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Living Loz
For the first time ever, we're seeing it eye to eye... 
12th-May-2010 10:32 pm
Psych (Lassiter is Fabulous)
* everyone has dirty fandom secrets or guilty pleasures or unpopular opinions.
* list five of yours.
* profit (I honestly have no idea what kind of profit this means, but I felt deleting this line would ruin the meme.)

1. I often feel like I do not fit in fandom. I don't especially like id!fic, or, at least, my id is considerably different from many other people's. I find myself terminally bemused at things like wing!fic, m-preg, certain types of genderswap, aliens-made-them-do-it, a lot of radical AU, and super-sized crack. I just don't understand them.

I mean, I get them from an intellectual point of view, of course, but I've never woken up one morning and asked myself 'what if Sam were a stapler and Gene a holepunch?' I'd only ever write such a thing to challenge myself. And I regularly feel like a humourless curmudgeon for being this way, but if I am interested in something, it's generally for those traits that thing embodies, so I'm not going to watch Merlin and want a modern-day AU, part of the appeal is that it's set in a nebulously past time. I'm not going to read Dalziel and Pascoe and wonder how different the books would be were they set in a magic faerieland. I don't really want to read a story where Tony DiNozzo gives birth to quintuplets.

Bodyswap, on the other hand? Is something I enjoy rather a lot in fandoms where it's conceivably possible (I'm actually right now thinking I'd probably like a Merlin bodyswap fic, with Arthur having to be Merlin for a week and vice versa.) And I do like certain tropes like AMNESIA, or 'trapped together', 'forced to share a motel room/double bed'.

I'm very mundane, I think. I only like a small amount of fantasy in my non-fantastical texts, and when it comes to sheer volume, I only like a small number of fantastical texts. I can only suspend my disbelief so far. Also, I think I work very heavily on the notion that characters are what their experiences make them. If those experiences are outside my own perceived parameters of what they should be, I get confused and muddled. The characters, for me, are primarily what distinguish fannish writing from non-fannish. I'm not saying there aren't a lot of very, very good writers who manage to convincingly portray characters in such a way that they're still 'them' whilst having had a completely different life. (I read such a story this morning and was kind of agog the entire time.) Or that there are aren't a lot of writers who convincingly pull off wing!fic, m-preg, or aliens-made-them-do-it. But a lot of the time it doesn't work for me. Basically, I'll give it a read, but I've learnt to love my back-button.

2. Having said all of this, I don't actually read much fic at all. Usually, my fannish involvement looks something like: MASSIVE SQUEE. Hmm, I am getting lines of dialogue in this character's voice. I shall write a short story! Okay, now that I've done that, I am a little curious to see what other people write. Hey, these aren't bad. Time for more writing of my own! MASSIVE SQUEE! And from then on, I may write more, or that cycle may be over. Wanting to read fic is almost never my immediate fannish response, and it's not really something that keeps me going in a fandom.

3. Everyone knows this one: I think RTD's Doctor Who was really shit. I am reserving judgement on Moff's, but so far I have mostly enjoyed it. Yes, I have had numerous issues with it, but on the whole, it's been enjoyment. I also feel disgustingly curmudgeonly about this.

4. I sort of... hated Being Human the series. I never finished series two. I think I saw two episodes of it before I gave up. To me, it felt like the series lost almost everything that made the pilot great. I still have an icon from the pilot out of some sense of misplaced loyalty to the show that never was.

5. When I was about, er, seventeen-twenty, one of my favourite things to do of a weekend was watch A Goofy Movie. I initally wanted to watch it because I was a little bit crazily in love with Jason Marsden (not to be confused with James Marsden, who has enjoyed much more acting success, in the long-term.) Jason voiced Goofy's son Max. But I grew to love the film for what it was --- a very goofy movie. And thinking about it never fails to bring a smile to my face. So. When I discovered this yesterday, I literally jumped around my house in glee, despite being half-dead. I was a terrifying Jason Marsden fan. Thinking about how creepy I was gives me chills. And I was old enough to know better, dammit. I try to ignore those years as much as possible.

12th-May-2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
Explanation of "3. Profit", for your edification.

To be slightly more on-topic, we sort of agree on #1. I don't like AUs and I don't care for crack fic, I have philosophical objections to mpreg and I don't get wingfic. But I'm not that into bodyswap, either. :) It's not that I don't have examples of nearly all of these that I did love despite my objections, but I tend to read fanfic because I want more (and frequently better) of what attracted me to the source material in the first place.

Of course, I'm a slasher, so I inherently make no sense.

edit: lost bracket

Edited at 2010-05-12 01:19 pm (UTC)
12th-May-2010 01:28 pm (UTC)
I figured it was that kind of joke, but it's good to see where it came from :D

I like some AUs. I definitely like various different kinds of AUs where only something very small has changed.

And, you know, as a slasher, I really only go for pairings where I see copious amounts of evidence. I've said before that the platonic love has to be blatant before I'll ever consider there may be a romantic love thing going on. (This is not limited to slash. I'm this way about het too. My default setting is not shipping.)
12th-May-2010 01:21 pm (UTC)
All right, so only #5 surprised me. *g*

As to #1, I really don't like AU and for the same reason, if I fan something I actually really enjoy the *setting* and not just the characters and as I seem to have a profound weakness for the buddy cop genre for my money being cops is very much an integral part of the characters. I find this particularly difficult in the Pros fandom where there's a shed load of AU fic making them everything from desert sheiks to acrobats. As to crack!fic, we're closer than you might think. Most of the crack I've written has been to see if I could do it and how far I could push it and not for the enjoyment factor... except for Tina. I dunno how exactly but I've become very fond of the bint.

#4 -- Brace yourself... OMG YOU TOO?

Edited at 2010-05-12 01:23 pm (UTC)
12th-May-2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
I love Tina too, so, as I said before, very good writers make it work and it's not impossible for me to love crackfic, it's just not what I will search out, if I ever do search fic out at all. And yes, I have written crack purely as an academic exercise. 'Can I do this? I'll damn well try!'

4. Don't think I don't love you for that.
12th-May-2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
I think I work very heavily on the notion that characters are what their experiences make them

I'm totally with you on this one, which is why I also don't get into AUs that start with a fundamentally different premise from canon. Most of the time, the characters' life experiences would've been so different that they wouldn't have become the characters I care about, in which case ... why would I want to read about them?

I think RTD's Doctor Who was really shit.

Well, obviously I disagree here. ;)

To me, it felt like [Being Human] lost almost everything that made the pilot great.

Me too! I loved the pilot so much I couldn't even bring myself to watch the series--the cast change in the first episode disappointed me too much.
13th-May-2010 02:29 am (UTC)
Some radical AUs do work for me, though, and I never really know why.
12th-May-2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
Well, I mostly agree with everything in #1, but AUs. I kinda like them. Sometimes. In some fandoms...
Now MPreg, is the only big NONO in fics for me. Wing!fics, I don't understand. Seriously, why should I want to see a character growing wings? Except in SPN, where we have angels, so that would make sense.
Crack mostly bored me. And gender!swap... well, it depends on the fandom. SGA, yes. Jeeves & Wooster, no.
So, you are not alone in those ;)
13th-May-2010 02:26 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D
12th-May-2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
Jason Marsden! <3 man, he was adorable.

in other news, I mostly agree with your first one. I think for me, it really depends on the FANDOM, too. because there are plenty of things I love that are crazy enough on their own that adding some more crazy.. really works, but then sometimes it doesn't.

..I make no sense, basically. it can go either way. ;P (but yes--HATE AUs and such where they change the characters so much they don't even seem like the canon characters and it's like--why bother?)
13th-May-2010 01:55 am (UTC)
He was. Shame he gets so little acting work, because he was actually a decent actor too.

Regarding the first one --- see, for me it depends on the fandom too, but because I am rarely in fandoms where I think it would work, obviously I don't gravitate towards that style of fiction.
12th-May-2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
5. I2I!!! I honestly wish Powerline really existed. I'd love to have a full album of songs like I2I and Stand Out.
13th-May-2010 01:53 am (UTC)
:D :D :D

Agreed. The songs in that movie were surprisingly awesome.
13th-May-2010 12:56 am (UTC)
No comment on the opinions/secrets etc. (All five series of RTD's Who? No redeeming moments?) Definitely stealing the meme.
13th-May-2010 01:52 am (UTC)
Don't get me wrong. There are episodes I positively loved. Only two of those were written by RTD himself, though. It's just that my prevailing opinion has always been "this is a bit shit. it could be so much better, but it's not. it's shit."

13th-May-2010 05:21 am (UTC) - body swap, did you say?
A bodyswap involving Sam/Gene perhaps? *hopeful face*
I avoid most male-preg like the plague, and unless a character has wings to begin with, I'm not interested.

I just started watching Being Human. Is the first season worth watching? I'm enjoying it so far. I'm thinking I missed the pilot (I was sent a dvd) because the cast is the same so far?!
13th-May-2010 05:28 am (UTC) - Re: body swap, did you say?
I'll make exceptions. I mean, with LoM, you can probably come up with a plausible explanation (such as: it was ALL a dream... or was it?) But, usually it wouldn't work for me for LoM. I was thinking more SGA, Merlin, Harry Potter; fandoms where the magic or magical science makes it infinitely plausible.

And yes, you probably missed the pilot of Being Human. I shall say the first season is probably worth watching if you're liking it. I didn't like it, but I know many people who did.
13th-May-2010 07:59 am (UTC)
What's id!fic?

I generally agree with item #1, except for my general love for crack (but it has to make some sense and especially be in-character, because for me the amusement stems from maintaining plausibility in unusual scenarios). I read such a tiny amount of fanfic that I'm probably missing out on most of the worst examples of crackfic, though.
13th-May-2010 10:57 am (UTC)
Everything I mentioned in that first part is idfic. It's fic that, apparently, speaks to the id --- those prevalent clichés in fiction that, in some cases, have become synonymous with bad!fic, except for when really ridiculously good writers decide to play with them. It's fic that hits your kinks, basically, and I learnt a while ago that my kinks tend to be tamer than many other fans I know.
13th-May-2010 11:02 am (UTC)
Ooh, interesting! I'm not into any of those clichés, mainly because they seem to be more about fitting stories into tropes (that aren't all that interesting on their own) than working with anything intrinsic to the characters.
13th-May-2010 11:05 am (UTC)
I think that's why I don't generally like them, yeah. :D
14th-May-2010 03:29 am (UTC)
Well, I'd never even heard of wingfic before reading this blog post, so may I join you in bemusement on that one? (Also not too keen on mpreg myself, it comes very close to being a squick.)

But can you elaborate on "certain types of genderswap"? Your implied qualification sounds... intriguing. I'm not into gratuitous genderswap (like gratuitious anything, it's just not possible to get past the gimmick), but there have been one or two fics that really did it well, possibly because they avoided the cliches ("oh look! I've got tits!") and managed to say something intelligent about the characters.

Most of the things you do like, I also like (e.g. that old standby amnesia). Although I'll happily admit to enjoying AUs where perhaps one key thing has changed, and it sheds a new light on absolutely everything. This hearkens back to what so many SF writers have said over the years, i.e. that good speculative fiction is powerful precisely because it forces you to see your present-day 'mundane' reality in a fresh way. Outlandishly-OTT AUs don't do that, and consequently don't have the same power... although, if they're well written, they can still be a terrific romp.

If I had to come up with five favourite tropes (only five?), they'd be similar to yours (sorry): amnesia, 'trapped together', bodyswap, time looping/timey-wimey stuff, and humour (which I realise is unforgivably generic, but it's one of the top tags in my fanfic mems, so...).

Basically, though, I enjoy almost any trope or subgenre - angst, schmoop, gen, slash, darkfic - as long as the characters are still recognisably themselves and the story is told movingly or wittily or hawtly. (Or all three, if we're lucky!)
14th-May-2010 03:39 am (UTC)
I like genderswap in canons where it's feasibly possible, and, yeah, when it's more than cliché. When it's fun, but sort of, interrogative of gender and sex roles. But, as I said, I don't read much fic, so, while I've come across that kind of fic (due South fandom, where it shouldn't have worked for me, but it did), I don't know how much of the type I'd be interested in is available. And, really, I don't care enough to go searching. If I want that, I can always write it myself and improve my skillz in the process.

I also like AU where one significant thing has changed. And, weirdly, I seem to have a thing for WWI or WWII AUs (probably because they're generally bleak, and despite loving humour, I quite appreciate bleak things.) But I generally don't really 'get' the old standbys of High School-AU, punk/goth-AU, University-AU, Hooker-AU, Elf-AU.
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