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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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on smallville fanfic and au's and so much rambling
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
bexless is leading a revolution La Bexistance and shunning is involved. I'm confused as to the details, but like any good lemming, I am totally supportive. Unless I shouldn't be.

Hmm. This kind of thought makes my head hurt. That's what I get for denying myself friendslist while working on the remix, which, by the way? Is kicking my ass. And not in a good, porny way, but in a bad, I want liquor sort of way. Preferably single malt. One bottle, please. tstar78 is keeping me sane, but I suspect she's doing it for the amusement value of watching me panic on AIM. *grins*

Recs

Deceit by Aklani. Okay, now THAT was unexpected. No spoilers. Read cold. I'm--a little dazed. Wow.

Inland by Rhiannonhero, sequel to Cherry Blossom Conduit. Okay, I have a thing for Clark/Lex/Lana. There's just so little. And this is hot. Let me point that out.

*****

Links

rageprufrock is listing out what she considers the CLex Primer. *grins* I love how she does it by stages. Now I'm mulling what I'd add. Hmmm. Much fun.

dammitcarl has a new webpage at Young and Sexy, with art by slodwick, liviapenn, and well, me. All condensed Jessica-ness. VERY happy. *nodnodnod*

*****

Other Things

Did I mention the remix is kicking my ass? Dearest God. Why the hell did I do this? Right, because I'm STUPID. And also in need of a keeper to remind me that, no, really, just because someone challenges you does not mean you actually have to join in. Gah.

New allery medicine is still screwing with my ability to sleep and added nausea to the package last night, which was, I admit, an experience to treasure, since it was just plain bizarre. I ended up falling asleep every time I sat down for most of the day and staring vaguely at food as if it would attack. I can't prove it wouldn't, either.

Dear God, I am boring. So I shall discuss nonsenseish things.

Nonsense

koimistress adn I were chatting about--something. Not entirely sure what. Te's a thematic chatter, Beth's a personal chatter, pearl_o's a bubbly chatter, the chat room can go from cheeze whiz to milk bags (just ask me about those milk bags) when you blink, but with Koi, the starting place of chat and the destination tend to be something on the order of being teleported from land you know into land you don't without being entirely sure that the conversation was supposed to do that. No, I have no idea how this happens, but my best example is imagine you're on your porch discussing, say, cows, and then suddenly you're wondering about existentialism in current literary trends while among elves. Then imagine that you know nothing about that subject, but somehow, you're really fascinated with it for a few hours.

Yeah. She's WAY too smart. It'd be annoying if I wasnt' trying to pry more fic out of her. *grins*

Anyway, the concept was themes in fiction--more specifically, fanfiction. minisinoo, who really does get in depth when studying what people write in fanfic, once pointed out that as a rule, fanfic owes far more to the romance genre than any other, no matter what the actual genre of the show/book/media. Everyone knows this, I know, which is why there are gen/pairing debates, plot versus relationship talks, lalala fandomcakes. Moving on to what I've been thinking.

And this is where I'll cut, because this is going to be boring.



In my diary last year, I was looking at how fanfic goes through thematic trends--specifically, that if you pay attention, you can see which authors and which stories kicked off what. Examples included the darkfic-rush with the posting of Te's Past Grief and the denialfic spun by Destina's beautiful Prophets of Eden, which gets extra points for explaining what canon never bothered; specifically, what on earth Lex would use a particle accelerator for and the happy futurefic rush with Livia Penn's Demarcation. Other trends included happyminion's extremely fun CLex happyfic futurefics, and so on and so forth. Incestfic was off with a bang with xoverau's Thin Line and Te's Vision Thing, and by now Luthorcest (with the addition of Lucas) is so entreched in our fandom that we barely note the incest warning and have shifted it from A Massive Deep Serious Subject Covered With Much Angst to, well, Lucex. Er. Lecus? You get it. I'm a fan of it. *g* I need to find that entry, because I think I covered some specific stories.

Current shifts, however, aren't controlled by writers so much as they now seem to be controlled by challenges and groups of writers/readers working together, which is, honestly, really interesting if I'm right about what I'm seeing. Early challenges in SV, such as the different title challenges hosted by Livia Penn (X-Files and Bradbury), created a large and varied output--gen, slash, and het all combined in different ways, with authors, even slash ones, tending to vary their writing between all three different types. Series, short stories, even novellas all came out in a wide variety of different plotlines, relationships, and themes.

Current challenges are getting more and more specific, included in this being denialcorp, Isilya's snugglefic challenge back in November or December, Celli's Taxfic challenge, etc etc etc, I honestly would list them all because I think every one of them has contributed toward the shift, but really, that would take a LONG time. Anyway, moving on.

With these challenges also came a more specific audience--that being the Livejournal community, which is an entirely separate post on lalala mailing lists, what have you. But that has been a factor. Those of us who participate in these challenges tend to be on each other's friends lists and slashers, adn we see the challenges on LJ. The wider community of SV, well, doesn't. At least, I'm not seeing a very strong het presence. But then again, from what I understand, the Clark/Lana people tend not to wander around with us anyway, so beside the point.

Well, that was rambly off topic. I'm not even sure if I have a topic. Okay, got it. Koi.

I was whimpering about some kind of fic I want--because I do whimper when I feel that I can guilt someone into writing something for me, and I've been told it's cute. The natural response is, if you want to see something, write it yourself! But I don't have time! I whined back. You see where this is going.

Because I am a junkie of SV fic, almost literally. I read almost everything and write as much as I can and offer bribes for more. And well, stalk authors. But besides that, there's also--well, you know, a craving. For a specific kind of story. And it hits every so often--like while you may love chicken, you wake up wanting, say, pork chops and dammit, you want them now. This doesn't detract from teh chicken....

Okay, this is all a lemon-hummus thing going on now, and that essay is making me both thoughtful and hungry. Here's where I was going.

Currently in SV, with the exception of Prufrock and her WiP's of Massive Seat-Clutching and Lanning's spectacular Identical series (amongst a couple of others), there's a lack of long fic. And when I say long, I'm not asking for a full novella--give me twenty thousand words or so. Maybe thirty. It's not that I don't love these great short fics, because I do. I also love chocolate, but man cannot live on chocolate alone.

I want--something with teeth. Something to gnaw on for hours. Something I have to think about and haunts me for hours later and makes me reconsider canon as I know it. Reconsider the characters as I know them. Fuck around with my head a little. Pru was pointing out how a friend of hers new to SV reacted to Immortality, which, oh yeah, remember that one. Whoa. I do have a penchant for darkfic and have been called on it, but it's not just that--darkfic, besides hitting my kinks, also generally explores the themes that attract me most strongly, which nondarkfic could do as well, though it's usually harder. RivkaT's Switch by no stretch can be considered darkfic, but I do classify it as something that made me think after and re-read often to catch what I might have missed otherwise.

It occurred to me recently, possibly for the first time, that what I love about Smallville--all that comics canon to play with and reinterpret into SV, all those set-in expectations--is also massively limiting in some ways. Victoria P said that it was hard for her in SV because Superman was such a hugely--iconic thing for her. Most of us know the base mythology of Superman like we know our ABC's. It's cultural. And all that background makes a rich backdrop to play in, but in some ways, I think it limits our thinking as well. It makes it hard to get by it, to explore possibilities as thoroughly as, say, someone writing in Farscape or Star Trek. We find it hard, for example, to even consider some types of fics, even in theory. We're too seeped in the Superman mythology to buy in without a LOT of writer effort and skill and time.

An interesting off point to this would be the Five Things challenge--or three, four, whatever, where people snatched single scenes from AUs and introduced them to us. These AUs, often, are what contradict what I said above, as if when we label it AU and make the point that This Didn't Happen (the entire challenge concept was These Things Didn't Happen), we can get by comics and SV canon and think outside the general Superman myth without feeling too odd about it. Kind of like being given permission to get REALLY bizarre and having the defense "But this was part of the challenge!" if it feels like it's strayed too far.

And God, would I wouldn't give for some of those AUs to be turned into their own stories.

Well, that was rambly and weird and I should work on my remix. Tonight. I will. I WILL, dammit.


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You say you are on AIM, but I don't see you! Do you have a new secret name and friendslist?

*suspicious*

Thanks for the rec, Jenn! Glad you enjoyed it! *g*

(Deleted comment)

What she said. Canon is for weaklings.

Therefore, you'd see a lot more crossovers & fusions. I also noticed for one of the fandoms I was in, people used to write tons of fantasy & legendary fusions where people would have the characters in places/times that had nothing to do with the series premise.

One anime fandom that doesn't crossover a huge amount is Gundam Wing. A lot of fans have barely seen the show at all; they begin and end in subculture. Not being bothered by a thorough knowledge of canon, these fans are then able to really run with ideas.

Then again, two of my best friends wrote the Gundam pilots into an AU where two were elven royalty, one was a sadistic human mage, one was a cat-sized blue dragon, and one was a writhing pooka-slut on a leash. It reached 400 pages before they quit. (Ah, high school.) So I think I'm probably a voice from the highly-extrapolated end of the spectrum. Just giving an idea of how extrapolated that end is.

It would be interesting, say, if the situation was pushed to the 1800s or set in a Wild Western environment. Seriously, just imagine Lex and Lionel Luthors as people from the urbane east who move to the West to increase their fortune and they meet the Kents! There are a lot of fic ideas if people think outside the box.

Me, I'm on the verge of actually writing the Luthors in medieval Scotland. Lex could be rediscovering gunpowder and inciting revolutions, and Clark could wander around swaddled in nothing but an artfully draped clan plaid. I fear.

Well, you see, the thing is... if one searches the SSA and sorts by size... one will find that, well, *jenn*, writes a great deal of the longfic in SV fandom. Um, of the top 20 stories by size, jenn has written 4. That's almost one-quarter. Just about 25%.

So, she does her part. She writes the long, beautiful, hauntingly lovely fiction. She just wants more of it to read! Me too, so I join in her exhortation of other authors to write more epic fiction! please? pretty please?

tstar78 is keeping me sane, but I suspect she's doing it for the amusement value of watching me panic on AIM. *grins*

you're so cute when you panic ;)

As much as I would love to write a long-form fic for you, Jenn, I think I'm just constitutionally incapable of it right now. I have a hard enough time getting my not-very-good 4K-long things done, let alone something as detailed and amazing as, say, the Identical series.

Perhaps the lack of long-form pieces has to do with people's frustrations with the series as a whole right now? I have a hard time even thinking about deep and/or dark themes at the moment, because I feel so pessimistic about what's going to happen when SV returns from its non-sweeps hiatus. No spoilers here, but let's just say from what I've read, I'll spend a good portion of April and May looking at the TV and saying, "What the hell?" My antidote for this, logically, is happyfic, or just flat-out PWPs, both to read and to write.

Maybe the trend will change this summer, when we all have three long months to wait and imagine and plot and scheme. *g*

Currently in SV, with the exception of Prufrock and her WiP's of Massive Seat-Clutching and Lanning's spectacular Identical series (amongst a couple of others), there's a lack of long fic. And when I say long, I'm not asking for a full novella--give me twenty thousand words or so. Maybe thirty. It's not that I don't love these great short fics, because I do. I also love chocolate, but man cannot live on chocolate alone.

It's interesting, nerodi was talking about this exact same thing in her journal today, so I'm posting pretty much the same message to you as I did to her:

If you're interested in long fic, I'm WiP'ing a Clex-do-Gotham cross-over in my LJ which is currently about 13,000 words and expected to grow to about 25,000.

After As The Night The Day I just couldn't get motivated to write another sex-heavy fic, and had found I *really* enjoyed the AU environment. Although this new WiP is not strictly AU, it does at least get us out of the greater Smallville/Metropolis area. *g*

It's probably not going to "haunt you for hours and make you reconsider canon" but it *is* a long read, fun I think, and is an attempt to answer my own current fic ennui - which has nothing to do with the *quality* of the fic being produced in our fandom. Like you, I just find myself occasionally craving something with a little broader scope.

I think your post re: trends was fascinating and regarding the long fic -- you're (plus those you mentioned)who I look to for that *bats eyelashes*

I've written you before re: my love for your writing and your thoughts here only solidify my fascination.

That being said -- after reading your post I clicked on "Deceit"

* broken * sniffling * now sad like a kicked puppy *

*peeps out of bunker*

Thank you for your support, Jenn.

*grins*

Really, it's just me and Livia playing at silly buggers as usual. She's not here for me to annoy on AIM in the mornings, so I'm trying to do it by hijacking her friends list with me-love instead. *hee*

Would it help if I said that I'm working on what seems to turn into a monster story?

Didn't think so. ;)

Heh. I was just thinking the exact same thing: more longfic needed!

:: looks around in anticipation ::

I've got one WIP in my LJ, "The Game," that might fit the bill--it's still so raw that I'm not sure, so I'm making no promises. Right now, it's kind of based on the premise that Dr. Swann isn't quite as nonpartisan or benevolent as he seems and thus, how that effects Clark. Also, it goes into the nature of jealousy, and how I think that such a thing is rather inevitable between Clark and Lex.

:: shrug ::

It's my contribution to the longfic!challenge.

:: looks around for everyone else's :: Hee!

I've noticed the lack of long fic myself, but I wasn't sure if it was really so, or if it was my POV. Cause I've been reading SV for around 5-6 months now, and in the start there are piles of fics to read and then it slowly starts to drain out as people don't write as fast as you read.

I miss it too, probably because I can't and will probably never write a long fic. I mean, 5.000 words for me feels like an Odyssey. I used to actually cut down on my stories, write say 2.000 words and go back and get it down to 1.000, so that every single word counts.

This strange characteristic of SV, the fact that we almost have two canons, the SV and the Superman one, that overlap and blend into each other is what attracted me in the first place. And I think it actually encourages long fics, the fact that you are mocing towards a certain end. In other fandoms you start from now and move into a very hazy future, so you have to imagine and built up everything yourself. So you often fall into a trap of repeating the patterns of the book or the TV series because you're not sure about how far you can move. The fact that SV already has an outlined future, so different from the present developmetns, gives you on the one hand a structure to work on and at the same time a certain freedom. You know how extremely everything will change so you are less reluctant about moving to more adventurous ideas.

I'm not even sure if I'm making sense any more. Anyway, that's what always interested me, the grey zone before the two canons meet. I don't particularly like fic that are too close to the present, as they become AU with every new episode. Not the ones that are too far into the future either, cause the roles are already set and nothing seems fluid any more. But the liquid area between here and then and the how and why this present became that future.

Jenn, fen (generally) don't read long fic. Fen (generally) don't read het.

Or, if they're reading it, they're by and large, fairly silent.

If you're interested in long, dark, (primarily het/gen) let me know. It's what I've done. I'd be more than happy to link you. :)

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