recognize their soulmate when they see them by some magical or biological impulse" but in these particular universes how did the name thing even start? The stories never seem to say whether these name marks just started to show up (by some magical? means presumably) once a group already had developed writing (and if so, do not all humans have them, but only literate societies?), or whether humans in these universes developed writing based on the odd marks that showed on their skin (and if so, do all societies have the same writing?).

Also if the marks precede the writing, how did humans even find out these symbols referred to their soulmates' names? If every human was born (or developed) a mark rather than both soulmates showing the same symbol or something, you'd think the natural assumption would be that this was their own mark/symbol.

Are there any stories that offer any explanation for the mechanism?
ratcreature: RatCreature is thinking: hmm...? (hmm...?)
As I'm still pondering whether or not to sign up for the upcoming [livejournal.com profile] xmenreversebang, that made me once again been wonder why there isn't some place/infrastructure besides (Reverse) Big Bangs to facilitate collaborations. Fests are good insofar that the moderators usually try hard to get everyone paired up, but there is the whole issue of the schedules and deadlines. Why aren't there non-fest places for authors and artists to pitch some project idea to find another fan who would be interested in working together?

Like, it kind of compares to getting a prompt filled somehow, which you can attempt by signing up to a fest or by throwing it out in a kinkmeme, hoping to find someone interested from a random but larger pool. Of course most don't get filled in kinkmemes (mine never have been so far), but the chance is still better than just putting out your idea in your own journal.

I guess the obstacles are the potential social awkwardness (you might have to reject offers of collaboration, because you dislike someone's writing/art/podfic/whatever style or even their proficiency), and also that the likelihood of matching (or even the general interest in collaborations outside of close friends) might not be high enough to make such a forum worthwhile.

OTOH fandoms these days don't have central places anymore, so there isn't even anywhere where you could put up your notice individually for many others to see, like a central (or at least large) general discussion list or a noticeboard.
ratcreature: RatCreature with an ear-trumpet: What? (what?)
I just came across a header with the line "Warnings: miscsquick". What is that supposed to mean? I guess there is a typo in there somewhere so the warning could be "misc. squick" which has to be the most useless warning ever, because just knowing that "miscellaneous squicks" are in there doesn't help you any to decide whether to read or not, unless you are sure that you have no squicks whatsoever. After all "miscellaneous" could mean the story was say someone killing puppies and then molesting their corpses in necrophiliac bestiality. (Glancing through the story I think the warning was just intended for a worn underwear fetish, not puppy necrophilia. That was just my mind combining the first miscellaneous squick I thought of, i.e. animal harm, with the PWP genre of the story, in a guess.)

Or the line could have been intended as "might squick" which is equally useless, because any kink is someone else's squick. I guess both could just be a variant of "caveat, author doesn't use warnings", which is fine, but then why not say so?

Seriously, if you warn for some squicks, say what the potentially squicky things are, or say outright that you don't warn.
ratcreature: RatCreature is thinking: hmm...? (hmm...?)
I'm curious, how many, if any, WIPs do you currently follow? Also which they are, especially if they are in one of my current main fandoms, to see whether I'm missing anything good. I know not everyone likes WIPs, so obviously this is not the post for WIP haters. I like following WIPs along, which has become obvious to me once again now that I read ST: Reboot, where WIPs seem more common than they are in SGA, so the number I keep track of has increased greatly in a short time.

So here's the list of WIPs I currently follow, i.e. WIPs I subscribe to updates for or regularly check (I stopped reading some HP WIPs I used to follow, because currently I'm not much interested in HP, so I'm not listing those). For simplicity it's just title and author with a link, as these are not recs, though I recced some before, and obviously want to know what happens next for all of them:

cut for length )
That were actually fewer than I thought, though I may have forgotten some.
Poll #2497 do you follow (m)any WIPs?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 39

How many WIPs do you follow?

View Answers

5 (12.8%)

none in principle, but there is that one special story I broke my no-WIPs rule for...
8 (20.5%)

a few (say less than ten)
16 (41.0%)

more than a few but not that many (say more than ten but less than 25)
4 (10.3%)

more than 25 but (probably) less than 100
2 (5.1%)

more than 100
0 (0.0%)

more than 200
0 (0.0%)

too many for me to keep track the number even approximately
2 (5.1%)

I have no idea how many, but not because the number is too large
2 (5.1%)

ratcreature: Flail! (flail)
I have just seen a Kirk/Spock/McCoy fic tagged as "Mckick". Granted, on the story itself rather than the journal's tags it was written out, so don't know whether this was just for tag brevity or is really used as pairing name proper somewhere, but even with knowing the pairing it took me a bit to decipher what this tag on the post meant. Smooshes just get the more confusing the more people are involved.
ratcreature: TMI! RatCreature is embarrassed while holding up a dildo. (tmi)
I've been reading a slash story in which a heated argument between the couple (who are also friends) results in punch being thrown, and then the one punched actually finds the aggression a turn on and it goes on to sex. Somehow this combination of sex and violence doesn't work for me at all, not even in fiction, where I'm not averse to combinations of sex and violence.

Like, I can go along fine if the aggression is against some kind of third party, and one character is turned on by the other being violent, or they are turned on mutually, say if they are both in a barfight or even slaughter others. I can also go along with non-con that involves violence with the victim not being turned on, but I as a reader like it. But if the violence is between the couple (and they are supposed to like each other), uncontrolled violence segueing into sex (rather than say rough sex that is mutually agreed upon) is squicky for me, more so if the violence is not mutual (the latter would be more fighting leading to fucking in some kind of hate sex, which I also don't like, but it is not as bad as one sided violence).

Most often this is shown from the POV of the character the aggression is turned upon rather than the violent character being turned on by the escalation, i.e. A hits B, usually after some provocation, then B somehow finds that aggression/violence (or sometimes the loss of control) hot, and sex follows. I have to admit that I find this particular combination of sex and violence to be surprising as a kink, and it always startles me, but I see this every now and then, and I'm wondering whether it is something that many people like in sex scenes.

So, a poll:

Poll #1787 fictional sex & violence, when are they like hazelnuts and chocolate?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 130

Which combinations of sex & violence do you like in fiction?

View Answers

15 (11.5%)

violence against outsiders is a turn-on for the characters, and followed by sex between them
76 (58.5%)

consensual, planned violence between partners (e.g. agreed upon rough sex, with bruising or hitting)
102 (78.5%)

unplanned, but mutual violence against each other (with both being equally aggressive/violent) then leads to sex
89 (68.5%)

unplanned, violent aggression (e.g. during an escalating argument) of character A against their partner B is a turn-on for B, and then leads to sex
34 (26.2%)

unplanned, violent aggression (e.g. during an escalating argument) of character A against their partner B is a turn-on for A, and then leads to sex
15 (11.5%)

violence with non-con sex
32 (24.6%)

ratcreature: RL? What RL? RatCreature is a net addict.  (what rl?)
I've seen some fans say that these days they primarily use delicious to find fanfic to read rather than following fic comms or watching archives directly. I also do that when I search for specific stuff and look for tags, but I don't really use the social network functions. Every now and then I try adding someone, especially if a rec comm also keeps track of their recs on delicious, but somehow I never really stick with it. (And only part of the reason is that delicious often tends to crash or freeze my browser if I view it with javascript enabled, which I suspect is because it can't deal well with my large number of tags or something. It's really quite pathetic -- ~4900 tags is not that many.)

So do any of you use delicious' network feature? Which people (or comm accounts) do you follow to find new fanfic? Currently I'm particularly interested in ST:AOS (though TOS also to some degree), SGA (*clutches*), Merlin, Supernatural (non-Wincest, non-RPS only), and Numb3rs, but as I'm really multifannish and fickle in my interests I'd be interested in what you follow for other fandoms too. Do you have any recs whom I should follow there?

ETA: And please feel free to point out your own account if it fits what I'm looking for.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Spock (trek)
It drives me absolutely crazy when in ST:AOS fic the older, time-traveling Spock is called "Spock Prime" within the story text, assuming the story is told from a POV character withing the fictional universe rather than some jokey outside parody narrator or omniscient meta fiction narrator. It's fine for a pairing label, but please, please find some other way to distinguish the character from the younger Spock in the text. I am usually not that picky about narrative voice, but this just throws me out of the story in a way from which I can't recover. It's one of the few things that will just make me stop reading immediately in this fandom.
ratcreature: RatCreature with an ear-trumpet: What? (what?)
Up to now I've thought that "Snermione" was the most unfortunate smooshed pairing name I've seen "in the wild" (i.e. used by someone unironically just to name the pairing rather than in posts mocking the most hilarious potential name combinations), but I think I may have to revise this in light of having just seen "Spirk" on a story search. I'm not completely sure what I object to in particular, except that calling it "Kock" would be as easy to pronounce, even funnier and comply with the traditional K/S order. Seriously though, "Spirk"?!?
ratcreature: reading RatCreature (reading)
After spending quite some time today looking for fanfic that I'd expected to be common but for some reason it isn't, I realized that semi-regularly I look for certain kinds of fanfic that I really expect to find, yet somehow it doesn't exist at all or in much smaller numbers than I'd anticipated from the size of the fandom.

I don't mean that obscure story you yearn to read, but that is somewhat "out there", like for example the SGA/Watership Down fusion I wish someone would write, with the SGA characters as space-exploring rabbits (though, honestly, it makes sense and the two would go great together as I explain in the notes for my fanart for such a universe, so I don't really think it would be that weird a fusion, but I can see why it hasn't yet become a genre. Though it should!), or specific fanfic in small fandoms, like say Spider-Man/Daredevil slash (though when I looked for that today I actually found some I had missed, yay!), but genres, pairings or plots you honestly expected to find.

Then I wondered whether other people have these kinds of lists of fanfic they're searching for periodically. For example every once in a while I look for these:
  • CSI: Lady Heather/Gil Grissom D/s fic with Gil as Lady Heather's sub. I don't care whether it were angsty epics or PWPs or whatever, but for some reason almost nobody seems to write this pairing and even fewer with Gil as sub. I realize that het femdom D/s seems less popular than say D/s slash overall, but here's a popular character who's been at least briefly involved with a dominatrix in canon, yet it's hard to find kinky fic for them. I don't get it.
  • CSI: AUs in which Grissom is deaf, either becoming deaf after his surgery failed or having been deaf all along in the AU. I've seen a few such stories, but nowhere near as many as I expected.
  • Dark Angel: longish fic featuring Max with Logan and/or Alec, without any character bashing happening, and preferably with some Manticore-related plot, but really most important is the absence of character bashing. It shouldn't be hard to find this, but it is.
  • Dresden Files: Harry/Ramirez buddy slash, or even just gen friendship stories focusing on these two. Okay, maybe that falls just under the "small fandom" explanation (and is a recent addition to my list), but seriously, there's is some Dresden Files fic, even for the bookverse, so I expected to find at least a few stories with Ramirez.
ratcreature: zen? or not. Animated pic, that first shows RatCreature calm,  then angry. (zen)
I read quite a lot SGA fanfic and I'm starting to develop-- well, it's not quite a pet peeve, but this plot device in SGA fanfic that random alien "natives" capture/torture/sacrifice/chase the team with primitive weapons without ever being given proper motivation or even just common sense, it's staring to make me twitch whenever I see it. I get that the point of these stories isn't the alien culture but the h/c or sex ritual or whatever the author needs the spear waving natives for, but still.

For one it throws me out of the story, because it is so obvious that the Pegasus natives are only there for their effect on the team, that they aren't even real people. It's not that the team being the primary interest in the story was a problem, well developed cultures can serve the same ultimate purpose in a narrative, it just wouldn't be so blatantly obvious that they are only there as a plot device. These natives don't even get the minimal development of stock characters, who at least have a thin veneer over their purpose of just serving the heroes' plot. Even the traditional "exotic backdrop natives", problematic as they are for numerous reasons even when it's all filtered through being fantasy and not projected onto an actual culture, are at least, well, "exotic" and as such interesting or at least colorful.

Which leads me to the second point, i.e. it is reminiscent of the cringe-worthy and racist cliche of "primitive, non-rational savages vs. European explorers" in adventure fiction. Personally I think that they are so often complete non-entities is kind of worse than even if they were exotic backdrop for the protagonists (like in the typical "Africa movie") because they often don't get even that much minimal agency and presence as people.

That said, I wonder whether there would be any interest in an SGA thematic list with the topic "alien cultures" or something like that, kind of expanded from my earlier post to collect stories that give the Pegasus cultures at least a bit more room than to be just savages alternatively hurting the team or making them have sex.
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
I don't think of myself as a particularly picky reader, but sometimes I'm thrown out of a story by random mistakes in details that don't even matter much for the story. For example I was just reading a HP story, set around Christmas, as so many of them are around this time of year, and quite enjoyed it, only to come across a line where the POV character remarked that is was "past five and getting dark" or something to that effect. But the story takes place in London in the middle of December, so obviously it would already be dark by then, seeing how sunset there would be a bit before four in the afternoon and even with some remaining twilight after sunset that still means it's plain dark after five. And it's not as if you couldn't look up sunrise and sunset times on the net either, if you're unfamiliar with just how little daylight you get in Northern Europe during winter.

I have no idea why errors that aren't even particularly relevant bother me in written fiction, when I can completely overlook things like that places don't look "correct" on tv, like because they filmed in a different location or things like that. I guess it could be that with tv I just accept some built-in limitations, but written words don't have that excuse.
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
So I've seen Missed the Saturday Dance by [livejournal.com profile] zoetrope recced several times on my f-list, and I get why people like the multimedia, and it's kind of cool and what not, and I like a mix of images and text (or I wouldn't love comics) and the video and sound is neat too. And I love AUs anyway. However, that choice to display much of the story text that is letters as graphics may be visually cool, but it really grates on me that the images don't come with an alt-attribute or a link to a text version of the letters.

I get that full transcriptions of video, sound, and image parts in a multimedia story for accessibility are not very practical, and it's not like I expect fanfic to go that far, but those letters are already text. And text that is an integral part of the narrative too. And it's just too small to read comfortably for me on a screen, especially with the typewriter effect, and I'm not even visually impaired or anything. Some stories displaying letters like that provide accessible alternatives, [livejournal.com profile] sheafrotherdon for example did in one of her Farm in Iowa stories, and I very much liked that, since I could take a look at the visual of the letter, then read the text in a comfortable font at a comfortable size.

With as much work as went into the presentation Missed the Saturday Dance, and I agree that it looks very nice indeed, how difficult could it have been to provide a link to a transcribed text of the all those letters as well, and make it possible for more people to enjoy it?
ratcreature: RatCreature is thinking: hmm...? (hmm...?)
I rather like D/s stories, obviously not all kinds, for example characters doing the responsible "safe, sane, consensual" thing works less well for me than stories which are a fantasy directly (like slave!fic), rather than a fantasy once removed, but I've been wondering how much characterization (as I see it in the source) matters to me in the context of this kink.

The thing is, at first I was quite sure that how I perceive characterization doesn't have a lot of impact on whether I can get into a D/s story, for example in any pairing I like my preferences for who ought to be submissive and who dominant tend to be fixed, and I figured that that was a result of who my favorite character is, rather than any actual extrapolation I was attempting from the character's personality.

I simply have a preference for my favorite character to be submissive. That is true for me in TS with Jim Ellison, in XF with Mulder, in DS with Fraser, in SW with Obi-Wan, and mostly true with Sheppard in SGA (though I'm a bit more flexible there)... however it didn't hold up in HP. My favorite character is definitely Harry, but while I do read stories with him as submissive sometimes (that is, I'm not actively turned off by those, like I am in some of my other fandoms if a D/s story for my favorite pairings doesn't match my preference), I prefer Harry to be dominant by a vast margin. And I'm not really sure why that is, it might be because submissive!Harry kind of collides with my other kink for powerful!Harry, but then again I actually want my favorite characters to remain powerful and competent, even when I like them to be submissive.

I mean, when a story works for my kinks I'm pretty easy-going wrt characterization, but one thing that will cause me to stop reading even then is when a confident and competent hero character I like is turned into a snivelling, insecure idiot or saddled with neurosis and issues that are just completely not there in canon (it's not as if they don't usually have enough problems without adding random eating disorders and the like).

Anyway, the inexplicable glitch with HP in my personal pattern aside, I still think that my preference for whom I like as submissive in a D/s story is kink for me first, not characterization, though obviously I like stories much better if they get the character to fit with my kink while staying in character or at least arriving at the OOC place starting from canon characterization in a believable progression, rather than starting OOC. And I am curious about other people, so I made a poll:

[Poll #805849]
ratcreature: RatCreature is bored. (bored)
What is the fanfic sub-genre that baffles you the most, like a plot device or kink or whatever, that you would have never guessed even existed as a button for others, yet there is a bunch of fic for it (or at least more than a few, I don't mean really rare bizarreness like Fawkes/Squid fanfic or whatever).

I think for me it is fanfic turning canonically unrelated characters into family in order to then have an incest fic rather like regular slash (I haven't just seen this happening with het ships, but I guess it might as well). It's not that common but for example on [livejournal.com profile] painless_j's Snape/Harry Incest thematic list are a dozen stories or so, and I've seen it with other characters as well.
ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (spork)
So I'm rereading some McKay/Sheppard slash fic, great story overall too, only I stumble over Homophobic!Ford. Now, IIRC when I first read story I didn't take much notice of it, because I hadn't read that much SGA slash at that point, and taken as a characterization in an individual story I can buy it. Some people are homophobic after all, even otherwise nice, likable people. But there are quite a lot of stories portraying Ford like that, and it baffles me. Sometimes it seems to me that in S1 team McKay/Sheppard slash he's like the default token homophobe. And I don't get it, not to mention that it rubs me the wrong way because I rather like Ford. Is there any basis in canon for why this is such a popular choice?? I admit that I have watched most eps just once (I don't rewatch a lot in general), so I might have missed some huge clue leading so many to arrive at Homophobic!Ford, but if this is purely a fanon thing, it's definitely one I could do without.
ratcreature: (stargate)
I've been looking for John/Teyla fic, either shippy/UST or just friendship, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of it. Which surprised me. SGA is such a large fandom and it's not like John/Teyla is a wacky "way out there" pairing or something with minor characters, so I expected there to be a ton of ship fic available. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places. I looked at the John/Teyla category in the memories of the [livejournal.com profile] sga_newsletter, checked the entries of the John/Teyla category tag in [livejournal.com profile] stargateficrec and even browsed Wraithbait, but there wasn't a lot. Of course I found some that I liked, for example I enjoyed most of [livejournal.com profile] tielan's John/Teyla fic, but compared to the gazillion Sheppard/McKay stories out there it seems seriously underrepresented. And it's not just that the slash side is more popular in general (with Sheppard/McKay being more popular than any number of other pairings combined in this fandom), for example it seems there's more John/Elizabeth too (a pairing which doesn't interest me as much).

Anyway, if someone had recs for good (or at least decent) John/Teyla or could point me to the archive places I've missed, I'd love to be pointed in the right direction.

Also, why isn't there more Cameron Mitchell fic of any type for SG-1?
ratcreature: RatCreature blathers. (talk)
I've been wondering how to handle a certain kind of rec. I think at the core of my dilemma is this: While I obviously rec what I like, a recs page is also always intended to be useful for other fans, other readers. And I think everybody who reads fanfic knows that you like some stories because they appeal to you in personal ways, kinks (sexual and non-sexual) if you will, that may not be widely shared in fandom, whereas others appeal because of things that are (nearly) universally appreciated in a specific fandom. The latter stories are often those which get recced everywhere, and generally unproblematic when phrasing the rec, and not what concerns me here.

Since I want my recs to be useful, I usually try to point out if I rec something and a major appeal for me was that it pushed one or more of my specific buttons, especially if the kink sort of pushes the boundary of canon characterization as I see it. That is simple enough when those buttons are a straightforward kink, like for example D/s stories. I usually don't rec if I know that the story is, like, ridiculously OOC and I only liked the kink aspect, but obviously there's a wide and murky area between characterization that is just like we see it in the source and it being twisted completely to serve some kink, or genre or specific plot you like.

Basically I like recs to be transparent, which is why I also point out in a rec if I notice a bunch of typos, but still enjoyed the story, because I'm aware that others won't see any point in clicking on something if the author seems to have a homonym problem or triggers any of the other spelling/grammar pet peeves that people have, whereas some readers like me might not be bothered that much.

My problems with recs start when it isn't really easy to pinpoint why I enjoyed a story with a genre label, but I'm still aware that the reason I like the story is not because it's perfectly in character, or since I maintain an AU recs page a really great extrapolation from canon. But the thing is that I may like it because of that, because certain kinds of OOC-ness is something I enjoy in the service of the kinds of stories I like, even if the author doesn't slowly take me there, but just makes a leap (which especially in AUs is not that brain-breaking). And trying to explain it in more detail in a rec often makes it sound as if I didn't truly like the story, or like I'm criticizing the story instead of reccing it, because I end up inserting all kinds of qualifiers.

It's easy enough to rec if the "problematic" elements are something I'm not generally fond of, but the story convinced and enthralled me nonetheless, because then I can be reasonably sure that it might work for other readers too. Whereas it's hard if I'm aware the story worked in concordance with my preferences, but not those that I could easily label.

I mean, how does one say (diplomatically!) in a rec things like that the story was entertaining, had you totally hooked with the plot and you liked the elements X, Y, and Z about it, but you are aware that others might think the characters are OOC, the plot full of melodrama, the whole set-up like something out of a Lord King Bad challenge, however you did not like it in a train-wreck fashion or anything, but had honestly a good time reading it? And I don't want to sound insulting, and not like I'm apologizing for my preferences either...

The easiest way would be of course not to rec, and thus to avoid the whole issue, and only rec those stories you are fairly certain would be widely considered "good", "in character" or whatever, but on the other hand it is a rec page based on my preferences after all, and I did honestly enjoy those stories, and I'm fairly sure some other people would enjoy the stories I have in mind just like I do.
ratcreature: RatCreature is thinking: hmm...? (hmm...?)
I'm not feeling particularly fannish about Supernatural, but I have watched most episodes, thus while I was bored I looked around for Supernatural fanfic to read. I was mostly interested in gen, and while of course I knew that there's Sam/Dean slash I was actually surprised how common it is, from my first impressions even more widespread than gen (though I could be wrong about that). And I just don't get it. Personally I just have a hard time seeing Sam/Dean slash.

It's not that I'm particularly squicked by sibling incest, but the story has to somehow work harder to make that kind of thing work than other pairings. Not only because it has to make me buy that they would act on a sexual attraction despite incest taboos, that is similar in a way to other "relationship obstacles" in romance stories, but because it has to make me buy that there would be attraction in the first place. With most pairings I can buy that the author simply has a character feel attraction, inappropriate or not, and then the story goes from there, but for me (and I suspect most people) thinking about close family members with whom you grew up with, like your own siblings or parents and sex together is, well, sort of icky. Not just incestuous sex, but even the fact that your sibling or parent has sex with anyone, that's the kind of thing you don't want to contemplate in much detail. At least I don't, and I suspect I'm not alone in that.

I tried reading a couple of Sam/Dean stories, but they seemed to be much like regular slash in the way that it assumes that the reader buys the possibility for attraction between the guys in the first place. I don't quite get what makes this plausible for Sam/Dean shippers just from watching the series, and yet it seems very common. Which leaves me puzzled. I looked whether there was an essay on this pairing at [livejournal.com profile] ship_manifesto to provide me with some insight, but there doesn't seem to be one yet. So does anyone know of any Supernatural meta that would explain to me where the Sam/Dean shippers are coming from?
ratcreature: RatCreature is thinking: hmm...? (hmm...?)
I haven't been following fandom newsletters for that long, but they highlighted and made me notice that I my reactions to announcements of fanart compared to those of fanfic differ significantly. It's the same with announcements in communities, but in newsletters there's often a bunch of fic links and a bunch of art links, so it became more obvious for me.

I always check out all the art (well drawings and such, I'm not much interested in photomanipulations or icons), regardless of the pairing or content, or whether I know the artist or not, simply because it only takes a few seconds to take a look at the art and decide whether I like it, and then maybe looking closer or slightly longer at some details (I'm not on dial-up, but I'm also just talking about the time it takes to take something in once a page has loaded not connection/bandwidth issues). Whereas I don't click on most of the fic links unless they make me curious in some way, maybe the title sounds interesting, or I heard of the author, or it's a pairing I like, anyway something more than just the link being there, simply because it is always more effort to decide whether I'll give fanfic a try, even if it is just reading the summary and author's notes. So it's quite a bit harder for fanfic to get noticed by me.

OTOH fanart somehow has much less impact for me than fanfic. I mean, fanfic characterizations, arguments, theories and the like, affect how I see the characters and plots in the source, and how I interpret them. Sometimes it's a slight, but cumulative effect (sort of like a fanon build-up), but occasionally it also happens that a single story is just so ingenious in its interpretation of canon that after reading it I see the source differently, for example like a theory or fanwanking that's the background or basis for a fic to explain something, or just a great view inside the head of a character that makes me understand them, things like that. Fanfic I like also kind of stays with me much longer than even the fanart I like most. Somehow, at least so far, fanart has never had such a lasting effect on me. The way a character is drawn may really work for me, but that's more the surface. It doesn't change my view of the character.

So I'm more likely to look at any fanart, and I really enjoy the visuals of good fanart, it produces immediate reactions, and I may feedback, but it's somehow "weaker" for me than fanfic. And I'm curious whether it is the same for others. So have you ever looked at a piece of fanart and it had lasting impact beyond the image and the immediate reactions/emotions it evoked, the way fanfic sometimes has?
ratcreature: RatCreature as Harry Potter in a Quidditch uniform. (hp)
Sometimes I really yearn for the more or less centralized fandom infrastructure like I was used to in The Sentinel.

I'm reading the results for a poll about HP fic archives and recs, and there was a question on which archives one regularly visits, including also an open option for people to fill in archives not listed.

I hadn't even heard of (let alone visited) many of the archives people mentioned, and ended up googling a whole bunch. And okay, it's understandable that I didn't know all of them as most are pairing specific, but not for my favorite pairings. And I know of a bunch of other archives that didn't appear in that poll too, and when I looked up the ones I didn't know, I found yet more archives. Some rather small, others quite large. I get that HP is really, really huge, and that specialized archives may be practical for fans with strong pairing preferences, and yet -- I'm not an OTP person in HP, I have read and enjoyed stories with most of those pairings, and some I even read quite frequently, but I'm not even aware of all the archives.

Surely there don't need to be *four* (or maybe more) Harry/Ginny archives? I'm not much into pure H/G romance stories, but if it's an interesting action/adventure story that's also a H/G romance for example, I like that pairing fine, certainly more than some others. And yet I knew of only one of those archives appearing in the poll (PhoenixSong), and otherwise mainly read H/G stories at The Sugar Quill and Fiction Alley. Now I know that there are several other Harry/Ginny archives, namely Sink Into Your Eyes (which apparently is so widely known that the poll author only listed it with its cryptic acronym SIYE in the poll), Written with a Quill, Sealed with a Kiss (which still seems quite new?), Simply Undeniable (also for Ron/Hermione), and The Broom Cupboard (that one seems to be a message board rather than an archive, though people listed it as the latter).

Personally I think that kind of thing, where you have half a dozen or more archives for a single pairing, is really inconvenient. What is wrong with having larger archives with good search functions? I get that huge archives in fandoms like HP are a lot of work, and that hosting costs are probably a factor too, but that's why archives can be group managed, no? Why do people found the fifth Harry/Ginny archive or the fourth Snape/Hermione archive? I just don't get it. It's not like more archives equals reaching more readers, at least for me it's rather the opposite, I'm not likely to regularly check multiple archives, much less multiple archives for a single pairing.

Other HP archives I didn't know about: Checkmated (for Ron/Hermione), Magical Theory and Fire and Ice (both for Draco/Ginny), Dark Sarcasm and Whispers (both for Snape/Hermione, whereas I only knew of Ashwinder for that pairing), Apparition Point (I couldn't figure out if that's in any way specific by browsing the site briefly), Portkey (Harry/Hermione), The Quidditch Pitch (seems to be for romance, but not pairing specific, and accepts het, slash and threesomes), Hand Me My Robes (seems for explicit het, not pairing specific), Malfoy Slash Archive (I only knew of the Malfoy Family Archive), Thin Line (for Snape/Sirius), Godric's Hat (for gen), and the list goes actually on for a bit more... also, there's a Snape MPreg archive?!

Unrelated to the sheer number of archives, am I the only one annoyed that (some) HP archives tend to name their categories in fairly cryptic ways? So that they have to include an explanation sheet what those categories are?
ratcreature: reading RatCreature (reading)
I've just read this HP WIP (no the one with the "ma'am" all over the place btw), which hasn't been updated since October or so. Something I knew when I started reading. I really have no problem with reading WIPs, even ones with infrequent updates, those not likely to be ever finished, or abandoned ones. As those who've seen one of my (frequently lengthy) list posts on this subject on FCA-L or elsewhere probably already know. I like reading WIPs, and whether or not they get finished, as long as like what's posted I'm okay with having read whatever is shared. I usually remember enough to follow a story even if installments are months apart (I blame that on following infrequently published indie comics for years *g*), unless it's written in odd chunks with rewrites of previous sections and stuff being posted out of order. Though if the installments are posted too far apart I might forget about having followed a particular WIP, unless it's posted to my flist or I'm on an update list. Which is not to say that I don't like stories better if they're finished eventually, but the finished/unfinished status just isn't that crucial to me.

That said, I liked this WIP quite a lot (in case you're interested, it was "The Mirror of Maybe" by Midnight Blue), and considered sending feedback to the author. My first impulse was to write back that I liked it, point out a couple of the things that I enjoyed in particular, and then ask whether it's still active, because then I'd check the story from time to time. Then I remembered seeing posts how some authors find it obnoxious behavior to be asked whether they are still working on a WIP, especially if they're stalled and/or abandoned it. So I wondered whether I should maybe rather omit the part asking about future installments, or maybe not write at all. Considering that there apparently is a list for this story with over 4100 subscribers (and just how large is HP fandom anyway?) the author probably already gets enough emails nagging her about when (if?) the next installment is going to be posted. I could just join the other 1050 people on the update announcement list (the larger list is aparently for discussion too), and assume that the fact that the update list is still open implies that the WIP has not been abandoned (I assume that authors would close lists dedicated to WIPs if they truly abandon them), so that it's actually worth joining an update list.

So when you write feedback to a WIP that hasn't been updated in a while, but is not visibly abandoned, is it better to avoid the topic of potential future installments (and the related areas in feedback, like what you think will happen based on the story so far etc.) entirely? Or is it only obnoxious if the feedback doesn't just ask about it, but makes the kind of rude writing demands to continue that you sometimes see?
ratcreature: argh (argh)
One of the recent posts to the FCA-L list amused me greatly. Well, amused in that slightly cranky way you get amused at weird mailing list posts by people who are, or come across as clueless. It said something like "Hi, I just joined and want some advice on an AAR fanfic. Thanks." and contained a link. I mean, who would seriously expect that this kind of post leads to good replies? Not only have I (and I bet a good portion of the list) no idea what "AAR" is -- a series, movie, book, what? -- the poster also says nothing about what kind of "advice" they're looking for, nor anything about the story, except that it is "lengthy." And the poster expects what exactly? That you join, post a link without saying anything, and a review/beta committee, interested in whatever fandom that acronym stands for, will magically appear to help with your story?
ratcreature: reading RatCreature (reading)
[livejournal.com profile] crack_van totally works. Not only do I now apparently read X-Men Comicverse fiction when previously I stuck with fanfic for the movies, no that would be harmless. I also spent quite some time during the last days watching CSI episodes, because the CSI overview gave me the last nudge to give the series a try. Sure it's not like I wasn't aware of the potential consequences of reading a community where people pimp their fandoms (it's not like you need a huge surgeon general's warning to figure those out), it's just -- I have a number of peripheral fandoms in which I have no real idea where to find good fanfic/recs, and [livejournal.com profile] crack_van is good for that too.

On the upside it turns out I can actually read an introduction to a fandom and find that informative, but still feel no interest whatsoever to check out the fiction. Like I didn't develop any interest in Blakes7 or Homicide or The Professionals or Pop Slash (okay, I read one of the recced stories for pop slash, I don't think that counts). Who knows, maybe exposure to temptation will even make me more resilient in the face of new fandoms in the long term.

Anyway, about CSI. Before reading any of the fanfic (I still prefer not to read fiction until I've seen at least some of the source) I watched a couple of CSI episodes, and several of those from third season showed Grissom's hearing problems. So, since this is a crime show and doesn't particularly dwell on the emotional impact of his illness I thought it would be really easy to find fanfic exploring this. But either I'm not good at finding stuff (which is possible, after all I'm not familiar with the fandom yet), or it isn't a popular topic as I had assumed. I mean, the fandoms where I got most of my "tv fan socialization" so to speak, were really large (like TS or XF) and somehow I've come to expect these obvious fanfic topics as a given, like the blatantly missing scenes, the fic dealing with the glaring emotional issue some character has, the emotional fallout of something that is never seen on screen, because it's "off-topic" for a cop show etc. I think of that as the "meat and potatoes" kind of fanfic, the topics/themes/scenes for which (in large fandoms) you'll usually find dozens variations of fanfic dealing with them, and most of these stories aren't terribly original, or brilliant pieces of writing (though some are), but I like to read that kind of fanfic, because it fills in the obvious blanks even I see in a source.

And before I inadvertently start an "entitlement" kerfuffle or something similar, I don't think of fanfic (fandom) as a supermarket, where I can always expect to find exactly the kind of fanfic I'm looking for. But I have to admit, it is kinda neat when it does work like that, you know? So if by chance any of you know of CSI fanfic dealing with Grissom's hearing loss, I'd like to read that.

Also, I was browsing for some Everwood fanfic (and I meant to rec an Everwood story too, come to think of it, but now I can't find the frelling bookmark, and of course I can't remember the author or title either >.<), and I noticed a couple of stories with German phrases/words as titles. And I was wondering about that, because I don't tend to come across, for example, Spanish or French phrases as titles in fanfic (or I don't notice, which is definitely a possibility as well), but see German ones semi-regularly, though from my impressions not as often as Latin ones. Anyway, I've been wondering why that is. I mean, I get that in X-Files fandom it probably is because of some of the episode titles, but Everwood? Does German look/sound exotic or something?
ratcreature: reading RatCreature (reading)
I haven't read a lot of HP fiction (yet), but it has happened twice now that I followed a rec, and the story turned out to be a WIP, just the rec hadn't said so. It's not that I have a problem with WIPs, in fact I quite enjoy reading stories as WIPs (as I tend to point out at every opportunity when the subject comes up on lists, and someone argues that they wished authors would post only finished things), and I'm following plenty of WIPs currently, however for some reason -- I'm not exactly sure why -- I find it jarring when I read a story expecting it to be finished, but then it is not. I mean, I rec WIPs too, but I point out if a story isn't finished in the rec.

Another thing I noticed as I was browsing for fic are differences between the flashfiction LJ communities in different fandoms. I came across [livejournal.com profile] sentinel_thurs and somehow I'm not surprised that the TS flashfiction community is the only one I've seen so far that requires gen/het/slash labels and warnings for the posted snippets.

Also, I had the weirdest x-over dream last night. I don't remember much but the universe was an odd mix of the Batverse with Harry Potter; the aesthetics definitely Gotham, that is it was dark, the color mood was sort of night blue and of course it was raining, however there was HP-style magic, and I think both some HP and some Batverse characters made appearances. Unfortunately there was also me and family in that dream, and the main thing I remember plotwise was my dad chewing me out for being such a slacker and not having finished college yet, yadda, yadda. Well at least it happened in a cool setting, though I think it's a shame my subconscious wasted the backdrop mostly on the standard parent-conversation rerun (conversation is used loosely in this context) instead of focusing on some interesting action-adventure, mystery or smut. That are the moments I wish for lucid dreaming. I could have just tuned out the family stuff and followed some x-over adventures instead.
ratcreature: reading RatCreature (reading)
Somehow I find it amusing that the idea that Blair really knows how to fly helicopters, that appeared first, iirc, in [livejournal.com profile] jacquez's Dog Tag series, has made it into the list of fanfic themes at the Cascade Library, together with categories like amnesia stories, stories about Jim and/or Blair with children, etc.

I still remember the discussions about the story when it was first published, and how many found it a not very believable reading of canon. Now it's a subgenre (albeit a small one). The workings of fanfic are strange indeed.


Jun. 22nd, 2003 00:39
ratcreature: argh (argh)
There are some things that could only happen in TS fandom. Like a gen archive posting policies on "bonding fic":

"[...] In the future, CL will no longer archive or link to stories that contain bonding scenes which could be as viewed as homoerotic. This includes stories in which the characters remove key articles of clothing or physically "bond" in a manner that implies near-sexual content. Specific examples of this would include (but are not limited to) total nakedness of either/both characters, touching/physical contact over private areas of the body, sensations which could be construed as an orgasm, and mention of implied sexual attraction between characters of the same sex. [...]"
ratcreature: RatCreature's toon avatar (Default)
...is for example why on TLAD (a TS fiction only list that unlike SXF requires no warnings) everybody posts the stories with warnings anyway. I mean, there is only a fraction of the TS stories posted to TLAD compared to the mail volume of SXF, this year not quite two dozen so far. And only two were posted without warnings. And it is not only stories posted through the archive interface that still have warnings, though that is the majority, today there was an announcement post that had warnings even more prominently than the regular part 0 posts. I like to read summaries, I don't like warnings, the part 0 is a compromise that hides warnings somewhat, though with the interface that posts to SXF and TLAD it still lumps all story info together. Obviously most authors prefer to post with warnings and only post to SXF. That's okay of course.

There are only few who make the effort to post to TLAD at all. So why do these people when posting to a no warnings list still warn?! I don't get it. Even the archive template can't really explain it. So it generates a part 0, breaks the story into parts, and formats the story for the archive. IIRC the 852 Prospect explanation for using it, explains the poster should let the archive first send a copy to the person who uploads to check the formatting anyway. Why not let the archive do the formatting and uploading and then when posting to a no warning list like TLAD just forward the story posts and edit the part 0 to delete the warnings? That wouldn't take much longer. And if that is already too much effort, why post to a no warnings list at all?

TLAD has no rule against warnings, but still. I joined TLAD because I had hoped to find a warning free alternative to SXF. Now I'm on TLAD to make a sort of statistical statement that there are indeed TS fans, who don't need or want extensive warnings. I certainly don't continue to be on TLAD because I were actually getting any stories without warnings.

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