frith_in_thorns: (.Bookmark leaf)
I am supposed to be asleep, but instead Ellie and I have been accidentally planning out a future-fic sequel to Jill Murphy's The Worst Witch children's book series where Mildred and Maud are grown up and married. It's called The Worst Wife. They have a very loving and happy and catastrophe-filled marriage and are so cute at each other that their friends are all sickened, while being occasionally guilt-stricken and sure that they are The Worst.

Highlights include:

- They invite literally everyone from school to their wedding. Including Miss Hardbroom, whom they are still rather scared of, but obviously it is The Right Thing To Do. HB is completely baffled by being invited and continues being baffled at the Most Chaotic Wedding of the century. All the food gets mixed up, there is loud and cheerful family everywhere, both sets of grannies think they've been chosen to make the wedding cake because neither Mildred nor Maud were capable of saying no to them.

- Miss Cackle drinks sherry through the entire wedding, has a wonderful time, and keeps a framed photo of M&M on her office wall. Surrounded by decorative bats.

- M&M are very dedicated Old Girls and go to all the school events and tell all the current girls about the splendid times they had. HB continues to be confused by this remembrance of events.

- Their house is a complete chaotic mess all the time. Both M&M feel very guilty about this. They are both sure that they are dreadful and not sure at all why their wife puts up with them.

- Whenever friends come over M&M rush around trying to make it sort of habitable and desperately explaining that it doesn't usually look this bad, they've just been really busy lately and they really meant to clear away that magical accident detritus and they can actually be organised and their friends are just like ...No.

- Adventures in married life include When We Were Stuck Outside For Hours Because Our Key Turned Into A Fish. And the fish seemed happy as a fish and they feel bad about wanting to turn it back into a key, and can't bring themselves to do this, and after some convoluted method of Mildred climbing through the second-floor window they keep the fish in a tank and are forever anxious about the cats trying to eat it.

- Adventures also include Let's Make A Lovely Meal And Have A Romantic Evening Together Oh No.

- And also Maud Takes Up Knitting And Encodes Dangerous Sigils Into Her Blankets (before the day is saved by the cats ripping it all up)

- "If you were a bat you'd be the prettiest bat ever," Mildred coos to Maud, right before all their friends try and force them to drink Silencing Potions.

- Adventures In DIY Spells also feature heavily. Mildred especially has big ideas for home decoration.

...None of this is based at all on me and Ellie, why would you think that.
frith_in_thorns: (SGA fanfic)
Frith: SGA has magic radios. They always seem to just automatically connect to the right people at the right times, it's wonderful.

Sholio: yep

Frith: I don't even care about trying to make them work properly in fic
they don't in canon

Sholio: I seem to recall at one point I tried to figure out how they worked for fic purposes and gave up.
Like ... can everyone hear the conversations, or just the person you're talking to? It seems to vary by situation.

Frith: clearly Atlantis has a sentient radio network and it adds people to the channel when they're about to be talked to

Sholio: XD
If they're like a normal radio (or walkie-talkie), then everyone is on the same channel, hears the conversations and the person you're talking to can answer when you address them. That actually MAKES SENSE.
But they don't always seem to do that.

Frith: like, maybe there are just a million channels and everyone's predecided which will be used for what and can pick up mutlple ones when there's activity in them
like irc
irc radios :P

Sholio: hmmm, that actually makes a weird kind of sense
especially if it's being monitored by a highly advanced computer

Frith: that's my theory and I'm sticking with it

Sholio: sure

Frith: so each team has their own radio chatroom, and there's one for department heads, and one for miliatary, and about a hundred set up by various gossip groups...

Sholio: and newcomers are thoroughly baffled

I'm now firmly convinced of this. Either that or the radio network really does run on literal magic. It's things like this that makes it very hard to write realistic-feeling fic, when the show can't decide what it's doing!

On a related note, does anyone know how exactly the transporters work? Do they de/materialise people to different locations, or is it a physical lift/escalator system which goes up and down and sideways a la Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? (They'd have to be going FAST...)
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Neal 1)
This is a perennial debate I've been having with a few people, especially [ profile] sholio, so I thought I'd type it up for general interest/discussion. This is all highly personal and subjective, of course, and I accept that people have many different opinions on this topic which are all correct! (Unless you're Thomas Hardy. He can go jump off a cliff into a SEA OF CHARACTERS' TEARS.)

First: I find angst fun to write, as is probably blatantly obvious. I enjoy torturing, breaking, and sometimes outright murdering characters. And I enjoy reading the same — some of my favourite fics, and books, are the ones which make me sob until I'm an utter wreck.

However, I'm also a massive fan of happy endings. Or, if happy isn't quite the right word, than at least hopeful. Some of the characters can be dead, the survivors can be battered — but if the ones who are still alive are also still standing, looking forward and knowing that they'll be able to continue on, then I'll be satisfied.

I think a major part of my feelings on this topic are born of a strong belief that reading is a reciprocal act. The writer is telling the story, but the reader is giving their hand to the writer and trusting them to lead them through it, and out the other side. Some writers delight in dragging the reader over jagged rocks and then abandoning them there. (I've done it! It can be really fun! And I also enjoy reading oneshot deathfics for my favourite characters in which the character dies and that's the end!)

However, I'd never write a fic like that that was more than a few thousand words at the most. Certainly anything over ten thousand words is pretty much guaranteed a happy ending, and even more strongly if it's posted in chapters or as a series. This is because I firmly believe that, having trusted me enough to invest the time and energy in reading my stories, I at that point owe it to people reading to lead them to an emotionally satisfying ending. Especially in multi-chaptered things, if I'm dragging people through chapters of EVERYTHING IS AWFUL, it doesn't feel fair to not provide the recompense of pulling everything back together and ending on a high note. (Yes, this is why I hate Thomas Hardy. And Wuthering Heights. And the pointless character death at the end of The Tenderness of Wolves. I carry GRUDGES about these books.)

(Again, things can end satisfyingly/hopefully without being happy, or without the happiness making up for/overshadowing what's gone before. A couple of examples I can think of here are The Lions of Al-Rassan and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Both of which I am a mess by the end of, but I still looooove the endings.)

And, fundamentally, unless I end a story with a total nuclear holocaust or something, I feel that I should be able to bring out some sort of hope for the future. I know I often hide it behind my massive cynicism, but I'm actually pretty optimistic about the human ability to eventually find happiness out of most situations, given time and sometimes a little narrative nudge!

I read a formative quote, when I was a baby writer of sixteen who was just starting out on the internet, which went something like: Unhappy endings are easy, and very Sixth Form. Fixing what you broke is harder. It's very much stuck with me. To me, and this is entirely subjective, breaking everything and then not doing the harder work of fixing/rebuilding feels almost like cheating. In a short piece I can let myself "get away" with it, but in a longer thing — no. I haven't done the work the reader was expecting, and that isn't fair.

What are your thoughts?
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Games - Mass Effect - Liara Deal)
Random 2 a.m. musings about Dragon Age: Origins, which I've been playing through again instead of editing my big bang. Steam tells me I just hit 300 hours logged in this game. Oh my god.

Spoilers, mostly about Alistair )

Your takeaway message: I am using too much logic here and am also now wondering whether Grey Wardens are ever made via STIs. I bet there's fic of it.
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Diana 2)
There is a growing prevalence at the moment for Neal/Diana fic. This upsets me a lot, and I'm going to talk about why.

Disclaimer: I am not censoring anyone (since I am not a government entity, it would be literally impossible for me to do so). It is everyone's personal choice to write what they write. I am just trying to explain why this particular choice is very loaded, and problematic, and capable of hurting people. Not everyone feels like this, obviously. I don't speak on behalf of any group.

(If you're going to comment with YKINMK, or some variety of "don't read, then", please don't bother. I don't need to read the fic to have it glare in my face as I scroll down my flist.)

Diana, you see, identifies as a lesbian, at multiple points in canon. Very clearly and unambiguously. She has expressed her lack of attraction to men in general and to Neal specifically.

Writing her otherwise is erasure.

The obvious (and very tired) retort is "but what about writing straight characters as gay/bi? That happens all the time!"

Firstly, I can only think of two characters I have ever seen who have actually stated themselves to be straight (Pete from Warehouse 13 and John from BBC Sherlock, if you're curious). Because we live in a heterocentric society, characters (and people) are assumed to be straight unless and until they state otherwise. Coming out is hard, and it isn't a one-time event -- if you're lucky enough to have passing privilege you have to come out again, and again, and again, to each new group of people. It's SCARY. Even then, it can be really hard to get people to respect your identity -- think of all the "you just haven't met the right man/woman yet" bullshit.

And secondly: writing a straight or assumed-straight character as queer is an act of subversion. In our heterosexist society, our media suffers deeply from an overabundance of assumed-straight characters, and a lack of meaningful representation for queer people. Taking assumed-straight chars and writing them as queer can be powerful: it's forcing ourselves into spaces which actively try to keep us out. It's saying, We can be main characters. We can be heroes. We belong here.

Taking a gay character, one of the very few textually gay characters, and writing them into a straight relationship is a fucking kick in the teeth. No way to sugar-coat it, I'm afraid, and I don't want to.

I was talking a moment ago about the lack of respect for queer people, and queer identities, and this is a part of that. Writing a gay character in a het relationship does not happen in a vacuum -- it happens in a context where gay characters are already crumbs compared to the spread of assumed-straight characters. Where we all know that creators can and do take them away from us at any moment (Moffat's Irene Adler, I'm looking at you). Where (usually) straight people feel completely justified in continually questioning self-professed queerness, and so many media narratives glorify the gay-identified person finding that they "just happen" to fall in love with someone of the opposite gender. Where "she'd like it if she just tried it" is a meme, one that makes people feel justified into coercing or forcing gay people into sex they don't want. Where we all know that you might not really be gay -- maybe you're just confused, or immature, or waiting for the right man.

There are reasons to write a pairing like Neal/Diana. Because you find the thought of them together hot. Because you enjoy their interactions, and want to write more of them, and a relationship is an easy way of doing that. Because you just feel like it.

There are reasons not to. Because it hurts people to see that one of the few characters they can identify with, that they can count as one of them, other people feel justified in claiming for the over-represented majority instead. Because you respect representations of queer identities. Because, whether you agree with them or not, you realise that writing het ships for gay characters makes people upset and hurt.

You can choose which of those reasons you care the most about. But you ARE making a choice. And you're displaying it in public every time you write this pairing. Please, consider choosing not to.
frith_in_thorns: Katara against a background of ice, bending a blue wave of water (AA Katara)
This weekend I was jetting off (by train) to far-flung locales (Bristol). Sooo, late again. But I have lots and lots of pictures this week!

Book 1(Water), 13: The Blue Spirit & 14: The Fortuneteller

 photo 14-TheFortunetelleravi_snapshot_2235_20130525_171828_zps560eb152.jpg
"But can your 'science' explain why it rains?"

The Blue Spirit )

The Fortuneteller )

1. No character bashing, please.
2. No future episode spoilers in the spoiler-free thread (and comments containing them will be screened), but expect to find them in others! If you're talking about massive plot twists it's nice to put a spoiler warning in the header, but it's not required.
3. Spoilers for Legend of Korra are also fair game everywhere except the spoiler-free thread; again, labelling them is friendly.
4. Feel free to illustrate your squee with caps. And gifs!

frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Games - Mass Effect - Liara Deal)
(via [ profile] friendshipper )

[ profile] thingswithwings  has made a video about MANPAIN in various fandoms, and has written an awesome meta to go with it. Definitely worth reading and watching. (I read the meta before seeing the video, and think it worked best that way around, but could be just me :P)

[ profile] proskynesis , I think this will be particularly relavant to your interests.

Ctrl+Enter to post
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Star jar)
Note: the general 'you' is in use throughout this post.

I want to link to this post by [ profile] phaetonschariot today.  Go read it now, because the rest of this post is going to assume that you have.  It's meta, although it's headed like a fic, but the header is what's being discussed in the meta.

I lurk around quite a few meta places on LJ, and this topic's been flying around lately, particularly on [ profile] fanficrants , and side-by-side with numerous ship wars, where it usually takes the form of (as illustrated by this post) "X IS NOT GAY! YOU'RE BREAKING CANON! STOP MAKING THEM GAY" - and while that was written in that post as an over-the-top example, some people were actually agreeing with it.  (Because of course your personal opinions that everyone is straight until proven otherwise, and never ever bisexual, should dictate what everyone else is allowed to write and read.  ::eyeroll::)

From that you may be able to work out that I fully agree with [ profile] phaetonschariot 's post.  Because however much to try to colour it as a 'squick', it really is offensive to demand that non-straight relationships should be warned for by others, and especially if you're then surprised that people do get offended by your reaction.  Maybe I've been reading too much SGA fic, but it does seem that this fandom has pretty bitter feelings between those who write slash and those who write het.  I recently dipped into the Criminal Minds fandom and was very surprised by the sheer amount of multishipping there - I'm honestly not sure which pairing has the majority.  Possibly Aaron/Emily or Emily/Jennifer.  (Seriously, I was quite amazed by the amount of femslash - in most fandoms those pairings tend to be shoved up on a metaphorical dusty shelf and barely ever looked at.)

Yeah, that's about all I have to say.  I know that I mostly stick to gen myself because I'm not really a romance fan in general, but when I do read pairings, I'm pretty indiscriminante about them.  I've just been stumbling across this homo- and bi-phobic attitude a lot online lately, and it's really pissing me off.

In the interests of TMI disclosure, I write this as someone who's still not entirely sure whether I identify as bisexual or asexual.  Which doesn't make much sense, I know, but yeah :P
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Default)
As 'borrowed' from [ profile] penknife , [ profile] leesa_perrie  and [ profile] friendshipper 

Ask me one fandom-related question in the comments. This can be fandom specific, general, or about fandom/lj stuff/fic writing/etc. in general. 

Or more than one.  I'm not fussy.

Question can be as wacky as you want. Ask me about tv shows, characters, fanfic in general, fandom issues/meta, anything about any of my stories specifically. Whatever you want.

If it's a fandom-specific question, you can ask me about anything I'm familiar with ... SGA being my main current fandom, but also Sanctuary, NCIS, SG1, SGU, nBSG, any CSI, Firefly, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Discworld, and anything else you know I'm into that I've forgotten to put on this list.
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Disc - Harvest)
This year I discovered the wonders of Stargate, via Esvandiary, and pretty much inhaled it all in one go.  Then started writing for SGA in about April.  Then discovered LJ.  I think I'm here for good now.

I also fell out of love with CSI New York, which I'm actually quite sad about.  I couldn't take either the overload of Danny/Lindsay fluff on FFN or the vitrolic Lindsay-bashing everywhere else, and somehow the latter in particular rather spoiled my experience of the fandom.

Also I've had a little thing called university, which gobbles up time that I might otherwise be spending in fandoms.  (This is probably a good thing for my sanity and long-term prospects.)
I think it comes to about 60,000 words this year, as an estimate. )

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