Essays: Rants and Rambles



Feedback of any sort is always welcome. I promise not to get pissy if you notice flaws or disagree with me.

Update links will take you directly to the rant - if you want a summary first, go to the relevant section (fandom, fiction, other).



November 23, 2005

added one fandom-related essay:
LJ and Me

September 18, 2005

added two fandom-related essays:
Fanfic Discussion Is For the Readers. Deal. and
LJ Communities != Mailing lists

added links to several more offsite essays

December 2004

added four fiction-related essays:
Variety Is the Spice of Life... and I Need Some Tums
Purple Fanfic's (total lack of) Majesty
Epithets: Fandom's Designated Hitters
'Said' Is Not a Four-Letter Word
and just for fun: a list of epithets from various fandoms


Fiction-related essays | Fandom-related essays | Other people's essays


Fiction-related essays

Slash Fiction Is Like a Banquet March 15, 1999

One reader's (and writer's) hungry lament.

The idea makes the story -- not May 25, 1999

While every good writer has an imagination, not everyone with an imagination is automatically a writer, much less good at it.

'I thought this could use some work...' May 25, 1999

Honest feedback is a good thing. No matter what anyone says.

Just what does LOC mean, anyway? May 25, 1999

Slash fandom is not a group therapy session, okay?

Variety Is the Spice of Life... and I Need Some Tums December 2004

'Elegant variation' isn't as elegant as you might think.

Purple Fanfic's (total lack of) Majesty December 2004

One of the more virulent results of attempting elegant variation.

Epithets: Fandom's Designated Hitters December 2004

and just for fun: a list of epithets from various fandoms

It's better to call a spade a spade, not a sharp-pointed digging implement. That goes even more for people.

'Said' Is Not a Four-Letter Word December 2004

No one's going to be bored if your characters talk to each other in normal tones. Really. (The last of the elegant variation rambles.)

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Fandom-related essays

What Price Fandom? May 27, 2000

Profiteering and fandom are not words that should go together.

'Netfic is free, so stop complaining' -- ummm... May 27, 2000

Netfic isn't as free as it seems, and in any event asking a media fan not to complain just seems... cruel.

You Hate Me December 3, 2000

How on earth do people decide that 'I disliked your story' means 'I hate you'?

The Infantilization of Fandom December 3, 2000

The trend toward treating everything in fandom as an infant keeps growing.

Fanfic Discussion Is for the Readers. Deal. July 2003 (added September 18, 2005)

If people on a fiction-discussion list are talking about your story -- stay out of it. Found floating on my harddrive in September 2005.

LJ Communities != Mailing Lists written June 15, 2005, posted September 18, 2005

Written in response to the suggestion that reading LJ communities would be a way to get the mailing-list experience on LJ, without having to deal with personal stuff being posted.

LJ and Me posted November 23, 2005 new!

Based in part on posts I sent to a mailing list during discussions about LJ, edited and expanded into essay form. While LJ is a wonderful format for a lot of people, it isn't right for everyone. I'm one of the ones it doesn't work for.

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Other people's essays

All links go offsite.

Big List of Fanfic Peeves, by Sandy Herrold

Well worth reading! Shoo, shoo... (and take notes)

The Zombie Hand of Rob Lowe, by Laura Jacquez Valentine

If you write or read fanfiction, you have to read this essay. It's a brilliant, funny look at the rampant spare-body-part writing (as well as rampant epithetism) that can take over a story.

You Big Bully!, by Rachael Sabotini

This cuts right to the heart of apology!fic and grovel!fic, and is a fascinating read.

The Ten Commandments of Crossovers, by Lucy Gillam

Just what it sounds like: a look at what does and doesn't work in crossovers.

The Virtual Swamp, or Navigating the Web Without a Map, by T'Mar

This is a little different from the other essays linked here -- it's a call to make stories easier to find, and is very much worth reading for anyone who writes fanfic, especially if they have their own webpage.

The Fanfic Symposium

This is a steadily growing collection of essays by a variety of people -- anyone who wants to contribute is welcome. There's some good stuff here.

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