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 Dearth of any good fic 
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Master

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Post Dearth of any good fic
Okay, I'll bite. Why is there so little good fic on here and IKOLY2 these days? I know, myself, that the lack from me hinges on the facts that 1) I'm trying to find work and a place to sleep at night, and 2) The amount of people that review on these sites is extremely low, and those that offer constructive criticism is even lower, so I've put my really active fics on sites where that's not true. Are the other competent authors dealing with similar issues? Because in looking at the current nominees for the spring awards, I can't in good conscience vote for any of them. Then again, perhaps the multiple weeks without any posting has led people to believe that anything they submitted would win. In any case, does anyone have any more information?


Sun 14 Jun 2009 12:44 pm
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Post Re: Dearth of any good fic
I would suspect that the days of the high volume/prolific/good Buffy/Willow (aka Wiffy) fan fic shipper/writer are long over.

Between here and Ikoly(2), there can't be more than a dozen that I would consider "good" and maybe another dozen who occasionally rise above mediocre into okay. And all of those are in the bi-monthly posting club, if that frequently.

(Disclaimer: I won't name which writers I feel fit into which category. Outside of mechanics, it's all subjective as to who is a good, okay, or mediocre story teller. And just to be fair, as far as my own stories go, I think I come close to rating "good" mechanically (I better be, after spending up-teen years in college getting an English degree) but on a good day most of my Buffy/Willow stories might rate an 'okay' story-wise. And I'm on the Ikoly post-yearly plan myself (And have never posted a story to Wiffyforums).)

It's not that BtVS femslash is a dying art... the Buffy/Faith archives are very active. Willow/Tara stories grow like weeds. There's even a growing body of Buffy/Satsu fics.

(And het and slash BtVS fic writers are bountiful.)

We're in a fan fic backwater... with nothing to inspire many new writer to join us on our shrinking island. :shock:

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Sun 14 Jun 2009 1:37 pm
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Post Re: Dearth of any good fic
By all that is holy, what is your definition of 'good'?

I mean, okay, there is and always have been a dearth of stories in our little niche 'ship. We are the ones that violate three main, core canon 'ships: Willow/Tara, Buffy/Angel, and Buffy/Spike. Most mainstream "Buffy" fans are rabidly attached to at least one of those. Even the "best friends make the best lovers" crowd usually go Buffy/Xander or Willow/Xander. So we have always had a tiny readership and authorship base. It's a given. Not gonna change. (Unless Joss gives us something explicitly Wiffy in the comics. Then we'll be hailed as visionaries.)

But 'good'? We have some excellent authors on here. In both technical skills as well as good storytelling. I think our percentage of good authors to bad authors is better than most 'ships.

And speaking of constructive criticism, I'm certain the authors would appreciate more than something that boils down to "you all suck." The contest entries are open to feedback. If you've read them and feel you have something contructive/specific to say, say it right there on the fic page. Just remember that it is an anonymous contest so, even if you think you recognize the author, don't say anything about that. Comment only about the contest entry in question, not any prior fics you think the author also wrote.

Sweeping "you suck" statements do nothing but drive authors away. Flame wars drive everyone away. I thought you were complaining about the lack of fics in the first place.

Or is that your goal? Are you trying to crush the few authors we do have that are willing to produce for our tiny slice of fandom? Since you, DeacBlue, as much as admitted you didn't write a contest entry, I have to ask why not? It may be easy to throw stones from the sidelines, but you're an author too.

As fanfic authors, you both should understand that the only payment the authors receive is feedback. Comments that translate as "stop writing and go away" do nothing to encourage. I can name several (far too many) authors over the years who have not only left our community, but pulled their previously published works out as well, due to the overly harsh criticisms of a few. And we're poorer for the loss.

Stop trying to kill what we're honestly fortunate to have.

Howard

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Sun 14 Jun 2009 4:18 pm
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Post Re: Dearth of any good fic
Howard,
I'm going to do my best to answer your questions. Should I miss one or more, please understand that I'm writing on a palmtop with little ability to review, and cut me some slack.

All right, first question. What do I consider good? A reasonably tightly written story mechanically, with a plot not completely full of holes, that allows me to suspend disbelief as I am reading it, and that doesn't warp these wonderful characters that we all care about beyond belief. This is not a hard target to reach, but it does require effort.

Constructive criticism. When I read a fic that strikes me in any way, I leave criticism. Lots of it. When I get criticism that is more than general, I thank the reviewer. I didn't review the contest entries because I felt that others should make their decisions before hearing what I had to say. If you wish, I don't mind doing it.

As to why I didn't put an entry in, the primary reason was that I wasn't aware of the closing date of the contest, or the contest itself for a long while. Plus I'm working on three separate 20000+(medium, I know) word fics(which, btw are all B/W at their core), while also doing work on an original novel, while also trying to become not homeless. I'm sorry that I missed the date. I will remind you that I've submitted work for the last two contests.

As to the "you suck" statement, while that may have been the gist of the statement, it wasn't the base of what I was trying to say. I didn't think they were good enough to win an award. Since that isn't arguable, and not what my question was about, I didn't support the comment. My question was, and remains, what can we do to have writers of quality in this particular 'ship.

I've done what I felt that I could, adding my own fic, trying to review in a comprehensive manner what I could, asking for and thanking for reviews of my work, participating in and trying to begin projects that raise everyone's awareness of characterization, voice and plot. I am far less than perfect, but I've tried.

Now, my opinion of the thing that are needed is, in a nutshell, more participation by the readers. But I already knew that, I wanted to know what you had to say. What I got from you, other than your comments about me, was that we were and are always going to have a lack of good fics, and there's nothing that we can do about it. By the way, gotta say that there's a higher percentage of good B/W authors than Xander authors(can you say SuperXander?).

But I feel that we can do more to attract both writers and readers, I was asking for your views on how to work it.


Sun 14 Jun 2009 5:25 pm
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Post Re: Dearth of any good fic
Deac Blue wrote:
I've done what I felt that I could, adding my own fic, trying to review in a comprehensive manner what I could, asking for and thanking for reviews of my work, participating in and trying to begin projects that raise everyone's awareness of characterization, voice and plot. I am far less than perfect, but I've tried.

It’s funny, you indicate a desire to help, but let me break this down in a way you should be able to understand.


complain (verb) to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault: He complained constantly about the noise in the corridor.

1. "Dearth of any good fic."

2. "Why is there so little good fic on here and IKOLY2 these days?"

3. "The amount of people that review on these sites is extremely low, and those that offer constructive criticism is even lower, so I've put my really active fics on sites where that's not true."

4. "Because in looking at the current nominees for the spring awards, I can't in good conscience vote for any of them."

5. "Then again, perhaps the multiple weeks without any posting has led people to believe that anything they submitted would win."

(This is at best inflammatory to the entrants of the contest. I'd consider it a personal attack were one of those pieces mine.)

6. "All right, first question. What do I consider good? A reasonably tightly written story mechanically, with a plot not completely full of holes, that allows me to suspend disbelief as I am reading it, and that doesn't warp these wonderful characters that we all care about beyond belief. This is not a hard target to reach, but it does require effort."

(Saying that every contest entry is devoid of these qualities qualifies as a complaint. You can’t couch that.)

7. "I didn't think they were good enough to win an award. Since that isn't arguable, and not what my question was about, I didn't support the comment."


excuse (noun) an explanation offered as a reason for being excused; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault or for release from an obligation, promise, etc.: His excuse for being late was unacceptable.

1. "I'm trying to find work and a place to sleep at night."

2. "Should I miss one or more, please understand that I'm writing on a palmtop with little ability to review, and cut me some slack."

3. "As to why I didn't put an entry in, the primary reason was that I wasn't aware of the closing date of the contest, or the contest itself for a long while. Plus I'm working on three separate 20000+(medium, I know) word fics(which, btw are all B/W at their core), while also doing work on an original novel, while also trying to become not homeless. I'm sorry that I missed the date. I will remind you that I've submitted work for the last two contests."

(You had three months. Not being able to find one day in ninety to toss together one-thousand words is just bad.)

4. "As to the "you suck" statement, while that may have been the gist of the statement, it wasn't the base of what I was trying to say."

5. "I didn't review the contest entries because I felt that others should make their decisions before hearing what I had to say."

(Yet you felt it was acceptable to leave a post requesting a fourth option 'none of the above'? Yes, I deleted your post. It offered nothing of value to the thread.)


help (verb) to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; contribute strength or means to; render assistance to; cooperate effectively with; aid; assist: He planned to help me with my work. Let me help you with those packages.

1. "Constructive criticism. When I read a fic that strikes me in any way, I leave criticism. Lots of it. When I get criticism that is more than general, I thank the reviewer."

2. "If you wish, I don't mind doing it."

I’ll take a global pass.

I’d rather have no reviews ever again then one from you.

Period.

If you'd like to hear why, push a fourth time. I'll be happy to detail how altruistic you aren't. That might be the face you wish you could wear, but the one we see is very different.


What’s left...

1. "My question was, and remains, what can we do to have writers of quality in this particular 'ship."

Not complaining about one of the few things we’re trying to actively do to increase interest might be a good start.

Val

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Sun 14 Jun 2009 7:11 pm
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Post Re: Dearth of any good fic
With the interests of the forum and the other readers on the board, your friendly neighborhood moderator is going to step in and lock the thread.

If any of the other participants of said thread would enjoy carrying out this discussion further, I'm sure you all know how to contact one another.

Good day to you all.

Whedonist


Mon 15 Jun 2009 12:50 pm
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