“i like this villain!”
oh no, you don’t! you haven’t filled out the appropriate forms! you need better credentials. first fill out the following*:
do you admit–publicly, loudly, and continually–that you do not:
✔ accept ✔ understand
any of the villain’s immoral behavior, and that you do not:
✔ see any value whatsoever in
reading about actions that deviate from Current Puritan Norms, regardless of their merits as devices of narrative tension, character believability, and explorations of morality and empathy in a literary work?
*you may waive signing this form if you can answer yes to the following question:
do you like the villain because you’re coping with a traumatic experience? if so, please describe your experience in as much detail as possible and publish the form for public viewing.
now you can say you like a villain on your blog!
More musings on writing advice:
Honestly, I think “yes, you are allowed” is something a lot of fandom needs to hear right now. We had, what, a decade of “what not to do” writing advice, starting with anti-Mary-Sue campaigns and on through sporking and fanficrants and RaceFail, and now everything is this cracked parody of social justice and ~this is problematic~ is the ultimate “what not to do.” And just look at the messages we’ve taken to heart: don’t get too big for your britches, everything has to be accurate and realistic, no one the reader is supposed to sympathize with should be within shouting distance of “problematic.” We’re writing about these larger-than-life characters whose lives are full of over-the-top, implausible events, and it’s like we’re afraid that if we handwave or take narrative shortcuts or spin crazy yarns about their adventures or don’t treat Bad Shit Happening with the expected amount of solemnity, somebody’s going to call us out for not doing our due diligence.
In fact, the one “yes, you are allowed” message we’ve taken to heart is that we’re not beholden to the original canon, which is a phenomenon I… have mixed feelings about. But the point is, that message combined with the fear of fucking up, of writing “unrealistic” or “problematic” stories about monsters and aliens and superheroes, means that mundane AUs and domestic fic are the path of least resistance. And not only is fic being pushed towards the generic, the moral pressure that drives fandom SJ makes it feel almost… risky?… to stray from the fanon status quo. Breaking the mold, instead of being a sign of creativity, increasingly feels like a sign that you’re Doing It Wrong and may in fact be a bad person. I have seen people say that they want to write about post-CA:TWS Bucky but don’t, because they don’t want to slog through dealing with the “obligatory” recovery issues. Or that they’d feel guilty, like they were committing some sort of erasure, if they wrote pre-war fic without Queer Brooklyn and
The Docksa bunch of romanticized-poverty porn.
For the love of God, fandom. You are allowed to come up with whatever fictional means you feel like to undo the Winter Soldier’s fictional (and almost totally unspecified) brainwashing. He’s an amnesiac cyborg assassin hopped up on a knockoff version of the super-serum that lets Steve Rogers get flung off a freeway overpass hard enough to overturn a bus and get up with barely a scratch. He starts getting memories back whenever they leave him out of cryo long enough. If you want the serum to heal his brain damage and leave him twitchy, angry, and guilt-ridden, but more-or-less compos mentis, so that he can go face down his demons without spending months on Steve’s couch eating soup and relearning how to be a human? YOU CAN. YOU ARE ALLOWED. THAT IS A STORY YOU ARE ALLOWED TO TELL. The “it was the super-healing” handwaving already puts you about fifteen realism steps ahead of the comics, where Steve used a magic monkey’s paw ex machina to bring back Bucky’s memories with the power of his love. And then a bunch of stuff happened and Bucky wrestled a bear in a Siberian gulag, okay, and this is the level of Srs Bsns we’re starting from.
You can do whatever the fuck you want. If you want to dwell lovingly on all the interpersonal issues and mental scarring that resulted from that time aliens made them do it because they got fake married in space, go for it. But do not pull out the DSM and start checking off PTSD symptoms out of a sense of duty if what you actually want to write is banter, UST, sarcasm about absurd situations, reckless displays of loyalty, and porn where they realize the depth and true nature of their feeeeeelings about each other. Both of those things are okay things to want.
tl;dr Internal story logic > realism. Write whatever ridiculous tropey or out-there shit you want, and use exactly as much judiciously-applied realism as you need to sell the story.
Please read the whole damn thing, because I feel like this is super important for everyone to hear.
Fandom is a meme, and it has its fads, mostly borne of emulation. Before the advent of SJ, there was a time where there was a “realistic sex” diktat, and there were posts going around with instructions like “use condoms, water-based lube and nothing else, cleaning up after sex with a damp towe is The Most Important” and other stuff about “realistic” sex practices that should be used in fanfiction as well. (And – it’s fine, you know, if people who don’t know anything about sex want information and want to give a realistic to their fics, but if you want to bypass that entirely, “yes you are allowed”.)
So anyway around that time I wrote this threesome fic in the Sherlock fandom and I remember someone reblogging it and commenting “it’s a great fic and the sex is pretty realistic, except they don’t clean up with damp towels at the end” and I was like “what the fuck is wrong with you what is this damp towel business and how on earth is it a bad thing that I haven’t added it in my fic” and then I remembered all the fics that I had read at that time which had dutifully incorporated The Damp Towel™ and I realised that it was merely the fashion of the times. And after that it was the advent of Omegaverse so no one gave a shit about damp towels anymore
Like, I guess it’s always a cycle, you get a certain type of fic everywhere, then someone tries for something a bit different (like realistic sex at a moment where unrealistic sex abounds) and then all the cool kids want to do it as well, and then it becomes The Law, and then people get fed up and go 180° at the other end of the spectrum
Right now I’m kind of bored because recently a majority of the fics that I read are very prim and proper, with disclaimers that are kilometers-long if the fics ever venture into something even remotely shady morally speaking, and I have a marked preference for fics that explore stuff that’s not Healthy or Sane or even Consensual, because to me fandom and fanfics are this big laboratory that really should allow you to delve into the unconventional and the morally grey (oh, the Golden Age of the Sherlock fandom… the amazing fics I read back then…)(not necessarily all the time, though. I mean exploration and pushing the boundaries of what is philosophically and ethically acceptable or not are definitely cool, and then sometimes you want all the fluff and the safe, sane and consensual. I’m just saying, a little bit of everything is good)
So I hope that the dam will crack soon, as it always does, and I’m interested to see what monster will come out of it
I know I’m like, #1 cheerleader for realism in fic, but I’m in agreement with this: Internal story logic > realism.
If it makes sense in the context of your story, and it’s consistent throughout, the reader will handwave right along with you.
Natasha, man! Remember Natasha! “The last set of wings is at Fort Meade, behind three guarded gates and a 12-inch steel wall.” Natasha: *shrugs*
I think I needed to read this today. Thank you, @shinelikethunder ❤
Coming into a fandom early and watching it become an angry clusterfuck
Being in a dormant fandom that suddenly comes alive again after a new book/movie
Don’t forget about those who come in the midst of a fandom war.
Accuracy at its best
Being in a fandom and not even knowing there’s a war going on…
all of this shit…lol
When You’re Not In The Fandom But You’re Nosy AF
I honestly don’t think I have? I don’t tend to write much humor. And even my ideas that start out as crack end up Very Serious. -.-;;;
P – Invent a random AU for any fandom (we always need more ideas)
A random AU for any fandom? OK, so I’ve knocked this one around in my head more than once, but I haven’t posted much about it. I would LOVE to see a Cal Leandros/Nightlife AU for Les Mis. Mainly because I want to write a Goodfellow!Courfeyrac SO BADLY. SO SO BADLY. I actually wrote a tiny snippet of it as part of a writing meme if anyone’s interested. ^_~
OH HEY. Apparently I did also write a bit of crack!AU in that same post. Canon era!Combeferre wakes up mid Act I of Memphis in Killian’s body and meets Fra. *laughs* I forgot about that! ;D
Oh, no. I haven’t COMPLETELY abandoned this ship, because it’s kind of impossible to in this fandom, but… you know what? This is going to get me in so much trouble, so how about it goes behind a cut?
e/R. -.-;;; I came into this fandom through the e/R gateway, and I still have some nostalgic feelings for them, I still write them on occasion, and I certainly still enjoy Joe and Jason e/Ring all over each other at the drop of a hat, but I just really don’t see those characters that way anymore? Part of that is that more and more, Grantaire is my precious aro/ace bb, and part of that is that the fandom is just so flooded with e/R and I was starting to want more variety, because at heart, I’m a multi-shipper. But yeah, I’m definitely not on that bandwagon anywhere near the way I used to be. Sorry!
- A – Your current OTP(s)/OT3(s)/OTX(s)
- B – A pairing you initially didn’t consider but someone changed your mind
- C – A ship you have never liked and probably never will (be nice)
- D – A pairing you wish you liked but just can’t (again: be nice)
- E – Have you added anything cracky/hilarious to your fandom, if so, what
- F – What’s the longest you’ve ever been in a fandom
- G – Do you remember your first OTP, if so who was in it
- H – What is your favorite source text for fandom stuff (e.g., tv shows, movies, books, anime, Western animation, etc.)
- I – Has tumblr caused you to stop liking any fandoms, if so, which and why
- J – Name a fandom you didn’t care/think about until you saw it all over tumblr
- K –Say something nice about someone in any of your fandoms
- L – Say something genuinely nice about a character who isn’t one of your faves (chars you’re neutral on are fair game, as are chars you dislike)
- M – Say something genuinely nice about a ship that you don’t ship (or its shippers, or anything related to you)
- N – Name three things you wish you saw more or in your main fandom (or a fandom of choice)
- O – Choose a song at random, which ship or character does it remind you of
- P – Invent a random AU for any fandom (we always need more ideas)
- Q – A ship you’ve abandoned and why
- R – A pairing you ship that you don’t think anyone else ships
- S – Show us an example of your personal headcanon (prompts optional but encouraged)
- T – Do you have any hard and fast headcanons that you will die defending, about anything at all (gender identity, sexual or romantic orientation, extended family, sexual preferences like top/bottom/switch, relationship with poetry, seriously anything)
- U – 5 favorite characters from 5 different fandoms
- V – 3 OTPs from 3 different fandoms
- W – 5 favorite ships and 5 kinks you like best for said ships
- X – top 5-10 characters who are yoUR PRECIOUS BABIES AND YOU WILL DIE DEFENDING THEM
- Y – What are your secondhand fandoms (fandoms you aren’t in personally but are tangentially familiar with because your friends/people on your dash are in them)
- Z – Just ramble about something fan-related, go go go (prompts optional but encouraged)
This looks fun! Send me an ask and I’ll ramble on cue; I’m still doped up on some pretty amazing cough syrup.
Character: [doesnt have any dialogue. Barely ever seen in source material & fanworks. Has minimal, if any, provided backstory]
Me, pushing aside fan faves: HEY. YOU THERE. hEy . T H E R E. Hey, you there, i see you over there, i want u to c omE HERE
This loosely translates as “there is no fundamental problem with this and I have no issue with the people who enjoy it but it makes me personally deeply uncomfortable”
“It’s not a trigger so I don’t want to appropriate that terminology; but I really don’t like it and don’t want to read/see/hear it.”
“it will not give me psychological distress but HOT DAMN I will die happy if I never see it again”
First, thank you for asking. This is something I feel is important!
Second, to those who wonder where this question came from, a while back, I reblogged this, and added the comment about squicks not being the same as triggers.
So what, you ask, is a squick?
A squick is an old fandom term for something that makes you supremely uncomfortable and you absolutely do not want to read it. It can be a trope, a ship, a concept, or just an event that happens within a fic or in canon. For me, abused animals are a definite squick. I don’t like it, and will generally avoid reading any graphic descriptions of such. (That includes tumblr gif sets and such too, people! Tag that shit, will you? Even if it has a happy ending.) Another deep, deep squick of mine is infant age play. Don’t like it, don’t get it, don’t want to think about it.
Now, neither of these things are dangerous to my mental or emotional state. I have never experienced either in my life, and they do not bring about any sort of PTSD, dissociation, or spiral of depression, anxiety, etc. They are simply things I prefer not to think about in my daily life, or read about in my escapist hobbies. Therefore, they are not triggers. Triggers are very real, very bad things for some people, and to label things we choose not to read because we find it disturbing or gross or weird is to diminish the very real danger of actual triggers.
I love the term squick. It perfectly describes the concept without assigning any negativity to the thing you dislike, or to people who do like the thing you dislike. It is something you personally do not care for and wish to avoid, simple as that.
A squick is an old fandom term
*waves walking stick in the general direction of her lawn* This.
Bring back “squick” 2k16
I honestly love how there’s this collectively created mythos based on Hugo’s les amis, I mean it’s really quite astonishing how much in the les (a)mis fandom is founded entirely in fanon and yet somehow there’s still a sense of cohesiveness to it.
As I said it’s a mythos in a way, full of different portrayals and stories that inspire and contradict each other and I know that’s generally how it goes in fandom but the extent to which this is the case in the les amis-focused part of the les mis fandom is kind of mindblowing, because let’s be real, for many of us it’s much less about les mis and much more about this shared mythos that has been and is continously created.