a:fanworks

Can we take a moment to appreciate that one of my fics has a 6% feedback?

That means 6% of the people that clicked on it, read it, then left a comment. Kudos percentage is 9%.

This is considered a successful fic. That’s how low the bar is set, anything more than 3% is generally considered successful.

Tens of thousands of words go into fics, taking hours, days, weeks, months, years to write, but authors cannot expect even 10% of the people who find their work, who read and enjoy it to leave kudos or comments or something stating the effort wasn’t wasted.

I read some of my favorite fics and it is depressing to see the lack of response by others. I want to throw the book at people, “Here, omg, read this, it RUINED ME”, but the actual response that author got was meager, and that literally hurts my soul to see, because I’ve also been on the other end of it.

You question everything, what you did wrong, what you could have done better, WHY didn’t people like it? Or like it enough to have any sort of emotional response? How can you improve? Is it worth the effort or should you just quit?

Guys. Love your fanwork creators. Seriously. Love them. It can be simple and short, but you are literally breathing life back into a person after they poured themselves out to your benefit. It can feel much like being the Giving Tree, and that’s both unfair and unkind.

Thoughts From a Tumblr Mom

By Tumblr user slowdissolve

My name’s Ann, I’m almost 48, and I live in a small town in the Midwest USA. I’ve been married 18 years, have two teenage children, and I’m bisexual.

I grew up in a small, religious, traditional area. I don’t say conservative, because it was the 1970’s, and I went to a tiny Catholic school run by the Sisters of St. Francis, which was and is a pretty progressive group of women. I seriously considered the convent for myself for many years.

The 1980’s arrived when I was in junior high, and the AIDS crisis was beginning as I entered high school. People did not come out. It was simply a thing one did not do. Gay people were the butt of jokes and lived in cities. I knew that I was different: I dressed in a butchy way, cut my hair short, didn’t wear makeup. I didn’t date, mostly because the small dating pool of boys was put off by my physical appearance (though fat wasn’t necessarily a deal breaker) and my intellect (which was). I had no clue if any of the other girls I knew at the time were attracted to other girls. They showed no sign of interest in me.

I had the good fortune to go to an Ivy League school. Yale was known in the League as the “gay Ivy”, and it was a transformative and positive experience. I met openly gay men for the first time. I don’t quite know why I didn’t meet any lesbians, but that may be because they were already paired off before I got a chance to meet them. I came out to my friends there as queer in my senior year, and it was very positive. By that time I’d realized that I’d been having crushes on other women. But at that point it might have been just a bit too late.

The most prominently out group on campus was gay men, and most gay content came from them. The AIDS crisis was an enormous factor in this visibility, and their writing and artwork was often sad, frightened, or militant because of this. The social climate of the outside world had not yet changed to be accepting.

What lesbian content I’d been exposed to was pornography created for a male gaze. It did not appeal to me. I was put off by it; I was out, but not comfortable being out anywhere but at school, and when I graduated, I went back in the closet. I knew that it was not a choice to be gay, but since I was bisexual I could still pass for straight and attempt a relationship with men after I graduated. I believed I could suppress my attractions.

In the few years between college and meeting my husband, the Internet did not have the reach it has today, and I simply didn’t know where to find other women like me. Finally I got internet access, and that’s where I met my husband. We are still happily married.

Being attracted to and married to a person of another gender didn’t end my attraction to my own gender. I hid those feelings and that part of my identity. I did tell my husband I was bi, but I’ve kept my marriage promise.

Seventeen years later, in 2016, I was sick of Facebook, and I decided to open a tumblr account because a college friend had been part of its creation. I had no idea what I’d find there.

Suddenly I was exposed to a deluge of artwork and fiction and meta discussion about all the things that interested me. My kids and I had very much enjoyed the Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: Legend of Korra series, and I was surprised and pleased when I heard in the news that the lead character, Korra, was canon bisexual. So when I joined tumblr and found an entire community of people who enjoyed it so much they created new fan-driven content for it, I was at once delighted, enthralled, and at home.

I realized very quickly that much of the content was adult-themed; but though technically pornographic, it bore little resemblance to the videos I’d seen throughout my life. It had a completely different quality, because it had been created for and by women attracted to other women. It was gentler, sweeter, more affectionate. It was still very much sexual content, but it did not objectify women in the way that I had always seen before. It was incredibly easy to identify with the characters, and positively, and the fan works explored literature and artistic themes with queer characters where one would typically find straight characters.

My eyes were opened. Having married a man, I knew little about what my life might have been like if I’d been born 20 years later. Now I understood what I’d missed. It’s a great regret; a deep sadness that I can’t change, through no one’s fault.

At the same time, now I could enjoy things with a much more genuine feeling of fulfillment and identify much more closely with characters. I made friends in the fandom. They’re all younger than me, but sometimes I’m a mother they never had. I found nonbinary and trans kids and learned about their issues in a way I’d never known. I learned and learned and learned.

I found other fandoms, as well, and heard about movies and shows that I would never thought to watch before. All touched me in a way I never felt before.

I started creating art of my own. I’d received a degree in art 25 years before; now I was finally using it and making things I enjoyed and was deeply proud of. I had FUN making this art, which had been too rare an experience otherwise. My skills as an artist continue to improve as a result.

Recently, I started writing fan fiction. Taking two older characters from The Legend of Korra, I believe I have found a niche. I am able to write and draw women much like myself in age and temperament, with a perspective unlike that of younger writers. I’ve allowed myself to feel emotions in those characters that I have been unable to feel in my own life because of my circumstances. And I’ve received some wonderful praise for what I’ve written, and that is the most amazing feeling. To make believable something that I’ve never experienced personally is astonishing.

I can’t understate the importance of fan works to my acceptance of myself as a bisexual woman, even though I have come to that acceptance later in my life. I hope the content that I’ve created will be found by women like me, a little older, a little late to the game. And I hope it makes them feel as much better about themselves as it has made me.


This essay was submitted to the @aroomoftheirown​ project, a blog and zine that seeks document the myriad of ways in which LGBT content creators and fandom participants use fanworks as a celebration of their identities and to force popular mainstream media to reflect their lived experiences by collecting essays, comics, and interviews documenting how LGBT members of fandom use their various talents to carve out a space for themselves in mainstream fiction and to explore their identities in a relatively safe space.

The blog that will accept submissions on a consistent basis and the eventual goal is to compile a selection of the pieces into a zine or a series of zines, the proceeds of which will go to the Trevor Project and Trans Lifeline

To learn more or submit to the project, click here.

It’s weird I spent A LOT of time in my late teen to early 20s being like “all man, fandoms are so cringe and I was so stupid” *fart* because I was an idiot.

But now I’m starting to shed that off and look back at all the silly fanworks I enjoyed like sprite comics or Coodoo17′s videos and I feel good like I’m letting an important part of myself and what shaped my taste in fanworks out.

Now I’m just like “I don’t care”

I have my Fanfiction.Net faves full of silly fanfic or all stripes, my own work I do without restraint or trying to be some high-art of fanfic and my Deviant Art account.

I’m happy because I’m a huge dork with a redneck streak  and a wallet full of fandom membership cards and that’s just who the hell I am.  

Especially in regards to Sonic because I don’t have to look at as some dirty secret anymore now that I’ve matured enough to be secure in who I am.

Love Letter to the Queer Fandom

by Rae D. Magdon (tumblr user raedmagdon)

The women who taught me how to be queer are fictional.

Growing up, I didn’t know a single gay, bi, or transgender person. I was young, I was sheltered. When I started wondering if, maybe, the way I thought about women wasn’t the way most other girls did, I went to the internet.

I hoped to find answers. What I found was a lifeline.

 I read about women in love. Unapologetically in love, unrestrained with their love. I read about women like me, and it gave me the courage to start writing.

I wrote about what I wanted my own future to look like. I wrote about women like me, queer women, getting happily ever afters. I wrote and wrote until I had published ten novels and over two and a half million words of fanfiction.

 Then I started getting messages.

 I got messages from myself ten years ago. I got messages that said: “Thank you.” I got messages that said: “This is me.” I got messages that asked: “Is it really going to be okay?”

 And I got to say, “Yes, it really is going to be okay.”

My lifeline had become a rope, and I was pulling it from the other end. Now it runs in front of me and behind me. And that, I think, is what queerness is, and what fandom is. It inspires you, and gives you the chance—the honor—to inspire other people too.

 It’s the most personal form of expression, but the best thing you can do is make it public, so you can touch someone else.

 So this is my love letter to the queer fandom. Without it, I wouldn’t be who I am.


This essay was submitted to the @aroomoftheirown​ project, a blog and zine that seeks document the myriad of ways in which LGBT content creators and fandom participants use fanworks as a celebration of their identities and to force popular mainstream media to reflect their lived experiences by collecting essays, comics, and interviews documenting how LGBT members of fandom use their various talents to carve out a space for themselves in mainstream fiction and to explore their identities in a relatively safe space.

The blog that will accept submissions on a consistent basis and the eventual goal is to compile a selection of the pieces into a zine or a series of zines, the proceeds of which will go to the Trevor Project and Trans Lifeline

To learn more or submit to the project, click here.

4

I saw your cosplay thing, and we’ll I gave it a go.

Sorry my hair is a bit off I used my own.

((OH MY GOODNESS THIS IS PERFECT??? The eARS and the EYE S and the HEAT SENSORY NOSE PITS HOLY MOLY even the scales are SO WELL DONE (and shhh your hair is also wonderful) thE LAST EXPRESSION TOO OH MY GOD
to fight under the one, to march behind the other | by smithens

the time has come to end my Enjolras/Combeferre fic collection, to fight under the one, to march behind the other, & move on to some longer, more complicated & sexier shippy works with these two characters.

After 19 unconnected ficlets, it felt a little incomplete, so I’ve posted a 20th featuring Weather and Geology Nerding and Wet Enjolras.

Read Ficlet #20 on the AO3 here.

Read Ficlet #20 on my Tumblr here.

preview:

Now, as he sat in bed beneath the duvet with his worn volume of Beudant’s Voyage minéralogique et géologique in his hands, he hoped that he would remain uninterrupted. He had already seen the portress and the landlord, and he had bought bread and cheese that ought to last between meals for at least the next two days or so. No need for him to go out; no need for anyone else to come in.

Or, so he wished.

Any wish such as that, however, was prone in Combeferre’s history to not come to fruition, and so when he heard, a mere sixty pages into the book, three curt raps at the door, he could not find it in him to truly be irritable.

Not, at least, when the style of knocking indicated a particular and much-desired visitor.

Combeferre made note of his place in the text - he had not yet passed the section on mountainous geological formations - and set the book upon his nightstand, unable to keep himself from smiling with anticipation.

“You’ve a key, do you not?” he called to the front of the room, and as if his visitor had only been waiting to hear such words, the lock clicked and the door opened…

My Own Fandom

By @tiffotcf

It has taken me a long while to figure out who I am. And without fandom I may never have gotten where I am now.

I grew up in a single-parent, demanding household. I spent so much of my youth helping to be the other parent that I didn’t have much time to think about me. However, I still knew from a very young age that I preferred “boys’ clothes and looks” over girls’ and that all the characters I wanted to be from my favorite books, movies, and TV were male or gender non-conforming (GNC). But my mother explained that just meant I was a tomboy, that the closeness I felt with my female friends was just strong friendship, and that I would be interested in romance when I met the right boy.

Now I’m 31, I’m a panromantic nonbinary asexual, and I am finally starting to learn what it means to be happy and fight for what I want. And getting back into fandom and writing fanfiction is a big part of what got me there.

When I started writing again, thinking about characters and focusing on the minutiae of their lives, I remembered how complex and detailed they can really be. And it helped me think more about myself–who I wanted to be and what kind of work I wanted to create and share with the world. Additionally, it made me realize how many choices had been made not by me, but for me.

Fandom–particularly fanfiction–asks its viewership to consider all angles of a character, not just what canon has the time or capability to include. Art, stories, headcanons; these are all examples of laypeople taking characters and saying “they are more than what you, the creators, say they are.” And for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, that drive to explain the more complex nature of these characters acts as a proxy for ourselves. We do not neatly fit into the categories determined by others, like outdated perceptions of gender or sexuality.

I recently wrote my first GNC fic. I took a couple that appears to be traditionally heteronormative (though one of the pair is canonically asexual) and, based on my understanding of the characters’ perspectives and interests, I was able to expand upon that in a way that still fit with their established traits.  Since I wrote this fic for a smaller fandom, the idea of the main male character being GNC or genderqueer had not been explored before. And, especially because of its personal connection to my own struggles, it was one that I was nervous to present. It was not my longest work, but it was by far the most difficult I had ever attempted. It left me sleepless and made me forget to eat for days on end. But in the end I was proud of it. And I was proud of myself for writing out that little bit of myself and my interests, placing them into something that is out there for others to interact with.

Reception has had a few pitfalls; there were some who understood less about the struggles of being bi and GNC and instead found humor in some of the heavier moments. This was hard for me to see. As that was, of course, not my intention and something that I was very conscious of trying to avoid while I was writing.

Fortunately, the rest of the feedback thus far has been overwhelmingly positive, and not just responses such as “I liked this,” or “this was fun to read,” but in terms of thoughtful comments from members of the community who felt this presentation of the characters really spoke to them. One reader told me that they were “proud to be a part of the fandom that this was a part of”. Another mentioned how they were reminded of a time when they had been presented with a similar situation, and had not reacted in a way that they would now be proud of.

These comments were particularly important to me because in my mind this is what creative works are meant to do: touch people and make them think, about the world and their interactions with it. I believe that, in some instances, fanworks can do this just as much as–if not even more than–original ones. In fanworks you, the creator, are not just being judged on your ability to make emotionally relatable works, but in your ability to transform something that is already beloved to your audience. Fan creators push consumers to see and accept something different about that which is already familiar. And that is a skill set that is necessary in a positive and inclusive world.  

Fandom is all about expression, both in terms of creation and self. Fandom is about finding something you are passionate about embracing and reveling in it. And perhaps most importantly, it is about connection–the connections between the characters that fanworks so often focus on, the connection between fan creator and the work they are toiling away on, the connections the communities build for themselves. So it is a great place for someone to reach out and begin to stretch their expressive muscles.

That isn’t to say there isn’t conflict in fandom; we are only human, after all. Since fandom is ultimately an expression of interests, it is therefore rife with different opinions. So sometimes fandoms can suffer from toxicity, just as the real world does. In my 18-plus years in fandom I have seen its ups and downs, but I have always seen it strive to be something more than what is standard or offered by the mainstream. It has been my experience that participating in fandom provides a community of people who are there for one another in both creative works and self-expression.

Being a part of fandom has taught me how to be a fan, not only of the works I love but of myself and the choices that I am making. With the understanding I have gained from my time in fandom I can move forward without forgetting the moments and experiences that got me here. Like a character’s struggle in a fanwork, my life has its angst and its fluff. Sometimes it’s full of tropes and sometimes it feels like I am all alone in these new experiences. But it has also given me an outlet to repurpose these feelings, to put my own stories out there, to be a part of a community. And it is incredible.  


This essay was submitted to the @aroomoftheirown​ project, a blog and zine that seeks document the myriad of ways in which LGBT content creators and fandom participants use fanworks as a celebration of their identities and to force popular mainstream media to reflect their lived experiences by collecting essays, comics, and interviews documenting how LGBT members of fandom use their various talents to carve out a space for themselves in mainstream fiction and to explore their identities in a relatively safe space.

The blog that will accept submissions on a consistent basis and the eventual goal is to compile a selection of the pieces into a zine or a series of zines, the proceeds of which will go to the Trevor Project and Trans Lifeline

To learn more or submit to the project, click here.

cherylxcx  asked:

britta, out of curiosity, are you okay with us tagging you in riverdale content we make? (like AUs or art)

Please tag me in alllllllll the fan art! Vids and gifs and stuff are great, too. I love all that stuff!

And feel free to tag me in other things too, as long as it’s not like, story pitches lol. We are not accepting unrepresented story pitches at this time.

King Barium & Unknown of DTTR’s White Day Reply

For Valentine’s Day, Anonymous sent King Barium this lovely poem:

“where oh where are the lovely bells to ring? 
ere’ I thought I spotted you gleaming I saw what was underneath
gray I do not see on the floor none but a black and white checkerboard
oh woe is the maidens heart to the crown
the love one feel’s can make one drown, drown, drown
over and under I weave and I duck
woe as me I’m struck by the winged boys poison tipped arrows
all around me like minds fall
really now who else heard your call?
for you beckoned us all from our ship from afar
our boats crashed on your rocky shores 
right now your kingdom of seven clans are ready for war
kindly would you stand up tall
  Is it so, will I hear it again?
  nothing will prepare you for the end
  greetings and farewells near and far
  surely love can clear the dark
  though I do confess of my love and love of worry
  once the bells were tolled for a the kings shiny crowned head
  once, but beware for they will toll again if dead”

Anonymous also wrote this for the main guy of Don’t Take This Risk:

“I can not see what is not shown just only guess
what am I to do with the likes of you
I love your mind and your words speak to me my love
however your eyes I cannot be seen as you are now
stretching my arms to cross this barrier
will I ever get you to look at me

you threaten to bite off your tongue to frighten me
the gun in your desk yours and supposedly mine escape I guess
I cannot save me but I have the will to save another I will break this barrier
my poor beloved one you believe the world your Juliet and perish you…
let us try to rise now
my love

why do you behave so love?
if you think me false then you should take those hands and kill this barrier
would seeing my heart prove me so?, come now
I want you to look at me, do you know why, guess
I love you, I cherish you
you should see your reflection and the darkness of my me

still even with this in the way it can not hold this barrier
my everlasting love
what happened to you?
you can not dirty me
I wish not for you to be a guess
we are here now

rest till morning now
let two golden circles one day be our barrier
no more guess
with our choice of love
let us be together even after death you and me
I care so much for you

I want to always be with you
forever and now
please try not to worry for me
even with this barrier
I shall endeavor to know you beloved love
for now ill just have to guess I guess

I want be with you and to know you, so as to forget there was a barrier
so let us gaze at each other now, and rejoice in this we have found love
I want you too know me,no more guess”
 

For White Day, I decided to have both of them return a reply.

“This is the Valentine specials all over again. You didn’t even follow the rhyming pattern in the last one.”

“Oops. Oh, well. It’s not like we really had a set pattern. Besides, who says I care to follow the one you randomly set?”

“Well, Happy White Day, Anonymous. It has an ominous undertone, but I like your style. Not to mention, you wrote it for me. That’s not something I take lightly. I meant it when I said we should dance ‘til dawn…”

“Choose me, my darling mademoiselle. I’ll give you a far wilder time! Yes, the ride of your life. ♥ ”