merricatk: (floating away)
[personal profile] merricatk
Let me start with, if you're on my flist, I'm not talking about you. I'm happy with the comments I get on the stories I post here. By flocking my stories, I know that X number of people are reading them, and when I get Y number of posts, that's cool. It's when they're unflocked, and potentially X times a hundred people might be reading them, and it's still the same Y number of people commenting that I feel like this.




I liked it back in the days when writing fan fiction was like being a small-time drug dealer: you did it to get your fix. Write a story, have it accepted, get a zine filled with stories you hadn't read! That was why I started--well, not writing, but tailoring my writing for the zine-reading public. I wanted stories to read, and I wanted to save money. It never occurred to me I could make friends through my writing, but that's what happened. People had read my stories and wanted to meet me.

(By the way, zines didn't carry warnings. Some later ones did, but I don't think I ever submitted a story to a zine that carried warnings.)

Stuff happened. There was a witch hunt in my chosen fandom, and the witch was my best friend, so when I stood with her, I was kicked out. By that time writing was such a habit, I was submitting stories to zines I wasn't even reading. My love of the characters had become so tied up with my love of the people I'd met, I couldn't bear to read the stories, but I didn't know how to stop writing. I was unwelcome in the fandom, but my stories? Oh, they were welcome all right.

I finally found another fandom to write in. Unfortunately, there was pretty much nobody there--or I couldn't find anybody, anyway. Made one good friend, wrote a couple dozen stories and a novel, but it was lonely.

Moved on to a larger, older fandom, where I started writing as though my hair was on fire. (By which I mean fast, not panicky and incoherent. Not that anybody said, anyway.) Only problem was, it was lacking in enthusiasm. The fans had come and gone, and while they still held affection for the show, there was little squee. Oh, and I was having a nervous breakdown, a manic episode of epic proportions, at least in terms of my very small life.

And the internet was upon us.

That was supposed to be a good thing, because it was so easy to get your stories to people, and for them to contact you and tell you what they thought.

That second part? Not so much.

(The humor got comments. Humor will always get comments because it's so accessible, because nobody expects profundity in comments about something humorous. And I think the problem with commenting on good writing is that it's intimidating when you try to write to the writer. Imagine if you wanted to tell your favorite artist how much you liked a drawing or painting, only you had to do it by drawing your feelings. The feeling of inadequacy is overwhelming.)

My fandom experience pre-internet was meeting a lot of new people. My internet experience has been people I knew, was acquainted with being very anxious to "work with me" to put my stories online.

Yes! That sounded wonderful! We would talk, discuss how to present the stories--they would talk to me. And maybe not just about the stories. Maybe we would be friends.

Only, well, my stories were welcome. I wasn't invited. I sent the stories, the stories went up. No discussion at all with the first time. The second time I gave approval for the design of the website--it was a beautiful, beautiful thing, and there was some discussion of me putting notes on the stories at the end, the way Stephen King does in his short story collections. But other than that.

I believe I got a comment from someone on the second website. On the first, there might have been a few more. Mostly what I got was second-hand, friends telling me someone had been raving to them about my stories.

I never heard from these ravers.

You'd think I'd have had the sense to quit writing stories, but they always seem like fun when I start them. It's only when they're done and I realize how little they matter in my life that I start to feel bad. When I started posting them on my own LJ, people were kind, people were willing to talk to me. (And my friends are kind, and very patient.)

But my experience has been that while my stories are welcome, I am not. (And before you say, "Well, yeah, you're a bitch," let me tell you: I'm being a bitch, and I'm angry about all this. But for the most part I try to be a nice, accommodating person.)

Then came the ratings. All of a sudden fandom was using the MPAA system of rating there stories. It was de rigueur.

I refused. I've posted once to a website that uses a ratings system, and I won't do it again.

Then summaries, so as not to waste the readers' valuable time. I don't write those, either. On the second website they were written for me, and they were brilliant. The author is a very, very talented woman.

Throughout all this there were warnings wars. I volunteered to vet my stories for anyone who wanted to read them, but no, that would require interaction with me, which is apparently too horrible to contemplate. The ante keeps going up. Before it was just that the stories might be upsetting--it's upsetting when a fictional character dies! (It is.) I remember arguing on a list that people who were so sensitive to the deaths of imaginary people seemed awfully harsh to real, live people on the other end of the computer, and being ridiculed for this. Imaginary people were more important than real strangers.

There were also people who were proud of the fact that they had no "fannish" friends. Fandom was where they came to get their stories, not make friends. I'd gone from being a drug dealer to working as unpaid labor in a pharmacy.

And therein lies the problem. In the zine days, I would have been happy to have traded my writing for something to read. But in the internet days, I'm trading my writing for rules and regulations that I have no say in. If I argue, I'm called names. Now not putting warnings on stories isn't just upsetting, it's triggering, I'm being cruel to people who have already been hurt. (In the next go-round, stories will be fatal, and that's when I'll unflock my fiction and start making notches on my laptop.)

And I'm shallow and selfish when I point out that if these people have been reading my stories while ignoring me, they've been hurting me, and how come that's OK? (I've also been criticized for posting my stories on my own LJ instead of on a community LJ, because it's less convenient for people who, as far as I can tell, don't want to get any of my life on them when they're reading.)

(You do know that you're not even supposed to mention comments, right? That comments are just the icing on the cake for the writer, that the writer writes for herself alone. We're incredibly selfless. That's part of being a writer.)

I know that writing stories is not an effective way to make friends anymore, and probably never was in any other fandom. But goddammit, I'm tired of feeling like I'm being circled by people speculating on how there must be some way to slice me open and get all the golden eggs. Fan fiction is not some inalienable (or unalienable) right. Nobody has a right to my words, or the right to do anything with them I don't agree to. (That last part's probably not true, probably the original creators of the shows do have some legal right to them. But I don't think they're part of all this, so let's keep it that way.) I'm tired of people who don't want anything to do with me telling me what to do, or what I should do if I want to be a decent human being. That doesn't seem like decent human behavior to me. If you want something done with my stories, you have to talk to me, personally. Edicts from on high will not do it. Unless you're a burning bush, or talking from that one beam of sunlight in the sky, I'm walking away. People talk about the conventions of fandom, but those conventions keep changing without notice. Strangers are suddenly screaming at me for being a selfish, heartless bitch for not following rules I didn't know existed.

Just yesterday I had someone come to my LJ and tell me how stupid I am, that I should shut the fuck up because every time I post, it looks like my IQ is losing points. (If you want to attack me, going after my intelligence is a strategically bad move. If there is anything I'm not insecure about, it's my intelligence.)

So, I've already been told how cruel and selfish I am. Even if that's true, the only thing I can legitimately be accused of is supporting and fomenting cruel and selfish behavior in others, since all of my fiction is safely flocked. I did it for my own selfish reasons, not to protect the unwary.

People compare their unflocked LJs to their living rooms, and someone else (I haven't been keeping track of who says what) made the comparison of LJ as being more like someone standing on a park bench, yelling. I think it's more like sitting on your front porch, muttering to yourself. If someone wants to come onto your property to find out what you're muttering about, they do so at their own risk. Advertising urls and such could be considered an invitation, but if the stories are just sitting there and someone stumbles across them? They proceed at their own risk. And it seems to me that as far as reccing stories goes, if warnings are necessary, they should be included by the reccer. If someone told you should really go see that woman sitting on her front porch, muttering to herself, and didn't include the little detail that she might be saying things you don't want to hear, I think the one you'd want to blame would be the person who sent you. Because I'm allowed to sit on my front porch and mutter, and I'm allowed to mutter things you don't want to hear. And that is not the same as accosting people on park benches.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-02 01:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leviathan0999.livejournal.com
Sweety, really?

You need to stop allowing the opinions of a small number of mental-defectives to get you down.

Fandom, all fandom, is free-form, disorganized, and all about sharing your love for the source material in your own way. It has no rules, and those who say it has are delusional.

It is about sharing, always about sharing, so you should expect it to go both ways, and you should encourage it to go both ways, and one way to do that is to tell the idiots who think they have a God-given right to all the fic they can read, and no onus on them to pay for it with commentary that they do in the case of your fic.

But don't let 'em get to you. It's surrendering way too much power over your life to morons.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-02 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melodyclark.livejournal.com
The problem is, when you're a writer with a following, you have a very non-free-form, organized and hatred-fueled front battling you. Merricatk is not exaggerating. It is that bad.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-02 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leviathan0999.livejournal.com
In my primary fandom, I am a writer with a following. I've never had this kind of issue come up there -- different strokes for different fandoms, I guess -- but I don't for a moment believe [livejournal.com profile] merricatk is exaggerating. But the opinion of an army of morons matters no more than the opinion of one, except on election day, 2004.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-02 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
I just wanted to thank you again for this post.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
I just wanted to thank you again for this post.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 10:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
Apparently I really, really wanted to thank you. *g*

This is why I didn't answer anything last night, the new-to-me PC was being a bit wonkier than usual, and when combined with my Vicodan, I was feeling baffled by the smallest things. So I played solitaire instead.

I should never have gotten that PC. I'll never get hooked on Vicodan, but I've got a monkey on my back for spider solitaire!

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 11:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leviathan0999.livejournal.com
You're really, really, really welcome!

I've never gotten into Spider, but I do enjoy my variation of good ol' Klondike. (The variation: While any red-on-black/black-on-red is a permissible move, the goal is to get pointy-topped suits (spades and diamonds) and round-topped suits (clubs and hearts) together. (So, for example, if you had the Five of Diamonds on the Six of Clubs, you'd move it onto the Six of Spades to "improve" your game.)

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 11:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
I like that! It's subtle!

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 11:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leviathan0999.livejournal.com
I like that it gives me more to do while playing the game, andmakes teh game a little more complicated, rather than just making it statistically more unlikely that you can "win."

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 12:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
That's why I like Spider and Free Cell--they're more complicated. My problem is, I refuse to give up when I lose. I literally restarted the same game over a dozen times Wednesday night, because dammit, it wasn't going to beat me!

But, eventually I had to go to bed.

(Hmm. I'm beginning to detect a pattern here. Must discuss with therapist.... *g*)

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-02 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melodyclark.livejournal.com
Word.

The better you are, the more you are resented and even often hated. Even some people who respect your work have a chip on their shoulder. When's the last time you saw a truly crappy story given one star at an online archive? Want to see what some of my slash has received at WWomB? It comes from my trolls -- two or three really nasty mediocre writers who resented the fact I came in and gave them a dose of reality.

http://www.squidge.org/~peja/cgi-bin/viewuser.php?uid=290

That's what you get for your trouble after you work for weeks or even months on a story or novel. That's why so much fan fic now is bad. It's why I haven't written a single piece of fan fiction in eight months. I can't get the attacks out of my heads. It's not what should be perhaps but it is what is.

Let them have their crapfests. Watch all the fandoms quickly die. Maybe then they'll learn.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 10:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
It's just so bizarre. I cannot fathom wanting to hurt someone because they're talented. I mean, I can't draw to save my life, but when I look at art--fan or otherwise--it doesn't make me want to do mean things to the artist.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-02 03:31 pm (UTC)
ext_38484: (Default)
From: [identity profile] karieflybabe.livejournal.com
{Hugs You}

I can't cut and paste all the points that speak to me on this cause it would be about 75% of the post. You've said some things here that I have said in private but have always been afraid to voice in public. Thank you.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 10:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
I'm so glad. In some ways that's always been my life's work, saying things other people can't, for whatever reason. A friend of mine at work gave me something she'd cut out of a magazine: "You have the right to remain silent. But you won't." (She gave it out of love and admiration, not criticism.) I keep it taped to my monitor as a reminder.

{{Hugs you right back!}}

(frozen) here via metafandom's delicious tags

Date: 2009-07-02 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elspethdixon.livejournal.com
...so brace yourself for an onslaught of comments from various people on all sides of the warnings issue.

believe I got a comment from someone on the second website. On the first, there might have been a few more. Mostly what I got was second-hand, friends telling me someone had been raving to them about my stories.

I never heard from these ravers.


I don't have anything to say on the warnings/ratings front that wouldn't just start arguments (I'm very pro-labels&warnings as a reader and don't have any problems including it as a writer, because I like writing headers and adding metadata to things so it's not any kind of burden for me, and because I know I appreciate getting that info as a reader), but on the subject of websites and feedback -- I leave reviews on livejournal and used to reply with comments on stories when I was on mailing lists, but unless a site has a automated review function like ff.net or most efiction archives does, I almost never sent a writer a review, because cold emailing a stranger with my opinion on their stories just seemed so incredibly intimidating. On lj, where you can see various people's comments and the author's responses, it seems more like a conversation and less like calling up a stranger out of nowhere to say "Hi! You don't know me, but I stalk you online and read your fiction!"

The lack of summaries and other information about the story is honestly what keeps me from buying zines most of the time despite my preferrence for printed reading material -- if I'm going to spend actual money on something, sometimes as much as $30 (which I don't object to if it's a story I like, because printing out 200 page documents on nice paper isn't cheap), I want at least as much info about it as I'd get for a published book (i.e. a paragraph-long summary at the least). Starting to read a story online and then discovering that I don't like it costs me nothing (most of the time) but if I buy a zine and then discover that it isn't the kind of story I'm interested in, I'm out $20.

Just yesterday I had someone come to my LJ and tell me how stupid I am, that I should shut the fuck up because every time I post, it looks like my IQ is losing points

*facepalms* Get off my side of the warnings argument, troll. You're making the rest of us look bad.

(frozen) Re: here via metafandom's delicious tags

Date: 2009-07-03 10:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
See, now I think it would be cool to have somebody call me up and say "Hi! You don't know me, but I stalk you online and read your fiction!" But then, back in the letterzine days I used to cold-call new fans to kind of welcome them into the fold. Maybe I was scaring them.

I really can understand wanting to know what a story is about before you pay for it. I've spent a frightening amount on what ended up being terrible stories.

And I know your side isn't made up entirely of idiots, any more than my side is. I think all disagreements require a third party: the idiot party party. Then the other two could converse intelligently.

Thanks for coming and commenting.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-02 10:26 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (head)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Oh, it's a complicated world, isn't it? I think that the problem (in some nebulous way that one can call the whole issue of interaction and discussion and whatnot a problem) is that fandom has become huge, and people come at fandom from different places, and everyone has a different idea of what they want out of fandom and what they want to put into fandom. Which is not in itself, a problem - but I think it's easy to fall into the trap of assuming that everyone else is Exactly Like you (meaning, whoever) and therein is the problem.

Some people want to lurk and have no interaction with authors, just read stories. Others want interaction to be a two-way street; I'll only read about your life if you read about my life. Some won't leave comments unless the author replies to them, some won't leave comments because OMG the author might reply!

I think I am losing track of what I wanted to say here. I think, hmm. There is a sort of mob mentality that is more evident through e.g. [livejournal.com profile] metafandom links and communities and the network of people linking to each other, that suddenly there is a hot issue and some people issue edicts and others agree enthusiastically, and it feels as though Fandom Has Spoken. And yet, fandom is actually a bunch of individuals, and when you drill down to the level of actually communicating with an individual, you can understand the nuances of where that person is coming from and why she feels the way she does, and maybe come to an agreement or understanding that has nothing to do with what Fandom Spoke.

(I mean, that's what we did, basically, when we had a disagreement, right? And I learned your side, and you learned my side, and all was settled. But that's hard to do when there are great waves of People angrily claiming the One True Way - it's hard to distinguish the individual voices and attitudes and opinions.)
Edited Date: 2009-07-02 10:26 pm (UTC)

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 10:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
I think fandom used to be a lot of different tastes with different standards. Then internet threw them all into a blender, so Man from Uncle fans can't separate themselves from the Stargate fans and neither can separate from Dr. Who fans--even if they don't want or expect the same things from their individual fandoms.

We're the victims of Big Fannish Government! And you thought regular old Big Government was bad. (Or maybe you didn't; I'm not trying to be political here.) *g* Because Big Fannish Government is essentially a communal approach, which means we're all part of the government, even if we don't want to be. Lord, I may have to write another screed.

We did have a disagreement, and we did work it out. And now I'm very glad you're here. I do think individuals can work things out much better than mobs, even if the mobs aren't physically in one place together, and don't have torches.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-02 10:50 pm (UTC)
ext_3245: (Default)
From: [identity profile] rheasilvia.livejournal.com
I'm very sorry you've had such disheartening experiences with readers and other fans. Yeah, whenever one of these discussions boils up it turns into a witch-hunt at some point, with people doing a kind of head-count to see who is on the "right" and "wrong" side of the debate, and the reigning view being that there is a clear binary with absolute right and absolute wrong... when in actual fact, there are so many valid individual views and experiences like yours that it's impossible to trade in absolutes of any kind.

Fandom is just a bunch of people that are no more united in their wants and needs and concerns than any other bunch of people; I've never understood where the concept of fandom as a "safe space" or "community of friends" comes from. It's never been that, as your experiences show just as well as those of everyone else who feels hurt by some aspect of fandom. All it is is a loosely connected network of people with similar hobbies.

But I think that unrealistic ideal of fandom plays a large part in the frequent attempt of some group or other attempting to make rules for all of fandom - rules that everyone should abide by because it is obviously *right* and all of fandom should be united, always. When actually fandom has never been united in the first place, and by its nature never can be.

No such attempt can work; it can only backfire and lead to hurt and disillusionment all around.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 10:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
I keep saying that, but nobody believes me. Sometimes I feel like Cassandra.

It's not fun, telling people things they don't want to hear, disillusioning them. But I still think it's better to know that the pretty, scenic bridge is structurally unsound than to drive happily onto it and fall into the river below.

I really appreciate you letting me know that there's someone else out there who knows about the bridge.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 02:45 am (UTC)
ext_114576: (Default)
From: [identity profile] jaaaarne.com (from livejournal.com)
Being an exiled bnf myself, I do understand your feelings. And things you're telling about are painful. Sometimes people can be real jerks, and that's why I personally did exactly what you did: locked my fic, so that the ones who found their pleasure in hurting me couldn't go on having both my stories and my tears, so to speak.

So, well, let's be honest here - this post is not really about warnings, is it? Somehow I get the feeling that you're not the type of person to be opposed to a couple of sensible rules, as long as you're not told to do this and that, but rather invited to discuss the ways to do this and that. I can be wrong about it, of course, but I really hope I'm not.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 10:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
You're absolutely right. I'd be more than happy to help people out--God knows I've told friends, um, no, you do not want to read this story of mine, I don't care how good you've heard it is. Bad, bad stuff happens.

It's ironic, but on the same day I started reading about the warnings war, I got an email from someone looking for the one story of mine that should be kept in a padded cell and not allowed visitors. (The editor described it as "it's not dark, it's ultraviolet.") And that wasn't because it's intensely violent--there're five "on screen" deaths, one of them of a bad guy nobody who watched the show would mind, two of nameless bodyguards, and one an assisted suicide. But it's so filled with heartache that it really shakes people up. And I'm thinking, I should really post this. Should I really post this? If I was going to warn for anything, it would be for heartbreak.

So I'm considering posting a pre-story warning, that I'm posting this thing that has really upset people, and if anyone wants details, contact me.

It's the being treated like a story vending machine that makes me crazy. What I've been so clumsily trying to get across is that readers can't treat authors like that and expect them to invest themselves in the readers' well-being. I think the authors that aren't getting this probably *don't* feel depersonalized.

And I am so sorry you've been through the same crap I have. Yet another one of those clubs nobody wants to join. Keep the faith. You're always welcome here.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 03:59 pm (UTC)
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Default)
From: [personal profile] elf
I appreciate warnings for "severe angst" or "darkfic," that let me know the tone without telling me what happens. I appreciate darkfic, but I don't want to try to read it when I'm distracted... it's nice to have a header that gives some clue of the mood best suited for appreciating the story before starting to read.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 04:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mizuno-caitlin.livejournal.com
Fuck. Yes. I just want to say I agree 100% and I have nothing intelligent to add.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 10:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
Thank you! And thanks for taking the time to tell me.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 05:57 am (UTC)
amalthia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amalthia
It's strange back pre-LJ days I think I felt rather alone in fandom. Sure I ran an archive and I wrote to authors to get permission to host but getting a conversation going and making friends wasn't easy. (this was back when it was just mailing lists and plain old email) I think I only made one true friend and she was another archivist and we met through a miscommunication and discovered how much we had in common. The funny thing about LJ is you kind of get to meet people but it sometimes feels more like acquaintances.

My fandom experience having said that has been positive for me. (Okay I do have to ignore the trolls that leave feedback for my stories) but I still love reading the stories, letting authors know how much I enjoyed their story, archiving, and creating vids. I do still write but I think I let the trolls win because at some point I just stopped.

My one true friend in fandom though I met through a fluke of fate when I attended Escapade. We both needed a roommate and the third party let us both share with her and we hit it off. I intended to go to the con to meet all my favorite writers but I found that I had more fun meeting my roommate and getting to know her, and I found out she wrote a lot of Dark Shadow fics and we just clicked and have been friends ever since. But truly I was in fandom over 8 years before I met her.

But I do have other friends and people I talk with a lot. I don't always get to know the writers well because everyone does seem to have their group of friends they stick with. I do think that only writing and posting will make it difficult to meet and make friends. I only have a few real friends in fandom and honestly I don't have much time for more but I still interact with a lot of people. I guess I've had a bit more luck with contacting people and getting to know others. LJ has made that so much easier. But at the same time it's not deep unless you go past that. (at least that's my experience)

Now about the warnings, word. so much word. I personally think it's the reader who bears responsibility for what they read. Warnings are nice but I don't think authors should be forced to use them to participate in fandom. Truly, when you're in a fandom you get a sense of which authors will write stories that have content that is potentially triggery.

p.s. not sure what fandoms you're in but some are more friendly than others.

(frozen) Another Dark Shadows fan!

Date: 2009-07-03 11:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
I started off in Starsky & Hutch, which has always billed itself as the friendliest fandom in the 'hood. And it is, if you're deemed part of them. Just don't disagree on anything big.

I wouldn't say my fannish experiences have all been bad; my post was just focusing on the bad stuff to make a point. I've made some very good friends, and I'm a much better writer than when I started.

You're right about LJ--there are people whose lives you follow, but you don't know them, and people that you really do get close to. It's a good place, and it's particularly good for me if I mostly write for a small group. Not that I wouldn't friend anybody who was interested; I just friended someone today. But I'm more comfortable feeling like I know my readers--which was how I felt back in the zine days, after I'd been to some cons and met people.

I think it's wonderful that Dark Shadows got you and your friend together! My late longtime companion and I initially bonded over Dark Shadows, too! If she was still alive, we'd have all the episodes on DVD, but I can't watch it by myself. But I still have wonderful memories of it, and it helped give me something precious. And you too! That is so cool.

I mostly write Wiseguy now, and it's not that it isn't friendly, it's that nobody considers it their main fandom. They read and enjoy my stories, and there's a little talk, but none of the passion you find in a main fandom kind of love. If that makes any sense.

Thank you for writing to me; I really enjoyed hearing your story.

(frozen) Re: Another Dark Shadows fan!

Date: 2009-07-03 08:22 pm (UTC)
amalthia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amalthia
Oh boy, I've been in small fandoms before you're right it's really hard to generate mass enthusiasm because there just aren't enough people. I'm currently on the fringe of Sarah Conner Chronicles and Chuck because it's almost impossible to be in those two fandoms full time because there is hardly anything there.

It's amazing how many people I'm meeting lately who were into Dark Shadows. :) I think I've gotten more into since I met my friend because she knows all the really good stories, has the vids, and the episodes. So while before I mostly just lurked I didn't have anyone to share my interest with.

I think I heard rumors that there may be a movie? With possibly Johnny Depp cast as one of the leads.

I've been hearing good things about Wiseguy but I haven't seen the show yet.

(frozen) Re: Another Dark Shadows fan!

Date: 2009-07-04 01:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
Now is a good time to get interested in Wiseguy because it looks like they're finally about to release the whole series. There's been a long delay with one of the arcs because it contains a lot of music. We don't know what they've come up with, but at least the episodes will be available.

(frozen) Re: Another Dark Shadows fan!

Date: 2009-07-04 03:23 am (UTC)
amalthia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amalthia
I finally got to see Due South once the DVDs came out. So much easier to download at that point to give a try. Due South is another fandom I'm in love with but I think I missed the ship....

I will have to watch Wiseguy once I can get the downloads. :)

(frozen) Re: Another Dark Shadows fan!

Date: 2009-08-26 12:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] broomstyx.livejournal.com
I have stumbled, in my usual blundering way on the Internet, on your LJ and discovered you saying you now write mostly Wiseguy. I saw some stories by you on Sportshoes. Sorry I seem off topic, but I cannot figure out how to write you and tell you I'm impressed.

I have loved Wiseguy since it aired, but never wrote it, and never read it because I wanted Sonny/Vinnie and couldn't find it. So, I let Wiseguy sit in the back of my mind pretty much blocked. I recently re-watched the Steelgrave arc, though, and caught the bug, writing like crazy (when I am home; I travel for my business) for the past 6 weeks. Why after 20 years? I have no idea.

I have written in the past, under the name Natasha Solten (among other pen names,) but only Star Trek and Blake's 7. I have published tons of zines. Then I quit fandom. I've been quit for about 10 years. Then out of the closet and into my mind like a fiery maelstrom: Wiseguy. I question it, I fight it, I don't understand it. It's like I took some drug that won't leave my system. Where's the antidote? It blots out all the past, as if it never was. After all these years! So now I hunt for stories, and I'm picky because they have to have Vinnie/Sonny. And there are so few, and the fandom seems so tiny.

So you say your stories are flocked. I have no idea what that means. Does it mean I can't read them? And your comments also give me pause. Should I never post any of my stories on LJ or anywhere else? I haven't yet, but thought about it.

You mention fan story ratings. I have no idea what that is or how to rate my stories. The current ones are slash. That should speak for itself.

I have 3 short stories and 2 long novellas already completed. All I can offer is a trade. I don't think I'll disappoint. I used to be a pro writer. If you want to write back privately, my email is: wrathbone@juno.com. If this it off topic, I again apologize. I can't figure out how to contact you any other way.

(frozen) Re: Another Dark Shadows fan!

Date: 2009-08-26 02:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
Hey, welcome! And no need for apologies!

Almost without exception, what I write are Sonny/Vinnie stories, so you're in luck there. And flocked is just short for friends locked (I use it because I find it amusing) and since I've just friended you, you're in luck there, too. *g*

As for posting--

Around the time fandom exploded on the internet, the idea of using the movie rating system for rating fan fiction took hold, along with specifics about what is being warned for. Character death and rape have been the two big ones. There have been a lot of reasons given for doing this, the most recent being that stumbling across a story with disturbing elements is traumatic for people who have experienced actual traumatic events in their lives.

I don't know how to rate my stories either, and I dislike being told I have to by people I don't even know, which is one reason I keep my stories on my own LJ, and friends lock it. That way they will not be stumbled upon by the unwary.

I'm working on getting as much of my fiction as possible posted on my LJ, so it'll be available for your reading pleasure as soon as I can get to it. As to quid pro quo, I'd love to read your stories in whatever form works best for you.

As to whether or how you should post your stories--if you post them publicly, you might get people telling you what you should and should not be doing, but it's not like there's any internet police to enforce their opinions. Personally, I just don't want them bothering me, so I post more privately. But really, whatever you're comfortable with is what you should do.

It's lovely to hear from you. Thank you for writing to me!

(frozen) Re: Another Dark Shadows fan!

Date: 2009-08-26 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] broomstyx.livejournal.com
I'll respond here, just in case responding to the LJ email didn't work. I'm stupid when it comes to the Internet. Anyway, tell me where I can send word attachments of my stories to you. It's the only way I can think of getting them to you right now...unless I post them somewhere and you can go read them there. But that's not gonna happen quite yet, if ever.

Wendy (Natasha Solten)

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 02:49 pm (UTC)
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Default)
From: [personal profile] elf
You mean...

If I friended you, and you friended me back, which seems not particularly unlikely, I could read House and Burn Notice fic without the $#@!{%}&* MPAA ratings?!

I think I love you.

I understand ratings and warnings and summaries; fic online is a lot broader than fic in a zine, where you could always ask the person who's selling it what kind of content it has... is this funny stuff, or serious, or slashy; is it short & sweet, or introspective, or action plots? I kinda want to know those things; they help me decide if I'm in the mood at the moment to read it.

But before I start reading, I don't want to know who, if anyone, dies. Don't want to know who gets hurt, and who puts him back together. Don't want to know if the UST gets resolved, ignored, or builds up.

And while I'm sympathetic to the people who *do* want to know that, and especially to the ones who could be further damaged by a scene that mirrors trauma they've experienced, to such an extent that they avoid all fic with that kind of trauma... I'd like fandom to also have space for reading without warnings.

And especially, reading without MPAA's homophobic WASP-based protect-the-children rating system. I like things tagged Worksafe/Mature/Explicit; that tells me whether it's a bad idea to read it on my lunch break at work, or whether it's likely to be too intense to read in pieces during my public transit travel time. But I'm perfectly happy to go rating-less and warning-less entirely. (PG? Who da hell is writing fic that they expect parents to review with their kids?)

And since your fic is f'locked, and you've stated you don't warn, you've covered what the hardcore pro-warning crowd is demanding: you've protected people from accidentally being triggered by your fic. They're not going to run across it casually, and it's in a venue where they can get more info about it if any particular story is rec'd to them.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 02:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
To be totally honest, I haven't written any Burn Notice fic (yet). All of this

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 03:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
Crap, I hit enter too soon, and now I've run out of time to finish my comment! Back with you this afternoon, don't go away! *g*

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-03 08:27 pm (UTC)
amalthia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amalthia
during our trip to Mediawest my friend and I were reading all the SPN Big Bang summaries out loud to each other and as we read the summaries we came to this realization that even after telling us the pairing the summaries (not all but many) still had to tell us who gets together!

My friend and I were like dude we already know they are already going to get together already! Move onto something we don't know. So I think that was our new catch phrase of the trip. "You know they are going to get together."

I sometimes do think the warnings tip the story into going over into too much detail on top of the summary, the pairing information, the rating, and lately I sometimes feel like there are no surprises left in a story. I think that's why I like Candle Beck's stories a lot. Hell sometimes I don't even know the title of her fic when I go into it and that's kind of refreshing.

Some warnings, paired with pairing information lead the story down a road just about anyone can predict.

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-04 01:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
That would be like putting S/H as the pairing for a Starsky & Hutch story. What? You mean Starsky and Hutch are going to get together in your slash story? REALLY?? Well, color me shocked!

(frozen) Let's try this again.

Date: 2009-07-04 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
Sorry for the sudden disappearance, I was having lunch with my boss so I had to go right-quick.

I haven't written any Burn Notice yet, but I love the show and am thinking of branching out. And lately most of the fiction I've been writing has been based on prompts given to me by friends. You're on my flist, so you could give me an idea. *g*

I should um, "warn" you that while practically all prompts will result in stories, they won't necessarily result in the story you were looking for. But I've never had anyone say they were disappointed, even when I've flat out said, "This really wasn't what I was planning to write."

(frozen)

Date: 2009-07-05 02:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] owlrigh.livejournal.com
If someone wants to come onto your property to find out what you're muttering about, they do so at their own risk. Advertising urls and such could be considered an invitation, but if the stories are just sitting there and someone stumbles across them? They proceed at their own risk.

Yes. I was discussing this with someone recently and this was what we agreed upon, and so. If it's on your lj, do whatever you want; if you post a link to it in the comm, then do whatever the comm rules are, in highlighted text if so. For me, warnings are ... hmm. If I read something and it says "mpreg", for example, I will in all likelihood not read that story. It might be the best thing in the world! But I won't read it. If I'd come to [livejournal.com profile] astolat's SGA "A Beautiful Lifetime Event" and it'd that warning on it, I'd have kept going, but as it happens there wasn't and so all was fine and dandy. Even MPAA warnings sometimes have me pass things by ... all I need to know is that someone has recommended a story, and then I'll read it, and if I liked it, I then go on to read all the other things that person's written in that fandom. Some fandoms I steer clear of; TPM Q/O grossed me out horribly and HP Snarry the same, and now SPN's main pairing has me never looking at that show the same way again, as in: not watching it at all. But I wouldn't go into those fandoms for stories, because I know what it's predominantly like.

Variously you have good points, and it's true, people want to read lots and don't send feedback. As you say, people write for the feedback. If they weren't, they wouldn't post the stuff, now would they? It'd sit on the hard drive, if writing it was all that you needed. But it isn't. It's what spurs you to fire up your editor to start the next one.
Edited Date: 2009-07-05 02:14 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-07-22 04:39 am (UTC)
ext_49754: My main icon, depicting Heero and Duo hugging and says 1=2, Try, Try, Try, and hostilecrayon. (Shit's Getting Old)
From: [identity profile] hostilecrayon.livejournal.com
I just posted about this here: http://impertinence.livejournal.com/556970.html?thread=11909546#t11909546

Basically, I agree with you. I word things nicely - being bashed is lame - but I think this issue is taken WAY too far. I'm happy to see things like this - I'd lose half my flist for crap like this, and it's sad. Really sad. WTF kind of friend is that?

Date: 2010-08-09 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merricatk.livejournal.com
That is a truly excellent post; thank you for linking.

And you do word things nicely, but I know that wouldn't matter to "friends" who want there to be good guys and bad guys, with the bad guys being anyone who holds an opinion that differs from theirs.

I'm sorry it's taken so long to respond to you. Med problems got me.

Date: 2010-08-10 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apagon.livejournal.com
Hi, I just started watching wiseguys and followed the recs here and found this post... I am very sorry to hear about the people insulting and harassing you... There's probably nothing that can justify such hatred and intolerance when it comes to a different view... Since people apparently don't tell you enough that what you do in fandom is appreciated, I just wanted to let you know that your episode comments for wiseguy on sportshoes really made my day. Thanks for that.

I'd really love to get the chance to read your writing... I guess what I mean is, I hope it's okay if I visit your porch to hear your mutterings? As someone who can't mutter with plot lines and good sentence structure, I really admire someone like you who can, so I hope you don't mind me asking if I can still find your stories somewhere?
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