Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shippin’ like it’s my job, bitches

unrepentant fangirl ‘til I die

I went to the office today to fill out my new hire paperwork. Why wait until the last minute, right?

I met the other staff accountant (my roomie!!!), filled out that paperwork on the couch in my office, and basically had a good morning.

Seriously.

Pinch me. I can’t believe this is real.

——

I’ve been reading MASSIVE amounts of fan fic, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. I mean, what else do I have to do all day?

I’ve been writing MASSIVE amounts of fan fic, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, either.

But it surprised me when I wound up with two books about fan fic on my Kindle.

AO3 was having a ‘fundraiser’ of sorts where if you bought a copy of this non-fiction book about fan fic (Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World, by Anne Jamison - AO3’s affiliate link), they’d get a cut of the action. I was kind of ‘eh’ about it until I saw that Atlin Merrick (whom I absolutely adore) was quoted in it. I’m struggling to read it, but I’m not sure why.

It reads (a bit) like it’s written by a Sherlock fan fic writer. There are word choices that seem to fit the Sherlock fandom very well… I don’t know if anyone else would notice, but I’ve been picking up on them. I think that’s kind of why I’m distracted. I keep looking for things that may or may not exist. And, I’m so lazy that I’m not even looking to see if she’s a Sherlockian, which is making it all very interesting.

It reads like an academic essay about the lure of fan fic and why it’s taking off, which is what it is. It delves into Star Trek slash (the ‘start’ of fan fic as we know it), and mentions the Sherlock fandom since it’s been around forever. (Remember, there was ACD canon long before Moffitt’s.) AM’s little bit was right in the beginning and she writes in the same voice she delivers her Johnlock in. I loved it.

And, sadly, that’s as far as I got. I’m just not interested in that kind of heavy writing right now.

But, while I was on the reading about fan fic train, I picked up “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell. That was a quick read and it was fun.

I read so many reviews where people bitched that the characters weren’t fleshed out, where the main character didn’t have anything to lose… and honestly, I guess I’ll never be a book reviewer, because I didn’t see any of that.

Maybe it’s because I read so much fan fic? Maybe because I write fan fic?

We get lazy - there’s no reason to flush out the characters because we already know who they are. If I say “Sherlock Holmes”, you don’t necessarily need to be familiar with the BBC show to know who I’m talking about (although it helps.) It’s obvious that the main character is a fangirl of the fictionalised “Harry Potter” franchise, and that she’s a relatively famous fan fic writer in that realm.

In terms of needing to be fleshed out? She’s an antisocial, socially inept, college freshman who lives in a fantasy world. (Even without the fan fic, I was very much the same girl my freshman year, so I identified with her right off the bat.) She’s not close to her twin anymore. She never really gets close to her roommate until the very end. She even struggles to get close to her potential love interest(s). She’s distanced from everyone because she’s so invested in her fan fic world and THAT’S ultimately what the book is about. So, no. I really didn’t give two shits about the people she’s surrounded with.

What does she have to lose? I think a lot more than you’d assume.

On Facebook, I’m open that I write Sherlock fan fiction, but I don’t generally say WHAT I write about.

Here, of course, there’s a little amount of anonymity, but I’m starting to share what I write because certain friends have asked for it to be here. I’m also keeping a running list of all the comments I get in an entry that gets updated every time something hits my inbox.

On AO3, I hide behind a pseudonym and an avatar of Benedict Cumberbatch.

I’m not comfortable telling people outside my circle that I ship male/male relationships, whether they’re platonic, romantic, or merely fuck buddies. For the record, I also ship male/female relationships like EverLark and Shenny, but not nearly as many. Mostly because my favourite things have strong male leads and secondary female characters.

And I’m DEFINITELY not comfortable telling people that I read m/m fan fic in a majority of kinks. (And no - not all kinks are kinky. I don’t do AUs like Wing!lock, Ballet!lock, etc., I’m never going to read mpreg, alpha/beta/omega verse stories, and forget tentacle porn… No. Just. No.)

Telling people I write M/M fan fic? I’d rather die a horrible, painful, drawn out death than tell people I what I write. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s because telling people you enjoy gay relationships to the point where you obsessively write about them is a little uncomfortable?

To circle back - it’s scary telling people you write slash. An eighteen year old girl who writes slash coming out to friends in college? I’d never do it.

I get it. I get her.

I don’t need a heavy plot.

I don’t need character development on lesser characters.

The story is about the girl, her relationship with her fandom and her first year of college and how she eventually ties the two together.

And that’s good enough for me.

Posted by Matty on 12/10 at 12:33 PM
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