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Given the time and number of words that went into replying to the many thoughtful comments on yesterday's post about open and closed canons, I'm giving myself permission for this to count as today's post. This is nothing like a complaint, by the way! I'm always thrilled to hear what people have to say and it's never TL;DR to me. I could talk about fandom all day.

The topic generated some great replies on both platforms, which is always nice to see: A lot of folks had things to say about their experiences with Harry Potter canon on LJ, and there's been a fascinating discussion of perpetually-open comic book canons on DW. Really interesting stuff and worth checking out no matter which service you prefer.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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Since the new X-Files miniseries was announced, I've been thinking about what it's like being in fandoms with open vs. closed canons.

I've always struggled with writing in open fandoms, particularly TV fandoms, because I felt like there was never enough time, even during the summer hiatus, to finish exploring the existing canon before there'd suddenly be more and more and more. It wasn't only a matter of getting jossed, but also of feeling overwhelmed by how many things were happening to the characters, and spending so much time mentally processing the stories I was being told (and discussing them with other people in fandom) that it was hard to focus on writing my own. This is a large part of the reason that I didn't start posting XF fic until a few months after the show had ended; for the first time, I could write it without feeling rushed or fearing that the rug would be pulled out from under any story I came up with before I finished it.

Cut for length )

What do you guys think? Do you tend to be hungry for new canon or do you like a long hiatus to focus on fanworks more? Do you stick with fandoms after the canon is closed or do you tend to move on to something where there's new material to look forward to?

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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Keyboard update: Cleaning the key mechanism fixed it. Hurray!

And now that normal typing is possible once again, today's topic comes from [livejournal.com profile] writcraft, who wrote: I would love to hear your thoughts on a kink you feel is rarely portrayed/lacking representation in fandom that you would enjoy seeing more of in fic.

There are a few different levels on which I can answer this question. I could name my pet kinks (ooh, pet!kink...) that aren't so common in fandom, like ageplay, which I love so much that I once wrote a whole post about it for [community profile] kink_bingo and got so overwhelmed trying to express all the things I love about it that I ended up focusing on just the intersection of ageplay and bondage, and even then it got long.

I could also answer by saying that sometimes my favorite kinky fanworks aren't my favorites because of the kink itself, but because of the way it's written. I can never get enough of stories about characters doing kink. I love seeing exploration of how the characters' kinks develop, how they navigate them, how they struggle with them, how they deepen their relationships, and how they affect the way they feel about themselves. I love love love stories that show the moment when a character tells someone else about a secret kink for the first time. And if the other person responds by telling them they don't think it's weird and things are gonna be okay between them? That's swoon-level romantic for me.

And, very much related to this, I could also answer the question by saying that I want all the kinks. Every single one of them. I want everybody to feel free to write or draw what they love and not feel weird about it, from the rarest of touchy taboos to the tropes so common that fans hardly see them as kinks at all. I want everybody's likes to be represented, even if they are not my personal likes. Someone else will like them, and I'll be happy for them. Or sometimes, wonderfully, I will read a fic or see a piece of art that flips a switch in my head and turns a dislike or a don't-care into a WOW I WANT MORE.

What I love the most is when someone else shows me what they love. That's the heart of fandom, and in some ways it's the heart of kink, too.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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Yeah, this was the daily posting meme from last month. I'm... not very good at this.

Anyway, [personal profile] hannelore asked: What advice would you give someone who wants to write in a fandom that they've never written in before?

Well, the first bit of advice I'd give is the same advice that's been given about internet communities since they've existed: Lurk first.

Fandoms can have surprisingly divergent cultural norms. What kind of header information is standard in your new fandom? What are the expectations about giving and responding to feedback? Which characters and tropes are loved, hated, or controversial? You don't have to write only what readers want to hear, but if what you plan to write is not what everyone else is writing, you might want to know that going in so you're not surprised by the reaction.

My other advice would be the flip side of that: Hang onto what makes your perspective unique. In well-established fandoms there is a tendency for people's viewpoints to converge over time, which is a natural process in any social group; we talk to each other and consider each other's opinions, and that's how those fandom norms take shape. This is not in itself a bad thing (and it's unavoidable, anyway) but sometimes it can lead writers to try too hard to adhere to what they see as the norm, with the result being a lot of stories that all sound the same.

When I first got started in fandom, for a while I would refuse to read fics with the same characters or themes as what I was working on, because I didn't want to be influenced by other writers' interpretations. Now I see this as the extremism of a much younger me. As a writer, you really need to read what your peers are producing. No piece of writing exists in a vacuum, and you can be sure it won't be read in one. Your stories can be both part of the growing body of work that the fandom creates, and an expression of your own voice. It's just a matter of being aware of your influences, and being intentional about using them or discarding them.

No fic is an island, I guess, is the short version.

This entry was originally posted at http://pauraque.dreamwidth.org/42554.html. Comment here or there.
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I have some recs of new fic in store, but until I get around to that, I'll rec an old fic:

The Ravenclaw Girl (Explicit, Filch/Luna, underage, blackmail, consent issues) by [personal profile] delphi. A retelling of the Pergamon anecdote from Petronius' Satyricon set during Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Mr. Filch attempts to have his way with a young student, only to have the tables turned on him.

I love this fic because it's both completely filthy and truly funny. It's so hard to find smut that makes you laugh without just being crackfic (which this isn't). This is a perfect example where you're laughing with the characters, not laughing at the premise.

Anyway, in discussing the fic [personal profile] delphi commented that it was one of the most wrong things she'd written, which of course made me wonder what the wrongest thing I'd written was...

musings on wrongitude )

What about you guys? What's the wrongest fanwork you've created, whatever 'wrong' means to you? And what does 'wrong' mean to you? (No, this is not just a ploy to find new dirty fanworks to consume, though it could be that too!)

This entry was originally posted at http://pauraque.dreamwidth.org/16667.html. Comment here or there.
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Hello! I did finish Nano, and I'll post about it later. I got very busy over the holiday with various family crises (nothing serious), and I know I owe replies and emails to several people. I'll get to it.

A general comment: Seeing everyone's Yuletide stuff is really reminding me of what fandom is about, which is sharing the love of things that not everyone understands or thinks are worthy of enthusiasm. I think this is awesome, and you guys are awesome for being involved in that, even if many of us are not fannish about the same things anymore. I'm proud to be a part of it even when my fannish activities are relatively dormant.

pauraque_bk: (Default)
Hello! I did finish Nano, and I'll post about it later. I got very busy over the holiday with various family crises (nothing serious), and I know I owe replies and emails to several people. I'll get to it.

A general comment: Seeing everyone's Yuletide stuff is really reminding me of what fandom is about, which is sharing the love of things that not everyone understands or thinks are worthy of enthusiasm. I think this is awesome, and you guys are awesome for being involved in that, even if many of us are not fannish about the same things anymore. I'm proud to be a part of it even when my fannish activities are relatively dormant.

pauraque_bk: (Default)
#1: What do you call it when you support a pairing that is canon and always has been? To me "shipping" means it's a potential pairing that you'd like to see, so it sounds weird when I try to apply it to something that is already happening. Although, I don't find it weird when applied to a pairing that was once only potential and then later became canon, like it sounds natural to talk about "Harry/Ginny shippers". But maybe that's because I'm used to hearing it. But if I love (let's say) Sarek/Amanda and write fic about them all the time, am I a Sarek/Amanda shipper? Does that sound weird to anyone but me? Do I just say I love Sarek/Amanda and that's it?

I'm actually having a hard time thinking of a good example of a fandom where lots of people love a prominent always-canon pairing; the ones I can think of generally have to do with pairings of tertiary characters. But then, are there a lot of source materials where the primary characters are in stable relationships?


#2: Do any of you have a portable DVD player that works really well? We had one I loved and it broke and isn't made anymore, and the replacement we got was sufficiently disappointing that we returned it. The main issue was that the aspect ratio setting did not work, like we knew where the setting was and choosing the different options did nothing. It wasn't defective, or if it was, the one on the sales floor was too. All the other ones had really screwy controls (looking at you, Sony).

I don't suppose we need a portable DVD player, but it is nice to have when you want to watch a movie but you also want to lie in bed.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
#1: What do you call it when you support a pairing that is canon and always has been? To me "shipping" means it's a potential pairing that you'd like to see, so it sounds weird when I try to apply it to something that is already happening. Although, I don't find it weird when applied to a pairing that was once only potential and then later became canon, like it sounds natural to talk about "Harry/Ginny shippers". But maybe that's because I'm used to hearing it. But if I love (let's say) Sarek/Amanda and write fic about them all the time, am I a Sarek/Amanda shipper? Does that sound weird to anyone but me? Do I just say I love Sarek/Amanda and that's it?

I'm actually having a hard time thinking of a good example of a fandom where lots of people love a prominent always-canon pairing; the ones I can think of generally have to do with pairings of tertiary characters. But then, are there a lot of source materials where the primary characters are in stable relationships?


#2: Do any of you have a portable DVD player that works really well? We had one I loved and it broke and isn't made anymore, and the replacement we got was sufficiently disappointing that we returned it. The main issue was that the aspect ratio setting did not work, like we knew where the setting was and choosing the different options did nothing. It wasn't defective, or if it was, the one on the sales floor was too. All the other ones had really screwy controls (looking at you, Sony).

I don't suppose we need a portable DVD player, but it is nice to have when you want to watch a movie but you also want to lie in bed.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
This week I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] bethbethbeth's surprise birthday comm. I love doing these. Fandom is awesome. ♥

Happy birthday, Beth x 1 million!


The Measure of a Man - G, ~500 words, HP
pauraque_bk: (Default)
This week I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] bethbethbeth's surprise birthday comm. I love doing these. Fandom is awesome. ♥

Happy birthday, Beth x 1 million!


The Measure of a Man - G, ~500 words, HP
pauraque_bk: (Default)
There's a wank going on that's as old as the hills (aren't they all), and a lot of people are making extraordinary fools of themselves (don't they always). The epicenter wasn't in my part of fandom; my windows rattled but nothing fell down.

It does strike me, though, that in these sorts of things there's sometimes a tendency to suggest that all argument is useless because you'll never convince your opponents that you're right. I really can't agree there. If your point is a good and valid one, you should make it, not for your opponents, but for those reading along.

On the internets there are always more lurkers than participants. The ones opening their mouths are the ones who already have a strong opinion, and the more they talk, the more they have invested in never giving any ground or learning anything new, because in their eyes that would not be learning, but "losing".

The ones *not* speaking are the ones who aren't sure. Those are people your argument can reach, whether or not you ever find out about it. (Just try not to claim that the lurkers support you in email.)


And seriously, "victim privilege"? Bitch, PLEASE.


ETA: There's now a rundown on unfunnybusiness if you really want to know. Warning for nausea at others' ridiculous behavior, at the very least...
pauraque_bk: (Default)
There's a wank going on that's as old as the hills (aren't they all), and a lot of people are making extraordinary fools of themselves (don't they always). The epicenter wasn't in my part of fandom; my windows rattled but nothing fell down.

It does strike me, though, that in these sorts of things there's sometimes a tendency to suggest that all argument is useless because you'll never convince your opponents that you're right. I really can't agree there. If your point is a good and valid one, you should make it, not for your opponents, but for those reading along.

On the internets there are always more lurkers than participants. The ones opening their mouths are the ones who already have a strong opinion, and the more they talk, the more they have invested in never giving any ground or learning anything new, because in their eyes that would not be learning, but "losing".

The ones *not* speaking are the ones who aren't sure. Those are people your argument can reach, whether or not you ever find out about it. (Just try not to claim that the lurkers support you in email.)


And seriously, "victim privilege"? Bitch, PLEASE.


ETA: There's now a rundown on unfunnybusiness if you really want to know. Warning for nausea at others' ridiculous behavior, at the very least...

ficlet recs

May. 4th, 2009 12:15 am
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[livejournal.com profile] maidenjedi wrote me a Krycek/Marita ficlet and it is totally perfect and might possibly have made me squee. In a grown-up sort of way. *cough*


And omg, people, did you see [livejournal.com profile] nopejr's three awesomely hilarious HP ficlets? Took me right out of a horrible mood and made me laugh like a loon.

ficlet recs

May. 4th, 2009 12:15 am
pauraque_bk: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] maidenjedi wrote me a Krycek/Marita ficlet and it is totally perfect and might possibly have made me squee. In a grown-up sort of way. *cough*


And omg, people, did you see [livejournal.com profile] nopejr's three awesomely hilarious HP ficlets? Took me right out of a horrible mood and made me laugh like a loon.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Looking for the girl with the "I solemnly swear I am up to no good" T-shirt at the card shoppe today. I asked if you were going to Azkatraz, because if you weren't in fandom you would say "What's that?" but if you said anything else, you were. You said "Probably not" but then I got too shy to ask any followup questions!

Hai!
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Looking for the girl with the "I solemnly swear I am up to no good" T-shirt at the card shoppe today. I asked if you were going to Azkatraz, because if you weren't in fandom you would say "What's that?" but if you said anything else, you were. You said "Probably not" but then I got too shy to ask any followup questions!

Hai!

potc rec

Jan. 10th, 2009 11:53 am
pauraque_bk: (Default)
If you know Pirates of the Caribbean but you don't know [livejournal.com profile] rexluscus, I have a treat for you.

Between Wind and Water is a completed Jack/Norrington novel that she is posting by chapter. Three chapters have been posted so far, and I simply can't wait for the rest. [eta: omg chapter 4! *tackle* *devour*]

It's plotty and well-paced, with an amazing ear for voice and character. It's beautifully researched and the setting and culture(s) are an integral part of the story, not tacked on as is so often the case with historical fandoms. There's rich stuff about sailing and naval battles that I, a complete Age of Sail n00b, could actually enjoy (and I usually skim past action scenes!). Like a well-rounded movie director, she is equally skilled at loud and quiet scenes, and weaves them together with great confidence.

Most important of all, the canon characters are dead on. I think this fandom is unusually demanding of a writer, because of what the movies are, and what kind of characters we're dealing with. But she just gets it; I've not heard a false note yet.

So, um, I like it. If you even kinda remember the first movie (which is all the canon this story adheres to), I think you should start reading it. You won't be sorry.

potc rec

Jan. 10th, 2009 11:53 am
pauraque_bk: (Default)
If you know Pirates of the Caribbean but you don't know [livejournal.com profile] rexluscus, I have a treat for you.

Between Wind and Water is a completed Jack/Norrington novel that she is posting by chapter. Three chapters have been posted so far, and I simply can't wait for the rest. [eta: omg chapter 4! *tackle* *devour*]

It's plotty and well-paced, with an amazing ear for voice and character. It's beautifully researched and the setting and culture(s) are an integral part of the story, not tacked on as is so often the case with historical fandoms. There's rich stuff about sailing and naval battles that I, a complete Age of Sail n00b, could actually enjoy (and I usually skim past action scenes!). Like a well-rounded movie director, she is equally skilled at loud and quiet scenes, and weaves them together with great confidence.

Most important of all, the canon characters are dead on. I think this fandom is unusually demanding of a writer, because of what the movies are, and what kind of characters we're dealing with. But she just gets it; I've not heard a false note yet.

So, um, I like it. If you even kinda remember the first movie (which is all the canon this story adheres to), I think you should start reading it. You won't be sorry.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Unfortunately, most of the Yuletide fics people have really been raving about are for source materials I don't know. But I went through those I did know and read quite a few fics, most of which were nice but forgettable. There were two that stood out.

The shadows cast behind you by [livejournal.com profile] karanguni PG (The Left Hand of Darkness)
Short but dense and multi-layered. The author is clearly intimate not only with the character and the world, but with Le Guin's style -- rich and very particular about sensory things, yet also cuttingly direct. It really made me want to re-read the book.

The Aunt and the Ankh by [livejournal.com profile] shadow_truths PG (Jeeves & Wooster series)
Funny! A very confident author here, who can certainly do Wodehouse's style, but it isn't just an imitation; they go at it with a rougher, more worldly sensibility that makes the sexual aspects (which are thankfully not overdone) seem fitting and natural. There are always J&W fics in Yuletide that are written with skill, but so many of them try too hard to splice Wodehouse together with fandom and fall flat on their faces. The author of this one avoided the pitfalls. I wish they would, as the saying goes, rite moar.


eta: Gotta love [livejournal.com profile] pepysdiary today. "To church in the morning, and there saw a wedding in the church, which I have not seen many a day; and the young people so merry one with another, and strange to see what delight we married people have to see these poor fools decoyed into our condition, every man and woman gazing and smiling at them."

eta2: authors

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