Tag Archives: Fandom

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 ;)


Are You Planning to Continue?

I get reviews like this a lot. Probably because I write a lot of one shots and a lot of ambiguous endings or stories that don’t end with Happily Ever After. In most cases, I don’t continue and have no plans to continue. The reaction I tend to get when I state this fact is disappointment and more pleas to continue.

Who has the time? Not me. Nor do I, in most cases, have the inclination. When the story is done in my head, it’s done, and to pull it out again would mean forcing it, and that’s no fun. Fanfiction has to be fun, or why the hell am I doing it?

Obviously there’s people out there who do see that story going places, and I’m absolutely fine with them taking it places if they are so inclined. What I’m saying is, if you want to see it continue, write it yourself! You have a vision, do something with that vision!

All my fanfic is licensed with Creative Commons. You might have seen this or some variation of it on my fic wherever I post:

Creative Commons License
Fanfiction by vampireisthenewblack is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

That up there means, among other things, that anyone can, provided they meet a few conditions, write fanfic of my fanfic. Without asking. Without getting permission. All you have to do is give credit, don’t pull-to-publish, and allow others to fanfic your fanfic of my fanfic ;)

So don’t ask me if I’m planning to continue. Ask yourself if you are ;) Give it a try.

For the record, this doesn’t just apply to one shots. Any of my fics are fair game. Even the unfinished ones. Anyone want to complete Beautiful Dangerous?


Procrastination in the form of H/D Holidays

So I’m supposed to be immersed in rewrites and edits for the two twikinkfest fics I claimed prompts for and which are due in only 8 days… but… Yeah. I’m not. Instead, I’m working my way through the H/D Holidays fics that have been posted so far.

I’m not a terribly fast reader, but I’ve been devouring around one story per day since about the second? day of posting. They’re all good. Really good. The calibre of writing that the HP fandom is capable of continues to astound me, and when I read the hols fics last year they were all really really good too. This is one fest that brings out the quality, I think (from the perspective of someone who just kind of dithers around on the edge of HP fandom without actually being part of it).

Anyway, so far my two favourites are Humbug (A Christmas Tale) and Party of Two, if you’re looking for somewhere to start (if you’re not already buried in hols fics).

I have to say, I’m really loving the Chrome extension Kindle It, the Aldiko app on my phone, and dropbox for piss-easy getting the fic on my phone so I can read it when and where and how I want. Just saying :D


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.


I’ve Jumped Fandoms

Harry/Draco

Image by Little Phoenix ♥ via Flickr

It’s not so unusual. Lots of us write for more than one fandom, and I know many many authors who write both twific and HPfic, but I feel as if this moment is a kind of turning point for me.

I wrote completed a Harry Potter fanfiction.

Yeah, I started this fic way back… February? It’s a gift fic, for my darling venis-envy, but it took me a while as I was doing it in fits and starts, and I’d get distracted by something else, I would get disheartened (because I don’t know the canon, I’ve never written in that fandom before, I’d read something by Sara’s Girl and decide my shit wasn’t worth the paper it was written on) etc etc.

But thanks to NaNoWriMo, I completed it today. Yep, I finished my NaNo novel a few days ago, and then lost for something to make up my 50k word count, I grabbed my long neglected HPDM fic and kept on writing.

And I finished it *dances* I’m sure venis-envy is doing a little dance herself. That’s gotta be the longest wait for a birthday fic ever (I’m just gonna hide now, because I still have a WIP going on that was originally for mynameisserendipity for her birthday, and a one-shot that needs editing for sapphirescribe’s birthday. I obviously suck at birthdays).

So. Um, yeah. If you’re into Harry/Draco fics, watch this space :) I’ll probably post it as a one-shot because it’s only around 16k. It’s angsty and porny. Surprise suprise ;)

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Creating Your Own Canon: Moving from Fan Fiction to Original Fiction

My friend Kerry Freeman is having a go this week. I’m kind of in awe of Kerry half the time, this girl sold her book! She’s published! It’s all very exciting, and I’m so damn proud of her. Here, she tells us how it happened :D


For me, it started like this:

SIL: (sitting at computer, reading my latest one-shot)
Me: (biting nails)
SIL: (turns around) This is REALLY good. Why don’t you publish it?
Me: It’s fan fiction, so it’s someone else’s characters. I can’t publish it.
SIL: Then why in the world aren’t you writing something you CAN publish?

By the time I had this conversation, I’d written fan fiction for over a year. I’d completed two multi-chapter stories of my own, one multi-chapter collaboration, and a few one-shots. My life outside of work had become centered around writing about someone else’s characters, and I was convinced that I couldn’t write anything that wasn’t based on someone else’s canon. I wasn’t that creative, you see.

A few months later, I met a great group of fandom friends in Chicago to see Eclipse. Not only had I talked to these women online for a year, I’d also used them as sounding boards, betas, and collaborators for my fan fiction. The last night there, we all sat around a table at an Irish pub and talked about the movie, which quickly moved to discussing fandom and fan fiction.

When I mentioned trying to write original fiction, every one, without exception, encouraged me. They thought I could create my own characters, with their own history and quirks, and write a new story. Their encouragement gave me the confidence to really give this original fiction thing a try.

Then I did the one thing that all new writers do: I bought a crap ton of books on how to write. Every one of them told me something different. It took a while, but I finally figured something out.

You won’t find your voice or your own method in a book.

Sure, you can learn about grammar and wording and outlining and the Snowflake method. But you have to know when to put the books down and write it your way.

My time writing fan fiction was valuable in finding my voice and figuring out what works for me. I realized that I’m not a pantser. Even when it comes to writing a short story, I need to know my characters’ histories: where they came from, what they do for a living, what their hobbies are. I may never use all that information in the story, but I need to know it to know my characters.

Fan fiction also helped me find my genre. I started out writing het, and I liked it well enough. But I couldn’t write canon Bella. I had to make her tough, self-reliant. A tomboy.

Then I read my first slash. When I read Underneath and Say Something Else, I was blown away. Both stories were beautifully written, and I wanted to write like that. I also was intrigued by the different feel slash had. I found I enjoyed reading it more than het, and, when I tried my hand at writing my own slash one-shot, I found I definitely preferred writing it.

The hardest part about moving from fan fiction to original fiction is the loss of instant feedback. Every time you post a new fic chapter, you get reviews and comments from your readers. You find out quickly what works, what doesn’t, and what completely throws the reader for a loop. When you write original fiction, you generally work in a vacuum. You don’t send every chapter to a beta or post it somewhere for comments. You have to be confident that the story is going how and where you want without consistent feedback along the way.

Then again, this could be a good thing. When writing fan fiction, I often found myself wondering if I should change my vision based on what the readers seemed to want. It’s hard to stay on your path if every week people are telling you they want you to go a different way. When you write original fiction, you’re in a bubble that allows you to get what’s in your head out on the page before anyone gets a chance to sway you.

Once I put down all the writing books, I opened my head to new voices. Not Edward’s or Jacob’s. New voices of people I’d never met before. I looked at situations, every day occurrences, current events, and I tried to imagine what the people in them were thinking, why they were doing the things they were, what the small touches and glances were really communicating.

And then it happened. I saw two kids and thought, “I bet when they grow up…” Suddenly I was creating their pasts and their futures. I knew who they were going to be and who they would love. The voices I heard were new to me and were more than willing to tell me what I should write.

I was creating my own canon.

There are plenty of websites to help you write a query letter or find an agent or an editor. You’ll find lots of great people who will give you virtual hugs when you get your first rejection letter. The same people will sing from the rooftops of Twitter when you finally get a contract. You can create online critique groups of people you’ve never met in real life and who you tell your deepest, darkest fears about writing and publishing… and life in general.

But none of them can make you believe in yourself and in your own characters the way just going for it will. NaNoWriMo starts on November 1st. Make a decision that you will only write characters of your own design for one month, 50K words. Even if at the end of November you have 50K words that you never show another soul, do it. Finish it. Show yourself you can.

Who knows. Maybe, after a few months of edits, you’ll have a book someone wants to publish. I did.


KF_WhatWeDeserve_coverlg Kerry’s book was released today! It’s an m/m/m romance called What We Deserve, and you can find out more at the product page at Loose Id. Kerry’s website is here, or you can check out her blog here, and you can follow her on twitter and Goodreads.


The Very Best Thing About Fandom

Despite the occasional drama and backbiting, this is a good place to be. We get awesome stuff to read for free. We get to share our shit with hundreds of fantastic readers who give us feedback and help us improve. We meet the most amazing people that we might never have had a chance to meet.

For me, the people are by far the best thing about fandom. I wouldn’t be here without the support and love and encouragement I’ve received from so many of you. I got dragged into fandom when I was happily writing original fiction, and I stayed. It’ll be two years soon O.o

I could list hundreds of people I’ve met since I’ve been here who have influenced me in some way—but that would be epic. All for avoiding the epic, me ;) There is ultimately a very small group of fandom people that are most important to me, who keep me here, or keep me writing, or who I can trust to understand me when no one else in the world does.

Untitled

tjbaby was one of the girls who dragged me into fanfiction, and I wasn’t exactly kicking and screaming. She’s a big part of the reason I’m here. Thank you, darling! She’s also the only one of this bunch that I’ve met in real life (cos she’s the only one who doesn’t live on the opposite side of the world).

Kerry Freeman keeps trying to drag me OUT of fandom ;) I met her here though, so she belongs in my favourite fandom people post. Kerry takes the blame for getting me addicted to Junjo Romantica and fountain pens. She’s going to be the one I cling to when I finally get my shit together and finish those three original novels and attempt to get them published. We NaNo’d together last year, and while my NaNovel languishes unloved on my hard drive, hers is being published by Loose Id very soon.

Serendipity and I bonded over Antinous and deviance. I can tell that girl anything and she won’t squick. She had me reading shit I never thought I’d read. She’s my reality check, my honest to god tell me if it sucks girl, my brainstorm buddy with a wealth of crazy ideas. She’s embarking on a whole new adventure now, but she still pops in from time to time, and one day we’ll write that fic together that will blow everyone away because it’ll be that epic. I’m looking forward to it :D

Dellaterra is my beta. I only have one. She comments my shit out the wazoo, and I like it. She’s cheerleader, inspiration, and hard-ass editor all in one. In addition to being an amazing beta, her writing is impeccable. That’s why I trust her with mine. You need to read her latest slash fic, My Version of Heaven. It’s AH, it’s E/J, and it’s real. Do it now, and leave her a review.

Finally, my sweet, my heart, my venis-envy. She’s Draco to my Harry. We are the OTP. We go beyond fic-wives and fandom friends. She’s crossed over to the HP fandom and writes the most wonderful HPDM fics now and sometimes it hits me that I was there the first time she wrote twislash, and I just go O.o She is brilliant, and beautiful, and sweet, and filthy, and I love her. I love her random email subject lines and her Fucker Droid. I love her blankie tents and her not-Niki-safe tweets. I love her rants and the way she listens to mine. I love that she loves me, paranoia, snark, passive aggressiveness, tall poppy syndrome and all. No words can really convey how much she means to me. One day, chick. The blue kool aid *nods* When we check out, we check out together (before you all freak, we have a fandom-flounce-pact).