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I do not ship naturally...


So you guys have heard me say this a few times, but I've just realized that DW actually wasn't an exception to this.  I've been posting things to my AO3 account (which already has like... 40 fics up there?  Good Lord, I write far too much), and in doing so, going back through my early Whovian fics.  Most of them I was just as fail-y at shipping.  I actually had to work at adding slash.

I've come to the conclusion I just don't ship naturally.  At all.  I read pairings in fandom simply because it's the only thing to read, no matter how much I just want friendship feels.  And since there's a lack of it, it's what I generally write.  Let it never be said I whine and then do nothing about it.  Apparently, I like filling in gaps.

However, this leads me to one major question.  I'm currently working on a very long fic (Long fic is Longcat long.  I mean that.  It's 35 pages already and maybe only 2/8ths of the way through the plot?  I'm screwed), and since this one is not only going to take a while, but a lot of effort too, I kind of want lots of people to read it.  The thing is...  Well, let's face it.  I don't write normal things that everyone wants to read.  I write things that interest me, which are usually not things that have been done a million and one times.  Which sort of puts me against the equivalent of romance novels in fic. 

Everyone reads romance novels.  Well, not everyone, but there's a reason Nora Roberts and the dime a dozen romance paperbacks and harlequin novels do so well.  People like reading them, they're popular, and follow tropes that people want to read repeatedly.  By adding a pairing, you get double the number of readers.  It's just that simple.

Which is the question I'm facing.  I could make Long Fic slashy.  I would get more readers, it would hold more interest, and generally be a more accepted fic.  However, the last time I went along with the status quo, I absolutely hate that fic.  It's rather telling that it's one of my most popular fics.  And I cannot stand it.  At all.  Seriously, I wish I'd never written it.  Not to mention it's terrible...  *cough*  Anyway, it'd also be a lot of work to make it shippy, because as I said... I have to practice before I can start writing shippy things.  It's one thing when the relationship is canon and I have the dynamics of the show to work with.  It's another when I have to make it up myself and try to balance that against how they act towards each other in canon.  Because, let's face it, that's what you do with non-canon pairings.  It's a bit easier when characters have never actually interacted before, if just because I don't have to fight anything.  That's probably why my most successful early slash was mixed Doctor/Master. 

I just can't sit there and change how characters interact with each other so they slash better.  Example A) Flynn and Yuri slash.  While reading that fandom, I didn't find a single fic that I actually agreed with both Flynn and Yuri's characterization, which was more than a little frustrating.  I even got a comment from a reviewer saying "This is the best yuri/flynn ever, loved it, you managed to keep them in character and still some kind of relationship, most y/f i've read always fail on that."  When I read that, it was like... You know, that's far too true.  How are this many people failing at writing one pairing?  Then I realized they were all trying to make one character or the other become submissive when they're obviously both alpha males.  And I stopped wondering.  >.> 

See, that's the thing.  I can't just change the characterization to ship the characters.  Like, I don't think I could read Ivanova/Marcus fic.  Why?  Well, I totally have a reason for that, but I realized how spoiler-y that would be for Nar.  Dang it.  It was such a good point too, including the fact JMS has totally written shipper fic for them.  No, really, he has.  Anyway, different example...  Ivanova/Garibaldi fic, I suppose.  It doesn't work as well, but still.  They are obviously colleagues in canon.  For me to try to make that more, it would just feel... wrong.  OOC.  Very, very OOC.  Like, how can I possibly write this, OOC. 

Subtext can make it easier, I suppose...  But I don't ship naturally, therefore don't have really good slash goggles.  Therefore, I tend to be making up the relationship as I go along and/or having to change it, sometimes fundamentally.  Which just annoys me. 

Sigh.  I don't know.  I might just keep mentioning Tony as bi (if I ever remember, which I haven't been) so I can mark it as pre-slash.  There are plenty of cuddling, because let's face it, I'm a cuddle whore when it comes to fic.  But still.  Is it so bad to want both the readership and the gen fic?  /whine.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
narwhale_callin
Nov. 4th, 2012 02:56 am (UTC)
Everyone reads romance novels. Well, not everyone, but there's a reason Nora Roberts and the dime a dozen romance paperbacks and harlequin novels do so well.

There's also a reason I hate those books.

I could make Long Fic slashy. I would get more readers, it would hold more interest, and generally be a more accepted fic. However, the last time I went along with the status quo, I absolutely hate that fic. It's rather telling that it's one of my most popular fics. And I cannot stand it. At all. Seriously, I wish I'd never written it.

Herein lies your answer, my friend. I heard advice from a writer once--I forget where exactly, but somewhere--that you should always strive to write something that you're proud of. That way, if what you write doesn't make a lot of money, or even if it's never read, you'll still be proud of it. Whereas if you write something that you hate and you become famous for it, you'll always feel like that sense of disgust about letting yourself write it. I say you should write whatever you want to, as long as you're proud of it. There is no point to enjoying the fruits of your labour if the fruit tastes bitter to you. (Especially for long fic!)

Like, I don't think I could read Ivanova/Marcus fic. Why? Well, I totally have a reason for that, but I realized how spoiler-y that would be for Nar. Dang it. It was such a good point too

Fear my n00b-spoiling-the-fun powers!
dragonofmemory
Nov. 4th, 2012 03:06 am (UTC)
There's a reason I hate those books too. XD They are probably the same as yours.

Yeah, that's generally how I write. Except I generally haven't minded the DW slash in the past? If I just put in a few kisses it really doesn't change the over all fic... other than me failing at leading up to said kisses, but hey. And then I would have ALL THE READERS. *grumbles about society hating gen fic*

I've really only ever hated that one fic, to be honest. And I enjoyed it while writing it. I just... hated it about a month after posting it. And have hated it ever since.

XP
narwhale_callin
Nov. 9th, 2012 02:56 am (UTC)
Randomly thought I'd mention it since I haven't before: I always like it when you post thinky thoughts on fanfictiony things. I find it interesting. You should do MOAR.

Also, I can't believe you immortalized the unexpected leaping tigers in a tag on AO3. :P
dragonofmemory
Nov. 9th, 2012 03:23 am (UTC)
I don't always have thinky thoughts on fanfiction though. If it makes you feel better, I was planning one since I finally finished updating ao3.

Of course I did. That comment amused me.
narwhale_callin
Nov. 9th, 2012 05:24 am (UTC)
Just Because
dragonofmemory
Nov. 9th, 2012 12:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Just Because
<3
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )