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08 March 2005 @ 04:47 pm
Rant: If It's Tuesday, I Must Be Whining  
So. Work.

Also, fandom. Because when work goes sour on me (and lady, make up your fucking mind; sorry, but you have no idea how that needed to be said, and the people who know about the violent offenders will understand this comment), I reel into the welcoming, porny arms of fandom (it's my metaphor and I can damn well fracture it if I wish, unlike certain violent-offender-obsessed people, who are not allowed to touch my metaphors, thanks), only to get. Well. Ranty.

What can I say? I give to fandom what I can't use in my everyday life. Which means I give: 1) sarcasm, 2) enthusiasm, and 3) my rapidly-decreasing tolerance of humanity. (Go away, violent offender lady. And while we're at it: go away, violent offenders. Go - offend yourselves.)



Your issues are showing, part one. Everyone overuses this word these days. I do it as much as anyone. But, please, before you drop it into your story, think: is the character a guy who communicates in single-word sentences and grunts? Does "issues" contain one more syllable than said character ever uses? Is the character a seventh-century monk? Because, yes, there are some characters who can believably discuss issues and needs and feelings. It'd work just fine to have Blair Sandburg do nothing else. But if you've got Jack Aubrey or Aeryn Sun using "I feel" statements, well, I just hope your story is about mind control, or the statement in question is "I feel like [killing/beating the shit out of/shooting/firing cannons at, delete as appropriate] [Napoleon/John Crichton/the Spanish/nearly everyone, delete as appropriate]." Hints: in general, if your character is all about action, don't have him reflect on his need to process and his commitment issues. Really. Also, long discussions of feelings that would not be out of place in a couple's therapy session? Not suitable for your average police officer, career military man, or contract killer.

Don't cry for me, dark lord Sauron. It isn't that I mind crying qua crying. It's that I mind how it's used – problem solver, confession of love, apology, indication of character growth, sandwich spread. Look. There are some stories that should feature crying. When a character dies, for example, it is right to have other characters cry. But, ummmm, how can I put this? There are some characters who just don't cry that much, and maybe that's the way they should stay, especially if right now they're crying more than pregnant women who can't stop watching Dumbo. Action is another good distinguisher here. If your character, say, regularly uses a gun, consider other ways he might express frustration, for example, or dismay. (Hint: shooting people, or sometimes things, is a very popular choice. In certain segments of society, and I won't mention violent offenders here, but - oh. I did.)

Your issues are showing, part two. There are only seven plots in all of fan fiction, yes, but if you consistently, throughout all your fandoms, have a character get abducted, subjected to mind control, and made the victim of a renegade biologist who grafts his upper body onto the lower body of an ungulate, that says more about you than about your fandoms. Hell, it says more about you than I really want to know. Sometimes it's more appropriate to seek a therapist than an audience, and this could be one of those times.

Yes, Virginia, you can have too many adjectives. I mean, you don't have to limit yourself strictly to nouns and action verbs ("Jim fucks. Blair moans. Reader yawns."), but please consider the overall effect your descriptives are bringing to your story. For example:
  • Cock: Short and to the point. In some instances, perhaps too much so.
  • Rock-hard cock: Rather cliché, yes, and not exactly accurate, but not excessively purple or unintentionally amusing.
  • Hot, rock-hard cock: We're deep in Clicheland, but we're not yet over the top.
  • Hot, throbbing rock-hard cock: OK, this is starting to be a bit much.
  • Huge, hot, throbbing rock-hard cock jutting proudly from its gorgeous nest of wiry black curls: Ha ha ha ha. I mean, seriously; consider the effect of this phrase on your will to read further. Or, hell, your will to live.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There. Now I've taken care of it. We, as a genre, are going to meet our exclamation point use quota for the month, so you don't need to scatter them throughout your FF to keep the feds off our backs; you can keep it down to just the !s you really need. (No, don't thank me; the joy shining from your face is enough. As is your relatively exclamation-point-free story.) And, let's face it, you don't need one of those too often. If you can't tell people through word choice, emphasis, and description that someone is shouting, surprised, or otherwise inclined to speak loudly and hurriedly, one of those pointy, dotty buggers is not going to solve your problem. Save the things to follow actual interjections, and work on your dialog skills. Also? Exclamation points don't work too often in narrative; if you're using a lot of them, you may have misunderstood the - hee, hee - point of the things. And, finally, a point I may have read somewhere else, but that is so important it's worth making again: exclamation points are loners. They do not mate. They are not a package deal with their social circles or their families or, god help them, their little heterosexual question mark mates. One exclamation point is all you get per sentence, and it doesn't want any other punctuation as company. So no more !!! – if you couldn't get the intensity across with one, a few extras won't improve matters, trust me. And definitely no more !?!?!; use italics and word choice to convey that the question is an important one, and leave your damn exclamation point alone. It will thank you. And so will I.

Not every pronoun was created equal. So, for example, if Blair and Jim hop into bed together, they should stay Blair and Jim throughout and not suddenly transmogrify into "the younger man" and "the older man" or "the shorter man" and "the taller man." Yes, pronouns are a constant problem for slashers, but that's no excuse for this kind of writing. Unless Fraser is actually thinking of Ray as "the American" while going down on him (And if he is, what the fuck is wrong with him? Because in my experience Canadians don't typically have American fetishes, on account of proximity breeding resentment, or however that goes.), don't call Ray that in a sex scene. I've read so many pronoun-substitute stories that I have a special hatred reserved for the phrase "the other man"; I'm about two days away from writing a story called that, just to make my hatred clear. ("Loving the Other Man," by thefourthvine, a Kowalski/Fraser amnesia story. Look for it soon!) You never need that phrase in a sex scene, unless you're writing a third-party PoV.

Very soul. What the fuck is a very soul? Someone tell me, because I am flat mystified. From extensive and often painful reading (though, let me tell, you not nearly as painful as the statistics on violent offenders), I've been able to deduce that people have two kinds of souls – the regular or non-very kind, and then the very one, which is apparently the one that's involved in sex and romance. ("...to the bottom of his very soul.") But beyond that, I'm totally confused - why do humans have two souls? Is it all humans, or just the ones in romance stories? Help, people. (And, yes, I know it's from Hamlet, so you don't need to quote that in your answer. It's just – we don't write much like Shakespeare did these days. How did the very soul stick around?)

Mine, mine, mine. Did I miss the memo on this one? Because on my planet, you don't claim people like territory, and fucking someone doesn't give you any rights beyond, you know, maybe a blood test. Or child support. But I've read so much FF that equates fucking and possession that any minute now I expect Daniel to fuck Jack while saying, "I'm a peaceful explorer" and then Jack to return the favor with, "I claim this ass in the name of the Tauri of Earth." Until someone forwards me a copy of the "penetration is a marriage ceremony among our people" amendment to the social contract, I'm going to shout my gospel from the rooftops: Marrying someone gives you rights. Moving in with someone gives you rights. And cosigning on major debt sure as fuck gives you rights. But just fucking someone doesn't mean you own his ass (except, of course, in prison), and if you'd like to think it does, take this moment to reflect on all the people who, by your definition, have the right to get territorial over you.

Be real. Or at least realistically fake. It's called fan fiction because it's about characters other people created. Which means that you should be familiar with said characters. If even I am reading your story and saying, "But he isn't taller than she is" or "Wait, no, they both have blue eyes," you've got a problem. I don't care how you picture it – Spike does not have a body that will win him the next Mr. Universe competition. Late canon Daniel Jackson is not scrawny and weak. Cordelia Chase does not have broad hips. Basically, if I am noticing problems with your descriptives – me, the woman voted Most Likely to Fail to Recognize Herself If She Ever Visits an Alternate Reality – it's back to canon kindergarten for you.

It's a dark, dark world. But that doesn't mean you need to use a black background, people. Backgrounds should be light. White is ideal – the gold standard of page backgrounds! – but anything pale is fine. While we're at it, text should be dark. Let me repeat: dark text. Light background. And you will be blessed and your line will never be extinguished and one day you'll wake up and the morning news will feature pictures of Orlando Bloom kissing Viggo Mortensen, unless you'd rather see them kiss other people, in which case that's what will happen. But this utopia can only come into being if you avoid the Unforgivable Website Sins, which include: headache text (in bright red or yellow or similar), blending text (dark gray text on a light gray background, as a single example), and the ever-popular light text on a dark background. While such Unforgivable Website Sins are still in existence, the world can only contain migraines. I hope you feel bad.

A ripping good time. I know you can tear shirts off people. I've done it myself, actually; I've even done it unintentionally. But the accidental ripping occurred in college, when people tended to wear things until they fell apart (and often even after that). The thing is, not all fabrics tear as easily as ancient concert t-shirts with no surviving legible text. If your character is tearing a good shirt off someone, he's leaving some marks. And people don't always appreciate having their clothes torn, you know. Just once I want to read a story in which the characters kiss, their hands roving wildly over each other, their hips thrusting almost violently together, both half-crazy with lust, and then character A rips off character B's shirt and he gets all pissy: "Jesus Christ. Ever heard of taking two seconds, Caveman? This cost three hundred dollars!"

And now I return to the sweet, sweet embrace of violent offenders. Think of me. Think of me fondly. Or, hell, just write me some Beecher/Keller porn.

Think I missed something? Previous FF rants are here, here, here, and here.

Got some FF bitching to get off your chest? Share in the comments section. I like to know I'm not alone in my insanity.

Hate me and want to make sure I know it? Remember to flame with class.
Tags: [rant]
 
 
 
pure FORESHADOWING: my idolnifra_idril on March 8th, 2005 09:22 pm (UTC)
You know, I read posts like this, and I feel this -- this - lightness swelling in my chest, an utter levity which lifts me above my mundane troubles as I howl with laughter and generally float on a pocket of adoration for you. Yes, m'dear, you are fucking awesome.
tried to eat the safe banana: Namastethefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 12:39 am (UTC)
Thank you. Gratuitous praise is just what I need today.

*feels fucking awesome*
Cesperanzacesperanza on March 8th, 2005 09:31 pm (UTC)
A rips off character B's shirt and he gets all pissy: "Jesus Christ. Ever heard of taking two seconds, Caveman? This cost three hundred dollars!"

(Steals and creeps away into the night!! *g*)

Seriously, though--this is reason 14000 why DS is a superior fandom. We Respect the Uniform, man! We don't even have Fraser pop a button, because we know that Fraser's buttons are, like the rest of him, very tight indeed. *g*

Thanks for the grin!
tried to eat the safe banana: Love writingthefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 12:49 am (UTC)
(Steals and creeps away into the night!! *g*)

Thing is, I wrote that thinking firmly of Danny in SN, but now that I think about it - it could also be the Real Ray Vecchio. Or, with modification, Jim Ellison:

[We join the scene already in progress; Blair and Jim have realized they were Meant to Fuck and are frantically groping each other in an unlikely location. Perhaps while staking out the Volcanic Mountain ride at Cascade's noted nonexistent amusement park, Rainyland.]
Blair: Oh yeah. Oh, fuck yeah. Oh man.
Jim: *stroke, lick, and, because we can't forget he's a sentinel, sniff*
Blair: YES! *Riiiiiipp*
Jim, pulling back: Jesus Christ, Blair. Like it's not bad enough you ruined the couch?
Blair: You, uh - you knew about the couch?
Jim, channeling Captain Jack Sparrow: Sentinel.

So, clearly, this is the scene that fits in all fandoms.

We Respect the Uniform, man!

Yes. Whenever I see the Uniform taking damage in a story, I wince, because the Uniform is, like, the manifestation of Fraser's soul. No, seriously; stay with me. It's like - as long as Fraser is feeling shiny and brave and good, the Uniform will stay crisp and clean and Serge-y. But if he starts taking emotional or mental hits, so does the Uniform. Button lost = serious but non-fatal damage to ego (in the Jungian sense). Uniform a total write-off = Fraser's sinking fast and in danger of permanent ego dissociation. This is true! At least in fan fiction! Really!

I can provide citations and everything.

OK. Maybe it's my own personal crazy theory.

*slinks away*
(no subject) - indywind on March 9th, 2005 05:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cesperanza on March 9th, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - milkshake_b on March 10th, 2005 09:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - qe2 on March 9th, 2005 06:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cmshaw on March 9th, 2005 08:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - qe2 on March 9th, 2005 11:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brooklinegirl on March 9th, 2005 12:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - khaleesian on March 11th, 2005 04:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brooklinegirl on March 9th, 2005 11:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
shayheyredshayheyred on March 8th, 2005 09:35 pm (UTC)
I think this may be the first rant I've seen on the dark-or-bright-background-with-light-lettering eyesore. Ye gods, I can't look at that stuff. I may have missed some great stories because of the way people post them. Then again, if they are capable of that hideous choice....probably I was wise to move along.

And! The! Proliferation! Of! Exclamation! Points! Word!

And finally, as someone who once read a line about a cock described as "the rosy-headed ivory tower of lust," I bow in your general direction.
Basingstoke: sufferingbasingstoke on March 9th, 2005 12:08 am (UTC)
Oh, dude, this is why I switched to Opera as my web browser in the first place. It was the first one to have this wonderful, delightful, possibly-proof-of-the-existence-of-God button that switches web pages over to black text on a white page with NO HIDEOUS AND DISTRACTING BACKGROUND.


*loves on Opera*
(no subject) - thefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 12:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - imkalena on March 10th, 2005 10:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 12:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shayheyred on March 9th, 2005 07:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - shayheyred on March 9th, 2005 06:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - imkalena on March 10th, 2005 10:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shayheyred on March 10th, 2005 12:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - imkalena on March 10th, 2005 08:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Adoable Frunklyra_sena on March 8th, 2005 09:39 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, the smell of a good rant. Mmmm, better than coffee in the morning. This made me laugh, thanks for that.
tried to eat the safe banana: Everybody wants a rockthefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 12:57 am (UTC)
My pleasure. No, really. I had to rant at someone today, and it seemed to me that hapless LJ users were a better choice than the Violent Offender Lady. For one thing, LJ users handle this sort of thing way better.

Thank you!
Annie: Nice view by Signeout_there on March 8th, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)
and made the victim of a renegade biologist who grafts his upper body onto the lower body of an ungulate

I was rather amused for a moment as I stopped and tried to picture Dan and Casey in that situation.

They are not a package deal with their social circles or their families or, god help them, their little heterosexual question mark mates.

Actually, no. The "!?" symbol is called an interrobang and was introduced in the 1960's, although it never achieved popular use. Still, I now feel very confident using one of those, if I wanted to, since I can now defend it as an actual, official mark of punctuation.

How did the very soul stick around?

*shrugs* No idea, but I like the "very soul" thing. I just do. (I mean, yes, I like it in a point-at-it-and-laugh way, but still. It deserves points for the amusement factor, if nothing else.)

Cordelia Chase does not have broad hips.

Wowsa. That's a bad one. Such a bad one.

Just once I want to read a story in which the characters kiss, their hands roving wildly over each other, their hips thrusting almost violently together, both half-crazy with lust, and then character A rips off character B's shirt and he gets all pissy: "Jesus Christ. Ever heard of taking two seconds, Caveman? This cost three hundred dollars!"

*snerk* I think I know how the rest of that one would go:

Casey frowned, carefully pulling his hands back from the material. "You spent three hundred dollars on a shirt?"

"It was a good shirt," Dan growled as he carefully examined the edges of the torn fabric, "that I can no longer wear, thanks to you."

"Worth three hundred bucks?"

"It was until you tore it."

"It didn't look like it," Casey said and then took half a step backwards as Dan glared at him.
Iphiginia Saberhagen: My Fandom shamefanofall on March 8th, 2005 11:12 pm (UTC)
It was a good shirt," Dan growled as he carefully examined the edges of the torn fabric, "that I can no longer wear, thanks to you."

So... Whose shirt was it? :-D
(no subject) - out_there on March 9th, 2005 06:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
Interrobang!? - laughingacademy on March 8th, 2005 11:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Interrobang!? - out_there on March 9th, 2005 06:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 01:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - out_there on March 9th, 2005 06:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
Everybody wants a thrillkelly_girl on March 8th, 2005 10:24 pm (UTC)
Ok, I think I'm guilty of the pronoun thing but the 'very soul?' I don't think I've even heard of that one. Maybe that's a good thing.
tried to eat the safe banana: Swoonthefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 01:21 am (UTC)
It's an excellent thing.

"Very soul" is one of those things that appears mostly in stories that are, um, rather purple. Also, incidence seems to vary widely from fandom to fandom; some are rife with very souls and some have practically none. I have a couple theories on that; one is that it has something to do with the age of the fandom, as older fandoms seem to have a lot more of this. Another is that it has to do with how people get into the fandom. I've got no evidence as yet, but I continue to investigate. A definitive report will be forthcoming.

And clearly, I've invested way too much time in studying this phenomenon.

*slinks off to find a constructive hobby*
Still Waiting For My Jetpack: fandom bullshitazewewish on March 8th, 2005 10:45 pm (UTC)
Ouch. *grins* While I am guilty of the light text on dark background website (I know, bad me!), I have to say the rest of your rant brought tears of mirth & joy to my eyes. If I have to read another 'shorter/younger/American/Kiwi/British/taller crying' fic again in my life, I might just go even more insane than I already am.
tried to eat the safe banana: Everybody wants a rockthefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 01:27 am (UTC)
*eyes icon* I love the wording, but who is the yawner?

If I have to read another 'shorter/younger/American/Kiwi/British/taller crying' fic again in my life, I might just go even more insane than I already am.

I will save you a spot next to me at the Secure Institution for Incurable Fangirls, then. You'll love Interactive Movie Night, and don't listen to the people who tell you that the facilities aren't comfortable. I'm sure you'll be very happy here. See you soon!

*wanders off to take more meds*
(no subject) - azewewish on March 9th, 2005 07:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
Raven: Ray/Rayraveninthewind on March 8th, 2005 10:47 pm (UTC)
Just once I want to read a story in which the characters kiss, their hands roving wildly over each other, their hips thrusting almost violently together, both half-crazy with lust, and then character A rips off character B's shirt and he gets all pissy: "Jesus Christ. Ever heard of taking two seconds, Caveman? This cost three hundred dollars!"

Oh, this would make a fine Ray/Ray scene, doncha think?
tried to eat the safe banana: Greek to methefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 01:28 am (UTC)
I was thinking of Danny from Sports Night, but - yes. Totally. Now I long to see that story, too, and I'm not even a big Ray/Ray fan.
Raven: Joe & Billy clappingraveninthewind on March 8th, 2005 10:54 pm (UTC)
("Loving the Other Man," by thefourthvine, a Kowalski/Fraser amnesia story. Look for it soon!)

Not "Look for it soon!!!!" ;D

Seriously, fuckin' excellent rants. You speak for multitudes. And about the still far too common light text on dark background Web pages--I can't even count the number of times I've copied and pasted into a Wrod doc to read from instead. I've even posted a link to an archive instead of using the author's site for this reason, as a service to readers of my recs.
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers.thefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 01:41 am (UTC)
I've even posted a link to an archive instead of using the author's site for this reason, as a service to readers of my recs.

Yes, definitely. I do that when I can, and when the author doesn't have a clearly stated policy against it, because I know some people can't read those things at all. I have a mental list of much more evil awards than the ones I nominate stories for here, and one of them is the It's Still Geocities in 1998 on This Here Website Award, which goes out to sites that have, you know, yellow text on a black background with a tiled flame picture. That kind of thing. *wince*
Alternate solution to the page-color problem - lipsum on March 10th, 2005 07:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
Iphiginia Saberhagen: Cleo's m15m Swiss Missfanofall on March 8th, 2005 11:01 pm (UTC)
Apropos of very little, because I will read your whole post here in a minute: The best line using an "I" statement ever uttered by Aeryn Sun: "But shooting makes me FEEL BETTER!!!!"
Iphiginia Saberhagen: Cleo YUSS!!!fanofall on March 8th, 2005 11:11 pm (UTC)
Now, having read your rant, and realizing that I am at fault for half your exclamation-point woes, I can only throw myself on your mercy and remind you that I don't write. I just pimp fandoms.

As for the rest of it, AMEN MY WOMBAT. And can we talk about a synonym for "thrust" at some point? After enough times seeing that, I want to give the guys hydraulics.

Aeryn uses all those exclamation points in that sentence. They're rounds going off....
(no subject) - thefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 02:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sadlikeknives on March 9th, 2005 12:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 01:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
Dusty: good jokes?dustandroses on March 8th, 2005 11:09 pm (UTC)
"the other man"
I have a special hatred reserved for the phrase "the other man"

I agree, but I did run into one circumstance where I couldn't find an alternative: anonymous sex.
tried to eat the safe banana: Huh?thefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 01:53 am (UTC)
Re: "the other man"
Oh, that's like third-party PoV; there's really nothing else you can do, or at least I haven't been able to think of anything. (Well, one thing. Sometimes you can have one character give the other one a nickname - Blondie or Sexy Thing or Mr. Sister or whatever - and use that. That can solve the whole problem, but sometimes you just can't make it work.)

But, really, "the other man" isn't so bad in such situations, as it emphasizes the, you know, anonymity of the thing. It's just that the phrase is so often used badly that it's hard not to cringe even when the circumstances totally call for it. All the more reason we must band together and fight this menace. Fangirls unite!

*hums inspiring fangirl fight song*
You're out of adventures :(: crotch by aotearoagalclaire on March 8th, 2005 11:14 pm (UTC)
Not every pronoun was created equal.

I once betaed for someone who insisted on the usage of various pronouns in sex scenes. I think I got the point across by sending back just one comment about the scene. "How many people are in this again?" Their reply? "Ouch!"

I've read so many pronoun-substitute stories that I have a special hatred reserved for the phrase "the other man"; I'm about two days away from writing a story called that, just to make my hatred clear. ("Loving the Other Man," by [info]thefourthvine, a Kowalski/Fraser amnesia story. Look for it soon!)

I am really looking forward to this one. Should be good. *waits patiently*
tried to eat the safe banana: Love writingthefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 01:59 am (UTC)
"How many people are in this again?" Their reply? "Ouch!"

Well, that's exactly the problem. You spend half the time you're reading counting people: "Let's see. We have the elf, the archer, the Prince of Mirkwood, the older entity, and the guy who doesn't spend enough on eyebrow bleach. That's...five people in this sex scene?" And then it turns out to be just masturbation, and you're hopelessly confused. Or, in my case, seriously grouchy.

I am really looking forward to this one. Should be good. *waits patiently*

Unfortunately, you'll be waiting for quite a while; I'm not the world's most productive FF writer. I'm better with the, you know, ranting and destructive criticism. But, hey, we all have to work to our strengths, right?
Cel: headdesk (baltar)c_elisa on March 9th, 2005 12:23 am (UTC)
if you consistently, throughout all your fandoms, have a character get abducted, subjected to mind control, and made the victim of a renegade biologist who grafts his upper body onto the lower body of an ungulate, that says more about you than about your fandoms.

Please tell me that's a hypothetical example.

Although it's not really all *that* far from the plot of Farscape's "DNA Mad Scientist." Choosing the right fandom can be a cheaper alternative to psychotherapy. At least, it works for me.
tried to eat the safe banana: Freaksthefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 02:08 am (UTC)
Please tell me that's a hypothetical example.

It isn't. But it isn't from fan fiction; I deliberately picked a plot that I've never seen anyone use in FF, so that I wouldn't, you know, hurt anyone's feelings. Also, that plot sticks in my mind, as it gave me my very first creepy "your issues are showing" feeling, back when I was young and innocent and filled with girlish glee.

Said plot (or just character development) occurs with frightening frequency in the published original fiction of one Jack L. Chalker. With minor variations. (Like, sometimes the half-girl, half-ungulate is a prostitute, and sometimes she's a robot prostitute, and sometimes she's a prostitute with a genetically-engineered mental deficiency. And so on.) Chalker taught me a great many things. Among them:
  1. It isn't necessarily good just because it's published.
  2. It isn't necessarily good just because it's relatively well-known.
  3. It is dangerous to pick up books at random based solely on the coolness of the title. (Chalker has some excellent titles, I'm telling you.)
  4. Reading SF, especially SF written before 1990, presents some interesting challenges to the non-brain-dead (and non-half-ungulate) female.
  5. Did I mention that a professionally printed paperback cover doesn't make it good?
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Wombat OTPthefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 02:13 am (UTC)
*clings to LLMR OTP like a limpet*

Clearly, you are one of the last bastions of sanity in this world. It is no wonder I love you so.

*clings some more*

Now, pass me that baseball bat; we've got a lot of heads to crack.

(The rant actually did make me feel better, yes, but there have been - developments in the whole situation. We should chat about this at some point. Assuming you haven't yet reached the point of wanting to remove your own eyes so as not to hear any more about it.)

Yay package! You're saving my sorry ass and spreading fandom joy. It's a total injustice that you can't deduct the whole thing on your taxes, because this is clearly charitable. Thank you thank you thank you.
(no subject) - fanofall on March 9th, 2005 08:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
cupidsbowcupidsbow on March 9th, 2005 12:47 am (UTC)
It's a dark, dark world.

I find it amusing to track how my ideas change as I progress through the Stages of Fandom. I share your pain for violently inappropriate page colour combinations. I'm a black-on-white girl at heart, and always have been. I like it, and I don't care if that makes me a traditionalist.

However, a sight-impaired friend, who is something of a campaigner about making the world a more user-friendly place for people with disabilities, tells me that white text on a black background is actually much easier to read on a computer screen than the reverse.

I am not yet totally convinced, but keep thinking, rather guiltily, that perhaps I should re-code my website. After all, should I not be an equal-opportunity crack pimper? Don't the blind have a right to easily digestible pornography too?

Thanks for your most recent rec set, btw. I hadn't read the dueSouth story before and loved it. Are you sure I can't tempt you into some other fandoms? I'd love to see what you'd dig up in the wodnerful world of rps.
tried to eat the safe banana: Big eyesthefourthvine on March 9th, 2005 03:19 am (UTC)
However, a sight-impaired friend, who is something of a campaigner about making the world a more user-friendly place for people with disabilities, tells me that white text on a black background is actually much easier to read on a computer screen than the reverse.

The problem there is that it can go either way. My mother is sight-impaired, and she finds big (like, 16-point plus) bold dark text on a white background easiest to read, which is normal for her particular eye disease. But others prefer white (and usually big and bold) text on a black background. The one thing that seems to be a constant is that screwing around with close colors (lavender on pink, say) is tough on people who are already having trouble making things out. But, well, it's kinda tough on the rest of us, too, so no big shock.

I am not yet totally convinced, but keep thinking, rather guiltily, that perhaps I should re-code my website.

You know what my thought on this is going to be. I can justify it, though: people who have sight impairments usually have accessibility software on their computers that forces most websites into whatever configuration is easiest for them to read. But that only works for those who still have some sight. So my offhand suggestion - and keep in mind that I'm not an accessibility expert or even close - is, if you're going to make changes to your site, to implement alt text and skip navigation and so on; that makes speech-based browsing much easier. (I've helped a blind friend use speech browsing before, so I can say this: it can be absolutely impossible to make sense of perfectly ordinary sites if you can't see. And others can work perfectly well; it's weird what works and what doesn't.)

Actually, the last time I checked, there were a couple of nifty sites that checked URLs for accessibility barriers. Running those is fun even if you don't use the results.

Are you sure I can't tempt you into some other fandoms? I'd love to see what you'd dig up in the wodnerful world of rps.

I can be easily (tragically, pathetically easily) tempted into passive membership in a fandom; in other words, it's easy to get me to the point where, although I'm not aggressively seeking stories in a fandom, I'll happily read any I come across and rec any I think are great. It's harder to get me to be so involved that I search for stories in the fandom and make an effort to stay current in it - the Fandoms I Have Loved level of involvement, in other words.

However, I've so far been completely unable to cope with RPS. I keep waiting for that boundary to collapse (because, you know, if there's one thing fandom always does, it's tromp over every standard you thought you had), but my RPS squick has so far stayed strong. It's a total mystery to me.

But, hey, if you've got any specific fandoms you'd like to mention, go for it. I'm always fascinated by what my LJ friends read, even if I can't go there.
(no subject) - cupidsbow on March 9th, 2005 03:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - imkalena on March 10th, 2005 10:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cupidsbow on March 17th, 2005 12:03 am (UTC) (Expand)