The lovely liviapenn metas beautifully in Quit Fucking With Lex! The Grovelfic Rant. *Grins* It rocks. Read the comments. Yes, I participated and enjoyed it. *happy sigh* Love Liv.
girlinthetrilby pops up with Ten Little Thoughts on a Show Called Smallville. Read the list. Think about the Lionel/Lana pairing. Giggle hysterically.
Bethy makes me smile.
Now, on Livia's rant.
One of the things that struck me while I was answering some comments was that, while grovelfic annoys me, when I'm not in the right mood for it, I tend to be a lot more annoyed by other kinds of fic to a far greater degree when the characterization is off, which makes me think that a lot could be that readers expectations are coming into a sharp collision with writer intent.
Or basically, readers need to know what they're looking at.
To me, grovelfic is basically the PWP of pain in some instances. Like writing a single sex scene for a fic, or writing a introspective character study, it is a genre all on it's own and can't be judged by the standards of another genre entirely. The demarcation line is blurry sometimes--or a lot, actually--but that holds true for most stories.
You don't open a PWP and expect great character. You open and read it because Clark and Lex (Clark and Chloe, Lex and Chloe, Clark and Whitney, Lex and Whitney, you see a pattern?) are nailing each other and that's what you want to see. Characterizations or other factors can take it from simple PWP kink to a story you might love and treasure, or one that surpasses genre, but that's a different field of kryptonite altogether. I'm perfectly willing to admit I indulge my PWP tendencies with a great deal of frequency, because dammit, they dont' get it on screen and it's my duty to make sure they get it off. Um. Off-SCREEN, that is.
In any case.
Honestly, this could be a personal thing, because I just love SV fic in general, and probably sixty or so percent of the CLex slash that comes through I enjoy, for various reasons including the kink factor or the trainwreck fascination thing. But I also am always aware of WHAT I'm reading. I can't judge every story by Past Grief, Demarcation, Immortality, Mercy, Identical, Prophets of Eden or The Fifth Season (I could actually go on for a LONG time on Fics I Just Adore, but I have a rec page if you wnat to see a larger listing) in terms of plot, style, character, etc. I'm not even sure I would LIKE a constant stream of fics like this (though doesn't it sound like the most ideal fnadom EVER if it happened?), because much as I love engaging my mind and as much as I hold these as among the best the Smallville fandom has achieved, I also like to just GO with it and disengage active thinking and flow along for the ride.
But again, this is kind of something I had to work out for myself in how I choose to read. I'm a compartmentalizer by nature. I can read a fic where Clark is merrily tortured in an underground lab by a truly psychotic Lex Luthor involving pliers and kryptonite saws and enjoy it for what it is--nice, cathartic grovelfic/torturefic/yougettheideahere. I don't expect it to be something it's not and I either like or hate it knowing what its limits are.
Maybe we need to give it an official genre like the PWP. The CGF (cathartic grovel fic)? Er, no. Sounds like a branch of the government.
But anyway. Livia's rant hits some key points in the Lex and Clark discussions and fic that has gone around and is highly recommended for reading and mulling, as are several commenters.
In other news, dirtywrongbizarrefic is refusing to be short and this is getting just ridiculous. *kicks story* Go AWAY.