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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


on fic, beloved dw circle
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Am now on The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club but only because I'm in a novel place not a short story place so jumped Book 4 (Lord Peter Views the Body).

This is actually not a problem?--but a thing that comes up every so often in professional fic; short stories, even the best ones, do not generally give me time to immerse when I feel the need to vacation there. The only person I can think of that doesn't have this problem--with caveats--is Stephen King because generally a.) he's probably the best ever at making a character in under five hundred words and b.) fuck knows where this shit is going and I'm Ride or Die.

However. This doesn't happen with fanfic. Yes, I prefer long fic (>50K, pref >100K) but in general it takes me a thousand words to complete my dive and honestly, a decent writer can do it in probably 500 words and doom me.

You're thinking, well, yes, that's your fandom--ah, no. During certain bleak moments in my life I was hitting rageprufrock's back catalog of some Canadian??? series on a boys' private school????? No idea, but about three hundred words, I was committed and read them all and suffered for one almost having to not go to McGill except he got to somehow?? (and looked up McGill as well. It's a private college). Before you think "okay, that's an elite fanfic writer thing", no, I've gotten mistakenly--so very mistakenly--in ways I regret every time I close my eyes--into badfic against my better judgement because they learned the five hundred word trick and I'm trapped in horrified reading of things that require trigger warnings and maybe a competent therapist to mediate the discussion and we are so not talking about it.

(This does not refer to to that one I talked about involving six characters all played by two actors in multiple separate media including a made for tv movie about a real life serial killer brought together into a murdery five/sixsome bloodsport thing with claws and gods and ironic justice (sort of). That shit was fucking awesome and that reminds me its time for my annual re-read of that series. Yes, series.)

It's like this; the difference between X Professional Writer and DarthVaderLovesKenny2312 is the former I may and probably will read all their fantasy series but probably won't really care about their literary fiction about professors and dogs and playing piano in the suburbs whatevers but the latter, I may very well read a Star Wars/South Park crossover even though I hate South Park because I did like their Sheppard/Ronon fic back in the day. And if they start writing The Room/Goodfellas, I'll probably at least check it out warily.

Why, I'm going to guess: much like any creature, profic (with amazing exceptions) is really good vicadin and fanfic is straight-up fentanyl--(baby, we went beyond China White years ago and into the synthetics)--and this particular lab rat is now accustomed to getting one fuck of a hit from their reading material. The sheer amount of fanfic means I can find something tailored to my taste and better, most fanfic writers are super fast at picking up and learning exactly how to apply those delicious delicious patches to our quivering flesh (fentanyl, I mean. What did you think I meant? Because probably that, too).

It's only in retrospect that a.) this is obvious and b.) kind of incredible.

Think about it. Online, with only the power of feedback and breathless adulation, we can train hundreds of thousands of people to produce regularly and consistently exactly what we want to read in exactly the format we want to the point we will read shit we don't even really know the canon for and not really care. And there is so much of it we can actually say "well, just the ones where Kenny tops" and that will happen. What I can't tell you is what exactly that is. We can train writers to do it; I was trained, you were trained, all of us were trained. But what specifically it is, I'm not sure, but it works.

(It's not just a question of access and availability and amount; I own everything by Georgette Heyer except her mysteries because I bounced hard. (Maybe after Peter Wimsey I may go back and try again.) A fanfic writer that I like has to hit one of my hard 'no's' before I walk and they have to kind of jump on that button. A fanfic writer that I love has no 'no's'; they have a 'short delay before I give up and go back'.)

Yes, I was doing some cleaning today, why do you ask?

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books: unnatural death by dorothy sayers
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
This is just quick thoughts:

(Note: If you see Hindi characters jump out, not my fault. I somehow made a hotkey--somewhere--that flips my keyboard to Hindi. I can't do it on purpose at Duolingo to save my life, but by God, when writing, I am suddenly in a different language. It's--weird. And I can't find the goddamn hotkey.)

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Posted at Dreamwidth: https://seperis.dreamwidth.org/1032332.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments
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