“In a really creepy way, this is a community of women making love to one another’s minds, using the medium of fictional male characters. And I love it. Keep it up.”
mallmun in her brilliant post, The Physics of Fan Fic Sex
Many of the things she listed are the reasons why I’m too shy to write smut BUT I think this post will help me be brave enough to try? Maybe?
Here’s the thing. I love this post, I thought it was funny and relevant. And I’ve seen a lot of this type of thing flying around “Fanfic is great, but here’s all the problems with it and what you should be doing to fix it.” And I get that. I do. There’s stuff I won’t read if there are certain things I don’t personally dig (grammatical issues, format issues, immature writing, whatever).
But the trend I’m seeing where certain people are going around saying “These are all the things wrong with fanfic, these fics need to be changed, you shouldn’t use this word/ term/ description or that, you shouldn’t use this trope/ idea/ scenario, those are trite and ridiculous and,” etc, well… I think it’s detrimental. I think it’s detrimental to people who are writing stuff and really trying hard to take their courage and spin a tale out there. Again, I know that some of these types of posts are meant to help people become better writers, but I also think it’s scaring some people off.
And before someone says “Well, you better toughen up, Buttercup, if you want to write fiction for people to read,” I would kinda throw out there that O HAI THIS IS FANFIC. I’m not trying to score a contract. This is written purely for joy, fun, whatever. For fuck’s sake, this isn’t professional writing, I don’t believe that all my friends out there who are writing fanfic are putting their babies out there in the hopes of scoring a gig. I mean, yes, there are fanfic writers whose talent is — in my opinion, at least — definitely worthy of publishing gigs. But that’s not the point. The point is: this is supposed to be fun.
I guess I’m saying, write it if you feel it. People’s opinions are just that (including mine). And when someone is doing a list of things that fandom writers are doing “wrong”, it can weigh heavily on someone who is trying to get the courage to post another story or post their first story or whatever. And yeah, these types of fanfic writing laundry lists have kicked my arse a couple times to the point where I went and deleted my work because I felt I had no business having it out there, I was the worst writer ever, I used a certain word/ term that someone out there deemed puerile, I had a thing for certain tropes/ scenarios that someone inferred were idiotic, etc. My bad was letting someone else’s opinion hurt me/ scar me that much. I like what I like. I use the words and descriptions I like. The people who read my work seemed to like it well enough. I don’t need to apologise for any of that.
SO: Write it. Dive in. Get someone you trust to beta/ give feedback. And put that puppy out there. It’s fanfic, for fuck’s sake. This is for fun. Share that fun with us.
(DISCLAIMER: I am SO NOT picking on Mallamun; I liked that post and thought it was funny. I’m just worried about the trend I’m seeing in the fanfic world of late where people are getting scared off of writing)
YES, CALI, (MOSTLY) RIGHT FROM MY BRAIN. Here’s the deal—that post was funny but I’ll pick on it a little bit, as an example of what I’ve seen a lot of the last few weeks or so. The first time I read it I did laugh, I thought it was funny and holy shit, did most of that apply to what I was seeing in a lot of stories. But as a little time has passed and I’ve gotten a bit deeper into meta of this writing gig, I rethought what it was I was laughing about.
The base pile of assumptions in that post and the lofty Holier than Thou tone irked me on second read. “UR DOING IT RONG FANDOM VIRGINS/STRAIGHT PEOPLE/YOUNG PEOPLE/LADIES (but omg I love you please keep writing smut for me)” is really not the best way of going about making your argument for change, and when my eyebrows start doing that thing where one is way higher than the other for the like sixth day in a row, I know something is rotten in the state of Fandom.