In light of recent weeks where I have noticed a severe influx within the fanfic community of readers, generally under an anonymous guise, who have been messaging fic writers some terribly rude things in regards to demanding and or begging for updates, here are some pointers to educate the non-writer community:
Just because the demanding message is sent in complete caps lock to imply “enthusiasm” does not dampen the fact that the nature of the message is any less demanding. At the end of the day, if you are saying: Update (insert title) already, I need it! or When are you finally going to post (insert title) then that is all the writer is going to see, no matter if the message is sent in all caps lock, all lower case, or in leet speak. If you as the reader cannot see and understand that such a sentence is demanding and consider that as the only way you can express your “enthusiasm” to a writer, then do not even bother sending a message in the first place.
Begging is not a compliment. It is fantastic to know that our readers are excited about future updates, but there are at least a hundred different ways that you can express that without the begging connotations. Just because you “need” this update, or “need” to know what happens will not suddenly encourage the writer to create the content faster. If anything, it will stress them out and put the pressure on them to upload something that ninety-five percent of the time, they will not be happy with due to the simple fact that they churned it out on a late night and four cups of coffee to satisfy a reader who felt entitled by typing out a string of demanding words, ticked anonymous and clicked send.
If you have a right to complain about us being slow in our updates, then we, as the content creators, have the full green light to go ahead and complain about the demands. The issue that I have noticed the most with this whole situation is the moment that the writer sits down and posts a response in regards to how the demands are making them stressed, upset, or angry, they will almost instantly receive a sudden torrent of messages telling them why their feelings are invalid, why they should be grateful that their readers are so excited for them to update, etc. As soon as the writer fights back, the readers suddenly pipe up to shut them down like the writer is a disobeying pet, and the reader is a displeased owner who scolds them for supposedly biting the hand that feeds them. And that, my friends, is seriously fucked up.
Understand that there is a solid reason why the writer has not updated a particular series, or they have not yet posted the story that they might have previously discussed. The reason they have not already posted it is not because they enjoy making you suffer, nor because they are an awful, terrible person who wishes to see how long you will cling on to their every post until you get tired and let go. If a writer has not updated a specific series or story, it is because they are not inspired by it, they are still planning it, or they are making alterations to the plot to better and intensify the reading experience. Asking them to update it is not going to suddenly fill them with the desire to write that particular story, so please do not think that.
Remember that writers are human beings. We are not robots with the sole purpose to write and update our blogs. We have lives, jobs, studies, and social lives to uphold outside of writing fan fiction, just like you do. Content creating is a hobby. Sure, lots of us continue to pursue that into a future career, though for now, on our blogs, this is sheerly something that we do in our own free time for free. Before you think to demand us of something that we gain no monetary value from, think again.
Deleting these sorts of demanding messages is only an alternative; the true solution is that they stop being sent altogether. Stop trying to tell writers to ignore these messages, and rather, stop sending them in the first place. We can delete, block and ignore, but the messages will always come back and the moment we say something about them, we get sweet little messages trying to put us into our supposedly righteous place because we stepped out of line and spoke our true feelings for once. May I reiterate my statement from three bullet points back by saying that is seriously fucked up.
All in all, please, before you think to send a writer a message in regards to one of their stories, learn what the difference is between being demanding and being supportive. There are ways to ask a writer about their progress on a story or series without blatantly begging or demanding them of its current status. If you wish to support a writer and encourage them to continue with the updates, send them positive, complimenting messages about the piece by detailing how you adored the story, what elements of it hooked you, etc. instead of not even hinting your enjoyment in the slightest through a message that bluntly states: When is the next update?
This is a simple matter of mutual respect between the readers and the writer. You scratch my back, and I will scratch yours. I can tell you for sure that any writer would much rather no message at all than one that demands them to update. So, if you are thinking to send in something that blatantly requests them to update the next chapter or post a new story, then close the browser and walk away because we do not want your twisted concepts of enthusiasm and support. Silence is more comforting than that.
now remember when i said i had ALOT of aus well haha… this is one of em.
though i think mine is a bit different from other little mermaid aus, unless someone thought of this too. okay letteh me explain
dipper = Ariel (obviously)
Mabel = Flounder/ all the sisters (technically mushed into 1)
Pacifica = Sebastian (yep pacifica not tad haha!)
Stan = king Triton
Ford = (we’ll call him co-king BUT) Queen Athena
Gideon = Grimsby (the butler)
Bill = Ursula/ AND the prince (YOU WEREN’T SUSPECTING THIS ONE HUH??! okay maybe u did)
Eight ball and teeth = The eels
Tad = scuttle ( but he’s more like the greek siren aka harpie)
okay now for the story
okay dipper is ariel so blah blah blah he wants to go to the surface BUT WHY?! because he found a book where the pages and the ink was made with maaaagic. a book telling about the surface, he got curious and went up and down from the surface and back much to the dismay of stan (he doesn’t want dipper to go up to the surface because ford died in a ship crash (OR DID HE?!))
mabel always loves to follow dipper on his adventures around the sea as he collects “treasures” from the surface, sometimes they even miss they’re shows that pacifica likes to schedule. much to stan’s dismay (cause he gets money from the shows)
one day there was a storm and a ship and boom! the ship sinks Prince Bill cipher drowning in the waters, dipper (who was looking at the ship very very closely while the crew partied) saves the prince (even though he didn’t need saving) when bill was brought up to shore, he pretends to be unconscious as he hears dipper singing to him and then he peeked one eye open curiously but woe is him, dipper noticed and scrambled back into the sea in a blushing fury.
he was undoubtingly smitten to the mermaid
and so on and so on, bill was in fact not only a prince but he was also a sea demon granting the wishes of the merfolk (FOR A PRICE AHAHAHAHA) but he wanted to find out more of this merman who saved him, so he got his eels eight ball and teeth to search for him. they find him and they also find out that dipper is in fact a prince.
so the bill plotting intensifies. he wants the kingdom AND dipper in one go. so when dipper goes to his lair, he wears a cloth with a picture of an eye drapped over his head. so dipper doesn’t recognize him so when he found out that dipper was in fact in love with him. he becomes suuuuper hypey.
blah blah blah things happens, bill goes from smitten to being in love and he almost blew his shot at the kingdom by almost kissing dipper in the lagoon. helped by the singing of mabel and pacifica (with the side of tad but he has a bad voice unlike other sirens)
and the blah blah blah tad find out that Bill is the prince when he sings in front the mirror and he sees bill’s octopus form. bill in the end does become king of the sea for like a few minutes before the mystery twins beat him by mabel throwing a spear at bill while dipper distracts him.
but happy ending though as bill in his octopus form is washed out on the sea shore, he wakes up and cries (in a manly way). dipper sees this and continues to look towards bill.
stan looks towards dipper and with a sigh grants him legs which he uses to run towards bill.
none of them knowing that ford was in a dungeon below the castle grounds, chained and shackled.
Adam is basically the wallflower in the social circle. He doesn’t know how to act so he just doesn’t act at all.
Nigel is a Highwayman, he steals anything anytime anyplace. He meets Adam because he’s stolen someone’s carriage and sees Adam walking home from a particularly bad ball (he got into an accidental fight with someone and his father basically had to schmooze over the host. Adam couldn’t wait to leave so he just took off, rethinking his idea later) and Nigel offers him a ride. They get along well and Nigel steals a kiss.
Adam can’t find him again and is super sad about it. He learns that the Duke Nigel pretended to be had his carriage stolen and realizes that Nigel lied to him.
He’s super devastated and goes to another ball a few days later, dancing with someone horrible when Nigel interrupts and forces Adam into a dance.
He tries to apologize and Adam won’t listen, stubbornly ignoring until Nigel purposefully kisses him in front of everyone! They now have to marry because it’s super scandalous.
Adam finds out at their wedding that Nigel is viscount that had been away in the war, everyone wanted him but Adam charmed him. He steals because he hates society just as much as Adam does.
They end up falling in love in their shared space and blah blah blah
Mod: The first panel was drawn and submitted to me by Enderstine which I’m sure is a follow-up to this, I would have liked to make the background dark as well but if I wanted a floor so would it be darker which would make Enderstine very hard to see.
Before the trimester ended, Enna took her plan to the next step.
Max continued to be suspicious of her nice girl act, which she kept up with even after he foiled her attempt at ruining his grades. She still encouraged him and helped him with his homework, and it was all he could do to keep acting normal in her presence. Something told him that letting her know he was aware of her scheme was the worst possible thing he could do.
Tali, smug as she was, wasn’t very much help at this point. As they drew closer to the end of her first trimester, the classwork pressure finally started to pile on, leaving her too stressed and distracted to focus on what Enna was really up to. Journey, meanwhile, couldn’t figure out anything about Enna’s luck charm beyond the fact that there was in fact a trace of magic in it. He and Max were also falling victim to the extra loads of work, which didn’t help at all.
On top of that, Max’s luck with his job seemed to be getting worse and worse. After a stressful two weeks covering for coworkers who’d been fired or couldn’t make it in, his shifts were suddenly cut, leaving him with a paycheck just barely big enough to take care of his bills.
“The universe is out to get me,” he moaned to Journey one late evening during a study session.
“Stop being overdramatic,” Journey replied without even looking up from his laptop screen.
“I mean it. Everything’s been weird since…” Max trailed off. “And lately things just keep getting worse. I am…so tempted to just run away, sometimes.”
"Running away never solves any problems,” came the response.
Journey didn’t notice the odd look Max gave him. Max didn’t say anything else for a while.
It was an unassuming Friday afternoon when Max realized he’d underestimated Enna. He was called in to a meeting with the dean, something that made him uneasy for two reasons. Firstly and more immediately, because he had to call in to work and get someone else to take his shift. Secondly and more worryingly, because it felt uncomfortably like a similar meeting he’d gone through only eight months earlier.
Stepping into the office, he felt a chill of dread shoot up and down his spine. Mr Stern was there. So was Enna.
“Thank you for coming, Mr Oliver,” said Ms Sparrow.
“No problem,” he lied. “What’s this about?”
The door closed behind Max with the firm thud of solid wood, and a click like the trigger of a gun being pulled.
“Some unusual behavior has been brought to my attention,” said Ms Sparrow. She drew Max’s gaze to the surface of her desk and, as he watched, she placed a single item there: the little black flashdrive he’d given Mr Stern.
“Roughly two weeks ago, as I’ve been told, Mr Stern approached you about assignments you hadn’t been turning in. You gave him this.”
Max nodded. “Yes.” He already didn’t like where this was going.
“Maybe you can explain why nobody apart from Mr Stern is able to look at the contents of this flashdrive.”
Max swallowed. He definitely didn’t like where this was going.
“That kind of enchantment requires a level of magic that we know for a fact you don’t possess,” she added. “In fact, it requires a type of magic that we highly discourage our students from using.”
Unable to think of a defense, with his mind racing up toward the point of panic, Max said the only thing he could think of.
"Enna set me up.” The words spilled out of his mouth, and he instantly regretted them, but now that he’d made the accusation he had to go forward with it. “She’s the teacher assistant. She deleted all my files and kept Mr Stern from seeing them. What else was I supposed to do?”
All eyes turned to Enna, who put on a face of shock and betrayal.
“I would never do something like that! Mr Stern, Ms Sparrow, you know how hard I’ve worked to get here! I wouldn’t do anything to risk losing this job!”
"Relax, Miss Pranke,” said Ms Sparrow. “I believe you, especially considering the additional evidence you’ve provided us.”
Max thought his heart might have skipped a beat in its haste. ‘Additional evidence’ sounded like a very bad thing. His breath stopped coming for a moment when he saw the second item the dean placed on her desk.
“Normally I would discourage snooping in other people’s belongings,” she shot a glance at Enna, who had the decency to at least appear ashamed, “but I’m told the two of you are friends, and the nature of this object is far more concerning.”
She unfolded the black silken square, revealing the golden summoning circle stitched onto it. Some of the threads were stained a darker brown.
“We’ve confirmed that this is your blood on this circle, and that it is recent. You know our policy regarding demons, Mr Oliver. Eight months ago, I believe, we had another discussion on this subject.”
“Yes, we did,” Max admitted. There was nothing else he could say. He was guilty - this time, at least - and everyone in the room knew it.
“Furthermore, there is the nature of this circle. It isn’t in any of our sources, yet it is clearly a circle for the demon known as Alcor. Where did you get it?”
Closing his eyes, Max took a long, shaky breath. They would know if he lied about this. He was screwed no matter what he said or did, so he might as well be honest.
“Alcor gave it to me.”
He wasn’t quite expecting the degree of shock that showed on the dean’s face. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Mr Stern shaking his head ever so slightly, and he could only imagine the satisfaction Enna was feeling.
Finally Ms Sparrow said, “If you have any other magical items on your person, I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to show them to me.”
Max very nearly swore aloud. The ring was still in his pocket. The ring that was also a gift from Alcor, that contained a brutish weapon, that he himself had activated with his own blood and used to beat down several people. The situation simply could not get any worse.
He slipped a hand into his pocket, and handed the ring to Ms Sparrow.
“Since you’re going to ask anyway, that’s from Alcor too. But I’d feel much more comfortable talking about it without her,” he jerked his head in Enna’s direction, “in the room.”
Ms Sparrow gazed at his face for a moment, then nodded. “Miss Pranke, you’re excused.” Enna left, with a disgruntled huff, and Ms Sparrow said to Max, “Please explain this.”
So Max explained, beginning with a recap of the events of the previous winter. He explained that he had never intended to get involved with demons of any sort; that he was only taking demonology because continued involvement with Alcor was inevitable by no fault of his own; that he knew he was in a messed up situation and there didn’t seem to be much he could do about it.
He related the events of the beginning of the summer, how he and Journey had been kidnapped by a very cult-like group, and how they had only survived because of Max’s ties to Alcor. He explained that the weapon hidden within the ring was only for self-defense in case he found himself in another situation like that one.
Ms Sparrow listened calmly, nodded understandingly, and when Max was finished finally said, “Could you tell me why this particular demon has formed this attachment with you?”
Max bit his lip for a moment. “He told me that I’m…a reincarnation of someone who was important to him.” It sounded ridiculous when he said it like that, but Ms Sparrow considered it with complete seriousness.
At last she straightened up a little in her chair, took a breath, and said, “I’ll admit that your circumstances are unique, at least in my experience, but I’m afraid our policy still stands. With clear evidence that you have been dealing with demons for school-related purposes, and a confession from yourself on top of that, I have no choice but to take action. A first strike results in suspension; since you’ve now received two strikes, and admitted to dodging the first by doing the very thing you would have been suspended for, the punishment is expulsion.”
"What! But…Please! Please, I need this!”
"I’m sorry, Mr Oliver. Rules are rules. Please collect your personal things and return any school property you possess.” She handed the summoning circle and the ring back to Max, and dismissed him.
Enna was waiting outside, just a short distance down the hallway. By the look on her face, Max had no doubt that she knew exactly what had just happened.
“Satisfied?” he said bitterly.
She shrugged. “I really didn’t want to have to do that. But since you so cleverly ruined my plan to get you out of just the one class, I didn’t have much choice.”
Max pushed Enna against the wall, and pinned her there by her shoulders. “What is your problem? It’s just a fucking demonology class! Do you have any idea what you just cost me?”
Enna’s eyes narrowed, but her mouth turned up in a creepy little smile. “I’m trying to keep you from doing anything foolish, Max. Everyone else may have forgotten about that first little incident, but I never did. Of course I knew who that demon was when I banished it from the apartment. I panicked at first. But then I realized you were in trouble, and I knew I was the only person who could help you.” Her expression changed to a pout. “Please don’t hate me for trying to save you.”
”I never needed saving,” Max nearly growled at her. “At least not from Alcor.” But then his blood ran cold as another voice echoed in his mind. An older voice, masculine and sickeningly self-satisfied. “I’ve been asked to save you,” the voice in his memory said. His grip on Enna’s shoulders loosened.
”You. You’re the one who sent them after me…”
Enna’s pout became even more sad, and tears pooled in her eyes. “I don’t know what happened. I spent so much time wondering how you escaped while everyone else there died…A lot of good people died, Max.”
“They tried to kill me.”
"You should have let them save you!”
“That was never going to happen because I never needed saving!”
Enna laughed, a mad laugh that rang in his ears and echoed down the hallway as tears spilled down her face. She pushed his hands away and stumbled a few steps. “I still can’t give up on you. I won’t. I promise. Alcor may have claimed you, but he can’t keep you forever.” The hopeful smile she gave him sent yet another chill running down his spine, before she turned and walked away.
The fact that we don’t know who Wilson might be playing is definitely an intriguing mystery. As I’ve previously written about, the movie will actually need two Hank Pyms, as there are going to be flashback sequences that show off a younger version of the character being played by Douglas in the modern timeline of the plot.