Fandom dreams

I was going to call this post ‘fandom drama’, but my ever faithful phone corrected it to ‘dreams’. Coincidence? I think not.

Fandoms have drama the way water has wetness, and my chosen fandom is no exception. Most of it is not exactly earth-shaking stuff. Which character ships are considered canon, which tropes are verboten… Two things generally jump out at me about it, every time.

The first: that people take offence to a particular pairing, on the grounds that it is not canon or out of character. They then say something along the lines of ‘hey, author! Why are you writing that? Don’t write that!’

Leaving aside the fact that it’s kind of a dick move to order someone to write stuff, what’s the problem? It’s not as if there’s a finite amount of creativity in the fandom, and one story being written with this pairing means that other pairings are lost. Fandoms are infinite things, like human stupidity and David Bowie’s hair.

So, y’know, I don’t get the whole railing against certain pairings. Makes no sense. It’s like shouting at the wind.

The second thing is how people seem to regard fandom drama as a reason to leave the fandom. This baffles me completely.

So if you turn it on its head for a minute, forget about the nuts and bolts of it – think about what it means. It means people care, deeply, about the fandom. It means they’re deeply invested in the thing around which the fandom formed. It takes a lot of emotional commitment to want to write, to draw, to film, to cosplay. Fans who want to do this get a bad rap for being too into it, after all.

So drama is really a sign of a healthy fandom. Yeah, it feels sort of shitty if you’re in the middle of it, but the bystanders shouldn’t take it too seriously. Let’s have some perspective, I guess.

We have to remember that we are part of the fandom for the same reasons – for love of the game, the book, the film. For love of a story. We all find our own things there. And we all dream together when we create things inside it.

//shay

Porn acquired

And it was good indeed, my dear friends. I believe my muse is finally starting to take an interest. There shall be more writing of sexytimes soon, I promise.

I’ve finished the fanfiction chapter I was writing, for those of you who care. (You all do, don’t you?) It’s been sent to a beta reader, because beta readers are awesome and I like the feedback. And then I shall post it, and hopefully those of you who have been waiting for it for at least six weeks at this point will forgive me my tardiness.

Then PORN! Because why the hell not!

Also cookies. Cookies and porn go well together.

//shay

 

Porn and writing

Yes indeed, my fellow smut jockeys. Porn and writing for all!

Heh. Smut jockeys. That’s gonna be my Word of the Day.

So I’ve been writing fanfiction. It’s mostly drama. Like so much else in my life, I have no idea where I’m going with it from one scene to the next, and I am totally okay with that. I do have more to write on the actual original fiction story, but I’m saving that for when my porn muse returns – which it should do soon, because I have received a gift of beautiful, bounteous porn, and I expect this gift shall either inspire me to write more in the same vein, or to wear out all my sex toys in a vodka-fueled orgy.

(I’m kidding, of course. I don’t drink vodka.)

So here’s to the provision of porn coming soon, I hope – and those of you who’re watching for my fanfiction, stay tuned.

//shay

Oh boy oh boy oh boy

It’s December! Have you got all your Christmas shopping done yet?

Nah, me neither.

What I am doing is this, however – porn! I shall hopefully be receiving a gift of porn most bountiful, and with it I shall read and enjoy and write and – well, let’s be honest here – have much sexytimes of an entirely inappropriate nature.

This should kickstart my porn muse, and I shall return to delivering delightful things to you, dear friends. Won’t that be fun?

(I know some of you are waiting on my fanfiction. That is also coming. Patience, my dears.)

//shay

I write these

…late at night, mostly. I can’t help thinking that this adds to the general weirdness.

I’ve been pondering lately on the nature of a sanitized fanfic, such as Fifty Shades. As we all know, it was originally a fanfic of Twilight that had its numbers filed off to avoid copyright problems. But is anyone really fooled by the result? And is it really the same story if the origin has been obscured?

I don’t know, but fanfiction has always been the best kind of remixing to me. It’s all the stories that otherwise could never be, and we need them. Culture needs experimentation, or it stagnates – and we can hardly rely on the mainstream media to take risks.

So a sanitized fanfic has its place – but it still has to be good. This is why I dislike Fifty Shades on such a deep level – E.L. James just can’t write worth a damn, and there is no way in hell she’ll have any kind of career as a writer unless she gets a lot better. But I won’t diss her series for its origin or her choice to be a fanfic writer. Hell, I started that way too…

The nature of the sanitized fanfic is a weird one. It exists in two worlds at once; that of fandom, and that of commercial writing. Trust me when I say there are big differences, and I’m not surprised that few make the jump from fandom to commercial success.

//shay

I am held to standards

In fanfiction as in original fiction, it’s vital to have standards – and my standards are high. They’re also enforced by a pit of sharks who like to chew through unsuspecting writers in an orgy of violent, bloody criticism.

I love them so, and here is what I told them today.


When I get criticism, I don’t expect people to defend me, and I don’t really defend myself, because I don’t see criticism and discussion as an attack. I find it interesting to see how people react to what I write, whether positive or negative.

I also find it interesting that readers see things that I may not have intended consciously, but that are still present in the story. I don’t think readers realize how important it is for me to know this, because it leads me to a greater understanding of what and how I write.

Can we have a talk for a minute, just me and you? Have a seat over here, and let me get you a beer.

Your reactions to, and your expectations of, a story are just as valuable as in-depth criticism, because ultimately… I do this for you. I do it for me too, but if it were just for me, I’d keep it all on my hard drive. But I don’t. I post it, or I publish it, and that means I have an obligation – to listen to criticism, to process every response, to tell a good story, and to finish what I start. I’ll ask for a little of your trust that I know what I’m doing, but I expect you to be hard on me regardless – and I’ll not blame you if you don’t want to give me the benefit of the doubt. Sturgeon’s Law and all that…

Because I do it for you. I always do it for you. There are a few other places I can go for praise, if I want my ego stroked, but what I need to become a better writer is honesty.


I don’t say it much, but I do believe this: a writer can’t write for money, because we might lose our artistic soul. We can’t write for ourselves, because we might become self-indulgent and narcissistic. We can’t write to some literary ideal or construct, because the world isn’t perfect.

So we write for the reader sitting beside us, for the fans who want to know how the story ends.

May Thor have mercy on me if I ever forget this, no matter how high I rise.

//shay

One for the money

Sometimes I ask myself why I write. I guess money would be nice, but nothing quality comes from just chasing money.

In another life, I write fanfiction. Slash fanfiction, in fact, for Team Fortress 2. I have mentioned this before.

…Stop laughing, dammit!

My fanfiction is… popular, I guess. Much more popular than my actual stuff. I make no apologies for it – I’m actually proud of it, and I consider the big multi-chapter story called Butterfly Knife to be some of my best work. I do it for plenty of reasons, none of which have anything to do with money. Here’s why:

I absolutely loved your fic of In The Showers with Medic and Heavy. I started to cry, and I’m not sure why. Maybe because I can relate to how Medic felt? Being scared, and whatnot… It wasn’t a bad cry it was a good one ;u; Keep up the lovely work ❤

It’s 1.30 in the morning, I’m exhausted and my mind pretty much consists of ‘I need to go to bed’, keyboard smashing and ‘Just after this chapter of Butterfly Knife’. Thank you.

I usually NEVER read fics, it’s one I’m following now, and then there’s all of yours, I was skeptic at first, not really viewing fanfics or fanart of any style as a real effort. I know that’s stupid, and you’ve really proven that I was dead shit wrong.

I just have to say, waking up to that story was like Christmas morning, except this time I got something much better than soap and socks. I was late to work because I had to read this but it was totally worth it.

There is something really wonderful about making someone’s day better, or writing something that resonates with them. That’s worth more than mere cash. I get praise, yes, and it’s nice to know that people like my stuff, but the comments I treasure are the ones that show the reader found a deeper connection with the story. It’s like having the best superpower ever.

One for the money, two for the show, as the King himself said. But ultimately it’s all for the fans. I have a hundred ways to get money, if I need it, but only one to make a stranger I’ve never met feel better.

//shay