Category Archives: Meta

Why I’ll Never Pull My Fic

Pull: to remove one’s own fanfiction stories from fanfiction archives for any reason.

Pull2Pub: to remove one’s own fanfiction stories from fanfiction archives with the intent to commercially publish said stories.

I just want to say it, because it seems to be the assumption that an author will pull his or her fic at some point.

I will never pull my fic.

I’ll never Pull2Pub for many reasons:

I think it’s wrong to profit from someone else’s intellectual property unless permission is expressly given, and when Steph allowed fanfiction to be written using her world and her characters, she wasn’t giving us permission to make money off it. Even with the names changed I have no right to call those characters ‘mine’. I might be ridiculously attached to a few of them, SSE Alec for example, but that doesn’t make him belong to me. Alec still belongs to Steph, even if he’s called Bob or Steve or JohnCarlisle ;)

My stories simply aren’t popular enough. In fact, according to one blog, I’m a ‘newbie’ in this fandom simply because I have no stories with reviews over 1k, regardless of the fact that I’ve been here and involved for over 2 years and have 28 Twilight fanfiction stories to my name. Sigh.

Most of my stuff is too canon and when it’s not it’s far to risqué for any publisher to touch, even the faux-publishers.

I’m too lazy to retcon my stories into true original fiction. I may as well use the energy to write a new story.

Most fics aren’t pulled to publish though.

There’s an argument for the possibility of fandom/Real Life crossover, which is admittedly scary. But when archives exist like Archive of Our Own where you can ‘orphan’ (remove all author information while still leaving the story online) your fics, it becomes unnecessary.

Fear of fic being yanked from FanFiction.net for Terms of Service violations—archive it elsewhere (and this is what I’ve seen usually happen).

Leaving fandom—When I eventually flounce (quietly, more of a fade, really, if anything), I’ll leave my fics up on both FFn and AO3. Considering the content of most of my fic, I think the safest place will be AO3 when I’m gone because it doesn’t have the restriction on MA/NC-17 fics that FFn does.

I put a shitload of hours into my writing. Why on earth, when it’s been up for so long and well received, would I want to pull it and keep it in a dusty old file on my computer that could crash and burn at any moment, never to be seen again?

I treasure every review that I get. No way would I devalue those by yanking the fics they were given for.

File Sharing

I’m aware that there are google docs and file share repositories where pdf’d fic is held when a fic has been pulled2pub or just pulled, and fic is getting archived just on the possibility that it might get pulled. Personally, I think this is fantastic in the case of Pull2Pub because charging for fanfic is bad, m’kay? I doubt very much that any of my fic is archived at these sites (see above re: I’m just a ‘newbie’ in this fandom), but I really don’t want to see it end up there. No, I don’t have any right to Stephs characters but I did write that shit, you know? I want my penname on it. I want a link to my FFn or AO3 profile on it. When people are copy pasting and making pdfs there’s no guarantee that my name will even be on it, let alone a link to where readers could find more of my stuff. I’ll never pull my shit so it’s not necessary to make pdf’s of it. If you want to read offline or on an ereader AO3 has download links in all the major ebook formats AND it has all those links and authors notes and shit embedded within. I’m quite happy for these files to be file shared or archived.

The Future

Ten years from now, will people still be into twific? It’s possible. I’m reading BtVS fic from 5, sometimes 10 years ago. Think about the future though. In ten years, will I still be watching my hits and review counts on the fic I’ve written over the last 2 years? Maybe, maybe not, but if there is still demand for twific in ten years, those of us that leave our shit online will be laughing while the ‘BNA’s’ of today will be long forgotten.

Oh. I’ve heard some anti-pull2pubbers say things like ‘when an author says they’ll never pull, I’ll start counting the days until they do it’. Feel free to start counting. See you in ten years or so. Twenty. Keep track ;)


That’s Not a Book, it’s a Soap Opera!

Have you missed the snark? I’ve missed the snark. This post is, I have to say, a little bit snark, but more of an observation.

If you know me well, you know that I have little patience for the epic word counts in fanfiction. If a fic is over 100k, I side-eye it a little. No. I side-eye it a hell of a fucking lot. It’ll have to come pretty highly (and by highly, I mean rec’d by one of only a very small handful of people in fandom) recommended for me to even pick it up (it’ll also likely have to be AU and non-E/J, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post).

I’ve previously not been able to get my head around why any romance novel (as far as I was concerned, the majority of twific) would ever need to be over 100k, let alone 200k, 300k etc, but recently I’ve come to a realisation.

These epic fics aren’t romance novels at all. They’re bloody soap operas. Meandering, long lost twin, interconnected and convoluted plot, serialised soap operas.

And that’s fine. If that’s the format you get into. And really, if that’s the format you’re into, there’s no reason why the neverending, long-running, epic word count fic needs to be wrapped up. There’s a lot of that type out there. I would posit that all those with reviews in the many thousands are of this format (I’ve not noticed a true ‘novel’ format fanfiction in this fandom with that many reviews), and they are like this because they have 50, 100, etc chapters.

I don’t get into soap operas on TV. Never have, except for a very brief dalliance with Days of Our Lives when I was in high school. I think that definitely extends to my reading habits. I don’t have the patience for the meander, for the long lost sibling, for the painfully slow unfolding, or the new conflict that crops up in the middle of one chapter only to get completely resolved in the next while the larger, more important issue goes ignored chapter after chapter after chapter. I’ve started dozens of new fics only to get caught in the never ending circle of epic chapters where nothing actually gets resolved before flouncing.

I don’t read incomplete fics these days. I like a nice tidy novella or novel that I can curl up with and read in a day or two that ends with a nice resolution (not necessarily a HEA—I’m good whether you break my heart or mend it with a pretty pink bow).

But. I’m not saying that this format does not have a place. It obviously does. These epics are wildly popular, so there are obviously readers out there that identify with that format and enjoy it mightily.

I’m just not one of them.

I think it would be helpful for readers and writers to be aware of the distinction between novel and soap opera though. If you want to write a novel, keep your ultimate goal in mind and don’t wander off on some soap-opera-style tangent. If you want to write an epic, then write one! But be aware of the need to keep the reader entertained without spiralling into a series of chapters where nothing ever happens (except maybe some sex).

If you’re reading something epic that bugs you for some reason, take a look at the format and decide whether it’s really your type of story or not.


Translating Fanfiction and the Creative Commons

I was asked yesterday if I would allow my work to be translated into Spanish.

I’ve never been asked before, though a while back I found More had been translated into Russian without my permission.

But, it was attributed, linked, they weren’t claiming ownership, so after a short and ambiguous rant I shrugged it off and moved on.

Being asked permission this time means that I had to decide whether to endorse translation or not. And I really had no clue.

So I asked advice on twitter, as you do :)

There were a few hell no’s and a few hell yeah’s. I see both sides. On the one hand, my stuff gets read by a wider audience. ON the other hand, I don’t read any language but my own, so verifying that they’ve translated faithfully is pretty much impossible.

So I had more of a think about it.

Did we ask Stephenie before we threw Edward and Jasper into bed together and made them do filthy things to each other? No. We did not. Sure, she ‘allows’ fanfiction or whatever, but she doesn’t endorse it, and I’m sure she probably doesn’t agree with half the stuff we do to her characters—and I’m not just talking about the buttsecks.

But we do it and we don’t feel bad about doing it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about fanfiction lately too. As in, fanfiction of my fanfiction. I’ve fanficced my own fanfic (Déjà Vu) and it got me to thinking about how I’d feel about others fanficcing my boys. The answer? Ecstatic. I’d love to read what others might do with them. I’d totally ‘allow’ authors to fanfic my fanfic.

But why should I have to ‘allow’ it? Once again, did the writer of the first Twilight fanfiction ask Steph if they could mess with her characters?

I bet they didn’t.

My fanfiction is the product of someone else’s intellectual property. What right do I have to say someone can’t do to ‘my’ boys what I did to Steph’s?

None.

As far as I’m concerned, anyone can fanfic my shit. They can translate it into whatever language they like. Yeah, I’d like to be contacted, but only out of curiosity—not for any kind of permission. I might want to read it. I might want to link to translations.

I will say this: by giving this freely to anyone, I don’t have to endorse it.

Does the fact that someone writes kiddie porn using Steph’s characters reflect badly on her? Maybe if you’re an idiot. Likewise I won’t accept responsibility for what someone might write using my characters, or my story as a base.

I’m going to license all my fanfiction using the following Creative Commons license:

Creative Commons License
This work of fanfiction is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

That means anyone can download it, share it, fanfic it, translate it, remix it, as long as they give credit, don’t make any money off it, and apply the same license to any derivative work (click the link to get an official explanation). Which apart from the first two is pretty much what we do when we write fanfic. I get to specify how I want my attribution (web link to my blog or FFn profile, thanks), it’s easy to understand and I won’t have to recite a long list of do’s and don’ts next time someone asks.

Problem solved.

So. Take my shit. Do what you will. Give me credit. Don’t make money. License it the same.

You might think that the NonCommercial part of the license is a bit overkill, after all, you can’t make money off fanfiction, can you?

Bwahahah! It’s there because I’m vehemently opposed to pull-to-publish. Fat chance anyone would do something like that with my stuff, but it’s the principal ;)


And you lot thought I was a canon nazi ;)

This is not a canon.

A nice thick shaft and some big balls.

Me, I’m actually very forgiving when it comes to canon. I have to be, because I slash. If I want to slash Edward pre-Twilight (which I’ve done a fair bit), in order to be canon-compliant, I have to assume that Edward was lying to Bella in the meadow. Which I’ve always seen as being quite feasible, because honestly, is he really going to tell his 17 year old virginal human girlfriend that he was shagging his ‘father’ way back in the day?

Yeah, nah (<—that’s kiwi, that is).

As I interact more with some of the vampfic authors around that aren’t strictly slash writers, I’m coming to realise that my own canon standards are pretty lax. Lacking even. They likely look at me like I look at twi-vamps that bleed ;)

I’m okay with that, because I write slash. I like writing slash. I don’t have a particular issue with cheating in fics (yeah, I’m a minority there, I know) as long as it’s not too far fetched, so I’ll happily imagine Emmett and Edward screwing on their hunting trips, Jasper driving Edward mad with lust using his gift, Carlisle and Edward unable to let go of the relationship they had before Esme came along, and Edward and Jacob sucking each other off in the tent unbeknownst to sleeping Bella ;)

I’ve said it before. I don’t give a rats arse about canon pairings ;)

Timeline, yeah. Mythology (SM’s world) hell the fuck yeah (almost a non-negotiable when I’m writing, even if I’m way AU). But pairings? Meh. As long as no one breaks up or dies and it all fits with the Bella POV we were given in the four books of the Saga, I’m entirely comfortable with calling my shit canon.

I don’t own the illustrated guide or whatever it’s called. I don’t pay much attention to Steph’s ‘personal correspondence’ or interviews or whatever. It’s donkey’s since I bothered looking at Midnight Sun. I’ll concede that within the AH and/or slash corners of the fandom, I’m considered a little extreme. But me? Apparently not a canon nazi ;)

What got me thinking about it is The Canon Tour. solareclipses is bringing us a series of contests focusing on canon and AU fic. If you thought writing canon within the VampSlash contest was a challenge, slashing for The Canon Tour is gonna be very, very challenging. You’re likely going to be hard pressed to pull off an Edward/Jasper in this contest. I couldn’t do it. For a start I’m too lazy to lay down the backstory ;)

Honestly, it freaked me out a little. Me, canon nazi, not being able to write for a canon contest? Unthinkable!

It’s totally possible. Totally doable. Lots of mysterious years and mysterious characters to play with. If only I had the time *sigh*

There’s another canon contest going on right now, The Cullen Swingers contest. Must be canon, must be vamp, must be Cullens, must be shagging someone other than their own spouse, but I think PJ is a little more relaxed than even me about monogamy (in fiction!) :)

So I figure between those two vastly different contests anyone can write themselves a bit of canon slash.

Me, I’m trying to figure out where I’ll fit best.

(and don’t forget to vote in The Twifestivals!)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Vamp’s Pet Hates

Okay, please don’t lynch me. I will say in advance that if you are in the habit of doing any of the following things, if what I have to say hurts your feelings, I’m sorry for that, but I’m not sorry for disliking any of these habits/clichés.

First Person Point of View Switch

This one is almost an insta-flounce for me these days. It annoys me so much that it makes it very hard for me to continue reading what may otherwise be a very enjoyable story.

What it is: The narrator changes in the middle of a chapter or one shot, usually denoted by ‘BellaPOV’ or similar at the switch.

Why I hate it: I’ve spent all this time in Edward’s head. I like it there. I don’t want to suddenly be thrust into someone else. At best it pulls me out of the story. At worst I end up utterly confused as to who is telling the story.

What to do instead: If you absolutely cannot do it in one POV, use third person (but don’t head-hop). If you absolutely must write in first person, switch only at chapter breaks, and then only if you absolutely have to.

I’m not fucking perfect: I have a WIP with a POV switch at chapter break. I’m determined to one day finish it, but to be honest, I kinda hate it now because I don’t know who I am.

Where I’ve read it done well: Breaking Dawn. One POV switch, at not just a chapter break, but a ‘book’ break, and it was for a bloody good reason. Another switch back into the original POV at a similarly appropriate time. Also BRONZE by mothlights for very similar reasons.

Quotes From the Books or Movies Inserted into Fic

Eyeroll-inducing if it actually fits seamlessly into your story. Insta-flounce if it doesn’t fit, ‘cause it sticks out like a sore thumb and makes me go O.o <—that’s my WTF face, by the way.

What it is: “Say it. Out loud. Say it!” You with me? Good.

What to do instead: Just don’t. God, please don’t. Unless you can surprise me with an original twist on the line, come up with your own damn material.

I’m not fucking perfect: Actually I do this all the time, but I steal from Joss Whedon when I quote.

Where I’ve read it done well: All My Secrets by venis-envy.

I stood to introduce myself properly to the lady. "Um…sophomore, design major, Jasper Whitlock, ma’am."

Head Hopping in Third Person Limited

Way to confuse the vamp. “Hang on, who was having dirty thoughts? Was it him… or the other guy?” *reads whole paragraph again*

What it is: The characters head that we are in switches without notice in the middle of a scene, paragraph… or sentence? O.o

What to do instead: Look up third person limited and third person omniscient. Use one or the other. Not both. Switch at scene breaks or at the very most, paragraph breaks. Being aware of whose head you are in and being focused on that characters thoughts, feelings, and experiences should keep you focused. If you get distracted easily, get a beta who can see head hopping to help you fix your drafts.

I’m not fucking perfect: Actually, I kinda am. I’ve never head-hopped as far as I know, though I rarely write third person. My NaNo ‘09 might be a bit dizzy-making with the switches in POV from scene to scene over six different characters though.

Where I’ve read it done well: Sorry, I’ve got nothing.

Telling Me Stuff I Already Know

I have read the Twilight Saga. That’s kinda why I’m here.

What it is: Unnecessary exposition is what it is. Anything that details events that happened in canon at length is utterly yawn-worthy. I don’t understand why anyone would waste time re-writing it when we’ve already read it.

What to do instead: Give me just barely enough information to indicate when in canon we are so I know the jump off point of your fic. Barely. Same thing works for recalling or referencing previous events. Don’t assume your readers haven’t read the saga, and don’t assume they are completely stupid.

I’m not fucking perfect: I could be. I’m an inordinately lazy writer, and so anything I don’t have to write, I don’t. If there’s one of my fics where I do this, I’d love to have it pointed out to me.

Where I’ve read it done well: Nope, drawing a blank.

*ducks* @BbEyedGirl made me do it. I’m bound to offend someone with this post, but it says over there –> somewhere that I’m opinionated and fic-snarky, so, umm, yeah. In the words of Joss Whedon (via Cordelia Chase): Tact is just not saying true stuff.


Since when do Twivamps bleed?

A little note on this post: When I refer to ‘canon’ here, I’m talking about the Twilight vampire mythology as it exists in the Twilight universe, canon meaning ‘as prescribed in the source material’. This post has nothing to do with canon events, or canon pairings.

Yeah, alright, I’m a canon details nazi. I know it. I’m interested though—is this a choice on the part of a fanfic author, to make the vampires have blood? Or…and here’s where I’ll get told to stop being such a meany, do these authors who write Twilight AU vamp fics, just not realise that Stephenie’s vampires don’t have blood of their own?

From the Twilight Lexicon page on vampire physiology, Twilight vampires have:

“no blood of their own”

and

“Assuming something is capable of cutting through a vampire’s flesh,…there would only be blood if he/she had freshly drunk blood (and drunk a lot). Otherwise there would only be a bit of venom.”

And this isn’t even upheld in the books. In Eclipse, when Riley is torn apart, he comes off in stony chunks. When Bella first sees him on the mountain, she notices his eyes are

“a more vivid red than I had ever seen before”

Which would suggest he’d fed very recently. Of course the argument could be made that he was a newborn…but this is the guy that came into Charlie’s house to steal Bella’s shirt and left without killing Charlie. Surely one can assume that he is old enough so that he doesn’t have the default newborn scarlet eyes?

And only minutes later, when Seth tears a bit off him,

“Something white and hard smacked into the rocks by my feet.”

No blood.

So when I come across a story where one of the vampires bleeds, I either assume:

  1. the author isn’t a fan of Steph’s vampire mythology and wants to insert their own
  2. the author isn’t terribly well versed in the Twilight universe

In the case of the former, I can forgive this, but I want to know first! It really does pull me out of an AU story if suddenly the vamps are bleeding all over the place. So put something in your A/N so that I expect it.

In the case of the latter, well, this is gonna come off bitchy, but hey, a spade is a spade. Have you even read the books? Yeah, okay, James bled a little in the Twilight movie, but the movies aren’t canon, especially not the first one! In the Eclipse movie, the vamps don’t bleed. Read the books again. Notice these things. Open the books while you’re writing, even if it’s just to clarify a point.

I like my Twific canon and AU because I like these vamps, I like this universe. If I wanted to read about vampires who bleed all over the place, I’d be reading in some other fandom.

For the record, it’s not just blood. The Twilight Lexicon is an adequate source of some information, but they are a little out of date, perhaps since the release of Breaking Dawn (the book!). Nothing will replace good old fashioned research, which, when we’re talking about Twilight vampire canon, is contained entirely within four (five, if you count Bree) and a half books. Read them. Flick through them. Get your sticky notes and bookmark those bastards. Hell, if you’re not sure on your canon, get yourself a canon nazi to pre-read (wondering why betas don’t pick up on this more—I know when I beta, I’ll comment on such a thing).


The All-Human Phenomenon in Twific

The weirdest thing to me when I entered the Twilight fic fandom, was the enormous number of AH (all human) fanfics. I’d only ever been in one other fandom (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, many many years ago), and AH was there, but it was so minimal, and I never read it. I didn’t see the point. I was in the fandom because I loved Joss’s world, the vampires, the demons, the characters, yes, but they never would have been anything like what they were without all the fantasy and supernatural that went with it.

I made an observation on twitter today, having just posted a canon story yesterday, and looking at the review counts on some of my stories.

My canon fics get less than half the average reviews as my AH E/J stuff on FFn, yet I think the canon stuff is better.

It started quite an interesting discussion on why AH fics are more popular.

LyricalKris suggested it’s because so few authors know how to write the Twilight vampires. That’s true, yeah, it is rare to find canon and AU (alternate universe) fics where the author hasn’t taken strange liberties with the Twilight vampire canon. I’ve seen vampires who bleed, those who don’t sparkle in the sun, those without their canon gifts. In AU it doesn’t bother me, if it’s done intentionally, but out of a lack of interest or knowledge of the source material, it’s just wrong.

Thing is, I don’t really understand why it’s so hard to get these details right. You’ve read the books, right? And if you can’t remember accurately what or how, then pick up that damn book and double check.

Of course, I’m a vampire canon nazi. I remember so often back in my Buffy days, I’d be reading a fic and then Angel would start crying tears of blood. Instaflounce. (In case you’ve never watched Buffy, the Buffyverse vamps do cry, but regular tears. Blood tears is an Anne Rice thing.) You’d better not have your Twivamps crying anything, if you want me to keep reading! I’ve used dry sobs, myself, but I try not to have my boys do it too much. No one likes a girly character in a slash fic ;)

But, the mere inability—or fear, as I’ve often heard expressed—to write accurate vampires can’t be the only reason why there’s so much AH.

One thing I’ve heard from twifans a whole lot, even way back before I ventured toward Twilight fanfiction, was the fact that they’d never been into vampires before. A lot hated vampire fiction/TV/movies. Even resisted Twilight because of the vampires, but when they eventually caved they were hooked by…Edward? The romance? The characters?

Now, this is a valid reason why AH fic could be so popular in our fandom.

I’m assuming that those of us who were into vampires and fantasy and supernatural before we read Twilight (I only read it because of the vampires), are the ones who are reading and writing the canon and AU fics?

After our wonderful discussion today, I figure in a lot of cases it’s how we see the Twilight story that affects what kinds of fics we like to read or write. To some, it’s a love story between a girl and a boy, and the fact that one of them is a vampire doesn’t much come into it. To others (or perhaps I should just speak for myself), it is the conflict in the relationship between a human, and a vampire who thirsts for the human’s blood.

Angst, man, fuck yeah!

Of course, being a slash writer, I don’t write about a vampire that thirsts for the blood of a human girl. I write other types of forbidden or doomed to failure relationships. Mortal enemies and father figure stuff. I’m comfortable with my deviancy :D

So. This is what I’ve learnt today.

  • I prefer AH = I came for the romance, not the vampires.
  • I prefer Canon/AU =  Give me the vampires!

Of course we aren’t all going to fall into one camp or another. There’s a lot of crossover. I’ve written AH (but admittedly the only reason I did it that first time was to have somewhere to post and get feedback on a piece of original fiction smut – yeah, I changed the names), I’ve written a lot of AH. But I’m not really interested in reading or writing it now. I love SM’s vampires. They’re pretty unique, as vampires go. I love Edward with the back-story Steph gave him. And I’ve become rather fond of her wolves, as well (I never had any interest in shapeshifters before).

In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m in the vampires camp, which is why I put together the Canon/AU Slash List. Because AH fic is so prevalent here, it can be hard to find the good vamp and wolf fics among them.

I do feel so much better now that I understand a little more why AH might be so popular around here. Thanks so much to my twitter friends, LyricalKris, ICMezzo, CereuleanBlue, evilgiraFF, hidingfromsome1, and HammerHips for talking to me about it!

So, where do you sit on the scale? Strict canon, all human, or somewhere in between? Why do you think you read/write the genre you prefer?