Posts Tagged 'fandom'

signs you’re a fandom old

transformativeworks:

persian-slipper:

You remember reading the very first “Five Times” fic (before the meme ate fandom)

Fanlore!

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finnglas:

anneapocalypse:

Shipping is such a multilayered thing too.

You can ship characters for happily ever afters, sure, you can ship them for tragically-then-happily, you can ship two or three or four or more, you can ship endless combinations of personality types and relationship dynamics

but you can also ship characters under very specific circumstances, or for a certain period of their life but not for all of it, or only in a certain universe. You might say “I ship these characters” and what you mean is you think they are fascinating together and could have a story together. That story could be any kind of story. 

Sometimes it means you want them together for the rest of their lives. Sometimes it means something different than that.

I don’t know about you, but for me, “I ship it” means “There is a story in this ship and I am interested in that story.” 

for me, “I ship it” means “There is a story in this ship and I am interested in that story.”

Thank you for articulating this. Yes. Exactly.

trovia:

shadowedhills:

genginger:

voltisubito:

hoo boy, here comes some serious talk about fandom mentality.

I feel like there’s a huge failing on readers’ parts to communicate to fic authors how much they appreciate their works or how much it affects them, unless the fic is “fandom famous” for some reason. sometimes it gets translated into demands (which are awful literally do not demand updates from an author ever).

more often than not, it gets translated into silence, and coming from a writer, the silence is probably the worst. you never know if they like it, you never know what the reader actually thinks about it. or even if they read it at all. and it’s… heartwrenching, and nervewracking and you start constantly questioning yourself and wondering if you’re actually good enough or if you belong. and you start comparing yourself. to the people who are popular, to the people with huge followings, to the people who get questions and art and compliments up the wazoo. and you start wondering if you should have bothered writing at all. in some cases you start begging. and in some cases, you do worse.

and it’s terrible. a writer shouldn’t have to beg. a writer shouldn’t have to only get attention when they’re frustrated or upset. a writer shouldn’t have to doubt themselves every time they pick up a pen or open their laptop. a writer should never feel so unimportant that they consider deleting their work–and do. and then be subjected to questions of why they deleted it.

(which, by the way, is kind of a rude thing to do. it’s their content, and they can do with it whatever makes them comfortable. and more than that–why wait until it’s gone to just suddenly unleash your appreciation for it?)

if, at this point, you are thinking, “well, writers shouldn’t write for attention anyway! writers should be writing for themselves!” then you are missing a Very Huge Point about the intricacies of and emotions behind creating art. of course art comes from the self, but art is meant to be shared. with people. like you. art is created for people to talk back to, to engage with, to live alongside–and yes, that in turn bolsters the creator’s own securities and motivation. it’s also a sad testament to the fact that we as a people have come to condemn the notion that anyone, especially content creators, should want attention at all.

and that’s toxic, and an awful mentality to have. (it’s also atrocious marketing. but, that’s another discussion for another time.)

what I’m trying to say here is this: a lot of this could be prevented by one simple thing. if you read a fic you like, *speak up about it.* make some kind of sign. about whether you like somebody’s work, or whether it excites you. reblog it to share with other people, gush in the tags, leave a comment/review if it’s on ao3 or ffn. (authors read tags as much as artists do, trust me.) kudos and likes are fine too, but like with any other kind of art, they’re very invisible. be vocal, y’all. spread the love.

and above all, *tell the author directly.* send them an ask, write a comment, tag them in an appreciation post. I can’t stress that enough. you’d be making someone’s day, relieving some securities, visible or not, instead of being complacent in this system, this mass way of thinking, that only popular writers deserve attention, that it has to be earned through working yourself raw instead of asked for. it causes these cliques and hierarchies and ultimately people start or keep maintaining this idea that people who are at the top deserve to be at the top, and people who get ignored deserve to be ignored. (which I have, in fact, heard people say, and that’s… I don’t even have a word for that.)

I just. something has to give, you guys. we have to stop doing this. we have to stop letting this happen. we have to be kind to our writers before they disappear.

and yes, you can reblog this post. in fact, I’d highly encourage it.

I agree with a lot of this, but some of it puts my back up. 

I mean, YES, leave feedback! Do it! If you liked anything at all about a piece of writing you should tell the author, and the more specific you can be the better! Authors live for that stuff, and a comment can make their day.

And YES art is meant to be shared. If you just wanted to tell stories to yourself, you wouldn’t write them down. If you wanted to imagine scenes and visuals, you could do that and not try to get them onto paper. You could visualize a really cool sweater and never try to create it in real yarn.

But just because you write something and put it out there doesn’t mean you are entitled to feedback. And maybe that’s my Cynical Old Lady talking. Maybe it’s years of being a performer and a fiber artist and a tech worker that gives me that perspective. You aren’t always going to get thanks. You aren’t always going to get feedback (helpful or not). You aren’t always going to get acknowledgment. 

But the flip side of that is that you should treasure what you DO get. And remind yourself that for every positive comment, there are probably at least 10 other people out there that read your stuff and thought it was at least ok. 

Any marketer can tell you – a thing that takes effort for people to do, only a small percentage of folks will do. That’s just the way people are: lazy. If you go out there expecting different, you might be disappointed. 

(Please note I am not a popular writer – this isn’t coming from a place of “it’s easy for me so it should be easy for everyone.” But I have always assumed my lack of popularity, like Elizabeth Bennet’s poor piano playing, is partly my own fault for not getting better at my craft. It’s partly because I write less popular pairings. It’s partly because I don’t know as many people and so some folks that might like my stuff just never discover it. And it’s partly because people are lazy.)

So DO make an effort to tell the writers and others who make stuff you like that you appreciate their work. But don’t let lack of feedback stop you from creating. Keep going! Keep practicing and getting better. Develop ways to publicize your work if that’s important to you. Don’t let silence stop you. Keep on pushing.

But just because you write something and put it out there doesn’t mean you are entitled to feedback.

Repeating that line, because yes, this is exactly what I’m hearing about 75% of the time when I read these screeds about how unappreciated fic writers are. 

I’m a fic writer. Not a super popular one. I ADORE feedback. It makes me super fucking happy when I see the kudos email, and positively ecstatic when someone actually comments. And encouraging people to leave that feedback is great! But I hate all these posts that make it seem like comments are some kind of mandatory homework assignment for readers. 

And for fuck’s sake, kudos and likes are not actually invisible. I don’t know where this idea started, but I want it to die right now. I am happy with whatever method of feedback you choose to give me – any acknowledgement that someone read and enjoyed my work, or even that they think it sounds interesting enough to come back to, lifts my spirits. I’m sorry that others don’t feel that way, but trying to convince readers that kudos and likes are somehow lazy or inadequate or selfish is really counter productive.

I appreciate the basic message of “hey, readers, a small comment goes a long way!”, but come on, let’s not be overly dramatic. Fic writers aren’t going anywhere. Fanfic isn’t going to dry up and blow away if readers fail to comment. People have been writing and sharing the modern conception of fanfic since before there was an internet to publish it on. Maybe some people will leave fic writing if they don’t get enough feedback, and I’m sorry for that, but it’s not going to die. So this whole “be kind before the writers disappear!” tactic is just pointless melodrama meant to make fic readers feel guilty. Fic readers are here for fun. I guarantee most of them (me included, since I’m both a writer and a reader), when confronted with a guilt trip, will simply head off to read something else. Calling not commenting a “failing” of readers isn’t going to net you new readers, I’m sorry to say.

Fandom is community. Tumblr is community. There are tons of ways to build community, and yes, interacting about fanfic is one of them. Attention is lovely, and it’s not wrong to want more of it! But sheesh, feeding this idea that all fic readers are responsible for a writer’s ego is doing more to hurt fic culture than any reader who casually enjoys a story and then moves on to the next one. 

This is apparently the hill that I will die on. Whoops.

Oh hey, I’m a marketer, incidentally. Let me talk about fanfic feedback from a marketer’s POV. I never get to do that. I think about it a lot, though. Don’t usually try to apply it to my own stories because that’s not why I’m here but it’s not like you can shut it off. 

This part of online marketing is not complex. You have a group of people who saw what you did there (they read the fic) and they understood what you want from them (leave feedback) and yes, only a part of them will do it, too. (but speaking as a human being – “most people don’t do it” is a pretty low reason to say, “So clearly it’s not necessary to do it.”) The act of a person who saw the thing becoming a person who did the action is called a conversion, and the art of improving the ratio of conversions is called conversion optimization. Many small things can improve on the conversion of a thing on the Internet dramatically, such as moving a button, changing a design color, or rephrasing a sentence. There are some things that generally, in online marketing, will almost always make more people do the action. A big one is telling them to do it. Just before they would have to do it. So in a fic that would translate to leaving a note underneath your chapter, to be read after the chapter but before the “comment” button, and this note of yours should say, “Please review!” It makes a huge difference on websites, trust me. It transforms so so many visitors of online shops into buying customers, just saying “Buy!”. “Buy now!” works even better, so theoretically “Review now!” should be a good one for fic writers, too. (strictly speaking, the one that’s catching on right now is “own it now!” but I don’t know how to apply that here)

But here’s the funny thing. In fandom? That flies out of the window. Because fanfic readers are fucking prima donnas compared to averages users. Of all the excellent marketers I know, they would all cry elephant tears when confronted with fandom. Ten years ago, we used to see a “Read and review!” attached to any fic. But readers soon started feeling annoyed by that and frustrated. So writers stopped because apparently it’s not okay to write for free, then ask for feedback, you also have to do it in a way so that none of your free consumers will feel pressured. You have to do it in a particular way if you want it to work, or they’ll think you’re “needy” and “whiny” or “arrogant” and “what the fuck do you get off on, do you think we need you?” For the marketing psychology to work, you have to tell them exactly the options they have (like, share, leave feedback, bookmark, or any combination of the above) but you also have to do it in a way that people will still like you afterwards, so you have to explain why, and you have to give the reasons they find bearable to hear. So you have to be verbose about it, too. But then your little text – your so-called call to action – gets too long and it loses its pull and you’re back where you started. Then you have a text that doesn’t work well in terms of marketing and also everybody hates you. Great. 

And that’s not even me criticizing, this is me just outlining the realistic marketing problem that I see at the bottom of every fanfic I finish reading. (and then in most cases I leave feedback, yes) I’m a marketer who has been in fandom for over ten years now, and who makes her money in the day job by punching out multiple website texts a day, and I have not figured out the ideal way of asking for a review that will both make many people write a review and not piss them off. There is no way of asking for reviews that won’t piss a big portion of readers off. From a marketers’ POV, the fic situation is ridiculous. You give away free content, but you don’t even get to engage people. It’s positively bizarre, this policing of what the free content suppliers can and cannot do, and how they can do it, and when. It reminds me of gender role policing: don’t be too needy, don’t be too arrogant; don’t be too loud, don’t be too quiet There’s a huge amount of entitlement going on in fandom, an entitlement of proportions that I have not seen among any group of users who were being asked to spend money, sometimes huge amounts of money, rather than time and words. 

For everyone who hesitates to comment on a fic

autisticinquisitor:

das-umilaut:

solangelokisses:

jaesauce:

elenilote:

mizstorge:

rembrandtswife:

dizzy-redhead:

Today I got a reply to a comment saying that the author had been so discouraged by the lack of response on the last two chapters that they had decided not to finish it, but that they had changed their mind and were now thinking of finishing. Just because I took 30 seconds to comment on each chapter.

It doesn’t matter if the fic is years old

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to say (“I loved this” is always music to an author’s ears, no matter how many times we hear it)

The author will not think you’re a creeper if you’re commenting on every single one of their fics

The author WILL cuddle your comments close to their hearts like the precious gems that they are, even if they’re only one word.

Comments and feedback matter. I’ve written in fandoms and for pairings that have very active, vocal fans who comment a lot, and I’ve written for ships that are not terribly popular and don’t get much reaction. The difference in my attitude is incredible.

Your feedback matters to authors. Click the kudos button, but please, take the time to leave a comment. Even if it’s just one word. If you like the writing and want to see more, let the author know

/rant

yes yes yes yes yes yes

Comments are very motivational.

Kudos is wonderful and I want to thank everyone who’s ever clicked that little heart on AO3 but I have to admit, getting a comment would be even nicer 🙂

I live for comments. Every time I get one, my confidence and happiness goes through the roof. As an amateur writer, knowing that someone out there reads and likes my stuff – and likes it enough to spend time writing in response – is probably the greatest feeling in the world.

I look at ever single reblog to see if they put tags saying they like it, it honestly means so much to get something saying you enjoyed & if you say it directly to me I will legit thankyou so many times bc it honestly keeps me going

Seriously. Comments make me so happy. I literally re-read tags and comments to motivate myself when writing.

^^^ Honestly more than once I’ve been tempted to drop a fic or series because I’m frustrated, but then someone leaving comments on it gets me inspired and motivated all over again

When I’m in the mood to write, I’ll write for myself alone and not be too bothered if no one else is paying attention to my story.

But when no one else is paying attention, that mood turns up pretty rarely and all the story ideas I have kind of just sit in the back of my mind, marinating. Comments and feedback and readers showing interest get the ball rolling to get those ideas out in actual words that can be shared.

Wonders of Thedas

strivingscribe:

So! I’m taking this course, yea? It’s Sociology of Culture. And the big project at the end is a Photo Essay. The assignment is to use words accompanying images to explain some aspect of culture that’s relevant to the class.

And I’m thinking about Dragon Age, because I usually am anyway.

Normally, I’d hesitate to ask around, but I really need to rely on the community to help me with this. 

The project basically focuses on the creators within the Dragon Age community. This means those who make art, do cosplay, and write fan fiction. My inner introvert writhes a bit at asking, but I’d really appreciate the help if you have anything you can contribute to the study. 

Tumblr isn’t the best forum for this request, so I’m also going to post links to FaceBooks and maybe message a few people…if I can be brave!

If anyone wants to take the survey or reblog this, I would be eternally grateful 🙂 If not, then you guys have a great day…and…I’ll just be over here in my cubby hole….. *scurries back to cubby hole*

Wonders of Thedas

The April Fools Day Fandom Bodyswap

hornkerling:

maybetwice:

ahiddenkitty:

argent-gale:

whatwecanfic:

OK here’s how it’s going to work.

On April 1st.

  • Fanfic writers will make and post fan art.
  • Fan Artists will write and post fan fic.
  • Everyone will be kind and encouraging.
  • We will all end the day appreciating how much freaking work goes into the amazing, lovely, creations people post.

Reblog if you will be participating.

(If anyone wants it would also be awesome to post some tips, tricks and best practices in the days leading up to the body swap.)

Tag works #april fools bodyswap

This actually sounds interesting.

I SUPPORT THIS SO HARD, I want to SEE/READ EVERYONE’S STUFFFFFF

All right, I’ll take… three prompts for my hilariously awful scribbles today. I promise I will give it my best shot to not be stick figures, but……….. it might be stick figures

I’m game. 

supersillyanddorky06:

so-caffeinated:

Okay fandom, there’s a conversation we need to have. It is, probably unsurprisingly, about fan fiction. Are you ready? Please be ready. This is important.

In November, I wrote about 70k words of You Have (Not) Failed This ‘Verse. I believe I updated it about 15 times that month. I worked on it 4-8 hours a day every day. Please keep that in mind when I tell you that I just tripped over a conversation between a few people in early December talking about how I didn’t update the fic fast enough. 

Take a moment to think that through will you? 

As the author, I’m pretty sure you can figure out how that made me feel. Like nothing I could possibly do would ever be enough. Wondering why the hell I even bother or if it’s worth it. Feeling like even when I treated it as a full time job it wasn’t enough to satisfy people.

It would be one thing if this was a sentiment I’d never seen before. It isn’t. This is pervasive. And, guys, it’s a Problem (with a capital P). 

Fic authors are frankly mocked and looked down on in the ‘real world.’ For many, the support we get is exclusively from our readers. Plenty of fic authors I know hide it in their everyday lives because they don’t want the judgement that so often comes with being a fanfic writer. We’re childish or perverts or stealing other people’s stories or lazy because we aren’t ‘original.’ I’ve most definitely heard all of that and more. The feedback we get from our readers online is often the only feedback we get.

When you’re thinking about updates, keep in mind the following:

It took five years for JKR to write the first Harry Potter book. 

It took J.R.R. Tolkien more than 12 years to write Lord of the Rings.

Let’s not even start talking about George R. R. Martin. 

Now I’m not saying any piece of fanfic is on par with those stories, but that doesn’t mean we don’t all aim to write the very best story we can. Sometimes that takes time. Sometimes we have jobs or kids or school or other obligations beyond feeding the literary appetites of our readers. I don’t know when people started expecting the impossible from fanfic writers, but I do know (for some readers, though clearly not all or even most) it’s become a consistent thread of conversation. 

So, if you choose to read a work in progress… thank you. Many of us post them because we value the feedback from our readers as we go and find it helpful in forming the story. I hugely value the connection I have to my readers who help guide me as I go. It’s one of the reasons I love writing fanfic. But please keep in mind that we are human beings bound by constraints of time and the responsibilities of our everyday lives. And while we are all so very hugely grateful for our readers, we do not owe anyone unrealistically quick updates. We don’t deserve judgement and scorn for needing time to write and polish our stories. I have seen authors stop updating because of this. I have seen authors give up on writing because of this. And guys? That shouldn’t happen. It just shouldn’t.

Looking it up, it seems like on average, scripts run about 125 words of dialogue per minute. An hour long tv show runs about 42 minutes for around 5250 words an episode or 120,750 words for a 23 episode season. I posted nearly 2/3rds of the words in a season of Arrow in a month – roughly the same word count as the first Harry Potter book, incidentally – and some people still deemed it not fast enough. 

Every fanfic writer gives a tremendous amount of themselves to their work. It’s not an easy process or a fast one. It takes time and consistent effort at the expense of so many other things in our lives. We love our readers, we really, really do. You all make it worth it. The relationship between a writer and their readers is a rewarding one like no other. I feel like I can speak for the fanfic writing community as a whole on that one. And I, for one, am absolutely a better writer for the connection I have with so many of my readers.

But, please, all I’m asking is this – before complaining that a fic is taking too long to update, can you stop, consider the effort and time it takes to write an actual story and possibly temper some expectations just a little? We’re only human and, as much as we wish we could, updating quickly isn’t always an option.

Thank you. 

Tagging some fellow fic authors who come to mind – @machawicket @dust2dust34 @anthfan @jsevick @geniewithwifi @absentlyabbie @alizziebyanyothername @arrow-through-my-writers-block @bytemegeekette @callistawolf @bisexualfelicity @dettiot @darlinginmyway @ellefraser17 @fanmommer @fiacresgirl @jbuffyangel @justanother90sbaby @ladymalfoi @lynslogic @ohmypreciousgirl @punchdrunkdoc @rosietwiggs @sarcasticfina @thelockpickingvictorian @wagamiller @writewithurheart @yespleasehawkeye @alexiablackbriar13 @storiesbyladychi @andcreation @aubvi @effie214 @supersillyanddorky06

Thanks for the tag, @so-caffeinated (Even though Tumblr totally behaved like the shark from Jaws at gobbled it. Meh).

I love writing. It’s no secret that I love writing and I enjoy posting as often as I can. Sometimes real life interferes. I wish it didn’t. I wish I could spend my life sitting in my corner in my room with my laptop and write, without a single worry in the world, without knowing I have to get up in the morning and rush to college, without knowing I have deadlines pending that I need to work on, a scholarship I need to maintain and projects to do for the part-time I do. I really, really wish that, not because my reality is bad, not by any means. But because I love this world more. But sadly or not, that isn’t the case. 

But I love to write. So, I write. That’s as simple as that. The feedback the readers give me is immensely important to me, not only because it’s encouraging and pushes me on bad days, but because sometimes, when someone comes and tells me that they had a really bad day and somehow reading something I wrote made it better makes me feel worthwhile. Because for all intents and purposes, I don’t know that stranger. I’ll probably never meet them. But for that one single moment, I affected their life in a good way, and that moment is very, very important to me. 

Anyways, I’m straying from the point. The point is this. 

Knowing someone is waiting for my updates is amazing. Knowing people are looking forward to them is just an inexplicable feeling. It feeds me the energy to write on tired days, and gives me the exuberance on good ones. That said, there is a tone to everything. Most days I don’t mind it. But some days, they make me pinch my lips together. Instead of energy, it adds pressure.

I used the image above for a very simple reason. I got both the asks within a minute of each other, both anonymous, both asking me the same question. But very honestly, one made me sigh while the other made me smile. Maybe the other person had not meant it to sound that demanding. Maybe they’d just been wondering and asked me straight forward. But it didn’t make me feel good.  

I answered the one that made me smile, because that person had taken care to frame the question in a way that told me he/she was excited but at the same time waiting for that update. I appreciated that so much. I appreciate all anons, all users, who take that split second of care. Because that split second in itself is the most important thing. Some days that’s the only thing making me feel I should write. The tone – especially in an interface like this where there is no body language to judge, no voice modulation to note, no facial expressions to observe – matters. Because here it’s just those words that speak.

Honestly, it all just boils down to one thing – empathy. 

Readers empathizing with the writers, sending them feedback, sending them love, sending them all things good and warm and fluffy or even emotionally wrenching that make tears of emotions run down. Anything. Everything. The writers thrive on that kind of love. They keep that love wrapped inside their hearts and let it warm them on bad days. So, it’s all about the tone

And the writers have to empathize with the readers, understand that there are people who wait and love their stories, who give their time and emotions to their writing. You can’t update, doesn’t matter. Real life happens and most readers understand that once you tell them. Just please don’t abandon stories, because that genuinely hurts sometimes. 

It’s a simple thing. For me at least. Every writer who starts a story publicly, hooks readers on to them shouldn’t abandon it (unless it’s a circumstance that’s affecting them in real life). Because as a reader myself, I can understand that frustration of an abandoned story. When I read something, I invest myself emotionally in it. And when it’s left it the wind, it sucks. 

That being said, being a writer, I also get that sometimes one cannot write. When and how a story is updated depends from writer to writer, on their lives and where they are at that point. Nobody can judge that. No one should.

But I genuinely believe as long as there is empathy, everything will be smooth. Be it the reader or writer, empathy is important.

Because, at the end of the day, both are symbiotic. 

Yin and yang.


Blogger Gatherings!



Click the button for reports from the 2010 Spring Blogger Gathering, hosted by Linett of Nimrodel!

Berethron of Brandywine hosted the 2010 Summer Blogmoot.

The Winter Blogmoot was held on December 4, 9 p.m. EST at the home of Telwen of Silverlode.

Next up: The Spring Blogmoot of 2011 shall return to Nimrodel with Tuiliel (Whart, aka user-1027520) hosting! Linett is looking forward to another local moot!

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