Somewhere in the world is this huge essay that involves fanfic and hummus and a banquet hall, and I could swear Tara LJC had something to do with it. It's deeply metaphorical, and, if you like hummus, you're going to want some before you finish reading. It's also ACCURATE as hell.
If I can find it, I'm linking. Someone else has to have read this and they should really, really tell me where it is.
Anyway, today's thing--instead of defending any One Single Genre's Fandom Value, I'm going to do the really fun thing and defend every damn one of them.
It boils down to the phases fanfic goes through, in a way, but mostly the way that we all gather like hyenas around a corpse when something new and shiny comes our way. When the fandom is in the middle of a PWP kick, a brand new plotted darkfic becomes our roadkill of choice, in a manner of speaking. When we're all dizzy from about half a dozen deep, richly plotted wonders, we toss ourselves blindly toward smutty humor like we haven't eaten in years. It's trend and style and it's also supply and demand. It's almost mathematical.
This is one of the many, many reasons I rarely say I don't like a category of fic. It just isn't going to be true all the time. Even deathfic, which I have an absolute horror of, has in fact been my fic of choice at times when I need it.
What we don't have in fandom is anything like widespread accurate descriptions of our terminology. Even the MPAA rating, while widely accepted, is misused by some authors (there's a reason I generally either rate PG-13 = no sex or NC-17 = there is sex). We say darkfic, fluffyfic, happyfic, etc forever, but if I went though the SSA and asked everyone to vote where a story would end up, we'd be torn six ways from Sunday on how it goes in. How DO you cut and dry the Humorous PWP? The Angsty Plotted With Happy Ending? The Character Study With a Small Side of Masturbation at the End?
Tricky, tricky stuff sometimes.
But. Seriously. We need ALL these categories, even when we think we don't. Happyfic reminds us of hope--and in CLex, God knows, we need it. Darkfic makes us re-examine the characters we think we know. Humorfic helps us remember why we really enjoy them. Sillyfic lets us play. Fluffyfic makes us grin. PWP--do you want me to explain THAT one?
Which is why I sort of regret putting my value scale up last entry. I do like the Plotted, Richly Textured, Character-Driven Fics the best. A steady diet of those would send me screaming toward a psych ward for a custom jacket and crayolas to write home, but I do love them. What I don't know for sure is if it really has a higher value. If I assign it a ten and say that PWPs are worth five, and we can all go out and count up our writing and find out our average value to the fandom.
I did say this was mathematical, right?
So. Let's do it like this.
Jenn's Scale of Fandom Value, simplified
Character-Driven Plotted Fics =10
Relationship Stories = 9
Single Character Studies = 8
Humor Stories = 7
PWP = 5
Sillyfic = 3
Badfic = 1
And since this is Jenn's, I don't have to count poetry, haiku, or meta. Because I'm Arrogant. *g*
a-g represent the number of fics per category you have written, while Z represents your Rough Value Score. Divide your Rough Value Score by Y, the Total Number of Fictions you have written.
So the equation will look something like this.
10(a) + 9(b) + 8(c) + 7(d) + 5(e) + 3(f) + 1(g)= Z
Z / Y = Your Value Quotient to the Fandom.
10(1) + 9(12) + 8(3) + 7(3) + 5(3) + 3(2) + 1(0)= 195
195 / 24 = 8.125
My Rough Value Score is 195
My Number of Fictions is 24
My Fandom Value Quotient is 8.125
I fudged on a couple of the humor/PWPs to jump my score higher. What, did I say I was fair here? There's a good chance that math is off--I had to do it in my head since I'm in a rush.
Now, to do a true and accurate representation of my ACTUAL Fandom Value, as opposed to my Fandom Value Quotient, this formula would need to be applied to ALL writers in the fandom, then divided to get the Average Fandom Value.
Then your Fandom Value Quotient would be placed on a scale in relation to the Average Fandom Value. Then you would have your ACTUAL Fandom Value as a writer. When we get tired of this, we can THEN go to doing OTHER fandoms, finding out THEIR Average Fandom Value and compare it to OUR Average Fandom Value.
Or, you know, I could laugh my ass off that I just wrote all that and really, really enjoy everything.
God, I need more to do.