Thinking about the thing I just reblogged on tumblr discussion (public vs private) reminded me of a thought I’ve had before, that social interaction on tumblr reminds me in some ways of social interaction on early fanfiction.net, not so much in the way it happens but the overall culture of fan people hacking a system not really meant for communication/discussion into a social hangout spot.
Because early ff.net was definitely used that way. It wasn’t meant for it, but since it was one of the only places online where a lot of people from different fandoms congregated in the same place (and also one of the few places where people who were new to a particular fandom could find other like-minded fans) you had a lot of people using it that way. So you got an ongoing back-and-forth between comments and author’s notes; you had discussion in the comments, not specifically story-related but also, say, over an actor’s eye color or the finer points of characterization in a particular episode or whatever; you had authors soliciting input via comments, using their author’s notes to soapbox on the latest developments in canon, or posting chapters of long stories that were just commentary/reaction to reader input — blog posts, basically; you had stories designed along choose-your-own-adventure lines; you had people using their author’s notes to drive traffic/conversation to their website, blog, or mailing list elsewhere, and so forth.
The difference, I guess, is that whereas tumblr more or less ignores system hacks like xkit etc, ff.net actively discouraged this kind of extracurricular discussion, and eventually changes to the system and the rules made it next to impossible for people to go on doing a lot of what they used to do. And LJ got big around that time, so people decamped en masse for that because it was clearly superior to ffn for having conversations (though ffn hung onto a culture of long, chatty author’s notes for a really long time). But it’s just interesting to me because tumblr does remind me of it, a little bit, even though the overall culture and the kinds of discussion are different.
|me:||that scene was so painful|
|me:||that scene made me actually physically cry|
|me:||that scene was emotionally scarring|
|me:||better rewatch it 800 times|
what do people who aren’t obsessed with fictional characters do with their lives
Fandom is knowing that, across the globe, hundreds of other people are screaming ‘NO FUCK YOU’ at their televisions and curling up on the floor and crying at exactly the same moment as you are.
"who do you pair that character with?"
happiness. life. being happy. not being dead. i want them to be alive and safe. and happy. that’s what i’m getting at. that is the direction this is going in. that’s my only wish
Do you guys ever think about how lucky we are?
We get to read novels that other people will never know existed. We get to know authors before they hit the mainstream.
We get feedback from like-minded people who are 90% of the time gushing over how much they love our work.
We get to watch ourselves grow as writers, laugh and cry with our favorite characters in ways most people will never get to experience, and discover new writers who become our friends.
Fan fiction RULES.
so my roommate melissa works part-time at a thrift shop pricing donations and she happened to come across this gem
and bought it for me because she is a good friend
it’s signed, framed and dated 1976
this is framed ot3 fanart from 1976
it is now hanging on the wall in our living room for everyone to see
life is full of so many wonders
my soul is a dog
in a hot car
on a summer day with the window
please for the love of god come back to gchat
you’re in a car with a beautifu —
fuck this richard siken shit
i just want to talk about mpreg clone watersports with you
YOUR GCHAT ICON SAYS YOU ARE THERE
IT’S MOTHERFUCKING GREEN
GREEN AS THE ISLES OF IREFUCKINGLAND
BUT YOU HAVEN’T YOU RESPONDED TO MY MESSAGES
I HATE THIS
WHY DO WE LIVE SO FAR APART
WHY IS EVERYTHING IN LIFE TE — oh there you are, you’re typing at me, you were getting food, how was my day, did I see the thing yet?
i am sorry
but why the fuck
aren’t you on
i know, i know,
it’s like 6:30 in the morning where you are
or you’re watching your brother get married
or you’re traveling to israel
or dealing with serious real life shit that legit breaks my heart
but goddammit, i saw/read/listened to that thing last night
and if we don’t talk about it i am going to explode like a roman candle
fabulous yellow spider across the stars
tho we totally talked about how much we both hate fucking jack kerouac
did you see that tumblr post about how allen ginsberg was a grade a disgusting creep? on the other hand, i am totally changing my opinion on daniel radcliffe’s hotness
levels of headcanon:
- This is heavily supported by text/subtext and is likely what the creators intended for me to get from this
- this is sort of supported by the text and could, conceivably be what the creators intended for me to get from the text/subtext
- there is no evidence either way
- there is slight evidence against my headcanon, but I don’t care
- I’ve stopped giving a shit about canon
Do you know what fandom has done for me?
Fandom made me feel normal. Fandom taught me about myself, taught me sexuality and gender and taught me that I don’t have to listen to people when they tell me I’m too harsh on men or that my expectations are too high. It gave me people to talk to when I felt alone and it gave me a voice when I thought I didn’t have one.
But more than anything, fandom has given me fanfiction.
I’ve been writing fic since I was twelve. I wasn’t any good in the beginning - none of us are - but fanfiction and the constant feedback helped me to realize the pitfalls of my writing, the tactics I fell back on again and again.
Fanfiction taught me how to develop a world. It taught me how to develop characters as individuals, it taught me about character flaws and character strengths, and about motive and emotion and so many other things.
Fanfiction has given me a expansive vocabulary that surprises most people.
Fanfiction has allowed me to explore sexuality and gender and kinks to my heart’s desire and all without ever having to face the judgmental looks of the real world. Because I am a female and a female shouldn’t have these thoughts or urges, a “proper female” should not know about the things I know about.
You know what else fandom and fanfiction has done? It told me otherwise. It told me that I was beautiful and perfect just the way I am. I don’t need to change and I don’t need to be ashamed and anyone who makes me feel like that is an asshole.
You might not think I’m a good writer and that’s okay. On my worst days, I’d agree with you. But in my bones, I know I was born to do this one thing. I was born to write and fanfiction continues to help me develop this skill into something I can hopefully call my career one day.
Fandom is the breeding ground for the next generation of authors and screenwriters and fanfiction is the tool we use to get better.
So don’t you dare mock fandom and don’t you dare mock fanfiction because it is so much more important than your shitty television show will ever be.