Signal boost

Nov. 15th, 2011 01:14 am
owl: Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg (mzuck)
Gakked from various places:

Thank you.

Thank you to everyone who's ever written a line of code, fixed a bug, wrangled a tag, answered a support ticket.

Thank you to the back-end coders and thank you to the front-end coders.

Thank you to everyone who's ever brainstormed about what the archive might do, and thank you to everyone who's poured their hearts, souls, and spare time into trying to make the archive do all of those things and more.

I use the AO3 every day. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for building it for me and for everyone who uses it -- and for everyone who doesn't use it yet but might use it someday.

This archive isn't something to which fandom is entitled. It's a labor of love. You make the archive as your gift to fandom, and I appreciate that gift so, so much.

Even though it isn't finished yet. Even though it isn't perfect yet. It's still awesome, and your hard work is tremendous and admirable, and I just want to say thanks.

(Dear everyone else: if anything in this post resonates with you, feel free to signal-boost or repost.)


I'm a developer myself. I generally sympathize with the devs; my reaction to Facebook changes are generally, "Someone probably worked very hard to code that, and grinned at their monitor when they saw it work for the first time" rather than "Oh, no, more changes!" That goes treble where the devs are volunteers. [personal profile] lim's post explaining her resignation from AO3 is heartbreaking; code was her happy place, and now she's lost it.
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Hey, fandomers! Go and vote in the LJ Advisory Board elections! Here's why.
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So, apparently some idiots at a con decided that Open Source Public Groping would be a great idea. In theory I'm right behind the reciprocal Open Source Boot to the Crotch Project, although in practice it would probably come down to the Open Source Yelling "Keep Your Hands Off Me or I'm Calling the Police, You Pathetic Sleazebag" Project.

Honestly, is the difference between software and women's bodies that foreign a concept, really?

Still, at least we got this Harriet Vane fic from [livejournal.com profile] nineveh_uk on the topic.
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Numb3rs

Apr. 15th, 2008 09:18 pm
owl: Charlie Eppes, amused by something (Charlie2)
So I just watched the latest episode of Numb3rs, Checkmate. Spoilers )

It's all over the internet and even on Radio 1, JKR is up against Lexibook in court. I love the charts of JKR material versus tiny little bars of original material (here; scroll down to the end). I hope the smack-down that is applied to RDR causes a small earthquake
Another couple of Yuletide recs:

Lawrie's Wedding

Lawrie Marlow is getting married. Side-effects, much as one might imagine.

Not Quite A Happy Ending

Set after the end of Deep Secret. Life goes on, and Maree's started a new diary.

(no subject)

Jun. 2nd, 2007 03:44 pm
owl: And to mariners a sure haven; two-masted boat (mariners)
I still can't get LJ Archive to work, despite downloading .NET 3.0 to make it happy. It works for one of my journals, but not this one. I suspect some eejit has stuck a daft smiley in a comment somewhere that the program is interpreting as code. Why can't LJ export your journal with comments in a readable format themselves?

I love it when you find that someone you know in one fandom shares some of your others. Last week [livejournal.com profile] doyle_sb4 emailed me saying, "I didn't know you ran an Antonia Forest comm!" I would have squee'd loudly if I hadn't been in work. It turned out that she'd just found the novels in the university library and is currently working her way through them. And the lolcat thing is not her fault really.

(no subject)

May. 31st, 2007 04:26 pm
owl: Stylized barn owl (Default)
As far as I can remember, every last one of you is in fandom. Go and join [livejournal.com profile] fandom_counts. It's to say we're here, and we can tell the difference between paedophiles and fictional characters, abuse survivors and people who want to discuss Lolita.

Oh, looks like LJ are back-pedalling so hard their chain's come off.

In others news, can someone stop the Sun from publishing made-up stories about Doctor Who?

Fanlib

May. 24th, 2007 08:04 pm
owl: Lee Adama with a gun; don't frak with me (don't frak)
I have been watching Fanlib (I'm not going to up their Googlerank by linking. This post is a good explanation) and its resultant kerfuffle with an eye of interest. I'm expecting it to Not Work one way or the other: either it will go out in a bang with cease and desists (why both?), or the fans will decide it's more fun on the Pit of Voles without corporations breathing down their necks. I'm all on for dubbing Fanlib the Pit of Weasels, by the way.

The thing I want to know is: who is the money coming from, and to whom is it going?

I'm surprised Lee Goldberg hasn't started foaming at the mouth yet, but to tide us over someone else is. (The writer who praised fanfic is Cory Doctorow).

I don't understand why these people hate all fanfic so passionately. OK, I can see why authors might feel weird at their stuff being ficced, and wanting to put restrictions on it, and maybe even why they would try to ban it altogether. But I can't understand why they're frothing at the mouth at the very mention of the word, and get all shifty when you ask them about public domain works. As far as I'm concerned, if anyone asked me to lend them Keit and co I'd be tickled to death.

Ah, well, probably it all looks very different when you're writing pro fic for Diagnosis Murder.
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Oh, here we go again. Enormous explosions of ancient kerfuffle seem to have become a monthly occurrence in Harry Potter fandom. Everyone seems to have broken out into a fit of memoir-writing. This time, someone's gone for the biggie: the entire Inner Circle, guest-starring all their friends. I was surprised to see that I've been in the fandom for as long as Heidi (summer 2000). I've no temptation to write anything though, as I was oblivious of most that went on.
In the entry below, I note that Crystalwank took place as long ago as April 2004. My years are pastede on yay.

And in other news, I'm having a day off. Closing the quarter, what's that? Actually there's no way we're going to get it done on Monday, or possibly even Tuesday. But right now I couldn't care less.
After disposing of [livejournal.com profile] msscribe, bad_penny now is doing Cassandra Claire and the plagiarism thing. This fandom was founded on teh crazy.
In the course of ScribeGate, I discovered that Cassandra Claire has sold an original fictional series. My first reaction was , 'Hey, she has a built-in fandom, with built in wank!'. My second reaction was, 'Hey, wait, she has a built-in fandom.'

Not to knock CC in particular, but it started me thinking. CC's said that she's not going to use 'Claire' on the front of her books (probably because http://www.cassandraclaire.com takes you to fandom_wank greatest hits—the Dean plagiarism saga), but she's posted the titles and the publisher on her LJs. Of course many of her fans will buy the books on the strength of her name alone. She will profit, indirectly, from her HP fanfiction. There's a flip side to this; she won't get away from anything she did in the fandom, as you can't cherry-pick the fans and leave the wank.

People have moved from fanfic to published work before, but HP is very high-profile and so is CC. It's almost bound to have an effect either on fanfic in general or on people making the transition. If I had an original coming out, I'd want to tell my friends in fandom too, but being a SNF, it's not such an issue.

What a to-do

Jun. 19th, 2006 01:03 pm
owl: (eyeroll)
Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday at the weekend; I am now better off by £80 and a small glass owl (I seem to be starting a collection).

Like half the rest of LJ, I have been enthralled over the last few days by the posts of [livejournal.com profile] charlottelennox. Most of the fun seems to be happening at bad_penny on JournalFen. It's like a traincrash. It makes Crystalwank look as simple as a toddler's tantrum.

It's pretty unbelievable that [livejournal.com profile] msscribe ([livejournal.com profile] dejaspirit) would go to such lengths for something as paltry as internet popularity, but if she's innocent, the coincidences frankly beggar belief. Then there's the theory that [livejournal.com profile] charlottelennox is [livejournal.com profile] msscribe, which is just silly.

The way to get well-known in fandom is to be like [livejournal.com profile] fernwithy, [livejournal.com profile] seviet or [livejournal.com profile] leelastarsky, producing quality fanworks and not making so much kafuffle it BRAKES TEH INTARWEBS.

Meh.
The big issue of the last week or so was the case of Lori Jareo, who self-published her Star Wars fanfic and put it up for sale on amazon.com. She's probably the most notorious fanficcer in the world by now. Most of Star Was fandom and the ficcing world is talking about her, generally using synonyms of "stupid" and "idiot".

The responses I wanted to talk about weren't from ficcers, who were mostly concerned about the bad name this fool would give to the rest of fanfic. I was surfing a couple of blogs which have a wider audience, and I kept coming across comments like these:

She should have replaced the names and called it a homage, like real first-time writers do
Er, no. If your hero uses "the Power" to hypnotise people and move rocks around, is an orphan from a desert planet, with a long-lost twin sister and a mysterious enemy with a bad breathing problem, then no publishers will touch it, and even if they did, Lusasfilm would slap you down so hard, you bounce. Do you think it's going to fool the BBC if your thousand-year-old alien with as many lives as a cat travels through time and space in a red telephone box called the SIDRAT, and his mortal enemies shout "ANNIHILATE" before they zap people dead with their dishmops?

You can probably "file off the serial numbers" until the story is about "war in space", "crazy time travellers", or "wizards at school", but by that time, will it be interesting? People who want to write about Yoda or Daleks won't be satisfied with producing generic SF. The "serial numbers", the instantly recognisable characters and settings, are what draws them. They want more Doctor Who or Harry Potter, not something vaguely reminiscent of it. Anyway, even if all the bits that employ copyright lawyers are removed, what's left is probably as derivative as The Sword of Shannara.

Fanfic is a waste of time. It's not even any good for teaching anyone to write original work
You know, I've never met anyone who says, 'I want to write an original novel, but I've used up all my writing ability on fanfic!' Of course there are people who keep saying they're going to do an original but never start (like me), but are they any different from all the people who talk about their great novel idea they've never got around to writing? If you really want to write an original, and have the ability to do so, fanfic isn't going to stop you. And it might be a better novel. Beginning writers often perpetrate annoyingly flawless protagonists, purple prose, sloppy plotting and poor characterisation. However, if it's do as Malfoylvrr88, the situation is not irretrievable. If you are a writer, if you are becoming a writer, then you write and you write and you write. If you are trying to improve as a writer, it doesn't matter if you're practising on fic or originals. All right, fanfic isn't going to teach you worldbuilding. The backcloth is already in place. But the mechanics of writing, on the levels of prose, plot, characterisation, and structure—yes, if your betas know their job, and you are able to view your own writing with a critical mindset.

The thought of a first novel written by a twenty-four-year-old does not tend to inspire confidence. But a twenty-four-year-old who's been writing fic for ten years—Writing fic gets you past the Mary Sue stage. It can teach how to produce coherent prose in a recognisable language, how to avoid the azure orbs school of descriptive writing, how to structure a paragraph, a chapter and a novel, how to handle several subplots, how to write an action scene, how to gain readers' sympathy, how to write a consistent character. It doesn't matter if the character was originally written by someone else; if you can write Hermione Granger of the Fifth Doctor so that they're recognisable as their canonical selves, then you can probably create a self-consistent character over the length of a novel. At the very least, it's a stretching exercise, like writing 500 words in the style of Hemingway or Tolkien.

That is in the best case, where a writer wants to improve in fanfiction, where betas and concrit do their proper job. We've all seen little ego-stroking societies of mutual adoration, or authors who treat criticism like an attempt to mutilate their children, or mediocre writers with hundreds of fans. But this isn't confined to fanficcers—Ann Rice? Dan Brown, anyone? No matter how bad your fic is, there's always an archive that will take it (the Pit of Voles, for one). It doesn't have to rot in 87 slush piles, and you needn't get any rejection letters, unless you submit it to a moderated archive. But the rules of the real world still apply to some extent. If it's crap, people usually won't read it. If it's ludicrous, it will be mocked. If you submit it to a an archive, you may get an email saying 'it's plagiarised/dreck/we don't take Pokemon cross-overs'. Such is life. Bounce off that a few times, and hopefully you won't send death threats to publishing houses that turn down your magnum opus.

Fanfic 'dilutes' the original creation. It will lose the original creator money.
Oh, tosh. The writers and readers of fanfic are the ones with borderline-obsessive interest in the source material. They're the ones who've seen the film 18 times, own all the DVDs, the collectable figurines, the magazines....Fanfic is the methadone they go for when they can't get enough of the real thing. It fills in the gaps and extends into the happily-ever-after and past into the past, explores the scenarios that never happened. It's not going to replace the original work; it's always still there, and the vast majority of the money-paying public don't even know it's there and wouldn't be interested if they did. Sure, you can cut your epic Rise of the Sith into 100-word chunks on Powerpoint, shove it into a data projector and try to get people to pay to see it instead of Revenge of the Sith. Good luck.

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