Tag Archives: what i’m reading

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.

What We Deserve by Kerry Freeman

I’m flailingly excited about this. I NaNo’d with my good friend Kerry Freeman last year, and her NaNovel, What We Deserve, is being released on October 25th.

Hearing about What We Deserve and reading snippets of it while it was in progress has made me very very eager to read the finished product when it comes out. I can’t wait!

I don’t like BDSM stories

Disclaimer: This post is about my own personal feelings about BDSM in fiction, whether fanfiction or original, published fiction. Obviously I’m not a real life practitioner, so obviously I have no first hand knowledge, so obviously I don’t know shit. I have, however, read real life accounts of BDSM lifestyles and relationships and done my internet research. And I’ve read several fanfictions and original published books where BDSM is a theme. I’m not the kid who says ‘I don’t like that’ when it’s never passed my lips. It has. I’m likely in the same place as many writers of BDSM stories (note I didn’t say all, just many).

The weather is crappy today. Wind, rain, just a normal Hicksville winter weekend. But it’s making the internet very patchy. So I figured I’d use the time to blog (gotta love a desktop blogging app).

Bit of a random topic. This isn’t a rant, or a snark, just something I find myself explaining to people over and over again. I regularly get rec’d stories that are flat out BDSM or have BDSM themes, and I generally say thanks but no thanks.

And I’m met with disbelief, or ‘oh but this is good and you will like it’ or some reason why this one isn’t the kind of BDSM I don’t like and I’d love it if I would only give it a chance. Or, and this made me giggle, it’s a spankfic, not BDSM at all ;)

Don’t get me wrong, I love kink of all kinds. I love to be tied up and spanked, if hubby is so inclined. I have no problem whatsoever with BDSM practices or lifestyles. I have a folder in my porn directory with all manner of kinky shit within.

He’s beautiful, no? Definitely one of the mildest in my kinky shit folder, this one, but I’m not really a hard core porn poster, so the rest can stay right where it is for now.

There are just some BDSM fics I can read, and some I can’t. Mostly (I’d say 90-95%) they fall into the can’t box. For the very few that fall into the can box, the B&D, D/s, M/s, S&M, spanking, or whatever comes under the BDSM umbrella happens within a loving, committed, monogamous relationship where both partners are equals. And it isn’t 24/7. And there is very little angst.

Yes, that’s right, I can only do BDSM if it is as fluffy as fuck. Weird, huh? I know. If you know me at all, you’ll know that I don’t usually do fluff at all. And I love my angst. But chuck a spanking in with that beautiful pain and I’m scrabbling to get the fuck out of there.

So, there you have it. So if you’re gonna rec a fic to me that has any tiny inkling of BDSM or related themes, take that into account, and if I say thanks but no thanks, don’t try to talk me round. Believe me, I know what I like.

Now, if you wanna rec me some dirty wolf-form puppy loving, go nuts ;) Yes, I cringe at stuff most people don’t bat an eyelid at, but happily read that which causes others to throw up in their mouths. What can I say? I’m a little strange.

Oh, I think I’ll just chuck in an example of BDSM that I can read and did love (once I got past the first couple difficult chapters). Walk Away by hidingfromsomeone. Sweet, fluffy, loving, very low angst, and the sub gets to fuck the Dom when they’re not in a scene :)

The CarlWard Contest

(oops, yes, I’m blogging again, sue me, just don’t email or tweet me at vampireisthenewblack, cos I’m still not checking them till Feb)

I never thought I’d see it, to be honest. My favourite pairing, Edward/Carlisle, has an entire contest devoted to it! Apparently it’s Capricorn75’s favourite, too (love, we should have been talking a long time ago!), and she, like me, despairs at the lack of quality E/C out there, so she’s organised this contest.

I’m very excited.

The CarlWard Contest on FFn

2-12k, anon, deadline Feb 25.

Of course I’m hoping to see lots of vamp E/C, canon, in character, wink wink, nudge nudge, eternally grateful ;)

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?

Make the Yuletwi’d Gay

The Make the Yuletwi’d Gay slash fic exchange stories got posted Christmas day (well, boxing day for me, for I am future-girl), and I cannot even put into words how excited I was about it. Both seeing the fic I wrote up there (nope, can’t tell you which is mine till 1st Jan), and the fic written from the prompt I gave.

Now I wish I could remember what my prompt was specifically. Something about Edward/Alec, canon or AU, stick to vamp canon religiously and don’t make Alec out to seem older than he was when he was turned :D

Or something.

Anyway, some lovely lovely person wrote Numb for me. I was so damn pleased, and I just cannot wait to find out who it was!

Funny thing is, by complete accident, Mothlights posted a very similar prompt to mine, so there is not only one, but two, very lovely Edward/Alec AU slash fics there! Her prompt resulted in A Very Different Gift.

Only a couple more days till we find out who wrote which! And, of course, I can’t wait to post mine on FFn, it’s been months and I have serious fic-postage withdrawals.