Anonymous asked: how would you recommend people get more confident about writing fanfic, instead of always assuming their work isn't good enough and so p much not even trying/giving up halfway through?
let me tell you something, friend.
you have a story to tell. that’s why you started writing, that’s why you do the thing. there’s no other reason but that — no other reason would be good enough to deal with all the lows, like this one, or the inevitable caffeine dependency and the utterly unromantic tendency to ramble on like wikipedia about given topics.
you have a story to tell, and you’re the only one who can tell it, because it’s in your head in just that right way that makes you want to write it.
so tell it. you’re the only one who can tell it just the way it is in your head, after all, nobody else will do.
tell the story that’s curled up inside you, that’s itching in your fingers and curving up your throat.
whether or not you’re good at this writing thing, technique-wise, is irrelevant. you have a story to tell, and you can’t get good at telling it if you never let yourself make the words happen, okay?
so tell that story. everything else can come later, but right now, focus on that story.
you know the one. it’s right there, behind your eyes.
i wanna hear it.
Crap is a sign of life. New bad stories are a sign that this genre — fan fiction, the genre I adore the most - is alive and well. Bad stories mean new people are trying to write in it, and people are trying to do new things with it, and maybe new people are joining the audience, too. When only the best and most popular are writing in a genre, it’s on its deathbed. (See: Westerns and Louis L’Amour.) I want this genre to be here forever, because I want to read it forever. So I’m happy that teenagers are posting Mary Sue stories to the Archive of Our Own.
Does that mean you have to be happy? Nope. I can’t make you do anything. (I can think you’re wrong, but hey, being wrong on the internet is a time-honored tradition among our people.) But when you start making fun of a writer and bullying her in the comments of her story, simply because she’s writing something you think is bad and embarrassing, well, that’s when I say: shut the fuck up or get the fuck out. Because she’s not a problem. She’s just doing what we’re all doing — having fun, playing with words, throwing something out there on the internet to see if other people like it.
But you. You’re trying to stop someone from having fun. You’re trying to shame people into not writing anymore. And that, folks — that is the definition of shitty behavior. (Mary Sue fantasies, on the other hand, are just the definition of human behavior.) It’s bad for people, it’s bad for the future, and it’s bad for the genre. So you’re a problem. thefourthvine - In Defense of Bad Writing (via jerakeenc)
Imagine person A of your OTP coming home from a long, hard day at work and being presented with a tray of cupcakes person B made for them while they were out.
Phil sighs deeply, exhausted and frustrated and just plain tired of the world. May was in the hospital, Ward was training at HQ, Skye was probably doing something terrifying and illegal that could cripple SHIELD, and FitzSimmons had said something going to the monkey house at the zoo. Phil really hoped they’d heard (and would listen) him when he said not to bring back a pet for the bus. He really really hoped.
But he was home now, at least. In New York, where he knew what place to order take-out from and had really nice flannel sheets and a tivo with a season pass of Real Housewives. It also might have the smell of Clint Barton on the pillows, though he and Natasha were still in Vienna doing something that Phil wasn’t clear on the details of (he’d been to busy to get the eyes only clearance necessary, though he desperately wanted to know). So his little New York apartment would be the closest approximation a place could be to home without having Clint in it.
He turned the key in the lock and then quickly punched in the key code and scanned his finger to disengage the primary security system. But as he pushed the door in, he was hit by the unmistakable smell of fresh baked cake, and the unmistakable sound of someone banging around in the kitchen.
He couldn’t stop himself, he rushed into the kitchen without taking off his jacket, tie, or shoes, his normal at home ritual.
"Phil" And their is Clint, beautiful, perfect, amazing Clint. He’s wearing jeans, and a t-shirt, and he’s using a piping bag to ice bright violet icing on bright violet cupcakes. But he pauses when Phil stops dead in the kitchen, noticing that his weary eyes and the fact that he’s still fully dressed and holding his body tightly, "Babe," he says "What’s wrong?"
Phil lets out another deep sigh, but its a cleansing one, he entire body loosens “I have never, in my life, been so happy to see anyone. EVER.”
Clint comes around the small Island they put in the kitchen and Phil can now she that he’s wearing those University of Iowa slippers, embroidered with the team mascot and logo. Jasper and Woo had gotten them for him during a mission to the Midwest a million years ago, presumably because they thought it’d be funny and ironic, and completely unaware that it was where Clint had gotten is B.S.
Clint wrapped his arms around Phil and the older agent sunk into the embrace. “I am so happy to be home.” Phil mumbles into Clint neck, and goes easily when Clint guides into one of the chairs at the small table in the corner of the kitchen. He doesn’t protest when Clint strips off his jacket and throws it easily over the other chair before moving onto the tie. He finishes off by unbuttoning the top two buttons on his shirt and dropping a kiss the recently exposed collar.
"You’re on your own for the shoes." Clint says with a smile, "I have to finish the cupcakes."
Phil smiles at him and takes a deep breath, inhaling the smell of Clint’s baking. “They smell great,” he looks at the color a bit bemused, “What kind are they?”
"Purple velvet with purple cream-cheese icing." Clint grinned, picking up the bag again, "I know red velvet is your favorite, and no one has ever questioned Mama Fontaine’s recipe any more then they’d question her tarot readings.”
"And the purple?" Phil asked.
"Something to remember me by." Clint grinned, "wanted to make my mark on them, I haven’t seen you in a month, Phil. And considering I just got you back, that’s to long."
Phil nodded and toed off his shoes, he thought about asking why Clint wasn’t in Austria, how that mission had gone. He considered complaining about his new team and Fury and about how much the world was changing from when they’d started at SHIELD.
Instead he stood up, stretched and walked over to Clint, leaning into his side, and kissing his cheek before he reached out and grabbed a cupcake, and took a huge bite out of the purple monstrosity. Happy to bask in the glow of domesticity and Clint and home for a little while.
I accidentally wrote more. Part 2
Clint balls his hands into fists to keep himself from messing with the fresh stitches carved into his shoulder. Pick at them, and you’ll lengthen your recovery he repeated to himself, in a voice that sounded like Coulson’s. Because every time he tells himself to take better care of himself, its in Coulson’s voice. He might be a little (really a lot) fucked up. Phil loves him anyway. Clint doesn’t always understand it, but he’s grateful as fuck to a higher power he doesn’t believe in.
He smiles despite himself as trudges up the stairs. Phil will be home tonight. He’s on medical leave from his rag-tag team (well, his fourth rag-tag team) and while Clint needs to cut the whole weekly risking his life SHIT OUT, he’s glad to know that after a day of paperwork at HQ, Phil will come home and their will be couch cuddle.
He almost went to the tower, after he was released from SHIELD medical after the giant mess of an opp. where the too green handler and the too green junior agents couldn’t keep their cool and Clint had to save fucking everyone. Fury’s just lucky that he’d told Clint beforehand that the entire point of including him was to make sure that the juniors didn’t all get themselves killed on their first non-milk run trip into the field. He’d have been royally pissed otherwise. As it is, his’s mostly just annoyed and resigned.
The Tower has bigger beds, bigger screens, and hot water and the accompanying pressure to die for. It also has JARVIS to get to do everything for you, he thinks as he fumbles with the lock and the security measures. But even if it was just for a shower and a quick nap, the the tower doesn’t have Phil’s Red Sox sweatshirt or his army sweatpants or Clint’s Hawkeyes slippers. And theirs really no point in sleeping off a terrible opp. if he can’t be buried in Phil’s cloths and waiting for his boyfriend to come home.
But the second he pushes into the apartment he’s met with a light burnt smell and a loud curse of “Damn it.”
"Phil," Clint calls, worriedly stepping towards the Kitchen. It is an absolute disaster.
Something that would look like flour to the untrained eye coats most of the surfaces. half a stick of butter appears to be congealing to the stove top. An entire carton of eggs, half full of broken shells and yoke rest next to the sink and to what appears to be all of the measuring cups and both the small, medium, and large mixing bowls, a whisk, a wooden spoon and a metal spoon. Electric purple liquid that Clint assumes (hopes) is food coloring covers about a fifth of the counter space, a streak on the white fridge, all of Phil’s hand, and the left side of his face.
Phil is standing behind the island, white t-shirt covered in batter and purple spots and other things. In front of him are two dozen cupcakes, a violent shade of violet covered various bits of brown, four of them were directly in front of Phil, all dripping the bright purple icing that is also in a small cereal bowl to his left and on the dinner knife in his hand?
Phil’s look is utterly dejected, like when he’s falling asleep at his desk and Clint has to physically drag him home without all of his paperwork being done.
"Babe," Clint asks, "what are you don’t?"
Phil let out a frustrated, exhausted sigh, “Trying to make you cupcakes.” he jammed the knife into last cupcake he’d tried to ice, the purple frosting now starting to pool around its base. He looked at once petulant and dangerous with the knife in his hand. “I’m trying to make you purple cupcakes. But it isn’t working. I don’t know why it isn’t working.”
"Did you just take them out of the oven?" asked Clint delicately.
"Yeah, I knew you’d be home within the hour, I wanted them to be warm for you." Phil insisted.
Clint gave him a bright smile, “That’s sweet of you, Babe, but you have to give them time to cool so they don’t melt the icing.”
"I’m sorry." Phil said, his shoulders slumping as he glanced around the mess he’d made. "I just, when I came home a month ago, and you’d made me cupcakes, it was so perfect, just the perfect fucking day." Clint’s lips twitched, Phil didn’t curse in civilian life unless he absolutely meant it. "And I knew I couldn’t make much of anything, let alone homemade purple velvet cupcakes, but I figured even I couldn’t mess up white cake mix from a box at the store. I was apparently wrong about that."
Clint walked over around to Phil, and guided him so they were facing each other, making sure Phil was balanced, because he wasn’t holding his cane. He raised up a bit and placed a kiss on Phil’s forehead. But keeping a bit of space between them, covered in sweat and dirt and his field uniform and not wanting to get Phil (or himself) any dirtier.
"Thank you." Clint said, his voice sincere and his eyes soft.
"For what? For destroying the kitchen? Wasting all our eggs, oil, butter that wasn’t even necessary, and our purple food coloring?" Phil asked.
"For doing this for me, for wanting to make me happy. For loving me despite every red flag I raise."
"You don’t raise any…" Phil trailed off at Clint’s unimpressed look, knowing that that wasn’t true, "Ok, but you aren’t hard to love, and I always want to make you happy." Phil gave a tiny smile, but it turned into a grimace when he looked around the kitchen again. "You look exhausted, you should take a shower and a nap." he said "I’ll clean up in here."
"No," Clint shook his head, "That’s not what is going to happen."
Phil raised and eyebrow and Clint gave his brightest smile.
"I’m going to go take a shower, and you’re going to come with me." He brushed the purple food coloring on Phil’s face and the batter splattered in Phil’s hair. "We are going to help each other get clean." He was already starting to lead Phil to the bedroom "and then I am going to put on your Red Sox sweatshirt and army sweatpants, and you are going to put on my Hawkeyes shirt and my purple sweatpants, and we are going to cuddle into our bed and take a nice long nap. When we get up, we will order in a late dinner, and have couch cuddle while eating Mexican, I know we normally go for Chinese on nights like this, but I just got back from China so the answer is no."
Phil leaned into Clint as they reached the bathroom. Starting to undress as Clint turns on the shower and continues “Then we are going to order four cupcakes from Daisy’s and go to sleep. After we sleep in a lot tomorrow, we will walk up, go to the diner across the street, before returning, starting up Dog Cops on netflix on your laptop, and cleaning the kitchen together.” He pulled his shirt over his head and Phil sighed happily at both the sight and the plan. “What do you think?”
"I think" Said Phil as he stepped into the shower, "That you are the perfect man, and I love you more then anything.
no but realtalk now, starting to read fanfiction is a journey of self discovery that u shouldn’t even go on unless you’re ready to discover a lot of uncomfortably weird kinks you never knew you had
Anonymous asked: Hello fabulous person. If you have the time, inclination, &c I'd like to know your thoughts on male criticism of fanfic and slashfic on the grounds that "this is totally unrealistic + objectifying, real people don't act like that". I have the same objections to male-targeted porn featuring women and I'm not sure how hypocritical that makes me.
Anyone who says slash fanfic/het porn fanfic is remotely comparable to mainstream porn is talking total trash garbage.
Yes, a hell of a lot of fanfic contains unrealistic portrayals of sex acts, or is out of character compared to the canon characters involved. However, fanfic is by definition not “objectifying” anyone because 99% of the time (even in stories that are pure smut) the characters are characters. Slash fanfic explores characters and relationships, even if it’s just a 500-word interlude where two dudes bone in the showers. Also, those plotless smutfics don’t exist in a vaccuum, they’re part of a preexisting culture and backstory. Think about it: if you post a fic where two nameless guys are essentially treated as sex objects, it’s not going to inspire a lot of interest in slash fandom, even if it’s really well-written. However, if you post a Sherlock fic where John and Sherlock have a bunch of passionate sex after Sherlock’s return from the dead, then people are going to be super into it because they’re into the John/Sherlock dynamic and the sex scene has an extra emotional component of tying into the overall canon.
The most popular fics are usually long and plotty — ie, the exact opposite of mainstream male-targeted porn, which is typically a variation on the theme of penises entering orifices with little to no attention to characterisation/storyline. The ultimate goals of fanfic and porn are completely different. Even if we’re ONLY looking at the relatively small proportion of slash fanfics that are literally pure, unadulterated sex scenes with no connection to backstory, the ultimate purpose is very different from, say, 10-minutes of girl-on-girl action. Plus, the characters already exist in the mind of the audience: we know who they are, and why they are doing what they’re doing, even in the sketchiest of scenarios.
Honestly there are so many differences here that I could go on all day. But basically you just need to think about what “objectifying” means in the first place. The main criticism of mainstream porn is that it portrays women as a) interchangeable examples of a physical ideal, with slim hairless bodies and big tits, and b) objects rather than active participants. Men in slashfic are the opposite of this. While they are usually good-looking, they’re not physical ideals and they’re always popular thanks to their personality and/or relationships rather than their appearance. Which i guess partly reflects the way in which people are generally socialised to judge men by their actions while women are judged by their appearance. Thinking about slash pairings that are super popular right now, Sterek from Teen Wolf is probably the biggest. But while both guys are good-looking, everyone in the show is good-looking. Jackson and Derek are probably the most classically handsome guys in the show, so why aren’t they the most popular slash pairing? Because they’re not being objectified, duh. People are writing 50,000-word epics with backstory, worldbuilding, and a romantic/sexual storyline between Derek and Stiles.
I suspect that one of the reasons why some guys are weirded out by the idea of slash is that it messes with their idea of what women want in a guy. During conversations/arguments about sexism in the media, you often hear people saying things like, “But the guys are just as idealised as the girls!” which is VERY rarely true. The “ideal woman” almost always looks like a 20-year-old underwear model, while the “ideal man” is a much more nebulous concept, not necessarily linked with his physical appearance. This comparison would only make sense when if world was full of unattractive, 60-year-old female politicians with hot, 25-year-old lovers. Slash fandom teaches us anything, it’s that when women create their own erotica, it’s a lot more emotionally complex than just the written equivalent of a porno.
oh, and finally, fanfic is also different from porn because porn is a business, while fanfic is a community where women create things for each other in a gift economy, discussing sex and relationships in a way that isn’t necessarily acceptable in everyday society. plenty of people who read/write slashfic aren’t even attracted to men in the first place. which would be kind of a puzzler if you’re trying to argue that slash fulfills just the same ~objectifying~ purpose as mainstream porn.
[postscript to this whole thing — i kind of looked at this scenario with a “worst of both worlds” approach. most fanfic is so plotty and character-driven that it’s a COMPLETELY different genre than porn, so for the purposes of this post i’m really just referring to specifically NC-17 fic, ie the closest fanfic ever gets to “objectification” in that it’s relatively goal-oriented as an erotica scene. also, obviously there is a wide range of visual porn out there, but for the purposes of this post, you can assume i’m referring to the kind of mainstream hetero-male-oriented porn that most people complain about ~objectifying women. it’s 2am now and there are about a billion more points i could’ve made in this answer, but basically the whole thing can be summarised as: if you think slash fanfic objectifies men, then you don’t know anything about slash fanfic, and you don’t know what “objectify” means.]
A Brief History of Slash at The Toast.
Oh look here, it’s my second fandom anthropology essay! I’m pretty proud of this one, please come have a read!
How to Review a Fanfic.
Before I started receiving reviews/comments to my fics with any form of regularity, I didn’t realize how certain things I said in my flailings over other people’s fics came across.
Since we’re talking about fan fiction feedback and whatnot, here’s a great post on the subject. (Thanks for linking me to it idareu2bme!)