"If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence." - from George Eliot’s Middlemarch
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I think HBO's True Blood has just devolved into plot-less porn. And, I don't say that lightly. I love plotless porn... but pretending to have a plot and tell a story with this much sex is getting ridiculous.
[Spoiler (click to open)] Is there any real reason for these characters to be in shirtless BDSM harnesses? Seriously, they're just offering the ladies some eye candy, right? We all know this basically porn, right?
What are the writer's meetings like for this show? 'How can we show Jason fucking another lady, so he can show off his abs?' 'We need to write in a reason for Bill and Eric shirtless to appear shirtless - our ratings go up 3 points when that happens.'
Lol, True Blood. My ability to take you seriously and stay interested is rapidly decreasing. And I love porn. I just feel like I'd rather spend this hour at the gym getting into sex shape than actually watching the empty characters on the show do it.
Don't get me wrong. I still love Sansan and I am totally thrilled and diehard about Jamie/Brienne.
But a part of me can see a strange thing between the Kingslayer and his young able-bodied Knight of the Flowers. Loras is so like a young Jamie. Jamie both envies him and wants to hit him over the head. And maybe teach him a lesson. By fucking him hard? One can only hope. It would be the ship with the prettiest pecs and abs in all of Westeros. Renly was handsome surely, but he's no golden knight like Jamie Lannister.
Okay, I just totally see it happening one lonely day in the White Tower. Jamie is soooo over Cersai by this point. And Loras, well he'll always miss his Renly. But this won't feel like a betrayal of vows to either of them.
I feel like a pay for the fan fiction I read by reviewing.
If I liked a story, it made me smile, cheered me up for a few moments, distracted me at work, or made me effusively happy for an afternoon, I always review it. I squee, I compliment the authors writing, and I try to pick out aspects that I truly think shined.
I usually take time with my reviews. Or if I don't have time I at least writing something short. Something to let the author know... your work was seen and you made me happy for a brief time.
Sometimes I don't know what to say when I review. Sometimes an author's writing is good with beautiful imagery, scene structure, dialogue, and grasp of character. So good that I think: 'Well, f$#* what's the point of even writing this pairing? I can't possibly compare.' And sometimes the story just doesn't float my boat. Perhaps it's too AU or the characters seem too OOC or it's not a plot I'm interested in reading. (Maybe it's not rated M/R/NC-17, and we all know I need my porn.) Then I don't review. Preferring to discreetly hit the back button. Otherwise, I leave a stilted review beginning with 'while this isn't my usual cup of tea' which only serves to make me look foolish and gives the writer no glory for the work they've produced. And sometimes (FF.net I'm looking at you here) the story just isn't good. Or it isn't good yet. The first chapter was promising but the work never continued. Occasionally, deep in my cups of adulthood confidence, I'll leave a constructive criticism review, gently suggesting some rewriting. But much of the time, I hate to yield the poison pen for all the good it might do. I don't want to be the one to send that missive, waiting to explode in unhappiness, to a stranger's inbox.
I feel obligated to review. I'm getting all this entertainment, all these moments of happiness, for free. They distract me from real life issues. They provide the quiet solace of happy endings missing from my life. I'm quickly approaching my late 20s (ugh!) - reading fan fiction gives me an excuse not to do my laundry.
If I don't review I feel like I'm stealing that joy. Is that weird? Wrong? I work in the entertainment field, yet never feel guilt about not paying for a published work. After all, I know those folks already got paid. A whole lot of paid. (I've seen them driving their Ferraris, Maseratis and Land Rover's here in Hollywood. They are not suffering one tiny bit from piracy.) And after all there's billions of other people buying or paying for their work.
But I feel like I need to pay for my fanfic. I imagine the writers laboring away at their laptops in college, with young children, after a long day of work to produce a labor of love. They give their work freely to the world, expecting nothing in return. (But totally wanting reviews, we all do).
I want to reward that.
But what does all that adulation mean? When is it only cheap plying for another chapter, another work? I think I've written that every story I've read in ASOIF fandom is "beautiful" so far. And yes, I've been relatively astounded by the consistency of quality fic out there for this fandom. (Where are the 12 years writing lamentable anatomically incorrect sex scenes? C'mon there's some in every fandom.) But what does it mean to find each story beautiful? I know I like them all, but am I too superlative in my adjectives because it's de rigueur in fandom? Am I just coaxing the author to update faster, providing me more of the fandom drug that soothes my raging addiction? (Yo, seriously. I chain read fan fiction stories all day. My job kind of requires you to read a lot.)
I'm starting to wonder whether my reviews are worthy. Sure, they replenish an author with sugary feel-good carbohydrate compliments after a long writing run. But are they so much lip service, paid out of a feeling of requirement, after I stumble upon the story?
Is reviewing enough? Should my reviews be more of an accurate judge of the stories merits? Is my humble background of a few creative writing classes truly able to give proper critique to folks who likely have masters, and doctorates, and professional credentials?
Is it okay to just write "beautiful" and be done with it?
So I've been trying to write new fan fiction for about two weeks now. But I keep hitting a wall.
A really hard wall.
It's been years since I've written, well...anything. And I'm rusty. I keep starting stories with great ideas, but abandoning them after three paragraphs.
Although, I've been deep in my fandom-love (okay, obessession) for ASOIAF/Game of Thrones lately, it hasn't spurred-me-on the way I thought it would. I've read all the canon material, and literally every piece of fanfic featuring my favorite pairings. I've nearly run out of Sandor/Sansa fan fiction, although the lovely community of sansaxsandor produces more at a prodigious rate. I think I've read all the Dany/Jorah that I can find. And there doesn't seem to be any Jon/Ygritte. And no Jon/Val.
So, naturally my response to the limitations of available fanfic *cough* porn *cough* should be to write some of my own.
But I don't seem able to. I barely get through a paragraph before I read over what I have written, acknowledge how awkward and stilted it sounds, and give up. I'm not proud that my writing skills have gotten rusty. I think I need motivational help. Any takers?