tehta: (stained glass tree)
[personal profile] tehta
So, Sultry in September is in full swing now. Most people will have read their gift, and the stories most relevant to their interests (and hopefully there was an overlap) and are now poking around at all the other exciting stuff. I have done a fair amount of poking myself, and have the following (slightly contradictory) observations:

- Imagine a chart displaying all the possible (not-sibling-incestuous) Finwian cousin pairings. Now imagine marking all the pairings that have been explored in at least one story. Wow, we sure are making progress on filling in that chart, aren't we? (Or maybe I just think that because I like reading about Finrod. Guy gets around! I think the only cousins I have not seen him with are the twins.)

Someone should draw this chart. Maybe we can work on filling it in some more.

- Very, very few of the stories in this SLASH EXCHANGE are PWPs. Actually, few have very explicit sex scenes, at all: most choose to focus on character exploration, or canon commentary, or world-building, or mood, instead. And, well... I do not hear anyone complaining. Nor do people complain about the amount of het that seems to sneak in (mostly via canon.)

I think this might be a sign that most of the participants are... versatile, and also interested in far more than porn, or even romance. I know I am! The slash is all very well, but some of my best experiences in the exchange come from seeing all these different interpretations and viewpoints of the same legendarium, all right next to each other.

I wonder if it might not be nice to have a gen fic exchange? Or rather one where all pairings are allowed -- or none -- and people ask for aspects of the canon they would like to see explored, instead? I think I would love to participate in something like that. (Back to ME month has a little of that flavour, but without the extra pressure to step out of one's comfort zone.)

Date: 2013-09-04 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kenazfiction.livejournal.com
I wonder if it might not be nice to have a gen fic exchange? Or rather one where all pairings are allowed -- or none -- and people ask for aspects of the canon they would like to see explored, instead?

I like this idea. My problem (and perhaps it's only my perception) with the existing gen-fic exchanges that I've come across is that many are actively *anti*-pairing/romance of any sort, and often times there's either a subtle or completely overt anti-slash bias, wherein even mentioning a m/m pairing-- even if it's otherwise completely gen, no sex present or implied--is frowned upon. And that has always stuck in my throat.

I've really only written one exchange fic that was PWP, and that was years ago, and I hated it so much that I've effectively buried it. PWP is not my preferred mode, ever. I'd really like to have an exchange where gen fic or "low-heat" stories that still include romantic or sexual relationships are at the forefront.

As a co-mod of the Slashy Santa exchanges, I think it bears consideration, especially since the trend over the last couple of years seems to be in the direction of less Porn-Without-Plot toward Plot-Without-Porn. Maybe we could set up the exchange in such a way that there's a check box for "gen or het also acceptable." Or maybe make one of the two exchanges more geared toward the lusty stuff, and the other more geared toward the gen stuff. I'm totally open for discussion on this.

That said, it's also self-regulating in a way; people are specifically requesting plot and characterization over porn. I know I was. Perhaps because, at least in the Slashy Santa exchanges, there's a significant core of old-timers who have participated for years, and they've all read and written a whole lotta porn in that time and are looking for new challenges. Totally works for me.

Date: 2013-09-04 12:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heartofoshun.livejournal.com
the existing gen-fic exchanges that I've come across is that many are actively *anti*-pairing/romance of any sort, and often times there's either a subtle or completely overt anti-slash bias

That was definitely the flavor I encountered with a couple of exceptions. Claudio hosted a Gen Fic swap two or three years ago in which I would have felt comfortable referring to same sex relationships and although my contribution slips my mind at the moment, I suspect I did, unless, for some reason, it did not naturally come up. I never liked the rigidly slash or rigidly het fic format anyway. I like to write in a world that more generally reflects the gender roles and sexual preferences one might find in our primary world. I've written a lot of slash fics, but the characters' world was never what I had come to think of as Rivendell as a Middle-earth version of the Castro District.
Edited Date: 2013-09-04 01:07 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-04 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
Argh, I can't find the post I wanted to link to. I once re-wrote a popular song to illustrate Slashfic!Rivendell. I cannot remember ALL the lyrics, but one bit went something like:

Young Elf, there's a place you can go.
I said, young Elf, you can meet 'Dan and 'Ro.
You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time.

It's fun to stay at the Last Homely House
It's fun to stay at the Last Homely House

They have everything for young Elves to enjoy,
You can hang out with Elrond's boys ...

And, ha, I remember that swap. My fic had no slash. It did have a naked Rumil (of Lorien) in it, though.

Anyway, I think many if not most of the (active) writers I know in the Silm fandom feel similarly to you. Going by what they write, anyway.

Date: 2013-09-04 01:56 am (UTC)
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (comics → emma frost)
From: [personal profile] moetushie
Damn, that must've been why they were missing from the movies. Just too busying having sex. Some people need to adjust their priorities...

Date: 2013-09-04 03:06 am (UTC)
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
From: [personal profile] moetushie
They were probably having sex with Glorfindel.

Date: 2013-09-04 12:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
Very likely. He's like Finrod, in a way, giving blonds a bad name...

Date: 2013-09-04 01:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heartofoshun.livejournal.com
I love that song--that's perfect. It does seem like the boys-only slash fic genre (complete with the occasional woman-bashing) is not encountered as much as it was when I first came around the fandom.

Date: 2013-09-04 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
So I think my point was that I like (to write, and to read) exactly the sort of stories you describe: low-heat ones, or at least ones where heat is only one thread among many. And (going by the requests, and by the stories produced) so do some of the other writers in the exchange. So then there should be a core group of people who would be willing to participate in this sort of thing? But then, maybe we are already participating in "this sort of thing", just because of the self-regulation you mention? It's just that I find myself wanting to write prompts like, "I want to read about the refugees of Gondolin. And, er, pair up some random guys, I do not really mind whom, as long as neither one is ever described as 'the smaller Elf'."

Anyway, I do not think we should ever worry about people who are totally against romantic/sexual themes in their fanfic. We do not need them. And we're probably having more fun, anyway.

Date: 2013-09-04 03:27 am (UTC)
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
From: [personal profile] moetushie
It's just that I find myself wanting to write prompts like, "I want to read about the refugees of Gondolin. And, er, pair up some random guys, I do not really mind whom, as long as neither one is ever described as 'the smaller Elf'."

How about the blonde and the raven-haired Elf? Or maybe the Elf with the blue-black hair and the other elf with just ordinary black hair. It's very difficult.

Date: 2013-09-04 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
I once saw a fic in which Elrond was consistently described as "the Noldor". It was Elrond/GG.

Date: 2013-09-04 08:16 pm (UTC)
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
From: [personal profile] moetushie
I literally laughed out loud at this. If being the High King of the Noldor doesn't qualify you to be 'the Noldor' I don't know what could... (Or maybe Gil was Cirdan's secret love child there?)

Date: 2013-09-05 01:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kenazfiction.livejournal.com
I was thinking it they should all be variations on "the large Elf." "The muscular Elf," "the brawny Elf," "the statuesque Elf," "the robust Elf." If I wasn't so braindead, I'd totally do a crackficklet, but I don't think the humor center in my brain is firing on all cylinders, currently. Or the writing center, for that matter.

Date: 2013-09-04 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heartofoshun.livejournal.com
I notice the bias shifting away from the story has to have sex and preferably a moderately happy ending. I'm still working on mine (sadly, I posted as a WIP--is going to be a novella, I guess--I hope to finish on the short side of that form). But, so far, it really does ride on the cusp of being a true Gen fic (sex exists, but it is off screen, or talked about, but no explicit sex scenes yet or planned ones for me).

It is not, as Kenaz notes above, the old school Tolkien Gen Fic, which had the distinct implication, if not rule, that sex was verboten. I missed an obvious spot early in my story that would have led to one of the semi-mandatory fairly explicit sex scenes I would have inserted earlier in my career of writing slash fics, especially for fic swaps. Hmmm. I just did not think it was necessary or would further the storyline or add much, if anything, to characterization at that point. Oh, well. Mine will never be anybody's wank fic!

Neither are there as many purely romantic stories in the sense of following the formula of: 1) come together, 2) a little conflict, 3) more than a little UST, and 4) bam! a sex scene, followed by 5) happily ever after. I always wondered about those anyway. If people do not read romance novels in general, what was the appeal of romance-novel genre in fanfiction? Not that I have not written any. I have.

Bad timing to talk to me about fic swap. I had a terrible time with this one. Like I said--over 15,000 words and still writing (and I am a slow writer).

Edited Date: 2013-09-04 12:44 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-04 02:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
But don't lots of people read romance novels? I don't, unless Jane Austen and the Charioteer count, but then I have a small, shriveled heart.

No but seriously, maybe I am a terrible example -- and maybe this is related to me being a writer? The stories that truly get to me are the ones that feed my imagination and make me want to continue them in my own head. If a couple gets married and settles down in a cottage with nice curtains, well, that is that -- no further creativity necessary, yawn. The same thing happens when a couple has perfect sex that fulfills them fully as individuals. I need to be left with a little tension, or ambiguity, or uncertainty after the story ends. Then I can fantasize nice endings for the deserving.

I guess this is why tragic couples like Maedhros and Fingon are so very attractive. (M/F sexytimes can be awesome, but stories that have very little of that, but ratchet up the tension between those two, can be even better.)

That said, I just wrote a happy ending for Finrod and Amarie, so maybe I am talking rubbish.

Date: 2013-09-04 02:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heartofoshun.livejournal.com
I avoid romance novels. Read few when I have found them lying around in a coffee room in an office and I was desperate for something to read on the subway. They all run together in my head (even the supposedly better writers in the genre).

Date: 2013-09-04 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heartofoshun.livejournal.com
Never mind me. I always complain about fic swaps or filling prompts and then, in the end, often participate.

Date: 2013-09-04 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
Gah, have you seen my recent posts? So full of whining. And my story was < 6k. You have my fullest sympathies.

I think you can relax about your fic, btw. You gave your recipient plenty to read; anything now is just extra fun. And surely you will enjoy writing it, if you take the time to savour the experience?

Date: 2013-09-04 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heartofoshun.livejournal.com
Thank you. I feel much more relaxed now. And my recipient was very gracious. So, hopefully it will come more easily now that the hardcore pressure is off.

Date: 2013-09-04 03:06 am (UTC)
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (elves → galadriel)
From: [personal profile] moetushie
I started writing in fandom for the porn. I mean, I was hovering in the edges for ages and then a Porn Battle happened and I found myself writing about Caranthir having secret sex with a wayward Arafinwean. (And so a pattern emerged... *steeples fingers*)

I genuinely do like writing porn in this fandom, I'm not sure why. Maybe because it's fun to go a little overboard in physical descriptions. I mean, elves probably do have bright eyes and luminous skin and nice teeth... (Actually, not sure the last part. It's possible that no one had nice teeth.)

I don't know if any of my stories are, as Oshun says, wank fodder. I'd be amused if they were though I don't really want anyone to tell me they are. Some depths are best left unplumbed.

That being said! I would love a gen (or at least not strictly slash) exchange for the Silm fandom. (The LoTR gen, not so much.) I think matching would be hard, though? You could do it Yuletide-style, with nominating characters, I guess. I don't know. /never modded anything in her life.

Date: 2013-09-04 04:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
I am not sure it counts as porn unless it's someone's wank fodder. Otherwise, it might be only erotica, or "realistic writing." But in any case, it's something that is missing from most of my non-fannish reading materials.

I don't know how I feel about writing it. It is a little excruciating, but then a lot of writing is...

Date: 2013-09-04 03:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anna-wing.livejournal.com
I'd be happy to dust off my old Maedhros/Thuringwethil WIP for something like that.

Date: 2013-09-04 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
Why not dust it off, anyway?

Date: 2013-09-05 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anna-wing.livejournal.com
I'm in-between laptops at the moment, so it will have to wait a bit until the new ones with Windows 8.1 are available.

Date: 2013-09-04 12:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wulfila.livejournal.com
From the perspective of someone who is currently a mere reader, I like the idea of a gen/any or no pairings fic exchange a lot (but then, "slash" per se has never been a major selling point to me - the slash corner of the fandom merely seems to be the place where many of the good writers are).

Date: 2013-09-04 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
It also happens to be where most of the readers are...
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