Friday, November 21, 2003

I promised jemima I would come up with 10 unpopular things, despite my great dislike and the fact that the last time Liz Barr, who apparently is to blame for this, published her manifesto, I got flamed. Well, RJ got flamed along with me, so there's some consolation in that. But first, a little anecdote from work yesterday. A co-worker asked me how much it was to send a regular-size letter. The conversation played out as followed:

Me: 37 cents

Him: So this is enough? (holds up envelope with two stamps on it)

Me: That's more than enough. You bought a round-trip stamp. (I start giggling). It's going to get there and come on right back. (more giggling)

Maybe you had to be there.


As promised, 74 cents worth gives you 10 Unpopular Opinions:

Note: the word 'you' is used generically and is not meant to refer to any particular place/person/thing/vegetable/animal/fandom/story/mailing list/message board/email.

1. I don't prefer slash fic. Not choosing to voraciously read and write slash fic doesn't make me homophobic.

2. I don't like Fuhq Fests. Really. I don't. For me to accept a pairing, I have to at least see some signs that the characters know each other. If it's not canon that they know each other, then the author has to have a logical and compelling set-up. If not, then it's just original fiction that just happens to featured trademarked names for the characters.

3. Fandom grudges are silly. Please. It's not important enough to get upset over. Don't like something/someone? Move on. No need to spend time and energy flaming etc. The amount of time and energy that goes into perpetuating some of these hate fests could go into writing more fic!

4. Drabbles and flash fiction are killing fandom. Whatever happened to stories at least 1000 words long? And while I'm on the drabbles, most of them aren't good. Just because it's only 100 words doesn't make it good. You need to have a beginning, middle and an end, just like all regular 100+ word stories. And since I'm casting stones, I might as well admit that with one exception, my drabbles aren't any good either.

5. FB is not a requirement of fandom. It's a perk of fandom. This is an important distinction. If you're writing for the promise of FB, you're writing for the wrong reasons.

6. Read FAQs and list rules. If you mess up and get chastised because you didn't follow the rules, that's not anyone's fault but your own. Deal with it.

7. Muses exist. They talk. They move fingers on a keyboard. They just happen. Mine doesn't have a name like jemima's does, but I know what it feels like when she's here.

8. Beta readers are good. It doesn't matter how talented a writer you are or how much wonderful FB you get, beta readers can make you better. Don't post without one. And yes, grammar/spelling/punctuation does matter. Believe it or not, if you cannot take the trouble to correctly spell the characters' names, I can't be troubled to actually read the story.

9. Meta? So 2001. I really, really don't want to read an essay on why you write slash or why original fiction is so much harder to write then fanfiction and style versus substance, ad nauseum. We like nothing more than navel gazing, but heck, thanks to the bellybutton dance of Glass Onion and Zendom, has anything been said or ranted about we haven't already heard? Chances are if you think it's an original take on a subject, take another think: it's probably not. The next time you want to meta, fic instead!

10. Fandom is like high school. It's inherently unfair. The trick is to find a part of fandom that feels the least unfair to you and stay there. In other words, yes, the social strata exists, and some will be BNFs and others won't be. There's no need to meta on forever on the inequalities forever and ever. Accept it and move on.

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