DVD-style commentary on Rebel Heart, chapter five, for [livejournal.com profile] ankaret. Sorry I've taken so long!

Read more... )

Okay, anyone up for any more? Fanfic's under this tag.

DVD-style commentary for A Distant Sound of Cannon, for [livejournal.com profile] rodlox, as requested here.Spoilers for all three Pirates films )
I saw the tail end of The Janus List on ITV3 tonight, and now I have plot bunnies for last year's finale. Actually, having seen When Worlds Collide, you could have a really nice little irony thing going on there. Don thinking that at least there's one person who's not going to to turn out to be a Chinese spy...little does he know, poor boy.

If you've been around here for long, you'll have noticed I like to run characters from my fandoms through a Myers-Briggs test, and I thought I'd try Numb3rs.

There are four pairs of letters: Extraverted/Introverted, whether they get energy from acting and dealing with people, or from reflecting on ideas. iNtuitive/Sensing, whether they take in information as a system and internalise it, or focus on the concrete and the details of the real world. Thinking/Feeling, whether they make decisions based on logic or emotions. And Judging/Perceiving, how they organise themselves in relation to the world. Js are organised, tidy and decisive, while Ps are flexible and spontaneous.

Charlie )

Don )

Other People )

What do you all think? Particularly Don, he's so hard to pin down.
[livejournal.com profile] angua9 made an interesting post a couple of days ago about appreciation vs appropriation of canon. (Briefly, appreciators enjoy it as is and if it stops being enjoyable, they wander off, while appropriators become attached to one aspect of it, or to the fanon, to the point where the canon disappoints them and the post screeds of complaint, or in extreme cases, wed Snape on the astral plane.

I fear I may have slightly appropriated Doctor Who recently, or in other words become one of a new breed of rapid Martha fen. Or possibly Last of the Time Lords was a complete stinker of an episode, down there with Love and Monsters.

Things in LotTL that I'm throwing out of my personal canon:

Spoilers )

Normally I'm more of an appreciator than an appropriator, or, as the Harmoanians or Draco-in-leather brigade would call me, a sheep. I mostly ship with what I think is the canon, and my fanfics are mainly fill-in-the-gaps, might have happened off-screen shorts.

However, I've just noticed that I'm more of an appropriator when the canon is many-authored: Lord of the Rings (book) or Harry Potter I just read and discuss, I don't even fanfic much, whereas with a TV series like Doctor Who or Battlestar Galactica it seems much easier to say "I'm going to quietly ignore episode X-after all, the writers dropped plotline Y and forgot about it two series ago." Also, the quality of TV series varies much more than a series of books by the same author. Films, like Potc, are somewhere in between, and Star Wars is a bit unusual: all the six films are canon (and I don't care that much when Han shot), but I throw out the books except for any interesting world-building I want to use in fic, and I've written a long original character fic that 's happening just off-screen. I suppose I appreciate the Skywalkers' story, but I've appropriated their world.

New Who is especially easy, because in a way it's fanon: Rusty and Co are fans who have got the opportunity to make a giant fanvid of the original series, complete with Mary Sues.


Jun. 8th, 2007 12:52 pm
owl: Martha Jones is interested (Martha)
I really should give up Confidential because it generally annoys me, but I keep being sucked in by David Tennant's Paisley accent. Perhaps if I press mute whenever Rusty comes on?

Cut for Rusty babbling vaguely about future episodes )

I am trying carefully to have no expectations of Blink, beyond "At least it's the Moff" and, "It can't be worse than Love and Monsters. I do like Martha's jacket, however (check the BBC site).
...which I keep typing as Family of Blodd.

This is a (slightly) deeper review rather than a reaction post, veering a little into meta territory.


Has anyone a cap/icon of the Doctor and Martha hugging at the end of the episode? I can't decide whether I prefer the shot where you see her face over his shoulder, or the one with his over hers.
I was reading someone's feminist essay recently (Can't link it, I've forgotten where it is). The premise was that our stories are missing archetypes. It's okay to be a Princess or a Warrior Maiden, but not a Queen or a Mother, because once you hit 30 or give birth, you become a nonentity. There are no mothers in fairy-tales.

Looking at Star Wars, it fits the bill. All the mothers die. Shmi dies, Padmé dies, even Aunt Beru dies. I don't think it's an accident that the woman are killed as the Empire grows stronger.

Rebel Heart-I mean the Rebel Heart that exists in my head and on scrappy bits of paper, which I've never got around to posting on the net-RH doesn't fit terribly well to that; in fact it's the opposite. There isn't a single adult male in there who possesses a personality.

My protagonist I think is a Warrior Maiden (although a distinctly geeky one) and therefore not interesting to the purposes of this discussion, although I find her interesting. Her mother, sadly, goes neatly into the stereotype, including being offed by the Empire; even worse, she's not only dead, she had premarital sex-though the big issue was the premarital conception-and died. (She was in the Alderaanian counter-espionage and when K. was about 2 years old it got a bit good and the Imps took it out). The reason for this was partly that I wanted Keiten to be able to remark to the relevant Skywalker, "My father could be Palpatine" and partly because I always knew she'd been brought up by her grandmother.

Said grandmother, Shamma, née Miridh Eredesa, walked into the fic, and my head, with her personality complete from the beginning. She started out as a penniless orphaned teenage aristocrat, and finished as CEO of Abram Trade and Transport, wealthy, powerful, and a trusted associate of Bail Organa, having survived poverty, husband's death, the Clone Wars, daughter's death, raising 4 children, a granddaughter and Bail Organa, but unfortunately not surviving the Death Star. She's totally committed to the Rebellion, willing to use her company and her family in its service. She's very intelligent, tough, she has iron self-control, is somewhat abrasive, and she's expert at managing (or manipulating) people. If she was also young and nubile she'd be a giant Mary Sue, but when your character is 73 years old you can get away with these things.

Her sister-in-law Kerith is a similar formidable old woman, which is probably why they don't get along too well. Even though she's against the Empire, she puts ATT in front of the Alliance and her family in front of ATT. Most of said family are terrified of her.

Aunt #1 was created to plague Keiten about Wimmin Stuff, ie clothes. Being married to an Avram, she designs them and has several boutiques. She has occasional aspiration to domestic goddesshood, during which her ungrateful offspring turn up on Shamma's doorstep looking for "normal food". In default of a daughter of her own, she likes to dress Keiten, who is sadly uncooperative.

Aunt #2 is an historian. She took time off to have her sons, and found on her return that the Palpatine Revisionist Text had come in the meantime. She is understandably bitter about this, as it seriously damaged her chances of publication. She went off and had Arkos and after he was in school concentrated on sneaking subversive ideas into her students' heads. Integrity is very important to her; she's completely straightforward. In any trivial matter you can rely on her to have the opposite opinion to Aunt Shosha. For example, clothes are just a means of keeping you warm and covered. She's a little sorry for Keiten, and tends to worry about her.

Assorted other second cousins, great-great aunts/uncles, cousins once and twice removed are mentioned, or have walk-on parts.

Now look at the men:

Keiten's father: He's not Obi-Wan Kenobi. Really. And he's dead.

Her grandfather is dead. He must have had a personality in order to survive life with Shamma (mind you, he only did so for 25 years), but I have no inkling of it. He did well by Avram Trade and Transport however.

Uncle #1: a Strict nonentity. Manager in ATT.

Uncle #2: a Nice nonentity. Accountant for ATT.

Uncle #3: a Complete nonentity. Possibly doesn't work for ATT.

Oh dear. However! There are 6 male cousins.

Lusar is the eldest; he's 5 years older than Keiten, and she hero-worships him. He's basically a good kid: does well at school, looks out for the younger ones, studies law at university (it'll come in handy for ATT to have a lawyer of their own in a few years), marries a nice girl, has a kid and gets blown up by the Death Star.

Phenn is a bit of a problem child. You won't catch him joining the family firm; he studied language and literature at university, but he doesn't go into academics like his mother; he joins the Rebellion, but has a tendency to wander off in the middle of missions and argue with his commanding officer. He's smart-mouthed and short-tempered and, like a lot bright kids, a little lazy.

To make a snap comparison, Avrams are pragmatic and Eredesas are idealists. Phenn is Darth Eredesa (although, let's face it, Shamma it's exactly your sweet old granny either). Dan is Avram to the backbone. He's quiet and gentle and reserved. Keiten and he are only a year apart, and they get on well together. He likes maths for its own sake (he tells his family interesting facts about numbers), but due partly to emulating his father and partly due to a desire to be employable, ends up doing accountancy. He gets sick in space travel, which might possibly have something to so with why he doesn't go off hauling cargo to the Rebellion when Phenn and Keiten do. He feels guilty about this, even though his talents are really in creative book-keeping. He suspects he's actually a coward, although he'd never say so to anyone.

The other three are younger than Keiten. Ged is the son of the Strict nonentity and the clothes designer. He's about a year and a half younger than Keiten.

Benedh and Arkos are about the same age, and they hang out together. They're quite young when Alderaan is destroyed, and I have a feeling they sit in their rooms listening to emo music.

In other characters, there's the canon crew, and Keit's friend's Ari and Vega. Vega's another Warrior Maiden, I suppose; she's tender of her friends and is fond of a good gossip about the X-wing pilots.
Ari-well, Keit thinks Ari is pretty near perfect. He's caring, funny, cute, he doesn't annoy her the way Phenn does and he doesn't complain about doing the washing-up. Sadly, he's a bit oblivious in the romance department. He still doesn't really count as an adult male, though, as he's only 23 at latest appearance.

So there it is, the opposite of canon SW: the fathers are all dead. Although when the canon characters appears, it reverts: Bail has a character and Breha is a nonentity. Mind you, when I wrote the fic, we didn't even know her name, and I'm don't like guessing and being Jossed.

I went back and read a bit of RH and realised that, heh, not much of this stuff actually appears in the original fic. Must get around to the Extended Edition sometime. Mind you, it's not that there were any adult males in the original, it's just that apart from Shamma, there are hardly any adults at all. One character who's nicknamed "Grandfather" Keit guesses to be "about thirty", and she's probably overestimating, given that she's 17 at the time.

I'm a bit bothered by the fate of her mother now. She still has to be dead, but should I change the illegitimate bit? K. still can't going to have a father around (she has quite enough relatives around already, thanks, and she has to stay an Avram).
The 'things I do not want to happen in Book #7' meme, gakked from everyone:

1. Dead Harry. We've spent six years of his time and...what...nine of ours? with this boy. I want to think of him happy and alive after all he's gone through.

2. Dead Ginny, Ron or Hermione. I don't want to see Harry have to go through that.

3. Voldemort defeated by the power of luuuurrrve. I didn't like it when the Harmaniacs* came up with the theory, and I still don't like it with added Ginny.

4. Resurrected!Everyone. I could buy the return of Dumbledore, as his demise whiffed vaguely of cod, but not James/Lily/Sirius.

5. Dead Remus or dead Tonks. Hasn't the poor guy suffered enough?

6. Evil!Snape. I'm a soft touch. Or, at least, I don't want it to be, 'He was working for Voldemort all along, fooled everyone!' It's too facile.


7-111. Dead!characters, apart from Voldemort and co.

This is a problem with an open-canon fandom. You get attatched to these characters and you don't know what's going to happen to them. Especially in TV series, because then there's the actor's plans as well as those of the writer(s). I don't know how anyone can get fannish for soap operas or hospital dramas, where the characters and relationships are like revolving doors—and that's all the story is about—and your favourite character's actor decides, 'ok, I've had it with pretending to be an East End barmaid 5 days a week'. At least with my skiffy series there is a plot as well. Mostly.
Closed canons: Antonia Forest's novels, Hornblower books, Aubrey/Maturin books, probably several other historical novels. Admittedly, a lot of these canons are only closed because the pen was pried away from the author's cold, dead fingers, but I don't fan anything that you could point to and say it was incomplete.
Confusing canons: Star Wars. I came in during the PT. I always where Anakin was going, just not how he got there. The only major character whose fate was in doubt was Padmé, and I wasn't pleased with what it eventually turned out to be.
Open canons I have fanned: Harry Potter, BSG, PotC, the Vorkosigan novels, Doctor Who (Sort of. Yes, companions die or leave and the Doctor regenerates. It's still always the Doctor and his Companion(s) in the TARDIS with the lead piping week after week after week.
In all of these the authors have been threatening character deaths and other horrors, and I've been going...'no..no...no....don't kill my babies...don't kill my 'ship'....and occasionally dreaming that all the worst has happened in my currently predominant fandom.

* as opposed to the sane H/Hr shippers
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.
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.

(no subject)

Mar. 6th, 2006 07:16 pm
owl: Orion Nebula hi-res by HST (science)
I picked up The Mote in God's Eye from a second-hand bookshop. I'd seen it around before, but the odd title put me off. So far it seems good—Royal Navy in space, strange object to be investigated, crew with strong humorous Scottish accents. I'm beginning to see why this site makes fun of Neofeudalism and Empires in Space—they seem to turn up fairly frequently.
'Space opera' isn't science fiction, actually; it's future fantasy, parallel to the sort with taverns and elves and magic swords. The tech is, in the Clarke phrase, sufficiently advanced to be magic, when it ins't all handwavium anyway. And it's not likely to lead to any book-burnings by rabid fundamentalists, either, because it doesn't actually mention the word magic. Hhm.
Here is a site rec:

The Tough Guide to the Known Galaxy

It's a rip-off of homage to Diana Wynne Jones's The Tough Guide to Fantasyland; it's hilariously funny and very true.
A few examples:

2) Aliens with Forehead Ridges. Much more common - especially in HOLLYWOOD SCIFI - than Really Aliens, these are species that look almost exactly like Earth Humans, except for some distinguishing visible feature such as, well, forehead ridges, or odd-shaped ears, or whatever. Sometimes they look rather less like humans, in which case (if friendly) they often resemble large teddy bears. *coughEwokscoughWookieescough*...Aliens with Forehead Ridges have become much less common in written SF (save for media tie-ins) than they were some decades ago. In written SF, the KNOWN GALAXY seems increasingly to be inhabited only by Earth Humans. However, Aliens with Forehead Ridges continue to thrive in Hollywood Scifi. This is for an obvious reason: the audience wants aliens of some sort, and Aliens with Forehead Ridges are the only kind that can be played by members of the Screen Actors' Guild.
Cut for length )

I do have a pet theory that the militarist SF subgenre is because the authors really want to write about a navy, but the historical one requires tedious research about Jutland or the Napoleonic wars or the Atlantic convoys in WWII, so you borrow the ranks and ship classes, move it into space and the future and voila, you can make up the rest. JMO, of course :D

I don't need to talk, as I read anything from space opera through Hornblower in space-type stuff to hard SF. The thing about the more "soft" end of the spectrum is that if the science is all hot air and handwavium anyway, it doesn't date so obviously (what [livejournal.com profile] ajhalluk (I think) calls the 'slide rule phenomenon'—1950s SF writers didn't foresee the advent of computers).
Recently there has been some kerfuffle of JKR's supposed slighting of the fantasy genre, and Terry Pratchett's comments. I saw both sides of the indignation, and tend to come down more on the Pterry side. Cut for length )
To think that's it's two whole weeks since the end of the programme! *twitches*

I was at Sainsbury's yesterday, and I reached a hand into the potato bread on my way past, but I came up with, not Ormo 4-pack potato farls, but a Doctor Who tie-in novel. I wasn't greatly tempted by it, although that may change by September or so when I'm screaming 'Not another Doctor-and-Rose-have-a-baby fic! Give me plots!! Plotsss!!!!'.

Anyway. For the first time I saw what the people who own the copyrights are driving at when they crack down on fanfiction. No matter how much Harry Potter fic I read, I'll still buy the books (and probably see the films, unless the divergence from canon becomes utterly unbearable). I've sent many, many pounds into the LucasFilm coffers. I've bought cinema tickets and videos and even a few EU books. Fanfiction isn't stopping me from buying the other bEUks, because frankly I wouldn't read them if you paid me.

Doctor Who, on the other hand...it depends on the quality of the writing, but if I can get my fix from free fanfic, why should I buy the books? This is true even more of the shippers. The programme itself is wildly shippy (too much so, IMO. Subtext, people), but it is shown at 7pm, therefore there are things that aren't going to happen on it (I sincerely hope).

The tie-in novel issue explains why Lucasfilm and the Beeb are more uptight about fanfic than JKR. Part of the solution, of course, would be to hire writers who a) are functionally literate and b) have actually seen the source material (Courtship of Princess Leia, I'm looking at you).


Jul. 1st, 2005 10:39 pm
owl: (doctor 10)
Was tagged by [livejournal.com profile] sarah531
1. Pick your 5 favorite OTPs
2. Find pictures and post them
3. Give the name of the OTP and what fandom they're from
4. List your favorite moment between them
5. Tag 5 people from your flist to do this meme

Read more... )

Again, not tagging anyone.
My fandoms' main characters all seem to be two guys and a girl.
Luke, Leia, Han.
Harry, Ron, Hermione.
The Doctor, Rose, Jack (Well, not all the time, but that's the most interesting bit IMO).

Hmmm. Lord of the Rings doesn't fit this, though.


owl: Stylized barn owl (Default)
only a sinner saved by grace

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